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REALLY tall mic stand (25+ ft)
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dizziness
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26th January 2006
Old 26th January 2006
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Talking REALLY tall mic stand (25+ ft)

I'm looking to pickup a 25+ or taller mic stand.

I'm sure I will have to go the lighting stand route.

Cheap as possible and cable of supporting two LDC on a Bogen triple microphone holder.

Rich @ Sonare suggested:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich@Sonare
The only thing under $1000 that will do 30ft is the JTL "black tower" (JTLS20 JTL Black Tower 19.5' Lightstand-- about $130 from Adorama.com) with a Bogen or AEA extension on top and you can get near 30 feet.

This black tower is MASSIVE and HEAVY and I would not hesistate to put a balanced Decca tree on top ot it. Proably would only do a pair at high altitude, however.
Any other ideas folks? That seems to be a pretty elegant way to accomplish the feat (without going through the anguish of hanging them.)
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27th January 2006
Old 27th January 2006
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Nope - I think that Lighting stands are the way to go if you need them that high.
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27th January 2006
Old 27th January 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Martin
Nope - I think that Lighting stands are the way to go if you need them that high.
Perhaps I could have been clearer. Rich was recommending a 19.6' foot light stand and an extension. This is not quite as elegant as I would like but would beat the Shure S15A's I'm using in height and presumably in sturdiness/weight capacity.

I was hoping for one assembly for even a bit more support. Of course, the 29' AEA piece looks nice and is nearly a grand.

The latch lake gets close but too is a grand.

Chris
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27th January 2006
Old 27th January 2006
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I use Jumbo Booms from Ambient Recording; in the USA they're www.ambientaudio.com:



From the brochure:
"Jumbo booms can be extended up to 12 meters and use segments up to 40 mm in diameter. While not suitable for hand held use, numerous accessories are available for mounting jumbo booms on Manfrotto stands with a cantilevering angle bracket and counterweight. In this configuration they can be used to place microphones up to 12 meters above ground level for studio, classical music on location, church organ, feature film crowd scenes, etc. Jumbos can also be used to position small cameras, lights, measuring instruments and antenna."

For booming mics into those hard to get to places or even setting up a Decca Tree using three stands from the back of an orchestra they work a treat. I don't know whether I'd trus a Decca Tree of heavy LDCs on one but a pair of something like M149s is fine up to 30' or so.

They're not cheap but they are pretty portable. an comfortable one man lift and they easily fit into a medium sized estate car (e.g. Audi A6). I don't know how important that is for you but for me it's essential.


And for really high work on stuff like pipe organs, I have one of these:



It's a a Clark Teksam S QT 15/HP pump up ariel mast which goes up to 15m (45' or so) with a 2.5kg (5.5lb) head load. Clarks make a huge range of masts for civil and military use covering a wide range of heights and headloads.

I sprayed mine black to make it a little more discrete than the yellow one in the picture. Though with something that big, discrete is a relative concept.

Again, it's not cheap but you can get a carefully balanced Decca Treeof something not too heavy up to about 35-40ft if you really want to; or a pair of Brauner VM1s up to over 45 ft (though you do need to mount the PSUs on the mast if you only have the standard 7.5m cables!).

It folds down small enough to fit into a Subaru Forrester/Audi A6 and is not too difficult for one man to carry.
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27th January 2006
Old 27th January 2006
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Wow. That's a bit more than 25+' and crazy to boot. The ambient boom has got my attention. I don't need it yet and its not discrete for live work but...

Chris
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27th January 2006
Old 27th January 2006
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The Bogen AS300!
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27th January 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S
The Bogen AS300!
I'm having problems finding that one... You don't mean the A330 (Avenger?) Direct links?

Thanks!

Chris
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27th January 2006
Old 27th January 2006
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I assume everyone knows that ash tripods(wooden)

are less prone to vibration than aluminum or carbon fibre.The most recent issue of leica magazine did a test and found this to be so.
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27th January 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucegel
are less prone to vibration than aluminum or carbon fibre.The most recent issue of leica magazine did a test and found this to be so.
Yes BUT are they available at this sort of height? I'm doubtful.

