The first challenge of Recording a Choir on location is finding a suitable date or dates when you can get as many people to the recording session as possible. The recording with Barnstaple Male Voice Choir was undertaken over two days. The first session was a Friday evening from 6pm – 10pm meaning a lot of the chaps had come to the church straight from work. The rest of the recording was then undertaken the following day which gave plenty of time to record several takes and listen to the tracks between recordings.
There is no ‘one way fits all’ when it comes to recording choirs, mostly because all choirs are slightly different. Barnstaple MVC is a traditional 4 Part TTBB Choir and was being accompanied using a digital piano. Of course in a studio you would always try to achieve separation between various musicians and one way of recording a group with a digital piano is to put the entire choir on headphones so you get a clean recording of the digital piano and the choir. However, on location that isn’t always practical. Indeed with any larger group that never quite works unless you are going to Abbey Road Studios.
So we took our usual approach of recording the choir properly balanced with the piano as if it was a live performance but also took a digital feed in order to enhance the piano track as necessary. As usual there were full talk back and play back facilities for the duration of the session.
The Barnstaple Male Voice Choir was founded in 1919 under the initial name of Barnstaple YMCA Male Voice Choir. A local organist and musician was asked to form a choir in order that the YMCA could hold a charity concert to mark its re-opening after the end of World War I. It proved a great success and the singers agreed to stay together. By 1920 the links with the YMCA were no longer relevant and the Choir’s name was changed to the Barnstaple Male Voice Choir and has so remained until this day.
Barnstaple MVC have recorded several CD’s over the years and this was the first time they had used 4 Part Music. The CD itself is still in production although we have a preview of how the cover might look.
To find out more about Recording a CD with your Choir then please contact us by email or call us on 01225 302143