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Lots of acoustic instruments with few mics
Old 4 weeks ago
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
Sam & Didier -

Apologies, but I'm not quite understanding this excerpt.

I've thought of 'cardioid' as a fairly loose term not particularly well suited for an equality assertion?
As stated above, cardioid has a very specific meaning and relates to the polar pattern of the microphone. The term polar pattern describes how a microphone picks up sound. More specifically, it describes how sensitive the microphone is to sound waves coming in from different directions. A microphone’s polar pattern is an important consideration when it comes to figuring out if a microphone is the right or wrong tool for a particular situation.



Quote:
I'm having trouble thinking of the physics as being 'the same' for both dynamic and condenser mics [or mics with other significant differences at/near the point of contact] - even ignoring sensitivity, etc. If one means room acoustics? Ok. If one means how diaphragms vibrate in response to stimuli, I'm thinking it is more complex than this statement suggests?

I've not much argument with the DPA excerpts, themselves. And I haven't done 'live sound' since forever.
The points from the DPA site are universal and are not specifically aimed at "live sound" situations, the science concerning the polar pattern of microphones does not care if the microphone is a dynamic or a condenser and it does not care about room acoustics. The polar pattern of a microphone is the sensitivity to sound relative to the direction or angle from which the sound arrives, or, how well the microphone “hears“ sound from different directions.

The angle of cutoff is neither dependent or influenced by the microphone being a condenser or a dynamic...there are many articles on the subject on the net.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #32
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This is a very relevant topic to hash out and consider the real and convoluted reasons for using various types of mics for capturing an acoustic music performance. The amount of room reflection desired will generally determine mic choice between Omni VxS tight cardioid patterns. Plenty of reasons exist to justify the use of either but their limiting factors should be the first consideration.

1) Omni's are best when working with a well balanced defined sound that is performed in a venue that offers a generally acceptable amount of reflection. Any major deviation from this criteria will require a tighter pattern mic.

2) Tight pattern cardioid mics are the best choice when "hot back lines" are in play. Significant amplified sound from behind a lead performer requires reducing the width of the Card pattern. The ubiquitous, you have to eat-it, SM58 has been a fixture for most pop music FOH mic since the late 50s however it is not an ideal mic for capturing the sonic harmonic content of an acoustic performance: be it instrumental or vocal.

The collective skill level of the performing talent should inform mic choice in most all acoustic capture. Mics are tools that should fit the talent on stage and a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your available mics is very important in picking the right one.
Hugh
Old 4 weeks ago
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
This is a very relevant topic to hash out and consider the real and convoluted reasons for using various types of mics for capturing an acoustic music performance. The amount of room reflection desired will generally determine mic choice between Omni VxS tight cardioid patterns. Plenty of reasons exist to justify the use of either but their limiting factors should be the first consideration.

1) Omni's are best when working with a well balanced defined sound that is performed in a venue that offers a generally acceptable amount of reflection. Any major deviation from this criteria will require a tighter pattern mic.

2) Tight pattern cardioid mics are the best choice when "hot back lines" are in play. Significant amplified sound from behind a lead performer requires reducing the width of the Card pattern. The ubiquitous, you have to eat-it, SM58 has been a fixture for most pop music FOH mic since the late 50s however it is not an ideal mic for capturing the sonic harmonic content of an acoustic performance: be it instrumental or vocal.
I basically agree with everything said here, but we were once again discussing the often made claim that condensers are more prone to feedback than dynamics. This despite the fact that all condensers and all dynamics are not equal, and more importantly, despite what science and every microphone manufacturer have stated about the topic.

Quote:
The collective skill level of the performing talent should inform mic choice in most all acoustic capture. Mics are tools that should fit the talent on stage and a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your available mics is very important in picking the right one.
Yes...that is partly why I'm wondering if the OP had a production meeting with the band to find out their needs and wants, and attended at least one rehearsal to see and understand the band dynamics how they band perform etc. If he hasn't already, he need to cover those steps before trying to decide which mic to use where.

The OP wrote: "My task is to mic the following instruments with the following gear"....
Old 4 weeks ago
  #34
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
This is from the DPA site:
4. It is easier to mike up the band using dynamic microphones (not true)

This statement is more related to tradition and laziness than it is related to fact. No matter what you choose, you have to consider the specs and the application.
In some cases it is argued that the frequency range or the opening angle is too wide. Well, sometimes it is actually easier to reduce bandwidth on a condenser than it is to equalize a dynamic microphone. In general, the directional characteristics of the condenser microphones are at least as good as can be achieved by any dynamic microphone. But, as always, it’s important to pick the right microphone for the job no matter what transducer it may have.

