I will be recording a live acoustic performance at a fundraiser next month and I have a question about capturing some audience noise. I’m going to sit two mics on the front of the stage and I’m wondering if I should use a couple SM57s or if I should use a couple condenser mics. WHich would you use and why? What other advice might you have for this project?
I’d say that it depends on whether or not you want to also capture the ambiance of the room or not. Obviously a condenser will be more sensitive, and in return you’ll get more of the overall room sound.
What Bryan said. An omni condenser will pick up a LOT of the room. If the music has a lot of space in it, that’ll be something to keep in mind, because you’ll pick up people shuffling, clearing throats, sneezing etc. in between notes. Good luck with your gig!
Hmmm. Maybe I’ll put one of each mic type on each side of the stage and see what I get.
First, what ever you pick, match that mic on the other side. mixing mics will give you diferent voicing that will be problematic when you go to mix them. Pick one kind and stick with it. I use condensers exclusively. They give you a nice crispy response which is always nice to hear. Additionally, every mic has a back lobe, so even if you point it away from the stage you are going to get the band in the mix. A condenser has always been my go to mic for crowd pick up. Another point, when you go to mix, try flipping the phase of the mic in the mix and consider some delay to bring it in line with the on stage mics. I use the lead vocal mic as a reference. You can solo that vocal and slowly bring up the crowd mics to see how bad the delay might be. I don’t always look for this, sometimes that delay creates a nice slapback, but it is something to consider. I would also get the mics up high if you can. when they are low you can end up with one really loud fan up front and less of the “whole room voice”. If you can’t put them up high consider tilting them up a bit. Once mixed you can bring the crowd in and out of the mix as needed to clean up the sound during the song and bring back up for the response. Enjoy!!
I don’t think he meant that he was going to mix the two. I think he was just going to decide afterwards… as in either/or. I may have misunderstood though.
AHHH, well that certainly makes more sense, though I would always record a stereo pair over a single mic for crowd unless he does not have the channel count.
Yeah, a stereo pair would definitely sound more natural
I am considering four during my next festival. Two on the stage lip and two out further pointed away from the stage. I could pan two at 30 degrees and two full left right. Might give a really BIG sound. It’s nice to have a big channel count!
This is correct. I really need to be more clear when I post. lol
I’m definitely going for the stereo pair.
I have a Behringer X-Air XR18 and I’m recording two vocal mics and two acoustic guitars. I’ve got plenty of channels left.
This is great advice. Thanks so much!!!
I don’t know if they still make them, but we used PZM mics on the back of a decca tree to get the audience on a number of occasions. They worked very well in that they actually capture MOSTLY audience and we were able to blend it in afterwards.
I used cheap PZMs later on my own for a similar application and they did just as well. Might have even been radio shack junk and I do remember they were Hi-Z.
But anyway, a pzm facing the crowd on the back of your vocal mic may be fun… Check ebay.
I know I’m going against some of what has been said, but honestly it doesn’t really matter. It’s just an audience, not the performance. A stereo pair nice and high will do it - SM57s, condensors, whatever. High pass in the mix, hard pan, automate up and down as required. Job done.
It’s still valid advice and I appreciate it.