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Dmitriy Dribinskiy
Stage play recording
on May 10, 2011 at 12:15:54 pm

Hello,
I have been asked to record a stage play and have been searching for some good advice for audio recording on a stage 30 X 30. There is no sound board I can connect to and there is no place next to stage where I can put the the mic stand to (the chairs are kind of around the stage). I can use a ceiling light structures to place the mic over the stage, but I am not sure what kind of mic (s) I need and if't right solution. I have zoom h4n recorder and can borrow a Sony PCM-D50 Portable Digital Recorder. I also have 2 Sennheiser lav wirelesses... There are 12 kids playing, and they are moving a lot across the stage.
Thanks for advise.


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Ty Ford
Re: Stage play recording
on May 10, 2011 at 12:35:34 pm

Dmitriy,

There is no way to get good sound in that situation short of wireless on each person.

If you assume that most lines will be given toward the audience, then flying two or three mics across the front and feeding them into a mixer with pannable inputs so you can recreate the stereo spread may be effective.

Upstage lines will not be as audible as downstage lines due to the increased distance to the mics.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide





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Dmitriy Dribinskiy
Re: Stage play recording
on May 10, 2011 at 12:41:24 pm

What kind of mics would you recommend? Thank you Ty.


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Ty Ford
Re: Stage play recording
on May 10, 2011 at 1:02:22 pm

Dmitriy,

Sennheiser G3 for the wireless.

For the overheads. I don't know what the room sounds like. I don't know what your mounting capabilities are. I don't know how close you can get the mics. I don't know over what portion of the 30 x 30 stage the action will take place.

Choir mics might work, but I'm not comfortable making such an uninformed decision. Perhaps a local sound contractor could look and listen to the space and make a more legitimate proposal.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide





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Mark Spano
Re: Stage play recording
on May 10, 2011 at 4:34:59 pm

Another option is PZM mics for the stage floor. You might be able to get away with a few of those if you can tape everything down without it being obtrusive to the performers.



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Eric Toline
Re: Stage play recording
on May 10, 2011 at 5:15:46 pm

PZM's and kids running across the stage means lots of thumps transmitted by the stage floor to the mic's. Overhead mic's are a better choice.

Eric


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Mark Spano
Re: Stage play recording
on May 10, 2011 at 5:59:12 pm

Wasn't offering a substitution - adding an option. PZMs are easily hidden from the view of the audience and you can mount them on spongy vibration-deadening material for movement. The chances of getting proximity on the performers' voices might be worth adding a few PZMs to the setup in this manner - always good to try if it might wind up with a better result. You might not be able to get overhead mics close enough for a good capture.



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Andy Balla
Re: Stage play recording
on May 11, 2011 at 1:01:23 am

I recently recorded a college theater performance. The results were, I would say, usable. I heard plenty wrong with it, but the video guy filming it thought I was god or something. Luckily for me, the whole front row was roped off, so I was able to plant mics and gear there.
I recorded through a three channel field mixer into a Zoom H4n. For mics, I used a CAD C195 cardioid condenser in the center of the stage, and a pair of omni mics on the sides. It wasn't ideal, by any means, but the video guy loved it, so I guess it was a job well done. Overall, it sounded fine, except that the omni's picked up a lot of hum from the air handling. It was pretty noisy, for a theater. Dialogue was very intelligible, though. I guess that's the main point. If I had better mics to choose from, I know the results would have been much better.


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