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Recording a school band - stereo mic recommendation
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sgmw
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23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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Recording a school band - stereo mic recommendation

My daughter's band has got their first Battle of the Bands competition coming up in a week and I am keen to record it for posterity.

It's just an intermediate school (11-12 year olds) competition so I am expecting it to complete chaos and run by enthusiastic amateurs - think Murray from FOTC running a PA. I will not have much time and I doubt I will be given any reserved space to set up, so using a pair of mics is out of the question.

I have a Sound Devices 702T and would be grateful of a recommendation for a mid price range stereo mic.

I am based in NZ so there is not a huge range available and I aren't going to be able to test before I buy.

The options I have found so far are:

Rode NT4
Studio Projects LSD2
Audio Technica AT4022, BP4025, AT8022 and BP8025

Any preferences for the given scenario?

Thanks a lot,
Thomas
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23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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No first-hand experience with any of the single point mics you listed, but here is a link to an old thread discussing the BP4025 vs. the NT4.

Remember, having an OTRF or XY pair pre-set on a small stereo bar ahead of time, is really no more effort than using a single point mic. You can have it all assembled on a telescoping mic stand so all you need to do is put the stand in place, extend the legs, and then extend the stand up to the height you want. A stand like the Shure S-15 (4.5 meters) or, even better, the Manfrotto MA1004 (3.6 meters) can be extended in seconds. Although it's a little short, the super-light Manfrotto 5001B "nano" stand is also great for a quick set up situation since it's so light weight and has a small floor footprint.

Do it all the time when the set-up time or access is limited. Also use a single (split) 4-conductor, 2-channel cable for those tight situations, which also speeds up setting up, and then getting out fast.

Best of luck (you're going to need it!)
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23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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Ditto that. I have a gig or two each year where a detailed setup is not possible... If I were starting today (as opposed to 2005) I'd still look at the NT4 I bought then, and at the CM3's that drive that huge ongoing thread. Cost would be about the same, and ease-of-use (with a simple 2-pair snake to compare to the one I built for my NT4) would be about the same. Ditto the Manfrotto with an appropriate thread on top.

I most often use my NT4 in that situation on battery, feeding a Edirol R09HR directly. Gaff the wire to the stand, gaff the recorder (with fresh, new AAs) to the bottom section, gaff the stand to the floor (so only a very determined push can knock it over) and... record. Works for me.

HB
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sgmw
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24th October 2012
Old 24th October 2012
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Thanks for the replies HB and Lotus.

That's a good idea of having a stand set up with stereo mics before I start. I have a pair on NT5s that would work. I'm a bit worried about the size of the stand though, I don't want kids mothers yelling at me that they can't see

I did see that other thread and the NT4 gets decent raps but I was keen to throw the SP LSD2 into the mix to see whether that would cut the mustard - relative price to the NT4 seems to be better here.
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24th October 2012
Old 24th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgmw View Post
Thanks for the replies HB and Lotus.

That's a good idea of having a stand set up with stereo mics before I start. I have a pair on NT5s that would work. I'm a bit worried about the size of the stand though, I don't want kids mothers yelling at me that they can't see

I did see that other thread and the NT4 gets decent raps but I was keen to throw the SP LSD2 into the mix to see whether that would cut the mustard - relative price to the NT4 seems to be better here.
Hi. I'm based in Wellington too... have a Superlux s502 you could try if you'd like. Send me a PM if you're interested.
sgmw
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24th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by organism View Post
Hi. I'm based in Wellington too... have a Superlux s502 you could try if you'd like. Send me a PM if you're interested.
Thanks. PM'ed.
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24th October 2012
Old 24th October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgmw View Post
... I'm a bit worried about the size of the stand though, I don't want kids mothers yelling at me that they can't see kidz...
Might be a good idea letting the band director or music teacher know you're planning on recording and promising the school a couple of CDs copies of the performance. That way if you get any "flack" from parents, at least you can defend yourself by letting them know "you have official permission" and that it's for the kids and the school.

A single narrow stand that's fairly high, so puts the mic or mics themselves above the sight lines of the audience is usually not objectionable enough to cause any problems. But take care, crossing an irate mother is always risky.

Have fun. Cheers!

And, what are the chances of finding someone in the same town who is on this list and is generous enough to offer the loan of a mic to try? Amazing!
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