Singers + piano

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by larsfarm, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. larsfarm

    larsfarm Active Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Home Page:
    Dear masters, I come again to seek your advise. I'm approaching two new situations.

    1) Soprano + alto + piano. They are trained and capable singers. The place will be a stone church, reverberant, not very large (ca 12 x 25m). I've never recorded so few singers before...:roll: I have access to omni, cardiod, and switchable pattern mics of reasonable to good quality.

    I'm not sure how to approach this. I could try to set them up as for a concert with the singers near and in front of the piano. In concerts they often have the piano on their left, but I fear that would come out strange through speakers in a living room. I could work from a main pair. Near coincident or AB. Perhaps something on the piano. What would you suggest?

    2) Quartet of singers (SATB) + piano in a room that often is used for chamber music concerts with a nice Steinway. These singers are not professionals like those in (1). Their voices are lighter but quite capable and nice. The material will be somewhat lighter than that of (1), but varied. They do not use any amplification. Purpose is to make a demo CD to help them find more jobs.

    This too is a situation where I could use some advise. I plan to use a pair as the core, as if they were a larger choir. Perhaps something on the piano? How would you place the singers and the piano? Any suggestions?

    best regards
  2. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Home Page:
    1. You will need to employ "dry" mic techniques here. I would put an ORTF pair high for the piano, and spot cardioids for each singer, panned to match the image in the ORTF pair. The ORTF main pair should be ideally placed for the piano only, full stick, just below the plane of the lid pointing into the sound board. Balance the spots for the correct sound.

    2. If the room is not too reverberant, go for a close Blumlein pair at slightly above mouth level to put the four singers across the stereo image. Stand them directly in the bay of the piano, which should be on half stick, you should get enough piano in this pair. If the room is not that great you will need to spot the piano for extra definition.

    My starting points.

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