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judah
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#1
19th February 2013
Old 19th February 2013
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Modular stereo bar (Decca and more)

Hey y'all.

I'm having a modular system build for stereo and multimic. Tonight I'll have the first prototype in my hands.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a shop nearby that could handle aliminum laser cutting to the specs I wanted so I had to opt for stainless. That will make the bar (and the system) a bit heavier than what I would have liked but so is life...

At first I started off with a 1m bar, 1 60cm bar, 1 30cm bar and a T-shaped mounting option to put it all together but after a bit of thinking I got down to 3x 60cm bar and a T mount. With this configuration it is possible to go from mini Decca (60x60) to a mid (?) Decca (60x120). Also ORTF (or other coincident technique) + flanks and many other options.

Anyway, if anyone's interested I can post pictures.
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judah
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19th February 2013
Old 19th February 2013
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Here's the prototype. It's just an upgraded K&M stereo bar. Max spacing is 64cm.

The guys that cut the bar tomorrow are gonna make me an aluminum one to test. 5mm thick. Will check with all the Oktavas I have plus some other mics and see if it flex.

For sure it will not handle heavy LDC but I don't have any that I use for choir or classic so...
Attached Thumbnails
Modular stereo bar (Decca and more)-imageuploadedbygearslutz1361303846.033423.jpg   Modular stereo bar (Decca and more)-imageuploadedbygearslutz1361303863.489354.jpg  
judah
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19th February 2013
Old 19th February 2013
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BTW, as I mentioned, this is made of stainless steel. 6mm thickness. Weight is aprox half a kilo. Don't have a weight scale here with me so I'm gonna check tomorrow and let you all know.
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19th February 2013
Old 19th February 2013
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It looks good! Andiamo!
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19th February 2013
Old 19th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
It looks good! Andiamo!
Let's go then! :-)
#6
20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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I have a similar thing, made from a sabra-som quad mic bar and just buying a longer length of aluminium hex bar.
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Modular stereo bar (Decca and more)-mic-bar.jpg  
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malenkytolchock View Post
I have a similar thing, made from a sabra-som quad mic bar and just buying a longer length of aluminium hex bar.
I think this is the easiest solution. I have two Sabras so with an extended hex bar I could look a lot more "pro" than I am. A row of mics.
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judah
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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I had a Sabra system some 10 years ago, bought from the USA along with my Oktavas. I'm sure it is a nice and easy solution. I just wanted to play with something more "stilish" this time around. Honestly, I can't stand the hex bar, and their mic mount is flimsy (IMHO).

Anyway, I'm gonna have another prototype made of aluminum today and then I'll decide which material to use and test it out. Thought I could speed it all up and have the system for this coming weekend session but better not to hurry up.

BTW, I made a small modification to the drawing and made the bar a tad little bit longer, now mic to mic maximum is 66cm.

Have yet to figure out the mounting support that will hold the three bar system but again I'm not in a hurry (don't have any Decca setup planned for the next weeks).
#9
20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Judah, you are right. B ut I am looking at the quick and easy solution. Elegant can come later.
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Judah, you are right. B ut I am looking at the quick and easy solution. Elegant can come later.
Absolutely. No disrespect for those who use the Sabra bar. I just love DIY basically hence why I always try and go for in house solutions for all the problems. And I also love custom made products that exactly fit your needs. That's it.
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Why no Manfrotto 154b (well, multiple ones...) and an extended 25mm (IIRC) tube ?
(Yeah, I know, DIY spirit etc. :-) )

You think the 5mm aluminum will be sufficiently though to prevent the 'bar' from bending under the weight of the mic + cable ?

Paul

Last edited by Bibster; 20th February 2013 at 01:34 PM.. Reason: Manfrotto 154b, not 156b
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibster View Post
Why no Manfrotto 154b (well, multiple ones...) and an extended 25mm (IIRC) tube ?
(Yeah, I know, DIY spirit etc. :-) )

You think the 5mm aluminum will be sufficiently though to prevent the 'bar' from bending under the weight of the mic + cable ?

Paul
In fact I ordered a Manfrotto 154 a few weeks ago but Thomann didn't have it in stock. I made do with my bar and forgot about it. A couple days ago I started sketching up this prototype and immediately asked for a cut from the guys I know. Yesterday Thomann sent me an email telling me that the Manfrotto is on the way to me!

Anyway, I'll check the Manfrotto out as soon as it gets here and report but honestly Id' like to go forward with my project.

Yeah Paul, my main concern with the 5mm aluminum one is its strength. The prototype will be ready later today but I don't have time to pick it up so will have to wait tomorrow.

Last night I tested the stainless one with four oktavas at maximum spacing and the bar handled it very well, no flexing at all.

I just would like the aluminum one to work 'cause I then would anodize it and make it look a bit more "professional".
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Wow... You're in Spaghettiland, and buy Manfrotto in Bradwürstenland! :-)

Maybe you can make another test version, but with angled aluminum. And yes, anodized black will look... well, cool!
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Yep, Spaghettiland (or Mandolinoland, or Pizzaland, whatever you fancy the most really...) is def not the place to buy Italian made stuff. And I buy 99% of my stuff from Thomann anyway. Always had a great service from them. BTW, the mail they sent me yesterday goes like this:

"We tried to charge your credit card for the Manfrotto 154 you ordered a while ago but the payment was refused. We shipped the item anyway. Please make payment once you get it."

