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I'm not (yet) a sound design enthusiast, but I would like to acquire some basic knowledge about audio recording. I'm most interested in recording classical orchestra and choir performances.

I'm currently reading many different sites and posts about microphones, recording devices and so on, but i'm missing the basics. I looked for articles about the basics on the Internet and in Stack Exchange, but I mainly found things like "the best sound recording starter kit" or "which should be my first microphone". Of course I'll need to buy a "starter kit", but I would also like to know why I buy one microphone and not another one.


I would like to ask two different things, which I believe will be useful also to other people in my situation.

  1. What are the most basic things I need to know to record a choir/small orchestra in a good quality (although not professional)? (this is a too generic question, I know... but any kind of answer would be fantastic, so I wrote it)
  2. Where can I find a list of the most important words/concepts about this kind of audio recording? (e.g.: in the last post I read I didn't understand "pick-up pattern" or "panning": this kind of words and expressions aren't on dictionaries, and it's even more difficult to understand their meaning as I only have a quite low level of English)

closed as too broad by Rory Alsop May 18 '17 at 10:49

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Tetsujin has provided an excellent direction, so hopefully when you have specific questions you will ask them here. I have closed this post as far too broad, though. – Rory Alsop May 18 '17 at 10:50
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I'm going to put this in the answer space, even though it doesn't actually answer the question you asked.

As asked, I'm afraid the question is too broad - so broad, in fact, that entire reference books have been written on each & every aspect of it, down to the nth degree.

Choir & Orchestra are really not the simplest places to start.

You are not only having to contend with the sound of an ensemble of anywhere between 3 & 60 people, spread across a potentially large area, but you are going to be recording them in some of the most awkward ambient spaces you could ever wish to see.

You will make as many mistakes if you read all about it first as if you don't - this is partly because of the complexity of the subject, but also because some of this knowledge really can't be taught all in one lump, it has to be absorbed over time.

I would suggest getting hold of 'a starter kit', go out & make some recordings - then try to figure out why they don't sound as good as you expected.
Try again.
Rinse/repeat.

Whilst you're doing this, you will discover specific questions to which you can then search specific answers.

You have picked a subject in which there is one heck of a lot of walking before running is even the merest nuance of a hint of a possibility of one day becoming a faint flicker on the horizon.

  • thank you for answering kindly although my question is too broad. I'll do as you said! – noearchimede May 17 '17 at 6:40

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