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Simple, affordable choral recording equipment

I am a choral composer who'd like to make some simple but high-quality recordings of my pieces. I'm not looking for these to compete with commercial-quality choral recordings, but I'd like them to be nice enough to post on my website, send to publishers, etc. Anyone have advice for a simple microphone set-up to achieve this (and what microphones you'd use)? I have a MacBook Pro that I'm planning to use with GarageBand, but want to know how to get the best bang for my buck with any remaining equipment. Any thoughts?
on May 25, 2013 7:59am
I use a Zoom h2 recorder that I love. The mic is high quality, it's easy to use, and you can download easily to your laptop and edit with garageband. You can also use it as a mic for your Macbook Pro/Garageband using a usb cable. It has both  90 degree and  120 degree stereo mic angles so you can adjust it for the size and orientation of your group. You can also use both for 360 degree micing. It cost me about $200. I've had it for about 5 years.
on May 25, 2013 10:04am
Stuart,
 
My chorus uses a Zoom H4n. We've had it since 2009 and it does a fabulous job. If the two built-in mics leave you wanting more, it has two additional XLR inputs to capture four channels at once. We have a pair of AKG C-1000's. Contrary to what has been recommended, I would limit the use of Shure 57s or 58s to SOLO applications only.
 
Hope this helps.
 
Todd Wilson
Director of Music
The Nashville Singers, Inc.
www.NashvilleSingers.org
Applauded by an audience of 1
on May 25, 2013 11:58am
Definitely the ZOOM H4N! It is a workhorse - fantastic built-in stereo mics, the flexibility to add two additional mics with Phantom-powered XLR inputs (I often record with two Rode NT5s in addition to the built-in stereo mics), portable, durable, and easy to use. See here. You can also use it as an audio interface with your computer for direct input to ProTools, Cubase, Garageband, etc.
 
Listen to this excerpt recorded with the H4N and two Rode NT5s.
All best,
 
Jake Runestad
Composer & Conductor
 
on July 31, 2013 2:03pm
Hello Stuart - I specialize in choral recordings for both professional and amateur ensembles.  Broadcasts for NPR as well as school concerts.  You will want to leave the computer at home, and as a guest, you'll want to keep your rig as simple as possible.  The Zoom H4N is an easy-to-use unit, as is the Tascam DR-100.  Both units have built-in microphones for a reference recording and a great place to start.
 
If you like, you can add additional mics, which would yield better quality.  Here is a nice recording with two mics: William and Mary Choir - Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass - Dona Nobis Pacem
 
Good luck.  Feel free to send me any questions.
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