5. Condensers mics feed more easily than dynamics (not necessarily true)

As with many of the previous statements, this is simply a question of choosing the right microphone. One basic error often made is selecting a condenser microphone that is developed for recording at a distance. When amplified, this may result in low-frequency feed. Instead, use a low-cut/high-pass or pick a microphone that is designed for stage use.
DPA make fine condenser mics. And, they obviously are in the business of selling them.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but every manufacturer of every product will happily tell you why their product is better, will do no harm, and is what you should use.
They certainly are not going to tell you the opposite.
Are the press-release people behind every product experts, immune to errors or prejudice, and always truthful? Are their opinions automatically correct? Has the proverbial "better mousetrap" finally arrived, to render obsolete all that has come before it, and to from this moment forward label all who do not recognize such a galaxy-changing achievement as blind or stupid relics of a primitive, ignorant past?
To me, the answers to those questions are easy.
But to each their own. Believe as you wish, and use what you like. Just don't expect everyone else to as willingly swallow the sales pitch.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #35
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
This is from the DPA site:
Yeah, well, they have an agenda, which is selling condenser mics.

And your agenda is often coming out on top in debates. Mine isn't. All I can say is, try it for yourselves, kids. I think you may find that while those condensers make for nicer recordings, they'll give you fits as Sound Reinforcement.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Yeah, well, they have an agenda, which is selling condenser mics.

And your agenda is often coming out on top in debates. Mine isn't. All I can say is, try it for yourselves, kids. I think you may find that while those condensers make for nicer recordings, they'll give you fits as Sound Reinforcement.
What is my agenda Brent...is this how debates are settled here now, accuse others of having an "agenda"? This particular horse has been beaten to death in many debates here and elsewhere. Not one single microphone manufacturer have said something different, Sure, Sennheiser and all the major brands agree with the statements from DPA.

Im currently using 10 condenser microphones on tour 7 of them are LDCs and I don't have feedback problems, I didn't start doing live sound or using condenser microphones on live stages yesterday.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
DPA make fine condenser mics. And, they obviously are in the business of selling them.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but every manufacturer of every product will happily tell you why their product is better, will do no harm, and is what you should use.
They certainly are not going to tell you the opposite.
EVERY microphone manufacturer who have something to say about this agrees with DPA, and my own personal experience agrees with what was said.

Quote:
Are the press-release people behind every product experts, immune to errors or prejudice, and always truthful? Are their opinions automatically correct? Has the proverbial "better mousetrap" finally arrived, to render obsolete all that has come before it, and to from this moment forward label all who do not recognize such a galaxy-changing achievement as blind or stupid relics of a primitive, ignorant past?
To me, the answers to those questions are easy.
But to each their own. Believe as you wish, and use what you like. Just don't expect everyone else to as willingly swallow the sales pitch.
Thats what this is, a sales pitch...are you serious, all the microphone manufacturers are lying about this, to what end?!? Aren't they the same people who manufacture dynamic microphones too?

Can someone produce a document from a reputable source that contradicts the info from the DPA site...please?

In the mean time...more liars:
http://www.eartrumpetlabs.com/faq-pa...ve-performance
Old 4 weeks ago
  #38
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true cardioid

i remember reading a true cardioid shows an attenuation of 6dB at 90° off axis.

don't remember reading where and when though (possibly in the seventies) so apologies for not mentioning any specific source or providing further evidence...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
What is my agenda Brent...
Already told you.

And in my previous post I should have finished with "... on a small, crowded stage." I inadvertently left that out and am including it here so as not to revise history.

It's an important phrase because the majority of us people on GS who mix FOH do it as part-time amateurs on tiny stages with loud backlines where FOH and monitors are a one-man mishmash. I, for one, can't relate at all to the kind of working environment you have. I'm sure you've earned it and it must be nice.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #40
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
EVERY microphone manufacturer who have something to say about this agrees with DPA, and my own personal experience agrees with what was said.


Thats what this is, a sales pitch...are you serious, all the microphone manufacturers are lying about this, to what end?!? Aren't they the same people who manufacture dynamic microphones too?

Can someone produce a document from a reputable source that contradicts the info from the DPA site...please?
Every mic manufacturer that is also trying to sell condenser mics?

I did not, and would not, accuse them of "lying". But, they are trying to sell mics, so in the main it is a "sales pitch". Which is OK as long as we understand that.

Documents and reputable sources are often helpful. But personal experience is often a better teacher. Obviously, you have no problem using condensers on stage. Great. Enjoy your mics. I am genuinely happy for you.

Feedback is not my issue with them (although in my experience they are indeed more prone to it. But that should not be a huge obstacle to overcome for a professional Engineer).

