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Violin & piano, positioning of players and microphones Condenser Microphones
Old 17th October 2018
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
That really helps for a symetrical distribution of the sound of the instrument, and the room sounds right... if a room isn't spacious enough, the clarinet can sound piercing.
Yes, and this hall sounds terrific. It has a really lovely reverb and feels comfortable to perform in as well - you get a lot of support back while on stage.
Old 18th October 2018
  #122
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It's interesting to compare Yannick's (mid-side I assume) recording of flute/piano with Shosty's spaced omnis clar/piano clip. The stereo imaging of the coincident recording, although refined and appealing, sounds less like the way that music sounds to a listener at a concert. It's as if the flute is an unnatural distance away from the piano, the two instruments sounding somehow isolated from one another.
Old 18th October 2018
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
It's interesting to compare Yannick's (mid-side I assume) recording of flute/piano with Shosty's spaced omnis clar/piano clip. The stereo imaging of the coincident recording, although refined and appealing, sounds less like the way that music sounds to a listener at a concert. It's as if the flute is an unnatural distance away from the piano, the two instruments sounding somehow isolated from one another.
I wonder if it's a case of the m-s pair responding differentially to the way the 2 instruments propagate within the space...ie does the flute tend to throw forward while the piano has stronger side dispersion (or at least more evenly between frontal and side throw) ?

Even if Yannick's sample wasn't m-s, it would be interesting to explore this with a flute/piano recording which was mid-side recorded.

A simple analysis of the individual mid and side components would reveal if this is the case....post a very much mid-heavy vs a very side predominant mix and see if the flute 'jumps forward' or recedes back when the m-s balance is varied ?
Old 18th October 2018
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
It's interesting to compare Yannick's (mid-side I assume) recording of flute/piano with Shosty's spaced omnis clar/piano clip. The stereo imaging of the coincident recording, although refined and appealing, sounds less like the way that music sounds to a listener at a concert. It's as if the flute is an unnatural distance away from the piano, the two instruments sounding somehow isolated from one another.
There we are in the realms of subjectivity and esthetics.
I like a clear image, somewhat exaggerated compared to live. Very much like sitting in the second row, as opposed to 20th row.

To the defense of my flute/piano fragment, I can clearly hear the piano right hand side extend beyond the flute in my studio. As they were positioned. There is no gap between them (there is of course a gap between the high register of the piano & the flute). On my playback (speakers 3m wide, sitting 3m away) the piano size is about as real as it gets, and the flute sits nicely where he was standing (near the tail).

The AB clarinet example however, sounds like two mono orbs emanating from 2 loudspeakers. As usual, this gives a pleasant "stereo" experience, but actually almost no imaging at all, the instruments are there somewhere in front of me, but not really there. (or at least twice there) As a side effect from this, I cannot judge how big/wide the clarinet is versus the piano. I can hear the piano is wider, but how much is very difficult.
As I noted, luckily, the clarinet does not sound phasey at all, and the image is quite stable. So, quite succesfull for an AB recording ;-)

As a last note, it could very well be the incredible tone & projection of the flute player that makes him stand out
Old 18th October 2018
  #125
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One of the most intriguing aspects of mid-side technique is that it gives the recordist the possibility of opening up a recording as if it were being studied under a microscope, by widening the stereo image, stretching out all the details along a horizontal line.
Old 18th October 2018
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
One of the most intriguing aspects of mid-side technique is that it gives the recordist the possibility of opening up a recording as if it were being studied under a microscope, by widening the stereo image, stretching out all the details along a horizontal line.
Yes...like dissecting a rat in the biology lab
Old 18th October 2018
  #127
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scalpel please
Old 18th October 2018
  #128
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I can really feel the love for accuracy here
Old 18th October 2018
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
The AB clarinet example however, sounds like two mono orbs emanating from 2 loudspeakers. As usual, this gives a pleasant "stereo" experience, but actually almost no imaging at all, the instruments are there somewhere in front of me, but not really there. (or at least twice there) As a side effect from this, I cannot judge how big/wide the clarinet is versus the piano. I can hear the piano is wider, but how much is very difficult.
As I noted, luckily, the clarinet does not sound phasey at all, and the image is quite stable. So, quite succesfull for an AB recording ;-)
I think it was Faulkner who likened AB to a wide angle lens of a camera. You get a lot in your capture but at a price.

Besides getting a nice sense of the acoustic space and a bloom to the sound, for me, AB tends to have a relaxed, effortless sort of quality - not sure how else to word it. This assumes, of course, the right acoustic space.

