International Choir Festival InCanto Mediterraneo

Making Professional-Sounding Choir Recordings In Rehearsal

  • Over 400 million people around the world regularly stream music. It's a quick, easy and accessible way of sharing your choir’s music with the community. You don’t need to invest in expensive equipment, however, to be able to make professional-sounding recordings of your choir. You can do this using a stereo mic set up in rehearsal time. You can even create some video content to go with this, using a smartphone. This will give your choir recordings interest when they're posted online, and will also make them more accessible. Recording your choir is also a valuable way for choir members to learn about balancing harmony together so that the group sounds beautifully blended. 

     

    Using microphones

     

    For both audio and visual content, you need to make sure that you have adequate microphones to be able to record the sound. Video content should have high-quality audio to make it accessible. If you have externally compatible microphones or Bluetooth microphones, then you can use a smartphone app to help balance the level of the sound. Your choir videos can be used to help members learn songs, and give anyone who missed a rehearsal a chance to catch-up and practise at home. You can add subtitled lyrics on your videos too, so that they’re not only accessible, but also help with the learning process. A stereo mic set-up is best for recording choirs - you're best using small diaphragm condenser microphones - these will cut down the likelihood of picking up ambient sounds in the room, especially if you have lots of people singing in an echoey, reverberant space, such as a church.  

     

    Placing your microphones

     

    Your microphones should be placed at least 3 feet apart in the room, and at least 3 feet from your singers: this will help you to capture a clear sound. It will also stop you from capturing some of the harsh consonant sounds when they're projected with force. The aim with microphone placement is to make sure that they don’t pick up one particular choir member more than another. You may find that you need to arrange your choir differently in order to achieve this, for instance, by placing the singers in a semicircle rather than in rows of SATB. The more balanced the sound is during the recording session, the less post-production work that will have to be done. 

     

    Make the session fun

     

    If you listen to many of the professional choir recordings, you can not only hear a great sound, but also the emotion in the voices. If you want to create a good recording, then make sure that you keep up the levels of enthusiasm of your choir. If you're doing multiple takes for your recording, make sure that you give your choir plenty of breaks with refreshments. This will help them to preserve their voice quality and stop them from getting tired. It will also help your choir to listen back to some of the early recordings during the session. Then they can assess whether they need to adjust the tone of their singing or change the balance so that the harmonies sound better. 

     

    You don’t need fancy equipment to make professional-sounding choir recordings and videos. With some condenser microphones and a smartphone, you can record your songs, making sure that balance and sound is perfect for streaming to your audience. 

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