My main issue with condensers is the "bleed". Unless you bandpass them to sound, well, more like a dynamic , they tend to pick up too much stage sound.

My secondary issue is that on many vocalists, the extra "clarity" or "accuracy" which a condenser may provide is actually too revealing of marginal voices and poor mic technique.

My third issue is that they are less reliable. Over many decades, I have had several mics fail. They were either all, or almost all, condensers. And of course, on the rare occasion when an XLR is not fully seated in the mic (and if you are in this business long enough, it will happen), the sonic boom in a large PA is an order of magnitude more serious than with a dynamic.

Still, I have used them hundreds if not thousands of times. Works best on legitimately good or great vocalists, in good or great acoustic spaces, with good or great musical accompaniment.

If that's typical for you, excellent.

For many though, a dynamic on stage vocals just works better with fewer issues, and over a longer term. IME and IMHO.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #41
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GreenNeedle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
EVERY microphone manufacturer who have something to say about this agrees with DPA, and my own personal experience agrees with what was said.
Wait, So now you are speaking for EVERY microphone manufacturer there is who has an opinion the subject?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
Every mic manufacturer that is also trying to sell condenser mics?

I did not, and would not, accuse them of "lying". But, they are trying to sell mics, so in the main it is a "sales pitch". Which is OK as long as we understand that.

Documents and reputable sources are often helpful. But personal experience is often a better teacher. Obviously, you have no problem using condensers on stage. Great. Enjoy your mics. I am genuinely happy for you.

Feedback is not my issue with them (although in my experience they are indeed more prone to it. But that should not be a huge obstacle to overcome for a professional Engineer).

My main issue with condensers is the "bleed". Unless you bandpass them to sound, well, more like a dynamic , they tend to pick up too much stage sound.

My secondary issue is that on many vocalists, the extra "clarity" or "accuracy" which a condenser may provide is actually too revealing of marginal voices and poor mic technique.

My third issue is that they are less reliable. Over many decades, I have had several mics fail. They were either all, or almost all, condensers. And of course, on the rare occasion when an XLR is not fully seated in the mic (and if you are in this business long enough, it will happen), the sonic boom in a large PA is an order of magnitude more serious than with a dynamic.

Still, I have used them hundreds if not thousands of times. Works best on legitimately good or great vocalists, in good or great acoustic spaces, with good or great musical accompaniment.

If that's typical for you, excellent.

For many though, a dynamic on stage vocals just works better with fewer issues, and over a longer term. IME and IMHO.
generalization and subtle accusations (or pure envy) are not much helpful...

[sam often gets to choose his preferred gear and mostly does get to mix on medium to large stages (plus does a good job at doing so btw)]

...while experience, taste and the necessity to achieve certain standards matter a lot: i get to record and mix in some 'unique' situations with orchestras and choirs playing together with jazz or rock bands (or orchestras playing 'modern music' with all sorts of electronics), all of which need to get amplified (and mostly recorded for broadcasting).

here are a few pics of such situations: three different venues, always the same (or sections of the same) orchestra, occasional stage levels in excess of 100dBA (and some more from the pa, measured at foh, to overcome the stage level).
one pic is showing some condenser mics in front of a semi-electric jazz quartett (in the end there were 18 wedges and a total of about two dozens condensers and six dynamics on stage), another pic with almost the entire orchestra (except for the percussion section) with about 40 (and nothing but) condenser mics and a couple of wedges sitting in front of the pa and yet another pic, with lots of condensers in use (ca. 60 if i remember right) in a fairly reverberant music hall with a large pa (including subs rather close to the orchestra) and the need for even more spl from the pa (for preproduced tracks and live electronics) than from the orchestra, so again clearly north of 100dBA (which is not much of a surprise to anyone familiar with the levels an orchestra can produce without getting amplified) - i could go on...

i''ll gladly admit that i'd not necessarily use mostly condensers for a punk or metal band playing on a very loud stage in a tiny shed - but it can be done!

my experience regarding the reliabilty of condenser mics (or the lack of) is pretty much the opposite of yours: i went through way more dynamics than condensers! in fact, two if my oldest mics are condensers (they are about the same age as me) and i only recall km84's and b&k 4011's dropping from boom stands to stop working - can't relate to the your other 'issues' either: don't blame the mics for bleed nor for their sensitivity! and i rather give an inexperienced singer a condenser than a dynamic mic (as i don't want to loose the singer in case s/he turns out to be a ventriloquist).

ymmv
Attached Thumbnails
Lots of acoustic instruments with few mics-20190916_192844.jpg   Lots of acoustic instruments with few mics-20180506_172116.jpg   Lots of acoustic instruments with few mics-20190126_223258.jpg  

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 06:50 PM.. Reason: edited for clarification
Old 4 weeks ago
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Already told you.
must have missed it.

