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Recording a School Concert
Old 21st September 2015
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Recording a School Concert

Hi there,

I'm after a bit of advice. How would you approach recording a concert with several (13 to be exact) different ensembles?

The ensembles include a concert band, rock band, guitar ensembles, choir, percussion groups and everything in between.

Obviously there has to be a compromise between a quality recording and visibility for the audience.

Notes:
- No live desk/live sound
- I will be able to test the room out the morning of the concert
- I have a mobile rig with 12 pre's

Thanks for your help!
Flukes
Old 21st September 2015
  #2
rez
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
if there is no mixing board, does that mean that there also will be no pa whatsoever and ALL the performers are just using their own amps or nothing at all that amplifies their sound?
if that is so it will be a great mess with the less amplified groups in slight advantage, because they might deliver a balanced sound without the need for a mixing board.

if you have to cope with that, then start with a good pair of room mikes in a stereo setup (ortf, a-b, x-y, etc...) to capture the hole performance and then maybe support this main pair with some spot mikes to have better control over some of the instruments after the recording in the mixing stage.

do you just have the opportunity to check the empty hall before the concert, or is it like a general rehearsal so you can really try your mike setup and find basic levels for the microphones?
if it is just the empty hall you are in a tough spot to find good places for the mikes without hearing any sound.
if it is with a rehearsal, then you have good chances to find instruments or voices that seem to get lost in the live mix (or lack of live mix) and that instruments should be addressed with spot mikes, so you can work them a little in the mix.

if you haven´t done that before then first concentrate on your main pair - find a good spot for that not too close to a wall and a good bit above heads height and try to capture a full sound of how the show sounds in the hall.
then spot mike everything else you might want to have more control of later (that also migh be a challenge on a stage with many performers and changing setups - where do you place the mikes - when do you need to change them or if you can get away with fixed positions).
do you know which microphones you will have at your disposal? that can also influence some decisions for your setup.

peace, rez
Old 21st September 2015
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Cheers rez,

Yes the majority of them are acoustic ensembles, such as strings, brass, woodwinds and percussion.

I will have a chance to check the hall before the concert and will try to get at least one ensemble to play so I can find a balanced position for my main stereo pair. Do you know of a way to check the acoustics without an ensemble?

I am considering about having a number of spot mics plugged in and ready to go and simply placing them in between performances but I have a couple of concerns.
a) I won't be able to adjust the mics once they are set - phase could be a big issue and render the spot mics useless
b) The mic setup has to be relatively discrete for the audience.

Best,
Flukes
Old 21st September 2015
  #4
rez
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
maybe bring a boombox with you or just one other human beeing that can do some loud claps and some shouting or singing from the stage to give you a (very) rough impression of the propagation of the sound in the room and about the reverb time.

if the microphones are only used for recording and not also for a pa at the same time you have way more freedom in placement, since you can come from behind or below if that is the safest place, without the risk of feedback.

don´t worry too much about phase issues between a main pair and a close spot as they are far enough from each other, just check with headphones if it sounds acceptable, there is more phase difficulties in multi close miking a percussion or drumset, because you don´t have the room to space the mikes far enough.
try your best bet in placement and simply explain it to the people if a microphone should stay in the position you have fixed and not be moved unless they want to risk some of the recording.

try to capture as much as possible with the main pair so you don´t have to rely on the spots to fill the gaps.

peace, rez
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
the rock band goes unamplified?!

anyway, you better gear up - 12 mics imo won't do to capture a wide variety of ensembles and bands: on some, you'll want to use close mics, on others possibly not.

also, a percussion ensemble imo sounds best with a coincident main mic system, other ensembles maybe less so.

i prefer section mics on choir but mostly don't need any on orchestras unless they are very large.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Ive done Rock band on one stereo mic, MS MKH30/30
Rhythm in the rear field , gtrs in front field, and vocals up close.
Did the entire school in a day and a half.
They loved it.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
I think deedeeyeah is assuming that...
I think Deedeeyah and several other posters missed the fact that this thread is over 6 years old, and the concert has likely already taken place, and most of these kids are already graduated college by now.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler ➡️
I think Deedeeyah and several other posters missed the fact that this thread is over 6 years old, and the concert has likely already taken place, and most of these kids are already graduated college by now.
Thanks. I usually look at post dates, but missed this one.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
Thanks. I usually look at post dates, but missed this one.
same here - there must have been a recent post (which then disappeared?!) or else i wouldn't have noticed this thread...
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