Old 24th November 2008
  #1
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Question Choir Recording - Odd Setup

I'll be recording a large 60 piece choir in a small cathedral. The group sets up in an L shape (left and right flanks) evenly distributed, about 4 rows deep. They also have string, woodwind, piano and percussion instruments "inside" the L, at the crux.

Each "flank" of the group is approx 25' wide.

My question is given the microphone selection below (LDCs, SDCs, Ribbons, Tubes..etc), what would be a simple yet effective technique to mic the choir without the instruments overpowering?

(note: pairs are listed as 2 entries...so, I have only 2 B3 mics, and not 2 pairs of B3)

Studio Projects B3
Studio Projects B3
Oktava MK 219 Microphone
Oktava MK 319 Microphone
AKG C414
Avenson Audio Omni Mic
Avenson Audio Omni Mic
Cascade Fathead ribbon
Cascade Fathead ribbon
NADY RSM-4 ribbon
ADK SC-2
AKG C451
JoeMeek JM-27 (similar to ADK SC-2)
Shure SM81
SONY ECM33F
SONY ECM33F
MXL V69M


Any suggestions would of course be greatly appreciated.
Old 24th November 2008
  #2
krs
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I think it should be a requirement in this forum to say if there will be an audience in the space as well
Old 24th November 2008
  #3
I'd only consider using the Fatheads, the 414, and the Avensons. Are your Avenson's the STO omnis?
Old 24th November 2008
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krs View Post
I think it should be a requirement in this forum to say if there will be an audience in the space as well
I'm not sure the Gearslutz Constitution has a provision for the redress of grievances...
Old 24th November 2008
  #5
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Yes. There will be about 1200 folks in attendance. They will be situated 40' in front of the left flank. The "left flank" of the choir will be singing directly to the audience. The "right flank" will be at approximately an 80 degree angle to the left, singing towards the audience's left hand wall. So, to summarize from the perspective of the audience, there will be instruments in front of the audience and the left flank of the choir behind the instruments. The rest of the choir will be to the right of the instruments on the right.

The setup is inflexible due to the live performance aspect of the recording...so there isn't much I can do there....otherwise, I'd move the choir towards the audience.


The Avensons are the STO omnis. In years past, they have been very accurate...however, their flat response grabs all the low end and all the chatter from the audience. Any recommendations as to technique? ORTF, MS, XY, Spaced Pair, Decca, Coincident Pair... given the selections and setup presented?

Thanks,
JR
Old 24th November 2008
  #6
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See enclosed setup jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Choir Recording - Odd Setup-setup.jpg  
Old 24th November 2008
  #7
krs
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What's odd about the setup is that it is asymmetrical to the nave. (Otherwise the configuration is pretty standard). Not sure why they've done that, but obviously there must be a reason.

My guess audience noise, hall noise, HVAC and too much reverb/not enough intimacy will be your main issues here. I would throw up an ORTF pair, and as many spots as you can. You can feather the spots into the mix to give you clarity and balance.

good luck!
Old 25th November 2008
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I'd go for a pair in ORTF to left hand side, centred on the gap between the choirs on your diagram (at the conductor's back I guess) and forget about how the audience hears it. I think I would go for the AKG 414's you have there. You would have far more control with that set up. A simple movement forwards or backwards, up or down would be the least complicated and avoid a bit of a headache I think. You could quickly get a good sound on those, and then bring in a few spots afterwards. If you had any change of mind after listening, you'd have all the pattern changes available in the 414's to cope with it.

I'd forget ribbons apart from use as spots, where, for some things they would be nice. Just not as the main pair.

Hope the thoughts are helpful. I'd love to know what you eventually decide on, and how you go on. For me, I'd keep it simple so that you are in control.

All the best
Old 25th November 2008
  #9
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Cool. Advice taken.

I planned on using the ribbons for the string quartet and the woodwinds that will be seated in front of the choir. I've had good results with that. I also planned on spotting the brass/tymps with MD421s or 57s.

Just out of curiosity, why ORTF over XY? No supporters of MS? Any mic favorites for the ORTF?

Thanks,
James
Old 27th November 2008
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fieldstone View Post
Cool. Advice taken.

I planned on using the ribbons for the string quartet and the woodwinds that will be seated in front of the choir. I've had good results with that. I also planned on spotting the brass/tymps with MD421s or 57s.

Just out of curiosity, why ORTF over XY? No supporters of MS? Any mic favorites for the ORTF?
Hi James

Ribbons, perfect choice for the strings, and the ribbons will be close enough to avoid noise. Not bright on the MD421's for the brass though (I'm a trombonist) it can get nasty. I'd prefer ribbons on the brass too. The nulls could be useful for cutting out sound from other instruments or the choirs, if you needed to, and with the right positioning you could get the room sound too in the rear lobe.

I prefer the ORTF as the stereo pair because the listening window afterwards is more tolerant, that is you don't need to occupy a central seat between the speaker to get a good image. It's useful if more than one person is listening at the same time. You can also alter the spacing slightly to suit the situation and the acoustic. Having said all that, M&S would be good too. Nice centre image and controlable either from the control room in post production. Either way, you wouldn't go wrong (I think).

I use Schoeps Mk5 capsules in ORTF, it's a very flexible mic technique really, and for live events, cuts out a lot of hassle and problems.

All the best
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