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Main and Spot microphones for strings orchestra
Old 1st August 2017
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Main and Spot microphones for strings orchestra

Hello,

I'll record a strings orchestra into a Church.

I usually record with a couple of schoeps KM2s (AB omni) but I don't know if I can use omni microphones in a church.
Moreover, what spot microphones do you advise for 1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, double basses section ?

Thank you
Old 1st August 2017
  #2
The schoeps should be fine. Take advantage of the natural reverb. No spot mics should be needed unless the basses are weak.
Old 1st August 2017
  #3
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Depending on the reverb level, omnis will probably be difficult in a church for a string orchestra. You will need to keep your mics pretty close with directional patterns to get something acceptable. Here, MS or Blumlein will be good for the main pair, fig 8's reject the sides beautifully, and some cardioid or, again fig 8, will be fine for spotters, if you need them. The more mics you have the harder it will be to get a good result (because of all that reverb being picked up), so try hard to get just a stereo pair working first.
Old 1st August 2017
  #4
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
What do you think about DIN or NOS stereo with directional patterns (schoeps MK4) for main pair ?
Old 2nd August 2017
  #5
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jnorman's Avatar
I agree you may not really need spots for this. I would use a boojum/jnorman array witH the mk4s in ORTF or nos and the mk2 pair as an AB pair on the same bar as the ORTF pair. Then choose the best pair, or blend in post to balance the more direct sound (clean stereo image) of the cards with the more diffuse sound (hall ambience, low end response) of the omnis.
Old 3rd August 2017
  #6
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
I'm afraid that in the church, the bass will be amplified naturally by the acoustics.

Here in Europe, the churchs have a lot of reverb because their dimensions are "length = 2 x the width" the height is very high and the stone walls are smooth
Old 3rd August 2017
  #7
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In very large cathedrals, you have long reverb but because the walls are far from the orchestra there is no too much reflexions. I had very dry sound in cathedrals...
In general I have better results with omni pair in very large churches than in little ones.
Old 3rd August 2017
  #8
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Hi mathieujm,

Where do you place your omni main pair to get a very dry sound?

Here is a test made in this church with a pair of omni schoeps at 2.5m height. I can't place the main pair more down because I feel like recording only the firsts rows.
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Main and Spot microphones for strings orchestra-live_recording.jpg  
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Old 3rd August 2017
  #9
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That's not a large cathedral ! So you have classical reflexions on the walls. But that's not the problem here. It's the very long reverb.
The test you posted was recorded during the concert, with the public ? Often the public tame these very long reverb.
But if the long reverb will be there for the concert, you will not have other solution than a cardioid pair. To get less reverb you should have the null of the cardios oriented to the back of the church, where the reverb come from. To do that you have de minimize the angle of the pair and to spread your mics.
For example you could have a recording angle of 95° with cardios 60° 30cm.
Old 3rd August 2017
  #10
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster View Post
Here is a test made in this church with a pair of omni schoeps at 2.5m height. I can't place the main pair more down because I feel like recording only the firsts rows.
Wow. That's a long reverb tail. I lack sufficient experience in halls like this, but I'd probably start with a pair of mk21s. Maybe move to mk4s in ORTF. IDK, that's a tough space for an ensemble like this.
Old 3rd August 2017
  #11
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Yes, the test was recorded during the concert, with the public, like the photo. Without the public, the result is much worse.

I have a couple of LINEAUDIO CM3. Do you think there are goods for main microphones or the MK21 are more better ?
Old 3rd August 2017
  #12
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster View Post
I have a couple of LINEAUDIO CM3. Do you think there are goods for main microphones or the MK21 are more better?
Here's a comparison. They are similar but different, with both being very, very good.

Since you have the CM3s already, why not give them a try? With the rear lobe being attenuated by about -10dB, either should do a pretty good job of damping down the amount of reverb in your recording. Will it be enough? You'll have to try it and see. If you do try, I hope you'll post a sample here so we can hear it too.
Old 4th August 2017
  #13
ORTF would still give you quite a bit of hall sound. NOS would be more manageable. You can even try spacing the wide cardioid just like omnis. The stereo imagery is the same as omnis, just drier.
Old 4th August 2017
  #14
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lukedamrosch's Avatar
 

+1 for NOS -- especially given the CM3's subcardioid pattern. Besides the benefit in this case of a narrower recording angle in your reverberant space, it also feels (to my ears) more natural and is the preferred orientation for many of us here when using CM3 for stereo pair.
Old 7th August 2017
  #15
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
thank you. I'll try NOS and AB position with the CM3s.

