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Chamber Concert recording Condenser Microphones
Old 27th November 2018
Here for the gear

Thanks for this great discussion. I will be recording a harp trio shortly, and was looking for insights into how to approach the recording. The harps will have keyboard, bass and vocal accompaniment.

I recently recorded a jazz vocal group in an Anglican Church. The location for the coming recording will also be an Anglican Church, so I was expecting a similar room, and was going to, essentially, try the same setup.

I have attached a couple recordings from last gig, as well as some photos that show the setup.

I used an array overhead of a Decca Tree w DPA4011 (90cm) - DPA4006 (0) - DPA4011 (90cm). I also set up two rear outrigger DPA4006, but did not use them in the mix, as there was PLENTY of room ambience. I also set up a Josephson C700S (right in front of the candle). The main array was about 3 meters from the stage, and the Josephson about 2 meters. For tracking I used a Sound Devices 552/664 combination, to give me enough tracks.

On mixdown, I ended up w about 40% Josephson and 60% DPA array, as the array was pretty heavy on room sound. The Josephson brought more focus to the sound. I used some compression to level the peaks out, and slightly boosted EQ w centers at 64hz, 362hz, 2.5kHz.

For the harp trio, I was hoping to move the Josephson closer and central to the musicians. I also don't plan to use the rear omnis. Any other thoughts? suggestions?

Attached Thumbnails
Chamber Concert recording-main-sm.jpg   Chamber Concert recording-sb-sm.jpg  
Attached Files

vespers 8.mp3 (7.60 MB, 137 views)

vespers 7.mp3 (7.92 MB, 134 views)

Old 27th November 2018
Just listening to the OP's recording for the first time, haven't seen all the discussion, but I think it's really nice. Maybe not everyone's aesthetic but great presence and stereo image, I think the original post is great!

Did you say these are AT 4041?

Originally Posted by Early21 View Post
Thanks, all, for the helpful replies.

First, some details on the recording situation. The hall is medium sized and I'd say somewhat dry. The concert consisted of a number of ensembles of varying size, from 4 to 15 or so, so I had to find a happy medium for the stand. The client wanted an archive recording with minimal obtrusion. Two seats in the center of the front row were set aside for me, although I could probably have asked for space a couple of rows back.

I used cardioids in a DIN configuration. Actually, I set up two pairs of cardioids on the same stand, with one pair set up in ORTF, and the other pair fitting neatly just outside the first pair in DIN without touching. They feed independent battery powered digital recorders, so I'm backed up if one fails. No power cables, no mics on the stage, and minimal blocking of anyone's view. The recording I posted is from just the pair in the DIN configuration.

I was fortunate to be able to test the setup in the dress rehearsal earlier in the day, so I had the opportunity to try different mic heights and distances. So for this recording the mics were about 7 feet away from the closest performers and about 7 feet over the stage. The performers were arrayed in an arc with the strings on the left, the harp a little right of center and farthest back, and the clarinet and flute completing the arc back to the front of the stage, all well within the SRA as best I could guess.

There is a bit of digital reverb on the recording, and based on the feedback from you all, maybe not enough. Listening to recordings of this piece on YouTube, there is usually a lot more reverb, but I wanted to stay somewhat true to the sound in the hall, which as I said, was somewhat dry. I don't want the client to notice that I added reverb!

One more thing I should mention is that I used RX6 to get rid of the noisy HVAC system. Maybe this contributed to the sense that the recording was too precise sounding, but it really is much better to my ears than leaving the HVAC in.

So based on feedback so far, maybe I should try to get further back next time, and add a little more reverb. Alternatively, I could ask to put a stand on stage with two omnis in an A/B configuration, to get more of the hall. I haven't tried that yet, but I see it all the time in the best YouTube videos with the omnis hanging from the ceiling.

Thanks again everyone.
Old 27th November 2018
Thanks for commenting. Yes, the recording was made with AT4041's.
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