Quote:
And in my previous post I should have finished with "... on a small, crowded stage." I inadvertently left that out and am including it here so as not to revise history.

It's an important phrase because the majority of us people on GS who mix FOH do it as part-time amateurs on tiny stages with loud backlines where FOH and monitors are a one-man mishmash. I, for one, can't relate at all to the kind of working environment you have. I'm sure you've earned it and it must be nice.
October - November 2018 Eric Gales tour...the capacity of the biggest venue was 300, the average SPL without the PA for every show was above 100db and every venue had a loudness warning on the posters and gave out ear plugs. There were four musicians on stage (drums/percussions, bass/keys, percussions/BGV, guitar/lead vocals) and everybody (except Eric) used dual wedges, he had four in two different stage positions when space allowed.

Monitor mixed from FOH...5 condensers on drums, 3 on percussions, 2on guitar and 2 on vocals....no feedback.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
Every mic manufacturer that is also trying to sell condenser mics?
Every manufacturer that is trying to sell both dynamic and condenser mics

Quote:
I did not, and would not, accuse them of "lying". But, they are trying to sell mics, so in the main it is a "sales pitch". Which is OK as long as we understand that.
The statement is either true or false, it can't be both at the same time, and if its false...especially if it's just to sell mics (as you suggest), then it certainly is a lie.

Quote:
Documents and reputable sources are often helpful. But personal experience is often a better teacher. Obviously, you have no problem using condensers on stage. Great. Enjoy your mics. I am genuinely happy for you.
"Documents and reputable sources" are indispensable when its a question of science.

Quote:
Feedback is not my issue with them (although in my experience they are indeed more prone to it. But that should not be a huge obstacle to overcome for a professional Engineer).
This part of the discussion is about the claim that they are more prone to feedback than dynamics. We agree about the sentence in bold.

Quote:
My main issue with condensers is the "bleed". Unless you bandpass them to sound, well, more like a dynamic , they tend to pick up too much stage sound.

My secondary issue is that on many vocalists, the extra "clarity" or "accuracy" which a condenser may provide is actually too revealing of marginal voices and poor mic technique.
I guess what you're saying is that they have a wider frequency response than band limited dynamics in general...picking up too much stage sound is about higher sensitivity, band passing will limit the frequency response but you attenuate if its too sensitive. Sound mixing 101.

You don't like how they sound on some singers that's your taste and I have nothing to say about that, but I've never seen a dynamic correct bad technique or make a bad singer sound good...never.

Quote:
My third issue is that they are less reliable. Over many decades, I have had several mics fail. They were either all, or almost all, condensers. And of course, on the rare occasion when an XLR is not fully seated in the mic (and if you are in this business long enough, it will happen), the sonic boom in a large PA is an order of magnitude more serious than with a dynamic.
99% of all broken microphones I've seen fail on stage, failed because of abuse and no maintenance, and most of those microphones were low-cost dynamics simply because there are 100 times more of those on most stages than expensive condensers. Treat them properly and they will last for decades. All of my classic Telefunken, Neumann and AKG microphones are over 40 years old .

Quote:
Still, I have used them hundreds if not thousands of times. Works best on legitimately good or great vocalists, in good or great acoustic spaces, with good or great musical accompaniment.

If that's typical for you, excellent.

For many though, a dynamic on stage vocals just works better with fewer issues, and over a longer term. IME and IMHO.
Don't confuse microphone performance with your personal taste which is what I suspect a lot of people do...microphones don't care if the singer/musician is good or not, they just perform, if we like the sound is another thing. Some people are used to, and like a particular sound and when they don't get the sound they're used to then condensers/the PA etc are bad or not good for certainties of music, meanwhile many, many singers are using condenser mics on all kinds of stages day in and out without any problems...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #45
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
generalization and subtle accusations (or pure envy) are not much helpful...

.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Every manufacturer that is trying to sell both dynamic and condenser mics


The statement is either true or false, it can't be both at the same time, and if its false...especially if it's just to sell mics (as you suggest), then it certainly is a lie.


"Documents and reputable sources" are indispensable when its a question of science.


This part of the discussion is about the claim that they are more prone to feedback than dynamics. We agree about the sentence in bold.


I guess what you're saying is that they have a wider frequency response than band limited dynamics in general...picking up too much stage sound is about higher sensitivity, band passing will limit the frequency response but you attenuate if its too sensitive. Sound mixing 101.

You don't like how they sound on some singers that's your taste and I have nothing to say about that, but I've never seen a dynamic correct bad technique or make a bad singer sound good...never.


