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Concert in church - but no centre mics....
Old 5 days ago
  #1
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Concert in church - but no centre mics....

Could anyone share some thoughts on the best way to mic a community concert coming up in a months time?
Due to the performance involving running down the aisle I cannot place mics in the centre. The priority is for video.
55 in the community choir and 45 in the orchestra.

Have attached photo of the church. The choir will be where the green dots are.
From the first photo I was thinking of placing a mic (red dots) on each pillar (L R) the distance between is 6m so I think I will end up with a big hole in the middle of the stereo spread and hoped for some ideas on how to get around that.
Would a couple of omni mics (plus the pillar mics) behind the choir work to fill the centre hole?

(There is a beam near the front but it is pretty high up and not easily accessible plus there is no insurance to cover hanging mics there.)

The orchestra will be placed further up in the church as in the 2nd photo. I can put some stands up there.

Church has underfloor mic cables throughout which we can test out beforehand.

Here's a video recorded at a choir dress rehearsal recently in the church.
Close to You on Vimeo
4 tracks - L C R and spot (with delay) for the piano.
I'm only really posting this to share something back as I just end up asking for help on this forum.

As ever grateful for any thoughts / ideas.
Thanks
Mark
Attached Thumbnails
Concert in church - but no centre mics....-img_20181009_143301.jpg   Concert in church - but no centre mics....-img_20181009_143353.jpg  
Old 5 days ago
  #2
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Maybe you can hang a AB pair on a mic bar from that BAR going across the church.

Last edited by emenelton; 5 days ago at 10:24 PM..
Old 5 days ago
  #3
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If hanging isn't an option, as you say, then you could take out the first chair either side of the aisle for an (excessively wide, admittedly) AB pair across two stands.
Ideally, if you have an appropriate stand, boom/Decca tree-type bar, and counterweight, you can put the stand centrally directly behind the chorus, then boom forward to end up in front of them. (See http://www.adamwalanus.pl/2018/bostr...02-2109-14.jpg for an example.) With appropriate floor weighting and counterweights, you could safely reach forward 6-8ft without difficulty.
Old 5 days ago
  #4
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tourtelot's Avatar
Yeah, for enough time and money, the "bar" across the front in picture number one looks pretty ideal for a hang.

But I have been there before; if it were the Mormon Tab (or whatever they are calling themselves today) in that church for a big Christmas broadcast on PBS, it would be worth it.

Good luck.

D.

PS, if you record in this church a lot, it might be worth it to put some cables up on the bar in a more permanent manner to have them available in the future. It seems like it would take a man-lift rental, maybe some pulleys, or something, and ???. They must have some method of changing the light bulbs.

D.
Old 5 days ago
  #5
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maybe you could use a steel rope or put blm's or pzm's in front of the orchestra/choir: i had to do this on several occasions for opera recordings and it turned out reasonably well (however, i mostly refuse to do recordings if i cannot decide where my mics have to go) - i'd use cardioids for some forward pickup.
Old 5 days ago
  #6
I cobbled together a stand that spanned the center isle using two vertical sections and one horizontal. The horizontal bar (Grace Spacebars) held the boom that held the microphones.

see the images attached. (sorry about the fact that 2 of the images are rotated 90º).
Attached Thumbnails
Concert in church - but no centre mics....-img_2687.jpg   Concert in church - but no centre mics....-img_2688.jpg   Concert in church - but no centre mics....-img_2689.jpg  
Old 5 days ago
  #7
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ithinknot View Post
If hanging isn't an option, as you say, then you could take out the first chair either side of the aisle for an (excessively wide, admittedly) AB pair across two stands.
Ideally, if you have an appropriate stand, boom/Decca tree-type bar, and counterweight, you can put the stand centrally directly behind the chorus, then boom forward to end up in front of them. (See http://www.adamwalanus.pl/2018/bostr...02-2109-14.jpg for an example.) With appropriate floor weighting and counterweights, you could safely reach forward 6-8ft without difficulty.
I have used the "reach from behind" often for choirs. My booms will reach 12' out for SDC's. And it's handy if you can get the video director to give you an idea of their sight lines...but good luck there.
Old 5 days ago
  #8
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???Record the audio during practice and creatively stitch it to the video of the live performance later???
Old 5 days ago
  #9
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sorry didn't see the 'no hanging ' disclaimer
Old 5 days ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avillalta View Post
I cobbled together a stand that spanned the center isle using two vertical sections and one horizontal. The horizontal bar (Grace Spacebars) held the boom that held the microphones.
see the images attached. (sorry about the fact that 2 of the images are rotated 90º).
interesting construction yet i'd never go that high with my main mics...
Old 5 days ago
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
interesting construction yet i'd go never that high with my main mics...
You'd undoubtedly get a different sound, then.
Old 5 days ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avillalta View Post
You'd undoubtedly get a different sound, then.
oh yes!

i'm more after what's in front of my mics than what's up in the air - my ambient mics sometimes go up that high though.

seriously now: how high was this mic system? it looks very high to me on the pictures - i haven't been going up any higher than 3.50m in last 35 years unless i had to hang the mains from a truss or shoot for ambient sound of an organ
Old 5 days ago
  #13
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tourtelot's Avatar
Why did you need the trapeze? To clear sight-lines for a camera? I guess my real question would be why couldn't you use a tall stand?

