Amandine Pras (University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada)

Associate Researcher at Centre Georg Simmer, EHESS, Paris (France)

The standard 3-point micing technique combines layers of mono or stereo pickups of the same sound source to allow for an enhanced pallet of acoustic flavors in the mix. Adaptable to a large range of musical genres, this technique extends the Tonmeister method of capturing the natural acoustics of the studio in time-alignment with close mic placements that are typical of popular music productions. This recording approach mirrors the standard 3-point lighting technique with its use of key light, fill light, and back light. Because there is only one sun, the key light needs to predominate the other lights in color temperature to give the viewer a sense of perspective in still photography. The fill and back lights are located as to emulate sun reflections off surfaces. They thus enable the photographer to create an illusion of depth. Because in real life we can only hear a sound image from one position in the space, the key mic has to be mixed louder and earlier than the other mics. The fill and back mics are placed to enrich the vibe of the key mic. Panned and delayed, they help to create a sense of depth in the sound image. I will illustrate mixing options of this approach with excerpts from Andréa Tyniec’s Ysaÿe: Six Sonatas for Solo Violin (Really Records, 2015); Jim Black Trio’s The Constant (Intakt, 2016); Nels Cline’s guitar in Eyebone’s recordings (unreleased); and Luciane Cardassi’s Going North (RedShift, forthcoming).