99% of all broken microphones I've seen fail on stage, failed because of abuse and no maintenance, and most of those microphones were low-cost dynamics simply because there are 100 times more of those on most stages than expensive condensers. Treat them properly and they can last for decades too.


Don't confuse microphone performance with your personal taste which is what I suspect a lot of people do...they don't get the sound they're used to then condensers are bad/not good for live sound, meanwhile many, many singers are using condenser mics on all kinds of stages day in and out without any problems...
LOL amusing responses.
To the first, I will only say that "pure envy" must be something you personally wrestle with. I've never had that emotion. And certainly would not expect to have it over someone's post on GS! You know nothing about me, that is obvious. But, from such an immature, asinine accusation, I now know more than I would ever want to know about you, and since I try and enjoy my time here on GS, I will simply block any further posts from you. To be honest, I've suffered through enough of them already.

To the second fusillade, I won't waste too much more of my time. I will only say that, if you believe things can only be totally true or totally false, that there are no "shades of grey", then I don't envy you, I pity you.
And yes, it's all about "taste" isn't it? Rhetorical question, you can save your keystrokes in disputing the statement.
And really, I can live without the self-aggrandizement and pomposity, so I will join with the many others who I suspect have blocked you as well.
Just be careful fellas that you do not injure yourselves by too aggressively patting your own backs.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
To the second fusillade, I won't waste too much more of my time. I will only say that, if you believe things can only be totally true or totally false, that there are no "shades of grey", then I don't envy you, I pity you.
And yes, it's all about "taste" isn't it? Rhetorical question, you can save your keystrokes in disputing the statement.
And really, I can live without the self-aggrandizement and pomposity, so I will join with the many others who I suspect have blocked you as well.
Just be careful fellas that you do not injure yourselves by too aggressively patting your own backs.
WTF? Where is all of this coming from...I don’t agree with you so it turns into a full on personal assault. This forum has gotten really boring and full of stupidness of late, I’m really disappointed and surprised because I always thought you were above the BS. Just goes to show...

Brent Hahn on the other hand accused me of having and agenda because I don’t agree that condensers are not more prone to feedback than dynamics...even though every microphone manufacturer and countless sites have said exactly the same thing. strange when people would try ti discredit you for disagreeing with them.

Will someone send me a PM telling me who we have to agree with around here so as not to be attacked.

Last edited by Samc; 4 weeks ago at 08:35 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
(...)I can live without the self-aggrandizement and pomposity, so I will join with the many others who I suspect have blocked you as well.
Just be careful fellas that you do not injure yourselves by too aggressively patting your own backs.
now i'm really scared!

could be that i'm not getting my point across (very well); more likely though, you didn't get that i used some examples of my work to illustrate that an often repeated myth ('condenser mics shall not be used on loud stages or you inevitably get into feedback') should get seriously questioned to say the very least, especially since i'm not the only one bringing up such examples, see sam's contribution - interestingly enough, you're attacking both of us?!

maybe you didn't get either that my post refers exactely the to op's question about how to pick up 'lots of acoustic instruments with few mics' (albeit on a larger scale and with music of different genre but gear doesn't care for any of this) and i previously mentioned that getting some additional mics and - if lacking experience - to rely on dynamic mics (as spots) and maybe add ldc's (as mains) might be a good start.

nevermind...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #48
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
As stated above, cardioid has a very specific meaning and [. . .]

[. . .] The polar pattern of a microphone is the sensitivity to sound relative to the direction or angle from which the sound arrives [. . .]

The angle of cutoff is neither dependent or influenced by the microphone being a condenser or a dynamic...there are many articles on the subject on the net.
zwiebelspaetzle -

I've learned much from this discussion, and hope some of it was useful to you. If not, you have my apology.


Sam [and partly to avare & Didier] -

Thanks for your thoughts and replies.

My previous response to avare was likely not helpful to the subsequent tone of this thread. There was never a belittling thought in my mind; indeed, there wasn't any emotion involved for me whatsoever. It was/is [for me] a purely technical discussion.

As I later re-read my response, it unfortunately doesn't give off that impression. . .and lends itself to sad misinterpretation. It was a clumsy attempt to move past elementary definitions. But, avare was right to raise them.

'A cardioid mic is a cardioid mic, and the physics is the same for both dynamic and condenser microphones.' [Sam Clayton]

In the context of the discussion, I initially read this quote to imply equality [at least equality regarding fitness of purpose] - ignoring sensitivity for the moment. And although the thread's discussion then was focused on 'feedback' issues, I was curious about what possible arguments stood behind the assertion itself [even in isolation from this thread].

