Recording in Primary Schools is great fun. Not just for the pupils and teachers (although that is a key part of the experience with Recordings 4 Schools. But actually it’s also lots of fun for our recording engineers. Yes there are certain technical things we need to try and do to make sure its a good recording but mostly its about enjoying singing together.
We always tell the pupils that the microphones can see as well as hear them. Sometimes this gets a few puzzled looks, so we explain. When you sing the sound which comes out will change according to your facial expression. If you are smiling and singing with energy then this comes across in the sound you make. Similarly if you are looking down or not really engaging with the song that also comes across and it can be quite a dull sound
Then you get the louder songs which everyone loves to sing. The danger here is not to over do it to the point where singing becomes shouting. Quite a few of the songs we Record in primary Schools particularly, will have sections of clapping and other actions.
The actions generally won’t come across on a recording, and particularly jumping around just sounds like someone dropped something during the session. So if possible we try to avoid any noisy actions. But clapping is often an integral part of the song so needs to be included. And this can be an issue, particularly if we don’t know about it.
A clap, particularly when its lots of children all near the microphones can push all our microphones ‘over the limit’. Like any good recording company we always leave a fair bit of ‘headroom’ which is used in post production. This means we are recording slightly quieter than the final output will be. Nevertheless a clap is a loud sudden sound and this will cause a big spike in the recording.
That’s not to say we cannot record clapping but we just need a bit of advance warning so we can set the levels appropriately. It’s the same with shouting – sometimes there might be a loud ‘Hey’ at the end of a song – again this is fine, we just need to know so we can either record it separately or set the levels somewhere suitable!
Recordings 4 Schools work all over the UK. To find out more give us a call on 01225 302143 or click here to email us