The price paid for all of this is clear imaging but in certain contexts and rep that can be aesthetically pleasing as well.
Old 18th October 2018
  #130
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Shosty, I largely agree. But if I put on my hifi enthousiast hat, there could be made an argument that one can achieve this in mono as well.

25 years ago I fully went for the pinpoint imaging aspect, that is where I am coming from and will most often try to push it even further.

But, as you say, it should never be more important than relaxed, effortles sound.
I always hope I can manage both...
Old 18th October 2018
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shosty View Post
The price paid for all of this is clear imaging but in certain contexts and rep that can be aesthetically pleasing as well.
Clearer imaging, if desired, can be accomplished with AB by experimenting with the mics spaced closer together, pointed outwards.
Old 18th October 2018
  #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shosty View Post
I think it was Faulkner who likened AB to a wide angle lens of a camera. You get a lot in your capture but at a price.

Besides getting a nice sense of the acoustic space and a bloom to the sound, for me, AB tends to have a relaxed, effortless sort of quality - not sure how else to word it. This assumes, of course, the right acoustic space.

The price paid for all of this is clear imaging but in certain contexts and rep that can be aesthetically pleasing as well.
This is where Blumlein 90deg fig8s come into their own, all the spaciousness and location accuracy too, and the chance to use ribbons

I use Blumlein on smaller ensembles quite often and omnis & cardiods combined, in the Tony Faulkner array, most often for larger groups. Not so much omnis on their own, but now I'm thinking that I ought to get into that more often!

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 7th November 2018 at 12:17 AM..
Old 19th October 2018
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
Shosty, I largely agree. But if I put on my hifi enthousiast hat, there could be made an argument that one can achieve this in mono as well.

25 years ago I fully went for the pinpoint imaging aspect, that is where I am coming from and will most often try to push it even further.

But, as you say, it should never be more important than relaxed, effortles sound.
I always hope I can manage both...
Interesting. I also enjoy pinpoint accuracy. I am doing a saxophone quartet project right now and am going for that exact thing using Blumlein. So I appreciate that approach very much. And from what I've heard of your recordings, you are darn good at it.

Could you clarify how one can accomplish in mono what can be accomplished in AB? What I hear in AB is an enveloping sense of the space but in mono the reverb would be occupying the same space as the sound source or sources.
Old 19th October 2018
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
Clearer imaging, if desired, can be accomplished with AB by experimenting with the mics spaced closer together, pointed outwards.
Ok, that's a good tip. Thanks. Is it due to the directionality of the upper frequencies?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton View Post


This is where Blumlein 90deg fig8s come into their own, all the spaciousness and location accuracy too, and the chance to use ribbons

I use Blumlein on smaller ensembles quite often and omnis & cardiods combined, in the Tony Faulkner array, most often for larger groups. Not so much omnis on their own, but I'm thinking that I ought to get into that more often!
I also enjoy Blumlein with ribbons for the reasons you state. The imaging with Blumlein is pure fun to listen to.

I need to experiment more with the card/omni Faulkner array, myself. Someone on GS, I remember reading, has espoused Blumlein combined with AB.
Old 19th October 2018
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shosty View Post
Ok, that's a good tip. Thanks. Is it due to the directionality of the upper frequencies?




I also enjoy Blumlein with ribbons for the reasons you state. The imaging with Blumlein is pure fun to listen to.

I need to experiment more with the card/omni Faulkner array, myself. Someone on GS, I remember reading, has espoused Blumlein combined with AB.
I think you may be referring to the boojum/jnorman technique that finds favour with some of us here (including the members its named after). The omnis are spaced according to the guidance given in Michael Williams' paper The Stereophonic Zoom and the pair in the middle is whatever coincident or near-coincident technique you prefer - ORTF, NOS, MS, etc. In my case, I almost always opt for MS. As has been pointed out, if the omnis are at the right distance from the source, the cards are not, and vice-versa, but the secret is to mix the inferior pair in at a lower level, usually -6 dB or lower, so that they are just supporting the optimal pair. Thus, when the cards are predominant, the omnis add a bit more low end; when the omnis are the main pair, the cards are offering a bit more image precision. Like so many things in life, its a compromise but it is a very flexible rig when you don't have a lot of time or resources to perfect the mic position in the run-up to a live performance.
Attached Thumbnails
Violin & piano, positioning of players and microphones-2014-08-27-09.36.04.jpg  

