Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Music > Recordings
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 06-21-2014, 10:27 PM   #1
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
 
axemanchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
recording a school choir

I've never done anything quite like this before, and wanted to get some feedback/second opinions before I give this a go on Monday.

As many of you know, I'm a teacher. My grade four/five class has been working on a song that we want to record. We have:

drums (basic beat = only kick, snare, hats, crash)
acc gtr (me)
6 students playing recorder in unison during one part of the song
4 students singing a higher vocal
15 students singing the main part of the melody

My plan is as follows: (see diagram)
https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/...dit?usp=sharing

drums as shown:
Mic A = kick drum (either Sennheiser e602 or MD421 or SM7b
Mic B = snare drum (SM57 or Sennheiser e835, or the MD421 here instead)
Mic C = two mics in M/S array: Rode K2 in fig 8 and Behringer ECM8000 omni condensor

*placing the mics in location C means (despite the more-or-less pre-fab drum diagram), that the kick and snare will form almost a straight line to the mic position with the hats being slightly on one side and the crash being slightly on the other.

Back row: high voices and recorders
Mic D = ECM8000 omni

Front two rows: 15 "core" voices
Mic E = Studio Projects C4 pair using cardioid capsules and stereo bar in ORTF mode.

Before we start the song, I'll have the drummer give one really good whack on the snare so that I can have a nice clear transient to allow me to line up the tracks for phase alignment in mixdown.

^ That's for the first pass.

Then an overdub, more than anything else, simply because we can and it might be useful to have some options....

So... second pass:

NO drums. Play back rough mix from behind microphone location E and pointing towards the class.

Mic E - same as above
Mic D - move the m/s array that I used for the drums (the K2 and the ECM8000) over to this position now to capture a more stereo sound out of my high voices and recorders.

I'll keep the playback low, listen myself through headphones, and lead them through the song.

Lastly:
- overdub bass guitar and guitar at home.

Here's where I'm a little unsure: I accompany them using the acoustic guitar, which will work as part of the song. If I play while they sing, it will obviously be picked up in the mics. I'm thinking the guitar will go in the mix more in the center, but underneath the choir, which will spread wider than the guitar. If you imagine a violin against a piano, the violin would sit in the center while the piano took up the stereo spread. That sort of thing.

I'm thinking of standing between the front row and the second row. The front row won't see me without turning their heads, but everyone else will. The recorders sometimes need some clear support to stay in time with the drums. This keeps me close to them.

I don't want to move around like I often would while I am leading them because then the sound of the guitar will "move" in the mix. I figure that, as long as I play fairly low, I can overdub another guitar and layer it over, which along with the bass that I will overdub, and the drums, will mask it in the mix.

Does that sound wonky? Is there a better way?

It is perhaps worth mentioning that it is a mostly empty classroom, so it is, pretty much by default, a crappy room to record in. That is part of my motivation for not using spaced pairs for miking, because I want to avoid reflections around the perimeter.

Thanks!
CT
__________________
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
axemanchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2014, 01:18 AM   #2
Cajundaddy
Registered User
 
Cajundaddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: SoCal
Well, probably not how I would do it but you may get good results. If it were my project I would:
1. Find a room with good acoustics and record everything live in a stereo sound stage, Two condensers xy pattern. Or...

2. Record a click, play it back in directors headphones, play guitar and lead the choir and recorders with stereo mics xy pattern, overdub drums in isolation with close mics, od close mic'd guitar, od bass > mixdown> master.

Both ways could result in good results. The room acoustics will be important if you want the best from your choir and recorders.
__________________
Guthrie on tone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY

“Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It’s the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use.” - SRV
Cajundaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2014, 08:24 AM   #3
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
 
axemanchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
I agree entirely with your thoughts and appreciate your response. Unfortunately, there is not a single room in our school with even half-assed good acoustics.

My purpose for the overdubs is to essentially isolate the different sections from the drums as much as possible. One possible approach to mixing could be to take the second pass without the drums (though instead of being performed to a click, are going to be performed along with the first pass, so the two takes will be as in time with each other as they're ever going to get) and bring up the drums from the first take. Then OD guitar, bass.

CT
__________________
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.

Last edited by axemanchris : 06-22-2014 at 08:25 AM.
axemanchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2014, 04:29 PM   #4
Spambot_2
UG's redhead
 
Spambot_2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Italy
Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
As many of you know, I'm a teacher.
I didn't know it.
That's nice

You can't use an omni figure mic for a mid/side pattern.
The pint of that setup is picking up the stuff coming from the sides with a mic and the stuff coming from the centre with another.
If you pick up the whole thing with one mic you can try and reverse the phase of the mid mic but the thing would result in the mid signal being out of phase with the side signal, which would in turn result in a pretty funny sound.

Also for the love of whoever loves you most, don't use an e835 if you have other choices.

With that setup you also risk in incurring in a shitload of phase distortion - mics E would pick up the drums that will probably be out of phase with mic D and most likely with mics C, the two rows picked up by mics E will likely be a bit out of phase - not enough to sound funny but it's till be better to avoid that.
Mic D would pick up the drums which may be out of phase with mics C, the lower register choirs and the reflections from the sides, and since you said the room will sound bad it might not be a good idea to pick up the reflections from the sides.
In that setup mics E might pick up a nice bit of reflections too probably.