Chris
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27th January 2006
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28th January 2006
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AEA-13HDV - 13,5' ($320)
9' steel boom ($255)
+ vertical extension 9.5' range or 14.5' (both $155)

Add a wheel set/counter weight/sand bag and you have a great main mic support with boom, or if you need to go really high, you get to 32' or 37' without problem (we got the 32' combination, which is still really compact for transportation).
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28th January 2006
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Thanks Yannick. That is more than I was looking to spend. I could do it one piece at a time, starting at 27' and adding the boom later. That would be PERFECT for the application but a big chunk of change.

Chris
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28th January 2006
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It is not cheap, especially if you go for all the extras. But for less than 500 you can get a really high stand - now - and expand the possibilities later (the wheels are cool ).

IMO you can't go much cheaper and risk dropping your expensive mics. Even this thing will get a bit wobbly when it is really high up and loaded ...

The really nice thing that made me bite the bullet is the third leg, that can be extended, nice for sloped floors.
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1st February 2006
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Why do you need to go higher than 20ft?
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1st February 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rand0mRoll77
Why do you need to go higher than 20ft?
Good question... I've got another gig in this venue.

This was taken standing in the balcony. Notice how I'm looking down slightly. This is on a 15' Shure stand.

<a href="http://dizzysound.net/page4/files/page4-1006-full.html">http://dizzysound.net/page4/files/page4-1006-full.html</a>

Here's a shot from the floor looking up:

<a href="http://dizzysound.net/page4/files/page4-1008-full.html">http://dizzysound.net/page4/files/page4-1008-full.html</a>

Especially when there are strings, they tend to get obscured by the conductor and their own bodies. I'd like to get 10' or so above the balcony level, at least 4-5' above the conductor's head.
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1st February 2006
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Is it possible to hang them from the ceiling?
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1st February 2006
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How about a large boom stand out at the edge of the balcony with the microphones boomed out over the void?

When I have to deal with situations like that, I usually do a combination of a pair of mics up on the balcony and extra microphones out in the room- making a balance of a more direct sound for clarity (although I'm usually using omnis or other non-directional mic) and ambience to blend the sounds together...

-Ben
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1st February 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle
How about a large boom stand out at the edge of the balcony with the microphones boomed out over the void?

When I have to deal with situations like that, I usually do a combination of a pair of mics up on the balcony and extra microphones out in the room- making a balance of a more direct sound for clarity (although I'm usually using omnis or other non-directional mic) and ambience to blend the sounds together...

-Ben
Ben,

that would work pretty well except the conductor would still freak out. He's an ass (pardon). He does have a valid point that balcony gets pretty crammed with choir and chamber orchestra and organ console.

Yes, I have had good success with the same technique in this church. Even for live recording, the two-pair approach has served me well.

Another challenge with the boom is slope of the ceiling.

Since we're on the subject of boom, this would be about 12 feet to one side... Good choices? Perhaps I should consider this.

Chris
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1st February 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5
Is it possible to hang them from the ceiling?
Yes, except it means scaling the exposed ladder at the back of the balcony. It's easily another 25 feet up. So, net result is a 100-150 foot cable run with no able to put the preamp with the mics. This might not be so good for the SF-12 I wanted to try out.

A tall stand is so much easier, less headache and less possibility of personal injury.

Chris
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1st February 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle
When I have to deal with situations like that, I usually do a combination of a pair of mics up on the balcony and extra microphones out in the room- making a balance of a more direct sound for clarity (although I'm usually using omnis or other non-directional mic) and ambience to blend the sounds together...
I was think more about your post. Perhaps I should try a different technique? Previously I've had good success with a close-up blumlein ribbon pair and a widely spaced AB pair in the hall.

This is a community choir for the upcoming gig. Perhaps the diffusion of the AB pair up close with the blumlein pair back in the hall for a diffuse ambience? Perhaps just the standard blumlein pair up close with a AB pair as flanks. If this isn't reverberant enough, touch it up with some convolution reverb? That's closer to my typical approach for a live setting like this...

