With lots more classical recording on the horizon (read: Christmas concerts are coming), I've spent a little while revamping the on-location recording equipment here at Grimshaw Audio.
First up is a larger set of high-quality microphones, featuring a total of seven Beyerdynamic MC930s. These small-diaphragm condenser microphones are extremely high-quality, resulting in a really clear and natural sound. I'm impressed every time I use them.
The other recent addition to the mic locker has been an SE Electronics VR1 - a high-quality ribbon mic which, unlike most ribbons, has a nice extended high-frequency response. I've been putting that to work as the -Side mic for Mid/Side techniques with an MC930 as the "mid", and it works really well there.
Mid/Side micing is a method of recording a stereo signal, but where you can decide later how much of the "side" you want to include - by simply pushing a fader, you can move the sound from completely mono (everything in the middle) to a very wide stereo image (with everything bunched up at the speakers, and very little in the middle) and anywhere in-between. The results are excellent, and I'm hoping to share some of those results soon.
In the mean time, here's a picture from a recent choral concert at St Marie's Cathedral in Sheffield:
New microphones are all well and good, but they're much more useful if you have somewhere to put them. After consulting with other industry professionals, I decided that some tall mic stands would be worthwhile - the idea is to keep the microphones well away from acoustically reflective surfaces (including the floor) to keep the signal as pure as possible.
The last upgrade for on-location recording has been a new mixing desk, which allows the recording to be saved in two separate places simultaneously - it's important to have a back-up for such events. Stay tuned for another blog post.