Choir - Where are the mics?

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by audiokid, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    So beautiful.
    University of Utah Singers-Sure on this Shining Night

    The separation is very nice, where do you think the mics are here? I see small flank stands on the left /right of the stage. Sounds so smooth.
    hmm I'm thinking about my up coming Choir project which has me lurking.

  2. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Could be "flying shotguns". I learned this trick in film school:

    Put shotgun mics way up high and aim them at the source. You get clear audio without seeing any microphones.

    Extensive post-processing may be required, but there are some shotgun mics that are so good that they can be quite a distance from the source and still get a clear sound with little "room sound" because of their directional nature. Couple those with a high-quality preamp (because you'll need more gain) and you have a winner. I've seen/heard it done. Works great most of the time.

    The mics in this video may be up in the lighting grid. In that case they'd be way up high but out over the audience so they can be angled back towards the choirs. Probably at least three mics (L-Mid-R) but maybe more. Might also be other room mics tracked and mixed in later.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I have never heard this many wireless mics in use before? I love the microphone & automatic volume control on this guys camcorder.

    Actually these microphones sound like B&K/DPA's. The microphone that is in view I believe to be an announcer/host microphone not used for the musical vocal pickup. I love these kinds of games. They usually prove everything you know is wrong.

    I'm not always right but I'm never wrong
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I'd guess what you're hearing here is: excellent ensemble, sweet sounding room, recorded more or less from the camera location.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    What mics record that nice from that far back? It apprears to be what... 60, 80 + feet and then two flanks about 6' high? Would those be cardioids?
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I see what you mean Dave, about the announcer's mic on the side. Isn't it too high though? And what is then picking out the sides. Its really apparent there is far left and right separations, more that what a center mic (blumlien / ORTF/ M/S) in this yes? Please share your idea's. I'm so wanting to be able to get a mix like this (room considered).
    ORTF can be set back further yes?
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Would shotguns be able to be this open sounding though?
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Similar sound and record-est here . I'm seeing two front (Cardioid's ?) in
    2010 September « Choir Directors' Brag Blog
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Got a better angle, similar sound now with a center and what looks to be the announcers mic :

  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The second video is the medium recital hall with an ORTF pair on a stand. I think U of U has several halls at the school and if I remember this one is the Libby something or other hall. 500ish seats and really quite a nice performance space. It has been more than a decade since I've seen this hall but there was a flown ORTF pair when I performed there last. The first video sounds like it is pretty far back. It could easily be a something like an H4n running into the camera or even a high end stereo MS shotgun.

    We recording engineers think a lot about our mixing environment and studio rooms but we forget that finding a pristine recording space is a magic thing. There are zero halls that good here in Billings but I performed and recorded in those type of halls in the day before I got tied down here by fate and marriage. The Morman community is a huge supporter of music in their colleges and schools.
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Libby Gardner Concert Hall

    My memory wasn't so far off. Just a little musty.
  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Chris - that's one of the K&M 20811 stands showing in the last video you posted. It sounds like they have a pair of DPAs or Schoeps in ORTF on a bar on top of the stand (no boom), but I can't make out much visual detail from the video. The radio mic on the stand must be just for announcements.

    Here's one for Jack - what advantage is there in putting the piano that way round, even with the lid off?
  13. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Yes, they can if they are the expensive ones and are placed just right. But post-processing equipment is often brought to bear, too.
  14. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    If you go to YouTube and watch the 1st vid at full screen, you'll see at least a pair of DPA's suspended from the ceiling. They appear to be approximately 16'-18' above the stage.

    The resolution is so low, that they do appear to randomly disappear... but look just to the inside, and above, the tall thin Bose system speaker on the right side, and directly above the one on the left... they're there.
  15. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    @Boswell-That is pretty common here to have the lid opening towards the choir. IMO it has a couple of reasons. First a Steinway D could obliterate a good portion of choir from the audience perspective. Second the choirs often need the piano to stay together ensemble wise. Inconceivably choirs often claim not to hear a piano facing away. Often the piano is pulled further back stage left which also allows the pianist to discreetly trail the conductor onto stage and also leave if necessary on acapella songs.

    @Max-I saw those side hanging mics. Those are horrendously wide though without a center hanging somewhere. Honestly I was performing a chamber recital last time I was there as a visiting artist so wasn't really paying attention to the hangs. Not to mention it could change at wim.
  16. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    In answer to your question can shotguns sound this sweet? You bet your Neumann MS shotgun it can. That's a microphone I had the intense pleasure of using for a similar recording, from the cat walks of another auditorium. Although I didn't think that this was MS. And it's certainly not coming from a camcorder shotgun 80' back, no way. I was only kidding. I wasn't kidding about the B%K/DPA guess. The onstage microphone is definitely for announcing only is not part of this recording. That would have been painfully obvious. There is something most definitely hanging over the left & right side of the choir as that appears even too wide for ORTF or, even for a pair of 10' wide spaced omnis. The focus on the left & right side is too pronounced & critically focused to have been captured this way from a simple stereo microphone.

    I know what I don't know (I never saw the second video either, yet, no reason)
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  17. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    This one shows all three hanging mic's. Max spotted the wings and the center was just not apparent in the original video.
  18. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    3! Cool! There was that beautiful focus in the center.

    Okay, okay, another Remy story....

    My dad was the concertmaster for the Syracuse New York Symphony Orchestra and was involved in a recording for CBS records of some jazz pianist. I can't remember the pianist's name, sorry. This recording was performed in the then newly renovated Carnegie Hall, strictly for a recording session. A CBS custom audio console that had been modified many times over was utilized. It was fed into 2 Ampex MM 1000-16 track master recorders. Over 30 microphones were in use. There were 3 Neumann U87's L-C-R positioned approximately 4 rows back in the audience. At a typical union break, I said to the engineer (who wasn't going anywhere) that I thought it sounded simply wonderful. We were listening to mixes with all of the microphones active. I asked him what just those three 87's sounded like by themselves? He gave me a great big smile, this +65-year-old dude and said..." Listen to this kid...". Well, needless to say, it was glorious all by itself. But because it was a CBS records job, 30 microphones were employed. He told me most of the recording would be mostly just those 3 in the end however. That teaches a young engineer like myself at the time, an awful lot. It was even funnier when his "ringdown" intercom phone started ringing behind him. I could see the guy on the closed-circuit monitor looking up at the camera with the phone to his ear. The phone in the upstairs control room (where I was) had now rung approximately 10 times right behind the engineer. He never noticed. So I tapped him on the shoulder and told him his phone was ringing, to which he looked surprised and said " oh??...thank you...." & answered it. I guess he couldn't hear anything above those old Bell telephone bells?? He was the main mixing engineer EIC (Engineer In Charge). C'est la vie

    Don't answer the phone man....
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  19. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I've been listening to these vids and coincidentally I've been moving archival concert recording sessions to a bigger drive listening to some of the choral festival stuff. I'm getting a little jealous of your festival gig! There is something about a good/great/phenomenal choir blending and emoting that reaches into you. My favorite ensemble (orchestra) can get there but often times just isn't as intimate. If you're bored sometime wade through the youtube stuff for Z Randall Stroope, Rene Clausen, Richard Nance etc. It ain't the opera of your mother but still nice.
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Its funny, now that I see them here, I can actually hear them overhead.

    The other video sound is much better to me. This one is cooler sound where the other is IMO golden .

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