I have one that is 12' wide that I use occasionally but mostly, it causes as many problems as it fixes for camera sight lines. I have used it to avoid projections behind groups but then, mostly it puts the mics higher than I would like. And there is always some overhead spot lamp the casts the big horizontle shadow on the soloist Sometimes, you just gotta say WTF and tell the director that the recording won't be as good as it could be under different circumstances, or, as per deedeeyeah above, just say "no".

And yes, those mics are way up there.

D.
Old 5 days ago
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
oh yes!

(i'm more after what's in front of my mics than what's up in the air - my ambient mics sometimes go up that high though)
neat!
Old 5 days ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
seriously now: how high was this mic system? it looks very high to me on the pictures - i haven't been going up any higher than 3.50m in last 35 years unless i had to hang the mains from a truss or shoot for ambient sound of an organ
They were high enough to cover the whole ensemble within the correlated lobes of the Bleumlein pair.

18 Er Trauete Gott! Der Könnte Erlösen Ihn [He Trusted In God That He Would Deliver Him] by alcides | Free Listening on SoundCloud
Old 5 days ago
  #16
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I would advise them that, if video is the priority, and if no concession will be made at all for audio, then perhaps they should just use the on-camera audio. See how that works out.

No one will want to hear after that fact that it sounds bad because of all the restrictions on mic placement. It will be YOUR fault in their eyes. Personally, I would explain the situation to them and politely decline.
Old 5 days ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avillalta View Post
They were high enough to cover the whole ensemble within the correlated lobes of the Bleumlein pair.

18 Er Trauete Gott! Der Könnte Erlösen Ihn [He Trusted In God That He Would Deliver Him] by alcides | Free Listening on SoundCloud
It seems to have been one of those compromises that we all face...probably more often than we'd like to !

Pros and Cons of going high: Pros....a more blended ensemble sound from choir....better mix of choir to instruments...maximize benefits of ambience in church....with Blumlein you have some nulls working in your favour

Cons....sound can lack immediacy and impact, and articulation can suffer.....instruments can lose character and body....extraneous noise like traffic and aircraft can often gain more prominence than it would otherwise have.

It's certainly not as ill-focussed sounding as it would if coincident XY or ORTF cardioids had been used (and especially AB omnis !), and I'm sure you made the best judgement you could on the day. You came away with a recording that at least conveys the spirit of the event ....albeit with a little less focus than I usually prefer to hear.
Old 5 days ago
  #18
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Simmosonic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwanajim View Post
No one will want to hear after that fact that it sounds bad because of all the restrictions on mic placement. It will be YOUR fault in their eyes. Personally, I would explain the situation to them and politely decline.
Yes, it’s funny how that works out in the end. No matter how much you explain to them that it’s going to be difficult, in the end you’ll be judged on the end results rather than the challenges you faced. Sometimes it is better to walk away; let them use the camera mics and let it be what it will be.
Old 5 days ago
  #19
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Personally I would revisit the question of the bar that currently carries lights: this bar, as shown in my photo taken when last at Cuckfield church (recognizable from your photos!) in 2005, appears to be a sturdy tie-bar (part of the C19th restoration?), since adopted (presumably during the 2012 re-ordering) for lights. I would be extremely surprised - from comparable experience - if the insurance situation could not be addressed (certainly suspending a pair of SDC mics from a tie-bar is no higher risk than tall stands) and, of course, the mics do not need be at the same level as the bar. If the inspecting architect is still Nicholas Rowe, then he is local (also in Cuckfield), so might be a good person to talk to.

Cheers,

Roland
Attached Thumbnails
Concert in church - but no centre mics....-_dsc6266-lo-res.jpg  
Old 5 days ago
  #20
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Simmosonic's Avatar
 

If you can’t use the bar holding the lights, I’d be considering running a length of monofilament across the room (left to right) and hanging a pair of DPA 4060s off it. Run their cables each direction along the monofilament as far as they’ll go before connecting to them. You’ll need to find a way to tie off the monofilament. That would at least give you a pair of mics where you need them and probably be reasonably invisible to the video.

