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Why not XY Overheads Live?
Old 17th July 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Why not XY Overheads Live?

Hey Slutz,

I worked most of the time in my own studio and occasionally mixed some live shows in smaller venues.
I wonder why I mostly see spaced pair overhead mics live on smaller and even bigger stages, rather than XY?
In my understanding XY causes way less phase problems overall:
cymbals and all the other instruments bleed into the oh's all at the same time, so less problems there, or am I missing something?
Old 17th July 2019
  #2
Gear Guru
 
x/y gets used for drum overhead but clearly not as often as a/b; m/s even less... - every technique has some advantages, but also limits:

depending on drum/cymbal setup, stage setup, stage noise from combos, amps/stacks, wedges, side fills, rear blast of subs etc., an x/y (or mono overhead) might pick up too much spill if positioned to picture the entire drumset.

phase coherence between overheads is not a necessity under any circumstance as the overheads mostly get panned to some degree (often too wide for my taste but that's another discussion) and hence potential issues go unnoticed or actually become irrelevant.

could also be that someone wants to picture the drums very wide and then, a/b has a clear edge over x/y.
when time/phase aliging close mics of the drums to the overheads, coincident techniques win though!
Old 17th July 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Regarding phase coherence : the difference in time and thus phase in live is not that much of a problem if you think about the huge distance and therefore timing differences between left and right stacks of the PA in most spots in the audience.
Old 17th July 2019
  #4
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Wyllys's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I've occasionally used a VP88 overhead.
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
Regarding phase coherence : the difference in time and thus phase in live is not that much of a problem if you think about the huge distance and therefore timing differences between left and right stacks of the PA in most spots in the audience.
not true: a lack of phase coherence can become very obvious with instruments which have lots of transients such as drums...
Old 17th July 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Right in the middle aisle of the venue. Yes. Maybe.

All the rest... Hmmmmmm....
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #7
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Wyllys's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
Regarding phase coherence : the difference in time and thus phase in live is not that much of a problem if you think about the huge distance and therefore timing differences between left and right stacks of the PA in most spots in the audience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
not true: a lack of phase coherence can become very obvious with instruments which have lots of transients such as drums...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
Right in the middle aisle of the venue. Yes. Maybe.

All the rest... Hmmmmmm....
You're thinking seems a bit skewed in that any time difference between the stacks does not compare 1:1 with the time difference/smear of the arrival of the original sound at the mics. A smeared signal sent to the stacks will only make any further time anomalies worse. Drum transients are a good example as noted.
Old 17th July 2019
  #8
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🎧 15 years
Man phase problem will be with snare (and mabe kick).
Imho a snare panned in the middle will arrive with much more than 10ms difference between main hangs and therefore the effect of that delay will mask a lot of small problems with lhase in the stereo mics
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #9
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Wyllys's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
Man phase problem will be with snare (and mabe kick).
Imho a snare panned in the middle will arrive with much more than 10ms difference between main hangs and therefore the effect of that delay will mask a lot of small problems with lhase in the stereo mics
It seems you're forgetting about the precedence of arrival factor.
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
Right in the middle aisle of the venue. Yes. Maybe.

All the rest... Hmmmmmm....
got absolutely nothing to do with the output: issues stem mostly from the different distance from the snare to the overhead mics!
Old 17th July 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I would also factor in the in the level differences between the main hangs.
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
got absolutely nothing to do with the output: issues stem mostly from the different distance from the snare to the overhead mics!
Imho the phase issues will be of significance in the middle of the stereo field where the signals of the main snare mic in the middle and the snare signal in the overheads (bad phantom center of snare due to bad microfontechnique) cause issues.

Depending on the pan law of the mixer, if you hear the mixed signal of the main snare mic and the signal of one OH mic, firstly the signal of the other OH mic won't be much if a problem because not only is the level difference of the signals mixed in the bus at least 7db between left and right and that gets amplified a lot in the acoustic field. You simply won't hear a lot of the other mic standing in the area where you are mainly hearing just ine side of the PA.
Then, with hearing mostly one side of the PA anyway, you still have a delay and therefore a phase issue between main snare mic and snare signal in the overhead.
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Guru
 
nothing to 'factor in': neither the inputs (oh pair) nor the output (mix l/r) get set to different levels - learn about mic placement and how to mix or even better, use a mono overhead or an x/y or m/s and (almost) all issues will magically disappear - that's what the whole thread is about...
Old 17th July 2019
  #14
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🎧 15 years
Well, whatever. This live forum is not for discussion anyway. Only dick measuring contests ("learn how to mix")
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #15
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Wyllys's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
Well, whatever. This live forum is not for discussion anyway. Only dick measuring contests ("learn how to mix")
"Tender" as in "thin skin". Off to the Iggy Bin again...
Old 17th July 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I'm just glad the grumpy old soundengineers I endured as musician as well as technician slowly die away.
With my younger colleagues we meet a lot and there is a lot of discussion going on with scientific and technical debate without any dicking around.
Thats fun and everybody learns something.
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
 
call me arrogant but your previous posts (not only in this thread) are wrong in so many ways and seem to base on misconceptions and/or random assumptions that i indeed think we cannot have a meaningful discussion.
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
nothing to 'factor in': neither the inputs (oh pair) nor the output (mix l/r) get set to different levels - learn about mic placement and how to mix or even better, use a mono overhead or an x/y or m/s and (almost) all issues will magically disappear - that's what the whole thread is about...
Ah. So stereomictecniques do not work on the basis of phase/delay (laufzeitunterschied) or level (intensitätsunterschied)?
And that needs two ears and a system that brings those signals to the ears with said level or phase/delay differences?
Old 17th July 2019
  #19
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🎧 15 years
So TJ, as DeeDee says: phase coherence is not a necessity as "as the overheads mostly get panned to some degree (often too wide for my taste but that's another discussion) and hence potential issues go unnoticed or actually become irrelevant."