Last edited by jimjazzdad; 20th October 2018 at 09:23 PM..
Old 19th October 2018
  #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shosty View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
Clearer imaging, if desired, can be accomplished with AB by experimenting with the mics spaced closer together, pointed outwards.
Ok, that's a good tip. Thanks. Is it due to the directionality of the upper frequencies?
Yes, and also that as the mics become spaced closer together, the width of the stereo image becomes clearer and better defined. At a certain point of moving the mics closer together the stereo width becomes too narrow, although relative to how close the array is to the ensemble, and at what angle the mics are pointed outwards.
Old 20th October 2018
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
I think you may be referring to the boojum/jnorman technique that finds favour with some of us here (including the members its named after). The omnis are spaced according to the guidance given in Michael Williams' paper The Stereophonic Zoom and the pair in the middle is whatever coincident or near-coincident technique you prefer - ORTF, NOS, MS, etc. In my case, I almost always opt for MS. As has been pointed out, if the omnis are at the right distance from the source, the cards are not, and vice-versa, but the secret is to mix the inferior pair in at a lower level, usually -6 dB or more, so that they are just supporting the optimal pair. Thus, when the cards are predominant, the omnis add a bit more low end; when the omnis are the main pair, the cards are offering a bit more image precision. Like so many things in life, its a compromise but it is a very flexible rig when you don't have a lot of time or resources to perfect the mic position in the run-up to a live performance.
Perhaps this was it. Thanks for the info, link, and pic. I have read about it here on GS before. It's good to have this info in one spot.

According to my notes, it's similar to these varying Faulkner arrays that use two omnis...

Omnis 67 cm apart, directional Mics 47 cm apart, all four Mics angled out.

Omnis 2-3 feet apart flanking figure 8s (according to Bruce Bartlett).

Faulkner Modified ORTF: Omnis 67 cm apart angled out with ORTF in middle.
Old 20th October 2018
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
Yes, and also that as the mics become spaced closer together, the width of the stereo image becomes clearer and better defined. At a certain point of moving the mics closer together the stereo width becomes too narrow, although relative to how close the array is to the ensemble, and at what angle the mics are pointed outwards.
Cool. Thanks, aracu.

The angled omnis must be what Faulkner is after in the arrays listed above (?) I always wondered about that.
Old 7th November 2018
  #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shosty View Post
Ok, that's a good tip. Thanks. Is it due to the directionality of the upper frequencies?




I also enjoy Blumlein with ribbons for the reasons you state. The imaging with Blumlein is pure fun to listen to.

I need to experiment more with the card/omni Faulkner array, myself. Someone on GS, I remember reading, has espoused Blumlein combined with AB.
David Spearritt uses Blumlein fig8s flanked with omnis technique sometimes, I suspect mainly on smaller ensembles, but now uses Blumlein with omni room mics more often I understand.

Interestingly (I think) for a couple of days in the week of the 17th December, I will be recording violin and piano in one of the schools which Alan Blumlein attended as a pupil, and again using Blumlein fig8s!

A change of seating in the room has seen a marked improvement in the acoustic over the last time I recorded there, some 33 years ago. Wow! That passed quickly!

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 15th December 2018 at 11:24 PM..
Old 7th November 2018
  #140
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Sometimes I use an MS Blumlein ribbon array (farther away) to fill out and add warmth to the sound of the main AB array (closer), especially if the acoustic is high quality and reverberant. Another array I use sometimes is a native B format array with AB array on one stereo bar, both used at equal levels together, with the native B format mid usually set to a cardioid pattern.
Old 13th November 2018
  #141
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Clip of spaced omnis on clarinet/piano recorded a couple days ago:spaced omnis on clar/pia – Google Drive
Old 24th November 2018
  #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
Clip of spaced omnis on clarinet/piano recorded a couple days ago:spaced omnis on clar/pia – Google Drive
I close my eyes and it puts me in the hall. It has a better stereo imaging than the clip I posted. Nice. I take it you angled the mics out a touch. How far apart was the AB pair? Is that your composition?
Old 24th November 2018
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton View Post
David Spearritt uses the fig8s flanked with omnis technique sometimes, I suspect mainly on smaller ensembles, but now uses Blumlein with omni room mics more often I understand.

Interestingly (I think) for a couple of days in the week of the 17th December, I will be recording violin and piano in one of the schools which Alan Blumlein attended as a pupil, and again using Blumlein fig8s!

A change of seating in the room has seen a marked improvement in the acoustic over the last time I recorded there, some 33 years ago. Wow! That passed quickly!
Yes, that's right. Dave Spearitt is the one I was thinking of. Thanks!

I'd be interested to hear your recording. Please post!
Old 24th November 2018
  #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shosty View Post
I close my eyes and it puts me in the hall. It has a better stereo imaging than the clip I posted. Nice. I take it you angled the mics out a touch. How far apart was the AB pair? Is that your composition?
Not better, different room and approach to omni spacing. The mics are spaced
somewhere between 11-14 inches apart and angled around 130 degrees apart.
Not my composition.
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