This manual is a relatively comprehensive overview of the inner workings of Glidden 401b’s recording studio.
For step-by-step guidelines on operating the Glidden Studio equipment and working concerts, please download the Glidden Recital Manual (pdf).
1. School of Music Studio Mission
The responsibility of all people involved in the process of recording, editing, and exporting Ohio University School of Music concerts and recitals is to archive and preserve. This is the fundamental purpose of the studio. A historical record of all musical happenings must be kept, and somebody must keep it. Doing so creates a usable tool for students and faculty to implement in their future endeavors, provides a means to enhance the credibility of Ohio University’s music program, and outlines a history of the School of Music’s faculty and music performance students.
2. School of Music Studio Overview
The School of Music studio operates with direct signal paths. Minimal patching or modification of signal paths can be made, and this is intentionally done to minimize chance for error. Any risk or room for error would be directly counterintuitive to the mission of this studio, which is to archive wholly and leave no gaps.
The equipment within the studio and its purpose is as follows:
Ceiling by Projector, Left
Used by Overhead Left
Ceiling by Projector, Right
Used by Overhead Right
Front of Stage, Stage Far Right
Front of Stage, Stage Right
Front of Stage, Stage Left
Front of Stage, Stage Far Left
Wall, Stage Right
Wall, Stage Left
Back Wall, Stage Right
Back Wall, Stage Left
The first eight inputs are wired directly to the XLR inputs on the MOTU 896mk3. The last two (9 and 10) have XLR connectors, but are not connected. To activate phantom power, press a knob to select a channel, then hold it down for two seconds. The Alesis ML-9600 is wired from the MOTU Analog Out 1-2, and sends digital audio back to the MOTU via a S/PDIF connection. To record audio to the backup recorder, use the application CueMix to route directly from the overhead microphones to Analog out 1-2. In the event that Adobe Audition or the computer crashes, the MOTU will not cease to send audio to it, ensuring a reliable backup is recorded. Manuals for all of these items are readily available online.
Licensing for Adobe Audition is controlled by the College of Fine Arts and the Ohio IT department. It is an annual cost for the studio, and while it should be automatically renewed every year, in the event that an error should occur contact a supervisor within the School of Music immediately. Additionally, the Pro Tools 9 license is registered under the iLok account credentials that are available upon request.
Finally, an online server archive exists. This is the home for all recorded performances that take place at Ohio University. This server is provided and maintained by the Ohio IT department, and those who have access are differentiated by read/write access and read-only access. Few people have read/write access, and this should be limited to the recording engineers, and one or two people in the Glidden music library. All others who have read-only access can log onto the server, listen to, and download any performance on the archive.
3. Studio Engineer Responsibilities / MDIA 2901X Class Participant Responsibilities
Beyond upholding the mission of the School of Music Studio, the engineers working in the studio are responsible for ensuring a smooth delivery of audio to the students and faculty of Ohio University. Any task directly involved in maintaining this relationship is crucial to the overall performance of this studio. These tasks include, but are not limited to:
Conversely, there are some things that the recording engineers should never be held accountable for, or left in charge of. Time can be scheduled in the Recital Hall through the School of Music faculty or staff in charge of this.
4. Standard Recital Procedure
For a standard recital on-site in the Recital Hall, the recording engineer shall arrive at least thirty minutes prior to the beginning of the concert. At this point, according to the Recital Agreement signed by the performer of the concert, the engineer can either place additional microphones on the stage, or immediately start the pre-show tasks that must be done before the concert starts. If the engineer places additional microphones, he or she must receive final approval from the performer that the microphoning is not too aesthetically distracting or obtrusive, and must be finished before audience members are let in.
Procedure dictates that all Recital Hall performances absolutely must be completed and uploaded to the server within 48 hours of the original performance. This 48 hours should never be taken advantage of. It is only a momentary respite when the recording engineer’s schedule becomes too hectic and other responsibilities must be taken care of first, and there is no other option. Always edit, export, and upload Recital Hall concerts to the server immediately after the concert unless it is absolutely necessary to wait.
4.1 Pre-show Responsibilities
After arrival to the recording studio, the engineer is responsible for the completion of the following tasks:
4.2 Creating Markers During the Show
During the performance, the recording engineer is responsible for listening attentively and creating markers according to the beginnings and ends of each piece. While recording in Adobe Audition, press “m” to create a marker. Place markers:
This will take considerable practice to accurately place markers. Watch the performer for visual cues, such as breaths, the raising of instruments, or any other visual signs. The more accurately these markers are placed during the performance, the easier editing will be.
Finally, after placing each odd numbered marker (the beginnings of pieces and movements), title this marker with the composer, and the title of each piece in accordance with section 7.1 of this manual. Slowly click twice on the marker in the marker window to edit this. Use caution when doing this, since pressing the space bar while outside of a text window can stop the recording of the piece.
4.3 Editing and Exporting the Show
After the concert has concluded, as long as no immediate time constraints are present, edit, export and upload the concert to the server directly after the performance. First, create an appropriate mix for the concert. If using more microphones than the standard overhead pair, this may take some more time, but never become too overzealous. This is the process of archiving, not enhancing, editing performances, or anything beyond general “sweetening” of the timbre. Once this is completed, follow these steps to edit the concert quickly:
4.4 Uploading Audio to the Server/Sever Operation
From any Mac computer on Ohio University’s campus, first click the desktop to ensure the “finder” application is selected. Press Command + K (connect to server) then type “smb://shared.ohio.edu.” Then, log in and find the “finearts” server, which houses the archive. Upload a folder containing the recordings AND the previously made program PDF, using the folder naming standard described in section 6.2.
4.5 Post Recital Responsibilities
At this point, the engineer is responsible for standard bookkeeping procedures and closing up the studio. Make sure that all of these tasks are completed before leaving:
5. Off-Site Concert Procedure
There are three commonly used off-site concert venues that recording engineers will record at. These are the Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium, Galbreath Chapel (which houses the only pipe organ on campus), and the First United Methodist Church. For these performances, the engineers will use the mobile recording unit to record. It contains a Tascam HDP2 and power supply, a pair of AKG 414 ULS microphones, cables, and various microphone mounting equipment. For these concerts, the recording engineer is often responsible for picking up and bringing the programs to the venue. They are located in the studio, and if not, then be sure to speak with someone organizing the concert at the venue to ensure they have the programs.
The recording engineer shall arrive to Glidden Hall no later than 90 minutes before the start of the concert to pick up the mobile recording cart. Additionally, the engineer must edit, export, and have these recordings onto the Concert Archive within a week of the performance. Finally, the engineer must bring his or her own headphones with a ?” TRS connector to the concert. This procedure is a relatively comprehensive guide to recording off-site concerts:
6. Archival Labelling Standards
It is of extreme importance that all folders and files are appropriately named. This makes it easy to search for specific pieces for faculty and students, and keeps everything well organized.
6.1 Labelling Music for the Concert Archive
Last Name of Composer, Title No.X, Op.XX – Movement
6.2 Labelling Folders for Concert Archive
Name of Concert
7. Contact Information for Other Departments
In the event that outside help is needed, contact one of the following people for assistance.