Help me record a kids rock ensemble and choir

G

Gia

Guest
Hello.

I need guidance to record my pupils rock ensemble correctly.

Did you ever hear 'The Langley School Music Project'?:

http://www.keyofz.com/keyofz/langley/

We want to do a recording in the same spirit (a nice, listenable lofi recording of kids banging out rock songs).

Just so you get the picture; we play songs like Baba o' Riley (the Who), Wake up (Arcade Fire), 99 red balloons by BLondie etc. softer songs too.

We are:

2 percussions
Drums with mutes
A small girl choir (8 of them)
3 xylophones
electric guitar
3 keyboards/ electronics/ vsts
bass

We play sort in a circle with me in the center (bandleader)

This is my recording gear:
two condensators Studio Project C3
several vocal mikes (5 ou 6)
a PA (to amplify the choir), an 8 track mixer
Panels fore isolation

Heres what I wanted to do. Do a blumlein stereo thing over my head (is that terribly delicate and tough to realize? I have no experience). Make the singers share vocal mikes and submix them in the mixer to the PA.

How would you set up?

ANY piece of advice would be very welcome.

This could be a VERY special and unique recording. I don't want to spoil it by recording like a space cadet.

thanks

Jf [/img]
 
G

Greener

Guest
Sure, G.I.A from Langley.
I noticed you didn't mention how you were capturing the music.
Spooked I am.
 

BobRogers

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Location
Blacksburg, VA
You basic plan (a stereo pair supplemented by a mix of the vocals from the PA) sounds good to me. I'd suggest ORTF or AB rather than Blumlein for the stereo pair. They will give a wider stereo field. You don't mention any recording device. What are you thinking of here? Do you have experience with mixing? Do you have a DAW?

On a more basic level, how committed are you to doing this yourself? I've been involved with a couple of children's groups, and that's a lot to do without worrying about recording. This is a pretty easy recording job that a pro or semi-pro could do for less than it would cost to buy the recording equipment.

Just to throw another thought out - a mid level consumer video camera with 16 bit audio and an [="http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VideoMicSt/"]external stereo mic like this[/] provides darned good "garage band" sound and is a snap to operate.
 
G

GeckoMusic

Guest
How does the 8 person choir normally set up with 5 or 6 microphones?

My concern for recording is that the more amplified sound you add, the dirtier the mix gets. If they can hear them selfs well enough without the PA, and the band can hear them, I would suggest not running them though the PA for recording.

As for the condensers, I would probably put them as high as possible on a boom stand as a coincident pair. Each microphone pointing to the furthest instrument on each side. This will add some room ambiance that you may not like the sound of.

Because you just have one pair of condensers, you don't have to worry about phasing, (assuming you are panning each microphone to one side) and can put them just about anywhere. You might try arranging the group with the loud instruments at 12 o'clock, and the softer ones at 3 and 9. Put the vocals at 6 o'clock because they have their own mics. Then put the condensers between you and the groups at 3 and 9.

Sounds like a fun project, I'd love to hear how it comes out!
 
G

Gia

Guest
Greener
I'm Gia for sure (and thats a fact!). But I must be clean about that: I'm not myself from Langley.

I record on my laptop through a firewire M audio card. Two inputs.

Jf
 
G

GeckoMusic

Guest
When I replied I didn't see that Bob Rogers had already replied. He knows his stuff. I would weight his suggestions higher than mine.

I'm not sure that my coincident pair idea is that sound. The microphones would be pointing down, and would pick up the reflections from the floor, and probably worse, people moving or tapping their feet.
 
G

Gia

Guest
thanks a lot for your input, people, this is very reassuring!

Its true I don't have to worry about phasing? Wow. Makes stuff lots easier (in principle, I guess).

Where would you place the mikes?

I would place them between the choir and the xylos and guit. another one to my left (If im facing north...)

My mikes have three possible settings (cardioid, hypercard and omni). Wich one should I use?[/img]
 
G

Gia

Guest
UPDATE:

I could find one of the cardioid (gulp).

I went out and rented a pair of Audio technica ATM33a.

Is that a good move?

Where should I place the x pair?

Jf
 
G

GeckoMusic

Guest
I wrote a big list of questions, and thought of several options, but I think it is best to keep it simple.

My vote is for just behind and over your head looking toward the choir. That way the recording will sound about as you hear it.

-Steve

edit: oh yeah, set to cardioid, about 90 to 120 degrees between the microphones.
 
G

Gia

Guest
thanks for your good tips and ressources, people. It really helped.

We tried to record today and it sounded ok. Too bad they played like it was friday afternoon (wich it was...)

Lets hope we do better next week.
 
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