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You can add warmth but you can't add depth....Or can you?
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RobMacki
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27th December 2003
Old 27th December 2003
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You can add warmth but you can't add depth....Or can you?

To me there is a depth, a multi dimensional quality to analog 15-30ips.
But the timbre had to be sent to the deck first.
Mic, placement, proximity, room, signal path are all factors.

Here's a case in point. I was hired to mix & master for duplication, a youth orchestra. The feature was a violin soloist who is phenomenal. To keep a long story short we had to (by policy) use the University's equipment: a pair of Earthwoks Omnis in an x pattern(which created some mud, great acoustic live room but reflections from everywhere) The mics then went into an Alesis board (does it matter which one at this point?) and then a Tascam DA30 @ 44.1.
I took note of the acoustics in the room during rehearsal and noticed the richness of the tones and timbres and the "depth" of them in the room. As I monitored from the control room all that richness was gone! Well, no huge surprise. Nevertheless I was a bit distraught. I don't believe 2" @ 30ips could have brought it back.

Here's how I'm treating it:
In PT Duplicate track (Stereo)
Process 2nd track for sweet spots in violin using C4(AS) and RenEQ(best I got)
Squeeze and roll of lows @ 100.
Blend w/ original track
This brought out the violin and I panned slightly for some separation.
Buss a small amount of Verb (This is a hard one for me as like to be a purist)
Add a touch of compression on 2 buss w/ a bit of MaxxBass, Stereo Imager wide and L1.

Interestingly enough some of the depth was back again. It is a false depth and to me a far cry from the sound in the Recital Hall.

I'm getting my HD upgrade shipment next week and I hope to finish the session in HD w/ Phoenix demo.

Thoughts?
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27th December 2003
Old 27th December 2003
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You should absolutely LOVE the Phoenix plug in from Cranesong!

Give it a try!

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28th December 2003
Old 28th December 2003
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too bad about the alesis board... is there a way around that?

I would be tracking with a distant ambient mic behind the pair, 10-20 ft distance, and mixing a little itty bit in with the pair, to dimensional taste. But not if I had to use the alesis to do it!

Definitely the place to get it is the capture.

I would actually consider doing it in mono, one mic pointing at the ensemble, or some other way where the pair is closer and you don't get the mics pointing off to the sides and picking up so much wash.
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28th December 2003
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Yea. I would have liked to have done it w/ a deca tree and the house mics w/ my remote set up. Politics would not allow it.
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28th December 2003
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The first time you use a C-24 or some Schoeps mikes for this sort of thing, you'll recognize immediately the main thing that was missing!
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28th December 2003
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I will defer to the great Bob Olhsson in regards to mic choice but I believe your problem has more to do with the number of mics. More mics make more depth if the placed correctly and then mixed and panned right.
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28th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by kifaru
I will defer to the great Bob Olhsson in regards to mic choice but I believe your problem has more to do with the number of mics. More mics make more depth if the placed correctly and then mixed and panned right.

Uhhhh, no. More mics can make the job easier or harder depending on your skill level, and other relevant tools... they will not automatically net the perception of greater depth [in fact, a good part of the reason you use more mics is to bring certain sections more 'forward']... and then you might want to pan a few left from time to time... just sorta evens things out... sometimes it will even add to the spaciousness of the recording.
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RobMacki
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28th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
The first time you use a C-24 or some Schoeps mikes for this sort of thing, you'll recognize immediately the main thing that was missing!
Bob, could you elaborate on how you would set that up? I know each situation would dictate it's own treatment, but in general?

I don't know If I'll get past the politics of the University but the Youth Symphony wants me to record & finish all their concerts.
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28th December 2003
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It's not how you would set it up, it's WHAT mike you would set up. All things being equal, fewer mikes almost always sounds richer because the interference patterns between different mikes picking up the same source will always thin out the combined sound when they are mixed together. This comb filter effect can be used creatively.

