Recording Techniques used on King's Choir

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Can anybody please help me. I am interested in the techniques used to
capture the amaising sound of King's college Choir. In particular the
Mic selection and placement, Analoque/digital recording and anyting
els that has to do with the recording of the choir.

Thankyou.
 
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"Kathryn" <kathrynglover@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a67b88cd.0504251924.2f1989f9@posting.google.com...
> Can anybody please help me. I am interested in the techniques used to
> capture the amaising sound of King's college Choir. In particular the
> Mic selection and placement, Analoque/digital recording and anyting
> els that has to do with the recording of the choir.

Which recordings? They've made quite a lot, for various record companies,
and I would bet the various companies used different mic selection and
placement.

Peace,
Paul
 
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Kathryn <kathrynglover@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Can anybody please help me. I am interested in the techniques used to
>capture the amaising sound of King's college Choir. In particular the
>Mic selection and placement, Analoque/digital recording and anyting
>els that has to do with the recording of the choir.

On which recordings? These guys have been recording since the acoustic
78 days of the 1920s, and have continued recording through many generations
of recording technology.

For the most part, the secret is that they are very good singers in a
good room, though. But if you have a particular recording, there are
folks you can ask about it.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 
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"Kathryn" <kathrynglover@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a67b88cd.0504251924.2f1989f9@posting.google.com...
> Can anybody please help me. I am interested in the techniques used to
> capture the amaising sound of King's college Choir. In particular the
> Mic selection and placement, Analoque/digital recording and anyting
> els that has to do with the recording of the choir.
>
> Thankyou.

Surely if you start off in Kings College Chapel much of the sound quality
follows from being in that location ?

--
M Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK
http://www.megalith.freeserve.co.uk/oddimage.htm
 
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Malcolm Stewart wrote:
> "Kathryn" <kathrynglover@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:a67b88cd.0504251924.2f1989f9@posting.google.com...
>> Can anybody please help me. I am interested in the techniques used
>> to capture the amaising sound of King's college Choir. In
>> particular the Mic selection and placement, Analoque/digital
>> recording and anyting els that has to do with the recording of the
>> choir.
>>
>> Thankyou.
>
> Surely if you start off in Kings College Chapel much of the sound
> quality follows from being in that location ?

It also has a lot to do with the quality of the musicianship of the
choir itself. Good musicians are somehow easier to record and have
sound good.
 
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Scott Dorsey wrote:

> For the most part, the secret is that they are very good singers in a
> good room, though.

And that changes through the years too. Not only an annual turnover of
singers, but David Wilcox was famous in the '60's/70's for the
particular ethereal sound he got from the choir, so the way they were
trained is part of the sound.

The BBC once had a strange problem with their broadcast of the famous
Christmas "Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols" - a deep rumbling sound
from some overhead mics that wasn't there during the rehearsal, traced
eventually to the upward air currents from dozen of candles lit for the
service.

Anahata
(posting from Cambridge, UK, and many years ago a student at the same
college)
 
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A lot depends on the space in which the choir is singing.

I recorded the King's College choir in the Sydney Opera House a few
years ago.
It was a live recording with an audience so I placed the mics (AKG
414's as a stereo pair) on the winches about 3 metres above and 2 metre
behind the conductor.

This gave a sound that is quite different from the recordings I have
heard. Much less reverberation, and a lot more detail of the voices in
the choir is apparent, rather than the very blended sound on the
recordings.

I have never tried to make my recording sound like the commercial
recording, but I suspect it could be done using some "large room"
reverberation, for a start.

Peter.


Kathryn wrote:
> Can anybody please help me. I am interested in the techniques used
to
> capture the amaising sound of King's college Choir. In particular
the
> Mic selection and placement, Analoque/digital recording and anyting
> els that has to do with the recording of the choir.
>
> Thankyou.
 
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kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote in message news:<d4lb41$3f6$1@panix2.panix.com>...
> Kathryn <kathrynglover@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >Can anybody please help me. I am interested in the techniques used to
> >capture the amaising sound of King's college Choir. In particular the
> >Mic selection and placement, Analoque/digital recording and anyting
> >els that has to do with the recording of the choir.
>
> On which recordings? These guys have been recording since the acoustic
> 78 days of the 1920s, and have continued recording through many generations
> of recording technology.
>
> For the most part, the secret is that they are very good singers in a
> good room, though. But if you have a particular recording, there are
> folks you can ask about it.
> --scott


Thankyou,
I am really interested in the Palestria Mass'Tu es Petrus', any
information would be fantastic.
 