Chris
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2nd February 2006
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If the choir director can't deal with mic stands in the center, how about getting some larger stands with a good counterweight that you can boom mics in from the edges? I'm thinking of something like the Latchlake stands, but there are a bunch out there. A cheaper option would be something like one of the big "On Stage" stands with a couple sand bags to hold them steady. I understand how it can be tight, but I'd be willing to bet that if you show a bit of flexability to work around their setup, you could come to a good compromise.

I dunno, I get to the point where I work with the performers, but if they are hiring me to record, they have to be willing to work with me. Recording more often than not means microphone stands. If they don't want stands where it will sound good, then I tell them that I won't be responsible for a recording that isn't up to my usual (high) standards.

I'm still a performing musician so I understand the need to stay out of the way, etc... but I also need to provide the client with what they're hiring me for. In the end, the couple clients that have been so cranky as to not let me put microphone stands where they sound good are also the clients that are a nightmare in many other ways. For those, if and when they call me a second time, the rate goes up and if they are still willing to pay it, I hold my nose and collect a pay check. If they aren't willing to pay the freight, then I just won't work for them. At times it has been tough when work is thin, but in the end, not holding up my professional standards has lost me more work.

Oh well, my ramblings at the end of a [way too] long day.

--Ben
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2nd February 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle
If the choir director can't deal with mic stands in the center, how about getting some larger stands with a good counterweight that you can boom mics in from the edges? I'm thinking of something like the Latchlake stands, but there are a bunch out there. A cheaper option would be something like one of the big "On Stage" stands with a couple sand bags to hold them steady. I understand how it can be tight, but I'd be willing to bet that if you show a bit of flexability to work around their setup, you could come to a good compromise.
--Ben
I agree completely Ben. If I didn't think I could get good results from the floor, just with a higher stand I would go the Latch Lake route. That stand is NOT cheap though (to be honest I have had my eyes on one since they came out.)

Any thoughts on the AB/Blumlein comment above? Blumlein close, AB far or reversed?

Chris
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3rd February 2006
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If you are booming in 2 stands from the edges, you'll kind of be forced in to A-B... Blumlein is only effective when you can pretty much get the ensemble within 90 degrees of the mic or so. If the mic is right up close, you'll likely miss a good portion of your image (As much as I love using Blumlein, that is one of the limits of it).

I had another thought.. Use your tripod stands and basically attach them to the little "wall" at the edge of the balcony for your close pair. I'd probably put a couple sand bags to secure the bottom of the stand and then LOTS of gaffer's tape and perhaps a bungee cord or two to the railing. That way you have lots of height and the poximity to the ensemble without hogging the floor space. The foot or so you'll take up will almost certainly be available (or they can find a way to make it available).

--Ben
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3rd February 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle
If you are booming in 2 stands from the edges, you'll kind of be forced in to A-B... Blumlein is only effective when you can pretty much get the ensemble within 90 degrees of the mic or so. If the mic is right up close, you'll likely miss a good portion of your image (As much as I love using Blumlein, that is one of the limits of it).
I had another thought.. Use your tripod stands and basically attach them to the little "wall" at the edge of the balcony for your close pair. I'd probably put a couple sand bags to secure the bottom of the stand and then LOTS of gaffer's tape and perhaps a bungee cord or two to the railing. That way you have lots of height and the poximity to the ensemble without hogging the floor space. The foot or so you'll take up will almost certainly be available (or they can find a way to make it available).
That might work... I'll have to go and check it out...

I take it then Blumlein will work as long as the outside of the ensemble doesn't exceed 90 degrees. This must be the reason why the pattern typically won't work in poor acoustics... it picks up too much of the room as a necessity of being further away.

Perhaps I could try the Blumlein for ambient pickup and a AB pair for the choir up close. Then if the Blumlein fails or sound like shiite, then use convolution... I like the solution.

I had considered my old stand-by, ORTF as well but the directionality never worked well for choral work for me.

