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A Live Recording Question

Member for

21 years
Hello all (my first posting here)

Anyway, I should know this I'm sure BUT, I don't do many live engagements (would love to do more). My question is: I will be recording a male vocalist who will be using basically karaoke tracks for his background music with some piano accomp. on a few. In addition, there are a couple of songs that he will be singing with an ensemble of vocalists. He recently informed me that he will be using a portable CD player and singing without a microphone in a VERY lively church acoustically. My first challenge is where to place my mics, as this is a very oddly designed church. After figuring that out, my second thought with regards to recording was simply to record it in stereo, however I have begun to second guess that option simply because I am not sure of the sound quality his Bose CD player will deliver especially now that I've heard him sing once and know that he has a very powerful vocal. I'm just confused as to how to capture the very best quality recording with what he and I will be using. I will be using for stereo recording an NT5 and was just about to purchase a 441 for other use, but if anyone can tell me how I might incorporate that into this project as well then I am all ears. I also have a couple 414's, sm58's as well as a few off name brand mics that I wouldn't use anyway.

Thanks in advance!



Member for

16 years 7 months

moonbaby Tue, 11/07/2006 - 06:27
The 441 might be a viable alternative to using the 58 on the vocals. The 441 is a great mic, it has a more controlled, less pronounced proximity effect, and has a much tighter pick-up pattern that can minimize the room reflections. I have had good results with solo vocalists (Broadway types) using that mic, wish that I still had mine, but I've found others that do a great job.

Member for

16 years

RemyRAD Tue, 11/07/2006 - 17:47
You may also want to inquire as to whether you can make a copy of and/or borrow his CD? Why? Because these are computer-controlled devices that rely on quartz clocks, meaning that, you will be able to after-the-fact, digitally rip the music into your computer and manually synchronize it to his vocal track. You'll still have the background of the karaoke system but may not have to worry about recording it at the time of initial playback? This will give you better results in your postproduction since the recordings from CDs will generally hold sync, without the need for other time code.

Recording the vocalist could be problematic if he objects to a microphone in front of him for recording purposes only. If that happens, you'll have to hang the microphone or put it on a stand a few feet away from him, in which case, the Sennheiser 441 may not be a bad choice? Although I think I would still go for a condenser microphone to capture him with with no regard to the CD playback system since you will pick up some ambience from the CD player anyhow.

You can't fix stupid singers
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 11/10/2006 - 05:17
Hi I would agree with RemyRad about he condensor mics. You would be able to pick up the ambience of the church. I wouold have them as a stereo pair. See if he will have a dynamic mic close to him just for the recording, it doesn't have to go through the PA. You could always use a small clip on mic - but I am not sure you will get the quality. As for the acoustics of the church, I usually move the mics around during a sound check in a systematic way and whisper the mic position into the mic. When you then play it back you will hear the best sound and then yourself saying "position 4 high". This works for me. The other side of the coin is to get the Kareokey speakers in the right place.
Good luck with this