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Flute Chamber Concert - 3 Mic setups Reverb & Delay Plugins
Old 5th November 2017
Gear Maniac

Thread Starter
Flute Chamber Concert - 3 Mic setups

I recorded a rehearsal for a community flute chamber concert.

This location is wetter than most locations in which I record. I put up 3 different mic setups (all on the same stand).

I am attaching excerpts from 3 pieces, to provide a sample of the textures and colors that are part of this concert:

First piece is two piccolos & piano.
Second piece is flute, alto sax, and piano.
Third piece is 4 flutes (3 C, 1 alto), using extended techniques.

Each of the three excerpts is presented three times: once with each mic configuration. The three configurations are always identified the same. That is, "A" means the same thing all three times. Same with "B", and "C".

I solicit comments, particularly with respect to two questions:
1) Which mic configuration do you prefer, and is it the same for all three pieces?
2) Does it sound to you like I was too far away, too close, or about right.

Of course, I will provide specifics on mic configuration, soon.

Thank you for any comments.


P.S. I apologize for the inconsistent levels in this experiment.

P.P.S. Also, this is the raw data. No adjustments/processing.
Attached Files

PicPno-micA.mp3 (4.25 MB, 811 views)

PicPno-micB.mp3 (4.25 MB, 820 views)

PicPno-micC.mp3 (4.25 MB, 798 views)

FltSaxPno-micA.mp3 (4.55 MB, 802 views)

FltSaxPno-micB.mp3 (4.55 MB, 785 views)

FltSaxPno-micC.mp3 (4.55 MB, 807 views)

Flts-extended-micA.mp3 (3.03 MB, 767 views)

Flts-extended-micB.mp3 (3.03 MB, 765 views)

Flts-extended-micC.mp3 (3.03 MB, 776 views)

Last edited by dgpretzel; 5th November 2017 at 09:07 AM.. Reason: Add P.P.S.
Old 5th November 2017
Here for the gear
I listened on cans and ipad to the tracks and cannot tell you my favorite setup.
For me on all tracks there is too much of suboptimal room sound. I'd go nearer to source use cardioids (mk4) and process later.

As I am flutist I am really interested in oevres. Could you please tell me the name and composer of the 2nd piece fl sx and piano also the third tune for picc flutes and altoflute.

Thanks for posting

Old 5th November 2017
Here for the gear
Hi again,
After second audition.
I prefer the version three - I think this is AB with omnis - but unfortunately the room is not the best.

Old 6th November 2017
Lives for gear
jnorman's Avatar
Dgp - I clearly prefer mic A in each of the pieces. I’m guessing it is an ORTF configuration, since I can hear the location of each instrument, which is what I like in chamber music. Mic B may be M/S, and mic C is probably AB omnis. Mic B seems very central focused, and mic C is your typical diffuse spaced mic sound. I did not hate the room, it sounded okay to me (I’ve recorded in WAY worse places...). From the sound of the stereo spread in mic A, I’m not sure you could get much closer, but I think Erich is right to advocate getting closer if you can - in my experience, it is a rare space that can give you a perfect ambience and reverb by itself. I always prefer placing the mics in the near field unless it is a great place and there is no audience.
Old 7th November 2017
Gear Maniac

Thread Starter
Thank you for your comments, Erich and jnorman.

The actual concert took place over the weekend. I recorded it, and I was able to get closer. I include similar excerpts as before, but about a foot closer, and 3 ft lower.

Do you think this is an improvement?

You are both correct regarding mic configuration "C". It is a pair of spaced omnis (DPA 4060) at 45cm.

Erich, the flute, sax, and piano piece is "Trio for flute, saxophone, and piano", Mvt #2 , by Russell Peterson (b. 1969). The third piece (I mischaracterized it a bit-- it is two C flutes, pic, and alto flute) is "Tamar" by Nicole Chamberlain (b. 1977).

It was a very interesting concert. There also were a couple pieces with bass flute.

I will provide more details on the other two mic configurations, after I see if there are any further comments regarding the new samples.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Attached Files

2-PicPno-MicA.mp3 (4.31 MB, 561 views)

2-PicPno-MicB.mp3 (4.31 MB, 536 views)

2-PicPno-MicC.mp3 (4.31 MB, 540 views)

2-FltSaxPno-MicA.mp3 (4.54 MB, 539 views)

2-FltSaxPno-MicB.mp3 (4.54 MB, 527 views)

2-FltSaxPno-MicC.mp3 (4.54 MB, 535 views)

2-Flts-extended-MicA.mp3 (3.00 MB, 511 views)

2-Flts-extended-MicB.mp3 (3.00 MB, 507 views)

2-Flts-extended-MicC.mp3 (3.00 MB, 508 views)

Old 8th November 2017
Gear Maniac

Thread Starter
The envelope, please...

