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Which mic setup do you prefer from these?
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dgpretzel
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7th April 2013
Old 7th April 2013
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Which mic setup do you prefer from these?

I recently recorded a community wind ensemble concert.

Which mic setup do you prefer? "a" is one configuration, and "b" is another. Both on same stand. Full details will, of course, follow. How much can you tell about the setups with zero prior knowledge? Is either acceptable? Should I choose one, or a mix of them, or "try again next time"? (Please disregard defects in the actual performance.) There are 3 clips of each of the two stereo pairs.

Thank you.

Regards,

DG
Attached Files
File Type: wav sample1a.wav (7.78 MB, 74 views) File Type: wav sample2a.wav (9.44 MB, 28 views) File Type: wav sample3a.wav (8.02 MB, 18 views) File Type: wav sample1b.wav (7.78 MB, 49 views) File Type: wav sample2b.wav (9.44 MB, 26 views) File Type: wav sample3b.wav (8.02 MB, 15 views)
dgpretzel
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7th April 2013
Old 7th April 2013
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Comments on the mics themselves also welcomed. For example, "You idiot, can't you tell those mics have scooped mid highs, and are the most worthless pieces of detritus this side of the asteroid belt."

DG
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7th April 2013
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OK, I'll play. It sounds as if 1a, 2b and 3a (group 1) are the same array and 1b, 2a and 3b (group 2) are also the same array.

Group 1 sounds most wide and with more room, but a bit more distant and less precise than group 2. Group 2 is a bit narrow and upfront. Group 1 could be omnis or wide cardioids at some 42cm to 60cm distance between the two, also because of the fuller bass response. Group 2 sounds like cardioids in XY, or a cardioid with fig 8 in MS.

I combined the two tracks and actually found it an improvement of the total tonal balance. To my taste the group 1 mics are a bit muffled, but the image is most wide, with a bit of a hole in the middle. The group 2 mics have the better basic sound, but the image is too upfront and narrow for my taste. There is a middle peak. Together they even out quite nicely, but the precision is a bit compromised then.
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7th April 2013
Old 7th April 2013
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Ironically this ad was at the bottom when I read this post. I have not listed to the clips yet but thought this was interesting none the less.


http://www.zynaptiq.com/unveil/


Sent from my SCH-I535
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8th April 2013
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"a" is AB omnis, parallel at 45cm.

"b" is ORTF (cards at 110 degrees, 17cm).

One of these pair cost about 15 times more than the other. Which is which?


DG

Last edited by dgpretzel; 9th April 2013 at 12:01 AM.. Reason: make sure my meaning of "ORTF" is clear
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a was a little more spacious, and I like that, but the low end seemed washed out at higher volumes (Sound like RodeNT5's or something). b seemed a little more controlled, could use a different position thought because it seemed either distant or lacking back row instrument. Not sure which ones I prefer.
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dgpretzel
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8th April 2013
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Thank you, thank you.

That's what I'm looking for. Illuminating comments from folks that have the knowledge and experience to which I can only aspire.

DG

P.S. The only reason I asked for a preference was because I have to decide which (or a mix) to use for the (archival) CD.

I'll hold my own thoughts, ill-informed as they may be, for a bit.
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9th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
b seemed a little more controlled, could use a different position thought because it seemed either distant or lacking back row instrument. Not sure which ones I prefer.
Just to make sure I understand... Are you suggesting I might have placed "b" a bit closer to the ensemble?

Thank you.

DG
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9th April 2013
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If I had to guess by the sound, I'd say a tad closer and higher up so the back rows are at a more competitive angle.

What were the position of each?
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9th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
If I had to guess by the sound, I'd say a tad closer and higher up so the back rows are at a more competitive angle.

What were the position of each?
They were on the same stand.

The stand was about 10 -12' back from the conductor, and about 12' high. The first row was right in front of the conductor, at floor level. The rest of the ensemble was on a platform, probably 16" high.

