Baroque ensemble


Nov 21, 2006
Gorizia, Italy
Hi everyone,
I've been requested to record live a Baroque ensemble in a very nice Baroque hall, 50 seats.
The group is formed by: 2 violins, 1 cello, 1 archlute and 1 harpsichord.
Because of the hall I'm only allowed to bring a minimal equipment and max 2 microphones: for this reason I was thinking to bring my Korg MR1000 battery powered and directly plug in the mikes. Unfortunately I cannot record the rehearsal of the concert and I'm not sure it'll be enough time for a proper sound check before the concert.
I can choose between the following microphones and maybe (but not sure at the moment) a pair of Neumann KM-183:
2 Rode NT2000
2 Audio Technica AT-3035
2 Rode NT-5 (I also have the omni capsules)
2 Line Audio Design CM3
Which of the above mentioned microphones would you suggest? And in what setup?
Because of the kind music I would be more oriented towards the NT2Ks or the AT3035s just because are quieter than the others but I would really love to hear some suggestions form you or any advice for a nice array / mic positioning to start from!
Thanks a lot.


Apr 19, 2006
My gut feeling here is that, in the absence of any opportunity for a trial recording, you would be better going for small diaphragm mics rather than large (or medium) diaphragm types. The SDCs will tame unexpected acoustic reflections better than the larger types. In reality, it is a choice of the KM183s or the NT5s, and here I would go with price and plump for the Neumanns. I don't think mic self-noise will be a worry.

The big problem with using just a single pair of mics is going to be acoustic balance. How you should get both the lute and the harpsichord to balance the strings would be tricky even with sufficient rehearsal time to go through various mic placements, but with no rehearsal time, it's a place-and-hope exercise.

The other thing to hope is that you can achieve a reasonable vertical position for the mics without the musicians getting upset. I remember I had a similar situation once where an instrumental group was adamant they did not want any visual obstructions, and, after negotiations, gave me the generous offer of allowing me to put the microphones at floor level on the apron of the (low) stage. As I did not have any boundary mics with me, I could not get away with the floor position, but instead managed to fly a pair overhead in front of the group, and got a reasonable recording.

Good luck!