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woodwind microphone pair, where to place Condenser Microphones
Old 25th January 2019
  #1
woodwind microphone pair, where to place

Dear all

I will be recording a youth orchestra in a nice venue.

There is a modern piece with a lot of percussion,
Shostakovitch symphony 10, and Prokofjef violin concerto.

woodwinds will be in three's.

Where do you put the spot microphones? How high?
which distance from eachother?

I will have 12 channels to record,
so my plan is:

1-2 AB stereo (hung from the ceiling)
34 outriggers (hung from the ceiling)
56 Woodwinds
7 solo violin (mono spot)
8 timp
9-10 perc LR
11 CB
12 harp

thank you,

Emmanuel
Old 25th January 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Depends on the sound you’re looking for. I usually place my ww mics on 2 stands. One between flute 1/2 and the other beteeen oboe 1/2. Height being about 8 feet or so and angled to “look” at the clarinet/Bassoon row.

-Ben
Old 26th January 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
JCBigler's Avatar
I guess you are putting the WW mics on stands, rather than hanging them over head?

I forget the exact instrumentation for the Shostakovich 10, but if there’s piccolo, I would move the mics slightly away from the piccolo, and the other one slightly more towards the bassoons, contra bassoon as the contra usually gets lost. They may end up being a little off center, but that’s ok as spot mics. That usually ends up with the mic between the flute2/3 players and oboe2/English horn. I like to point them up slightly, more directly towards the clarinets and bassoons in the second row.

Or you can do a stereo pair on a single stand for the WWs.
Old 27th January 2019
  #4
Gear Nut
Ben, what mics do you use?

I noticed I gravitated to that same setup once I bought 4011s; while preferring a stereo pair with mbho cards. Don't know if it was really a difference or my taste grew inversely to my wallet...
Old 28th January 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageOp View Post
Ben, what mics do you use?

I noticed I gravitated to that same setup once I bought 4011s; while preferring a stereo pair with mbho cards. Don't know if it was really a difference or my taste grew inversely to my wallet...
Depends... There are lots that I'll grab. MKH40 is probably the most often, but also AEA N8, KM140, MKH8040, Sony C48, Microtech Geffel M930 are a few in my collection that get used. Depends if I have brass behind the woodwinds, the repertoire, what else is going on with the stage, etc...

--Ben
Old 28th January 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
If the percussion is behind the woodwinds, you may find that (if you are using directional mics for the woodwind spots) you can angle them to be pointing down at the woodwinds but also backwards at 45-60 degrees, towards the percussion.

You may get enough presence on the percussion from their leakage into the woodwind mics....this may entail having the ww mics lower or higher than usual.

Don't sacrifice your ww pickup in order to try and maximize the percussion bleed....rather include dedicated percussion spots in that case.

However, fewer spot mics is always an advantage....and if the leakage can be utilized constructively, via some careful height adjustments and angling, why not ?

If there is brass between the woodwinds and percussion, this idea probably won't work....
Old 28th January 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
On the other hand....you may barely need any spots at all ?

Here's a youth wind orchestra I recorded late last year in a nice hall.....an ORTF centre pair, omni outriggers, and a CM3 double-bass spot, nothing else.

Maybe the balance isn't perfect, and some sections jump out a little more than others, but as I recall they were gathered relatively close to the front of the stage ?
Attached Files

Fanfare .mp3 (6.27 MB, 733 views)

Old 28th January 2019
  #8
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
Depends... There are lots that I'll grab. MKH40 is probably the most often, but also AEA N8, KM140, MKH8040, Sony C48, Microtech Geffel M930 are a few in my collection that get used. Depends if I have brass behind the woodwinds, the repertoire, what else is going on with the stage, etc...

--Ben
It depends... Is probably the real answer to most audio questions here:-)

If you don't mind, what situations would make you think about putting up the n8s? I would imagine that they would work well for rejecting the strings, but be narrowly focused on the principal ww
Old 28th January 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageOp View Post
It depends... Is probably the real answer to most audio questions here:-)

If you don't mind, what situations would make you think about putting up the n8s? I would imagine that they would work well for rejecting the strings, but be narrowly focused on the principal ww
If you put them as area mics as I described above, they won’t be narrowly focused. The issue where they are used the most is when I need more woodwinds and less of whatever is behind them. The null is deep and can be a lifesaver.

