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Old September 6th, 2015, 01:25 PM   #46
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

There are many good omnidirectional microphones. But the possibilities are dramatically reduced by your logistics of delivery time and who your possible vendors are.

Renting is not a waste of money. You can get far more high-end gear by renting based on the immediate need. Especially if for a type of production you rarely do.

Not clear what is the fascination with omnidirectional mics? I almost never use them, and they will be more fiddly to deploy in that kind of space, IME.
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Old September 6th, 2015, 01:44 PM   #47
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
There are many good omnidirectional microphones. But the possibilities are dramatically reduced by your logistics of delivery time and who your possible vendors are.

Renting is not a waste of money. You can get far more high-end gear by renting based on the immediate need. Especially if for a type of production you rarely do.

Not clear what is the fascination with omnidirectional mics? I almost never use them, and they will be more fiddly to deploy in that kind of space, IME.
Do you think a caridoid would work better? It was just a recommendation to use an omnidirectional microphone in this thread.

True... but I would prefer to purchase if I can get a very good sounding mic for around 5-700. Even if it's not an application that I will use regularly, it is still an extra audio tool in my kit compared to shipping back an audio tool to a company.

Would you advise just picking up the Rode NT4? Do you think it would serve well as a solo mic setup if I raise it to three metres as previously discussed?
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Old September 6th, 2015, 01:50 PM   #48
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

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Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
I always perceive this as wasting money, as I'll no doubt need an omni or cardioid mic eventually, or a good pair of stereo mics... I was tempted to go with Bruce's advice with a single omnidirectional microphone as well?
Renting lets you try different microphones to see which ones you should buy. Your stated budget doesn't support buying a set of high quality microphones. Therefore, rather than wasting money on a less than ideal asset I would rent a high end pair of cardioids and set them up in one of the standard stereo configurations. Save your money for when you can afford great microphones.

I also think you'd get decent results with your COS-11, so no disagreement with Bruce's suggestion. There are many ways to accomplish a task and everything comes with tradeoffs.
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Old September 6th, 2015, 01:55 PM   #49
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

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Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
Renting lets you try different microphones to see which ones you should buy. Your stated budget doesn't support buying a set of high quality microphones. Therefore, rather than wasting money on a less than ideal asset I would rent a high end pair of cardioids and set them up in one of the standard stereo configurations. Save your money for when you can afford great microphones.

I also think you'd get decent results with your COS-11, so no disagreement with Bruce's suggestion. There are many ways to accomplish a task and everything comes with tradeoffs.
Thanks Jim. I was just wary that I have not done stereo before.

I'll look into renting. Thanks, but how much do you need to spend to get 'great'?
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Old September 6th, 2015, 01:58 PM   #50
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Craig,

I just read this whole thing. You are talking to some very knowledgeable people here. I am not going to make a mic recommendation your looking for, they know more than me about that.

There is one thing I feel very strongly about that has not been said enough. No matter what you do there is only one place that Zoom H4 can go. That is in your HANDS. You are using it as your mixer and your recorder. You will also be monitoring it. Having it taped to a stand someplace will not work. You need to have total control of it. This is not a set it and forget it situation. Everyone agrees monitoring is critical, what good will it do you if you can't adjust what you hear?

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old September 6th, 2015, 02:09 PM   #51
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

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Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Do you think a caridoid would work better? It was just a recommendation to use an omnidirectional microphone in this thread.
I would be wary of using an omnidirectional mic in such a humongous space with such a remarkably long reverb time. Omnis are nice when used in more conventional spaces with reasonable reverb times. But a space that huge, and with NO AUDIENCE to soak up some of the sound will be very challenging. You need to get a decent coverage of all the singers without letting in an undue amount of the ambient reverberation. That would be very difficult to do with omni microphones, IME. At least directional microphones will do their job to control the direct/ambient ratio.

