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mic set up for choir

mdy1996

I have a choir of thirty 6th graders. We will be performing on a stage forty feet wide. What would be the best mics to use and how would I set up the mics to achieve the best sound?
March 28, 2006 @01:30pm
cmchamp

Pack them as tight as possible on risers (comfortable) and use as few mics as possible. Condenser preferred.
C.
March 28, 2006 @03:47pm
spicyitaliano

Hey there! I myself have spent a couple of years recording choirs as an extra gig on the side. I've taken what I can from the other professionals out there, but I've found that I needed to develop some of my own techniques too.
For the record, here's the latest rigs I used:
2-Track system:
Mics: Gefell M930's or Earthworks SR30's on stereo bar, behind & above director's head.
Apogee Mini-Me Preamps/Converter
Powerbook G4
8-track Multi-track system:
Choir Mics: Gefell M930's or Earthworks SR30's on stereo bar
Piano Mics: DPA 4021 stereo kit or Rode NT4.
Audience/Ambient Mics: Rode NT4
Preamps: True Systems Precision 8
Converters: Apogee Rosetta 800 192kHz
Recording System: Mac G5, Glyph hard drive, Logic
As for the setup, many people always told me to get the singers as close together as possible. Well, most of these people don't think in the context of a performance, only in the context of the recording studio. When you're dealing with a live performance in front of an audience, YOU have to work around the show, not the other way around!
Plus on the other hand, you just might benefit from the acoutical properties of the space that you're working in :)
So with a 2-track system, I would place the mics on a stereo bar and turn them about 90-120 degrees apart. Then I would place it just behind the director, because he is most likely in the sweet-spot. This will also pick up the piano, giving you a very natural sound. It may not be the most impressive and polished sound, but it will be very natural, which is good!
In the event that the director is not in the prime area for good sound (the sweet-spot), then I would place the microphones just off the stage at height of the singers, pointed at their level. You could also form an equilateral triangle with the left & right ends of the risers and place the microphones at the complimentary head point of the triangle. Then, for good measure I would move the mics in or out until you get a good balance of stereo spread that captures all the singers, an not just the ends of the risers.
Be sure to have a good set of headphones and try to get as far away from the stage as possible. A long 150' snake would allow you to do this. And better yet, if you can somehow build a make-shift booth away from the stage, you could monitor it through monitor speakers to get a better of idea of what you're capturing.
Have Fun! :)
March 29, 2006 @11:55pm
spicyitaliano

mdy1996 -
Did that answer your questions? Do you have any more questions? Let me know if my efforts were worth it...
April 5, 2006 @04:44am