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Kathryn <kathrynglover@hotmail.com> wrote:
>kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote in message news:<d4lb41$3f6$1@panix2.panix.com>...
>> Kathryn <kathrynglover@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> >Can anybody please help me. I am interested in the techniques used to
>> >capture the amaising sound of King's college Choir. In particular the
>> >Mic selection and placement, Analoque/digital recording and anyting
>> >els that has to do with the recording of the choir.
>>
>> On which recordings? These guys have been recording since the acoustic
>> 78 days of the 1920s, and have continued recording through many generations
>> of recording technology.
>>
>> For the most part, the secret is that they are very good singers in a
>> good room, though. But if you have a particular recording, there are
>> folks you can ask about it.
>
> Thankyou,
>I am really interested in the Palestria Mass'Tu es Petrus', any
>information would be fantastic.

That's an EMI recording from 1965, at least my LP with Sir David Willcocks
conducting is. The problem with EMI stuff is that back then EMI was
conglomerating all of these different companies together into one big empire
so they didn't have standard procedures down to the point that most of
folks like Decca did.

Sounds to me like it was done with a single ribbon mike, probably to one
of the wacky EMI tape machines. The pressing I have was definitely cut
with a Westrex mono head by someone who signed the lacquer "L.B."

A letter to EMI will probably get you a lot more information. Sorry, if
it were a Decca recording of that era or a Columbia recording of that
era, it would be a lot easier to track down the exact procedures, since
they were pretty well standardized throughout the label. EMI didn't have
such an advantage.

But to be honest, listening to the recording what I hear is a decent
mono rendition of a really wonderful hall. If you can get that hall,
everything else is gravy.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 
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peter.bell@cisra.canon.com.au wrote in news:1114566831.426258.155410
@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

> I have never tried to make my recording sound like the commercial
> recording, but I suspect it could be done using some "large room"
> reverberation, for a start.

I haven't recorded them, but I have recorded similar groups with similar
result.

It takes a pair of omnis well placed in the right room. Distance from the
group is the most crucial modifier.
 
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Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote:

> It takes a pair of omnis well placed in the right room. Distance from the
> group is the most crucial modifier.

So, what are typical distances in highly reverberant rooms like this?

Lars


--
lars farm // http://www.farm.se
lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
aim: larsfarm@mac.com
 
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On 4/27/05 1:54 PM, in article
1gvp0du.1yjwpkocwlc5wN%see.bottom.of.page@farm.se, "Lars Farm"
<see.bottom.of.page@farm.se> wrote:

> Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> It takes a pair of omnis well placed in the right room. Distance from the
>> group is the most crucial modifier.
>
> So, what are typical distances in highly reverberant rooms like this?

EASY:
Tell me the mic,
tell me the artist/instrument,
tell me what result you want...?
 
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SSJVCmag <ten@nozirev.gamnocssj.com> wrote:

> On 4/27/05 1:54 PM, in article
> 1gvp0du.1yjwpkocwlc5wN%see.bottom.of.page@farm.se, "Lars Farm"
> <see.bottom.of.page@farm.se> wrote:
>
> > Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> It takes a pair of omnis well placed in the right room. Distance from the
> >> group is the most crucial modifier.
> >
> > So, what are typical distances in highly reverberant rooms like this?
>
> EASY:
> Tell me the mic,
> tell me the artist/instrument,
> tell me what result you want...?

The expected answer in this group, but ... well, that's avoiding the
question a bit don't you think? Why not answer with the type of mics you
prefer in a situation like this and the kind of result that you want?
Actually the mics were already half specified - a pair of omnis. The
artist/instrument is given - a good, small a capella choir. Boys trebles
and male altos if you want to narrow it down a bit. The room is given
and can easily be extrapolated to similar rooms. I'm fully aware that
there is no absolute right or wrong. I ask for opinion expressed in a
distance.

sincerely
Lars


--
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lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
aim: larsfarm@mac.com
 
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see.bottom.of.page@farm.se (Lars Farm) wrote in
news:1gvp0du.1yjwpkocwlc5wN%see.bottom.of.page@farm.se:

> Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> It takes a pair of omnis well placed in the right room. Distance
>> from the group is the most crucial modifier.
>
> So, what are typical distances in highly reverberant rooms like this?

The distance at which the direct and reverberant fields blend to taste.

Too close and you hear individual voices and a smooth but faint reverb.
Too far and you lose the clarity in the wash of room sound.

For a group as well trained and rehearsed as those at King's College you
can get quite close without voices sticking out or undue noise from
movement or breathing, yet I wouldn't, because the blended sound is so very
pleasant.

Assuming a live but extremely quiet room, where the only contribution is
the hall sound, no AC, no street noise.