At the same time "a lack of phase coherence can become very obvious with instruments which have lots of transients such as drums..."

Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Guru
 
incomplete citation distorts the message...

as mentioned previously, i'm not interested in having a discussion with you: pls refrain from further comments on me and other attempts to derail the thread.
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #21
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Wyllys's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
call me arrogant but your previous posts (not only in this thread) are wrong in so many ways and seem to base on misconceptions and/or random assumptions that i indeed think we cannot have a meaningful discussion.
Exactly. The latest instance, as I noted up-thread, involved conflating phase coherence at the mic position with phase coherence at the listening position while ignoring or omiting the fact that the latter case follows from the initial case and is highly dependent as a result.

There are, as you note, too many infractions of logic and physics to hold a decent discussion, a sadly recurring pattern of specious arguments and Tenderego.
Old 17th July 2019 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
incomplete citation distorts the message...

as mentioned previously, i'm not interested in having a discussion with you: pls refrain from further comments on me and other attempts to derail the thread.
Why should I?
Old 18th July 2019 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
Exactly. The latest instance, as I noted up-thread, involved conflating phase coherence at the mic position
How can phase coherence conflate at the mic position?
It only has an impact with two mics mixed together.
If you listen to it on a mono system or you don't pan the two mics you will have comb filtering if you do something wrong. If listening on a stereo system and pan the mics you will have further effects like a bad stereoimage and a skewed phantomcenter.
So with XY technique which is monocompatible you won't have any combfiltering as between left and right mic you only have differences in level.
If done wrong, you may end up with phase problems in the (very) high frequencies.
Listening on a stereo system, a problem with XY will most likely be a problem with location. If for example the snare is not really in the middle between the 2 mics, on the speakers the snare will not be in the middle (phantom center) but somewhere a bit off to the side. You will then may have a problem with your main snare mic and the snare from the OH not being in the same point in your stereo image.

If there will also be a phase problem between main snare mic and snare in the OH is imho debatable because the differences in level (and time) will be pretty big and if you regard the 3:1 rule it shouldn't be too much of a problem mostly.

Now AB on the other hand WORKS with phase difference.
But delay also comes into play. Plus, a difference in time of a signal between both mic of about 1ms is enough that this signal is predominantly heard from only one side of the speakers.

And now we could think further and discuss how the PA comes into play here.
Old 18th July 2019
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Ok, you won. Biggest dick of them all.

So no discussion about how and why different stereo drum techniques work in a live situation.


But I am glad we all learned where you come from. Thats why we are in forums.
Old 18th July 2019
  #25
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mojo filters's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I just keep coming back for the practical solutions to real world problems
Old 18th July 2019 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
Now AB on the other hand WORKS with phase difference.
But delay also comes into play. Plus, a difference in time of a signal between both mic of about 1ms is enough that this signal is predominantly heard from only one side of the speakers.

And now we could think further and discuss how the PA comes into play here.
Ok but if I got you right, then there will be an even bigger problem with AB?
Because more problems add up there? Especially in the center position.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
Listening on a stereo system, a problem with XY will most likely be a problem with location. If for example the snare is not really in the middle between the 2 mics, on the speakers the snare will not be in the middle (phantom center) but somewhere a bit off to the side. You will then may have a problem with your main snare mic and the snare from the OH not being in the same point in your stereo image.
Well I would say that its already easier with XY to check visually if the snare is in the center? Especially with a lot of changeovers. I would reposition the stand with both Mics XY right in front of the snare above the cymbals. set and forget..

I did not get yet where there should be less problems with AB than XY? Especially if positioning the snare in the center image becomes a problem, thats one of the main points where I would use XY over AB?
Old 18th July 2019
  #27
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jude's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Because it works, and it looks more rock n roll.
Old 18th July 2019 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ99 View Post
Ok but if I got you right, then there will be an even bigger problem with AB?
Because more problems add up there? Especially in the center position.
....
I did not get yet where there should be less problems with AB than XY?
That would be the interesting thing for me to discuss as well.
Mabe someone with a better technical background could chine in...
Old 18th July 2019 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
not true: a lack of phase coherence can become very obvious with instruments which have lots of transients such as drums...
But first you wrote that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
phase coherence between overheads is not a necessity under any circumstance as the overheads mostly get panned to some degree (often too wide for my taste but that's another discussion) and hence potential issues go unnoticed or actually become irrelevant.
I see why using AB may make more sense over XY on smaller stages where the guitar/bass cabinets are directly next to the drums because of bleed from the left or right, but somehow everybody tends to use AB on bigger stages too, where the drums are way behind the other musicians and instruments?
Old 18th July 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Phase coherence is important in all situations and the variables are so great that any claim that it will not matter in any particular condition is misleading. As a result I generally only use OHs when I’m using a minimalist mic scheme, otherwise I mic the cymbals whenever I close mic the the kit.

If I put microphones on the toms and snare I will close mic the cymbals to reduce the chance of phase anomalies. If I’m putting up overheads I’m not putting microphones on the snare, toms or HH.

Of course the drummer’s Playing style, room acoustics, stage SPL, general mix decisions are ultimately going to determine the best scheme to use.

There is no rule that says what you hear in the one side of the PA you won’t hear in the other, and the snare is never in the middle of the kit anyway so that argument is moot.
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