What do you think about the comparison MK21/CM3 on main pair for orchestra ?
Old 7th August 2017
  #16
One or two quick comments from the cheap seats...
In my experience, the amount of reverb doesn't really change when you go from a cardoid to an omni, just the character.
When you adjust the positioning of the microphone system to compensate (In the case of cardoid/sub-cardoid/Omni) you are talking about moving the microphones inches (not feet) to compensate.
You would do well to do a test and compare the MK2 to the subcardoid/Cardiod in place. What I find is that the image smear caused by the directional microphone to be a much greater issue when compared to the extra rear information from the Omni. Also, the LF extension of the MK2 will definitely give more weight to the ensemble.
If the rear info really is an issue for you, I would try a 40mm ball on the MK2. You get the added benefit of a little bit of HF lift in the process to boot.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
Old 8th August 2017
  #17
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
mpdonahue,

Have you listened to my excerpt? This Gothic church is really very reverberating. How to cancel reverb with omnis?

Do you use spot microphones in your recording orchestra sessions ?
Old 8th August 2017
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster View Post
mpdonahue,

Have you listened to my excerpt? This Gothic church is really very reverberating. How to cancel reverb with omnis?
I have made plenty of recordings in churches with long reverb tails. I did about 100 records in a church that had 4.5 seconds of reverb. Everything from early polyphony to Milton Babbitt and Charles Wuorinen.
My point is that there is no way to cancel out reverb in a large acoustic space. The reverb is everywhere. The only thing you can do is to make the reverb integrate with the sound of the orchestra. If you read my post above, I'm pretty clear in my description. You can get closer to the orchestra and maintain a blended sound with a set of omnis.
With a cardoid, at best you get 6dB of attenuation from the rear of the mic, but that does not translate into 6dB less reverb. In the real world, all it does is change the character of the reverb, not the level. The down side is you get the character of a directional microphone, with smeared transients and dodgy low frequency.
Quote:
Do you use spot microphones in your recording orchestra sessions ?
I have been known to use a spot mic or two.
All the best,
-mark
Old 8th August 2017
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
With a cardoid, at best you get 6dB of attenuation from the rear of the mic, but that does not translate into 6dB less reverb.
Strictly speaking, a cardioid does pickup more direct sound in ratio to indirect sound (reverb). This is why cardioids need to be 1.7 times further away to an ensemble than omnis to get the same direct to reverb ratio. So for the same gain of direct sound in the mix, there is less reverb in the mix from a cardioid when compared to an omni.

Last edited by David Spearritt; 9th August 2017 at 12:46 AM..
Old 9th August 2017
  #20
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
I agree with you but usually, in large spaces with lots of reverb, the low frequencies are amplified (cello and double bass). Don't the cardioids extenuate low frequencies?
Old 9th August 2017
  #21
I record frequently with multiple arrays in space with both long and short tails. The pattern and direction of your mics *can* significantly impact the amount of reverb that you get. The distance to your source of course is important.

Recordings with omnis can deliver a very smeared sound and image, and I often use them because of that.
Old 9th August 2017
  #22
Have the ensemble sit closer together and add 1 spot mike for each group.
That would give you dry sound to mix in. I do like your recording, but some
players are too far away from the mikes esp. basses. At least 1 bass needs a spot for HF.

The best spot mikes are ribbons or LDC tube mics but your CM3's can do the job too, but EQ the HF out of it if it sounds to sharp.


I guess a better balance with less ambience can be made with a Decca tree (+outriggers) positioned closer to the ensemble than your AB is now. But you certainly could do a test with a pair of figure of 8's in parallel 20 cm spacing à la Tony Faulkner. With ribbons you wouldn't loose the LF.

I would also try your omnis as boundary microphones.

but the best thing to diminish that reverb would be to place absorbent panels or curtains. that's more labor intensive...
Old 9th August 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monitor View Post
but the best thing to diminish that reverb would be to place absorbent panels or curtains. that's more labor intensive...
or open some windows and doors which are the best sound absorbers of all. But then traffic noise gets in. You'd need a huge area of blankets in a church to make any dent on the reverb.
Old 9th August 2017
  #24
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A pair of closed spaced fig 8 such as SF-1, facing straight ahead, will isolate the ensemble or soloist from the room acoustic and diminish the amount of reverb a lot in an overly reverberant space. The trade off is that the stereo image will be narrow.
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