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Te Deum Laudamus



 Genre: Classical
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Something very different for me. I'm not the composer or the performer of this piece (though my wife is in the choir). To help me prepare for my upcoming trip to southern Africa, the choir of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary allowed me to record their rehearsal. Using a battery-powered digital recorder and stereo microphone, I tried to capture the choir as realistically as possible. This is a completely unprocessed recording. Just a mic in a room with people standing in front of it singing. I was very pleased at how nice the recording sounds. This is a complete reading of the classical liturgical choral piece Te Deum Laudamus. Mostly, the performance is very good, though you can clearly hear (on headphones at least) that one of the basses has come congestion and clears his throat a few times and there's the occassional rustle of sheets being turned. The Røde NT4 picks up everything.
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Uploaded: May 04, 2006 - 03:05:53 PM
Last Updated: May 04, 2006 - 12:12:26 PM Last Played: Jun 21, 2019 - 01:20:07 PM
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For the recording: Marantz PMD660, Røde NT4; for the processing: Mac G4 powerbook.
LogicPro, Waveburner. Software was just used to normalize the recording. And I added just a touch of "Energizer."
said 4828 days ago (May 5th, 2006)
Brings Me Back to Church
Thanks for sharing this.
I'm curious - how far away was the mic from the chorus?
eorthman said 4825 days ago (May 8th, 2006)
Brings Me Back to Church
The choir stood in a circle around the altar, rather than their usual place in
front of the pipe organ (the pipes are to the right of the altar). The conductor
faced the choir (facing the back of the church) standing approximately where
the officiant would stand during communion. I positioned the microphone
directly behind the conductor. About six feet back. The nearest choir member
was about six or seven feet from the microphone; the organ was nearly 50
feet away.

Originally, I'd done some testing with the microphone placed near the font at
the back of the church. In my opinion, this gave too much reverberating room
sound and lost some of the stero imaging. A few of the choir members have
listened to this recording and have commented on how clearly each of the
different parts can be heard (because of the stereo imaging), something that
they don't have the luxury of hearing while they're actually performing the
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mr.turtle said 4827 days ago (May 6th, 2006)
Live Music
"Live Music is Better" bumper stickers should be issued. There is
something about a real live performance..... that is big and great and
holy. Throat clearing or no this was a joy. Thanks for this.
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eorthman said 4825 days ago (May 8th, 2006)
Live Music
Thank you! Personally, I've always preferred "real" music. As much as I spend
time in a studio overdubbing tracks and comping takes, I love music that
sounds like it actually happened. Hopefully, this new gear will enable me to
capture that spontanaity with a quality that's nice to listen to!

In just over a week, I'll be heading to Africa to record some indigenous choirs.
Very rustic music. Very excited about that. I'm hoping the local composers
and performers will allow me to share some of the results here.
Check out my latest song called Rome Burns
said 4826 days ago (May 6th, 2006)
Great job...
recording this. I am amazed at the sound quality. A beautiful piece!

Be well!
kristyjo said 4826 days ago (May 6th, 2006)
There really is something
about the energy and honesty of a live, uncut recording. The Marantz is a
great piece of equipment (I don't own one, but have borrowed it from our
A/V dept.) This is an excellent recording, particularly for a rehearsal
situation. There are a few tuning imperfections with the choir about 3/4
of the way through. I bet if they listened to this recording, they could
clean them up right away.
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eorthman said 4825 days ago (May 8th, 2006)
There really is something
In fact, the imperfections you mention were caught at the rehearsal. I have
another recording of the latter half of the piece recorded immediately after
this which (except for a spectacularly botched ending which left everyone
laughing hysterically) is a better performance than this. But I thought that
splicing the two performances together would be both too much work for my
purposes and would work against the purity of the performance. They didn't
have enough time in the rehearsal to completely reperform the piece.

About the Marantz: I agonized about getting one. There are several other
digital two-tracks which look "just as good," spec-wise. And some are a lot
smaller and cheeper. The Marantz PMD660 looks just like an old Star Trek
tricorder. Twice the size and $100 more is not usually a selling point in a
technological device. I finally went with it because it's a Marantz and they
have a reputation of lasting forever and it's the only device in its class with
true XLR inputs. The built-in mic isn't too bad too, but I'd be hesitant to use it
for anything but spoken (it's a bit thin for music).
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Keith O. Edwards said 4826 days ago (May 6th, 2006)
Who Wrote It?
So who IS the composer of the piece? Many Te Deums have been written.

Very fine performance.
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eorthman said 4825 days ago (May 8th, 2006)
Who Wrote It?
It's one of several treatments by C Villiers Stanford. Seventeenth century, I
think, but I'm not sure right off hand. My notes from the conductor just have
the name of the piece, the composer and a confirmation that it's in the public
Check out my latest song called Rome Burns
Morris R said 4800 days ago (June 2nd, 2006)
Very Nice
I used to sing in church choirs, and this brings back memories. Thanks
for posting it here. (I think it would be a good idea to mention the name
of the composer in the Description, and it'd be even more helpful if you
could tell us something about him! Thanks. Also, How does recording a
choir help you prepare for your upcoming trip to S. Africa? I figure there
must be an interesting story there!)
Enrique Gil said 4729 days ago (August 12th, 2006)
I loved it
Brings me back to my college days when I sang in the choir. Lots of
memorable rehersals and performances. Thank you
Enrique Gil
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thetiler said 4155 days ago (March 7th, 2008)

Way to go.

Thanks for sharing this delightful choir piece!
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