When we record choirs, generally this will be done over the course of a weekend. This makes sense when you are hiring a venue and also gives choirs a point in time to focus on. However, it isn’t always possible as the biggest challenge is always getting as many of your choir to be available at any one time.
At the point we started planning recording sessions with The Spinnaker Chorus in Portsmouth, it soon became apparent that a whole weekend wasn’t going to be practical for their members. So we settled on 2 Sunday afternoons / evenings in October. The first recording session was on 8 October and the second one last weekend.
Possibly the most important thing about recording on two separate days is to ensure your recording setup is exactly the same.
We always sketch out and photograph the particular set up being used as a matter of course for reference in the studio so we know how to approach the audio mastering. However, when you are required to set up from scratch in a venue a few weeks later then measurements are critical. As a result we carefully measure the distance between all the microphones and their position to ensure we can set up an exact replica of where we left off from the previous recording session.
As well as microphone placement it is also important to ensure the production settings are the same. For this reason we always keep records of the pre amp settings and project settings which includes channel and input numbers as well as their location in the recording project.
As always with our recordings we set up a production desk on location with multiple sets of headphones for the customers to listen back to each take. We also play back through speakers in the venue too for all the choir to have a listen. Ultimately however the most accurate sound is through our professional studio grade headphones.
Once we had finished recording the Chorus, we then recorded a couple of Quartets – we don’t yet know if these tracks will be on the final album, but they were performed with just as much professionalism as the main choir so we really hope that you will all get to hear them!
We had a great time on location with Spinnaker Chorus and have now started work on the production. The choir want their album ready by mid November so there is no time to waste!
Watch this space for further details when the album is released.