Choir Tips for the New Year
These tips come courtesy of Chris Briley at Browns Bridge. We had a kids choir for our Christmas celebration, and as I’ve said before, I hate dealing with choirs. During pre-production I was chatting with Chris about mic’ing choirs, and he had some great ideas for choirs on loud stages.
Here’s his first tip. Take a Countryman/DPA/Lav/etc and place it on one of the choir members. Pick one of the more enthusiastic members and let them know that it’s very important for them to sing on everything. Now take a gate or expander and throw it on your choir mics. Sidechain the gate to your Countryman/Lav/DPA/whatever. Now you can automatically mute or bring down your choir when they’re not singing. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try this out because my “choir” turned out to be only 12 kids with sporadic participation from all. The only instrumental accompaniment turned out to be strings and the piano so I wasn’t fighting stage volume.
His next tip will only work if your band is using a click and you have the ability to use tracks. Record the choir during a rehearsal preferably sans extraneous stage noise. Now take those choir tracks and put them into your choir monitors. This can give you a couple benefits. For starters, it can help with the choir’s confidence and might help you get more out of them. Second, your monitors bleeding into your mics will be the actual choir. And then, of course, if you still can’t get enough out of the choir mics into your FOH mix, you can always pepper in some of those tracks….
Let me know if you try any of these out because the closest thing I’ve had to a choir in the last year has been those 12 kids at Christmas.