Up until recently, I've recorded all gang vocals with multiple passes with varying positions around a single omnidirectional microphone (Avantone CV12)... this has worked well, and with varying degrees of pan, reverb, compression, you get a very convincing 'small crowd' sound.

I've heard a lot of fuss about mid/side and blumlein techniques for this - my question is - have you recorded gang/chant vox (or even simulated choir) with these techniques successfully? What are the upsides/downsides?

1 Answer 1


Are you trying to record a gang, or record yourself several times and create a gang? In the latter case, there is no scientific difference between using an OMNI mic with panning, and using any co-incident stereo system, all these techniques rely on intensity based stereophony.

What you can try though - depending of the amount of overdubs you plan - is recording yourself several times using an ORTF or AB system. If you do it only once, it will sound crappy because of the comb filter effect, but if you do it multiple (= 20+) times, this comb filter effect won't bother you any more since you mix all the sources together. That would mean: 2 channels, one completely L, one completely R (i.e. don't pan!), and the only thing you vary is the position where you stand. Try playing around with different distances as well as different angles. (Creating a depth image is the power of an AB/ORTF.) Don't change the microphone placement.

  • Interesting technique. I do "gang/chant" recordings on occasion. Though it always helps to have more than one voice. Even two makes a more realistic gang(sta) sound. ;)
    – d-_-b
    Mar 14, 2011 at 12:57
  • This will be 10-12 people.
    – philwinkle
    Mar 14, 2011 at 13:44
  • I will look into ORTF - very interesting stuff - thanks!
    – philwinkle
    Mar 14, 2011 at 13:45
  • So, 10-12 different people, recorded simultaneously multiple times (so you end up with a lot more voices). Then, a non co-incident system (e.g. ORTF or AB) will do fine. If any doubt, put an XY up as well, and compare the results. You can safely do panning in an XY, since the capsules are (almost) at the same place, so no comb filter effect will happen.
    – Pelle ten Cate
    Mar 14, 2011 at 15:20

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