A week ago, a friend called and asked me if I could record his church choir performing Mozart's Requiem, "of course I said!" The church also had a small orchestra consisting of about eight string players, two clarinets, two bassoons, two trombones, a trumpet and timpani.
I used a simple recording setup consisting of two mics on the orchestra, about 15 feet apart, two mics on the choir about 15 feet apart, and two mics for solos, where at times, all four soloists sang together. Both the Neumann mics that were used for the soloists, and the four Oktave MK012 mics for choir and orchestra were plugged into a Motu Traveler firewire audio interface, with the help of a two channel mic preamp to assist with additional mic inputs, (the Traveler only has four mic inputs) this in turn is connected to a Mac Powerbook to record with Digital Performer.
Anyway, this gets interesting, the tenor soloist decides right before one of the movements, that he could not stand and sing, he was having some health issues, he's OK now, so,..... while everyone is getting ready to perform the next piece, the director looks at my friend Eric and whispers, "can you take it?" Eric nods ever so slightly "yes"... The piece starts, and it is time for Eric to sing the solo. Never hearing the solo before at all, he sight-reads it live. The first half of his solo was good, the second half not so good, but he got through it. Whew! After mixing all the movements for CD, I called Eric and said "hey, why don't you come over and re-sing your solo... I can patch it in. So, I used only the orchestra mics during his solo, and his original vocal was not loud enough to interfere with his new solo from my little mix room, I think it fits right in. I do not have an actual recording studio, but I do have the equipment of one, so Eric stood in my mix room about two feet from a Neumann U87 mic, and then I used Altiverb to position Eric approximately where he was on the stage at the performance. This was especially easy to do since I had recorded my own impulse responses of the sanctuary before the concert. I had to turn off the air conditioners of the sanctuary for noise purposes before I could record the tone sweeps. This sanctuary is only about 80 feet from front to back, and about 40 feet wide. Not very big, and the choir has just about 45 members but they have a decent sound.
So, Here are a few MP3 examples of what can be done with Altiverb stage positioning. Don't concentrate so much on the music, but more on the amazing realism of the results of the dry vocal in a small bedroom, then pumped into Altiverb. All of the sudden, he is standing right next to the other soloists, pretty cool.
The whole performance was actually really nice, the orchestra rehearsed only twice with the choir, amazing. This Mozart Requiem is just under an hour, and the Mac recorded nonstop with no problems. I was happy, look Dad no tape.
I congratulate Eric, this is not exactly his cup of tea. He sings lead in the International World Champion Collegiate barbershop quartet called Vocal Spectrum. He also sang for my rendition of The Christmas Song on the recent Garritan GPO Christmas CD.
Listen to the final mix
listen to Eric at my home
Listen to Eric with Altiverb
Here is the third movement Dies Irae
I thought it would be interesting for some of you who don't know much about convolution reverb technology to hear first hand how amazing the technology is. This software is only $500.00 and is available for Windows and Mac platforms, I understand Gary Garritan is coming out with some stunning Impulse responses that just may be compatible with Altiverb, I'm not sure of that so don't quote me.
Thanks for listening.