live recording including congregation

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by E-an, Sep 19, 2002.

  1. E-an

    E-an Guest

    Hi All,

    Im going to be doing some live recording for a worship band in early november and Im after a little advice regarding mic-ing up the congregation.

    I've worked with this band before and dont really have any trouble getting the sound I'm after. I have recorded them with a choir before but the band and choir were in seperate rooms and foldback used. This time however they want to do a recording with a live congregation.

    The main advice I'm after is placement of the ambient mics and mic selection. The trouble I've had in the past is the delay that occurs between the ambient mics and band mics. I will be multi-tracking to protools so re-aligning the tracks is a possibility but if I can reduce the problem at source I'd prefer to. The main reason being I'd like to make a 2-trk safety mix during the event.

    Any other general advice about live recordings of this type would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,
  2. Guest

    Iain, are you just recording the band and choir or do you also have to provide FOH (ie. PA) audio as well ?

  3. E-an

    E-an Guest

    Im providing FOH and recording though the same desk. Its actually an A&H ML5000 so it will easily facilitate someone else dealing with the FOH sound off an aux mix.

    My intention is definitely to keep the FOH levels and mix down to a minimum. Thankfully the congregation will know the material extremely well as there are several rehearsals in the lead up to the recording.

    If you've any more questions feel free to ask.

  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Iain ,
    Try micing the congregation with some 414's. Face them away from the band and chior facing the congregation. Put the mics in hypercardioid pattern. The object of this exercise would be to isolate these tracks as much as possible. Experiment with placement and phase until somthing acceceptable is achived. I don't know for sure if this will work but it's where I would start. Let me know how it turns out.....Fats
  5. E-an

    E-an Guest


    414's were definitely on my list. Im currently working on a layout for the band that will minimise spill and should allow me to dampen some things down. We're definitely investing in a drum screen / rear absorbtion so that should help a bit. Aesthetics arent too much of a issue in this case as its a specific event for the recording.

    Any recommendation on config of the mics... spaced, crossed pair etc. (gonna be hard with 414's but I have other options).

    I did wonder today whilst driving around whether I could get the drummer to rim-shot his snare with all mics open in an empty room. Then use that to re-align the tracks in protools so that I can minimise problems with delays.

    I'd definitely appreciate any advice about re-aligning the tracks i.e. whether or not its a sensible idea; if anyone else has had any experience.

    Thanks in advance,

    btw. the line up of the band is:

    Kit, Perc, Bass, Keys, Guitar (both electric and acoustic), Trumpet, Violin + Vocals... and the aforementioned congregation.
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    You said, "We're definitely investing in a drum screen / rear absorbtion so that should help a bit." Good idea. If the drums spill too much it will ruin everything. You will end up having to overdub the choir and all the mess entailed with that. I would try to space the 414's, one on each side of the congregation and as far back as possibleto minimise spill from the band / choir but still as close to the band chior as to minimise the delay. Is delay really the problem or is it that your getting too much "room sound"?.....Fats
  7. E-an

    E-an Guest


    Cheers for the reply.

    The question about delay / room sound is a valid one. I've only tried working in that venue before without any screening and it was most certainly the delay that was causing the problem. I guess quite possibly in that case the choir we were using were too far from the band.

    I guess at the end of the day theres no right or wrong answers. At least theres an afternoon rehearsal to test some ideas out.

    Would you recommend the band being reasonably close to the congregation on the grounds that dealing with spill is easier than large delays?

  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    That might be the answer. It sounds to me like you have a very good grip on the situation. It's good that you have a rehersal day in which to experiment and make the needed adjustments. Good luck and let us all know how it turned out.... Fats
  9. I have done several of the type live recordings you are talking about. The 4l4's work well. Another thing to try is setting the 4l4 to figure of 8 pattern. Turn the mics so they pick up from side to side in the audience. The side axis rejection pattern will have less PA and more audience sound. This should also be used with some directional mics.
  10. abraham

    abraham Guest

    I would also include a pair of directional mics next to the 414's. Believe it or not, some of the best ambience I've ever caught when doing this type of recording is off of a pair of SM58's. I know they are not condensors but they seem to roll of some of the unwanted highs and lows pretty well. They keep those unwanted transients (drums) out. Unconventional?, maybe but it may be just the trick.

    Try it, and post back to see how it went.


    If your room is large and very "live", use more mics closer to people(this was the cause of my demise on my congregational tracks).

    Why isn't anyone thinking of shotgun mics - more directional.Rent them.

    Studio condernsers would certainly sound good but I would be too scared to use them as they would pick up too much room and band
    Good luck.

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