Baroque Chamber chorus/orch critique

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by LorenS, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. LorenS

    LorenS Active Member

    I'm recording a Baroque chamber orchestra and a 16 person semi pro chorus (they all work in music, this group is not their work) at my church this Sunday. I recorded their dress rehearsal yesterday, and have some clips:

    Yamaha HS50M

    The orchestra is on the floor of the sanctuary; the chorus is on the stage (~4ft up) Soloists are on the stairs up to the stage L+R of the portativ, and out front to the left and right of the first desk of strings (4 solo positions)

    The sanctuary is wood and plaster with a peaked roof. It seats about 450, and needs some acoustic treatment that it doesn't yet have.

    I've decided to dust off some of my less used techniques, and set up a Jecklin disc with DPA 4006s for the mains, with Blumlein 414s for the chorus spots. I will be setting up accent mics for the soloist on Sunday.

    I feel like there is something slightly off with this recording, but I'm not sure what I want to do to fix it. Help please?

    Thank you,

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I'm sorry to say that I think you will meet a bit of resistance to downloading a 63MB file. Is there a way you can put this up on a streaming service such as Soundcloud?
  3. LorenS

    LorenS Active Member

    Lets try this again

    Okay, Boswell thanks for the tip! Soundcloud anyone?

    Excerpts from St. Johns Passion by LorenS on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    From a quick listen-not in my studio again until Oct so not high end gear:

    There is a high sizzle inre sibilance on the chorus recording. That is perhaps from the conversion/compression for Soundcloud. Generally it sounds good. Imaging this sort of thing is an artistic decision with regards to panning the soloists. As to the Jecklyn, I would probably like it 1-6 feet closer to the ensemble. I think you have aimed it pretty well-meaning the orchestra/organ is background and hitting the mic array off axis and the soloists/chorus are in the sweet spot of the mic pattern. When one gets the opportunity at recording a dress rehearsal it definitely behooves one to move the main array up/down/sideways/forward/backwards to find the sweetest spot for overall impact. Too far away begins to sound washed out and hissy and too close looses the proper image and room wash.

    As a side note, the C414 mic generally likes to settle down into a pattern after about 5-10 minutes. Prior to that the pattern is not stable. You wouldn't think that to be the case since there are no tubes but it is.

    Just out of curiosity, what is the preamp and recorder, and what sample rate are you using?
  5. LorenS

    LorenS Active Member

    This went through the church system- so it was a Roland digital snake, through an M300 digital mixer, analog out to my FF800 into Samplitude. Sample rate was 44.1 kHz... and now that I think of it, I'm not sure about the bit depth on the Roland board. Possibly 16, but probably 24 bits.

    What you say about the 414s is interesting! I can't say that I've noticed the same, but I'll be on the lookout from now on. Certainly not a factor in this recording, as I had them on for the soundcheck before the concert.
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Thanks for arranging a couple of samples on Soundcloud; I've now managed to take a listen. The chorus/orchestra balance is good and the soloists come over well, but the sound is a little distant and muddied by the reverb in the venue. The overall impression is that, because of the acoustics of the venue, you need to get the microphones a little closer to the performers.

    Musically, the performance in the couple of extracts that you posted is a bit variable, and it's a real shame that the Evangelist struggles so much with German pronounciation. I know this was a rehearsal, but the conductor must get the choir and orchestra to be exactly together on the first beat of each bar. The orchestra is there, but the choir is sometimes early and sometimes late.

    Despte all that, on the evidence of your samples, I'd pay to go to hear the performance. I hope your recording goes well. Let us know what you thought after the event.
  7. LorenS

    LorenS Active Member

    That actually was the concert recording that I posted- no processing other than level adjustment. I can bring out the soloists more, most of what I gave was from the chorus mics- I still have spot mics to mix in.

    You pointed out the major issue - the recording is at sea with room sound. I liked the balance of the mains on the orchestra, strangely I had to move back in the hall to capture detail from the cello/gamba. Sadly the addition of the blumlein choir mics adds too much room sound from the rear lobes. This puts a crimp in my current project- I've been trying blumlein on choirs lately to simulate the results I might achieve with a stereo ribbon mic (I've got g.a.s. for the AEA r88).

    I'll post a picture as soon as I troubleshoot the bluetooth connection to my computer
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I wouldn't draw too much conclusion regarding a stereo ribbon from this. A ribbon responds far differently than a condenser with regards to the room especially after one gets it positioned properly. I use a Royer SF12 as a main array on most of my concert recordings either in Blumlein or MS Blumlein. I often mix this with ORTF pair on the same stand and spots as necessary. I found that the ribbon needed to be in a completely different location than the condenser pair. The SF12 -for me- needed to be closer to the ensemble and I purchased an extender from K&M to do so.

    On-Stage Stands Side Mount Boom |

    K&M EB-1 |

    I've also found the ribbon needs to be lower than my ORTF pair as well. Recording in reverberant churches is always a challenge even in a "studio" setting.
  9. LorenS

    LorenS Active Member

    Yeah, I know the 414s are very different beasts- I want to see how coincident patterns suit the groups that I typically record. They're used to recordings made with widely spaced omnis. I have confidence that the ribbons I'm looking at sound good on chorus! The problem I wanted to solve was the cardiod chorus spot problem; where the spots pick up too much brass/back row.

    Thanks for the extender idea! those look quite handy

    No pictures yet. The wonderful old cellphone (POS) I use has such low resolution that the mic stands can't be seen (which was certainly not the case!) I'll see what I can find to illustrate.
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I don't use hugely wide omni's ever. I have used R101's as a spaced pair with excellent results in the past, too.
  11. LorenS

    LorenS Active Member

    A picture of the concert

    PPC St. John.jpg
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    From the picture I can see that you can't move the Jecklyn much closer but if you had lowered it a couple of feet and then pointed correspondingly more towards the singers it might have been more to your liking.

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