Rather than postpone the much-anticipated Bader and Overton Canadian Cello Competition because of the pandemic, Tricia Baldwin and her team at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts decided to dive headfirst into online streaming instead.
So Baldwin and Isabel technicians recruited musicians and started experimenting with different makes of microphones, different locations, and different streaming software to try and find a sound richer than the “car radio sound,” as Baldwin described it, often associated with online streaming.
“(Most streaming) doesn’t have the depth and beauty of sound, especially with stringed instruments,” she said, adding that they’ve shared what they’ve learned with other concert groups and vice versa. “When you don’t have that roundness and third dimension of sound, it’s not a beautiful sound.”
The eight cellists in this week’s competition were all sent the same brand of microphones, microphone stand, and USB interface for the competition. Each performer was to go through a rehearsal beforehand to ensure the equipment was set up properly. If a glitch does happen during the live-stream, there will be a backup recording just in case.