Producing a "Full Choir Sound" on a Budget

Melanie Recording the Soprano and the Alto Parts

Melanie Recording the Soprano and the Alto Parts

We recorded a new song this week for Marion Priest, a longtime client of Demo My Song, and an avid composer of Christian and Worship music.  Marion wanted a “big choir sound” for her most recent song entitled, “His Power,” but wanted to keep her cost of production as low as possible.  So our goal with this project was to emulate a full choir sound using just three different vocalists.  On the mic were three members of the Portland Vocal ConsortMelanie Downie Robinson, Charlie Ahlquist, and David Krueger.

We were sent sheet music and lyrics along with a simple midi recording of the piece and from that we created a musical arrangement with piano, violins, cellos, woodwinds, and French horns.

Mel’s son helping me with the mix… while dancing!

We tracked the Soprano and Alto Parts with a Rode NTK running through an Avalon 737.  The Tenor and Bass parts were tracked with two separate AT-3035’s running through a 2 channel RNP (“Really Nice Pre-amp”).  These three parts were all recorded at the same time in our “Orange Room” but since Melanie was the only female vocalist for this session, we tracked the Alto parts afterwards separately.
After getting our first solid vocal take of the song, we double, and then triple-tracked the parts, so between the four SATB parts we recorded a total of 12 vocals.  Then, adding just a touch of reverb was all that was needed to create a lush choir sound.  Listen to the results and let us know what you think!

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