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Author Topic: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?  (Read 1848 times)

Tim Hite

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Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« on: December 09, 2019, 11:54:17 pm »

I have an outdoor wedding coming up that has way too much going on. I'm taking a small PA for the ceremony and have several things that may or may not need to go through the PA.

Officiant, bride and groom going through a lav mic in the holy book
Guitarist with vox and backing track will need to go through the PA

String quartet for walk in and out music?

14 ppl choir with electric piano accompaniment? Choir is going to walk in singing, after a couple planted soloists in the audience start the performance.

Client wants wireless on the choir and quartet. Client also wants to keep costs down.

170 attendees, PA is a pair of EV EVOLVE 50's.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 12:42:41 pm by Tim Hite »
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John Sulek

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2019, 11:56:15 pm »

I have an outdoor wedding coming up that has way too much going on. I'm taking a small PA for the ceremony and have several things that may or may not need to go through the PA.

Officiant, bride and groom going through a lav mic in the holy book
Guitarist with vox and backing track will need to go through the PA

String quartet for walk in and out music?

14 ppl choir with electric piano accompaniment?

Client wants wireless on the choir and quartet. Client also wants to keep costs down.

As the old mechanic's saying goes....
Fast..Good..Cheap...pick any two.
Best of luck.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2019, 12:16:04 am »

[...]

Client wants wireless on the choir and quartet. Client also wants to keep costs down.

That's like saying I'd like to commute to work in a Lamborghini but would also like to keep my costs down.

As for the rest, how big is the venue, how many in attendance? What's the PA? What kind of choir?

-Russ
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2019, 03:31:18 am »

Well, a (recording) gig I did recently had a choir of 14. They filled a small-ish cathedral pretty well on their own.

Helpful hint: put a mic on the choir, and use the PA to add reverb in outdoor settings.

Chris
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2019, 06:25:20 am »

If the quartet is siting down why wireless? If the choir is in a fixed location, why wireless? No wireless keeps cost down.
Boom a single mic in the middle of the quartet and boom 2 mics in front of the choir. if outside, don't forget wind socks!
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Mike Monte

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2019, 07:23:41 am »

I have an outdoor wedding coming up that has way too much going on. I'm taking a small PA for the ceremony and have several things that may or may not need to go through the PA.

Officiant, bride and groom going through a lav mic in the holy book
Guitarist with vox and backing track will need to go through the PA

String quartet for walk in and out music?

14 ppl choir with electric piano accompaniment?

Client wants wireless on the choir and quartet. Client also wants to keep costs down.

I am the leader/contractor for a classical trio (sometimes quartet) that performs at over 30 weddings per year in Newport, RI.
Many of our clients have deep pockets..

As someone that also does sound, I pick up a lot of "casual" at outdoor wedding ceremonies.

Assuming the ceremony is outdoors: two speakers located in the back of the guest seating area (one on each side)

For officiants: I prefer one wireless lapel-clip lav attached to the top of the spine of the officiant's binder/folder
(since the speakers are in the back of the attendees, I can bring up the gain on the mic with little risk of feedback...it will pick up the officiant's voice and also pick up the bride and groom's voices as the officiant will turn/face each one when administering the vows.

*****If there is a videographer that will also mic the officiant do not let him put his lav pack in the same pocket as your lav pack....  I have found that even though the individual mics are on different frequencies, they-may-react (negatively) with each other and ruin your production...had it happen to me way-too-often.
Advise: you mic the officiant first, bring him to the ceremonial area and get him up'n running.  This way, if the videographer's gear reacts with yours, it will be on him...
/mini rant

You may also suggest a standing mic (on a round-base stand) for the one or two readers that-will speak during the ceremony

Moving on: two mics (at most) on the choir (my choice Shure MX202B/C)

String Quartet: one (choral mic similar to above will do) mic in the center oriented a bit closer to the cellist

Guitarist/Vox/tracks - you will know what to do

As someone that has provided production for many wedding ceremonies I'd suggest to the client that mic'ing the officiant/reader/tracks (not necessarily the singer if he/she's competent at all) is all that's necessary.   The chorus/quartet not so much.

