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Speech recording in a church
Old 3rd April 2021
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Speech recording in a church

Hello everyone,

next month I will be recording an evening in a church with a local celebrity talking about historical facts and stories of the area. It will be accompanied by organ music of that time.

So, a very interesting evening.
I talked to the organ player and suggested to record the evening beforehand.
For the organ, the usual high stand is desperately needed, probably I will try AB 60 plus a DIN setting in-between.

What I am still thinking about, though, is the speaker.
Several thoughts came to my mind here:

Mid-Side (TLM 103+TLM 170)
Single Mic (schoeps MK4, Neumann 184) plus AB setting further back.

A single main array would probably sound too far away and I wanted the voice to be more direct generally.

What are your thoughts capturing the voice? I like the idea to have that bit of church sound with the speaker.
Old 3rd April 2021
  #2
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you are recording a speaker, you want the best capture of his/her voice without a lot of the space (you will have the ambience recorded with the organ, in any case). If the speaker will be pretty stationary (sitting on a stool?) then a film audio approach, using directional mics like a hypercardioid or even shotgun, may give the clearest recording of the narration. It might be worth trying a pair of spaced cardioids, panned hard L & R, if a stereo rendering of the voice is desirable. Just thinking on the fly here...
Old 3rd April 2021 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
forget about more distant techniques such as a/b or m/s and use either a headset and/or a hypercardioid or shotgun and a hpf for recording and use a (multiband) expander for mixing!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 3rd April 2021 at 05:28 PM..
Old 3rd April 2021
  #4
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🎧 10 years
I'll start with a few assumptions, which you can confirm or refute. It's a public event with an audience ? The guest speaker will be talking through the church's sound system/in-house PA rig ? There will be a lectern, pulpit or podium for the speaker, supplied with either a gooseneck mic, lavalier (lapel) mic or a regular dynamic mic on a stand ? He might even decide to hand-hold the mic....?

In most medium to large churches, the spoken unamplified voice tends to get lost in reverberance after the first 12 or so rows...hence the installation of such in-house PA reinforcement.

The flaws in these mics might not be too noticeable in an average church service, but for recording...the plosives, sibilance, boom (and even feedback !) will compromise your capture a lot....so I'd avoid taking a line out feed from the church PA. Rather use one of your proposed directional mics ...with the following proviso. You have no way of knowing how stationary and on-mic your guest speaker will be...what will happen to your pickup if they sway, duck and bob around the PA mic (and yours) ?

For this reason consider supplying the guest with your own high quality lapel/lavalier (or perhaps a cheek mic)....for recording only...since this will ensure he's on-mic no matter which way he faces. Be sure to attend a rehearsal and be prepared for all eventualities, and especially observe his speaking style. The highest sound quality mics and well-thought out stereo arrays will be to no avail if his head and body movements result in patchy pickup.

If he's confined to a lecturn/podium, a pair of omnis....one on each edge pointed up to his mouth, will avoid proximity boom, plosives and will be more forgiving of head movements than directional mics. Your main concern will be how well they sum to mono.

I'm sorry if this deflates discussion of sound quality niceties, but I'd rather try to head off any show-stopping factors which might conspire to prevent successful capture. Once you've confirmed your guest speaker is going to play ball, you'll be on surer ground
Old 3rd April 2021
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Thank you for the very detailed responses so far.
The more I think about the speaker, the more I tend to maybe add a church reverberation in post instead of recording him with room microphones.

I want to record both, the speaker and the organist, beforehand without any public.
The product is intended to be placed on the homepage of the church on the day of the performance.

The speaker, by the way, is experienced with recording and has already been recorded at radio stations.
Old 3rd April 2021 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by puresounds ➑️
The speaker, by the way, is experienced with recording and has already been recorded at radio stations.
that certainly helps - i then would assume that he knows about the benefits of not talking too fast and to use clear articulation in a reverberant room...
Old 3rd April 2021
  #7
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Please consider that people who listen on the internet may have listening expectations shaped by what they listen to elsewhere. They may have an expectation of a more direct/less reverberant mix than an "authentic" in the seats mix.

