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Choir on NagraT??

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by niclaus, May 7, 2010.

  1. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member


    I've been asked by a non-professional choir to record them...
    As i don't wan't to drag my whole studio there, i was thinking of using a simple 2 mics set up (probably M/S) and recording them on my NagraT...

    It would allow me to only take an analog mixer, my pair of tannoy, my NagraT, 2 mics (2 U67??), a few cables and stands.

    What do you think of that??

    Thanks for reading.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    How large is the choir? What type of acoustic are you recording in? Is there an acoustically separate space for you to be monitoring in? If not, why do you need to take the Tannoy (monitors) rather than use headphones? Does the Nagra have M-S decoding for monitoring? You should aim to record the raw M-S channels and decode during monitoring and for mixdown. Is the mixer for monitoring - it should not be needed in the recording signal chain? I take it you have the switchable-pattern U67s?

    M-S will work well if the building acoustic permits it and the choir layout is such that the angle subtended by the edges of the choir at the microphone position (behind and above the conductor) is less than about 120 degrees. If the natural reverb from a line directly behind the conductor is low enough, you may get better results using M-S Blumlein, that is, both mics in Fig-8.

    If the choir is not compact enough or the venue has unhelpful side/rear reflections, I would go either with cardioid patterns in ORTF or simple X-Y configuration, or with omni pattern in A-B configuration. I have had problems using separate stands for two M-S mics, as differential movement between the stands can play havoc with the high-frequency phasing, so I mount both mics on a single stand using an appropriate stereo bar. This will a mean sturdy stand for something like a pair of U67s.
  3. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Thanks for your answer.
    To answer your questions, I just talked to the guy yesterday in the evening, so i don't really have the actual details yet. But from what i understood, it's a little choir (i guess around 20 people in a church). I did not heard the venue. I do not know if i have a separate room...
    Again, so far, it's really just a project. I have to talk to the guy.

    As for the tannoys and mixer. yes, they were for monitoring (if i do have a separate room that is...)
    And yes, of course i intend to record the raw M/S signal so i can work with that in the studio.
    The 67s are the switchable-pattern ones.

    The thing i was really wondering about was the Nagra T... I know i can trust it and i'd find it fun to do the recording with it but i was wondering if anyone could think of a problem using it...!!! Like BIG sync issues or something...

    Thanks for the tips on micing them, because that could be first choir recording...
    That's really helpfull... (i'd have never thought of that blumlein M/S)
    I have to say that the stand thing is what seems the problematic... Do you guys use taller stands? Stronger stands???? one or two stands?...

    Thanks again.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I don't see the worry about the Nagra. With the configuration you propose, it only has to record two-channel (stereo), and there's nothing else for it to have sync issues with.

    Yes, you need sturdy stands. I use the K&M 20811 tall professional stands with the 21231 counterweighted boom. I had to design and make my own adjustable knuckle joint to get the mic spacer bar to sit at the correct angle on the end of the boom arm, for cases where the stand base is off to one side and not directly on the centre line of the sound source.
  5. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Oh, when i said "sync issues" i meant wow (sorry bad english). But i never had the problem with it...

    That stand issue is goin to be one of the main problems, i guess...
    For a small choir, how high you'd say i should be able to get for a proper imaging/balance. Can i get high enough with a standard studio stand??... I just measured mine and they can't go higher than 2,4 meters. I'm not sure if that could be enough... What do you think???
    The new ones should be strong enough to hold two 67s.

    Those 20811s would be perfect but i'm not sure about the budget... I'll talk with the guy soon.

    Thanks for your help...

  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Your microphones should sit just slightly above the head level of the choir pointing down into them. If the choir is on a stage that can be difficult to achieved depending on your stand. Also, I don't know what you mean by standard studio stand. If it is not a large stand such as the one mentioned by Boswell it is dangerous for your microphones to double up because of weight and the issue of tipping over. For a stereo bar try the Sabra ST4 (just remove the spare two sliders). If you want some adjustment, Onstage Stands makes a nice mini articulated boom with a geared clutch.

    I use M/S with a 2 track flash recorder all the time for this type of thing. I should say that I us M/S when the mic's can be close enough to the choir for a good center image. Otherwise I would use ORTF.
  7. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Thank for that input.
    I'll definitly talk to the guy soon, and get back with the details.

    From what i heard i do not see why i couldn't be close enough to the choir, but the problem might be to keep 67s in that MS position as i couldn't find proper stereo bar for that... (Any ideas??)
    I already own a stereo bar, but that one could not handle a MS micing with the 67s... And you guys are right maybe i'll try and rent a steady stand.

    Thanks again.

  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Yes. I recommend the Sabra ST-4 I already mentioned.

    :: SABRA-SOM ::
  9. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Oh yes, sorry, i did not this one... A 12" long bar could be pretty helpfull...
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I removed two of the sliding microphone studs (slide off easily) because I only use it with two microphones. The others are spares kept in the m/s case with my spare capsules.

    If you use pencil condensers then there are a couple of other very good options as well, but they don't work for a 67.
  11. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Do you mean that the other bar (smaller) don't work with 67s or that even the ST4 wouldn't work with the 67s. 12" Is pretty long, but can it fit 2 67??
    I already own a stereo bar but it's way smaller (17cm)...
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The ST4 is strong enough to hold two 67's. The ST2 is not long enough for a M/S setup. You need one 67 standing straight up and one 67 upside down as close as you can get without touching grills-at perpendicular horizontal planes of course.
  13. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Yeah, i know that. I was just wondering if the st4 was long enough to have both 67 in there. I guess it is...
    Thank you for that, i think i will order one of those.... Even if this project doesn't go further, it seems like a nice thing to have in stock...

  14. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member


    I finally talked to the guy and here are the details:

    The recording will take place on june 12th in a little church.
    The choir is about 20 persons and they should be gathered in 8 meters by 2,5 meters... (26 feet by 8feet)
    I will have a room so i can put the desk and recorder and stuff...
    Since we won't have much time to set everything up, i think i'm gonna go for an ORTF recording.

    I bought a nice strong heavy stand that can go quiet high. And i now have everything that should be needed.

    Again, thanks for your advices and if you have some more, do not hesitate to share....

    I'll let you know how it went.

  15. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member


    So, i recorded the choir on saturday and everything went great.
    I went for ORTF with a pair of AT4033. We did not have too much time to practice so placement is probably not optimum, but i did what i could in the little time i had.
    The NagraT did not fail and it sounds pretty good (to me, at least). People were happy, so i guess, that's a start.
    I will try and post a sample as soon as i have been able to digitize the whole thing.

    Anyway, i especially wanted to thank you personnaly, Boswell & TheJackAttack, for your pecious advices. It would not have went so smoothly whithout you.

    I really appreciate.

  16. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member


    So i digitized at work with the Neve 1073DPD @ 96Khz/24bits
    (96 because the whole studio runs at 96, so i'm sure of my reference then. I'll switch to 44.1 later)
    Here's a raw sample of the recording (no EQ, No reverb, no nothing) (sorry i just realize it's a little short), so, feel free to let me know what you guys think :

    (and don't forget that those guys are no pros)




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