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Recording a Vocal Recital Ribbon Microphones
Old 23rd December 2018
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Recording a Vocal Recital

Hey, all. I've been doing quite a bit of large ensemble recording recently with generally good results, but today I have to record a soprano-piano duo in a decent recital hall well-suited to chamber music, and really am not sure how to approach it. Its purpose is for a video series on Debussy and will be set up concert-style with the singer facing the hall. Do I just put a pair of mics out front like a main orchestral pair, use spots on the piano and a front solo mic, or some combination of these? Just curious as to how most of you lean for such recordings. Thanks for any advice.
Old 23rd December 2018
  #2
Gear Nut
Hi Sean,

Yes, that's basically it! Main pair alone will usually do it- I've not met many singers who are happy to be spotted.

Because it's for video, I'm assuming that you'll want the control in post, and you also may have to compromise some mic positions; therefore I'd go with three pairs as you outlined.

Re: singer spots- usually at work we use a pair of mk41s for video, or Cole's when it doesn't matter. In my personal life I use Samar ribbons.

I'm interested to see what you come up with, please let us know!
Old 23rd December 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageOp View Post
Hi Sean,

Yes, that's basically it! Main pair alone will usually do it- I've not met many singers who are happy to be spotted.

Because it's for video, I'm assuming that you'll want the control in post, and you also may have to compromise some mic positions; therefore I'd go with three pairs as you outlined.

Re: singer spots- usually at work we use a pair of mk41s for video, or Cole's when it doesn't matter. In my personal life I use Samar ribbons.

I'm interested to see what you come up with, please let us know!
Thanks much. Yes, we'll want some degree of mixing control in post, and I know the DP will hassle me about mic placement. I'm so used to recording singers in the studio with that close-up presence that I'm a little unsure about what's acceptable in a more diffuse classical vocal mix. For big pieces like Beethoven 9 I've put vocal spots out in front of the stage to spotlight the soloists a bit, but this is a different animal. I am going to bring my R84 just because it would look really cool in the video (even if I don't use it) .
Old 24th December 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 

if i can, i'm always using spots: if something is off-balance in the mains, i can re-build my mix using spots, dynamics, eq and efx.
blm/pzm if nothing visible is allowed on the soprano...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 10:25 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
Hey there,

I'm sure this recording date has passed, but I usually find myself using a pair of SDC Omnis and SDC or LDC Cardioids. I use a 2 foot bar and the Omnis are placed at opposite ends of the bar and could be angled out slightly depending on the size of the space. I've tried cardioids in both NOS and spaced (~22 in. apart) configurations, both with good results, though I would try the spaced cardioids first.

Oh, and if it's just voice and piano, I throw in a pair of Omni spots on the tail of the piano, spaced anywhere from 1 to 1.5ft apart. Distance from the piano can vary, but I don't normally go further than 1.5 feet.

The key here is height of the main bar. You may not have to go as high as you normally would when recording an orchestra or small chamber group, especially if you are trying to keep a low profile and to keep a good blend between the singer and piano

Just my 2 cents. Hopefully the recording was a success!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
For video auditions, I never use any micing that will appear in the video. I always use a main pair (ORTF cmc64s) just outside the video frame. For recitals, I may add piano spots , and a single sdc vocal spot placed a few feet out, about 3 feet high and angled up toward the vocalist - never anything that intrudes on audience sight lines or the video recording.
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