Small Ensemble Seating

When recording or overseeing the recording of a small ensemble of musicians, pay attention to a few seating issues. If you’re not depending on a specific seating of the musicians for other reasons, you might want to go for the following option: place the highest instrument in the center of the stereo field and place the lower instrument to the outsides from there. This is a strategy for instance also used with trumpets in Bigbands, where the seating rather is something like 3124 instead of 1234. This also works with larger groups: 531246 etc.

This will give you a more homogenous sound and give a more balanced stereo field on the main mics. This strategy is also used more or less on most orchestral seatings where the first players of each group usually sit closest to the middle axis of the orchestra with the higher chair numbers spreading out to the sides.


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