QUOTE(Dulcet @ May 10 2012, 11:45 AM)
Oo oo ooo don't want to tread on any pedallers' toes by hijacking the thread but Him Indoors is looking for recommendations for recording his choir and maybe my orchestra - I know that this will involve a rather different sound palette from that of the organ, but if anyone could advise whether he would be better off going with a couple of hundred of pounds worth of mic attached to a laptop OR a couple of hundred pounds worth of digital recorder (eg roland, zoom, tascam, yamaha) with built in mics (with possibility to upgrade the mics later?) we'd be very keen to know! Meanwhile I will pass on info already gleaned from this thread to him!
ps the choirs are sometimes accompanied by organ - does that count? ;-) If I tell you we have just sung the Vierne Messe Solenelle would you forgive me for trespassing here?
The Vierne is just wonderful. We sang it on the last Sunday before Lent, in an atmosphere thick with incense. The already impressive climax at the end of the Kyrie was accompanied by a Metro train passing under the church at just the right moment. We couldn't hear the train, but the slight rumble made it feel as if a 64' had been drawn on the organ.
Anyhow, in answer to your question, I would feel much happier using a stand alone recording device such as the Edirol or H2 rather than a laptop for all sorts of reasons.
Firstly the cost is similar. Secondly you have to think about power supplies, and whether the laptop will go into hibernate at a crucial moment! Besides, the laptop might pick up an unsecured WiFi signal from somewhere, Adobe will update itself, and the laptop will automatically reboot. (This has actually happened to me whilst giving a Power Point presentation!)
Most importantly, I value sound quality, and the various devices in a laptop (WiFi, 3G, cooling fans, and screen inverters can all cause interference. A pair of AA batteries provides a much cleaner and more predictable power supply!
Regarding the choir, a device like the Edirol or H2 should be ideal as long as it is correctly positioned. Think of the choir and microphones forming a triangle, with the microphones at the apex and you will see what I mean. Ideally, place the microphones (or recording device) in a small but sturdy table or stand at waist height or above, away form large surfaces which may affect the sound.
If an organ or piano is involved it would be best to arrange the choir and recording device so that the choir and instrument fall within the sound field. However, this may provide difficult in some churches, so you would either need to experiment or employ additional microphones as discussed above.