Audio question about orchestra playing in church

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums Technique Sound Audio question about orchestra playing in church

Viewing 8 reply threads
  • Author
    • #41662

      I need advise on a microphone.. I have a friend who wants me to tape an small orchestra in a church. Currently I have a DCR-VX2000 Sony camera. I don’t believe that the in camera mic would be enough? But I am not sure which one to get. And does anyone have advise on where to place the microphone? As everyone, I am on a budget…Is $200 reasonable?

      I would like to get something versatile that I can use again and not get neccessarily for this project.

    • #176346

      Versatility? look up the Zoom H2 ($165)or the new Zoom H4n ($340)digital recorders (prices from Amazon). audio qualityfrom these are very nice. The have 90 and/or 120 degree stereo record capability. and you can use them just about anywhere. They record to SDHC in WAV or MP3 format.

    • #176347

      Your onboard mic is not good enough, you need to record as close to the source as possible to get the best audio. A digital recorder or a mic on a boom stand above the performers is ideal.

    • #176348


      How did the shoot go?

    • #176349

      The shoot is next week..

      So I need to figure out what I am doing by tomorrow.

      I am confused betweent the differences; could someone explain?

      What is the difference between a uni-directional/cardiold and shotgun mic? Are they all the same thing?

      When Johnboy suggested a mic on a boom stand above the you mean a shotgun mic? And when you say “above” what exactly do you mean?

      Thankfully this is just a friend wanting something better than “normal”. I usually just do some business videos and transfers, but somehow she deems me as an expert 😉

    • #176350

      Crafters of Light-

      I looked up the H2 and it seems too good to be true. So let me make sure I understand set up the direction you want, record and then import into your software and match the video with the audio? Does it have some sort of Firewire or something? That part I could seem to find an answer to.

      (Or can it be attached with a mic cable into your video camera?)

    • #176351

      While, in principle, the two mics work similarly so far as signal gathering goes, the uni-directional will likely have a slightly or even highly broader range and significantly less rejection zone than will a shotgun. Most shotguns nearly have to be as pointedly focused on the audio source as a telephoto lens, depending on its rejection capabilities – audio to the side, top, bottom or rear of the unit.

      Many, MANY orchestra and choral facilities, such as churches, actually have a number of mild-cardiod (not totaly uni-directional, nor shotgun) patterns, suspended vertically from a rack, or some other support system, from the ceiling, wires running off to where ever their sound system resides. The heads to these systems can be quite small, and there can be as many as a dozen, or more, suspended in this fashion, used to enhance the choral/orchestral output. Most basic boom stands do not have the extension or support base to actually be centered and above a group of singers/players, so I am puzzled about using that approach.

      I have used a number of stands with various shure mics on them, to gather isolated outputs from groups, individual instruments, etc. then run the whole shebang into a mixer and used a sound person to control the levels, or record all the tracks individually, bringing up, or down, what I want to enhance or subdue in post. This, of course, would require a multi-track recording system – digital audio would sync easier with digital video, of course than mixing digital/analog, etc. Problems get bigger, and greater, as the attempted solutions and redundancy becomes more complex, unless of course you are highly experienced in doing such things. You’ve stated, indicated, that you are not. So…

      In all honesty the best solution is going to cost some money. Using self-contained standalone (Zoom H2) digital recorders, placed at strategic points around the performance area, and mixed in post. Or, a digital recorder/mixer combination that has several mic inputs you can then set up six to a dozen mics on stands and run the signals to, all dry, doing the level adjustments you want during post.

      Perhaps the most simple would be to shoot with several cameras, using all their on-cam mic systems, and using those audio recordings to give depth, quality, clarity, or whatever to your final audio. But then you’re dealing with video issues like white balancing and mismatched coloration from camera to camera.

      I honestly do not believe that one camera or one mic is going to cut it beyond a simple videotaping of the performance.

    • #176352

      For anyone who is wondering, my shoot went really well. The set up was a harp solo, a harp trio, a solo voice w/piano, a trio voice w/french horns and a harp. I was really overwhelmed.

      However, I put a wireless microphone into the harp for the harp solos (which was half of the show), I also purchased the H2 recommended here and just sat it in the front at the 120 degree setting. The family I was doing this for said, “You know this isn’t being broadcast, it’s just for us to have.” I thought that was funny considering the hours I thought thinking about it.

      I have to say I am very impressed with the quality of the H2. I thought I would get a step above my camera mic, but it sounds like a professional recorded it..which I guess I am ;0, but as I stated I normally do corporate videos in a very controlled environment.

      I am actually thinking maybe I will expand my business into this sort of thing..not huge concerts but small recitals…not sure. I am very pleased though!

    • #176353

      Great to hear the outcome was so positive. I am glad you found help and suggestions that armed you somewhat for aspects of this event. The more you do it, the easier it will be for you to come up with answers and solutions on your own as to how to accomplish the degree and quality of sound you’re (well, your client) looking for.

      Again, GLAD to hear the good news and that you took the time to let us know.

Viewing 8 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Sound’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Best Products

Best cameras for YouTube — 2021

So you’re all set to start your new YouTube channel where you’ll show how you create wigs for dogs with bald spots. Great! But before you get started, you’ll need a camera. We’re here to help you wade through the...



Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide


Need help making a stellar first video?


Download our free eBook with 8 tips to get on the right track and create a video that you can be proud of.