Choral Recording - my Sebatron's maiden voyage

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by zemlin, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    This was a freebee - so I took some liberties to experiment. I think it worked. Tried my new preamp - experimented with mic positioning - used ORTF - hadn't done that before. Wanted to be able to balance the choir and the orchestra, so the choir mics (NT5) are above and toward the rear of the instruments. Orchestra mics (MK012) are behind the conductor. There is also a pair of omni room mics (ECM-8000) in this mix.

    This is WIP - Having listened to it a bit I think I'll narrow it up some, but overall I'm pretty pleased with the sound.

    The choir was about 25 voices
    The orchestra was about 10 pieces
    The choir was backed right up against the wall of the roughly 80-foot-across octagonal room. Most of the reverb is courtesy of Ultrafunk. That is the only effect other than level adjustments and panning. No EQ (except for what the Sebatron provided)

    Keep in mind, this is a small venue for a piece like this - a BIG HALL sound ain't gonna happen. I could fake it, but the choir director wants a fairly accurate representation of the work.

  2. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the Christmas treat, Karl!

    I really enjoyed it; the mix is quite nice, much better than I expected from your description. As soon as I heard it I thought of a Chamber Choir, then I went back and reread your post that it was 25 members. (The trumpet player did a nice job, too...not everyone survives the Gloria movement intact. :)

    How do you like the Sebatron? I've seen ads for it here at RO, and I just haven't had the time to look into it a mono unit? Do you have several?
  3. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    I have the 4 channel Sebatron. I was very pleased with the sound. The EQ and PAD options make it a very flexible unit. I could see getting another one.
  4. Crane

    Crane Guest

    Very nice recording. As a church choir director and recording enthusiast was impressed. The Gloria is a hard piece to pull off with just 25 members, please give my kudos to the director. Thought the balance was great also. Almost sold my Oktavas but after hearing others use them I will keep what I have. Keep up the great work, Van
  5. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    That is soo weird. It sounds nothing like what I would expect from the description you have Zem. How can there be room mics in such a dry sounding recording? It sounds to time coherent for this. And I think I see TWO stereo arrays, one ORTF and one XY. It sounds like one close ORTF to me - typical wide stereo.

    Did I mention it sounds nice.

  6. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Very enjoyable recording! I like my NT5s, but I've been planning an upgrade. It's good to know that they'll always have their uses. I really like the Oktavas on the strings. May I ask what you used to get the sound onto your computer?

    I agree with David that it sounds very time coherent.

    Well done!
    John Stafford
  7. golli

    golli Active Member

    This is good work. I have of course heard this piece, numerous times and if memory serves me, I have allways heard it in bigger arrangements. This one is quite good considering the mp3.

    Tell us if you can, how the conductor reacted to your work.
  8. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Is that a bad thing? It isn't an accident.

    MOTU 24i
  9. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Karl, I'm getting "page cannot be displayed", I was really looking forward to hearing it. You haven't taken it down already have you?
  10. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Karl, I'm getting "page cannot be displayed", I was really looking forward to hearing it. You haven't taken it down already have you?
  11. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    It worked for me just now. You might try right-clicking and "save file as".
  12. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    I'm getting nothing when I click on your link above, Must be something with the host DNS on my end or maybe my firewall is hosing it somehow. I'll play around a little and see if I can get it.
  13. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Yeah the problem was on my end.

    Very Nice Karl! I really enjoyed it. I like the fact that there is not quite as much room in it, but I can definitely hear the room. I prefer this type of approach to classical peices as the vocal and insturmental groupings are more easily distinguished instead of being one homogenus blob. I have heard other recordings done this way and have always enjoyed them, keep up the good work. :cool:
  14. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member


    Nice work here dude! There's definitely some very good points to this recording. I was also expecting less based on your description. The sound has a very distinct treble starting at about 2400 Hz and up to about 8kHz. Distinct, different - not altogether bad, just different and distinct. I actually kind of liked it.

    Your use of digital reverb was judicious and placed well within the frequency - not too much bass emphasis, but smoothly rolled off in the upper register - mimicing perhaps a venue with good solid floors and hard wood on many of the walls. My personal preference is to stay away from all reverbs, but truthfully, you did pretty well with it.

  15. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    There seems to be a theme here ...

    I must come across has having no idea of what I'm doing - which might be true. :-?

    As far as being time coherent, after I start the "tape" rolling I go up to the front mic and give it a good, loud clap. I use that as a first guess for time shift on the tracks. I made a slight shift of one pair of tracks in this recording to prevent cancelation of the bass.

    I expected some obvious phase problems with this recording as the choir mics are overhead of a "U-shaped" orchestra and the orchestra mics are at the opening of the "U" - thus the distance ratios between the two sets of mics and the different instruments are all over the place - but I haven't heard anything ugly yet.
  16. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    I don't think anyone would ever suggest you didn't know what you were doing!

    I was surprised by the sense of tightness you were able to achieve using six mics, as I would have found it very difficult to do the same. There's always some stray reflection that messes things up! On the other hand, if I were to use fewer mics on a setup like this, I would end up with balance problems that you also managed to avoid. Of course it's not time-coherent by accident, and you managed to get the best of both worlds. Maybe I should have said that you made it sound like you used fewer mics without the real-world problems of doing so. That's not meant as an insult :D

    Another thing is that you used Rode NT5s on the choir. I've always been a champion of their cause, so that's not something that surprised me! I've never used the Oktavas, but that's partly because of problems getting a good set where I live, it was nice to hear a pair of them at work.
  17. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member

    Vivaldi ! :cool:
    ... one of my favourites ..... :wink:

    Well done Karl !

    Merry Xmas.
  18. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    just joining the choir. Sounds real good. Great musicians. (My Cudos to the trumpet player). Good recording, probably great given the acoustics.

    As you say, perhaps a bit wide on the stereo, not quite what a listener is used to hearing in the hall. But as all parts sounds so balanced, I might as well keep it that way.

    Only thing, perhaps, is that the ess-es stick out a little here and there. Always difficult though, too close and they are too strong, too far away and all you get is that cathedral effect.

    One side note. Lately several of my listeners has complained about too large dynamic range in the recordings. I tried slapping a multiband compressor across it all just to show them how bad the idea was. And, behold, they all smiled. I´m not sure what to think, here I spend all this time and money to catch all the nuances and all they want is compression? Anyway, probably something for a different topic.

  19. omaru

    omaru Active Member

    Hello Karl - some good things being said here

    (Dead Link Removed)

    about your very nice recording - even though the thread does get off to a confused start.

    Great job

  20. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the heads up. It's always nice to see expletives directed at one's work.

    FWIW, this is likely the final mix.

Share This Page