How to decide how many channels you need for a recording

While it depends on what type of group you're recording, typically you use one channel for each musician/instrument/group of instruments in your ensemble. Each channel you record takes a single source of audio from a single mic and sends that audio to the recording device. Take a look below to see some examples.

Example 1, a small choral concert.

  • Channel 1: Piano
  • Channel 2: Choir
  • Channel 3: Soloist
  • Channel 4: Director (if there are introductions to each piece)

Example 2, a garage band.

  • Channel 1: Vocalist
  • Channel 2: Background Vocalist
  • Channel 3: Lead Guitar
  • Channel 4: Rhythm Guitar
  • Channel 5: Bass
  • Channel 6: Kick Drum
  • Channel 7: Drum overhead

Example 3, an orchestra concert.

  • Channel 1: Stage right mic
  • Channel 2: Stage left mic
  • Channel 3: Percussion mic

Example 4, a school debate/presentation.

  • Channel 1: Event host
  • Channel 2: Team 1 mic
  • Channel 3: Team 2 mic
  • Channel 4: Audience participation mic

The important thing to keep in mind is that each event is different and only you know exactly what type of setup, instruments, and mics you'll be using. The examples above are just general suggestions to point you in the right direction.

If you have any questions about how many mics you need, or where the best place is to put those mics, just let us know when you fill out the contact form!