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Need help recording a solo soprano in an empty cathedral
Old 12th September 2012
  #1
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Need help recording a solo soprano in an empty cathedral

My wife and I are starting a music project. She is a classically trained Coloratura soprano with a loud, projecting voice.

We are either going to:

A. record in a studio booth and add convolution reverbs in post

or

B. since we have access to several local churches and halls try my luck at onsite recording.

I have two cardioid condensers that are pretty different($500 vs. $100) and the pre-amp on my Motu Ultralite, so it's by no means a pro setup but I'm fine with that.

Since we can use the spaces empty and take our time finding good placement to record I'm looking forward to hearing what we get. That being said, can you guys offer any tips to a novice recording voice in this nature?

Should I try to get the closest mic placement to her without clipping it?

Should I use a little compression or move the mic further away from her if it does clip?

Should I attempt stereo with such different mics?

Any tips on capturing the room verb properly?

I'm kinda worried that I won't even be able to get the nice big naturals verb's that I could get with some impulses of some famous spaces but the onsite recordings might be more interesting in their own right.

Thanks for any help.
Old 12th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vstace ➡️
My wife and I are starting a music project. She is a classically trained Coloratura soprano with a loud, projecting voice.

We are either going to:

A. record in a studio booth and add convolution reverbs in post

or

B. since we have access to several local churches and halls try my luck at onsite recording.

I have two cardioid condensers that are pretty different($500 vs. $100) and the pre-amp on my Motu Ultralite, so it's by no means a pro setup but I'm fine with that.

Since we can use the spaces empty and take our time finding good placement to record I'm looking forward to hearing what we get. That being said, can you guys offer any tips to a novice recording voice in this nature?

Should I try to get the closest mic placement to her without clipping it?

Should I use a little compression or move the mic further away from her if it does clip?

Should I attempt stereo with such different mics?

Any tips on capturing the room verb properly?

I'm kinda worried that I won't even be able to get the nice big naturals verb's that I could get with some impulses of some famous spaces but the onsite recordings might be more interesting in their own right.

Thanks for any help.
You definitely want to capture the voice 12" or so away from the vocalist. Thats a must.

As far as getting into a church, yoy had better capture the reverb otherwise youre wasting your time there.

If you are familiar with M/S miking technique I would utilize it in this setting. Preferably in a spot that is getting nice pick up and sounds great. Keep the distance at least 10' from the source and find the sweet spot. I would bring as many mics ad possible and pick up as many angles as you can.

Sent from my SCH-I510
Old 12th September 2012 | Show parent
  #3
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4 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zachariah ➡️
Keep the distance at least 10' from the source and find the sweet spot. I would bring as many mics ad possible and pick up as many angles as you can.
Good advice. Thank you. Should I even bother with dynamic mics?

Should I basically walk around and monitor the room with headphones while she sound checks? Should I have her clap her hands to get a good impulse?

I don't know the first thing about where the natural room verb would be best and I'm sure it varies greatly depending on the room.

Thanks again.
Old 12th September 2012
  #4
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🎧 5 years
It varies as you walk around the room.

What you should be thinking about are psychological factors, tonality, technique, mics, etc. If you want an audience's perspective, have your wife perform by the podium and project toward the pews. Adjust your mic from a standing position and a seated position while she is doing her scales or practicing and see which position sounds the best. If you move towards the corners, you will get more low end build up and this of course will totally change the sound.

You have the ability to screw around and you should. BUT!!

First:
1. Set up a mic in front of her (could be condenser or dynamic). Which ever gets you the cleanest sound. You will no doubt hear the room in this mic, but the goal is to get it as "dead" (if you could call it that) and true sounding as possible.

2. Get a good distance verb in stereo. Make sure it's balanced and leave some headroom. Condensers (preferably two of the same). Omnidirectional if you have the capability.

Set em. Forget em. And watch your main vox with care. If for some reason your levels seem to be too hot in your verb mics then adjust.

You can use dynamic mics up close (12") or so to help minimize room ambience. Just use one that compliments her voice.

Make sure you bring enough inputs processing power and plenty of hard drive space.

I like the sound of the $90 portable stereo recorders. They're pretty cool to futz with. Bring batteries and a 32gb memory card.

Good luck!
Old 13th September 2012
  #5
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4 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zachariah ➡️
You can use dynamic mics up close (12") or so to help minimize room ambience. Just use one that compliments her voice.

Make sure you bring enough inputs processing power and plenty of hard drive space.

I like the sound of the $90 portable stereo recorders. They're pretty cool to futz with. Bring batteries and a 32gb memory card.

Good luck!
Thanks for your reply Zachariah, you reminded me of my Tascam DR-2d field recorder. I will definitely use that for the verb mic, it would be perfect I think.

Cheers!
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