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Church Hall Recording

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Church Hall Recording

Postby GRAHAM99 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:28 am

I am going to record some accoustic performances in a church hall.(Check out The Accoustic Cafe in Manchester on Facebook.)
There is a cavernous reverb in the room!!
All performances are totally unamplified.
My initial thoughts were to set up two condenser mics quite near to the performers, possibly with reflexion shields to try to cut down on the ambience.
I was also going to set up an ambient mic in the room.
Hopefully this will give me some control on the ambience on mixdown.
Anyone any thoughts on this?
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:43 am

What are the line-ups?

If the hall is so reverberant that you feel the need to use reflection filters then I suspect there's not much point in putting up a separate ambience mic!

You'll find it much easier to get the mic placement right if you can monitor in a separate space -- there is usually a kitchen or other smaller room available in these buildings.
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:22 am

Yes more information on the instrumentation and nature/genre of the performances would be useful.

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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby GRAHAM99 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:59 am

All performers are accoustic guitar and vocals.
There is one person who uses an electric piano.
No live mics or pa etc
The material is singer songwriter stuff!!
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby GRAHAM99 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:00 pm

I was going to use headphones for monitoring.
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:06 pm

Is it before an audience? If so the Reflexion filters would be visually very intrusive and for that reason alone should be avoided.

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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby GRAHAM99 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:10 pm

Yes there is an audience!!
Reflexion screens maybe not a good idea!!
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby blinddrew » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:47 pm

Any chance of a couple of photos of the venue? "Church Hall" is a wonderfully broad term... ;)
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby GRAHAM99 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:39 pm

Sorry no photos!!
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby Aural Reject » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:54 pm

What's your intended purpose for the recordings?

In principle, what you're proposing for the two mic approach could give you an 'audience member' perspective on all the performers which might be fine if all you're looking to do is archive them....but you need to bear in mind that the best position for a pair of mics may change between acts or for differing instruments etc etc, and you'd have little influence over anything in post.
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby Wonks » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:55 pm

Best wide shot one I could find from their FB page:

Image
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:56 pm

How many mics and recording channels do you have access to? And is it possible for you to get up on stage between the acts and position the mics appropriately? If not then this is going to be quite challenging!

I'd probably try to position mics so as to catch mostly vocals and a bit of guitar, then look to take pickup signals from the guitar and piano. Not ideal but better than trying to get the balance right under such difficult circumstances.

You might also want to think about miking the audience so as to capture the applause.
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby Aural Reject » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:03 pm

Wonks wrote:Best wide shot one I could find from their FB page:

Image

Which may put pay to the 'no pa' theory....although I guess it depends on the act.
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby GRAHAM99 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:06 pm

I am not sure what event that was but there will deffo be no PA on the night!!!
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby GRAHAM99 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:08 pm

I have a got a 16 track interface so could get quite a few mics recorded!!
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:30 pm

The key thing here is positioning mics... if you can't reposition mics between acts, and be sure that the performers won't wander off-mic, then... forget it.

Sorry to be so blunt, but having had to record in numerous dodgy acoustics in terms of reverb over the years that's my advice. You'll be surprised how intrusive the space can be even if you're using super-cardioid mics.

If it's just an archive recording then an XY pair centre stage would be adequate - as long as organisers agree with that positioning. Paying audiences (if that's what it is) expect to be able to see without 'ironmongery' getting in the way.

So close mic as close as you dare on instruments and vocalists and use an AB spaced pair of cardioids or omnis to pick up the room... but you probably won't need much of that if the room's as lively as you indicate.

Of course, the problem may then be that with close mics the audience will assume there's a sound system and start 'rumbling' if they think it's not working! (Been there... teeshirt... etc!)
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby GRAHAM99 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:38 pm

Sounds like an intersting challenge!!

Here is one of the artists who I recorded in my studio:

https://youtu.be/wS4q7Z8wiDE
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:41 pm

GRAHAM99 wrote:I am going to record some accoustic performances in a church hall.
There is a cavernous reverb in the room!! My initial thoughts were to set up two condenser mics quite near to the performers, possibly with reflexion shields to try to cut down on the ambience.

Well, if you want a close-ish perspective with plenty of detail and presence, reasonably close miking is probably your only option. But I don't think you'll find the Reflexion filters of must assistance in that kind of scenario.

I was also going to set up an ambient mic in the room. Hopefully this will give me some control on the ambience on mixdown.

Sure... but to make it work properly, you'll need the close mics to be drier than you'd normally like, and the ambient mics to be all ambient and nothing direct. Mics at the back of the room should do it, if it's as wet as you suggest, but fig-8s sideways on is a good alternative.

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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby Wonks » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:05 pm

You could always tell people that the heating's broken down and could they all bring a duvet with them to help keep warm. That would help in soaking up some of the reflections. ;)
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Re: Church Hall Recording

Postby Folderol » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:10 pm

Wonks wrote:You could always tell people that the heating's broken down and could they all bring a duvet with them to help keep warm. That would help in soaking up some of the reflections. ;)
Hmmm.
I dread to think what your home is like :lol:
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