ODESSA - Orchestral Distribution Effects in Sound, Space and Acoustics: an interdisciplinary symphonic recording for the study of orchestral sound blending

Martha De Franciscoa, Malte Kobb, Jean-François Rivestc and Caroline Traubec

aMcGill University
bDetmold University of Music
cUniversité de Montréal

Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 12:00 to 12:20

in Summer Theater

Abstract :
ODESSA is a collaborative project between the Université de Montréal, McGill University and Detmold University of Music aiming to study orchestral blending effects, examining how instrumental sounds are sculpted by the conductor, the musicians and the hall acoustics and how the sound changes when heard and recorded from different perspectives. This project is realized in context of the ACTOR (Analysis, Creation, and Teaching of Orchestration) partnership, which involves a diverse international team of composers, music theorists, musicologists, computer and signal processing scientists, psychologists, acousticians, sound recordists and conductors. ACTOR’s main goals are to develop a perceptually based theory of orchestration and to create new tools for music analysis, composition, teaching and mediation. Under the combined leadership of four researchers, the ODESSA project consists of a complex multitrack recording of the Orchestre de l’Université de Montréal performing excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, “Pathétique”. More than 50 microphones are used in a combination of close microphone pick-up and ambient recording. Concurrently, the acoustical balance of the instruments is examined employing techniques such as 3D intensity probes and an acoustic camera. Excerpts of the recording of varying instrumental combinations are used as listening test stimuli with the purpose of investigating timbral blending effects.

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