Recording orchestra

Discussion in 'Orchestra' started by HenrikSolberg, Mar 1, 2005.

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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. I've did a job last year for a orchestra. I was in school when i did it and borrowed equippment for the school.

    A little clip of the result can be seen here:
    Link (8 mb windows media file)

    I've was quite pleased with the result and now want to do some more of this kind of work. Unfortunately, I don't remember what the microphones I used is called. The only thing I know is that it was a condenser microphone.

    This was my "setup" at the last concert:

    So my question is: What microphone should I consider?
    I was looking at the Behringer B2 Pro which looked like a good microphone, but I'm no expert on microphones, I'm more a filmguy! I don't want to use more than 500$ on two microphones. Is that to little?

    Sorry for my bad english, hope I can get some help...

    Yours sincerely
    Henrik Solberg
  2. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    Sorry Henrik,
    I was sort of occupied yesterday.

    I´ll put up a few things for you to think about, and you can work from there. Sometimes the questions are very difficult to answer in a simple way, as it is difficult to know how much background and knowledge the asking person has. I´ll do my best though.

    You probably used a pair of condensor microphones (kondensator på svenska, kanske samma på norska). There are quite a few to select from, several hundred variations. I think that most often you would use a pair of small diameter condensor for this kind of recording. The large diameter ones are more often used for recording voices and such things, where you want a special sound.

    A condensor microphone needs some kind of power. More expensive mics generally use something called phantom power. This comes from the mic preamp. A few mics uses a battery built in.

    Now some examples of mic, I think you can look them up on the net.

    Rode NT3 - can use a built-in battery
    Rode NT4 - a stereo mic, with built-in battery
    Rode NT5 - needs phantom power
    Studio Projects C4 - with two capsules, omni and cardoid. You will probably use cardoid all the time in the beginning
    AKG C1000s - can use a built-in battery
    Studio Electronics SE2 - needs phantom power

    Now, there are probably hundreds more. And which is best for the price? I really cannot say. It is very much about taste. And the size of your wallet. Another way to go might be to look for the small Sony stereo microphone used for video recording.

    For the phantom powered ones you will need a microphone preamp, or mic pre for short. There are quite a few small mixers for a low price on the market that does the job for a low prices. For a stand-alone mic preamp, I think the M-Audio AudioBuddy is a good choice. It sounds better than the price if you ask me.

    Once you have the mics, you want to place them in a good position. Having one mic on each side of the scene is one way, but if you ask me it is not the best way to get a good sound. It tends to produce a large hole in the middle of the sound. You will have to experiment a bit, but placing the mics much closer and pointing a bit outwards may be the way to go. Perhaps 20 to 50 centimeters apart. To make it a bit easier you may use a stereo bar
    the page above has some pictures.

    I would place the mics about 2 to 4 meters above the scene floor, in the middle just about where the conductor stands as a starting point. This to me generally is a good point to start with. Then move the mics up/down in/out to get as good sound as possible.

    If you want to read more about stere microphone techniques, you might do a search of " ORTF microphone", as ORTF is one of the named techniques you may want to use.

    Finally, welcome to the world of recording. We are quite a few people who has got stuck in this wonderful world.

  3. Thank you Gunnar. I'll keep writing in English so others to can come with idees...

    I've mailed with some music/microphone dealers and have been recommended some of the mics you mentions....

    The Rode NT-5, Studio Projects C4, Studio Electronics SE1A and SE2A are mics I've been recommended since I posted the last post!

    I have a Canon XL2 camcorder which has the possibility for Phantom power, so that is not a problem! I'll guess I'll buy one of the mics I've mentioned over here! Now I've been recommended them from different peoples so I'll guess it is this ones who stands out for my needs... I'll walk around in some stores today and ask a bit more, so I can make my final decision...

    Thank you for the help, you are more than welcome to come with new idees and comments...
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA

    Welcome to the addicting world of acoustic recording!!

    One note, the Video Camera you mention - if I'm not mistaken (and I very well may be), it only offers 12V of phantom power. Most modern condensors designed for audio require 48 V. Some will run with 12V, but do much better with the full 48V.

    As Gunnar suggests, the ORTF setup is a very good way to start. You may also want to check out and check out their 'microphone university' link. There they have numerous pages on various microphone techniques.

    Don't feel obliged to buy their microphones - they are terribly expensive! (Worth it, but darn right pricey.)

  5. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    Good pointer Cucco.

    Just a small note. On the dpa microphone university, just about every page says that you loose bass when using a cardoid on distance. Don´t take that very literally, most cardoids have plenty enough bass for distance recording.

  6. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Home Page:
    and they are pretty biased towards spaced omni recording. There is life elsewhere in other techniques. With the acoustic grand piano recording advice I am darned if I can see you would end up with a good recording, far too close.
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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