Hi - I'm a newbie here, this is my first post in this forum, and I hope I'm in the right place. I'll apologize in advance, as I am also very new to recording in general, and its technology and terminology as well, so I hope answers can be kept very basic. When I describe my setup, you'll probably understand a bit more where I'm coming from.... Here's the scenario: our church choir has really been making progress in the past couple of years, and we're now doing some really ambitious music, and doing not badly at it for a bunch of old geezers, very few of whom have any musical training at all. Instrumentation is sparse: myself on guitar, a baby grand piano (Yamaha) and a flute. Yes, that's it. We have about 30 voices at the moment. A few years ago, the church made a huge investment in sound equipment, so we now have 3 very sensitive mics hanging over the choir, going into a Mackie board. I don't know what kind of mics these are, but they're small, bud-like things, and just hang by their cords over the choir. The piano is mic'ed into the board as well, and my guitar (Takamine with saddle pickup) is also plugged in. At Christmas, I recorded the choir into my TEAC analog tape deck using a pair of cheap mics on a tall pole, but now I'm experimenting with recording off the Mackie, so I have my TEAC deck plugged into the "Tape Out" jacks. Each week, I lug my tape machine to church and set up, record each song, and then listen to it later. Each week I get different results. Each week as I set up, I make changes to the settings on the Mackie based on the sounds I'm hearing on the recordings, but I don't feel I'm getting a whole lot closer. Some weeks it sounds pretty good, but other weeks it's horrible. Keep in mind, this is also the live sound going out into the church. I keep getting compliments on the sound of the choir, but my tapes tell me otherwise. I'm hoping I'll be able to learn this well enough to get a decent recording at Easter, which will (hopefully) be used as the basis for a CD to be sold to the parishoners. I'm starting to lose hope, tho. Problems: 1. The piano has a REALLY crappy sound - very heavy on the low end, with no high end to speak of. Very muffled-and-muddy sounding. The mic (only one) is placed inside the piano near the high strings - there's really no other way to place it - not enough room. If I thought it would improve things, I'd consider bringing it OUT of the piano and positioning it above, but I'm not sure that would help. Plus, the main purpose for the mic is to feed the sound out through the amp... 2. I'm finding it REALLY hard to get a good balance between the instruments and the voices. At the moment, the instruments (guitar and piano) are overpowering the voices. What I'm planning to try tomorrow is to bring DOWN the levels on the instruments somewhat, and increase the master volume a bit. I'm thinking that will give a bit of a relative boost to the vox, while keeping the overall level reasonable. One challenge here is that some songs I fingerpick, and others I strum. I control the volume between the two from my guitar. 3. I've also been experimenting with the "equalizer" on my guitar - initial recordings sounded thin so I boosted the lower levels, but now I'm going to back off on that a bit as it sounds too overpowering. I've also made some adjustments using the Pan controls on the Mackie. The choir mics are each positioned in the center of the row, with one in the front (soprano), one in the middle row (alto/tenor) and one in the back (basses). I have them panned as Front/Right, Center/Center and Rear/Left (but not all the way in either direction - about halfway left or right). The guitar is panned to the left a bit and the piano to the right a bit. I have attempted to "fix" the piano sound using the EQ settings on the Mackie - so far I've cut the low end almost entirely, left the mid-range mostly alone, and boosted the high-end almost entirely. It's made some improvement, but there's still a problem there... Any advice/discussion will be most welcome. Thanks!