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 Post subject: How to record a choir?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:29 am 
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Greenhorn
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Hi there,

i'm singing in a church choir and i'm asking the best way for live recording it. We have Bass, Tenor, Alt and Sophran.

Would it make sense to XY place two Microphones for each (2 x Bass, 2 x Tenor etc..) or is it better to have only one Mic

Which type of mic would you suggest ?


Thanks in advance

Peter

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:44 am 
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Hey Peter

If you can, try to record every voice with an individual mic - that way you'll have more flexibility to get the choir to sound right, XY sounds good, but you might have to split the choir up so that the voices can later be separated.

You yould go with only 2 mics in total, I'd have the choir stand in a half-circle around the mic, set it to omni and let them rip ;-).

But I'm sure Robbie will come along with some additional wisdom - he's made himself a name for recording east-frisian fishermen's choirs specialized in singing the famous dutch "Odes to Gouda" in lighthouses or windmills :P .

And let me use a couple keywords to get him here faster: Cheese, Gouda, Cheese soufflé, Food :lol:

Have fun

Mic

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:13 pm 
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I'll type something later in the afternoon... gotta run!! Responsibilities and other grownup stuff.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:59 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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It's hard, if not impossible, to have Bass, Tenor, Alt and Sophran on separate tracks. Reason to try is to have control over it while mixing, but the separation is very hard if the parts were sung simultaneously.

I tried using dynamic mics (they are not that sensitive, so that should make separation easier) but it didn't work out the way I wanted to. That is, the sound itself was OK, but I was not able to manipulate it the way I wanted.

So, on a later occasion I took two large diaphragm condenser mics, put them at a height of 2 metres (about half a foot over most heads) and 2 feet apart. I thouroughly checked the levels, armed the tracks and hit "record"... no need to change anything afterwards, apart from a little bit of EQ.

A lot depends on the room you're recording in. I did the recording in a circular room, about 35 ft in diameter, 25 men (tenors, baritones, basses) and an accordeon. Do not be afraid to experiment with your mic placement. I did that, too. There's nothing wrong with asking your client to help you optimize the service/product.

HTH!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:05 pm 
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Location: Where the big toe goes... the foot will follow...
Most choir recordings I've heard have been done with either 2 to 4 mics.

As Robbie said, most of these mics are located above the heads of the people in the choir and angled down towards them... I'm not sure if this is to reduce sibillance, but you usually don't get pops or anything of that nature.

I would say... the more mics the better. If you can do 4 or 8 it would be decent.

The rational is that you can use a tighter pattern, therefore if someone misses a note, the likelihood of being able to pot it down and use a different mic that may not have captured the bad tone, but have usable sound may work...

Good luck!

Cin

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:25 pm 
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Mr. Electonica Dude
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CindaP wrote:
The rational is that you can use a tighter pattern, therefore if someone misses a note, the likelihood of being able to pot it down and use a different mic that may not have captured the bad tone, but have usable sound may work...



Hmmm...not a bad idea.

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