I’m considering that very idea at present for recording a Kecak performance in a temple in Bali. It’s a live performance with audience in an outdoor temple so I can’t put any mic stands on the ground, and the best spot for the mics is pretty much right above the temple entrance where the punters will all be filing in...
Old 5 days ago
  #21
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
I used a home built rig that went from side to side on the aisle and supported the main pair in the middle of the aisle. Worked well. Two problem with it. There were two seats lost (one on each side of the aisle) and the video people did not like it as it ruined their overall shot (by being right in the middle). Compromises had to be made on both sides but it worked. We eventually did the video as well as the audio so no real problems. I like the idea of flying the mics from the bar if you can get clearances from the church and the insurance company. I do not like mono filament because of two accidents I have witnessed where the microphones came crashing down on the hard floor and nearly took out a violin and violinist when the mics fell. Not good.

FWIW
Old 5 days ago
  #22
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simmosonic View Post
If you can’t use the bar holding the lights, I’d be considering running a length of monofilament across the room (left to right) and hanging a pair of DPA 4060s off it.
1/16" aircraft cable is a much sturdier choice, a very small visual distraction and not expensive. But, like any tie-off, you will need a place to terminate the ends. If you do a nice, neat job, it could probably remain in place as a permanent fixture with the church's blessing.

D.
Old 5 days ago
  #23
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Simmosonic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I do not like mono filament because of two accidents I have witnessed where the microphones came crashing down on the hard floor and nearly took out a violin and violinist when the mics fell. Not good.
Good point. I was only thinking of monofilament with DPA’s 4060s, which weigh almost nothing. I wouldn’t use it for anything heavier; then I go to stainless steel rope from the yachting store. Looks like bicycle brake cable. Never going to break, just have to secure the ends properly...
Old 5 days ago
  #24
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
1/16" aircraft cable is a much sturdier choice, a very small visual distraction and not expensive. But, like any tie-off, you will need a place to terminate the ends. If you do a nice, neat job, it could probably remain in place as a permanent fixture with the church's blessing.

D.
Much prefer this for hanging mics. Almost invisible and works great. I use these for the ends HEVERP 100PCS Aluminum Crimping Loop Sleeve for 3/32" - 1/8" Diameter Wire Rope and Cable: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific I use a good crimping pair of pliers or if needed a good 4" vice works great! FWIW.

If the church objects to having the wire up permanently then I guess you will have to take it down and put it up for each concert. If that is the case then some turnbuckles should be put on each end for tightening and loosening. I prefer these from a sailing store Amazon.com : Stainless Steel Turnbuckle Jaw/Jaw 1/8" : Sports & Outdoors

Best of luck!
Old 5 days ago
  #25
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Historic protected structure. What permissions are required to put up anything in there and what are the chances of getting permission?
Old 5 days ago
  #26
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Much prefer this for hanging mics.
I am confused with the link. Just seems to be wire rope crimps. When I make hanging hardware out of 1/16 stainless wire rope, I most certainly crimp the loops at the end with similar crimps and the correct tool. Well overkill for a coupla Schoeps or even the Samar stereo. Turnbuckles if you want the rig to look tight and buttoned up. "Endless" spansets or even nylon webbing if you need to go around a post or pillar. Easy to buy the nylon webbing in any length and make your own using a webbing knot familiar to anyone who rock climbs.

But still, a lot of setup for a one-off show and you still probably need a man lift or at least a tall, tall ladder. Be careful up there!

D.
Old 5 days ago
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
Historic protected structure. What permissions are required to put up anything in there and what are the chances of getting permission?
The church, although listed, has ecclesiastical exemption from listed building consent, so if not considered de minimis a permanent installation would need a faculty.

A temporary solution would be much better, and is hardly mind-bogglingly difficult. Like many others here, I use sailing materials, though personally favour very good three-strand trad-style polyester rope (with a redundant set up too, of course) as here: Polyester 3-Strand Buff . The 4mm is usually far more than ample (breaking load 250kg). Combined with tiny Tufnol blocks (e.g. Tufnol Blocks - bow end), if necessary, this gives an easy, strong, non-stretchy, and discreet way to suspend mics/mic bars into place, rarely requiring any work at heights (certainly there would be no need to access the tie-bar itself in the OP's example) and gentle on any historic fabric.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 5 days ago
  #28
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Thanks for the suggestions

Grateful to everyone that has responded to my question.
Looks like flying some mics is the way to go. I have a meeting at the church in a couple of weeks time and we will talk about what we can and cannot do. In the meantime I can look in to the suggestions you have all made - thanks.

It appears that the performance is not just from the front but down the central aisle throughout. So a further complication for videoing etc.
Just as I was starting to think that #ithinknot 's suggestion of wide AB taking out chairs either side of the aisle could work.

I'm not a pro but like to learn as much as possible and produce the best audio for people that I can. A retirement hobby which I don't charge for.
The benefit to me - and I'm sure lots of others - of a forum like this is amazing.
Only wish I could contribute something back.
Thanks again.
Mark
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