TSL Microphones Capture Crowd Ambiance and Reactions During Natalie Merchant Concert

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Jon Bowermaster’s latest project is a documentary video of singer songwriter Natalie Merchant’s tour in support of her eponymous new album. The DVD/Bluray disk will be released later this year to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Tigerlily (a five-times platinum album), her first solo album after splitting from 10,000 Maniacs. It will feature reprises from this memorable album, in addition to many songs from her new release, performances of the tour, as well as interviews of herself, other artists and personalities close to her.

Creative Audio Post, a New York based full-service audio post-production studio used TSL Products‘ Soundfield ST-450 microphones to record surround crowd ambiance and reactions as well the string section during Natalie Merchant’s live concert at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, NY.

Creative Audio Post’s Founder Jacques Boulanger and his partner Holly Grace were in charge of setting the microphones for this purpose, and of recording of the entire mixing desk feed on two redundant 40 track portable recording rigs.

“Recording crowd ambiance and reactions is often a neglected part of a live concert soundtrack, yet it is such an integral part of recreating the live experience. We love our TSL Soundfield Microphones because they give us the flexibility to capture with precision the reaction of an individual member of the audience as well as individual players to create a full surround sound experience and transport the viewer to the venue, as if they were there,” says Boulanger.

Boulanger and his team used two Soundfield ST-450 microphones: one perched at the edge of the balcony – capturing a 360º recording of both the balcony audience as well as the entire orchestra audience – and the second one above the string section. Both microphones were tracked in their unique B-format, and the convenient 100 meters extension cable, designed for location recording, proved to be ideal to reach the balcony position from the stage input feed.

The ST-450 extending over the string ensemble provided exceptional imaging of each string player and will be very powerful for each of the acoustic pieces sang by Merchant.

Similarly, the second ST-450 – dedicated to the crowd ambiance recording – will provide a way to “zoom into” any particular direction and pinpoint any singular audience member response throughout the venue with the use of the SurroundZone2 plug-in inserted across the B-format Quad channel. This sophisticated yet intuitive plug-in enables the team to steer the forward axis of this notional array in a full 360-degree horizontal circle and to elevate it over a ±45-degree arc as a post process.

It also features a Dominance or Perspective control, which simulates moving the microphone closer to or further from the sound sources. At other times, it will be used to provide a true three-dimensional imaging of the audience’s reaction during the concert.

These recording assets, in addition to the expansive microphone set up from Natalie’s sound engineers, promise a surround experience to be uniquely engaging for this upcoming release.

 About Creative Audio Post

Founded in 2002 by Emmy Award winning Sound Engineer Jacques Boulanger, Creative Audio Post in Manhattan is a full-service audio post-production studio that specializes in high impact sound design, re-recording mixing, narration, ADR, and ISDN for television programs, documentaries, short- and long-form productions, and commercials.

They are known for their organic and ‘in your face’ sound favored by docu-reality shows like Dual Survival, Storm Chasers, and Yukon Men and work with numerous ad agencies to create unique sounds to give their spots the punch they need.

For more information about Creative Audio Post and Natalie Merchant’s tour video project, contact Holly Grace at or visit:

About TSL Products

TSL Products designs, manufactures and markets a range of hardware and software solutions that serve to simplify operations within the television broadcast, cable, satellite, IPTV and IT industries.

Specialising in audio monitoring, surround microphones and processors, broadcast control systems and power management tools, TSL Products’ solutions satisfy and exceed the commercial, technical and operational requirements that exist in IT-based and traditional workflows, helping its customers to lower costs, generate revenue and streamline operations.


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