My daughter's jr. high band paid to have themselves recorded in a University opera house. They guy that recorded them had 2 MKH 40's on stands on the floor in front of the stage lip. The stands were approx 15' apart, the mics pointing directly upstage, i.e., no angle at all.
My gut reaction was that the difference in arrival times would make the recording less than "professional".
Is this a stereo mic technique that I just haven't heard about?
I have been following this thread since it started. My initial reaction was that the mics were way too far apart. Then, as some posted, let's hear what it sounds like. Well, we won't be able to do that. Then the comment about house guys "not getting it" rang a bell. We have a guy in my town who does remotes for the local radio station, from the balcony with mics at either side. He is a ship radio engineer, retired, and obviously has not read anything about recording audio. His recordings make me feel very, very secure.
I am not saying this is or should be the case but MAYBE he assumed since it was a Jr. High School band distance and smear might be positives? I don't normally do live recordings/field sound but on a show I was working on they came to me about recording a (not so good) high school band and my advice was to get as far away as possible in an attempt to capture the overall blend of the band and not any of the shaky individual players/sections... now this was for background of a TV show so it was a totally different goal. It came out much better than I thought it would (2 wide-spaced shotguns straight in to the camera)
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I shocked a church sound guy by telling him that I was going to record an orchestra using only two mics. He thought I should mic each instrument individually. I don't know where he thought I was going to come up with 30 or so mics, stands, cables, a mixer big enough to handle them all, plus the time required to set them all up and tear them all down, AND get the mix right the first time. I told him that even the highest of high-end classical recordists typically use a stereo pair but he wouldn't have any of it. Maybe he'd seen too much Lawrence Welk over the years?
I'm not gonna lie, finding out that all those Reiner/CSO records were cut with a super wide A-B of U47s has made me rethink alot about how to approach mic'ing large ensembles. That sound doesn't work for everything, but there are some pieces that just sound incredible with that approach. The Bartok Concerto for Orchestra comes to mind. Don't rule it out just because it ain't in a text book ( which it is usually in.... The good books anyways....)
I tried a widely-spaced cardioid pair once. You'll certainly get a wide stereo image. My disappointment with it arose mostly from the fact that I used cardioids and got some off-axis coloration off to the sides.