Quantcast
75 member choir - Christmas concert in a church - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
75 member choir - Christmas concert in a church
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
75 member choir - Christmas concert in a church

I will be recording the dress rehearsal and possibly the concert (with audience) for a Christmas performance of a high school choir. I have not recorded in the church before. The choir has about 75 members and will be performing in a large church. For last year’s concert (this was not recorded and I did not attend) the choir was located up front by the altar area, was about 20’ wide (1st row) and there were 7 rows total (on steps or risers.) The church is rectangular in shape, has a high ceiling, brick walls, and tile floor.

For gear I have 1 very nice pair of omnis (Gefell M296S), 1 very nice pair of cardioids (Senn MKH40), a reasonable pair of cardioids (3 Zigma CHI), 2 channels of Gordon preamps, 2 channels of Speck preamps, and 2 channels of Motu preamp in an interface.

I’d like a wide stereo width on this recording (90-100%) and hopefully be able to adjust the amount of room capture post recording.

I’m thinking of using the Senn MKH40 in ORTF into the Gordon as the main pair; using the Gefell Omnis into the Specks as an ambi pair located back from the ORTF pair; using the 3 Zigma cardioids in a narrow-spaced pair for the piano (if there is piano accompaniment) or if there is no piano use the 3 Zigma cardioids as outriggers just in case they are needed.

For this width of choir, the ORTF would be back about 10’ from the 1st row. Wondering about placement for the omni ambi pair; mic to mic spacing, how far back, and pointing in what direction?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There are some old rules of thumb for how much delay omni ambience mics should have relative to your mains, but these originated in analog days. Nowadays, you can slip the time alignment digitally in post, so those rules are unnecessary unless you're doing a live broadcast. So my advice is "far enough into the reverberant field that it sounds nice, but not so far that it sounds muddy and murky." That's very dependent on the particular hall you are working in. I do suggest pretty wide spacing: the minimum would be 60 cm, but I often split the hall roughly in thirds, (but not perfectly so!). The wider the spacing, the more low frequency decorrelation you get, which is generally a good thing.

Regarding mic choice, be certain you actually like the random-incidence sound of your hall mics and don't waste your best mics on a bad pianist or a sub-standard instrument. (It's the choir people who are paying you.)

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
wildplum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I would likely use a modified Faulkner array with your Gefell M296S pair at 67cm and your Senn MKH40 pair at 47 (or slightly less), both pair angled out about 30 degrees, all four mics on one bar.
one or the other pair would be dominant in the mix, the other brought up "to taste".
I'd spot the piano with a pair of mics, likely ortf - but depending on where the piano is, i might use one mic (even if i thought it was "just in case") if the piano is represented well in the Faulkner array.

as for distance, without any experience with the hall (and choir), this has to be done on spot. but the array will easily fit on one stand, so you can quickly and easily do some testing and move it around (maybe even during "warmup").

Good luck to you!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Given how live (lots of hard surfaces) this space is I would try with ORTF just in front of the first row approximately 9 1/2 ft-10 ft high and aimed down at the 5th-7th rows as a starting point. You can always move it further away and/or add omnis for more ambience. Being too dry is not likely to be a problem.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
There are some old rules of thumb for how much delay omni ambience mics should have relative to your mains, but these originated in analog days. Nowadays, you can slip the time alignment digitally in post, so those rules are unnecessary unless you're doing a live broadcast. So my advice is "far enough into the reverberant field that it sounds nice, but not so far that it sounds muddy and murky." That's very dependent on the particular hall you are working in. I do suggest pretty wide spacing: the minimum would be 60 cm, but I often split the hall roughly in thirds, (but not perfectly so!). The wider the spacing, the more low frequency decorrelation you get, which is generally a good thing.

Regarding mic choice, be certain you actually like the random-incidence sound of your hall mics and don't waste your best mics on a bad pianist or a sub-standard instrument. (It's the choir people who are paying you.)

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Thanks for all the details David. Regarding the hall/ambi mics, I believe in one your posts (if my memory is correct) you talked of reverse facing mics. If that was your post, under what conditions might you use face the hall/ambi mics away from the source? The reason I'm asking is because of concerns placing the hall/ambi mics deeper during the concert (with audience).

Regarding the piano, and the player; I will definitely be using my better gear for the choir.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildplum ➡️
I would likely use a modified Faulkner array with your Gefell M296S pair at 67cm and your Senn MKH40 pair at 47 (or slightly less), both pair angled out about 30 degrees, all four mics on one bar.
one or the other pair would be dominant in the mix, the other brought up "to taste".
I'd spot the piano with a pair of mics, likely ortf - but depending on where the piano is, i might use one mic (even if i thought it was "just in case") if the piano is represented well in the Faulkner array.

as for distance, without any experience with the hall (and choir), this has to be done on spot. but the array will easily fit on one stand, so you can quickly and easily do some testing and move it around (maybe even during "warmup").

