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mic choice for small choral group OUTDOORS
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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🎧 10 years
mic choice for small choral group OUTDOORS

hi everyone --

I'll soon be doing a gig (house mix plus record) for a worship service where the choir -- due to COVID "abundant caution" -- will be situated outdoors adjacent to the sanctuary. They'll be under a tent (for weather). It's a small group, 15 people or so.

Any recommendations for mic choice? I'm almost thinking shotguns just for their reach and their ambient rejection, but perhaps two or three hypercardioids would be OK too -- maybe a little more forgiving. If any of you has a suggestion based on experience I'd appreciate it. The mics would be rented in any case, so the choice would not be limited to current inventory.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I would say use two or three normal cardioid microphones depending on their spacing. If they are spacing themselves really far apart due to covid precautions, you might need more.

They may not be on choir risers outdoors, and they may be spaced further apart than anticipated. You might ask their director how the director plans to space them.

certainly will want to use wind screens.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
I've done a lot of outdoor recording, and all else being equal, omnis are considerably more resistant to wind noise than directional mics. The most wind-proof mics I've found are PZMs (not BLMs) with a bit of foam, plus a thin windsock stretched a few inches away from the foam. This was on a self-built SASS-type mic.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Omnis make a lot of sense for your outdoor choir. Much better suppression of wind noise (maybe need only a foam ball gag?) and you have no 'room' to contend with, no unpredictable reverberation. You may find you actually want to add some reverb to the signal...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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I have 4 CM3 wide cards that have worked pretty well for similar A/V captures. They are not Schoeps grade gear, however their sonic capture quality and small size made the decision easy for me.
Hugh
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
in terms of hf, a tent very much behaves like a room; in terms of lf, it's (almost) as being outdoors....

anyway, i assume you'll want to pick up what's in front of the mics so use a couple of directional mics and of course windshields (unless there's heavy wind but then you don't want to put up mics in the air anyway and rather use handhelds)...


[i'm using dozens of directional mics to pick up an orchestra on outdoors shows regularly]
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
I recorded a music festival orchestra in a very large tent once, and it actually had pretty nice acoustics. But since you're concerned about wind i assume this is going to be a roof-only type of covering, rather than a full enclosure.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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those of you suggesting omnis....

If this were an outdoor recording in some pristine place of nature, okay, but are you not concerned about outdoor HVAC compressors, traffic noise and noise from overhead aircraft?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
I assumed that's what he was referring to as to ambient noise. Such a small choir could be mic'd pretty closely, which would help. An assessment would need to be made as to wind noise resistance vs reducing surrounding noises.

Also, if cards with foam are used, a choir would enable a low cut filter to be used without affecting the sound much, while reducing LF wind noise.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I record small acoustic groups and individuals outdoors a lot as a deliberate choice (not a Covid by-product). Adequate wind protection - in my case Baby Ball gags (with their furry covers if needed) and full blimps for SDC and LDC mics - is essential and, with this properly sorted, you can then simply chose what polar pattern and mic type suits the location (traffic etc.), how much 'benign' ambience (birdsong, crickets etc.) you want, and, of course, how you want to capture the performers.

I'd never venture outside equipped only with a foam for a mic, esp. if others are reliant on you capturing their performance.

As to reverb, well, this of course varies: for example, close up to buildings, in courtyards or in ruins, and in woodlands it is noticeable. Although, of course, a fear of/problem with ambient noise often means people mic closer than they would indoors...

Cheers,

Roland
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
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🎧 10 years
MS in a Rycote and furry.
MKH50/30
Simple solution, always works.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Works, yes - if you like coincident stereo sound; can't stand it myself. I concur with Mark Aubort who called it 'fat mono'.

Except for EMI's early experiments with Blumlein, none of the major classical labels ever used coincident; especially not on choral music.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #13
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
MS in a Rycote and furry.
MKH50/30
Simple solution, always works.
yep - although outdoors, i mostly prefer using nothing but spots and ditch the 'mains' (which imo far too often pick up unnecessary noise)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by k brown ➡️
Works, yes - if you like coincident stereo sound; can't stand it myself. I concur with Mark Aubort who called it 'fat mono'.
...while others can't stand the blurry image of spaced omnis, lacking any even halfway realistic localisation of sources within the stereo soundfield.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
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joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Years ago, when this century was still young, I was asked to record an outdoor orchestra playing under a tent-- the day was almost certain to end in thunder and a downpour, so I thought, "what mics would I actually not really care that much if they got destroyed in the process?"

Yes, exactly-- my pair of Rode NT 1's!
Attached Files

NT1 test mix.mp3 (9.53 MB, 230 views)

Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
yep - although outdoors, i mostly prefer using nothing but spots and ditch the 'mains' (which imo far too often pick up unnecessary noise)...


...while others can't stand the blurry image of spaced omnis, lacking any even halfway realistic localisation of sources within the stereo soundfield.
But coincident and spaced omnis aren't the only choices; several of the near-coincident options produce very realistic localisation, without being 'fat mono'.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by k brown ➡️
Works, yes - if you like coincident stereo sound; can't stand it myself. I concur with Mark Aubort who called it 'fat mono'.

