My name is Matt Glenn. I am a student of music technlogy and sound engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Outside of class (and sometimes during) I do a ton of thinking about music and audio engineering. This blog is a my attempt at organizing my mental maelstrom.

Matt Glenn

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Overnight Recording in the [Spooky] Claire Trevor Theater

The largest theater space on the UCI campus is the Claire Trevor Theater, a proscenium space with a full orchestra pit and approximately 300 seats. I had the pleasure of spending a good many hours there, including four all-night designfests, during tech for The Merchant of Venice. Amidst my near-hallucinatory exhaustion, I became very aware that the CTT comes to life at night—at least sonically. One notable “feature”, which actually plagued a couple of the dress rehearsals, is the air pressure difference between the inside of the theater and the outdoors, which becomes noticeable when the correct combination of entrance doors are left open. If you’ve seen David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie and noticed the use of wind whistling through open doors then you are familiar with this effect. 

So I got to thinking that someone ought to record Claire’s diverse sound palette and expansive reverberant space. I got my trusty Sound Devices 702 and a couple of mics and headed in at 11:30 PM on one night. I recorded everything I could get my hands on for about 3 hours: the enormous loading bay door, the incredible booming bass of the concrete stairwell to the catwalks, a chainlink fence of a gear cage, and all sorts of activity in the catwalks including footsteps and various bangs. I was unfortunately unable to capture the air pressure difference sound as I could not duplicate it — I was pretty tired by 2:30AM. Next time!