I was approached to record a series of songs that was going to be performed by a local church choir, the St Joseph’s Catholic Church at Narrabeen, NSW. The project is to produce a CD for fundraising efforts during Christmas Carol’s Event 2017.

Having never recorded a choir before, I took on the challenge. This was going to be a great fun and exciting experience.

Since the choir consisted of many members, I did not have enough space in my new studio. Budget is also in consideration, so hiring a big studio was not possible, so the only option was to record on site, inside the church hall.

I took a drive to check out the hall that I was going to record in. I also took another drive to do a trial recording while the choir was practicing. Just to make sure I had the correct gear and setup ready for the set recording date, Friday 2 December 2017.

I only had one small condenser microphone, the iSK CM-20. To make a matched pair, I purchased another one, as well as few more mic suspension holders, to minimise stage and room rumble noise. Now all set and ready to record.

On the recording day, I had 4 microphones setup. Three mics for the choir and one for the piano. The two iSK CM-20 on each side and the Behringer ECM8000, which is an omni-directional mic, in the center. My MXL 550 large diaphragm microphone was setup for the upright piano.

The iSK CM-20’s are cardroid pattern microphones, which gave great separation of each of the choir’s parts, while the ECM8000 filled in the center section and songs main parts.

I used WAVES Tracks Live, the multi-track audio capturing software to record all the microphones into separate tracks. These then will be imported into my PreSonus Studio One Pro for production and process.

It took us about 4 hours to record 7 songs, 2 or 3 takes each song, so we get to select the best takes. The ladies and the gentleman in the choir, the piano player and Adam, the choir conductor, did a fantastic job.

We celebrated with few bottles of champagne! Cheers!

The next step is for me to edit, mix and master the songs for a CD compilation. The main issue will be the unavoidable fan noise coming from the hall’s Networking Rack enclosure, which we could not turn it off obviously. But, by strategically placing the microphones, I tried to minimise the noise as well as hall reverbration.

In the studio, I will use my iZotope RX Elements plugins and few other techniques, to remove the noise and reverberation, for a clean output from each track.

I would like to thank everyone involved in this small project and making me part of.

 

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