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Equipment. How to record a choir?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Brocktherock, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Brocktherock

    Brocktherock Active Member

    im having trouble getting a good recording - so what i have at my disposal:

    > A pretty powerful laptop
    >Power amplifier
    >12 channel mixer
    >8 wireless mics
    >$100-$600 budget (or up to 1k, if the difference is WELL worth it)

    my method so far:
    theres a grey little wire that i can connect to the side of my laptop. (like when connecting headphones, but the port thingy beside it) and that records everything anyone says on any mic that i turn on via mixer. on my laptop there is a FREE recording tool which i use... called "sound recorder"

    well. my problem is, when two or more people start singing into the mics. oh the nastyness most uglyest metalic weird noise comes out when i save it.
    i know ill probably need to put in a little more cash, but whats the most important things i need to at the very least record everyone singing clearly?
  2. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    see the above sticky for links and videos. "How to mic a choir"

    You need an interface and some software to accomplish what you are attempting. The quality of that interface and software will help to get a better sound.

    The issue you are describing is one of gain staging. A completely different and difficult can of worms to untangle.

    Whether you can survive with just a stereo input of your choir or need all 8 mics at once will determine the size of the interface you need. You will also have the choice of USB/Firewire for the interface which may also be determined by your software choice.

    With your budget I would recommend starting in the used category for more options.
  3. Brocktherock

    Brocktherock Active Member

    oh, okay If its like that, i was hoping for an immediate solution. but if its going to get done, i want to do it right. So as for budget, i can manage to save 3-5k, within the next few months. do you or anyone have any recommendation for said interface, and software? and (i understand software is just a program i buy+install..) whats "interface."

    Well i would just like to know any preferred softwares/interfaces out there.
    and as always thank you for your replies.
  4. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    An interface will allow you to take multiple inputs (like a mixer does) and record them onto seperate tracks. There are lots of options ranging from entry level to pro. A few hundred bucks to many thousands.

    You could use your mixer and take a stereo line into the laptop, but your mixer will add noise that you don't need to add in the digital realm.

    What is your end goal? How do you want to use these recordings?

    Some software (ProTools - the older (used) versions anyway are hardware based and the software won't run unless their hardware is attached via USB or Firewire. There are newer options that give you more choices. Software and hardware packages come in all shapes/sizes. Use the search button above and make your decisions.
    An example of a quality interface (small advertisement here) is an RME FF800, they list for about $1600 new, I'm selling one in the Recording.org classified for about 1k. You could also begin with ProTools entry level stuff (M-Audio, etc..) for a few hundred dollars if you want to survive with 1 or 2 inputs at a time. I'm selling off the RME because I don't use it, I have used ProTools for over 10 years and have owned M-audio and most interfaces are built well enough not to cause you headaches.

    Good Luck

  5. Brocktherock

    Brocktherock Active Member

    in our choir we have about 20 people. I saw in Audix: how to mike a choir Audix Microphones - Errorhat its recommended to use 1 mic per 20 people. My question is that. w/o our mics we have a very weak alto/tenor section and lound bass/soprano. about 5 people in each section. I am constantly raising and lowering mics through my mixer, so that their voices can come out even through our hanging speakers.

    on the stage each section (tenor,bass,alto,sop.) has their own mike. So a total of 4 mikes up there.
    Is it that because the same mics i use to record is also the same mics that i use to increase their voices, that im getting a nasty recording? (i have a feeling my mikes are picking up more than "just" their own section.) > which led me to believe i need an interface to isolate the mics individualy to get a proper recording.

    but im thinking maybe i should just use 1 condenser mic to record the whole choir. My only concern with this method, is like i said our choir is very bad at "harmonizing lol"
    which is basically my job so far as the sound man. because they refuse to try...
    its just a personal thing that i want to record them (because they asked and i want to do it right =/)

    i had a thought that i would use the regular 4 mics i have up there to regulate their voices, and use an extra condenser mike positioned to record the whole choir.
    but would that be good? im sure it'll only pick up their raw (unregulated voices) which means an uneven recording.. *weak alto/tenor, strong bass/sopr....

    any thoughts on this... i think this could have been its own thread.. but i would hate to flood this awesome forum with my noobish threads/
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Well, with that budget take a look at this thread. http://recording.org/mobile-recording/52209-lavry-ad11-review.html

    The Lavry AD11 is awesome. Its all you need for a stereo preamp, converter, interface. Plugs directly into USB (laptop or desktop) and stellar sound. Not just okay, stellar.
    Add a Royer SF12 and you have one of the best stereo choir set-ups happening.

    If you need more info, feel welcome to PM me.

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