Some spaces are great for groups of singers to be able to amplify their voices enough for a crowd to hear, but most spaces require mics for the choir to be heard well.
Amplifying or recording choir vocals can be a huge challenge for audio engineers to work successfully. Think you can easily set up some mics on your own for a choir? Think again!
Microphones can get tricky when it comes to studio and live setups where multiple amplifiers are running at the same time. Too many mics can cause feedback, and not enough mics won't properly pick up all the voices.
Types of mics often fall into two different categories: dynamic and condenser mics. Dynamic mics are great for solos in live settings and can provide a very rich and focused tone for singers that blends well with instrumentation.
These types of mics, however, are not often used to record choirs because they don't pick up as many background noises as a condenser mic can.
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Condenser mics are highly sensitive and can pick up small nuances that can be lost without a mic or with a dynamic mic. They are perfect for picking up multiple voices in choir settings, but they almost pick up the sound too well.
With condenser mics, you can risk a lot of feedback hitting your sound system.
You've probably been at a church or community event where you heard the choir or church speakers attempting to talk, with loud feedback disrupting them. This is all too common but can be avoided with the right audio temperament.
There is a lot of room to experiment here, but according to audio professionals at Shure, one good condenser mic can pick up 10 to 15 singers well.
If you have a group of 30 singers, two mics may work well. If you have a larger group of 60, 4 mics will work for your choir.
When you have too many mics, they will begin to pick up each other's sound and create that unwanted feedback noise.
If you don't have enough mics, you may hear one section much louder than other sections in the choir, which will mess up the balance.
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The easiest way to get a good sound with your positioning is to follow the 3:1 rule that many audio engineers follow in settings like churches and concert halls. You should aim to place the mics around 3 feet from the front row of singers.
You should also try to set the mics three times that amount from each other in the distance if you need more than one. If you, for example, need three mics, you should try to have those mics a total of 9 feet from each other.
If you want to get the placement correct and down to a science, I would suggest reading this article from the audio professionals at DPA. Yes, it can get quite mathematical if you want to be as technically accurate as you can with the audio quality!
Mics with stands are the easiest and most affordable way to set up your recording and/or amplification for your group of singers. Stands work really well for smaller groups where you won't often need more than two mics at a time.
Hanging mics are the desired choice for many choirs and audio engineers since it doesn't require the constant setup that mics with stands do. These variations are often more pricey but very much worth the upgrade if you haven't gotten one for your choir yet.
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Paired with a good set of microphone stands, these little mics make the perfect pair to record a small choir in a recording or live-performance setting. They are also very affordable for the quality of audio that they can give you.
I am always satisfied with the price and quality of Audio Technica microphones, and these are no different! They make the prospect of hanging microphones more realistic without breaking the budget, and they also don't require external power.
Shure Audio is well-known for its high-quality microphones that go above and beyond when it comes to superior sound.
While they require phantom power, these mics are versatile, with a 25-foot cable and tailor-made sound settings for choir recordings and amplification.
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