There are sort of two competing ends at play here: one is that the organ may be more pleasant with reverberation while speech intelligibility suffers from reverberation.
Old 3rd April 2021
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I did a lot of recording for my church last year and you can see for example the Christmas service here where you can see how I positioned the microphone (Rode M5) for the spoken word. This church has great deal of reverberation. I like to have some ambience but some people like to have the spoken word almost completely dry.
You can use distance to increase/decrease the ambience but I found that it's best IMHO to have the microphone as much on axis as possible.

However, I think high quality lapel/lavalier is the best solution if the speaker will be moving.
Old 3rd April 2021
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Record both separately then overlay organ on at appropriate places, record speaker in a dryish place, then add β€˜churchy’ reverb
Old 4th April 2021
  #10
Gear Guru
Radio lav mic. Easy peasy. Add some Bricasti 'Old North Church' in post.
Old 4th April 2021
  #11
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🎧 5 years
I recorded a live Ivor Gurney tribute concert at a Severnside Church he used to attend
An academic to the LH , soprano and keyboard RH, all on one MS array.
Sounded lovely and very real ,its in the Church archive for researchers.
Now I would radio him, but it wouldn't be better
Old 5th April 2021
  #12
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🎧 10 years
Which church is that Rolo?
Old 6th April 2021
  #13
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🎧 5 years
Framilode.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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🎧 10 years
Thanks Rolo
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Did you ever say if the speaker was going to be reenforced? Will he be speaking to an audience over a public address system?

Very likely that if he is going through a PA, the sound company will put him on a lav, maybe a headset, to best isolate him from the room and make him the most articulate. Take a feed of that if you have the tracks. It may turn out be be the best mic for the job.

Also, will you be limited by the use of any video cameras?

If it were me, I would put him on a lav. The lav will keep him "on mic" no matter where he might wander. If he wanders far, some sort of RF mic would be a good idea although a cable down the pants leg will work in a pinch. He will have to be okay with that and I'd give him a bit of pre-show rehearsal if that's what you must use.

If everything else allows, cameras, sight-lines and the like, I might also, maybe, spot him with an LDC (Gefell UM70S in cardioid).

Hypercardioids might work but in a hard verby space like a church, interference tube (shotgun) mics should be avoided because of comb-filtering.

And the organ mics should work as the "room" source pretty well and you may not even need artificial verb.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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JamesClark1991's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Lav mic high on the person's lapel. Person's body facing away from the organ (body shield).

Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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🎧 5 years
Sound horrible too high
Shadowed by the chin
Sternum better imho.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #18
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➑️
Sound horrible too high
Shadowed by the chin
Sternum better imho.
Or in their wig, best of all.

D.,
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
The organ has been successfully recorded using an AB 60 setup + NOS system in-between. This has been my first time using such a setup, but I am pleased with the results.

The stand was not high enough but I managed to reach just above a chandelier hanging way up in my preferred position's way.. :-)
The microphones were aimed upwards and the sound up there proved to be more than adequate for my taste.

For the speaker, I found a little room in the church, it is a tower chamber, really cozy.
My preferred microphones at the moment are a TLM 170 or a TLM 103.
I maybe set up both and listen to the differences they produce.
A DAV BG1 is of course also with me.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
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Okay, I finally caught on to the fact that this was a recording session, not a live recording. Sorry to be so slow.

Pretty much ignore all my comments.

D.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Pretty much everything is finished by now.

I had a little room in the bell tower chamber for the speaker with an SE reflection filter set up.
But the church reverb in post smoothed that away easily.

The organ recording was an interesting experience. I reached up around 5 meters and placed omnis and cardoids (20cm 90 deg.) upwards.

Im am not sure whether I maybe spaced the omnis a bit to far (60 cm, straight), but the organ seems to play ping pong with the acoustics up there.

Maybe I was a bit too close (5,5 meters apart).
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