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Old 13th September 2018
Gear Guru

Originally Posted by foscolo84 View Post

I am wondering if it would be worth investing in external microphones?
probably not at your budget. The Zoom built ins are pretty respectable for the money especially for recording ambient stuff like classical. But you should get a unit that can accept full sized XLR mics with phantom power for some future time when you can afford external mics.

I read great things about Aston Origin cardioid microphones, but I would only be able to afford one, resulting in a mono recording, so I don't know if it is worth it?
I suppose with some of these units you could record with 3 mics, the zoom mics as your ambient pair, the mono mic as a spot mic - but spot what? If you have a chamber music group you should be balancing yourselves anyway. You have a stereo pair with the Zoom. Save your money and buy two mics when you have enough.

Also, would I get the best results by setting the mics on or close to the stage, or rather by setting them up in the back of the venue?
I always try to get close to the stage when recording a live concert. Not only is the back of the room usually swimming in reverb, and the sound starting to get muddy, but every cough, sniffle, chair squeak and program rustle is closer to the mics than the ensemble is! Even when I have the whole space to myself for a recording session, I like to get quite close.

Don't worry, you will get plenty of "concert hall" in your recordings even if you are hanging over the stage or set up on the apron.