modern orch with a choir

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Exsultavit, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Jeff Smith

    Jeff Smith Guest

    What a breath of fresh air to find this topic!
    Other people are experiencing the same problems as I am-I thought it was just me. I recently recorded a concert with a 30 piece choir and orchestra. The choir up on risers, brass in front. Used 3 AT4033's on stands behind the brass and wasn't very happy with the result. Of course, the 4033's are known for their off axis respnse...
    Brass seems to be consistently loud, out of balance, in most events around here.
    I've been thinking about "embedding" some lavaliers next time...anyone tried this?
  2. Simmosonic

    Simmosonic Active Member

    Jan 13, 2005
    The root of the problem lies in what you've said above - modern horns are much louder. So, the best way to solve the problem (apart from reverting to the considerably softer and mellower baroque horns) is to make the choir bigger and thereby louder as well. Or use less horns. Either way, the problem arises from a conductor (or similar) misrepresenting the composition. Miscreant!

    From a minimalist point of view, I reckon bidirectionals are still your best bet - they're not going to totally solve the problem, but you know that ultimately the problem is not 100% solvable with technology (it is a musical arrangement issue), so you need to just make the most of it, and bidirectional is the only pattern that has enough rejection from the sides.

    The null of a bidirectional is very strong, but often it's not wide enough for this situation. So... on the 'lunatic fringe' side of things, I wonder if you can take a 'Zen defense' approach by using your opponent's energy against itself? In other words, fight fire with fire by creating a 'spill cancelling array' (I'll put a TM on that if it's available, thanks) using a Blumlein pair sideways over the brass? One side of the pair is aimed at an appropriate section of the choir, with its null facing the brass (just as you'd do with a single bidirectional in that position). The other side will then, of course, be facing directly into the most problematic part of the brass. After getting the sound as good as possible while monitoring just the choir side of the pair, sum to mono, reverse the polarity of the side facing the brass, and dial in its level to get the desired rejection/directivity through cancellation. Place a number of them to spot different sections of the choir...

    Alternatively, put mutes in all the trumpets. Sure, it won't be true to the original, but the miscreant conductor has thrown that concept to the wind anyway, so why not blow it along a bit further? Maybe it will sound good... :roll:
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