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Crowd microphones setup for live recording
Old 11th December 2019
  #1
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laperlestudio's Avatar
Crowd microphones setup for live recording

Hi! I was wondering what are you guys using for picking up crowds for a live recording. I use a lot of Shotgun microphone normally, MKH 416, MKH 60 and something the 418 when I can. I also add MKH 800 TWIN. Lately I did add to the whole thing a pair of Shure SM81 and a pair of KM 184 At the FOH (which I rarely do, due to the delay and the PA exposure) But the result was surprisingly good! I always try to put most of the mic aligned with the PA with a few exceptions in places that are hidden from the PA if possible. I am going to try to add some omni lavalier here and there for the next gig.
I also had good luck in good sounding theatre with omni DPAs hanging from the ceiling and use them only between songs so I don't get too much PA in them.

Let me know what setup you had good luck with.

Thanks!
Old 12th December 2019
  #2
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i'm mostly using several pairs: shotguns and directional mics stage l/r, centrally flown x/y if there's no center speaker, often ortf at foh and a distant a/b pair (anyrhing from shotgun to fig8 or omni) in the back of the room/at the delay towers (or anywhere up on the roof)...
Old 15th December 2019
  #3
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Depends on the kind of recording I'm making. Crowd pickup for a musical event is very different than, for example, a standup comedy recording. Both need crowd response, but the needs are very different.

In the end, mic position and the usage of patterns to put the PA system in the nulls of the mics will give you an audience sound that isn't destroyed by an amplification system.

--Ben
Old 15th December 2019
  #4
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wildplum's Avatar
I second Ben's comments.
Here's an example. For a “alt” rock concert at the Filmore in San Francisco (about 1,000 “seats”) I used a setup taught to me by Guy Charbonneau, (Le Mobile). I placed a pair of mics on each side of the stage, positioned in the “shadow” of the speaker column.. The inside mic of each pair was a hypercardioid pointed at the centerline, a few rows back from the stage lip. The second mic of each pair was a shotgun, pointed at the centerline, far rear of the hall (if the hall was wider, these would be pointed more straight back).
These were augmented by one mic on each side of the hall, about half way back; a hypercardioid pointed into the crowd at an angle of about 30 degrees.
I expanded of Guy's setup and placed an x/y pair of cardioids at FOH.
At a smaller hall, I might leave out one pair of mics, at a larger I might add another pair.

Now, for a Comedy Central special at the same venue, I used 16 mics of various patterns positioned throughout the hall (including the balcony), all discretely out of camera view. Yes, 16. For a comedy show, if you don't have crowd reaction when and where the director or mixer wants it, you ain't got nothing.
Old 15th December 2019
  #5
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That’s almost exactly what I do. For music, hypers and shotguns behind the speakers for close and far. Sometimes a pair at the front and center of the stage. And often a pair facing forwards from FOH. Rarely do I need more. Just did a comedy shoot a couple weeks ago and I had 15 mics out for a 2500 seat (I think) venue. Used mics on the front of the stage, dead hung from the grid, some on FOH lighting pipes and a last few in the upper balcony.

-Ben
Old 16th December 2019
  #6
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laperlestudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildplum View Post
I second Ben's comments.
Here's an example. For a “alt” rock concert at the Filmore in San Francisco (about 1,000 “seats”) I used a setup taught to me by Guy Charbonneau, (Le Mobile). I placed a pair of mics on each side of the stage, positioned in the “shadow” of the speaker column.. The inside mic of each pair was a hypercardioid pointed at the centerline, a few rows back from the stage lip. The second mic of each pair was a shotgun, pointed at the centerline, far rear of the hall (if the hall was wider, these would be pointed more straight back).
These were augmented by one mic on each side of the hall, about half way back; a hypercardioid pointed into the crowd at an angle of about 30 degrees.
I expanded of Guy's setup and placed an x/y pair of cardioids at FOH.
At a smaller hall, I might leave out one pair of mics, at a larger I might add another pair.

Now, for a Comedy Central special at the same venue, I used 16 mics of various patterns positioned throughout the hall (including the balcony), all discretely out of camera view. Yes, 16. For a comedy show, if you don't have crowd reaction when and where the director or mixer wants it, you ain't got nothing.
thanks!

I just did a comedy special last month too, I was at the same count, 16 channels of crowd mics plus two for the stage noise.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
We used a pair of 414's for live Stevie Wonder shows back in the 1980's. Usually didn't need them as the crowd was very "active".
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

I record (and provide the "live-stream" audio mix) for a large church performance every Christmas season. This year, I went with my "standard" main array, a Gefell M296 pair, at about 80cm (staging precluded a closer deployment) and 9' over the stage deck, and three DPA4099 choir section mics (L/C/R) for the 270-degree "wraparound" choir seating.

Normally, congregational singing and "house" ambience is taken from a pair of C451 bolted to the edge at the balcony facing... harsh, boomy and nasty sounding from 60' out. This year I decided to try something different.

I gaff-taped a MKH8040 to each omni, with the M296 looking at the choir, and 8040 looking at the audience, buffered from the M296 by a small bit of foam. Boy, was I pleased. Clean, full, "natural" sounding crowd noise, singing and applause, in almost exactly the same timeframe as the mains. I'm just getting around to editing the "board mix" I sent to the video suite for the live feed... but I'll try to post a bit up before the weekend. I heard more positive comments about the "sound" from both staff and folks watching at home than any previous attempts to better the little Audix PA mics upon which they usually rely.

This was one of my best bits of seasonal feel-good this year. Pics (array, and "understage" CR) below.

Cheers!

HB
Attached Thumbnails
Crowd microphones setup for live recording-img_8864-2.jpg   Crowd microphones setup for live recording-e2dabdc9-c48a-4b60-916f-0c3568d865a2.jpg  

Last edited by hbphotoav; 2 weeks ago at 04:00 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Church choir, hired orchestra principals and seconds, with members where they fit.

First clip is a quick mix of the finale...

Second clip is congregational singing with the audience mics (8040s) up.
Attached Files

HC SampleAF 12_16_19.mp3 (2.66 MB, 140 views)

C&C_Carol2019.mp3 (3.85 MB, 102 views)


Last edited by hbphotoav; 2 weeks ago at 07:01 AM..
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