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-   -   Choir recording - First try (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/newbie-audio-engineering-production-question-zone/1279290-choir-recording-first-try.html)

matt93 16th September 2019 03:21 PM

Choir recording - First try
 
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Hi there.

Glad to have found the wealth of knowledge available to help on this forum. I'm mainly making freelance video's, and recently was asked to do a promotional project for a choir. I've looked into several techniques, decided to go for a ortf setup with a pair of NT5's and am wondering what you guys are thinking.

The setup was quick and may not have been an exact 110 degrees. I also used a Roland pre-amp with a bit of analog compression, which I read later is a no-no for choirs.

What do you think of the recording? It isn't meant to be a CD recording, but I'd love to know what you'd do with it. Would you tweak/EQ it? Leave it as is?

Thanks,

Matt

ventil 16th September 2019 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matt93 (Post 14209765)
I also used a Roland pre-amp with a bit of analog compression, which I read later is a no-no for choirs.

What do you think of the recording? It isn't meant to be a CD recording, but I'd love to know what you'd do with it. Would you tweak/EQ it? Leave it as is?

Thanks,

Matt

A few suggestions. The compression is annoying. As the sopranos get higher in their range they get louder, which is not uncommon with less trained singers, especially young sopranos. This causes the compressor to pull back, which changes the balance of the choir. In addition, of course, it simply sounds over-compressed. Just record at a lower level, leaving more headroom, and don't use a compressor.

If, for whatever reason, you later feel dynamic range reduction is needed, then you can do it after the fact, making whatever changes needed until it sounds right. You may not need compression at all, just judicious fader moves written to automation.

Since you are using (quasi) ORTF, I think the mic array is too close. Pulling it back will have 2 effects which are beneficial, in my opinion. (And much of this is subjective.)

First, it will help close up the "hole in the middle" and bring the left and right edges of the choir more toward the center. This will make the stereo image less extreme and more unified. I all fairness, I'm listening on headphones which may be contributing to the impression. But I don't think that is all of it. I'll try to listen in my mix room later today, and will wil amend my comments as necessary.

Second, you'll get a bit more sound of the room (reverb, ambience, whatever you want to call it) relative to the direct sound of the choir. This may or may not be an advantage, depending on the venue. (It sounds like there were other things going on nearby.) This a largely a matter of taste, but I like to hear more of the room acoustic when using classic, stereo recording techniques.

Moving the mics further back may have 2 additional benefits. It may improve the blend or ensemble sound of the choir. It may also help the recording sound a little warmer. The sound is just a bit on the harsh side, which may be the mics, the tonal production of the choir, the acoustic or some combination. But a bit more distance could help.

Don't get me wrong. This is not a bad recording. But you could do better. And, of course, you did ask. ;-)