Question: What suggestions do you have for miking a children’s holiday program or choir?
Answer: Grab your garland, hang up the lights! Pop up the risers and set up your mics! It’s that time of year again for the children’s holiday program! Whether it be a choir at a house of worship or a play at a local venue, the Audio Solutions Team has some tips to help mic the special holiday event.
Some houses of worship may already have a few hanging mics installed and ready to use, but perhaps you are an engineer who needs to select appropriate mics and place them in the right location. First, we must look at our best options of microphones to use. A few that we typically recommend would be small diaphragm condenser microphones such as the AT4051b or the U853R. A great option for a large diaphragm condenser would be the AE5100. These mics will be mounted on stands and placed out in front of the choir (U853R includes the AT8438 stand adapter).
Now that we have our mics selected, we are ready to start placing. Unfortunately, in the audio world it is known that there is not a “one way” solution to solve your microphone placement needs. It will take time, patience, and some experimentation to get your microphone placement just right. One trick of the trade that will help get you started is the infamous 3:1 Rule. The 3:1 Rule suggests the distance between microphones should be at least three times the distance between the mics and the closest performer. Once you get a general idea with the 3:1 Rule, you may begin to experiment with placing your mics until you get the desired amplified sound.
Remember, as the sound engineer it may be your job to remind the children to sing out and speak up into the microphones as they can only amplify what is being projected into them, and it is not always best to keep increasing the gain. It may also be a good idea to have a handheld or two for soloists in the performance to help with articulation and presence of the young performers (as they are sometimes rather microphone shy). With that being said, for tonight I shall retire. Go forth now and begin to mic your children’s holiday program or choir!
Also, should you have any further questions on which Audio-Technica mics would best suit your needs, please contact us here in the Audio Solutions Department at (330)686-2600 ext. 5000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.