Except for EMI's early experiments with Blumlein, none of the major classical labels ever used coincident; especially not on choral music.
Ive done plenty of choral inside and out with MS
My choice is MKH 30/30 or MKH 800/30.(they are on this site....)
Never had fat mono, especially in Cathedrals and good Halls.
Outside is different as it is point source with little ambience, this can be augmented with early reflections from a good verb.
MidSide is widely misunderstood, especially by studio engineers, pragmatic location recordists know better imho.

Roger
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #17
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by k brown ➡️
But coincident and spaced omnis aren't the only choices; several of the near-coincident options produce very realistic localisation, without being 'fat mono'.
use what you like and prefer and attribute whatever you think is appropriate to each system but don't expect that others partially or fully agree with your assessement - fact is that in terms of accuracy of localisation, one cannot beat coincident systems...

...but of course there's no free lunch: each system comes with its idiosyncrasies and hence with benefits and shortcomings.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
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🎧 15 years
I live and work in an urban area, so outdoor work almost always means high extraneous ambient noise. Shotguns, in zeps with dogs, have been my friend, especially if they have be backed off for visual concerns. When I could be in closer the SDCs worked well in the Rycote furry balls. Finding such a thing for LDCs was more of a challenge, we ended up getting furrys that had been made for one-piece "shaver" recorders (like Zoom etc) and stretching them over the large Neumanns.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #19
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norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by philper ➡️
Finding such a thing for LDCs was more of a challenge, we ended up getting furrys that had been made for one-piece "shaver" recorders (like Zoom etc) and stretching them over the large Neumanns.
Trouble is, LDCs need dead air space round them all the more, so you are into DIY solutions for something more effective. Here's a link to my blog post about mine: https://drbadphil.com/windshield-for-ldc-mics

And here's a photo of it in action.

Cheers,

Roland
Attached Thumbnails
mic choice for small choral group OUTDOORS-p2700951-featured-image.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #20
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 ➡️
Trouble is, LDCs need dead air space round them all the more, so you are into DIY solutions for something more effective. Here's a link to my blog post about mine: https://drbadphil.com/windshield-for-ldc-mics

And here's a photo of it in action.

Cheers,

Roland
Now, THAT THERE is a dead cat, that there is...

;-)
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 ➡️
Trouble is, LDCs need dead air space round them all the more, so you are into DIY solutions for something more effective. Here's a link to my blog post about mine: https://drbadphil.com/windshield-for-ldc-mics

And here's a photo of it in action.

Cheers,

Roland
That would not have flown on the video shoots we were doing. The little dogs for the shaver recorders worked out quite well, even though we were taking some gusts. I wish Rycote made an equivalent to the furry ball for the SDCs.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #22
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norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by philper ➡️
That would not have flown on the video shoots we were doing. The little dogs for the shaver recorders worked out quite well, even though we were taking some gusts. I wish Rycote made an equivalent to the furry ball for the SDCs.
Yes, nothing subtle about my mega blimp! It's designed big for optimum performance, not light weight or discretion. Even without video, it would be disconcerting to performers to have a load of them up close: they might think the Coldstream Guards were about to ambush them...

Not sure that there would be much demand for LDC-sized Rycote Baby Ball Gags ('Big Ball Gags'?!) and LDC mics, of course, are more varied in form so it might be rather challenging to get universal fits to work.

Like most, of course, I stick to SDCs mostly for outdoors recordings, be that omni AB or MS.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 ➡️
Yes, nothing subtle about my mega blimp! It's designed big for optimum performance, not light weight or discretion. Even without video, it would be disconcerting to performers to have a load of them up close: they might think the Coldstream Guards were about to ambush them...

Not sure that there would be much demand for LDC-sized Rycote Baby Ball Gags ('Big Ball Gags'?!) and LDC mics, of course, are more varied in form so it might be rather challenging to get universal fits to work.

Like most, of course, I stick to SDCs mostly for outdoors recordings, be that omni AB or MS.

Cheers,

Roland
That's prob why they don't make them. Your rig will sound great but I'm very often fighting to get mics closer the players, and even when there is no camera around people often really dislike big hairy windscreens, so small is good. But for some instruments the big mics are needed, so we find a wind solution.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
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🎧 5 years
Impressed by Roland's wind screen?

Check this out, too:

https://drbadphil.com/speakers-expon...-tapered-horns
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #25
Gear Addict
 
norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks ➡️
Impressed by Roland's wind screen?

Check this out, too:

https://drbadphil.com/speakers-expon...-tapered-horns
Why, thanks 2manyrocks: a bit off-subject, but glad you enjoyed the write-up/pics!

Cheers,

Roland
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
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You have done a seriously awesome job with your woodworking for your speaker build. OT or not.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav ➡️
Now, THAT THERE is a dead cat, that there is...

;-)
Here in Australia, we’d call that a dead wombat !
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #28
Gear Addict
 
norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Here in Australia, we’d call that a dead wombat !
well, it's certainly more the size of a wombat...

R
Old 2 weeks ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
OP didn’t mention if the mics were for recording, live stream, FOH, or some combination of these . . . also how many tracks available if recording? Also one would think that the visual requirements would be relaxed in an informal outdoor tent setting, but the combination of parents, kids, and church usually means a disproportionate number of Karens. . .
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
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1 Review written
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No mention if it would be live streamed, either, or if Hurricane Ida did anything to cause a change of plans.
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