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ORTF with drum overheads...
Old 2nd February 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Talking ORTF with drum overheads...

When using an ORTF configuration with drum overheads, do you usually place the mics in front of the kit facing forward? or above the kit facing directly downward?

I know this is subjective and both situations will give me good results but I'm buying a stereo mic bar and which one I get depends on how I will set it up.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #2
i think i've done it just about every way...in front of kit facing down, over
the drummer's head facing down...kind of behind the drummer a couple
of feet above him.

fwiw, i use the AEA stereo bar and it works really well.

side-note: using ORTF w/ drum overheads sounds nice, but i've noticed
i tend to have a harder time telling if my snare and toms are
in-phase w/ the overheads...or put another way, due to the
phase relationship that ORTF exhibits, the result makes my
snare and toms less "in" or "out" of phase.

not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that...

marty.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #3
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svart's Avatar
 

I do this a lot. Place the mics higher or lower than the edges of the cymbals or you will get crazy swish that no amount of work can get rid of.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #4
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spitfire8898's Avatar
 

I usually do it behind the drummer above his head. (about 2-3 feet, depending on the drummer) Ofcourse, you have to play with it, and make sure to ask him/her if they'll be in the way, some drummers swing pretty high (they must think they're on stage)....
Old 2nd February 2007
  #5
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What does ORTF stand for?
Old 3rd February 2007
  #6
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Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française
Old 3rd February 2007
  #7
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oui.
Old 3rd February 2007
  #8
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Robearto4's Avatar
 

I just looked up where this technique originated.

And I had never come across this technique until just now.

I'm quite interested in trying it out.
Old 3rd February 2007
  #9
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jazzhole's Avatar
 

overhead phase

Quote:
Originally Posted by marty lester View Post
i think i've done it just about every way...in front of kit facing down, over
the drummer's head facing down...kind of behind the drummer a couple
of feet above him.

fwiw, i use the AEA stereo bar and it works really well.

side-note: using ORTF w/ drum overheads sounds nice, but i've noticed
i tend to have a harder time telling if my snare and toms are
in-phase w/ the overheads...or put another way, due to the
phase relationship that ORTF exhibits, the result makes my
snare and toms less "in" or "out" of phase.

not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that...

marty.
Well... phase obviously has a everything to do with distance. It´s a bit tricky finding a sweet spot for the whole kit when using ORTF, especially if you want to really have it all there, not just cymbals. Tape measure comes in handy. I personally prefer X/Y at the expense of stereo width. In "acoustic" stuff a BD mic and X/Y might be all you´ll need. Maybe a snare mic.
Old 4th February 2007
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzhole View Post
Well... phase obviously has a everything to do with distance. It´s a bit tricky finding a sweet spot for the whole kit when using ORTF, especially if you want to really have it all there, not just cymbals. Tape measure comes in handy. I personally prefer X/Y at the expense of stereo width. In "acoustic" stuff a BD mic and X/Y might be all you´ll need. Maybe a snare mic.
yeah, i agree for the most part. i've been using X/Y or spaced-pairs mostly
these days for drum overs.

on a related note, i just recorded an orchestra performance using ORTF right
behind the conductor and it may be the best thing i've ever recorded.
of course, a great orchestra in a great hall made me look good.


marty.
Old 4th February 2007
  #11
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Robearto4's Avatar
 

I love how huge the spaced pair sounds for overheads, but if you want to be safe and avoid as much phasing as you can, xy is where its at.

But now I really want to try ORTF...
Old 5th February 2007
  #12
TYY
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ORTF is great on overheads. I like them over the drummers head looking down not at the cymbals, but the kit. I sometimes vary the angle slightly, maybe reduce the angle to as much as 90, though I keep the head spacing about the same (I think this becomes more a DIN setup?)

Anyway it gets a nice fairly wide stereo image, but still with a pretty decent center solidity and no phase problems whatsoever in my experience. I don't like coincident pair (XY) at all- too narrow- may as well just be a mono.

I've use SD and LD condensors in ORTF with success. You can get by just fine with ORTF and kick/snare. Add in a mono room and you're golden. Toms are only necessary if you really need 'that' sound.
Old 5th February 2007
  #13
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could someone explain how a ORTF mic setup looks like?
Old 5th February 2007
  #14
Old 5th February 2007
  #15
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This is probably clearer for sdc mics:

http://www.schoeps.de/images-2004/ums20-ortf.jpg
Old 5th February 2007
  #16
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Oroz's Avatar
 

Here's something that could also help:

Old 5th February 2007
  #17
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d_fu's Avatar
 

ORTF is defined as cardioids at an angle of 110°, 17cm apart.
I don't think it makes a lot of sense to use ORTF for overheads, though... Esp. at close distances like in this application, you'll have most of the sound hitting the mics off-axis, and unless your mics are pretty good, their sound may not be as linear as on-axis. I also wonder whether the separation provided by ORTF is required for OH. Good pair of hypercardioids may be better, if separation is required.
Old 5th February 2007
  #18
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Thanks boys.
Old 5th February 2007
  #19
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John Suitcase's Avatar
 

I've used XY overheads for a while, but the last few sessions, I've used ORTF over the drummer's head, and I think it works way better. The stereo imaging is much better, much more crisp. And I tend to agree that while in theory it doesn't collapse to mono as well as XY or M/S, in practice it sounds fine. I think the phase issues tend to be more apparent in situations where you're dealing with one sound source being picked up somewhat equally by both mics (like a guitar amp in front of the pair), In ORTF there are few things hitting both mics equally, and those that are, are hitting off axis.

The little 1ms delay between the mics is what gives you superior stereo imaging (compared to xy), read any of the Bruce Bartlett books about stereo mic'ing, he does a good job of explaining the why's...
Old 5th February 2007
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Suitcase View Post
I've used XY overheads for a while, but the last few sessions, I've used ORTF over the drummer's head, and I think it works way better. The stereo imaging is much better, much more crisp. And I tend to agree that while in theory it doesn't collapse to mono as well as XY or M/S, in practice it sounds fine. I think the phase issues tend to be more apparent in situations where you're dealing with one sound source being picked up somewhat equally by both mics (like a guitar amp in front of the pair), In ORTF there are few things hitting both mics equally, and those that are, are hitting off axis.

The little 1ms delay between the mics is what gives you superior stereo imaging (compared to xy), read any of the Bruce Bartlett books about stereo mic'ing, he does a good job of explaining the why's...
That's how I always thought of the situation. Even if one source of sound on the drums is hitting both mics at the same time, there is still a few things that are not but they aren't directy aligned with the mics anyway.

Btw, if you dont mind me asking...what are you using for overheads? You record a lot of the same types of music I do.
Old 5th February 2007
  #21
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John Suitcase's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gutsofgold View Post
That's how I always thought of the situation. Even if one source of sound on the drums is hitting both mics at the same time, there is still a few things that are not but they aren't directy aligned with the mics anyway.

Btw, if you dont mind me asking...what are you using for overheads? You record a lot of the same types of music I do.
Usually I'm using a pair of Groove Tubes GT44s. They're small diaphragm tube condenser mics. They're pretty smooth, not brassy or harsh at all. I was using a pair of Oktava MK219s, and those work pretty well, too. A little dark, but I find that works well on cymbals. Mostly, I just avoid really bright 'modern' condensers, as they tend to sound too harsh to my ears (I'm recording digitally, I suspect that on tape, the brighter condensers would sound a little less edgy.)
Old 11th February 2007
  #22
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I like pictures.
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