Once you have decided to record a CD the next challenge is to find a suitable space to record. For most schools this will be the school hall – it is often the most obvious choice and, if you are including all pupils on the recording, probably about the only option.
However, sometimes, particularly if you are recording a smaller group then the school hall is not always ideal.
From a sound perspective it is often better to record in a ‘dead’ space rather than one with lots of echo. We can always add acoustic in post production but we cannot take it away. As a result sometimes we end up recording in school classrooms or other similar spaces.
Contrary to what you might think, this sometimes works well. It is always preferable to record in a room with reasonably high ceilings even if the floor space is more limited. The main reason for this is the microphones will pick up better if they are quite high up, particularly if we are recording a large group of singers or a choir for example.
One of the primary considerations when finding somewhere to record is noise, or preferably lack of it. The main noise we encounter when recording in schools is pupils outside during break time or other external noises such as traffic. It is also worth considering the venue itself. Be wary of heating systems or sometimes lights can make a buzzing sound when on. Whilst these noises may seem trivial and often not noticeable you would be surprised what the microphones will pick up.
At the end of the day, don’t worry too much. We have been recording Schools since 2009 and in this time have recorded in all types of venue from the smallest classroom to the largest speech hall. We have a wide range of kit and will always find a way to record in even the most confined spaces.