Good luck to you!
Thanks for the idea of a different array. I used a modified 4 mic Faulkner array when I recorded a smaller choir in their theatre. For that I used a smaller omni spacing and a DIN near coincident array so that the stereo width of each pair were similar (around 70% stereo width for each). I have a concern with the wide spaced omnis and the wide spaced cardioids that there would be a hole in the middle unless the arrays were back quite a distance from the choir, and I'm thinking I want to keep the main pair fairly close for this recording (I realize my concern may just be my inexperience.).
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie ➡️
Given how live (lots of hard surfaces) this space is I would try with ORTF just in front of the first row approximately 9 1/2 ft-10 ft high and aimed down at the 5th-7th rows as a starting point. You can always move it further away and/or add omnis for more ambience. Being too dry is not likely to be a problem.
Thanks for your comments. Hopefully the ORTF will give enough of the room. If I don't have to add in omnis for hall/ambi it will probably be much easier (audience noise at the concert will probably interfere quite a bit with mics placed out there).
Do you think outriggers, used with in conjunction with the ORTF main pair, might be necessary for a choir this wide?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S ➡️
Thanks for all the details David. Regarding the hall/ambi mics, I believe in one your posts (if my memory is correct) you talked of reverse facing mics. If that was your post, under what conditions might you use face the hall/ambi mics away from the source? The reason I'm asking is because of concerns placing the hall/ambi mics deeper during the concert (with audience).
My most common reason for doing this is that the "hall" mics are mounted on the same stand as the main pair. Obviously, this only works with directional mics. Using the nulls to reject direct sound from the stage allows one to push these mics higher in the mix without destroying the stereo imaging. I most often employ this technique when I have a tight load-in schedule and limited ability to find the "perfect" distance from the stage for the main pair. So I choose a relatively "dry" placement distance and deconstruct the hall sound into direct and reverberant parts that will be properly-ratioed in post.

If you're able to place hall mics well into the reverberant field, then omnis offer more low end extension than any directional pattern. But if you're in a relatively dry hall (typical "multi-purpose" lecture space), you might still end up with a lot of direct sound in these mics. In that case, it may be preferable to use side-facing figure-eights (a "half Hamasaki square") or rear-facing cardioids, depending on the hall geometry and whether or not there's a rear balcony.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
My most common reason for doing this is that the "hall" mics are mounted on the same stand as the main pair. Obviously, this only works with directional mics. Using the nulls to reject direct sound from the stage allows one to push these mics higher in the mix without destroying the stereo imaging. I most often employ this technique when I have a tight load-in schedule and limited ability to find the "perfect" distance from the stage for the main pair. So I choose a relatively "dry" placement distance and deconstruct the hall sound into direct and reverberant parts that will be properly-ratioed in post.

If you're able to place hall mics well into the reverberant field, then omnis offer more low end extension than any directional pattern. But if you're in a relatively dry hall (typical "multi-purpose" lecture space), you might still end up with a lot of direct sound in these mics. In that case, it may be preferable to use side-facing figure-eights (a "half Hamasaki square") or rear-facing cardioids, depending on the hall geometry and whether or not there's a rear balcony.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Very interesting, and mostly makes sense to me, except I don't understand "preferable to use side-facing figure-eights (a "half Hamasaki square") or rear-facing cardioids, depending on the hall geometry and whether or not there's a rear balcony". The church geometry is approx 50' ceiling, 45' wide, and 90' in front of the choir to the organ/choir loft in the rear. No side balconies. How does this affect the choice of side facing figure 8s versus rear facing cardioids?

Again, thanks for all your detailed explanations. This is a great learning experience for me.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S ➡️
Thanks for the idea of a different array. I used a modified 4 mic Faulkner array when I recorded a smaller choir in their theatre. For that I used a smaller omni spacing and a DIN near coincident array so that the stereo width of each pair were similar (around 70% stereo width for each). I have a concern with the wide spaced omnis and the wide spaced cardioids that there would be a hole in the middle unless the arrays were back quite a distance from the choir, and I'm thinking I want to keep the main pair fairly close for this recording (I realize my concern may just be my inexperience.).
Faulkner's spacings were based on his extensive experience with 27" spaced M50s, which does NOT have a hole in the middle. The very reason for the middle directionals being wider than ORTF/NOS/DIN is, just as you say, to have both pairs producing very similar image widths.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S ➡️
Thanks for all the details David. Regarding the hall/ambi mics, I believe in one your posts (if my memory is correct) you talked of reverse facing mics. If that was your post, under what conditions might you use face the hall/ambi mics away from the source? The reason I'm asking is because of concerns placing the hall/ambi mics deeper during the concert (with audience).

