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Multiple vocal micing - live recording

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by OTRjkl, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    Please give some suggestions to this scenario:

    (This is an on-going weekly effort):
    I am recording a live jazz orchestra for delayed radio broadcast (and, later, cable TV & web). For now, this is being recorded straight to DAT - mixed on the fly. No o-dubbing, post mix work, etc.

    The orchestra includes - on about half or so of the songs - anywhere from 1 to 10 (or more) singers whether it be a Solo lead vocal, Duet, Soloist(s) with BgVs or Choir/Ensemble vocals.

    I also have an on-stage program announcer who does most of the introductions and credits throughout the program. The band leader does alot of talking in between tunes as well.

    The announcer and the band leader each have their own mic. I also have 7 other mics that are available for use as vocal mics. I have enough compressors for both the announcer and the band leader as well as 6 of the other vocal mics. Some of the singers have a mic assigned to them (use the same one all the time) but there aren't enough to go around for everyone to do this. I am desparately trying to keep EQ & comp settings the same on each mic from week to week or, at least have the settings documented so I can easily get them back the next time that person uses it. I will have to let some of them share a mic at some times.

    When all the vocalists are singing at the same time, the band leader wants this to have a Brooklyn Tab. sort of sound - big choir sound. Yet, he still wants to be able to hear parts (alto, tenor, etc.)

    What do you think would be the best way to handle this situation? What micing techniques do/would you use?

    I'm getting pretty close, but it sure can be a hassle trying to get a good mix on each song - remember, its on the fly. :eek:

    Any tips and suggestions are much appreciated!
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Is there any way you can post a stage plot for us? It would help to know what the physical layout is. I would almost say that this looks like a job for multitrack as it seems there are different requirements for different pieces of the performance. Is their budget for a 16 in/out DAW or a couple of used D-88's? I would say ADATS but I wouldn't want to get you into that can of worms.. he he he. Didn't you post on this same topic about a singer who wanted to sub mix everything? Fats
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
  3. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    Don't know how to do that on the forum. I'll try to describe it:

    All horns in center in 3 tiers:
    back row: 4 trumpets
    center row: 5 trombones
    front row: 5 saxes

    Bass player stands at left end of trombone section. Guitar player sits at left end of sax section. Drum kit is to the left of and forward of the guitar. Percussion is to the left of the drum kit. Piano/keys is to the left of the percussion. Organ is on far right hand of stage. Solo vocalists/choir stand in front of organ and stretch toward center stage - but don't reach that far. Announcer stands at front to the left of center. Band leader/Ld sax stands at front to the right of center.

    That is the plan - eventually. We have plans for upgrading the console and it would be nice if I could find one that has recall-able mute-groups, EQ and fader settings. That would make this job quite a bit easier. But, that is still in the future...

    There is no budget for any more gear at this point.

    Yes - I updated that post after we tried to use some of his stuff. (He didn't bring any of it back yesterday.)

    I forgot to mention:
    Each show consists of about 12 tunes - it is nearly impossible to create & save a mix for each song. The band remains basically the same except for solos and section features, etc. The hard part is creating a BgV mix for all songs - they don't always sing as well on every tune....
    Also, we only have time to run thru each song once (twice if we're extemely lucky) just before showtime so there are basically no practice runs for me to tune a mix and mark it for recovery. :roll:

    Getting the picture?

    If someone wants to donate some web space, I could make an .mp3 of some of the work and send it for posting so ya'll can hear how its working. I'd love to have some critiques on it....

  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I was able to draw a stage plot from your description. Man that is a weird stage plot! There is no way to mic that with an coincident pair or Decca Tree and get a proper left right balance. Very difficult problem you’re having here and I can understand why you are stymied by this. In light of the fact that the vocalists aren't top notch it is going to be hard to achieve what is expected of you. I submit that the director is expecting you to use technology to supplement lack of talent which IMO is unrealistic. Without consistent vocal performances, in this type of situation, it is next to impossible to get a great recording without run-throughs and opportunity to retake and mix for each selection. I think that you are being asked to achieve the impossible. Fats
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
  5. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    THANK YOU!!!

    My analogy of the situation is this:

    The director wants the moon.
    We have only a trampoline to get there....

    What arrangement would you suggest? (Live recording of big band jazz is new for me.)

    On the other hand, I wish you could hear what I am getting. It's actually pretty good...


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