Big church at Christmas - organ and soloists

Does anyone have experience how to get the best sound for organ and soloists in a big church?

Due to current conditions, there is no possibility for a full choir or for the limited congregation allowed to attend to sing. So Christmas this year will be limited to the organ and 4 soloists with organ and singers on the balcony It’s looking like:

  • organ volume needs to be kept moderate to not overpower the singers
  • mics near the front of the church to pick up the full accoustics

Would mics for the singers improve? If so, will there be a time delay compared with the mic at the front of the church and how can that be addressed?

Hey, it depends on how big your organ is. and the Layout of your church.
I have done 3 or so Livestreams this year with an Organ. How is your current Soundsystem do you have a Mixer you could use? I would defiantly mike the singers, and I would try to move them out of the way of the Organ sound. Then you should also have 2 Room mics. Most churches are built for the sound of an organ and have a special place where the sound is best / the fullest.

how far away is the organ from the front? and yes if its a long distance you would have a delay. But in a church, you always have a lot of echoes so it’s in my experience often not even noticeable

Happy to help :slight_smile:

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Hey Jonas, danke :slight_smile:

The church is a cathedral, pics attached. It has a good sound system for speech amplification and an induction loop for hearing aids. For the broadcast, we will not use the amplification as expect that would cause a lot of sound problems, but we can use the mix.

The organ console is right in front of the pipes on a balcony at the back. The music director’s plan is for the soloists to stand next to the organ for best communication between them. The singers also have a concern that the church’s mics are designed for speach and not singing. How much difference does that make in reality?

Thank you so much for your help!

Nice Church, Yeah there will be lots of echos so you probably don’t have to worry about the delay. Keep in mind that placing the Mic at the front probably is not the best location. I would place it somewhere in between the banks in the front 1/3. The singers always want to be near the organ, I have the same struggle. I would definitely mic all 3 Singers and advice them to hold the mic pretty near so you have a chance of hearing them. Turning off the Amplification is the Right Choice. Do you know what mics they are? most mics should be fine if they are not super specific for speech.
Mixing the Organ and the Signers is the difficult part since there will be lots of organ on the soloist mics. That’s something you should try. you then use these 4 Mics and mix a bit of the room sound to it and t should sound pretty good.

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I found a recording from when we did it : ( there whe had the problem that we couldn’t make the signer louder without also getting mor organ ) https://youtu.be/ky6k6MQibiU?t=979
Excuse the bad Camera movments it was one of our first recordings at the beginnig of the year

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Thanks again, the mics are sennheiser I’m not sure the exact model. I’m wondering if lavalier mics would be a good option - maximim singer, minimum organ. Testing again on Sunday.

Yeah, you want maximum Singer and the least organ. Lav mics tend to pick up a lot of room ( in this case organ ) since most lavs have an omnidirectional pattern. The Sennheiser probably has a cardioid pickup which would suit you better in this case. Also, I have noticed that most soloists need something to hold on to and feel more secure when they have a mic in their hand leading to better performance.
Feel free to ask if you have any more questions

OK, for the test on Sunday we will have SM58s for the soloists. I’ll let you know how it goes.

perfect we use the same :slight_smile:

Testing yesterday with SM58s worked very well. Setup is like this with the 4 soloist mics coming to a Zoom H6 before coming as line-in to the Atem:

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