Chris
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4th February 2006
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No, blumlein pulls in a lot of the hall because there are rear lobes that pick up just as much sound as the front of the microphone...

I often have the blumlein pair in a bit closer, but I'll suplement it with a pair of outriggers. For choir and orchestra, sometimes the blumlein pair is right behind the conductor. The choral mics are close to the choir but because they are omnis, they also sort of act as outriggers, but at the back of the orchestra. It is all in careful placement.

--Ben
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4th February 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0VU
I use Jumbo Booms from Ambient Recording; in the USA they're www.ambientaudio.com:
What a great find. Thanks for the tip.

And to everyone else for sharing so much wonderful information.

This is a very enlightening thread.
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4th February 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle
No, blumlein pulls in a lot of the hall because there are rear lobes that pick up just as much sound as the front of the microphone...

I often have the blumlein pair in a bit closer, but I'll suplement it with a pair of outriggers. For choir and orchestra, sometimes the blumlein pair is right behind the conductor. The choral mics are close to the choir but because they are omnis, they also sort of act as outriggers, but at the back of the orchestra. It is all in careful placement.
Yes, that's understood with figure-8. Yet, you suggest keeping the orchestra within the 90 degree window. In this situation the orchestra is relatively shallow and broad, so I might have to drop back 10 feet or so to have the fit within the perspective ... I have the misfortune of the choir mostly flanking the orchestra as well. The setup is very shallow. I toyed with just using spot mics for the three choral "zones" (center back, hard left and hard right). Perhaps the omni flanks will help bring them back into perspective and not sitting outside the stage.

Can judicious panning correct the staging issue without collapsing the field?

This makes my head spin. I've got all sort of issues with this gig.
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5th February 2006
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I wouldn't pan a blumlein pair anything other than Left and Right. Given your perameters, I might consider a blumlein pair as I described earlier on a tall stand held up via sand bags, gaffer's tape and bungee cables. Even if it is up close, you can provide some of the needed space by placing the microphone higher up. Don't just think about the horizontal plane when positioning the mics.

Then on tall stands, I'd probably put an omni up in front of each section of the choir. Up higher than the choirs aiming down into the group.

In addition, I'd probably place a pair out in the hall to add natural ambience and help tie everything together sonically.

Any way you cut it, it isn't going to be a perfect situation. The trick is to do the best you can within the constraints of the job. Everybody is going to have to give a bit. The group is going to have to let stands in, you're going to have to settle for less than perfect mic location.

In the end, if everybody gives a bit, you'll get a recording that is good enough for the client (even if it isn't up to your perfect standards), and you get to come back and do more gigs for them.

--Ben
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5th February 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle
I wouldn't pan a blumlein pair anything other than Left and Right. Given your perameters, I might consider a blumlein pair as I described earlier on a tall stand held up via sand bags, gaffer's tape and bungee cables. Even if it is up close, you can provide some of the needed space by placing the microphone higher up. Don't just think about the horizontal plane when positioning the mics.
Ah yes, and hence the tall stand question in the beginning. If your earlier description doesn't work, this will.

Quote:
Then on tall stands, I'd probably put an omni up in front of each section of the choir. Up higher than the choirs aiming down into the group.
In addition, I'd probably place a pair out in the hall to add natural ambience and help tie everything together sonically.
Ben, thanks for the all the advice... Your are too gracious. I'll try your suggested technique!

Chris
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17th February 2006
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I'd use a Matthews High-High-Roller stand but make sure you have three or four 35lb. sand bags.

Most grip houses will rent this to you for fifteen dollars.

The High-High goes to 20'9" while the High-Boy goes to 19'something" (I forget exactly).

You can use a C-Stand arm if you need a couple more feet. Just make sure you get the right turnaround for the top of the Roller stand.

And when you open the legs on a Roller stand, make sure you push the collar all the way to the bottom; the thing's not designed to be used with the collar in any other position, yet I see them like this all the time.

http://www.msegrip.com/mse.php?show=...ducts_ID=25065
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