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Recording Acapella Quartet-Need Advice
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Recording Acapella Quartet-Need Advice

Hi all,
In two weeks I am doing a recording session with an excellent vocal folk quartet with tight harmonies
The recording will be done in a 600 seat medium-live church (RT60 -1.4sec).
For performances they are very experienced with balancing themselves (with 12-18” spacing) in a single Ear Trumpet Delphian mic.
For recording my plan is to use a single Soundfield DSF-1 mic for the recording (with Blumlein as the starting decode) but I would also like to try my Josephson C617 omni pair as another option.
Any recommendations for performer to omni distance?
omni spacing? angle? (at high frequencies angle does matter).
If the omni’s are too close there’s a risk of comb-filtering? If too far away, then too much ambience?
If the omni pair is not used alone but in addition to the Soundfield to add spaciousness and/or ambience what
would you suggest as a starting point?
Thanks,
Bill

Last edited by Folkie; 2 weeks ago at 06:22 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 
My own starting point, if recording a group I haven't recorded before, in a space I haven't recorded in before, is a pair of omnis placed as far away as the group is wide, with the voices arranged equidistant from the mics. With a vocal group I'd start with them about forehead height.

Since you probably won't want the voices spread the full width between the speakers, 12" apart would be a good starting point.

If the sound at this distance is too roomy, probably best to switch to cardioids or subcardioids. If you just move closer with omnis, it could become difficult to balance the individual voices.

If a small-ish room has too-strong side-wall reflections, I reach for my hypercardioids, about 60-75% farther away than with omnis.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by k brown ➡️
My own starting point, if recording a group I haven't recorded before, in a space I haven't recorded in before, is a pair of omnis placed as far away as the group is wide, with the voices arranged equidistant from the mics. With a vocal group I'd start with them about forehead height.

Since you probably won't want the voices spread the full width between the speakers, 12" apart would be a good starting point.

If the sound at this distance is too roomy, probably best to switch to cardioids or subcardioids. If you just move closer with omnis, it could become difficult to balance the individual voices.

If a small-ish room has too-strong side-wall reflections, I reach for my hypercardioids, about 60-75% farther away than with omnis.
Thanks for the advice.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
not much love for spaced omnis in reverberant rooms unless it's about ambient pickup - i'd use them as blm's in very wide a/b to augment the soundfield's soundfield (and i possibly rather opt for m/s than for blumlein)...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 2 weeks ago at 02:38 PM.. Reason: wording
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Over the past 50 years, when recording my brother in laws championship Barbershop Quartet, I have found a carefully placed single high end card pattern mic sonically renders the best recording. IMO multi micing presents some trade offs in the lost harmonics that are more important than stereo separation. I started out borrowing my cousins U47 in the early 70s and today I will use my Flea 47 next for the subject chore.
Try moving around your best card pattern tube mic when the ensemble is there for the sound check to get the appropriate amount of "room" blended with the quartet.
Hugh
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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esldude's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
You might consider using the omni's with a Jecklin disk. You'll get away with placing them closer to the vocalists and getting stereo separation. Yet you'll get most of the benefits of a good omni.

Last edited by esldude; 2 weeks ago at 08:17 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Addict
 
+1
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Spot mic on the bass singer if there is one, jammed in close. Use it at your discretion.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Expanding on my previous post: it is important to understand the critical difference between high level a cappella quartets and instrumental accompanied quartet performance. For many reasons I use four AT AE5400 hand held condensers for gospel quartets. Brent is absolutely correct in pointing out the importance of selective mic placement for the bass singer in most vocal ensembles. My son was a performer with a very accomplished 14 man (UNC college) a cappella ensemble 25 years ago and I used 3 RE20s to successfully capture one of their live performances. In that case I made certain to get one of the RE20s close to the bass singers.
The difference is when four voices, without instrumentation, put their heads together and achieve a magnificent synergistic blend: one well placed high end card pattern mic is all that is called for. The efforts I have made in the past to improve upon the single mic capture proved to be less satisfactory for many reasons. As I read the OP's initial post, his quartet is presently using one mic successfully: if it ain't broke, why try to fix it?
Hugh
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Addict
 
How could a single coincident stereo mic, placed the same way, compromise anything over a single mono mic?

If they're used to balancing themselves on a single mic, they would be just as well balanced if said mic were a coincident stereo one.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I appreciate everyone’s suggestions.
K Brown, my thinking as well. I will be capturing B-format with the Soundfield so I will have the option of decoding to any coincident mono or stereo mic pattern. I’m still hoping to at least have the option of using the omni pair to add some spaciousness.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Addict
 
I personally can't stand the sound of coincident micing (with exception of Blumlein), but in this instance it makes sense. I certainly would add a pair of omnis, a couple of feet apart; mixed just high enough to put much needed 'air' around the sound.

I don't know how this group arranges/spaces themselves, but if you use Blumlein, the group needs to fit within a 90 degree arc in front of the mic.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by k brown ➡️
I personally can't stand the sound of coincident micing (with exception of Blumlein), but in this instance it makes sense. I certainly would add a pair of omnis, a couple of feet apart; mixed just high enough to put much needed 'air' around the sound.

I don't know how this group arranges/spaces themselves, but if you use Blumlein, the group needs to fit within a 90 degree arc in front of the mic.
Yes, I’m well aware of the 90 deg limit and it won’t be a problem. When sharing one mic, they are used to being spaced no more than 12”-18” apart.
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