Give the client an "ala-carte" price list for each piece of the puzzle.

You may find that the client will go for the minimum (officiant/reader/tracks) and, as the date approaches, add the others as more funds will become available (savings on the catering bill from invited guests that can't attend)

oh, and btw: a contingency for rain......gotta have a plan in place
 



 
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 07:59:07 am by Mike Monte »
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MikeHarris

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2019, 07:43:02 am »

Airwave Technology is a local manufacturer/distributor that will be releasing carbon fiber choir mic designed for mobile church’s and outdoor events like this, equipped with a TA4F and designed to be powered by a Shure lav pack.
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Tim Hite

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2019, 12:40:36 pm »

Edited the OP to answer a few questions about the setup.

170 attendees, PA is a pair of EV EVOLVE 50's.

Choir is going to walk in after a couple soloists planted in the audience get the song started.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 12:43:59 pm by Tim Hite »
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2019, 12:59:30 pm »

Edited the OP to answer a few questions about the setup.

170 attendees, PA is a pair of EV EVOLVE 50's.

Choir is going to walk in after a couple soloists planted in the audience get the song started.

Is the choir walking in and singing at the same time? 
I'd suggest putting lavs or headset mics on the soloists only.  Bring them up when they start to sing.  When the choir comes in singing you can bring down the soloists and the choir can be acoustic. 
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Tim Hite

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2019, 01:03:28 pm »

I am the leader/contractor for a classical trio (sometimes quartet) that performs at over 30 weddings per year in Newport, RI.
Many of our clients have deep pockets..

As someone that also does sound, I pick up a lot of "casual" at outdoor wedding ceremonies.

...snip...

oh, and btw: a contingency for rain......gotta have a plan in place
 

Yeah, this is generally how I do things. Normally I wouldn't even mic the strings. The walking choir is throwing me for a loop and apparently the strings intend to play along with the choir at client request so if I start mixing stuff it's snowballing quickly.

Client is the groom from hell who doesn't really have a solid plan, just a bunch of pieces he thinks will all work out. Wedding is on the 21st and client still has me on hold while getting quotes from other vendors.
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Tim Hite

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2019, 01:04:33 pm »

Is the choir walking in and singing at the same time? 
I'd suggest putting lavs or headset mics on the soloists only.  Bring them up when they start to sing.  When the choir comes in singing you can bring down the soloists and the choir can be acoustic.

Yeah choir is walking in and singing. I do like this solution.
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Mike Monte

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2019, 05:45:37 pm »

Yeah, this is generally how I do things. Normally I wouldn't even mic the strings. The walking choir is throwing me for a loop and apparently the strings intend to play along with the choir at client request so if I start mixing stuff it's snowballing quickly.

Client is the groom from hell who doesn't really have a solid plan, just a bunch of pieces he thinks will all work out. Wedding is on the 21st and client still has me on hold while getting quotes from other vendors.

I like a challenge but to be truthful this gig seems to be blowing up as the date gets closer.
Do not under any circumstances give him a break on your price.  IMO this gig is setting up to be a PITA so getting paid well will ease the pain......
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Geoff Doane

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2019, 09:11:08 pm »

I like a challenge but to be truthful this gig seems to be blowing up as the date gets closer.
Do not under any circumstances give him a break on your price.  IMO this gig is setting up to be a PITA so getting paid well will ease the pain......

Or, if you're only on hold, get out now.  (If only I had taken that same advice, so many times.. ::) )

GTD
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Matthew Knischewsky

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2019, 09:23:15 pm »

Or, if you're only on hold, get out now.  (If only I had taken that same advice, so many times.. ::) )

GTD

THIS. GET OUT NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN. If you think the advance is bad, just think about what the day of the ceremony will be like.

Of course, just my opinion. Trust your gut instinct. If you do go ahead with the gig make sure it's worth it.
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Tim Hite

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2019, 11:19:41 pm »

I like a challenge but to be truthful this gig seems to be blowing up as the date gets closer.
Do not under any circumstances give him a break on your price.  IMO this gig is setting up to be a PITA so getting paid well will ease the pain......

