Recording Spinnaker Chorus – Part 1

Yesterday afternoon we travelled to Horndean just North of Portsmouth to embark on the first of two days on location recording the award winning Spinnaker Chorus.

About Spinnaker Chorus

Spinnaker formed in July 2004 with a membership of 25.  The chorus has now grown to around 80 members and with their Musical Director, John Palmer, they continue to strive towards being one of the best chorus’ in the UK.  The chorus regularly compete each year in a national contest as well as putting on their own show in Portsmouth for the local community.  Spinnaker is headed up by the chorus’ Musical Director, John Palmer.

spinnaker chorus
The Spinnaker Chorus

The Recording

This was Spinnaker’s first professional recording and so it was important for both them and us that we got it right.  As always our recording engineers arrived at the venue a good 90 minutes ahead of the choir in order to get everything set up.  We had been informed that Spinnaker would be stood on risers which were set up as we arrived.  This meant we needed both our tall stands plus a long boom arm so we could bring microphones in from behind the choir but point them forward.

recording session
The Recording Session

One of the first things to do was understand where each part was standing so we could work out the best way to mic up the choir.  When recording choirs it’s important to focus on the overall sound of the choir from the perspective of the listener but also to ensure we have captured each individual part to a certain extent as well. This gives us a degree of flexibility in post production if necessary.

During the course of the recording session, the Chorus Director, and some of the choir members listened back to the takes as we worked through the songs.  With any A Capella group tuning is always a key issue.  We thought that Spinnaker were fairly spot on when it came to tuning but nevertheless, John Palmer was keen to listen carefully to each take.

listen back system
Customer listening to the takes

The next steps

Today we outputted some ‘rushes’ from yesterdays session which we upload to our client portal for the customer to listen to and offer feedback.  These are not the finished tracks but have been processed to a point for John and his girls to listen to and check the performance in case there are any points to cover at the next session.

We will be returning to Portsmouth for another recording session with Spinnaker later in the month.


If you would like to find out more about recording your choir or Chorus, then please get in touch by phone on 01225 302143 or click here to email us

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