Recording barbershop quartet

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by FlyBass, May 4, 2008.

  1. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    Here is my challenge: A friend wants me to record her barbershop group so they can do remote practicing.

    She wants to record the four singers simultaneously, then burn 4 CDs with a different singer eliminated on each. In other words, [singer A] would receive the CD with [singers B, C, & D] singing the song -- then [singer A] could sing to the CD, filling in her own part.

    My issue -- how to isolate four woman singing together in the same room, so I can later separate them out discretely in the mix. 4 mics, 4 separate tracks... 4 SE Reflexion Filters? ($1,200 not really in my budget)

    Any suggestions? Am I being too overly concerned with isolating them? Would four steps back from each other and four SM58s work as well?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Since this is a recording to facilitate individual practice, and is not for distribution or broadcast, a little bleed won't kill the project.
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Since your goal is to eliminate them from the mix isolation is important, but it's probably not that important to completely eliminate each performer. I'd do exactly as you are suggesting. Put them in as big a circle as your room allows. Use SM58s and have them eat the mic. Proximity is your friend in this situation.
  4. liuto

    liuto Guest

    For good intonation it will be essential that they can hear each other as clearly as they are used to, so don't separate them to far!
    Hermann (barbershopping quite alot himself ;-)
  5. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    Thanks everyone.

    I'll try the circle idea and get them up close to the mics. I'm going to record them as far apart as they feel comfortable singing.

    I will let you know how it turned out.
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Is headphone monitoring not possible?
  7. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    Yes, headphone monitoring is possible. That could be another option if they can work that way.

    These are amateur singers who do occasional competitions. I'm not sure of their experience with recording. I wanted to be armed with a few recording techniques just in case they can't deliver their best performance in an artificial environment.
  8. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Yes, you really should just have them all stand at the four corners of an imaginary square that's 4-6 feet on a side, face the person diagonally across from them, stand with their mouths within 3" or so from the grills, and I think you'll be surprised how good the isolation is.

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