Guidelines for Making a Choir

The choir can be recorded in both professional and home studios. However, due to the limited space in the average studio and especially in the home studio, the choir will have to be divided into groups.

Naturally, this will not delight the performers… Even if they do agree, everyone will have to wear headphones, and the recording will have to be done under the metron.

Of course, on the other hand, you will be able to pan the individual parts differently and add artificial reverb. As a result, you will be given more control over the end result. However, recording the entire choir is still more appropriate.

Record high-quality sound

If you’re talking about a traditional choir, it’s best to use the old-fashioned method and use a stereo pair or stereo microphone while recording. If necessary, you can also use some additional ones. Don’t know which microphone to choose? This article will be useful for you. 

The acoustics of the room in which the recording is taking place is of great importance. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to take care of selecting a suitable room for recording.

As already mentioned, it is better to record the choir with the whole cast. In fact, rooms with excellent acoustic characteristics are not so few. But sometimes it is not easy to find a place that is far enough away from traffic and other extraneous noise.

However, for the best sound experience, you’ll have to use both microphone techniques and the loudspeaker system to ensure a healthy basic setup.

Microphone arrangement rules

Rule 1

Don’t forget that when recording a choir in a room with significant reverberation, the microphones should be placed at close range. Sometimes it is even appropriate to use individual microphones for some performers.

However, good room acoustics can reduce the coloration of sound when recording and help the choir in performing the work.

Rule 2

If you can control the placement of the choir, it is advisable to place the loudest and least talented performers at a greater distance from the microphones. Or change the width of the composition by adjusting the number of rows.

It is recommended to place the microphones taking into account the acoustics of the room, the available equipment and, naturally, the personal wishes of the sound engineer.

Rule 3

In general case, the use of microphones with a small membrane is more appropriate. This is due to the fact that they have less coloring at the edges of the axis. 

When recording a large chorus, it is possible to enhance the spatial impression by adding a common stereo microphone or stereo pair. You can also install remote microphones at the back to increase the reverberation effect when the room is dry.

Rule 4

If the choir is recorded with an accompaniment instrument, it may be useful to add one or two additional microphones. This approach will contribute to a better focus of the sound.

Rule 5

Also, if the room acoustics are good enough, the choir can be recorded using spaced cardioid or Omni-directional microphones.

Models with cardioid directional patterns can be separated by about half the width of the composition by placing them on the racks slightly above the upper limit of the chorus. This will allow you to relatively evenly capture compositions that consist of two or more rows of performers. Also, you will be able to avoid losing performers from the edges of the overall mix.

The distance between singers and microphones should be adjusted so as to achieve a good balance between direct and reflected sound. Reverberation by moving the microphones closer is also possible. This approach will allow artificial reverberation to be applied during further processing.

Rule 6

It is always better to record the chorus without resorting to any processing. Often it is simply not necessary, and if it is, it is better to do it only in rooms that you know well.


Remember that recording a chorus always requires maintaining a large enough margin for volume. Since there is a probability of strong changes in the dynamics, the appearance of beats and peaks as a result of the interaction of harmonic components. All of this, in turn, can overload the input channels.



Related Stories