"A" is a pair of ribbons in Blumlein configuration. (Shiny Box 46U).

"B" is ORTF (Shure KSM141, in card mode).

I do like the imaging in "A". But there is a spot where I prefer the sound of the omnis. Specifically, the opening piano chord in the Flute, Sax, and Piano piece.

Thank you for your helpful comments.

Old 9th November 2017
Gear Maniac

Thread Starter
Can't seem to help myself...

I mentioned that I do think I like the Mic "A" configuration (Blumlein), but not everywhere. For example the opening piano chords of the Flute, Sax, & Piano piece. The low notes from the grand piano sound better to me with the omnis.

Here is another spot that I think is advantageously presented by the omnis. This excerpt is new (not presented in any earlier post). It uses extended flute technique (I'm not sure if there is some other technical musical/flute term to use). The sharp "whooshes" (starting around 26 seconds) are captured better, I think, by the omnis (Mic "C").

Maybe the ORTF with the KSM141's is a reasonable compromise.

See what you think.

BTW, Please disregard the metadata (erroneous).

Attached Files

Blueberry-MicA.mp3 (4.05 MB, 411 views)

Blueberry-MicB.mp3 (4.05 MB, 397 views)

Blueberry-MicC.mp3 (4.05 MB, 386 views)

Last edited by dgpretzel; 9th November 2017 at 08:04 AM.. Reason: fix time
Old 9th November 2017
Gear Addict

In every case I prefer the more relaxed timbre and open soundstage of the omnis, but I just really dislike the extra muddy room sound they allow in. There is already too much of it, unfortunately, even in your directional mics and even with the closer position. The piano especially is far too distant.
I think the ideal would be to get even closer still with the omnis.

Last edited by dasbin; 9th November 2017 at 10:29 PM..
Old 14th November 2017
Here for the gear
Hi dgp
Thanks for titles.

New recording is better now.
Ribbons are darker sounding and better for flutes closed.

Room is not bad, but for CD I'd try to find a better room or experiment more with closer distance.
Or ribbons with gobo behind.

Last edited by etiefenthaler; 14th November 2017 at 10:36 AM.. Reason: Due to smilies not all text was taken
Old 2 weeks ago
Gear Maniac

Thread Starter
Initially I thought I preferred the Blumlein choice. I had used Blumlein in another concert by this group in 2016. However, as I listened repeatedly, and more closely, I decided that the Blumlein pair seemed to have the width of the group a little exaggerated. That is, sometimes just a little too much crammed to the edges, particularly the right side. I combined the AB omnis and the ORTF for the final mix.

I also thought just a little added reverb would be beneficial, but, I am just starting to experiment with reverb, and would rather err on the side of too little, rather than too much (which I think is easy to do when trying a new thing-- "Ahh, shiny... nice... more"-- and I want to avoid that trap.

Here are two versions of one of the CD tracks: plain, and with a little added reverb. (Until I get a little experience with reverb, and feel like I can decide which tool to buy, I'm trying some free ones-- and that is another reason I want to go "light" on added verb.)

Might anyone care to venture some guidance? Is the slight reverb version an improvement over the "plain"?

Thank you.

Attached Files

TocFugue-Plain.mp3 (7.28 MB, 215 views)

TocFugue-Reverb.mp3 (7.28 MB, 211 views)

Old 2 weeks ago
Hello DG,

While I will be the first to say that I may not be qualified to give a fully valid opinion, in the spirit of answering your question insofar as I can give an honest reaction:

In my opinion, the amount of reverb added seems tasteful and safely avoids the excesses about which you were concerned.

However, it seems to me that the settings (or impulse response) you used accentuates the mid-range and lower registers in a way which makes the decay a bit unnatural and draws attention to the reverb's presence. While the dry version seems a good candidate for a judicious amount of added reverb, I ended up preferring it to the reverb version because of the more natural attack/sustain/decay characteristics.

Again, please discount this at whatever percentage from $0.02 seems appropriate to you, add many grains of salt, etc.
Old 2 weeks ago
Lives for gear to cover your footprints like Abbey Rd does

Old 1 week ago
Gear Maniac

Thread Starter
Thank you, Luke, for your comments; and studer58, for the link.

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