DG

P.S. Note to self: In future, take measurements, make notes. (I did measure the mic configurations when I set them up.)
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9th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpretzel View Post

P.S. Note to self: In future, take measurements, make notes. (I did measure the mic configurations when I set them up.)
Pictures are great to have, too.
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9th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpretzel View Post
"a" is AB omnis, parallel at 45cm.

"b" is ORTF (cards at 110 degrees, 17cm).

One of these pair cost about 15 times more than the other. Which is which?


DG
15x? Schoeps and Apex?
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10th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
OK, I'll play. It sounds as if 1a, 2b and 3a (group 1) are the same array and 1b, 2a and 3b (group 2) are also the same array.

Group 1 sounds most wide and with more room, but a bit more distant and less precise than group 2. Group 2 is a bit narrow and upfront. Group 1 could be omnis or wide cardioids at some 42cm to 60cm distance between the two, also because of the fuller bass response. Group 2 sounds like cardioids in XY, or a cardioid with fig 8 in MS.

I combined the two tracks and actually found it an improvement of the total tonal balance. To my taste the group 1 mics are a bit muffled, but the image is most wide, with a bit of a hole in the middle. The group 2 mics have the better basic sound, but the image is too upfront and narrow for my taste. There is a middle peak. Together they even out quite nicely, but the precision is a bit compromised then.
Thank you, so much, earcatcher, for your analysis.

I don't know how I missed it, before. After all, that's the kind of thing I was fishing for.

Let me also apologize profusely. I, obviously, did not explain sufficiently, how the samples were organized. All the "a's" are the same pair, in the same configuration. Same with all the "b's". So, two different pairs. Three samples for each pair are provided, just to provide a variety of musical and tonal characteristics.

So, I put two pairs on the same stand: "a" is a pair of omnis at 45cm. "b" is a pair of cards in ORTF. I chose three excerpts and clipped each of the three excerpts from each of the two stereo pairs.

I appreciate your observations because they are "mostly right" about the mics and patterns.

I'm still trying to train my ears. I thought I would be "safe" with the omnis at 45cm-- that is, I thought that would be close enough to avoid the "hole in the middle". I must study and learn.

I'll delay just a bit longer in identifying the mics, just because some of them are also in my other current thread soliciting comments on an acapella choir.

Thank you, again, for taking the time to listen and provide such a thoughtful response.

Regards,

DG
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10th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Pictures are great to have, too.
Good point.

DG
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10th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polytope View Post
15x? Schoeps and Apex?
OK, I exaggerated a tad. More like 14:1.

I will identify the mics, soon.

DG
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11th April 2013
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My reactions were similar to what has been expressed. The omnis ("a") samples seemed just very open and spacious. I really, really like that. But, the flutes and clarinets seemed somehow to be more clear and precise than the tuba. The lows were there, it seemed to me, but, compared to the woodwinds, I thought had sort of a slight muddied or muffled character.

The ORTF ("b") samples were more immediate, and lacking some of the spaciousness of the omnis. But, they also seemed more precise, and I got the impression the ensemble was right in front of me. I felt I could localize the instruments a bit better. So, I guess that's all part of the general character of the distinctions between AB omnis and ORTF.

I mixed the two equally, and I thought a little magic happened. I mean, I hear the immediacy and precision of the ORTF, plus the spaciousness of the omnis. I don't hear any of the weakness of either, alone. But, then maybe I am not yet sufficiently able to detect such sonic differences.

I think the combination of the two is better than the sum, if that makes any sense. I mean, logically, it doesn't make sense to me, but I really liked the combination.

When I extracted the original clips, I didn't note the exact time indexes, so now I can't duplicate the clips exactly, but the following are pretty close. "s1", "s2", and "s3" correspond (mostly) to the samples above, but the omnis and the ORTF cards are mixed equally.

I think it really improved the sound, and is MUCH improved over either the AB or ORTF pair by themselves. Is this what the boojum/jnorman/phased array/modified Faulkner array/Eargle technique is all about?

Thank you for all the previous comments.

BTW, the cards are KSM141's and the omnis are Naiant XQ's, which I bought several years ago and paid $64 for the pair. (They have been discontinued for at least a year, having been replaced by a newer model.)
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