Hello: I have a question that I want to post to professionals in mic'ing acoustic performances. Over the years, I have been an avid sound recordist and live sound mixer for several years. Most of that in what would be considered 'pop' music performances. I am now facing a challenge in presenting live sound for a small-to-mid-sized choir (varies between 10-24 singers, plus 1 or 2 soloists, depending on the gig). When I was starting out doing this many years ago, I was taught that I should ALWAYS observe the "3:1" rule with mic placement. This was not really an issue when close-micing amps and drums, horn sections, and the like on my 'pop' gigs. But, I have noticed over the past few years, many times on this very site, posts that ridicule this rule! The posters cite different reasons (typically mic polar patterns and new developments in audio technology), and some were actually nasty about it when others posted questions about this. So, please help me with this dilemna: I am micing said choir within traditional church/cathedral environments, with limited gear. At this time, my mics are a pair of CAD Equitek E100 hypercardioid condensers. I have found these to be robust and stable in less-than-ideal environments (SE humidity and very reflective acoustics), and fairly smooth on-axis. Feedback has not been an issue. I run them into a pair of Grace 101's. On some stages, I can't get that 3:1 separation. In other words, if I were to place the mics, say 6 feet from the front of the choir, I can't get the mics 18 feet apart. Maybe 10-12, max. When I am doing this, I seem to lose the mens' voices (they're in the back risers), and the sound is dominated by the women (their tends to be 2-3 the # of ladies, anyway). I thought that pulling the mics back and raising them up more (6 feet back, 7 feet up) would cause the mics to "see" a bigger picture, if you will. But with only a 2:1 ratio, it doesn't sound that 'natural'. And I have gotten pretty good results from these mics with smaller choirs (6-10), in smaller venues. In a nutshell, as the choir gets bigger (towards that 24 number), the sound gets worse. I think that my problem is phase cancellation from the mics being too close together. But according to some posts on RO, hypercardioids should not exhibit this problem. Am I crazy? I would like to take the music director any feedback from this post and show it to her. I have been their 3rd sound person in as many years, and she had the same complaints about us all. I have been the first one to try to explain to her that the mics are too close together, she thinks that I'm crazy. Please help !!!