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Choir Mic setup


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-30-40 people

-a third male, two thirds female


They are stood in three 'groups' next to each other, Female, then male, then female.

The microphones that I have available are two c1000's and two AKG414. Just wondering what the best way to do this would be. Any advice would be amazing.



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Something to be getting on with in the meantime perhaps, doubtless you will get asked about where the choir are, their repetoire and whether live or recorded:






and from this lot...should get some decent gen from this link...



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Here come the questions. So do your 'sections' conform to vocal range so you have the more traditional sopranos and altos for the ladies and then the usual tenors an baritones mixed up as the bloke?


What kind of volume do you hope to get - as in why are they too quiet? Is it a huge venue, or are they just poor singers?

Are they having trouble getting over the volume of the music, or are they really having trouble getting physically over the top of musicians in a theatre pit, for example?


What kind of PA is it and where are the speakers compared to the performers?


Genre? Any other strange bits like the common very loud choir members with prominent voices but not good ones, who need negative volume management?


In general - choir amplification is usually because they're just not too hot, and the limit is set by volume before feedback. The usual eq tweaks to squeeze a bit more often fail because they sound poor - so with your mic box - expect people to recommend putting the C1000s in the next room and leave them off. I realise you perhaps love them, but they're the if all fail mic of choice. In truth, they're not that bad and could easily be used, but they are not in the 414 league. I'd be very tempted to listen to them sing - see if you can get the conductor to split them up more than usual so you can listen to how they really sound, and then give the two weakest the 414s, and use the C1000s for the ones who are the loudest.Tall stands so the mic can 'see' everyone. If you do find those people with voices you don't want it's worth seeing if you can get them to the outer edges and try the hyper pattern and adjust the positioning to have less of them and more of the others. If you have time, experiment.

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Thanks, seen a couple of these links before but will look into a bit more since recommended.



The sections are pretty much as you described.

Quite a large hall, seats about 1000, prob be about 600-700 people. Need mics to to get the levels over the band. They are a mixture of church vocalist ranging from very good singers to those that are questionable :).

The choir is located on the stage approx 5-10m below the line array.


The line array set is is fairly decent, d&b j series


Thanks for the advice. will prob try out the c1000 on the guys/baritones, seems as though this would be best.

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In all seriousness, that makes sense, because most negative comments on the C1000 relate to the somewhat bright top end that you can roll off for the fellas.


As with all things choir & PA - your real issue is simple - distance from subject to mic sets system volume limits.


The only other technique I saw used was using the fig 8 pattern to put the null towards the audience and then adjust everyone's positions to sing left/right. It looks very odd to group the sections almost facing each other - sideways nearly to the audience. I can't claim to have done this myself, but I saw a sound designer use it when they were doing a scene in a music )it was West Side Story if it makes a difference - with a big band in the pit. The sideways thing worked because the mics were placed centre stage - one more upstage, the other downstage, and the two gangs sang AT each other, and it worked really well. Not sure blocking would make it possible for 'normal' productions.

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