Quote:
Would you advise just picking up the Rode NT4? Do you think it would serve well as a solo mic setup if I raise it to three metres as previously discussed?
I don't think you would be disappointed with a Rode NT4. Thomann has a "B-stock" unit for sale at a reduced price, but with full factory warranty. I regularly buy "B-stock" and demo and refurbished gear to stretch my budget and I have never been "stung".
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Old September 6th, 2015, 02:13 PM   #52
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Craig,

I just read this whole thing. You are talking to some very knowledgeable people here. I am not going to make a mic recommendation your looking for, they know more than me about that.

There is one thing I feel very strongly about that has not been said enough. No matter what you do there is only one place that Zoom H4 can go. That is in your HANDS. You are using it as your mixer and your recorder. You will also be monitoring it. Having it taped to a stand someplace will not work. You need to have total control of it. This is not a set it and forget it situation. Everyone agrees monitoring is critical, what good will it do you if you can't adjust what you hear?

Kind Regards,

Steve
Thanks for your input, as always, Steve!

I can sense their knowledge very clearly with how much they know! :) I am really appreciative of their time... it's just hard knowing the right decision, when I often research projects for months.

I'll be sure to keep the H5 with me! :) I just need to make a decision in the next couple of hours, which is quite frustrating from my side, as I have many good opinions to choose from, but I'm no clearer as to what to do.

I like the sound of the Rode nt4... and using a COS 11D alongside it... that way, I'll have a stereo recording and a mono recording. It's not breaking the bank and I can consider buying better mics down the road.

Alternatively, I'm going to have to spend a similar amount renting some mics that I will likely find harder to use.
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Old September 6th, 2015, 02:15 PM   #53
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

I have seen situations where rugs (or even "moving pads") are put down on the hard floor to control at least some of the NEAR reflections in a large, reverberant space like that.

Note also that if it is a perfect hemisphere, you probably want to avoid the exact CENTER. I have worked in some similar situations where sound is FOCUSED right at the center and produces an extremely distorted "soundscape". I would avoid putting the choir or the microphone within 1-2m of the center.
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Old September 6th, 2015, 02:18 PM   #54
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
I would be wary of using an omnidirectional mic in such a humongous space with such a remarkably long reverb time. Omnis are nice when used in more conventional spaces with reasonable reverb times. But a space that huge, and with NO AUDIENCE to soak up some of the sound will be very challenging. You need to get a decent coverage of all the singers without letting in an undue amount of the ambient reverberation. That would be very difficult to do with omni microphones, IME. At least directional microphones will do their job to control the direct/ambient ratio.
Makes sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
I don't think you would be disappointed with a Rode NT4. Thomann has a "B-stock" unit for sale at a reduced price, but with full factory warranty. I regularly buy "B-stock" and demo and refurbished gear to stretch my budget and I have never been "stung".
Thanks. Is Thomann UK based though? As their website ends .de? I need the mic by Tuesday. *EDIT* 3-4 working days. I can find the NT4 in stock in other UK based stores though! :)

Also, if I place the NT4 3m up, and also try it lower down in front of the conductor, do I have a good chance of capturing decent audio?

I realise that a lot of people have stated that I should stay away from the X Y configuration, as what you get, you get, but I think with my expertise (or lack of) it might be a good idea for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
I have seen situations where rugs (or even "moving pads") are put down on the hard floor to control at least some of the NEAR reflections in a large, reverberant space like that.

Note also that if it is a perfect hemisphere, you probably want to avoid the exact CENTER. I have worked in some similar situations where sound is FOCUSED right at the center and produces an extremely distorted "soundscape". I would avoid putting the choir or the microphone within 1-2m of the center.
I'll consider doing the same, and avoiding the latter. As far as I'm aware, it's in front of the altar.... so I'm hoping it's not near the center.

