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Here is the latest video on recording choirs, and follows on from the video from earlier this week where I talked about different stereo techniques.

The back story is that I had a project (actually 2 - I have another today) with choirs. I've recorded them before so asked if they'd mind me using some clips for a video. They were quite happy, so I changed the plan.

The venue was a large church in a town around 20 miles from here - I've never recorded there before but it's a decent size, so my plan would have been to do a simple stereo recording, in X/Y mode, my favourite. I decided to modify this and also rig an M/S pair, plus I'd put in two wide spaced cardioids and record in A/B mode - something I've not done for years. Power in churches is often very dodgy, so I decided to be totally self-sufficient and run on two Zoom recorders, on batteries - an H2 and an H6.

At the rehearsal I set up the two re-discovered Oktava MK-319 mics as the A/B pair, with 2 414's as the X/Y and the TLM103 for the mid mic and the U87 for the side mic of the M/S pair - these last 4 would go into the H6 and the A/B mics into the H2.

The rehearsal revealed the acoustics, for a big space, were not that reverberant, so I changed the 414's into fig-8 mode to capture some more of the sound of the venue, operating in Blumlein mode.

A good decision I feel - I liked the fuller sound. The approval version of the audio is here if you want to hear how it sounded in the end.……

The audio clips in the video are also available here



audiokid Sun, 04/17/2022 - 01:06

Hey Paul! What a great video! Where I live, the oldest church is nothing like these beauties! Look at that organ! 

I don't consider myself a recordist but I have recorded choirs (with an audience too) in Blumlein and really liked the results. I used the Royer SF 24. The sound is full and very natural which I think suites choirs so well. When mono'd it sill sounds full and the mids are there but not as forward in a good way. 

Very informative. Thanks for sharing.

paulears Fri, 04/22/2022 - 11:35

This might be of interest - a smaller consort, just 5 people and this piece written by a guy from the Ukraine, and they are using it to generate some money for one of the charities supporting people there.

paulears Tue, 04/26/2022 - 09:04

I'm doing another choir job tomorrow at a different church, one with much dryer characteristics. Ironically, it's a competition run by a classical UK broadcaster, and the prize will be...... a recording done by them.


It means that it's the choir being judged, not the recording, so I'm trying to get together a Decca Tree - I've never used one myself. It will be nice to try this out.

audiokid Tue, 04/26/2022 - 21:43

It means that it's the choir being judged, not the recording

I've done many just like like that for our provincial music festival competition. They are low stress and fun!

I kept is simple, used a big boom which stood behind the director, 4m up extending out to the choirs. Worked great.

Looking forward to hearing more about it!