If I were you I'd keep things simple and record everything in one take.
Thing is, to make that recording sound good you have to make the thing sound good in the room, and as far as I'm getting the thing this isn't really a realistic option.

Then, lemme open paint.net and draw what I'd do...
Here - http://imgur.com/cLe9w1r
You may also place the mic you're not using for the guitar near the source that makes the highest pitched sounds together with one of the cardio condensers.

Recorded that track the drums alone (giving the drummer a pair of headphones) with the e602 in front of the bass drum, the sm57 over the snare, one C4 with a cardio capsule over the h-h and one over the crash trying to pick up less of the rest as you can with each mic.
Then use k2 in cardio mode as overheads mic and mix as you prefer.

If the room doesn't sound good just don't use any room mic.

Then return home, track whatever else you like and mix the stuff however you like.
Then send me a copy of the mix, I deserve it after 5 good minutes drawing stuff with paint
__________________
Name's Luca.
worthwhile quotes, because quote boxes occupy too much space
Spambot_2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2014, 09:12 PM   #5
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
 
axemanchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Hey! Thanks for your input. Though I disagree with a few things, you have provided me with cause to totally rethink my method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spambot_2
You can't use an omni figure mic for a mid/side pattern.


I hadn't considered using an omni for mid-side either until I read this from a Universal Audio blog:
http://www.uaudio.com/blog/mid-side-mic-recording/

I was originally going to use one of the C4's for the mid-side at the drums, and the other C4 for the recorders, with the ECM8000's as a spaced pair at the front of the room, roughly to the sides of position E.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spambot_2
Also for the love of whoever loves you most, don't use an e835 if you have other choices.


I have a 58 and a couple of 57's..... I'll almost always choose the 835 over the 58, and about equally as often as the 57. I really like it. What's your gripe with that mic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spambot_2
With that setup you also risk in incurring in a shitload of phase distortion - mics E would pick up the drums that will probably be out of phase with mic D and most likely with mics C, the two rows picked up by mics E will likely be a bit out of phase - not enough to sound funny but it's till be better to avoid that.
Mic D would pick up the drums which may be out of phase with mics C, the lower register choirs and the reflections from the sides, and since you said the room will sound bad it might not be a good idea to pick up the reflections from the sides.
In that setup mics E might pick up a nice bit of reflections too probably.


The phase distortion as a result from the drums hitting mic positions C, D, and E can be easily sorted out by time-aligning the tracks with a nice clear snare hit. However, your suggestion that this will be further compounded by possible phase issues between the high voices and recorders hitting mic positions D and E at the same time was a concern of mine. OTOH, people do minor spot-miking in orchestras and bands all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spambot_2
Then, lemme open paint.net and draw what I'd do...
Here - http://imgur.com/cLe9w1r


I really like this. It is simple, and it has the mics facing into the room and away from the perimeter. Isolation of parts is achieved by positioning within the room that is simple to pull off and will allow most of the kids to see me at least okay enough out of the corner of their eyes, or with turning their heads only a bit. It puts me basically in the null of all the mics for the guitar accompaniment.

I think what I might do is use this for the second pass. Instead of me being in that null space, that's where I'll put the speaker for the playback of the first pass for them to sing over top of.

I'll keep the close miking of the drums from the first pass and blend that in with the arrangement you suggested for the second pass. I'll time-align the other mics as I was going to do, and use those to bring up to support the take from the second pass - enough to fill up the sound, but not enough for any phase issues to be a distraction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spambot_2
You may also place the mic you're not using for the guitar near the source that makes the highest pitched sounds together with one of the cardio condensers.


I'm going to overdub the acoustic guitar at home. My goal for the recording at the school will be to have it as unobtrusive as possible, and not moving around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spambot_2
Recorded that track the drums alone (giving the drummer a pair of headphones) with the e602 in front of the bass drum, the sm57 over the snare, one C4 with a cardio capsule over the h-h and one over the crash trying to pick up less of the rest as you can with each mic.
Then use k2 in cardio mode as overheads mic and mix as you prefer.


You're suggesting overdubbing the drums?

Working with a pro drummer, I'd consider this. Our drummer is nine, though. She keeps a good steady beat, but having her either play to an existing recording without drums and without the visual cues that occur during performance might be asking for trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spambot_2
Then send me a copy of the mix, I deserve it after 5 good minutes drawing stuff with paint


Yeah, I'll post it. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and the kids are all stoked too.

Thanks for the ideas!

CT
__________________
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
axemanchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2014, 11:38 PM   #6
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
 
axemanchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Here is the audio result:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2...dit?usp=sharing

Quite happy with it overall. A few minor quibbles, but hey...

CT
__________________
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
axemanchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2014, 06:04 AM   #7
Victorgeiger
Registered User
 
Victorgeiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
Here is the audio result:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2...dit?usp=sharing

Quite happy with it overall. A few minor quibbles, but hey...

CT


They really got into it when the chorus started at 1:20, this is adorable good job man.
__________________

News, reviews, guitar lessons and

Victorgeiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2014, 08:23 AM   #8
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
 
axemanchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thanks! They had a lot of fun with it. :-) I'm proud of them.

Here's an easier link to stream it from:

https://soundcloud.com/chris-tondreau/wavin-flag

CT
__________________
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk
Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
axemanchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:49 PM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.