Skip to main content

large scale orch gig


Thanks for all the great info on this forum! I now have a new gig that has a few new twists for me that I need to ask you about.

The gig will be full (modern) orch with a narrator, who I assume will be live with the orch. So far, so simple. But on this gig the producer wants EVERYTHING miced, as if it were a film score. There will also be surround mics in the hall. We are currently keeping it to 24 tracks. So:

I will have 2 main pairs up & two outriggers on the orch-(6 tracks)

I always get the winds covered, and am expecting to mic the double basses as well. (5 mics or so)

Narrator needs one, perhaps two as insurance against pops. (one dynamic and one condensor)

Q: How many surround mics? 2? 3?

That leaves perhaps 8 mics for the rest of the orch. What is the standard (is there a standard?) for micing sections? Can I assume that the brass and percussion will need micing LAST?




Pro Audio Guest Sun, 02/26/2006 - 11:32
Sounds like a fun project.

You can add the following to have full coverage:

harp--if necessary
inner strings--one mic for 2nd vln, 1 for vla.
percussion --mic high up

mic only the first bass stand with an omni down low, no need for two mics there

trumpet and trombone won't require any mics

Urge your producer mang to use less rather than more.
Ask him "why" he requires the requested set up.
If there is no reasonable answer, use less and tell him why.

Surround ambience in hall can be handled by two cardioid in rear of hall.
Near surround can be handled by pointing cardioids towards audience on the main pair bar.

Exsultavit Sun, 02/26/2006 - 12:42

Thanks for your response! Makes it seem more managable...

Micing 2nds and VLA makes good sense, though I think cello and 1sts would be necessary then too, no?

Dunno if there will be a harp, but that will be necessary to mic, of course, if it's on the gig.

Micing perc and tymp is a weird one- only because those things are often too loud already. But they are often too ambient simultaneously, and mics on them would make it possible to get a more full, intimate sound-- but it might necessitate lowering the mains at those moments as well. Obviously, this is the mixer's perogative....

My new count now is 22 mics used:

I will have 2 main pairs up (4)

Near surround (2) on cards facing the audience on main bar -(three pairs on mains bar total)

& two outriggers on the orch-(2)

ambient surround mics(2)

winds (3)

double basses (1)

1sts, 2nds, cello (3)

perc area (2)

tymp (1)

Narrator needs one, perhaps two as insurance against pops. (one dynamic and one condensor) (2)


That leaves perhaps 2 mics for others:


Wild mic?

could be a PIANO??

more ideas, please!!


Pro Audio Guest Sun, 02/26/2006 - 19:09
Sounds like an interesting gig. Some thoughts:

Is this a public event? Will the narrator be amplified? That can make for some interesting, hopefully not too annoying echos due to direct and remote sound coming from overhead speakers.

Other instruments to mic: Celeste, piano

2 channels for the narrator is a great idea. You might try an M/S pair or X-Y pair. In addition their stereo pickup capabilities, either of these will help avoid any off mic sound if the narrator tends to move around a bit. Oh, speaking about moving about, check to see if the narrator is going to be "acting" out the story, in which case he/she may want to move around a lot. In that case, wireless maybe the only option.

Let us know how it turns out.


Pro Audio Guest Wed, 03/01/2006 - 06:57
Sounds like a very demanding recording gig.
YEs I would set up for the Brass last as they would probably radiate the most.
Mixing such an ambient production is not going to be easy as I know myself. Unlike a studio recording room the tracks although seperated will not be able to be completely muted because of the spill or leakage.
Keep this in mind when prioritising the most relevant channels.
You might just end up reverting to the room microphone/channels in the end anyway. :lol:

Exsultavit Fri, 03/03/2006 - 13:01
Thanks for your posts!

I'll be recording to both DAW and to a stand-alone multitrack.

Dunno much about the voice talent yet. The X/Y paiur sounds interesting, but my thought was to use two mics as a close/ far pair. Perhaps an RE20 or other dynamic for a close sound, and a condensor for 'air' and as insurance against pops and blows, and in case the talent is not used to working a close mic.

More info as I find out!