The Overdub Process of Scriabin: Prometheus 7-Piano Transcription Recording



The recording session of Piano I at Palais Montcalm Hall in Quebec city, Canada. The left is Mr. Carl Talbot, engineer, and the right is Mr. Marcel Lapointe, piano technician. Please visit Chitose Okashiro's Instagram for more pictures at recording sessions and streetview in Quebec city.

At the top, she is practicing overdub at home based on the recording session sound file of Piano I. Piano I was  imported to her Pro Tools, she recorded Piano II - VII at home, layered all piano parts in Pro Tools, worked on the simulation of overall sound, then she elaborated her arrangement work accordingly. The bottom is her manuscript during her revisions.


The overdubbing recording session of Piano II - VII, listening to Piano I sound file with headphones on the desk on the left side of the photo. It had to be done in the same hall as Piano I recording session was done, the same piano, the same microphones, the same locations of microphones, and so on. Every condition had to be exactly identical with the one in Piano I recording session. Scriabin's solo pieces from this Promehteus album were recorded after overdub recording. (It was before Covid.......) Please visit Chitose Okashiro's Instgram for more pictures. 

Listening, selection of takes and editing. Listening itself was complicated enough since there were various combinations between Piano I - VII when it comes to the places with 7 pianos. The above photos show my Pro Tools software I used for listening. 7 microphones x 7 pianos = 49 tracks. The computer screen cannot show all 49 tracks vertically in normal size at once, the above left has each piano part micro sized so that all 7 piano parts could show in a screen vertically. 7 strips mean each piano part. The right photo shows only Piano I part with 7 microphones in normal size. Each microphone has different color assigned, so you can see total 7 colors.  (by Chitose Okashiro)

Since my manuscript is illegible, I prepared an orchestra score for an engineer with highlighted colors in each piano part. While the score on the above left doesn't have any color for this is strictly for Piano I, the score on the above right was highlighted with colors for passages easy to identify in one glance, which was used for mixing session. (please note that I am not playing in the same manner as colored passages.)The pages of my score the photo shows, has places with 5 pianos, Piano I  with no color, Piano II - V with each different 4 colors.    (by Chitose Okashiro)



Chitose is having online remote mixing session with Mr. Carl Talbot who lives in Montreal, Canada. Sound mixed by Carl in Montreal comes from Chitose's speakers in New York through online connection. Remote session can be perfectly done nowadays though it was not that easy until a while ago, and not only mixing but also recording session could be done by remote session, according to Chitose.

Chitose is having mastering remote online session with Mr. Andreas Meyer. "I really enjoyed working with him, he also told me an such interesting story about Glenn Gould. These men were truly stupendous; they worked with me based upon their deep understanding of my musicality and the sound that I had been particularly looking for in Scriabin. Without them, this Prometheus project could never have been achieved, both in terms of the technical end and the musical creation of the 49-track overdubbing recording technology. I appreciate them from the bottom of my heart." (A comment from Chitose)