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Who's doing 5.1 recording on site?
Old 13th November 2009
  #1
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Talking Who's doing 5.1 recording on site?

Hey guys-- I want to experiment with some 5.1 recording of drums in a live setting. Specifically drummers perspective during drum clinics that I'm producing.

Anyone have experience doing this, and if so-- what gear, challenges are there?

I think i'll rent a couple rigs and give it a try. DPA, Holophone etc. Who's used what?

thanks

cz
Old 13th November 2009
  #2
LX3
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Interesting... I think surround could work great. Drummer myself, so extra-keen on this sort of thing Although not yet had the chance to try any all-in-one surround mics.

Are you planning to close-mic the drums as well?

You could take a normal "studio" approach, then just add wide-spaced ORTF, room-facing mics for the rear channels. (behind the drummer rather than in front of the kit)

But thinking some more, it might be great to either:

1) use a surround array - behind drummer again - for room sound, both in front and rear channels. Or

2) if you can get a small all-in-one surround mic in a good overhead pickup position, scrub your usual overheads and mix in close mics just to add definition. Assuming reflections off the ceiling are nice. Probably requires a big, tall room.

Could also try a wide-ish spaced pair of fig-8s, with the drums placed in each null?

Def worth experimenting prior to the record day. Would love to hear how you get on.
Old 13th November 2009
  #3
Of the several different families of surround rigs, some are better-suited to your application than others.

Baffled omni rigs such as the Holophone seem to be intended mostly for ambience and crowd pickup in applications like sporting events. In such applications, their fuzzy imaging and so-so channel seperation doesn't matter too much, and their full, natural low end is a big plus. I'm guessing you desire more focused imaging than you're likely to get from such a rig.

I have some experience with the Trinnov Omni-8 phased omni array. This can produce really stunning imaging, but you need to be careful with direct sound sources that are out-of-plane or so close that the plane-wave design assumptions are violated. Place it wrong, and you get excessive phasiness, so I don't think it's well-suited to your application.

I've also done a lot of work with conventional tree-based surround arrays. These are way too big to share space with a drummer, though I suppose you could put them overhead. Given that you want 360 degree pickup, I would suggest using the "critically-linked" tree design tables of Williams, rather than the OCT-surround rigs I favor for concert pickup.

Which brings us to that old stand-by, the Soundfield microphone. I'd be tempted to put one right over the drummer's head, widen the front image in post, and fill in the center channel with close mics on the kick and snare.

Of course you could always close-mic everything in the kit as for a typical rock session, and pan everything to appropriate channels. Where's the fun in that, though? heh

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 13th November 2009
  #4
LX3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
I've also done a lot of work with conventional tree-based surround arrays. These are way too big to share space with a drummer, though I suppose you could put them overhead.
I agree... but you could use a big old array somewhere behind the drummer, out of shot, just to provide some room ambience in surround. Then mix with close mics/overheads.

I don't find phase issues in the surrounds much of a problem in surround mixes (at least, in multi-track, multi-mic ones), since 5.1 is a little bit of an artificial effect anyway. As long as there's a separate stereo mix and the listener's not downmixing the surround track for stereo...
Old 14th November 2009
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LX3 View Post
I agree... but you could use a big old array somewhere behind the drummer, out of shot, just to provide some room ambience in surround. Then mix with close mics/overheads.

I don't find phase issues in the surrounds much of a problem in surround mixes (at least, in multi-track, multi-mic ones), since 5.1 is a little bit of an artificial effect anyway. As long as there's a separate stereo mix and the listener's not downmixing the surround track for stereo...
Altough, just to add, if the surround mix will be encoded to ac3, downmix to stereo and even mono is very relevant for both domestic dvd players and HD television receivers..
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