We record a children's choir on a regular basis. They are GREAT and we have gotten some really good recordings. Lately a couple of problems have developed and I was wondering if someone could offer some suggestions. The Director does not want ANY microphones on stage. We use a pair of AKG Blue Line cardioids in an X-Y configuration plus a pair of AT-4051s with Omni capsules as out riggers for most of the recordings. The problem is that we are about 20 to 30 feet from the first row of the singers and there is a piano and the director between us and the choir. The piano keyboard faces right so that the top is opening toward the choir. Sometimes the piano can be over whelming to the voices of the children. The balance in the hall is about what we are picking up on the microphones. A couple of years ago we did a recording where the director let us place microphones on stage between the piano and the choir and everyone remembers that concert as one of the best we have ever recorded. After that concert the Director felt that the microphones intruded on her contact with the singers so we are not able to have them on stage anymore. We are getting good recordings but I would like to get GREAT recordings. The second problem is one of levels. We record the concert direct to 2 track and I leave plenty of headroom for the occasional peak or when the audience goes nuts clapping. We do some limited gain adjustments if needed after the concert in post production. The average peak level is -3 to -6 dBFS and the RMS average level is about -15 to -12 dBFS during the recording. After post production the peak is about -1 dBFS and the average is about -12 dBFS. The parents say that the recordings we produce sound GREAT but that they are too low in level and they can't enjoy them in their cars or on a boom box. I really don't want to squash what amounts to a classical recording and have refused the idea to compress the whole concert so that a couple of the parents can play the CDs in their cars. More and more parents want LOUDER mixes so that they match better with the pop stuff they listen to in their multi CD changers. Not sure what to do Any suggestions would be MOST welcome. Thanks in advance.