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Mic-ing backing vocals

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Mic-ing backing vocals

Postby eythoralex » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:55 pm

Hi, after about a month I have to Mix a concert witch is going to take up all of my 32 channels. One part of that are background vocals consisting of 12 members but I don't think I will have enough channels to Mic them up independently. Are there any good Mic techniques with maby a pair or two of condenser mic's or shotgun mic's? Keep in mind this is a small/medium sized venue, so I want to keep the mics as close to the vocals as possible for the most gain.
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Re: Mic-ing backing vocals

Postby hobbyist » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:03 am

eythoralex wrote:Hi, after about a month I have to Mix a concert witch is going to take up all of my 32 channels. One part of that are background vocals consisting of 12 members but I don't think I will have enough channels to Mic them up independently. Are there any good Mic techniques with maby a pair or two of condenser mic's or shotgun mic's? Keep in mind this is a small/medium sized venue, so I want to keep the mics as close to the vocals as possible for the most gain.

Depending where they are located you should be able to mike a backing group with a pair. The real question is how and where to put them.

If they are arranged 5 4 3 back to front that would seem best.
6x6 and certainly 12x1 would cause more problems.

Can you put mike stands in front of them? An AB pair should work.
You really need the mikes close so as to stop the rest of the concert sources from overwhelming the BG singers mikes with their content.

If you use a shotgun it might tend to miss much of the BG singers or else pick up too much from other sources.

If you are using all 32 channels that sounds like a large venue not a small or even medium.
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Re: Mic-ing backing vocals

Postby Wonks » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:32 am

A lot will depend on what other instrumentation there is and how close it is to the singers. With a well separated orchestra and choir, you can get away with using just a few overhead mics on the choir. But if they are located on a small stage close to or in-between other instruments, then you'll want to get mics as near to the vocals as possible.

Best if you can tell us what sort of music this is; classical, rock etc. and what instruments the BVs are competing with.

If you need to close mic, then getting in another mixer to sub-mix the BVs is an option.
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Re: Mic-ing backing vocals

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:36 am

Good advice from Wonks...

... and generally I'm always cautious of using (true) shotgun mics indoors and live. They're not really designed for that type of work and, counter-intuitively, can pick-up all sorts of reflections off walls and end-up either muddying/smearing the sound or causing feedback - or both.

Without knowing the detail, which Wonks has asked for, my opening shot would be one (true) cardioid mic between three - held by the middle person with the capsule in the region of the sternum and about six inches 'out'. Middle person sings out - not at the mic - and the two flankers angle themselves slightly inwards. But by now we're into group-management rather than just sound-system provision... :)
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Re: Mic-ing backing vocals

Postby Wonks » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:49 am

Also depends on the parts the singers are singing. If they are doing group harmonies, then you are probably best not mixing two or more lines on a shared close mic if possible. So if you've got Bass, Alto, Treble and Soprano parts, then I'd suggest a mic for each part etc.
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