Student orchestra recording (50 musicians) in a church

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply

Student orchestra recording (50 musicians) in a church

Post by MR1 »

I am part of a student orchestra and will will be performing in a chruch in a few months. I would like to record with a better quality than last year's phone recording...yes i know, it was bad. Anyway, the venue is large and the echo as well. I currently own two zoom H6 with the mics, that come in the box. (as well as a contact mic for harp). I do have a budget albeit quite small, and no exerience whatsoever. I do not expect a perfect professionnal recording, but would like to get a fairly balanced recording that could be used as archive and also promotion for the orchestra and university. What mics/set up could I use, I've heard about ORTF, could this set up be achieved with Zoom H6 ?

I would truly appreciate any leads and tips,
Thaks in advance.

Posts: 1 Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2023 6:34 pm

Re: Student orchestra recording (50 musicians) in a church

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Hi, welcome to the forum.
It's not my area of experience, but one thing that I can say is that trying to be recorder and performer is a recipe for high stress and sub-optimal performance in any genre.
As such I would make two suggestions.
Either pay, persuade, or otherwise co-opt someone else, with experience and probably their own kit, to come and record you.
Or, if you are going to do it yourself, keep it as simple as possible and just put the H6 on a high mic stand and use that with the built in stereo mic.

Other, smarter people will doubtless be along in a bit with more and better advice - and depending on where you are in the world someone may even be able to help out directly.
User avatar
Drew Stephenson
Jedi Poster
Posts: 24267 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
(The forumuser formerly known as Blinddrew)
Ignore the post count, I still have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Student orchestra recording (50 musicians) in a church

Post by The Elf »

I agree with Drew. Don't distract yourself from the main job by taking a second job in which, by your own admission, you really have little experience.

Let us know roughly where you are and maybe someone can help you out. That way you should get a recording to be proud of and you can get on with performing.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 19834 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Student orchestra recording (50 musicians) in a church

Post by Bob Bickerton »

Agreed with above.

The way I look at it is 50 people have put a lot of time into preparing the concert and you can honour their work whilst saving you from distraction by hiring someone to do a reasonable job.

If you do it yourself, then as has been suggested, set up the H6 maybe above the conductor's head and perhaps 2 to 3 meters back into the auditorium (if possible), perhaps higher and further back to taste if you have a chance to try options, then leave it recording for the duration of the concert, i.e. make sure you have a larger enough SD card to press record before the house opens until house closes.

Settings on the H6 to consider would be make sure you're recording in 44.1kHz or 48kHz 24bit (higher sample rates wouldn't be necessary) and record at very sensible levels. So sound check the orchestra as it plays it's loudest part and make sure you are still at least -12dB maybe from clipping. It's probably a good idea to engage the limiters anyway (hopefully they won't be needed).

In terms of the Zoom mics to use, you could try the Mid/Side option if you have it ( ... ne-capsule) I remember it being the most natural sounding of the bunch.

Record one or two rehearsals so that you're feeling confident about 'letting go' of the technical side of things when you perform.

Good luck!

User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5053 Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:00 am Location: Nelson, New Zealand

Re: Student orchestra recording (50 musicians) in a church

Post by Mike Stranks »

Two questions...

Where precisely will the concert be taking place?

What's the maximum budget that you have available?

Oh; and welcome! :):thumbup:
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10464 Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:00 am
Post Reply