Or, if you're only on hold, get out now.  (If only I had taken that same advice, so many times.. ::) )

GTD

THIS. GET OUT NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN. If you think the advance is bad, just think about what the day of the ceremony will be like.

Of course, just my opinion. Trust your gut instinct. If you do go ahead with the gig make sure it's worth it.

Thanks for the concern guys. You are correct that this is a dumpster fire of a client.  All of my production and rental gigs are 50% deposit and balance due 7 days prior to the event. He's got until Thursday to send me a wire transfer or he can book another provider. It's a good chunk of change and some holiday work for my guys.  I was open that weekend anyway. Client asked for a 7% discount so I told him I'd pull the wireless down to three channels instead. Will see if he books and if not, I'll go snowboarding.

On the up side, the event planner and venue manager both met me and want to do future business, so it's already a win. Also met another local provider (lights and video) who I've spoken to in the past. He's taking that chunk of the production with me doing sound and I'm sure we will work together in the future.

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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2019, 10:16:49 am »

I have an outdoor wedding coming up that has way too much going on. I'm taking a small PA for the ceremony and have several things that may or may not need to go through the PA.

Officiant, bride and groom going through a lav mic in the holy book
Guitarist with vox and backing track will need to go through the PA

String quartet for walk in and out music?

14 ppl choir with electric piano accompaniment? Choir is going to walk in singing, after a couple planted soloists in the audience start the performance.

Client wants wireless on the choir and quartet. Client also wants to keep costs down.

170 attendees, PA is a pair of EV EVOLVE 50's.

The majority of my work is weddings. There is no way I would mic the entire choir. That is way too many lav mics moving through the speaker coverage area to control. Explain to the client that it is unnecessary and might do more harm than good.

 If the planted soloists are positioned evenly through the congregation area, you probably don't need to mic them either.

 You are lucky that they actually told you in advance everything they are going to need mic'd. I prefer to use a single speaker when possible outdoors, because running speaker cables and keeping them out of walkways is tough with two speakers outdoors since people often enter or leave the congregation area in any direction. 

Problem with having multiple mics in various locations is that its hard to find a spot where you can get enough gbf  and volume with a single speaker positioned properly  to cover the entire congregation unless the seating area is relatively small. 100 people is usually the breaking point for me to add a second speaker unless the location is prone to winds like big open fields or tops of hills.

Make sure that the groom checks with the officiant on what type of mic they actually want to use. On more than one occasion I have brought and spent the time to get good gbf on a lav for an officiant only to have the officiant show up at the last minute, after everyone in the wedding party has disappeared to get ready and "refuse" to wear it and request a handheld wireless instead. I have also had a lot of client pay me to setup a lav and the officiant refuse to use any mic.

Since I always have both a lav and a handheld with every receiver its an easy swap, but last time this happened it was so last minute that in my haste I for failed to adjust the channel eq for the handheld and the results were less than desired initially.

On the same wedding, they also moved the quartet on me minutes before the ceremony from the corner of the seating area where the singers/guitarists they were to accompany were located and near where I set up the board and had placed a wired mic above them to the opposite corner. 

There was no time to set up another wireless for the quartet or run the needed cables completely around the ceremony area to move the wired mic so we had to just drop it.

On a side note I had no prior knowledge there was even going to be a string quartet, let alone that they were to accompany the singer-guitarists.

170 attendees is enough to warrant a mic on the quartets outdoors, from my experience. At least to get enough reinforcement for the entire seating area.

 For this particular wedding the singers and the quartet ended up being far enough apart that the singers really couldn't hear the quartet. Since the strings could hear them it was fine for the congregation but given the amount we spent getting the sound right prior to these last minute location moves it was very frustrating for me. From now on, if I get a quartet outdoors I'll use an Omni wireless above them, just in case this ever happens again.

