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Adjust direct/reverb ratio - your method/preference Condenser Microphones
Old 31st May 2017
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
MKH800 twin and MKH30
The directivity of the twin was decided in post. During soundcheck something between cardioid and supercardioid seemed optimal, but back in the studio, it was clear that a flat omni was better (forward cardioid plus -10 dB relative of the back cardioid, in phase).
Isn't this equivalent to a "subcardiod"
Mid?
Old 31st May 2017
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
Isn't this equivalent to a "subcardiod"
Mid?
Yes, I forgot the exact English term.
Old 1st June 2017
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
I have never found it useful. I think its one of those quaint bits of folklore that continues to be discussed because its sort of intuitive, "one ear acts like a mic", but when mic signals are actually destined for loudspeakers (to setup a phantom image sound stage), and not ears, it doesn't make any sense.

Only stereo monitoring (through loudspeakers) gives the necessary cues about direct to reverb ratio, balance, depth, everything required to get the mics in the right place.

MMDV
I have never found that "one ear acts like a mic" idea useful either. Even when close micing, I listen with my eyes facing the sound source, and put the mic where the center of the head is when it sounds the way it needs. That has always worked very well. Even though it may be surprising, I have found that the recorded signal then sounds as I expect it to sound (of course, I also take the contribution of the mic, mic characteristic, mic preamp, and converter into consideration for that).

One ear might pick up sound similarly to a mic, but for me this is simply too much information in too small a space. There is not much info in this that my work can benefit of.

I agree, your listeners don't want to "hear what the microphones heard", they want to hear something that sounds good and gives the impression of a realistic soundscape coming out of speakers.
Old 1st June 2017
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumi View Post
I have never found that "one ear acts like a mic" idea useful either. Even when close micing, I listen with my eyes facing the sound source, and put the mic where the center of the head is when it sounds the way it needs. That has always worked very well. Even though it may be surprising, I have found that the recorded signal then sounds as I expect it to sound (of course, I also take the contribution of the mic, mic characteristic, mic preamp, and converter into consideration for that).

One ear might pick up sound similarly to a mic, but for me this is simply too much information in too small a space. There is not much info in this that my work can benefit of.
Two reasons why you should give it another try:

1. close mic: listening with two ears places you in two drastically different spots. No way you can hear how the mic will sound tonally in one spot. 20cm difference can make a huge difference in the near field of any instrument.
2. further mic: listening with two ears actually gives more information in a small space. Hence your brain will filter out ugly bleed/reflections. You can place the mic too far or in a nasty spot from a neighbour instrument without noticing it. Then you need to go 50m to the control room, listen, realise the spot does not sound ok, go 50m back to the stage.

Seriously, with the one ear trick, running around like mad is reduced to the strickt minimum. Which means I can go running in the evening, which I of course almost never do

I would like to stress the fact that just one ear gives much less information. This makes it easier to assess the information.
Old 1st June 2017
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
I would like to stress the fact that just one ear gives much less information. This makes it easier to assess the information.
I believe this is the rationale behind the pop/rock studio mix gods opting for the flawed Yamaha NS10's (and the single mono Auratone in the middle of the meter bridge).

They say "it forces me to work really hard on the mix/if I can make it sound good on these then it will translate to most other foreseeable playback speakers/the omissions and distortions these speakers provide zoom my focus in on areas that are critical for enjoyable listening..once I iron these away, the mix is therefore definitively "better"..... ". And so on. It works for them...who are we to argue ? Sharpened acuity and sensitivity via partial sensory deprivation ?

However I'd point out that I spend 99.99% or more of my time listening with 2 ears...I don't trust myself to make the psycho-acoustic adjustment to 1 ear listening, for only those crucial minutes or 1/4 hours I might have for establishing mic-siting balances.

Maybe I would.... if I'd "one ear deafened" myself for a few hours prior to setup....or did so for an hour or two in each of the days prior? So my argument is simply one of my inability to accommodate to (and thus trust) this oddly compromised hearing acuity, self imposed and foreign. It's about as much fun as the one legged races at primary school sports day....
Old 1st June 2017
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
I think David means "its all in the head" ?
Yes it is.

But that picture says a lot.
  1. Microphones are loudspeaker signals and nothing to do with ears. (binaural excepted)
  2. Stereo microphone technique is all about creating an immersive (hate that word) soundstage between two speakers
  3. The listener picks up cues for any single small point source from both loudspeakers, microphone technique allowing.

So it follows that to get the mics in the right place one needs to be monitoring from a minimum of two loudspeakers preferentially or if using headphones, at least engage the crossfeed button.

One of the most profound and common mistakes I still make during recording is getting the direct/reverb balance wrong by using headphone monitoring. I do not make this mistake with loudspeaker monitoring.

Last edited by David Spearritt; 1st June 2017 at 10:18 PM..
Old 1st June 2017
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
Two reasons why you should give it another try:

1. close mic: listening with two ears places you in two drastically different spots. No way you can hear how the mic will sound tonally in one spot. 20cm difference can make a huge difference in the near field of any instrument.
2. further mic: listening with two ears actually gives more information in a small space. Hence your brain will filter out ugly bleed/reflections. You can place the mic too far or in a nasty spot from a neighbour instrument without noticing it. Then you need to go 50m to the control room, listen, realise the spot does not sound ok, go 50m back to the stage.

