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Author Topic: The right mics for choir and instrumental ensembles  (Read 434 times)

Kevin Wilkinson

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The right mics for choir and instrumental ensembles
« on: April 13, 2018, 05:10:25 pm »

Hello all -

I am trying to make sure we get this purchase right. I am micing a choir of 20-30 voices, with occasional need for mics for a group of children and monthly instrumental ensembles (usually 3-4 strings and 2-4 winds). I am also looking for a good solution for our piano (a small Mason & Hamlin grand). Our room seats 250 and also houses our contemporary service.

Our audio firm brought out a couple of Galaxy Audio carbon fiber booms, but I am not a big fan of Galaxy equipment (I am currently stuck with Galaxy IEMs for the contemporary service).

I have seen good things about the Audix Microboom series and the EarthWorks flexwand (though it is a little pricey) for the choir (and potentially instrumentalists). Do you have any other suggestions/guidance?


Thanks!
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: The right mics for choir and instrumental ensembles
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 05:32:12 pm »

Hello all -

I am trying to make sure we get this purchase right. I am micing a choir of 20-30 voices, with occasional need for mics for a group of children and monthly instrumental ensembles (usually 3-4 strings and 2-4 winds). I am also looking for a good solution for our piano (a small Mason & Hamlin grand). Our room seats 250 and also houses our contemporary service.

Our audio firm brought out a couple of Galaxy Audio carbon fiber booms, but I am not a big fan of Galaxy equipment (I am currently stuck with Galaxy IEMs for the contemporary service).

I have seen good things about the Audix Microboom series and the EarthWorks flexwand (though it is a little pricey) for the choir (and potentially instrumentalists). Do you have any other suggestions/guidance?


Thanks!

Audio Technica Pro 37 not fancy not expensive but work well.
I also use some of the original CAD E100 mics on choirs and they work very well, these are the old made in Ohio version. They show up on Ebay fairly often.

I have never heard or gotten good results with all of the usual hanging mic choices, good mics on a stand in front of the choir work better every time.

What else is happening on stage while the choir is signing as far as instruments that are playing ect.


Joel Schroer

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Re: The right mics for choir and instrumental ensembles
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2018, 11:13:59 pm »

We use a couple of "stick" choir mics similar to Ace Backstage units. The next time I'm at the church, I'll double check the manufacturer and model number.  I've used them for a variety of situations including sections (Usually strings) for when we've had orchestral events at our church.  I find them VERY handy for when you want to pick up a wider area of sound (Wedding vows, for example). I've put one in the middle of a quartet and picked up everything quite well.  (Note: I'm not making a studio recording as it isn't my goal, but they are just fine for a live recording...)

Another latest favorite are the Rode M5 "Matched pair" of mics.  They come in around $200 for the pair of them.  So far, I've used them for picking up harp, violin, flute, and guitar.  I use a similar one UNDER the grand piano and it gives a nice warm sound without the harshness that most over-hung mics do.  You'd ESPECIALLY like this configuration if you have a VERY powerful vocalist at the piano! (Which is why I went under the piano after having such a gentleman at the keys! :-) )

My personal choice is that I like flexibility when it comes to mics.  Not everything is 'set in stone' and I may need to move things around.  Granted, our stage is set up with pockets so I can minimize or at least hide cord runs, but where your cords go may be an issue.

If you video record your services, ask your camera operator what they think as well.  Some mics will stand out like a sore thumb depending on the environment.

Good luck!
Joel S.
Worship Tech Solutions. Inc.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: The right mics for choir and instrumental ensembles
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2018, 12:29:06 am »

We use a couple of "stick" choir mics similar to Ace Backstage units. The next time I'm at the church, I'll double check the manufacturer and model number.  I've used them for a variety of situations including sections (Usually strings) for when we've had orchestral events at our church.  I find them VERY handy for when you want to pick up a wider area of sound (Wedding vows, for example). I've put one in the middle of a quartet and picked up everything quite well.  (Note: I'm not making a studio recording as it isn't my goal, but they are just fine for a live recording...)

Another latest favorite are the Rode M5 "Matched pair" of mics.  They come in around $200 for the pair of them.  So far, I've used them for picking up harp, violin, flute, and guitar.  I use a similar one UNDER the grand piano and it gives a nice warm sound without the harshness that most over-hung mics do.  You'd ESPECIALLY like this configuration if you have a VERY powerful vocalist at the piano! (Which is why I went under the piano after having such a gentleman at the keys! :-) )

My personal choice is that I like flexibility when it comes to mics.  Not everything is 'set in stone' and I may need to move things around.  Granted, our stage is set up with pockets so I can minimize or at least hide cord runs, but where your cords go may be an issue.

If you video record your services, ask your camera operator what they think as well.  Some mics will stand out like a sore thumb depending on the environment.

Good luck!
Joel S.
Worship Tech Solutions. Inc.

Joel - Please fix your display name to your real name.  This requirement is stated when you signed up.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Joel Schroer

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Re: The right mics for choir and instrumental ensembles
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2018, 11:07:46 am »

Joel - Please fix your display name to your real name.  This requirement is stated when you signed up.

Scott and Group,
Whoops! My apologies! (It was a late night and my brain was a little 'staticy'... ;-) )
I've gone in and made the change, thank you!

Joel Schroer
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Tim Hite

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Re: The right mics for choir and instrumental ensembles
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2018, 01:02:21 pm »

You already mentioned Earthworks, have you seen their PM40 Piano Mic system? It sounds great. It's the most elegant solution I've seen for piano.

The Flex Wand is surprisingly adaptable to many situations and just sort of disappears into the background. I use the short one with a wireless butt plug to do wedding ceremonies and it's worked out really well.

Hello all -

I am trying to make sure we get this purchase right. I am micing a choir of 20-30 voices, with occasional need for mics for a group of children and monthly instrumental ensembles (usually 3-4 strings and 2-4 winds). I am also looking for a good solution for our piano (a small Mason & Hamlin grand). Our room seats 250 and also houses our contemporary service.

Our audio firm brought out a couple of Galaxy Audio carbon fiber booms, but I am not a big fan of Galaxy equipment (I am currently stuck with Galaxy IEMs for the contemporary service).

I have seen good things about the Audix Microboom series and the EarthWorks flexwand (though it is a little pricey) for the choir (and potentially instrumentalists). Do you have any other suggestions/guidance?


Thanks!
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Bad Quail
Sound + Light
Joshua Tree, California

Bill Meeks

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Re: The right mics for choir and instrumental ensembles
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2018, 03:53:56 pm »

Our church has 6 of the Audix Microboom mics.  Two of the 50" model and four of the 80" model (or maybe it's 84", can't recall off the top of my head).  We get excellent results with them on the choir and with various ensembles and kids groups on the chancel steps.  Their carbon fiber booms are pretty thin and sort of disappear from view, especially at a distance.  We have the cardioid version.  They come in a hyper-cardioid style as well.

Bill
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Ken Cross

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Re: The right mics for choir and instrumental ensembles
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2018, 10:13:27 am »

We've had great luck with the same mic for all the items you mentioned. It's an Audio Technica U835R (Around $190 US). They are small mics with a permanently attached 25 foot cord (XLR) We have 2 hanging for normal choir music, and 2 on stands that we move around as needed. One works great on our baby grand (Mounted on a stand pointing in the opening toward the strings). They also seem to hold up well.

Ken
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