Cardioid: The definitions on Wikipedia and in my mathematical texts are very specific [as they should be]. But the definition for 'cardioid' is a classification, not a value. 'Cardioid mic' [the abstract term] is a classification, not a value. Such specificity is not sufficient to assert notions of equality of any two concrete instances [real, physical microphones]. I can expound on this elsewhere if it is not understood.

Polar Pattern: The disparity between different mics across their frequency spectrums does not appear inconsequential to me. One of the attributes I like in my Schoeps is their off-axis response characteristics. Though not the focus of my thoughts, I would have suspected these differences to play into feedback issues. . .absent additional tech to address it.

Angle of Cutoff: I'm a somewhat skeptical person by nature - but not conspiratorial. While I might be inclined to accept the hypothesis as an abstract argument, I'm less inclined to believe the statement as an undeniable truth for all concrete instances - absent reliable data [measurements] and well-grounded analysis. Looks like I've got some reading in front of me.


I'm getting that, for your purposes, the associated inequalities [flowing through my head] represent distinctions without a difference - sometimes due to the techniques and tooling you apply - such that [any?] two 'cardioid mics' are close enough?


Thanks again [to all] for your thoughts. Deeply appreciated,

Ray H.


[Aside] As to feelings of offense at comments in this thread, a bit of comic relief. . . .

Burt Reynolds [The Bandit]: That's great psychology. Why don't you just say something bad about my mother?
Paul Williams [Little Enos]: Your mamma is so ugly. . .

https://youtu.be/dIgGZA4qQoc?t=67

BTW, Paul Williams is definitely one of my heroes! And there is some history between one of his old guitar players and Andy Roemer [who I played with for years]. I bought the 'Just an Old Fashioned Love Song' album when it first released. Have it now in my digital collection and it gets played several times a year.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #49
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
This is a very relevant topic to hash out and consider the real and convoluted reasons for using various types of mics for capturing an acoustic music performance.[. . .]
As always, Hugh: Thanks for your thoughts on this! Ray H.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #50
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One of the reasons i think there is some dissension regarding the use of cardioid condensers on stage is due to the fact that they are cardioid.
By nature this means colored off axis pick up. Condensers will pick up more of it (the room/stage sound) than a dynamic and lets be honest, it sounds like ****.
Is it worth fighting with the cumulative crap a bunch of condensers pickup for the slight clarity and transient response improvement? I say no and here is why:
I can get the clarity in one move with the eq, and i generally don’t even want the additional transient response. I like the way the less compliant dynamics tame that stuff and feel the mix gels better with more dynamic mics.
I will be very much of the opinion that some sounds on stage will be best represented by a certain condenser at times and i think ideally it can make all the difference to get a mix to sound expensive, but the source sound is more important to that than the mic and i could happily get a very very similar result out of a dynamic like a Heil PR-40 with very little effort if the stage spill was an issue or if lots of wedge was needed.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #51
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First we heard that it was because they were condensers now we're being told that it's because they are cardioid...what about super and hyper cardioid microphones?

These are the very broad and general statements that muddy the water all the time. One of the hallmarks of a really good microphone is smooth/natural off-axis response....not all cardioid condensers and certainly not all dynamic cardioids have a good/natural sounding off-axis response. The older AKG 414, and everything I've heard from Earthworks, Austrian Audio and MBHO are some example of microphones with good o-axis response, while the Neumann KMS 105, MD 421 and Beyerdynamic M88TG are some mics that do not produce great off-axis response. This is one reason a sm57 generally sounds better than a sm58 on snare and toms and why a KSM 9 generally sounds better than a KMS 105 on a loud stage...they are not equal.

Some microphones that claim to be cardioid are not even true cardioids because their pattern control do not extend to the upper and lower frequencies of their range...yes, pattern control is a very important part of the equation too...When parts of the frequency response (usually HF for condensers and low-mid for dynamics) for the polar plots of some microphones are based on measurement taken at 1k only. There's a lot more to this gig than just repeating a bunch of half baked myths about microphones, the key is to understand how your tools really work learn how to use them well, these things will help you to choose the RIGHT tool for the task.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #52
Lives for gear
 

Perhaps we should remember the initial description of the task the OP is describing. The needs of a lounge lizard tiny stage with hot back lines and monitoring is not remotely informative for an "Old Time" band performance: they are totally different. Anyone with actual experience providing SR for an "Old Time Pickin" will know they seldom if ever need or want monitoring of any kind and as a general rule do not need SR of any type for the small venues the OP described. If the truth is to be told any attempt to provide extensive multi mic capture of this ensemble in the subject small venues will be counterproductive.

