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Help! First time to mic up an orchestra!

I'm using a Pro Tools Mix setup with Focusrite Red Pre's. I have 16 channels to use and some good mics: U87 and a pair o' km184's, 4 sm87's, and some stuff I use for live and "normal" applications such as 57's D112's and 58's...

I'll be tracking in a large recital hall. Don't have any of those huge boom stands or anything. My plan as of this minute is to setup the km184's up front near the conductor since he's gonna be the final judge and know what everything's gonna sound like...then the U87 to grab some room noise...the sm87's on different sections for a little definition if needed.

Honestly, this is a first for me so I am totally open to ideas/advice/wisdom!



Richard Kuschel Sat, 01/05/2002 - 04:33
I'm going with Han on this.

The 184's in ORTF. I've used them for this purpose, but don't find them to be my first choice these days.

Just buy a good high stand. $150

The SM87's won't be all that great for spot miking as they will tend to be too bright. but one uses what one has.

A room mic (if used) must be set within 20 feet of the main array or you will be gettting distinct echoes rather than greater ambience.

SonicLogic Tue, 01/08/2002 - 20:16
Most orchestras are used to playing without the benefit any serious reinforcement. Therefore, tight or even moderately tight micing should not be of concern. They are (or should be) capable of blending their own levels so as to produce a balnced sound off the stage to the audience. What I have done in the past is to place a mic at the conductors perspective, and then try to brake the instrument into sctions based on relative register and timbre of the instruments. The number of mics placed (6'-10' away) near these sections will depend on the size of the orchestra and stage. A few mics downstage for "air" is cool too. I think that you'll find that having more sections of the orchestra represented going to track will be greatly helpful when trying to get that full sound in your mix, even if just a few. Good Luck!