Assuming a clean, quiet recording system, in my case 2 DPA 4006's to a
Cranesong Spider sitting well outside the room.

Assuming the group in two or three rows standing across the nave in front
of the altar (a common performance position)

I'd start about 15 feet away and move as necessary.

This might be one case where I'd abandon the "close one ear and listen with
the other" method. I'd rather listen very carefully with both ears, moving
just inches at a time until the involuntary smile spreading across my face
told me I had found it.
 
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Lars Farm <see.bottom.of.page@farm.se> wrote:
>
>The expected answer in this group, but ... well, that's avoiding the
>question a bit don't you think? Why not answer with the type of mics you
>prefer in a situation like this and the kind of result that you want?
>Actually the mics were already half specified - a pair of omnis. The
>artist/instrument is given - a good, small a capella choir. Boys trebles
>and male altos if you want to narrow it down a bit. The room is given
>and can easily be extrapolated to similar rooms. I'm fully aware that
>there is no absolute right or wrong. I ask for opinion expressed in a
>distance.

Depends a lot on the music and how bright the room reverberation is. With
a pair of baffled omnis in a big stone-walled room, I can sometimes be as
close as five feet for a solo vocal piece, and as much as fifty feet for
plainsong where you don't want to hear individual singers and you don't
necessarily need good intelligibility. If the room is brighter, I'm
going to be closer-in than I would be in a room with the same RT60 but
with a balance more slanted toward midrange and low end reverberation.
If there's percussion accompaniment, I might move the percussion so it
is a lot farther away from the mikes than the soloists.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
 
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Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Too close and you hear individual voices and a smooth but faint reverb.
> Too far and you lose the clarity in the wash of room sound.

I've been in perhaps 3-4m, but then I lose the room. If I move out a
couple of meters I loose the choir and it all turns to mush. This is a
capella, worse with instruments. I want it where I just can distinguish
individual voices (small choir) and still have a nice sense of the
room...

> For a group as well trained and rehearsed as those at King's College you
> can get quite close without voices sticking out or undue noise from
> movement or breathing, yet I wouldn't, because the blended sound is so very
> pleasant.

I'd say that both close and far requires good technique from the
singers. Articulation is lost at distance without good technique. They
have to be together. Perhaps closer exagerates bad technique and far
hides both good and bad technique.

> Assuming [...] I'd start about 15 feet away and move as necessary.

Thanks for sharing.

L


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lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
aim: larsfarm@mac.com
 
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see.bottom.of.page@farm.se (Lars Farm) wrote in
news:1gvqbep.1tagx8vyitndqN%see.bottom.of.page@farm.se:

> Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Too close and you hear individual voices and a smooth but faint
>> reverb. Too far and you lose the clarity in the wash of room sound.
>
> I've been in perhaps 3-4m, but then I lose the room. If I move out a
> couple of meters I loose the choir and it all turns to mush. This is a
> capella, worse with instruments. I want it where I just can
> distinguish individual voices (small choir) and still have a nice
> sense of the room...

Then you may want to change microphone patterns. Omnis should give the
most room, but you can use cardioids or hypercardioids and move out farther
from the voices and still get decent resolution.

The farther back you go, the more room sound you get. The tighter the
pattern the farther back you can go.
 
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With Choral music I use close mics for articulation and distant mics
for reverb.
then balance to my taste, with tempo often dictating the balnce between
the two different positionings.
kevin doyle
 
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One more idea to throw into the pot: Tony Faulkner's "phased array" setup.
Two Figure-8 mics, both pointed forward, separated by a small distance --
12"? 18"? I don't remember exactly. He claimed that it gave better "reach"
and focus from greater distances. That first, famous Hildegard of Bingen
recording ("A Feather on the Breath of God", on Hyperion) used this
technique. I must say I liked the sound.

Peace,
Paul
 
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On 4/28/05 1:35 PM, in article
g99ce.137404$cg1.106397@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net, "Paul Stamler"
<pstamlerhell@pobox.com> wrote:

> One more idea to throw into the pot: Tony Faulkner's "phased array" setup.
> Two Figure-8 mics, both pointed forward, separated by a small distance --
> 12"? 18"? I don't remember exactly. He claimed that it gave better "reach"
> and focus from greater distances. That first, famous Hildegard of Bingen
> recording ("A Feather on the Breath of God", on Hyperion) used this
> technique. I must say I liked the sound.

'phased array' ?
Was there some sort of odd matrix/combining thing going on or just 'a coupla
mics in the air"?
I can certainly see a pair of 8's if you really diin't like the room and
needed the reach, but the spacing-vs-distance-vs-source-width would be
pretty dang important.
 
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