Seriously, with the one ear trick, running around like mad is reduced to the strickt minimum. Which means I can go running in the evening, which I of course almost never do

I would like to stress the fact that just one ear gives much less information. This makes it easier to assess the information.
Thanks, Yannick!
My mind and logical thinking do agree with you completely! I seldom rely on these alone, though, and have fared well with that.

I am fully aware that it sounds counter-intuitive, and yes, I am also aware that close micing with two ears to find one spot (that is not even identical to where one of the ears was) is quite opposed to what common sense would tell you. But it has worked very well for me over the last 30 years.

Maybe it only works for me, and it certainly involves a lot of experience, and knowing how the instruments sound. And maybe the main point is what you've gotten accused to. I've tried the one ear method, and couldn't work with it at all. And I'm happy with the results I get with two ears, so don't see any reason to change it.

I might give the one ear approach another try, though, to honor your input.
Old 1st June 2017
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I believe this is the rationale behind the pop/rock studio mix gods opting for the flawed Yamaha NS10's (and the single mono Auratone in the middle of the meter bridge).

Maybe I would.... if I'd "one ear deafened" myself for a few hours prior to setup....or did so for an hour or two in each of the days prior? So my argument is simply one of my inability to accommodate to (and thus trust) this oddly compromised hearing acuity, self imposed and foreign. It's about as much fun as the one legged races at primary school sports day....
While I do encourage everyone to find their own tricks, you simply miss my point completely.

It is not about crippling oneself. It is not about monitoring on flawed speakers. It is about switching of those complex psycho acoustic filters in our brain by closing off one ear, for a quick timbral/balance assessment.

No need to train yourself for hours. You just need an open mind and try for 1 minute.

Did you ever actually do this in a large reverberant hall, while 1 musician is playing an instrument ? You can find the critical distance in seconds, as opposed to minutes running around with a stereo couple.

I am not implying everyone should work this way.
But at the very least you can stop ridiculising something that actually works, and makes sense to some of us.

Your loss completely.
Old 1st June 2017
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
But at the very least you can stop ridiculising something that actually works, and makes sense to some of us.

Your loss completely.
No ridicule intended at all...I was merely highlighting the barriers, impediments, obstacles which prevent myself from adjusting quickly to this way of listening. No comment or reflection on others like yourself who can make this method work for them. I wish I could do it with ease, but I can't...simple as that
Old 1st June 2017
  #70
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OK, I must have misunderstood.
Non-native English and all.

Old 1st June 2017
  #71
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
I agree with this. I listen with both ears, and this correlates pretty darn well to what I end up hearing in the control room when placing mics.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumi View Post
I have never found that "one ear acts like a mic" idea useful either. Even when close micing, I listen with my eyes facing the sound source, and put the mic where the center of the head is when it sounds the way it needs. That has always worked very well. Even though it may be surprising, I have found that the recorded signal then sounds as I expect it to sound (of course, I also take the contribution of the mic, mic characteristic, mic preamp, and converter into consideration for that).

One ear might pick up sound similarly to a mic, but for me this is simply too much information in too small a space. There is not much info in this that my work can benefit of.

I agree, your listeners don't want to "hear what the microphones heard", they want to hear something that sounds good and gives the impression of a realistic soundscape coming out of speakers.
Old 1st June 2017
  #72
The Bricasti M7 is used in post. I mix analog here, no DAW's. Therefore it's used in an analog I/O configuration which I feel sounds superior to any DAW resolution.

It is patched into a stereo input channel of my Soundcraft Delta console. It has a "width" control, a stereo cross feeding phase circuit a-la "Q-Sound" that widens the stereo returns from mono to wrap around your ears surround. With that I can select how wide the M7's returns are relative to the dry sounds. It's a very powerful set up I cannot duplicate in digital due to those bandwidth limitations of converters and the encoded phase shift that is messed with in that phasing circuit.
Old 12th June 2017
  #73
Just discovered this thread...

My practice is very similar to Yannick's. The first thing I usually do is locate the approximate critical distance with the one ear method. I may later fine-tune that, if I have monitoring set up, but only on speakers, never headphones. If headphones are my only monitoring tool, I will place the stand one row closer than I would otherwise, since ambience is much easier to add than subtract. Knowing my approximate stand position, I am then able to design my main pair setup for proper ensemble coverage. Lately, I have thrown over my dog-eared Williams charts in favor of a Neumann app on my tablet.

Where I do use headphones is in setting the stand height: While listening to the ensemble balance and tonality, I raise and lower the stand, until I get the best sound. I'm also prepared to adjust the tilt of the microphones if I've chosen a tall placement.

BTW, I am not a slave to the auditorium centerline! I also move right and left when deciding the initial stand placement. If the ensemble includes a piano, the optimal spot is often well to the right, in line with the hammers. With other ensembles, it's wherever I hear the best ensemble balance.

I am a big fan of using an additional ambiance pair. My two most common approaches are sideways-facing figure eights, and rear-aimed cardioids. The latter are especially useful when a short load-in or small budget dictates a single stand and a SD744T. Figure eights are always deployed on a separate stand and very wide bar, or on two stands. Very occasionally, I will switch to upwards-facing omni's to get more bloom, but this requires on-site monitors because it's very easy to mess up the stereo image. With all ambience pairs, one must not be afraid to adjust their delay (backwards or forwards) in post. Use the Haas effect, Luke!

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording

Last edited by David Rick; 12th June 2017 at 12:45 AM.. Reason: auto-complete
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