Tulsa Opera President’s Council – Recording Dinner and a Show

by | Jul 18, 2022

For each of their performances, Tulsa Opera hosts a special dinner for the members of the President’s Council, where attendees have dinner with the stars of the upcoming opera, and the opera singers serenade the guests with classic arias or Broadway tunes.

They came to us to record the most recent President’s Council dinner for archival purposes. The problems, however, were many: They asked us on Thursday. The event was the following Tuesday. And our usual videographer was getting on a plane to Phoenix the morning of the event.

Not to mention, the event was at a beautiful country club in the heart of South Tulsa, in a room of gorgeous hardwood floors, massive windows, and glass surfaces. It’s a fantastic place to have an event. But all of those surfaces wreak havoc on the ability to properly record audio and video.

Despite the tight timeline and the challenges of the venue, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

Initially, we thought we’d set up our microphones off to either side of the semicircle of tables, which would give us the largest space to record the singers, who tend to move around a lot during the performance. However, upon arriving at the venue and walking through, we had to scrap that idea: it would pick up too much noise from the audience itself.

Instead, we put the microphones about 10 feet apart from each other and 10 feet away from the piano in cardiod mode, which would give us the clearest sound for the singers while also muting the sound of the audience eating. Plus, we also had to contend with a handheld wireless microphone that the speakers for the event would be using.

The country club had a stage they could set up at the back of the room that gave us a clear shot for recording video at the front of the room, despite the tables in the way. Once we’d set everything up and tested that the microphones would all play well with each other and were recording to our Zoom H6, it was time for the event.

Michelle (AV audio engineer) and Caleb (AV photographer) spring into action to record the event.

Darold Oniwa, our videographer, did a fantastic job on short notice covering the event.

Michelle obsessively studies the sound levels while recording to make sure we have the most data available for editing.

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