Gear / Technical Help > Ask The Tapers

sp-cmc-8 for opera/classical live recordings


Hi everyone,
i'm new on here and i'm an opera lover.
In the last years i taped many opera performances with my mv88 mic + iphone and the result is pretty good but i guess i can do much better. That's why i'm here to ask you guys what is the best portable gear setup to make the difference in recording quality.
I also own an roland R07 and i was looking for a new mic to buy. The sp-cmc-8 sounds great on live loud concert performance but would this also be optimal setup for recording opera and/or performances within theatre environments. Otherwise what would you suggest?
Thank you in advance for your help and assistance.
Best regards.

lots of times mic choice comes down to available budget, type of taping (stealth) vs open,  available mic placement options style of music and volume relative to some of the previous details. 

If you can let people know your budget you will get better more informed options.  It's implied to a degree that these are stealth recordings but maybe not answer that for everyone as well. 

Thank you for your reply.
For the budget i was thinking about 400-700$ for a mic for stealth recording (+ preamp or battery box?). For the recorder i already own a R-07.
The music type is Opera.  Orchestra + voices. It can be be challanging to tape because it goes from loud to low sound level.
The mic placemant may variate according to the ticket i buy. Can be close to the stage but also far. Mainly indoor in theatres with silent peaple (sometimes coughing around :D).
i'm a rookie on this and i appreciate very much your help.
Thank you again!

I record a ton of opera, though only a few times from an audience seat in stealth mode.

When I am in the audience and doing stealth, I have been happiest with a pair of Line Audio Omni1 omni mics spaced 14" (rigged them so that the caps stick out of the top of my backpack, which was on my lap). Not a standard setup around here. But, I don't know that I have ever seen serious security at an opera, except maybe Hollywood Bowl (which is not really an opera venue). You can get away with things that you could not do at a rock concert, and the audience is more cooperative too in terms of making noise.

But, if I were to make a dedicated stealth opera setup to record in the audience, I would use a pair of DPA 4060 (super small excellent omnis. More noise floor than big mics, but you don't care because the audience will already be at that noise floor). I would have preferred these to my Line Audio setup if I had them handy at the time -- way more stealth and they sound great.

Used ones are easy to buy since every theater and opera in the world has a stack of them. People here love them. Someone might say you want something with an HF bump if you're in the audience, but I don't necessarily agree -- doesn't sound right on opera to my ears or the ears of the opera singers I work with.

I don't do stealth recordings, but I do almost exclusively classical and can strongly endorse the DPA 4060/4061.

Two things to add to what SMsound said:

1. The 4060 actually has a significant 12 kHz bump if using the standard low boost grid. This is designed to compensate for clothing obscuring the mic when worn as a lav. That's going to be useful in your application.

2. Whatever 406x mics you get, they may have a variety of terminations depending on what body pack they were used with. You'll probably need need a custom cable to match the termination of your mics, and also a battery box to power them properly ahead of your R-07.


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