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Chamber Trio Recording Advice
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Chamber Trio Recording Advice

Hi, I actually know what I would do for this recording, but I'm not doing this recording, but I am kind of acting as "oversight" if you like - but I'm trying not to micromanage or become too involved, so I wanted to get your opinions so I can have some ideas to relay to the person without it just coming from me.

This is Renaissance Vocal music with 2 Sopranos and Trombone.

The venue is a really nice-sounding recital hall - great acoustics - variable with curtains. It's 214 seats, like 14 rows or 14 or something close. Open wooden stage (no proscenium)

They have decided on a 5 mic setup - mic for each instrument and room pair.

Here are the mics they have at their disposal:

2 U87

2 414

Shure KSM44

2 Shure KSM141 (switchable Omni/Cardioid)

2 Neumann KM184 (Cardioid capsule only)

*they're only going to use 5, so no 7 mic setups for extra stuff please - limit to 5 please.

We also have a pair of Earthworks - they're the ones you usually strap to the Piano Bar for recording concert grand and I forget the number - I'm not even sure if they're Cardioid or Omni - but I'm thinking Cardioid for that pair. [Edit: I checked today, they are actually Omnis]

Which mics would you choose for which instrument and room pairs, and what kind of setup would you typically go for in this situation.

Thanks.

Last edited by stevieotomy; 2 weeks ago at 01:30 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevieotomy View Post
Hi, I actually know what I would do for this recording, but I'm not doing this recording, but I am kind of acting as "oversight" if you like - but I'm trying not to micromanage or become too involved, so I wanted to get your opinions so I can have some ideas to relay to the person without it just coming from me.

This is Renaissance Vocal music with 2 Sopranos and Trombone.

The venue is a really nice-sounding recital hall - great acoustics - variable with curtains. It's 214 seats, like 14 rows or 14 or something close. Open wooden stage (no proscenium)

They have decided on a 5 mic setup - mic for each instrument and room pair.

Here are the mics they have at their disposal:

2 U87

2 414

Shure KSM44

2 Shure KSM141 (switchable Omni/Cardioid)

2 Neumann KM184 (Cardioid capsule only)

*they're only going to use 5, so no 7 mic setups for extra stuff please - limit to 5 please.

We also have a pair of Earthworks - they're the ones you usually strap to the Piano Bar for recording concert grand and I forget the number - I'm not even sure if they're Cardioid or Omni - but I'm thinking Cardioid for that pair.

Which mics would you choose for which instrument and room pairs, and what kind of setup would you typically go for in this situation.

Thanks.
depends on what sound you're trying to achieve, whether it should mainly get achieved by recording or if there is time/budget/means for mixing etc.

i'd use the neumanns on sopranos and an akg on the trombone; i have a preference for (close to) coincident main mics and (almost) always set up an ambient pair in wide a/b but that would make seven - if you're into omni a/b, then the choice is pretty obvious...

not gonna suggest a surround rig?! :-)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
From these choices I would pick:
414's for the main pair. (If you have recent models, try the wide cardioid setting.)
184's (with foam windscreens!) for the sopranos
U87 for trombone
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
I would put the 2 best microphones in their best setup.
If omni, that would be one AB pair.
If card, that would be any non-coinc angled pair. NOS-ish has my preference mostly
If fig8, MS might be perfect.

Main pair only. Perhaps add room mics. No spots needed in this repertoire methinks.
Only because you say the hall is excellent. Why ruining it with too many microphones?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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lukedamrosch's Avatar
 

+1 for David's suggestion, although I can imagine that the KSM141's in omni could also work well for mains, if the hall is good.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
depends on what sound you're trying to achieve, whether it should mainly get achieved by recording or if there is time/budget/means for mixing etc.

i'd use the neumanns on sopranos and an akg on the trombone; i have a preference for (close to) coincident main mics and (almost) always set up an ambient pair in wide a/b but that would make seven - if you're into omni a/b, then the choice is pretty obvious...

not gonna suggest a surround rig?! :-)
Thanks. No they're not going for surround :-)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by apotheosis View Post
I would put the 2 best microphones in their best setup.
If omni, that would be one AB pair.
If card, that would be any non-coinc angled pair. NOS-ish has my preference mostly
If fig8, MS might be perfect.

Main pair only. Perhaps add room mics. No spots needed in this repertoire methinks.
Only because you say the hall is excellent. Why ruining it with too many microphones?
Let's just say, due to time constraints, they're opting to put everything primarily on its own track in case balancing needs arise later.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
From these choices I would pick:
414's for the main pair. (If you have recent models, try the wide cardioid setting.)
184's (with foam windscreens!) for the sopranos
U87 for trombone
Out of curiosity David, why do you suggest the wide cardioid - just because of the directionality, but with more "room pickup" sort of like omnis without actually being omnis?

Or another reason?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukedamrosch View Post
+1 for David's suggestion, although I can imagine that the KSM141's in omni could also work well for mains, if the hall is good.
I really like those 141s. A lot of people will jump to other choices - I don't know - maybe because it says "Shure" on the label...and isn't an SM81 :-)

I find these to be very versatile mics, and I actually like them on a lot of things - drum overheads, piano, congas - that is when there's not a lot of bleed and a dynamic isn't called for.

I've not yet had the chance to try them in any traditional stereo configs yet though, but I bet they're fine.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevieotomy View Post
Out of curiosity David, why do you suggest the wide cardioid - just because of the directionality, but with more "room pickup" sort of like omnis without actually being omnis?
Yes, that was my thinking. Left to my own devices, I'd put up a more conventional main pair and employ the 141's as omni outriggers, but that's been prohibited by your lords and masters. So the back up plan is to err on the side of ambience and use the spots if it things get too fuzzy.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

I would agree with (taking your word the hall is worthy) a main pair for the ensemble (might take a minute or ten to find the image you like) and spot the individuals. I like SDC omnis in general (Gefell M296 especially) so either the Neumanns or the Shures in that role. The pair not chosen for mains, on the sopranos, at a bit of distance... "support" rather than "main source"... and whichever LDC you/they like on the trombone. U87s seem to be fairly similar, one to the next. 414s tend to vary, depending on the iteration. My prejudice would be a U87, again, in a "support" role, and not too close. I'd posit that mics positions, and a clear "view" of the desired result, would be the critical parameter in this exercise, as opposed to mics choices.

Unless, of course, you decide to run the "support" mics as a second distinct (closer-in) solution, and rely upon the main pair for ambience. I'd give a quick listen onsite and go one or the other... but, then, it's not my decision to make...

Be interested to hear a snip or two, and your reactions and thought process when it's done!

HB
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