recording a vocal group

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Carlier, Jun 12, 2006.


  1. Carlier

    Carlier Member

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    I've been asked to record a voice group consisting of about 6 female singers at the school where I teach. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this.

    I've only got Left and Right (two channels) going in (soundcard). I was thinking the best would be to have the girls stand around my Rode Nt1 mic in a circle and just recording a mono track. I also have an overhead pair which is part of a drum mic kit which I could use. I also have an extra studio mic, like the Rode, so could record two mics simultaneously. I'd appreciate any advice any of you might have.

    The girls will be singing mountain music/bluegrass songs in 4+ part harmonies, and it all has to be done in an afternoon.
     
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Supporting Member

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    I'd probably have them sing around a mono mic (the best one you have.) If they're doing this kind of music, they probably know how to balance themselves.

    Them, take your two OH mics and set them up a ways back from where the singers are, and pan them hard left/right to get some natural room ambience in. This would be if you have a mixer, so you could combine the three mics. Do a little test first, so you get the balance between the close and room mics correct.

    Loudboy
     
  3. Carlier

    Carlier Member

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    That sounds like an interesting set-up. I do have a mixer I could use. The only danger with this is that there'd be a little of every mic on every track, so I would indeed have to listen carefully before doing the takes. Thanks for replying!
     
  4. therigaletto

    therigaletto Member

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    I've done alot of this before. Ive used a Blue Blurbird condenser and had them stand in a soft U shape around the mic. You'll have to play with the singers positioning because someone is always louder than another so push them back a little. The OH mics are a good idea to add also if you have the tracking ability. Good luck
     
  5. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I agree, on the condition that you can be sure you've got the balance you want, because you will be locked into it.

    I had a slightly different situation, where the mono mic was on a leader and the stereo pair was on a chorus. They sounded pretty good at first, but I wasn't 100% sure I was getting exactly what I wanted and there was no time for multiple takes. So I panned the mono mic hard left and the combined stereo pair hard right, for two mono tracks.

    I'm glad I did for several reasons. (A) some pieces were balanced very differently than others, (B) when they got louder the room behaved differently, and (C) I was able to EQ them separately with much better EQ than I had on my mixer.

    I got a nice stereo sound during mixdown. I panned the mono mic track about 10% left, the other 15% right (more or less... it was a while ago), and small amounts of delay and reverb panned creatively helped to fill it out. The result was as good as I would have hoped to get from a straight stereo recording.

    But if they're going to be pretty consistent from track to track and you like what you hear, Loudboy's method is the way to do it.
     
  6. EVT

    EVT Member

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    Hi,

    I'm going through the same thing at my school too. We're updating the soundsystem and trying to set up some overhead mics that would be left there permanently. So if students were to go on the stage for a play or for the chorus or band, they could be picked up with the overhead mics.

    I would be going through a mixer. We've only been using dynamic mics on the stage up till now. I'm not sure what kinds of mics would work well for this.
    I would think a pair of SDC's for sure up above, but I don't know what other mics we should use. I would be concerned about phasing if too many mics were used.

    How do they do it in choruses? And, what about for plays? Do they have mics clipped on them usually as well?


    thanks,

    evt
     

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