I am doing so much business with just renting and setting up the gear for weddings that I'm considering not offering any actual mixing services for ceremonies any more. When we do a set up and leave situation, the client gets the exact equipment they requested set up and tested and any last minute changes are on them because we have already left the venue. If the officiant shows up and doesn't want lav mic, I never know and I don't care, as I got paid to provide the mic.

Much less stressful. And there is no blame put on us if things don't go well because they are there and approve how the lav mics etc sound prior to us leaving. I do everything possible during set up to make sure things sound good, but weddings are always one off gigs with virtually zero chance of repeat business. Why put myself thru the stress of mixing these things when I'm making the same money just delivering and setting up the gear?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 10:34:06 am by Scott Olewiler »
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2019, 10:22:36 am »

Thanks for the concern guys. You are correct that this is a dumpster fire of a client.  All of my production and rental gigs are 50% deposit and balance due 7 days prior to the event. He's got until Thursday to send me a wire transfer or he can book another provider. It's a good chunk of change and some holiday work for my guys.  I was open that weekend anyway. Client asked for a 7% discount so I told him I'd pull the wireless down to three channels instead. Will see if he books and if not, I'll go snowboarding.

I wouldn't discount a penny more.  Once you do that the client will sign, then start adding and changing a bunch of stuff. 
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2019, 11:09:37 am »

I've read the thread up to this point and part of me says "cut and run" and the other says "find as many items to put on the invoice as possible and don't take a credit card for the work."
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Mike Monte

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2019, 12:36:22 pm »

I've read the thread up to this point and part of me says "cut and run" and the other says "find as many items to put on the invoice as possible and don't take a credit card for the work."

Definitely don't take a credit card.....
For weddings my classical trio gets 50% up front with the balance due two weeks prior to the wedding.

In the 90's we did not get the balance up front..  On more than one occasion the groom forgot the check for the balance the-day-of.
I had to pay the rest of my ensemble out-of-pocket an wait for the couple to return from their honeymoon to collect..
Soon thereafter we went to "balance to be paid two weeks prior to the event".

Storytime:
My ensemble played this wedding at a venue in Newport, RI on Saturday, June 25, 2005...(I had to go back to my storage unit to find the contract with the exact date/time/venue in my "old files".....kinda creepy checking on this and reading my notes from the event...)
As per our practice we were paid the balance two weeks prior to the event.

Check out what happened to the groom on their honeymoon...  What do you think would have happened if I was waiting for payment after the wedding....????

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3201284/The-new-life-marriage-two-children-honeymoon-widow-ten-years-husband-mysteriously-died-cruise-DAYS-wedding.html
« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 06:03:27 pm by Mike Monte »
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Tim Hite

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2019, 01:54:03 pm »

I've read the thread up to this point and part of me says "cut and run" and the other says "find as many items to put on the invoice as possible and don't take a credit card for the work."

I'm right there with you. I'd have cut and run already, but the other vendors are great, the artists have been responsive and pleasant and the current planner is pretty cool (the previous planner was also great but she cut and ran). Also, the venue is like 4 miles from my home, so it's all pretty convenient.

This is the venue:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8YmVsCT4uU
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Frank Koenig

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2019, 10:08:44 pm »

This is the venue:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8YmVsCT4uU

Philip Johnson lives on. Very cool -- if a little reverberant looking. Hopefully there's not 500 ft of decomposed granite paths you have to roll the gear over to get in there. Love that part of the world. --Frank
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Tim Hite

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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2019, 11:31:06 pm »

Philip Johnson lives on. Very cool -- if a little reverberant looking. Hopefully there's not 500 ft of decomposed granite paths you have to roll the gear over to get in there. Love that part of the world. --Frank

If you look long enough at the giant granite boulders, you can see them decomposing. I got the easy job, the lighting guy has to provide power for everyone, too.

Wire transfer posted this afternoon so looks like it's gig on.

I didn't check the RT60 in the giant glass box, but I'm certain it goes on and onnn annnd onnnnnn
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Re: Choir for outdoor event, to mic, or not to mic?
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2019, 11:31:06 pm »


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