Here's a proper recording of the venue, which I think has been completed by a broadcasting company:

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Old September 6th, 2015, 02:26 PM   #55
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
rather than wasting money on a less than ideal asset I would rent a high end pair of cardioids and set them up in one of the standard stereo configurations. Save your money for when you can afford great microphones.
If you have a rental place nearby I agree with Jim renting is the best option, I think you are investing in audio now for the wrong reason which is for that one client that only has a limited budget, I know you want to use that gear for future assignments as well but you are trying to gather too much options in too little time which can lead to a wrong purchase. If you rent you can use high end equipment and experiment and decide over time if a actual purchase is more beneficial then just renting the equipment each time, because different jobs may require different audio set-ups when you rent you can pick whatever gets the job done.
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Old September 6th, 2015, 02:33 PM   #56
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

You'd be surprised how simple a mic arrangement experienced audio engineers will use. They may just a stereo pair strung in the right spot, One I know used to record an orchestra that way in their usual venue. Reverb is all part of the cathedral sound, you should use it.
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Old September 6th, 2015, 02:35 PM   #57
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

I am not familiar with Thomann except what I see on their website. It seems like it is probably a German vendor, but I don't know how fast shipping is in the EC (and the UK being just across the channel). And I don't know any vendors in the UK, sorry.

Upon closer inspection of your original photo, it appears that they have a very large "choir loft" and a large "orchestra pit" in front of the choir. And it appears that they have something "flying" from horizontally suspended cables.

When I went with a ~150 voice men's chorus to the historic Biserica Neagră ("Black Church") in Brasov, Romania, I was able to use their permanently-installed hanging microphone array. Which was a good thing since there was no other way to get a microphone anywhere near the choir loft/organ which was up in a balcony some 20m above the main floor.

https://flic.kr/p/6hwp54

https://flic.kr/p/6hAyMy
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Old September 6th, 2015, 02:48 PM   #58
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
If you have a rental place nearby I agree with Jim renting is the best option, I think you are investing in audio now for the wrong reason which is for that one client that only has a limited budget, I know you want to use that gear for future assignments as well but you are trying to gather too much options in too little time which can lead to a wrong purchase. If you rent you can use high end equipment and experiment and decide over time if a actual purchase is more beneficial then just renting the equipment each time, because different jobs may require different audio set-ups when you rent you can pick whatever gets the job done.
True Noa... I just don't know if the mics I get I'll be able to use to their full potential, whereas if I buy a Rode NT4, I'll be able to use that for weddings too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale
You'd be surprised how simple a mic arrangement experienced audio engineers will use. They may just a stereo pair strung in the right spot, One I know used to record an orchestra that way in their usual venue. Reverb is all part of the cathedral sound, you should use it.
I'm sure that you're right! I'll see what audio I can retrieve, and then how I can mix it together. If I get sound that is decent, I will be very pleased.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Upon closer inspection of your original photo, it appears that they have a very large "choir loft" and a large "orchestra pit" in front of the choir. And it appears that they have something "flying" from horizontally suspended cables.

When I went with a ~150 voice men's chorus to the historic Biserica Neagră ("Black Church") in Brasov, Romania, I was able to use their permanently-installed hanging microphone array. Which was a good thing since there was no other way to get a microphone anywhere near the choir loft/organ which was up in a balcony some 20m above the main floor.

https://flic.kr/p/6hAyMy
By the sounds of it, no microphones will be made available to me. I will just opt for the mic behind the conductor and in front and see which works best. I haven't had a response from the client today, so will see what they respond with. I'll definitely see if they have access to that though, but with nobody manning it, I don't know what the result will be... or how I will even work them! :)
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Old September 6th, 2015, 02:50 PM   #59
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Thanks Jim. I was just wary that I have not done stereo before.

I'll look into renting. Thanks, but how much do you need to spend to get 'great'?
Examples of cardioids that would serve you well and retain their value over time:

Sennheiser MKH8040 or MKH 40
Schoeps CMC 6 + MK4

DPA and Neumann have some options as well.
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Old September 6th, 2015, 03:07 PM   #60
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
Examples of cardioids that would serve you well and retain their value over time:

Sennheiser MKH8040 or MKH 40
Schoeps CMC 6 + MK4

DPA and Neumann have some options as well.
I can get the Sennheiser MKH 8040 for 789... I could afford that.

The description for it sounds perfect for the use as well, with it being suited to less than optimal recordings.

The MKH40 is just under 1000.

If I had the MKH8040, could I position that nicely at the points discussed (high up 3m or in front of the conductor)?
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