Regarding the piano, and the player; I will definitely be using my better gear for the choir.
The 'standard' Decca implementation of ambience mics is ORTF (or other near-coincidents) aimed away from the source/s (sometimes, if there's space behind the group, even behind them facing up and away; great for minimizing audience noise - though the artists may not care for it's appearance, of course).
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by M50k ➡️
Faulkner's spacings were based on his extensive experience with 27" spaced M50s, which does NOT have a hole in the middle. The very reason for the middle directionals being wider than ORTF/NOS/DIN is, just as you say, to have both pairs producing very similar image widths.
Thanks for correcting me on this; I should not have said "hole in the middle". What I meant to say (which I may also be incorrect) was that, to my understanding, using an omni spaced pair with 67cm spacing, and a fairly wide orchestra angle (i.e. 90 degrees) could result in imaging where individual sources appear more to the edges of the stereo field. I've attached a screen shot from Sengpiel Audio showing this. If I'm misinterpreting this please let me know.
Attached Thumbnails
75 member choir - Christmas concert in a church-sengpiel-visualization-ab67-stereo-using-90-degree-orchestra-angle.jpg  
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by M50k ➡️
The 'standard' Decca implementation of ambience mics is ORTF (or other near-coincidents) aimed away from the source/s (sometimes, if there's space behind the group, even behind them facing up and away; great for minimizing audience noise - though the artists may not care for it's appearance, of course).
Thanks for this information. Seems very relevant to my situation.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S ➡️
Thanks for correcting me on this; I should not have said "hole in the middle". What I meant to say (which I may also be incorrect) was that, to my understanding, using an omni spaced pair with 67cm spacing, and a fairly wide orchestra angle (i.e. 90 degrees) could result in imaging where individual sources appear more to the edges of the stereo field. I've attached a screen shot from Sengpiel Audio showing this. If I'm misinterpreting this please let me know.
If you now (using the same Sengpiel calculator) start with 'NOS' template, sub-cardioid mics and 0.47m mic spacing, 90 degree mic angle and 90 degree orchestral angle you'll get a very similar spatial rendering of the 'inner pair' of a typical Faulkner 4 mic array....to the results you've reproduced in this screenshot.

This allows you to combine/overlay the inner and outer pairs at mix time, ideally with one pair predominating over the other by 9dB or more (a 50/50 mix never sounds right, for whatever reason) without the overall image being conflicted by the addition of the 2 pairs

BTW...give this a try as a promising alternative, again beginning with the Sengpiel calculator:
http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visuali...Faulkner-E.htm

Begin with the "Faulkner's" template (20cm spaced parallel fig 8's....don't confuse your Faulkner's...lol !)
Plug in these figures: Bi-directional (fig 8 mics), 0.35m mic spacing, 20 degrees mic angle, 90 degrees orchestral angle.
Looks quite 'theoretically appealing'...might even make a good Decca-type piano tail mic pair ?

Last edited by studer58; 3 weeks ago at 02:19 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
king2070lplaya's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by M50k ➡️
The 'standard' Decca implementation of ambience mics is ORTF (or other near-coincidents) aimed away from the source/s (sometimes, if there's space behind the group, even behind them facing up and away; great for minimizing audience noise - though the artists may not care for it's appearance, of course).
This isn’t entirely true. It’s become JD’s preference, but in his time at Decca he would often use a correlated omni AB around 20’ from the stage for his ambience pickup, when the hall required it. But it’s worth remembering the lengths Decca and other labels went to in the pre-2000’s eras to work in ideal spaces, even building extension stages and treating rooms so that extra ambience pickup wasn’t necessary.

Not that the rear/upward facing NC ambience mics won’t work or anything, but more to say that there’s more than one way to skin a horse, and an engineer should consider what kind of ambience they’re trying to capture when deciding what sort of array to employ.

Last edited by king2070lplaya; 4 weeks ago at 11:21 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➡️
This isn’t entirely true. It’s become JD’s preference, but in his time at Decca he would often use a correlated omni AB around 20’ from the stage for his ambience pickup, when the hall required it. But it’s worth remembering the lengths Decca and other labels went to in the pre-2000’s eras to work in ideal spaces, even building extension stages and treating rooms so that extra ambience pickup wasn’t necessary.

Not that the rear/upward facing NC ambience mics won’t work or anything, but more to say that there’s more than one way to skin a horse, and an engineer should consider what kind of ambience they’re trying to capture when deciding what sort of array to employ.
I guess I should have said that back-facing ORTF is by far the most frequently mentioned ambience array mentioned in the 'Decca book'; thus suggesting it may have been a sort of 'standard' at Decca.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S ➡️
Thanks for correcting me on this; I should not have said "hole in the middle". What I meant to say (which I may also be incorrect) was that, to my understanding, using an omni spaced pair with 67cm spacing, and a fairly wide orchestra angle (i.e. 90 degrees) could result in imaging where individual sources appear more to the edges of the stereo field. I've attached a screen shot from Sengpiel Audio showing this. If I'm misinterpreting this please let me know.
Strictly 'on paper' that's true, but Faulkner has found through extensive experimentation that 27" is a 'sweet spot' compromise between academic localization accuracy and a pleasing, spacious presentation - especially at low frequencies. It's essentially a simplification of the 'tree w/o center' that several Decca engineers used towards the end, which was 3' spacing, and panned-in a fair amount (~50%). 27" gives a similarly spacious presentation without requiring panning.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 39 views: 41100
Avatar for Rolo 46
Rolo 46 20th March 2018
replies: 73 views: 8987
Avatar for lagoausente
lagoausente 14th June 2016
replies: 296 views: 13964
Avatar for Noisewagon
Noisewagon 17th January 2021
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump