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Question about Faulkner Array Equalizer Plugins
Old 15th April 2018
  #1
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tourtelot's Avatar
Question about Faulkner Array

Quick question. Last night, I recorded a 20-piece chamber orchestra in a nice space using a Schoeps Mk8 Faulkner Array. Mics at 20cm, pointing straight ahead and tipped into the center of the ensemble, about 10 feet behind the conductor, 10' in the air.

The sound is, if I say so myself, glorious. Rich, present, with really good definition of the sections. A really nice two-mic recording.

But, while it is obviously stereo, it is a bit too narrow a stage for my liking on playback on my home system. I talked to my boss-man engineer and he suggested increasing the distance between the mics; all well and good but then NOT a Faulkner Array. I just figured I would fix it with Waves S1 Stereo Imager plug-in

Thoughts?

D.

Oh, and damn the violinist who ticked his/her string before EVERY entrance. Grr.
Old 15th April 2018
  #2
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
...he suggested increasing the distance between the mics; all well and good but then NOT a Faulkner Array.
My interpretation of what Tony F. has written in a handful of threads here is that he considers the 20cm spacing as a place to start, not as a rigid requirement. So you should open up the spacing if you need to. Try it and listen, adjust to taste.

And sic the conductor on the offending violinist.
Old 15th April 2018
  #3
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tourtelot's Avatar
Yeah, Bruce. I get that. The problem is that most of my recordings, like last night's, are preformed without a rehearsal/sound check. That means the first time I hear a new ensemble, or a new venue is "baton up."

Oh well. The client will be thrilled I predict.

D.
Old 15th April 2018
  #4
Tony Faulkner Phased Array microphone system 06 - notes and review 06 - Figure-of-eight microphone array and stereo width SRA - sengpielaudio Sengpiel Berlin
Tony Faulkner mentions himself that larger spacings are perfectly possible, depending on circumstances. Try for yourself.
I used the fig8 20cm AB on harpsichord solo: sounds great. Will be experimenting on ensembles as well, didn't go there so far.
Old 16th April 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
But, while it is obviously stereo, it is a bit too narrow a stage for my liking on playback on my home system. I talked to my boss-man engineer and he suggested increasing the distance between the mics; all well and good but then NOT a Faulkner Array. I just figured I would fix it with Waves S1 Stereo Imager plug-in
The Waves S1 Stereo Imager is designed to work with coincident arrays such as Blumlein, mid -side or crossed cardioids.

The Faulkner Array is particularly useful for situations in which a narrow stereo image is desired. It works well compared to other means of capturing a narrow stereo image, and isolates the ensemble from the hall in a way which can be desirable esthetically.

If you start to widen the array it has an interesting and unusual effect which is hard to describe, in which the left and right information sound isolated from one another.
Old 16th April 2018
  #6
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Thanks, I'll try the S1 this week and listen for the effect you describe.

Like I said, I think the group will be pleased. Just a habit to post-mortem all my work and look for ways to make it better.

D.
Old 16th April 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apotheosis View Post
Tony Faulkner Phased Array microphone system 06 - notes and review 06 - Figure-of-eight microphone array and stereo width SRA - sengpielaudio Sengpiel Berlin
Tony Faulkner mentions himself that larger spacings are perfectly possible, depending on circumstances. Try for yourself.
I used the fig8 20cm AB on harpsichord solo: sounds great. Will be experimenting on ensembles as well, didn't go there so far.
In the .pdfs in your link, TF also mentions the use of a 'centre blend', a mono mix of the stereo pair. This never gets noticed when referencing to the first/original "faulkner array".
Old 16th April 2018
  #8
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Hello, I do many recordings using that setup, using two ribbon mics, and it is indeed very effective.

Having studied this document http://decoy.iki.fi/dsound/ambisonic.../data/6939.pdf in great detail I have found a way of using stereo shuffling to *very* nicely widen the stereo image of recordings produced in this way, using a two-stage mid-side EQ with FabFilter Pro-Q 2, with the various settings optimised for two fig-8s spaced 20cm as gleaned from Michael Gerzon's paper above. I find the results far better than when I experimented with Waves S1 as you can be far more precise about the EQ curves and tailor them to a particular mic setup. Indeed, Gerzon mentions this very setup of Faulkner's in that paper, as follows:

'British recording engineer Tony Faulkner has proposed what he termed a "phased array" stereo microphone technique (not to be confused with phased arrays in the beam-forming and steering sense), which comprises two identical forward-facing figure-of-eight microphones spaced apart side by side by about 180 mm. While in some situations such "phased arrays" do give a certain spatial quality, the application of Blumlein shuffling brings them to life with a much more dramatic directional effect and spaciousness, without the loss of whatever virtue they may have possessed without any shuffling.'

The reason for the slightly narrow sense of width is a relative lack of amplitude differences between the channels in frequencies of around 600 Hz and below. The shuffling converts phase differences between the channels at these frequencies to amplitude differences, which widens the perceived image and increases a sense of spaciousness and being surrounded by the sound, especially with playback over speakers.

PM me if you'd like details of the settings I use.

Re. mixing in a 'centre blend' as per TF's article, this is extremely useful when one wants to zoom in on the centre of the stereo image but it also has the effect of further narrowing the perceived width of the overall image.
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