And I'm no super huge studio that buys hundred thousand euros of stuff per year.

Oh well. Back to our schedule.

Uh, I forgot. No angled aluminum. I want it straight, flat and anodized. Yes!
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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I forced myself not to share this one with y'all but couldn't help it.

Here's a short snippet of audio from my most recent job. If I stop for a minute and think about the amount of time I'm spending for such silly accessories and details (the whole decca tree thingy and all that goes with it) and that the bands I usually work with play like this....well, I'd rather not think about it and enjoy the "technical" aspect of my job.

NOTE: The file is an unmixed straight playback from the main array (ORTF + flanks). It makes no difference but just wanted to point that out...

NOTE #2: This specific band sounds a bit better during the sessions. Here they are playin' a funeral march just for fun...
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 bischero funebre.mp3 (1.29 MB, 55 views)
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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And here's the setup in all its glorious details.
Attached Thumbnails
Modular stereo bar (Decca and more)-imageuploadedbygearslutz1361371072.717847.jpg  
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20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malenkytolchock View Post
I have a similar thing, made from a sabra-som quad mic bar and just buying a longer length of aluminium hex bar.
Where do you source the aluminum hex bar? Do you happen to have a part number or other "precise" description?

I've used SabraSom for years and have been totally pleased with the system. They've even replaced elastics at no charge when I asked about purchasing a couple of sets, and sent a new ring after one was broken by baggage monkeys on a fly date. Fortunately, that's the only thing in the case (packed with stands, cables and tripods in a golf club case, CLEARLY marked "Fragile!") that didn't survive.

Having a 1m bar would make me smile. Largely. 30cm is fine for what it is... but...

HB
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#18
20th February 2013
Old 20th February 2013
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I went with a 4 foot 3/8" hex stainless steel bar that has worked well- my concern was that the aluminum one would bend.

303 Stainless Steel Hex Bar, Meets ASTM A582 Specifications, Precision, Inch
(through Amazon or Small Parts)

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#19
21st February 2013
Old 21st February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
Where do you source the aluminum hex bar? Do you happen to have a part number or other "precise" description?

I've used SabraSom for years and have been totally pleased with the system. They've even replaced elastics at no charge when I asked about purchasing a couple of sets, and sent a new ring after one was broken by baggage monkeys on a fly date. Fortunately, that's the only thing in the case (packed with stands, cables and tripods in a golf club case, CLEARLY marked "Fragile!") that didn't survive.

Having a 1m bar would make me smile. Largely. 30cm is fine for what it is... but...

HB
I bought it from a metal supplies shop online, its 3/8" diameter. Quite widely available.
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22nd February 2013
Old 22nd February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by judah View Post
I forced myself not to share this one with y'all but couldn't help it.

Here's a short snippet of audio from my most recent job. If I stop for a minute and think about the amount of time I'm spending for such silly accessories and details (the whole decca tree thingy and all that goes with it) and that the bands I usually work with play like this....well, I'd rather not think about it and enjoy the "technical" aspect of my job.

NOTE: The file is an unmixed straight playback from the main array (ORTF + flanks). It makes no difference but just wanted to point that out...

NOTE #2: This specific band sounds a bit better during the sessions. Here they are playin' a funeral march just for fun...
C'mon! 23 views and no one has the guts to tell me something! I know you can't resist!
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#21
22nd February 2013
Old 22nd February 2013
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Uh. Yesterday a friend picked up the aluminum prototype 'cause I didn't have time. Unfortunately I went to grab the bar last night at his studio and totally forgot about it.

Alzheimer is a heck of a ride sometimes. Now where are my pills?

Half kiddin' (as usual).
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22nd February 2013
Old 22nd February 2013
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A friend gave me his Superlux stereo bar today to check it out. Would be lovely to implement their mounts (with angle markings and click stops) into my prototype bar. Will investigate.

Seems like I'm talking to myself. As per usual.
#23
22nd February 2013
Old 22nd February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by judah View Post

Seems like I'm talking to myself. As per usual.
I'm listening attentively

-Mike
#24
22nd February 2013
Old 22nd February 2013
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Not a hijack attempt, just a side comment.

I have the Sabra-Som, too. I haven't tried this, yet, but thinking that I might use it vertically to get a quick and dirty ORTF-like setup. The hex sides are 60 degrees apart, right? Two "clicks" would be 120 degrees, and then just a tweak to the clip to reduce the angle a tad back to 110. Might be handy when speed is important.

judah, your DIY project looks really pro.


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22nd February 2013
Old 22nd February 2013
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I use a Manfrotto 154(b) for wide stuff. For smaller bars, the folks over at Taperssection have been making and selling Delrin vark bars with risers.

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For active mics, they have been building specialty bars (ORTF, DIN DINa) to fit different mic systems. Builders come and go, but there is often someone arranging a production run from time to time.

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