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After The Rain : sound capture, processing, listening

This album was recorded and mixed at Studio du Moulin at Montcabrier (31 FRANCE) by Jérôme Cotte. The idea came to Thomas in early 2020, while he was confined to Toulouse.

Translated from french, excerpt from the liner notes of the CD edition, released on May 21, 2021 : Inspired by a John Coltrane's piece, this album designed and recorded in 2020 explores feelings of a troubled time, from worry and hope through nostalgia and prayer. Resolutely turned towards the future, Thomas Schirmann goes from shadow to light while paying tribute to his masters, Michel Petrucciani and Oscar Peterson, but also Alain Jean-Marie and Michel Graillier. It's a wonderful life, "after the rain".

microphones layout

This picture, taken from a movie of the recording session shows the positioning of the microphones : two Neumann U47 in X/Y as main stereo duet, two B&O Beomic BM3 on each side of the piano and a Neumann U47 at the front.

the processing chain

Yamaha C5 half grand piano
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microphone x5
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Studer 369 preamp console unit x5
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ADI A/D conversion x5
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Protools stereo mixing
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Manley Massive Passive equalizer
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Neve 2254 compressor (ratio =0)
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ADI D/A conversion x2
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Protools finalizing
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stereo mix

listening impressions

I first listened to this record in August 2021 when Thomas came home, to hear his newly released CD on my system. Once the decision to launch this project was taken, we went to the Studio du Moulin to encounter Jérôme, a necessary step for me, to understand the context in which this album was elaborated.

at Studio du Moulin

The studio is made up of five independent cabins, built on the principle of the box within the box.
At the start of the visit, Jérôme Jerome plays a few notes on the piano (it will be a point of reference for the future).
At the control room, we listen to some excerpts, on the large control speakers : a pair of Genelec 1038A + sub 7070. My instantaneous impression is that sounds less bright than listened in the cabin, but it must be known that the piano was stored against the wall and Jerome played only a few notes briefly.
We then pass to a comparison between the mix at 32/88.2 and its reduction to 16/44.1. The musical message appears identical, a slight difference can be heard. In 32/88.2, there is more air around the piano, the background is more compact and closer in 16/44.1, more artificial too.

on a VOTT system

Back on my system at home, the comparative listening of the mix and the CD shows that it remains very close to the mix although it sounds a little bit louder, proof that a light compression was applied.

on a WE15A and Tannoy systems

A third sequence took place at Dominique's, on his WE15A based system, for a comparative listening of the mix in 32/88.2 and 16/44.1. We agree to notice a better definition in 32/88,2, but on certain titles, Dominique is surprised to prefer the 16/44.1 version, more life around the piano.

We also listened on to the two pairs of Tannoys (Berkeley and Lancaster) that Dominique restored. Surprise, the 16/44.1 is more pleasing to the ear than the 32/88.2.

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