If, after a mic-less sound check, I see a need for elevating certain leads a single card tube mic would be my choice for weaker leads to step up to. I have been involved in many "pickins" through the years here in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the wonderful aspect of this type of event is the fact that they are not dependent upon electronic punch of any type. The individual and collective dynamic range control is determined internally within the band: not at a console.
Hugh
Old 4 weeks ago
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenNeedle View Post
(...) due to the fact that they are cardioid. By nature this means colored off axis pick up (...)
sorry to say but once again, this is complete bs (and as you might remember from earlier clashes in this forum, i can't stand false claims to be spread)!

cardioid mics do not attenuate specific frequencies at the sides or sound coloured: they dampen very smoothly over almost the entire frequency range; only at the rear you can measure (and maybe hear if sound doesn't get masked) some irregularties, more easily to be detected towards higher frequencies where the pattern turns into hypercardioid.
sdcs show less deviation from an ideal pattern than ldcs. however, some folks do favour a much coloured sound and there are countless examples of beautiful recordings done with some nice tube ldcs which measure far from flat (at any angle).

if things would be as bad as you describe them, how comes one can record say an orchestra at great detail with up to 100 condenser mics on stage, using a nice mix of hypercardioids, cardioids and wide cardioids (and even shotguns or maybe a few fig8's), clips mics, sdcs and ldcs?!
makes me wonder to what kind of cardioid condenser mics you are referring, certainly not to schoeps, neuheiser, b&k/dpa, sanken etc. (the graphic is from a schoeps colette mk4 cardioid condenser capsule)

or short: if you experience any issues, it's mostly likely not the mic (condenser) or its pattern (cardioid); you can't blame the artist either so...
Attached Thumbnails
Lots of acoustic instruments with few mics-schoeps-mikrofone-colette-kapseln-kugeln-mk4_ccm4-polar.jpg  

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 12:11 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 4 weeks ago
  #54
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GreenNeedle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
sorry to say but once again, this is complete bs (and as you might remember from earlier clashes in this forum, i can't stand false claims to be spread)!

cardioid mics do not attenuate specific frequencies at the sides or sound coloured: they dampen very smoothly over almost the entire frequency range; only at the rear you can measure (and maybe hear if sound doesn't get masked) some irregularties, more easily to be detected towards higher frequencies where the pattern turns into hypercardioid.
sdcs show less deviation from an ideal pattern than ldcs. however, some folks do favour a much coloured sound and there are countless examples of beautiful recordings done with some nice tube ldcs which measure far from flat (at any angle).

if things would be as bad as you describe them, how comes one can record say an orchestra at great detail with up to 100 condenser mics on stage, using a nice mix of hypercardioids, cardioids and wide cardioids (and even shotguns or maybe a few fig8's), clips mics, sdcs and ldcs?!
makes me wonder to what kind of cardioid condenser mics you are referring, certainly not to schoeps, neuheiser, b&k/dpa, sanken etc. (the graphic is from a schoeps colette mk4 cardioid condenser capsule)

or short: if you experience any issues, it's mostly likely not the mic (condenser) or its pattern (cardioid); you can't blame the artist either so...
One of the big differences between a not so good and really good patterned microphone is what it sounds like off axis.
Yes, if you have the very best microphones at your disposal in a live band situation this will improve the problem but none of them are equal to omni in terms of no off axis colour. Al Schmitt for example uses all his orchestral mics(including spots) in omni for this very reason.
Alan Meyerson uses his spots in cardioid but he uses very little of them, the bulk of the sound are the M50 type mics(omni)
This is kind of coming back to the idea that the specs of the mic say X but the sound of the mic says Y. Use your ears.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #55
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenNeedle View Post
One of the big differences between a not so good and really good patterned microphone is what it sounds like off axis.
Yes, if you have the very best microphones at your disposal in a live band situation this will improve the problem but none of them are equal to omni in terms of no off axis colour. Al Schmitt for example uses all his orchestral mics(including spots) in omni for this very reason.
Alan Meyerson uses his spots in cardioid but he uses very little of them, the bulk of the sound are the M50 type mics(omni)
This is kind of coming back to the idea that the specs of the mic say X but the sound of the mic says Y. Use your ears.
you keep moving the target/bringing up things which do not relate to the topic:

the op is asking how to mic up an acoustic ensemble, which gets amplified for a live show; he's got a couple of mics and two wedges and wants to position musicians in two semi-circles - anyone by his/her senses will recommend using directional mics of some sort in order not to pick up too much stage noise from unwanted directions (from the side of the stage, the rear blast of subs, the wash from wedges or nouse from the audience): this scenario leaves just very little room for any other type of mic than condensers with a directional pattern. good news is that the op even has two of them so we're pretty much done, right?