I'm all for using inexpensive mikes when it'll work as well or better but classical ensemble recording is precisely where there's no substitute for the high-end mikes. It's what they were designed to do and it's where lots of new designs fall flat on their face even though they may sound better for overdubbing a guitar or a vocal. Signal processing is not likely to help very much other than maybe a convolution reverb. Michael Gerzon's implementation of the "shuffler" that Alan Blumlein developed for EMI Records that is found in the WAVES S-1 should help you out a lot. It will widen the spread of just the low-end. It sounds like you've already played with it a bit. I would be very surprised if MaxBass helps in a way that translates well elsewhere.

Most Universities own LOTS better recording gear than what you've described. I'd do some investigating into why you had to use that stuff.
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28th December 2003
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Thanks Bob.
I was a little surprised to find the gear I did. The Youth Symphony wants me to do all their concerts so I will be making more requests or politicking my way through.
What Schoeps would your recommend for starters?
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28th December 2003
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Here's another option for 'dimension'.

I use a TC6000 for this but GT makes a decoder/encoder and I'm sure there are others.
You could try taking your stereo mix and encode/decode it to M/S, which is how a great many classical recordings are recorded in the first place.
While 'after the fact' attempts at this can vary in results, they can sometimes open up the mix in a very nice way.

good luck,
chap
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29th December 2003
Old 29th December 2003
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Quote:
Uhhhh, no. More mics can make the job easier or harder depending on your skill level, and other relevant tools... they will not automatically net the perception of greater depth [in fact, a good part of the reason you use more mics is to bring certain sections more 'forward']... and then you might want to pan a few left from time to time... just sorta evens things out... sometimes it will even add to the spaciousness of the recording.
Sounds like you begin to disagree then ultimately agree with me. When I said "panned right" I was using right as a synonym for correctly. To me, to bring something forward is to bring something else back since we're trying to do 3d in a stereo spectrum. I say more mics based on the fact that you can add in more of the "ambience" of your recording space by having mics that are not only placed in close proximity to the orchestra but also mic/mics placed back away from it. Assuming that the recording space sounds good.
Quote:
More mics can make the job easier or harder depending on your skill level
I assume Rob's skill level is high enough because he got the job in the first place.
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29th December 2003
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The "depth" I was referring to was not so much the stereo spectrum, although it need help too, but the depth of timbres captured.
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29th December 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by RobMacki
The "depth" I was referring to was not so much the stereo spectrum, although it need help too, but the depth of timbres captured.
Now that you put it that way, I'm thinking you need some really fine mics, pres and keep things super simple. Good luck- see if you can shame the U. into supplying some class gear!
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29th December 2003
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A crossed pair of figure-8s or hypercardioids at 120 degrees. Both work well in a lot of enviornments without going too crazy with placement.
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5th January 2004
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I would stick to Blumlein or an MS setup with a cardioid mid microphone. A coincident technique is the only way to preserve the original ímpression'of the space/hall.

It is my opinion any (and I mean every) mic technique based on spaced mics distorts the hall in a major way (it just collapses cause you hear it twice with a really short delay).

Lots of great sounding classical records actually sound like crap once you know the hall they were recorded in - the real hall sound never gets into the recording with a spaced technique.

The problem I mostly get is having too much depth on a recording. I actually tend to use additional mics to get the back of an orchestra a bit closer ...

Also, to retain the depth you should use good mic pre's and a good console (analog or digital) and good AD's.
Funny enough, the Tascam DA30 (however old it is getting) is very probably not the limiting factor in your setup.
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5th January 2004
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Phoenix ROCKS on drums!

Tracking today in PT,

Fatso on Kick & Snare

Phoenix on drum group - Dark Essence (set @ 3 O'clock)
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6th January 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Phoenix ROCKS on drums!

Tracking today in PT,

Fatso on Kick & Snare

Phoenix on drum group - Dark Essence (set @ 3 O'clock)
I went down that dark road myself. Finally had to throw the damn thing in a volcano.

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6th January 2004
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move a little farther from the mic and gain some room ...

peace john
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6th January 2004
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"I went down that dark road myself. Finally had to throw the damn thing in a volcano."

