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How to record group singing?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by ShipwreckSoundWorks, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. ShipwreckSoundWorks

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    How do I go about recording group singing that has more of a Gang chanty type thing to it? More of like a pop punk group chant, but it's still singing? I will most likely be using a condenser microphone for this.
     
  2. heshian46

    heshian46 Member

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    How many people?
     
  3. Mikaël-ange

    Mikaël-ange Member

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    I tryed some mic configuration for gang style tracking (single condenser, A/B pair, xy) but what worked the best for me was
    -close mic ldc in cardioid pattern (vintage U87 in this session) put at 1m50/2metre from the crew
    -A/B pair (Schoeps sdc), 3/4metre spaced and probably put 5/6 metre from the crew.
    It was on a medium room (60 square metre).
    Everything going to PT via ssl E serie pre (so the worst pre in the world according to many forum post:loco:). No compression or eq all the way in.

    Most important trick when recording gang style vox:
    -headphone for everyone
    -put a scotch rubber/barbed wire (whatever you have) line at ground between your gang crew and your mic. So everyone crossing the line get hurt/punish...etc.
    Since doing this I never get any mic/mic pre clipping while doing gang vox.

    Hope that help...
     
  4. Firaxis

    Firaxis Member

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    As said, all round one mic. I find that doing each person makes it sound like one person at a time rather than a gang.
     
  5. Uros

    Uros Sonic Incision

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    I've used a LDC for this purpose in omni polar pattern with people forming sort of a circle around it (each person standing no closer than 1.5m from the mic) with rather good results.
     
  6. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    Never recorded gang vocals but I'd say record them 3 or 4 times to make some layering later if needed.
     
  7. Deathmetal616

    Deathmetal616 Member

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    For gang shouts I used an overhead mic lately. Turned out pretty well.
    I used subtle reverb and a short delay on the track, so it is pretty natural.
    Placed the overhead 2-3 feet away from them and also a little above their heads.

    example:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ea9cba4pdm98hru/gangshouts.mp3
    I don't know if it's a good example since it's an oldschool sound/mix, but listen for yourself.
     
  8. 006

    006 Member

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    Last time I had to do this there was only two people in the band, they weren't interested in getting a few friends to come by and I wasn't either. So instead of one mic and a bunch of people, we did one person at a time doing like 3-5 takes, varying in their vocal style each time. Ended up with like 8-10 takes altogether. Panned them a little and those that were panned further from center were turned down slightly, basically just trying emulate distance from the microphone. Then sent them all to a bus and I added a little bit of room verb to it and turned the mix on it up until the vocals didn't sound so direct and started to give the same effect as a bunch of people into one mic. Came out pretty good.

    The best results, though, have always been with a bunch of people into one mic, but that's not to say it can't be done with other methods.
     
  9. ShipwreckSoundWorks

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    I'll try the one mic method, that's what I was planning on doing. Usually what I do is set up two overhead mics left and right in a room, and use my condenser mic in the center so it would be a little bit like this / i \ (the forward slash being the left overhead , i being the condenser, and backslash being the right. usually for straight gangchants I get great results. Better than I ever expected to get. But the biggest issue is just singing. I can't get a full groupy sound. It's sounds like the band was there and did it over and over 3 different times and you can hear each take. If that makes any sense.
     
  10. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    Hum... A bit of reverb and maybe more voices?
    btw I love the sound of Sick Of It All gang vox, fucking huge! Curious to know how they're processed.
     
  11. plague_rider

    plague_rider Coffee

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    This...

    I was recording a post-hardcore/metalcore style band a few years back and they wanted some gang chants in there, about 4 people... I decided to set up two matched overhead mics (can't remember which ones they were) and recorded about 3-4 takes then had them all switch sides to ensure we had the consistency (first take persons a-b-c-d / second set of recording d-c-b-a)

    It sounded absolutely huge without being too overpowering...

    The only problem with gang chants is getting everyone in time...
     
  12. luismars

    luismars Member

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    Skid Row gang vocals if I remember correctly were recorded with 5/7 guys in a room, stereo setting LDC placed in the middle of a wall, then instead of moving the mics they moved around the room to get a nice stereo field with serveral takes.
     
  13. ShipwreckSoundWorks

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    I think the biggest issue I'm having with the gang chants I'm having them re-record is that they are just a bit off time, and it sounds like 1 take over all with only 5 people instead of 3-4 takes.
     
  14. 006

    006 Member

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    That's where 1 person at a time comes in handy, you can edit the vocals individually where they need it. When I did it this way I had them stand like ~5 feet away from the mic as well.
     
  15. eken

    eken New Metal Member

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    I've tried various mics and mic placements when recording gang vocals. I've had best luck with a ribbon mic. 2 guys shoulder to shoulder on each side of the mic at an arms length away. Then I do a test recording, if one of the persons singing/shouting voice sticks out in the recorded gang vocal I tell them to turn 90 degrees facing away from the mic. My goal is to get the recorded vocal to sound like a formless mass of voices to fool the listener to believe that theres more than 4 people singing. I record at least three takes and pan them L C R and route them to a buss. Here I start by highpassing at 100hz then inserting a room or hall type reverb plug, set the mix to 20-40% wet depending on what I'm going for. Next is the waves API 550 with a high shelf at 5 or 7k, +4 to +6dB. Then I compress it with a uad 1176 or a L1.
     
  16. VH1

    VH1 You're not reading this.

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    @1:21

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MY7dG7No84&t=1m21s[/ame]
     
  17. RedDog

    RedDog Humanoid typhoon

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    Yay, I get to be helpful. Throw up a click, record yourself yelling the passage ON TIME about six or seven times. Get a friend to do the same. Cut em up and pan em out, then hit it with the hall verb. I've said this many times in numerous threads, and I'll say it again.

    Boom, gang vocals.
     
  18. kev

    kev Im guybrush threepwood

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    Hansi Kursch is a damn beast. I havent listened to Blind Guardian for ages, gonna have to bust some of that out.
     
  19. Max Morton

    Max Morton Member

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    Woooow Hansi nails it! So does the gang on the vid.
    However, I tried lots of times and always preferred modeling the gangs, be it epic metal or metalcore, and the choirs, recording people individually and stacking takes in dozens for each person. Pretty easy to organize them in a group, edit for more tightness and then just bounce into a stereo track when I'm done with them. Much more control and similar result.
     

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