Micing a live 45pcs Concert Band

Thread Starter


Joined Dec 10, 2009

i rent sound systems. I am into a new project where i have to mic a live 45pcs concert band. I need some help what mics i need to mic it properly. Also together with the band there will be a live soprano and tenor. Any help and hints is highly appreciated how to tackle this project


Joined Jul 4, 2011
It depends a lot on what you're trying to do and where you're doing it. For recording or reinforcement? If recording, how many channels do you want to/can you record in? What are the acoustics of the space like? What's the skill level of the band? What's *your* skill level? How much time do you have to set up? What's your budget like?

In short, you should probably find a local expert who can help you in real life rather than relying on a bunch of people on an electronics forum to throw advice at you.


Joined Apr 30, 2011
The most bare bones basic setup would be two unidirectional microphones hung above the front of the stage and angled towards the orchestra in a crossing pattern. You'd also need a microphone or two for the vocalists.

The best setup would take the above and add instrumental microphones for each section of the orchestra as well as for any instrumental soloists. The closer you can place a microphone to it's intended source, the better you can exclude or minimize pickup of unwanted sources. The more microphones/channels you record, the better you can control the sound mix in post production or the balance for reinforcement.

Artists, conductors, directors, etc. often have lots of their own preferences that you'll want to try to find out about as early as possible to avoid last minute conflicts. Some vocalists will have their own equalizer/reverb unit though this is less common with classical/operatic talent.

Do whatever you can to deaden the room. A hard wall behind an orchestra can wreak havoc on a sound engineer's soul.


Joined Nov 30, 2010
I got a very nice, "3 point stereo" with 2 mics placed at 25% of the horizontal distance from the edges of the orchestra (and slightly above their heads). Then, the divas got their own mics.