(end of part 1)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #56
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GreenNeedle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
you keep moving the target/bringing up things which do not relate to the topic:

the op is asking how to mic up an acoustic ensemble, which gets amplified for a live show; he's got a couple of mics and two wedges and wants to position musicians in two semi-circles - anyone by his/her senses will recommend using directional mics of some sort in order not to pick up too much stage noise from unwanted directions (from the side of the stage, the rear blast of subs, the wash from wedges or nouse from the audience): this scenario leaves just very little room for any other type of mic than condensers with a directional pattern. good news is that the op even has two of them so we're pretty much done, right?

(end of part 1)
Why are you in a rush to end the discussion? And what topic did i bring up that is unrelated?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #57
Lives for gear
 

Omni microphones are only really good in very specific circumstances, and a live stage with monitors, backline and bad acoustics would not be one of those circumstances. Even a recording studio with bad acoustics and/or musicians not playing with a high level of control will not yield good results...in a perfect room with great players and we still have to choose where to use omni microphones...can't use them on the drum kit for example.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #58
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
[. . .] anyone by his/her senses will [. . .]

[. . .] this scenario leaves just very little room for any other type of mic than condensers with a directional pattern. good news is that the op even has two of them [. . .]
zwiebelspaetzle -

Don't know that you could ever possibly find anyone to vouch for my 'senses'; but if you're extending your concerts down to the Clearwater/Tampa-Bay area libraries, give me a call and we can throw up an AEA A440 as an alternative [fig 8 ribbon] to test against.

As previous admitted, it has been a very long time since I've done any live sound. So if it doesn't work, I'm out - and you're on your own!


Cheers,

Ray H.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #59
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GreenNeedle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Omni microphones are only really good in very specific circumstances, and a live stage with monitors, backline and bad acoustics would not be one of those circumstances. Even a recording studio with bad acoustics and/or musicians not playing with a high level of control will not yield good results...in a perfect room with great players and we still have to choose where to use omni microphones...can't use them on the drum kit for example.
Just to be clear I didn’t and wouldn’t suggested using omni mics here. I was comparing off axis response of polar patterns specifically.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #60
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenNeedle View Post
One of the big differences between a not so good and really good patterned microphone is what it sounds like off axis.
Yes, if you have the very best microphones at your disposal in a live band situation this will improve the problem but none of them are equal to omni in terms of no off axis colour. Al Schmitt for example uses all his orchestral mics(including spots) in omni for this very reason.
Alan Meyerson uses his spots in cardioid but he uses very little of them, the bulk of the sound are the M50 type mics(omni)
This is kind of coming back to the idea that the specs of the mic say X but the sound of the mic says Y. Use your ears.
not trying to end the discussion, the topics not relating to the thread/which you mix up are these:

we're talking LIVE sound! (which is about getting things done within a limited amout of time without annoying too many people; it just happens to deal with 'sound' but is mostly about applying functions and dealing with people) al schmitt never mixed live, he only uses omnis when recording classical music at capitol, the m50 is way more directional towards the top than any other mic i know of (and i did occasionally get to work with five original mics in a decca setting with outriggers for a couple of years when assisting one of my mentors), omnis are not getting used cause they have better off axis sound than cardioids (they don't! maybe you wanna overlap frequency/polar plots of a mk2 and mk4: you'll notice that towards the top, the omni show less than perfect behaviour, actually much 'worse' than the cardioid! and this is not an issue of schoeps capsules but for the mics from most/all manufacturers i know). omnis allow more room to get picked up which some traditionalists still prefer over using dedicated ambi mics or - beware - even efx devices; they go slightly lower and show no proximity effect and when used in a a spaced setting as main mics lead to a sound many engineers came to like (and which i mostly dislike; not for its sound in terms of frequency response but due to low phase coherence and hence the lack of precise localisation of instruments within the soundfield). and no, specs don't lie (unless they are very vague/incomplete/heavily smoothed) but give a very good idea on things; trouble is that one needs to learn to interpret data which imo is much harder than using my ears (even though i think i'm somewhat experienced after a couple of years...)

did i miss anything?

(end of part two)

frankly, it gets annoying to reinvent the wheel in every other thread only cause some folks did miss school or keep moving the target...




p.s. i did miss something! here are two pics of al schmitt's take on a jazz trio a couple of weeks ago - do i need to mention that almost all mics (and there were dozens of mics available, including most of his favourite models) were/set to cardioid?
Attached Thumbnails
Lots of acoustic instruments with few mics-20190503_155414.jpg   Lots of acoustic instruments with few mics-20190503_165757.jpg  
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