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Author Topic: Need advice: mic for unamplified small choirs?  (Read 618 times)

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Offline benwah

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Need advice: mic for unamplified small choirs?
« on: February 16, 2017, 07:32:14 PM »
Recording 4-10 person choirs in churches during my travels.
Voices are never amplified through speakers. 
No musical instruments.
Portability is critical -- I'll sometimes have to trail walk hours between places with my gear.
It is also essential to be able to setup and breakdown quickly.

Mic placement may be far from ideal, since it's sometimes important for the setup not to be so visible.
Nothing overhead, nothing on anyone's body other than mine, and some churches might not even want a conspicuous mic stand.
I won't know where I can put the mic til I get there. 
Sometimes I will have permission to put the mic right amongst the singers, but other times may have to hastily wing it with placement on a random lectern, bench, or even the floor (I think some of you just winced).   On the bright side there's no worry about theft.
The two mics that can be worn on my body might be a good option, since I likely can stand 5-15 feet away amongst an often tightly packed standing audience.

I wondered what people think of these:

DPA 4060 stereo kit $950
Naiant X-X  (2017 low-noise option) $150 
BP4025  $650

pcm-m10 or r-05 or tascam dr-100 mk3
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 10:46:15 PM by benwah »
Want to buy:  DPA 4060 stereo kit  & Church Bat 2B battery box

Online goodcooker

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Re: Need advice: mic for unamplified small choirs?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 07:56:41 AM »

I would go with the miniature DPA. If you need to be able to wear them, place them anywhere inconspicuously, walk long distances carrying them, mount them easily etc then they are the way to go. You can rig them up with a piece of tape. And they sound good although some say the highs can be a little harsh, especially for choirs. The kits come with boost grids to tailor the frequency response. Even taped to the floor you would have an acceptable boundary mic setup.

You might consider the low sensitivity model the 4061 as well.

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Offline Ronmac

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Re: Need advice: mic for unamplified small choirs?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 08:28:00 AM »
Perhaps a handheld recorder or one of the new smart phone mic attachments.

If you are walking looooong distances weight/size and number of items to cobble together are the enemy. Practicality over fidelity may be something you wish you had considered a few hundred kms along.

This link will offer some insight from a great musician who made the journey before his life was cut short. The album made from his trek is inspiring...

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Need advice: mic for unamplified small choirs?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 09:20:53 AM »
A pair of DPA 4060 is what I'd suggest given your requirements, and what I use.  I recommend the DPA boundary mount adapters for them, which are intended for use on the floor! (or for mounting them directly against a wall or other surface).

I also use and might recommend the DPA 4098 which is their miniature super/hypercardioid specifically intended for choir mic'ing.  The are designed to be installed mics hung in a line in front of the choir, but I don't use them that way myself.  They are super small and low-voltage powered like the DPA miniature omnis, and can use the same power-supply/preamp gear.  However, as directional mics they are are less forgiving about setup, less flexible overall (can't really put them on the floor as easily for instance), more sensitive to wind noise, have the typical directional proximity effect and bass sensitivity roll-off with distance, and the miniature interference tubes require a bit more care and protection to avoid crushing them.  They are extremely clear and clean sounding however, and have become my go-to miniature directional microphone.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Need advice: mic for unamplified small choirs?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 11:18:15 AM »
DPA 4060s.   

For recorders with only 1/8 inputs, there is this:


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