Concert Recording - Some Ideas Needed

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by audioangel, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. audioangel

    audioangel Active Member

    Hi, I have been recording concerts at the school I work at for a couple of years and I have tried many things but not really been able to achieve the quality of sound I want.

    We have a wide performance space (circa 11m) with tiered seating.
    I have access to the following mics:
    2 x Neumann Stereo RSM191
    2 x AKG 414
    2 x Rode NT5's
    In a concert we have choirs, solo items, orchestras, big bands and small ensembles.
    The performance area is 8m deep.
    I can't use any of the seating area.

    I've rigged mics at the top of the seating but eneviatbly get too much audience noise (couing etc..)
    I've hidden some mics at the front, but they've been kicked and really not been happy witht he sound.

    There are four lighting bars.
    2 over the audience
    and 2 over the stage (but not at the very front)
    We use the lighting in the concert.

    The space also has a horrible flutter echo, which has got recently since they removed some canvas artwork for a production and they never went back!

    So... answers on a postcard, please!

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You haven't said this, but is your problem actually that you are not allowed to erect microphone stands on the stage in front of the performers? If so, I think you should consider whether you can string a fly-wire across the auditorium roughly level with the front of the stage. You would attach microphone(s) to the wire relevant to the type of performance on that day.

    With the mic selection you gave, for most ensembles I would fly the AKG 414s as an X-Y stereo pair and use the Rode NT5s for spotting on the stage where necessary. For some smaller groups, a single Neumann RSM191 could replace the AKGs on the fly-wire. The RSM191s are nice mics, but they are more usually found in a film sound crew's mic bag than in a concert hall. However, when not needed on the wire, they would give you good audience reaction pickup if placed at the rear of the auditorium and trained on the stage area with the MS width set reasonably narrow to reduce the echo.

    What type of pre-amps and recorders do you use for these recordings?
  3. audioangel

    audioangel Active Member

    No we can't erect them, for many reasons, including blocking the view of the performers.

    I am just using a Zoom H4N mostly. I'd use our desk (Yamaha 01V) as a pre-amp but we need it for sound reinforcement for some acts.
    We do have a motu 896mk3 knocking around I could use.
    We are currently without a computer in the control room, though.

    I had thought about a fly wire, - what can i use for the flywire that would be strong/secure enough?
    However, that would bring us very close to the centre speakers.
    We have 4 speakers in the theatre. 2 in the centre of the proscenium arch and two at either end.
    A flywire would sit the mics almost right in front.

    nice spot on the RSM191's - I know they're broadcast use mainly but
    I've had really nice results using them for recording music & speech.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Well, maybe you actually have a reason for flying the RSMs above the stage and in front of the speakers. They would do a good job of rejecting sound from the speakers, but probably at the expense of area coverage of the stage.

    For flying, I've used both rope and wire. If you are going to use wire, you need a sort that does not stretch too much under moderate tension, and you need to be able to mount safe brackets in the side walls to take the tension. Suspending the mics causes an outward force at the wire supports of half the mic weight multiplied by the reciprocal of the sine of the suspension angle. This is in addition to the unloaded tension in the wire.

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