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quoir (choir) mic'ing suggestions welcome
Old 2nd June 2006
Here for the gear

Question quoir (choir) mic'ing suggestions welcome


I wondered if any of you might have some suggestions. I have owned two AD interfaces recently (Edirol UA25 and Firebox), both of which have not performed well enough, so I'm giving up on them right now.

However, that leaves me with $500, and I would like to begin mic'cin a quoir [sorry, 'choir'] (I also need a mixer) for recording to CD.

This might mean 2 mics & a mixer, or 1 mic with a mixer (to buy another later), or it could mean that I have to totally re-think my options .

Feel free to suggest what you think would suit. I'm looking for a decent enough setup that won't make me embarrassed by the sound.

My idea so far was 2 Rode NT1a's and a Peavey PV6 mixer.

Old 2nd June 2006

I'm curious: How do you know that the interfaces aren't good enough when you don't have any mics?


Old 2nd June 2006
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Rick Sutton's Avatar

What's a quoir?
Old 2nd June 2006
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T.RayBullard's Avatar

Id say you need at least around 800-1000 to get a decent stereo pair and an up your dough..

The purist nature of this music doesnt allow anything to be covered up...if gear is weak, it will show, very much so. Acoustic music is painfully revealing.

I do it for a living and am continually beaten to the ground by the acoustic beast.stike When I think I have it right...BAM it slaps me silly/ no prisoners!
Old 2nd June 2006
Here for the gear

Thanks for replies...

How do I know about the interfaces? I've tried them out on other microphones--I had very audible static/frequency peaks above the noise floor of a mic with a signal-noise of 65db.

@ T Ray:
any suggestions? What would be the minimum you would put up with on a tight budget.

Yes, choir...
Old 3rd June 2006
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Rick Sutton's Avatar

OK. Micing choirs.
Depending on the type of choir (the younger they are the harder they are) I have found that it isn't always the highest quality gear that gets the best results. I know that this goes against the gearslut's oath of membership. But with choirs I have found almost the opposite to be true, especially with amatuer choirs and most especially with school choirs. If your intention is to work with mature voices then you can disregard my low quality advice (for the mature choirs that I have recorded I like U87's and Neve 1272's the best).
For younger voices I have tried all the fine preamps and great mics, (example Schoeps) and the more money that I throw at the project the thinner and edgier it sounds. I eventually started experimenting with lower budget alternatives (especially after hearing a recording using two cheap dynamic mics and a cassette recorder that was smoother and fuller than my top end rig).
I know that others are going to say that this is nonsense but I now take a Mackie mixer, some Shure SM81's a few Sennheiser E935's and an old DAT deck and get excellent choir recordings. I also feel that taking the recording back to the studio and processing it with some Lexicon and a Compellor is also important. Not "purist", but effective.
By the way, I also make my living doing acoustic recordings and have at the studio everything from classic tube mics to Genex DSD recorder and I stand by the methods above for school choirs etc. If 'ya got some real great choirs then you can haul out the good stuff.... but make sure it has some color.
Old 3rd June 2006
Lives for gear
You still haven't told us what mics you used to test the interfaces with. I haven't had any problem using the Firebox with two AKG414's. No noise floor problem.
Old 3rd June 2006
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar

Originally Posted by Gabbon
I have owned two AD interfaces recently (Edirol UA25 and Firebox), both of which have not performed well enough, so I'm giving up on them right now.

I'm looking for a decent enough setup that won't make me embarrassed by the sound.

Gabbon, SAVE YOUR $$. Get real mics (plan on 500-1000 per mic for decent MID LINE mics) and a lot more for decent preamps and recorder. You don't need a mixer for stereo recordings when you have good mics and pre's, though you will want one eventually....but you don't want a Peavey. You'd be wasting money.

Old 3rd June 2006
Here for the gear

Thanks again for input

Which mics on the interfaces...? AT831b (lavalier) and AKG C1000B.
Edirol had a problem just interfacing with the (PC) computers (I tried 4 different ones). Firebox interfaced just fine, but has static peaks on channel 2 @ 100hz, 1000hz, 2000hz, 2500hz and 3000hz .

Mature voices in the quoir?
yes and no. They are mostly mature, but unpolished. We're talking unprofessional choirs who have a love for singing & try to get it as close as they can...
The U87 would be out of budget (sadly), but the Shure SM81 definitely possible...

800-1000 for a stereo pair + interface? Which?
Old 4th June 2006
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T.RayBullard's Avatar

You will be hard pressed to find a better pair of mics in your budget than the DPA 4061s /mma600 and a MBHO jecklin disc.

For the interface...a Motu Traveler(black lion modded) ive heard is wonderful!
Old 5th June 2006
Gear Nut


Or (if you're on apple) use the "metric halo" stuff.
Maybe it is not in your priceleague, but those devices have very decent
converters, useable micpre's, good internal routing.
This way you won't need a mixer or micpre's.
In the end you'll be cheaper because you won't have to upgrade all the time.
Just save and add something to it.
Believe me, that's what you keep on doing in this biz.

Old 6th June 2006
I really agree about the Metric Halo stuff, bought mine in 2004, haven't regretted it for a second, first class customer support and great sonics and versatility.

If you have been using the AKG 1000 in your previous set up, that may be your problem right there. AKG make some great products, I don't think the 1000 series mics is one of them, in fact it might be my least favourite mic. The word "nasty" springs to mind. Also "edgy".

At the same price point you might want to search out a "genuine" Oktava 012 with the three capsules, get a cheap stereo bar and set up an ORTF configuration for choir.
Frankly, I think almost anything would be better.
I had a friend who had a pair of AKG 1000s and when he swapped them for Oktava MC 012s on my suggestion, his recordings (of the amateur choir he sang in) suddenly sounded much more professional.
Old 6th June 2006
Lives for gear

you might also want to try the Crown SASS MK II as stereo mic for choir recording - maybe a used one.
Old 6th June 2006
Here for the gear

Thanks again for replies.

Yes, I don't like the C1000b much at all--it belonged to a friend. I wish that the mics were the trouble with the interface, but the peaks seem to come from the A/D converter. At least I figure it is so, because they are bang on the 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000 hz on the spectrum.

Metric Halo looks very good indeed, as does the Motu traveller, but out of range sadly. Without going mac (bad choice, I know), I'd probably aim for a flying cow onto a Mackie mixer. That way, It'd be more versatile and I might actually get there over time.

I appeciate the various suggestions on mics... Oktava looks worth a try...

Just a question from left field... I love the sound of the Shure KSM27 for studeio voice recording. Is this worth a try with a choir though?

Old 7th June 2006
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sonare's Avatar
Let's start over-- are you going for a "group vocal" sound or a "choral" sound? If is the former, grab any LDC that sounds as if the mic is 2 inches away from the mouth. Compress and EQ to taste.

If you want CHORAL, then you must have a goal in mind, and in my experience it is easiest to capture choral resonance and NOT get the "crunchy" vowels with a Royer SF12. It that is pricey then go SMOOTH SDC condensers, and I can think of no better (at almost any price) that DPA 4091.

Try them (and may a slight EQ dip in the "crunch" range") and your director and singers will love you for it!

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