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Author Topic: considerations in recording large church choir  (Read 1051 times)

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Offline 2manyrocks

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considerations in recording large church choir
« on: October 05, 2014, 09:06:33 PM »
Looking to record a 60-80 member men's chorale later in a church sanctuary that seats 700-1000.  This particular church has a choir loft that will hold 100-150 choir members that are mic'd by several of  audix mics on boom mic stands spread out in front of the choir loft.  I've only been in there once.  Didn't count the mics, but several.  There's a center cluster line array speaker system in the center that seemed to be right at the forward edge of the stage.  The piano was on the far left corner.  Not sure if they'll move the piano to stage center for this event or not.  I don't remember seeing an organ, but there may be one on the far right of the stage, and it would be run through the PA if they use an organ for this event.  I'm guessing the men will be in the choir loft several feet back from the actual stage.  There will probably be a soloist or two during the evening on a wireless handheld mic.  Usually the soloists do come forward on the stage.  Nice acoustics in the sanctuary.

I've got it in my brain to have 2 Line Audio CM3 NOS with a pair of Rode NT 45(?)omnis as outriggers 13'-15' up behind the choir director with spot CM 3s on the piano.  The piano will likely be closed lid in this sanctuary.  But I have reservations whether the church is going to tolerate this setup on a Sunday evening, and I have reservations whether this is the optimal setup anyway given that they will be running this through their very nice PA system. 

Other mics available for this include a pair of DPA 4061s or AT 853s. 

Recording into Tascam DR680.

What would you do and why? 



 

Offline voltronic

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Re: considerations in recording large church choir
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2014, 10:16:13 PM »
I actually just sang (and recorded) a choral concert this afternoon using my CM3s in NOS.  Our performance could have been better but I'm quite happy with the recording so far.  I'll post a sample if anyone's interested.

Your setup idea sounds good - I've never heard those Rode omnis, but the DPAs certainly are great for what you're doing.   Your NOS pair on their own might be all you need, but if there's organ involved you might want the additional bottom end from the omnis.  You also may not need to spot the piano either if your main setup is fairly close, but you have the extra channels so you might as well go ahead and decide later if you keep it.

I think your most important factors will be:
1. Will the choir PA be used for this performance?  (Hopefully not, otherwise you're going to have to set up really far back to get any decent balance.  It's probably just there for the church's "home" choir.  And that many tenors don't need any more volume!)
2. Don't assume the choir will be in the loft just because it's there.  Get in touch with the conductor ahead of time to see what his/her plans are.  Some of the churches I sing in have choir lofts / stalls for the church's own choir, but we never use them, and instead sing in rows or arcs in front / back / to the sides of the altar.
3. Where will the conductor be positioned, and will the accomodate a tall stand fairly close behind them?  And more importantly, is that the best sounding location for your main pair?
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: considerations in recording large church choir
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2014, 11:07:27 PM »
1.  I'm pretty confident they will use the church PA. 

2.  Can discuss with the conductor, but I wanted to have a game plan in mind before I go to him.

3.  The conductor will be in the center of the choir-roughly 10' away if things go as usual.

edit:  I forgot to mention that the prior concert had 9 brass players to the front right of the stage.  Drums and guitar on the left front stage.  The drums weren't mic'd.  The guitar was run through the pa. 

What I recall hearing from one of the choir members from the last concert at at different church was that it was difficult to hear each other on stage.  The choir members were spread from one end to the other.  No walls or anything to close in the space so far as them being able to hear each other. 

It seems like it all becomes very focused on what the congregation hears through the PA which is a function of how they are mic'd, level settings at the board, and the overall PA system. 

Hence, my questions to the taper community who seem pretty adept at figuring out how to record in PA driven environments. 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 02:12:58 PM by 2manyrocks »

Offline voltronic

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Re: considerations in recording large church choir
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 06:34:25 PM »
Well if they're using the PA, and especially with the added brass and rhythms section I do think you'll have to move your entire setup farther back, otherwise you're going to get some strange combo of the same voices / instruments acoustically and through the PA.  Unless you get REALLY close to everything, as in forward of the speaker array and eliminate your omnis, but that probably isn't going to be practical.

Many others here will be able to advise you far better than I on recording amplified stuff.  I only record acoustic so I think I can't be much more help unfortunately.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q
Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24
Tascam DR-70D JWMod | Sony PCM-M10

Tascam DR-70D FAQ
Team Line Audio
Quote
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

 

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