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6th January 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yannick
.....The problem I mostly get is having too much depth on a recording. I actually tend to use additional mics to get the back of an orchestra a bit closer ...
That is a good analogy. A mic is like a wide angle lense on a camera because it will distort the distance of things. A compressor is like a telephoto lense because it will pull the distant sound up, i.e. compress the distance.
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6th January 2004
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Quote:
The problem I mostly get is having too much depth on a recording. I actually tend to use additional mics to get the back of an orchestra a bit closer ...
We may be talking about two (or three) kinds of depth. There's that where you can discern which instruments are further away, but another kind of depth can make things step out towards you in listening space while other things recede even further back. This latter is what I have been talking about- additional mics can ruin it or make it really vivid and pronounced. It can be much more evident than it ever is with just a stereo pair.

Whereas the original poster apparently was asking about depth of timbre.
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7th January 2004
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I traditionally take the approach of simplicity when tackling a classical project. If I add more mics, it mostly tends to be to make up for bad sounding spaces. The better the hall you start out with, the easier your job is .

That said, for a live orchestral recording, I traditionally use around 4 mics...unless there are other considerations, ie: soloist, etc. As I have said on this forum before, I am a huge fan of mixing a pair of cardioids in a coincident or near coincident setup along with a pair of nice omnis. The combination of the two (depending on your mic choices and placement) can result in a fantastic capture of the space. I usually try to emulate the width and depth as it was naturally, with a few exceptions. And of course by using two different textures, you can choose how much of each sonic element you want later by adjusting the volume between the cardioids and the omnis.

However, if you are in a BAD hall, sometimes it is necessary to add mics to make up for its descrepancies.
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7th January 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by AdamONE
I traditionally take the approach of simplicity when tackling a classical project. If I add more mics, it mostly tends to be to make up for bad sounding spaces. The better the hall you start out with, the easier your job is .

That said, for a live orchestral recording, I traditionally use around 4 mics...unless there are other considerations, ie: soloist, etc. As I have said on this forum before, I am a huge fan of mixing a pair of cardioids in a coincident or near coincident setup along with a pair of nice omnis. The combination of the two (depending on your mic choices and placement) can result in a fantastic capture of the space. I usually try to emulate the width and depth as it was naturally, with a few exceptions. And of course by using two different textures, you can choose how much of each sonic element you want later by adjusting the volume between the cardioids and the omnis.

However, if you are in a BAD hall, sometimes it is necessary to add mics to make up for its descrepancies.
How do you use the omnis (spacing, angle, distance) so they work in mono? Haven't had good results in mono with spaced omnis, yet.
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7th January 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade
How do you use the omnis (spacing, angle, distance) so they work in mono? Haven't had good results in mono with spaced omnis, yet.
When I use omnis, they are usually set as outriggers or similar. This means that the main pair is usually a coincident or near-coincident pair. I have used MS, XY, ORTF, NOS, etc. Then you can add the omnis as much as needed. If there is an issue with mono compatibility, you might not bring them up that much, or at all depending on the circumstances.
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7th January 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by AdamONE
When I use omnis, they are usually set as outriggers or similar. This means that the main pair is usually a coincident or near-coincident pair. I have used MS, XY, ORTF, NOS, etc. Then you can add the omnis as much as needed. If there is an issue with mono compatibility, you might not bring them up that much, or at all depending on the circumstances.
Thanks.

I would think of using a single omni to complement the coincident pair. I have had happy experiences of dimension by using stereo ambience with a mono main mic, or mono ambience with a stereo main pair. Of course most of the bass would be in the omni- I'd put it where the instruments can really bloom.
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7th January 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade

I have had happy experiences of dimension by using stereo ambience with a mono main mic, or mono ambience with a stereo main pair.
Interesting, I've never tried that. To be honest, most of the time the mono summing isn't really a problem.

I have been wanting to try out a decca tree setup on some of the live orchestral projects, but the limitations of the situation usually don't let me. For instance, I have had conductors demand only one stand in front of the stage because of audience complaints. Often times there isn't a good way to hang them either.

Anyway, has anyone had any experience using the decca? What about mono compatibility there? I have heard some people prefer to use cardioids instead of omnis also.
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