I am an opera singer, dramatic coloratura soprano. I want to record in a church/cathedral with very good natural acoustics. There would be piano accompaniment on some tracks and organ on the others. I am trying to capture the sound of the room with natural reverb. Please comment on the best mic(s) and set up.
Reply: I recommend a stereo pair of identical microphones placed about 6 to 10 feet away (as a starting position). A great mic choice would be the Crown CM-700MP, which is a matched pair of professional quality, cardioid condenser microphones. They are about $250 each (street price). The mics require a phantom power supply to operate. Plug a mic cable between each mic and the phantom supply, and also plug a mic cable between each phantom supply output and the recorder mic input.
You also need a stereo microphone mount adapter, such as the On-Stage MY-500 available for $9.95 from www.bhphotovideo.com. This device mounts two microphones on a single mic stand for easy stereo miking.
Place the mics on the stereo mic adapter angled apart 90 degrees (45 degrees to either side of center), with the grilles spaced 8 to 11 inches horizontally. This arrangement provides wonderful stereo, and the distant placement picks up the room acoustics.
If the recording sounds too distant or muddy, move the mics about a foot closer to the musicians and try again. Do the oppposite if the recording sounds too dry or lacking in spaciousness.