Musicians’ profile

What is a Musician’s Profile? 

We calibrate the Symphonova Stem Production system to respond with great sensitivity to the unique way that every musician plays their instrument. To enable calibration, each musician must create a musical profile which is then registered on our site as their personal and uniquely identified musical expression profile. 

To create this profile, each musician must record a series of scales in a wide dynamic range. In our experience, it should take a musician less than 10 minutes to record their complete profile. The scores used for this process can be downloadehere for each instrument. 

Once recorded, the profile can be used in every subsequent recording session. The following caveats apply, however:

  1. the profile is non transferable; it is uniquely associated with a single musician
  2. the musician must play the same instrument used for the profile. If the musician uses a different instrument then a new profile must be recorded for that instrument. 

 

Project Session Calibration Scales

Once a musician’s profile is created, it can be used in every subsequent project that the musician records. However, If the circumstances of the recording changes then there are likely to be variations in the microphones used, acoustics, positioning, engineering, etc. 

To ensure a musician’s profile is correctly implemented,  when there is a change of circumstances every musician must record two short scales for calibration. The project session calibration scales are found here and should be recorded in a similar manner to the profile scales. 

 

How to create a Musician’s Profile

Musician’s Profile Tip

The profile can be recorded by a musician in their own home and then registered on our website at any time. Please see our Collaborators Page  for full information.

 

Points to pay attention to

It is important to bear the following advice in mind when recording a musician’s profile.

  1. Keep the beat!
  • Set a metronome or a good click-track in accordance with the tempo indication of the score. It is suggested that the metronome subdivide the tempo. For example, if the tempo is marked at 60bpm for each note of the scale, then set the metronome or click-track to 120bpm, so that the subdivisions help keep the musician closer to a steady beat.
  • When a note leads into a rest (pause), ensure the note is held for its full duration and leads into the rest. Pay attention to ensure that the note is not shortened.
 
  1. Keep the dynamics!

The dynamic markings are ‘p’ and ‘f’. To understand how quiet and how loud ‘p’ and ‘f’ should be, please be guided by the following:

By ‘p’ dynamics we mean not the quietest possible dynamics (pp) but the one above it. And by ‘f’ we mean loud, but not the loudest (ff). In both cases of ‘p’ and ‘f’, it’s very important to keep even dynamics throughout the instrument’s tessitura. That is, avoid some of the notes being softer or louder, and choose a dynamic that allows the player to keep the same loudness even on difficult notes.

  • Legato; connect the notes as smoothly as possible (molto legato)
  • Senza vibrato: without any Vibrato. 
  • do not start any notes with an accent or a swell.
  • do not allow crescendi/decrescendi to seep into your playing – keep your dynamics uniform 

 

Important Musician’s Profile Engineering Details

  • for each scale, there must be a maximum 10 seconds start time i.e. musicians must have started playing within the first ten seconds of the start of the recording.
  • CHECK! The dynamic range between ‘p’ and ‘f’ must be at least 12dB. If the dynamic range is less, then either the musician is not playing quietly and loudly enough, or the gain structure is not correct.
  • each scale must be uploaded as a separate .wav file
  • each scale must be correctly named. For details see here

 

Special Musician’s Profile Tip 2

A profile scale must be clean and accurate, but there is some flexibility in our system. If there are a few notes out of tune, were performed with an accent, or are simply difficult (for example, the very top notes of a wind instrument, in ‘p’), then there are two options to make things easier:

  1. Record the scale several times to ensure the problems are covered. Then upload all the recordings, and our system will sort through the profiles and select the best performance. NOTE: multiple files of the same scale should not have any distinction in the names. They must still be named in exactly the same way. 
  2. Re-record and edit only the individual problematic notes.

 

Mutes for Brass 

Profile scales are included and required for Brass straight mute. These are for the player’s standard mute. Please remember that the profile created with the specific mute is unique to the player in combination with the specific instrument and specific mute.

It will be possible for Brass players to record profiles dedicated to as many different mutes as desiredIn future upgrades to the system.

Note: for any music using mute, we need a 2 x 11 note scale with the specific mute used in the project.

 

Five String Double-bass

Record the profile scales using the same strings as in a four string bass, adding a scale for the fifth string.