-Ben
Old 28th January 2019
  #10
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
If you put them as area mics as I described above, they won’t be narrowly focused. The issue where they are used the most is when I need more woodwinds and less of whatever is behind them. The null is deep and can be a lifesaver.

-Ben
Thank you, makes good sense!

To tie it in a little to the OP, would you put up spots for the specials in a larger orchestra? (3333+) Particularly bass clarinet and contrabassoon. (Would anyone ever spot the piccolo?!) Both generally and in the context of using the N8s

I've seen a mini mains array of four schoeps mk21 across the winds; the end result sounds good, but I'm loath to use the channels on my own work.
Old 28th January 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 

here's my take on woodwinds (pic from yesterday) - problem was less the mic choice, pickup pattern or positioning but what was behind the musicians...
Attached Thumbnails
woodwind microphone pair, where to place-20190127_162829.jpg  
Old 28th January 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
I'd go really simple.

Main pair with outriggers. Spots on timp and harp. Nothing else.

The problem with youth orchestras is that when one puts out a lot of spot mics, you pick up a lot of mistakes and ensemble problems along with the good playing.

Better to have a soft focus approach to these younger musicians.
Old 28th January 2019
  #13
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
The problem with youth orchestras is that when one puts out a lot of spot mics, you pick up a lot of mistakes and ensemble problems along with the good playing.
Plush, when you have a group worth hearing, what do you put on the woodwinds? I've seen the Philly orchestra put 8 schoeps on stands for each principal and auxillary instrument...
Old 29th January 2019
  #14
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JCBigler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
here's my take on woodwinds (pic from yesterday) - problem was less the mic choice, pickup pattern or positioning but what was behind the musicians...
Is that a pit orchestra? Or band for an assembly or something? Doesn't look like a normal concert hall set up.
Old 29th January 2019
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
Is that a pit orchestra? Or band for an assembly or something? Doesn't look like a normal concert hall set up.
indeed not an orchestra pit or a 'normal' concert hall - well, for some other folks it is their normal habitat: it's a shed which usually hosts rock and metal bands...

for an orchestra playing modern music, it was really tough: very dry sounding, lots of noise (around 71dbA lufs with audience in), weird seating, big distance between sections with musicians on two levels and up to 25m apart: strings on the concrete floor in front of the stage, brass left/woodwinds right, solo piano in front of the orchestra, huge percussion section on stage - and a playback which 'needed' to go very loud (composer riding the faders, driving playback alone to ca. 93dbA peak, me trying to bring the orchestra above that without killing the audience) through a pa BEHIND the orchestra, six wedges for monitoring plus in ears with a click track for the conductor.

close to 40 spots (all directional) and a 'main' omni a/b (to get at least some kind of natural ambience besides the four efx devices; could barely use the 'mains' for recording though). solo piano got 414's for the pa (see pic) and a pair of mk4's for recording.

here are a few more pics from the rehearsal...



p.s. and the (main) live desk was analog - it's been a while since i did a show on such a battleship...
Attached Thumbnails
woodwind microphone pair, where to place-20190127_171434.jpg   woodwind microphone pair, where to place-20190126_223258.jpg   woodwind microphone pair, where to place-20190126_145907.jpg   woodwind microphone pair, where to place-20190127_174609.jpg  

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 29th January 2019 at 01:26 AM.. Reason: p.s. and pic added
Old 29th January 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
 
JCBigler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
indeed not an orchestra pit or a 'normal' concert hall - well, for some other folks it is their normal habitat: it's a shed which usually hosts rock and metal band...

for an orchestra playing modern music, it was really tough: very dry sounding, lots of noise (around 71dbA lufs with audience in), weird seating, big distance between sections with musicians on two levels and up to 25m apart: strings on the concrete floor in front of the stage, brass left/woodwinds right, solo piano in front of the orchestra, huge percussion section on stage - and a playback which 'needed' to go very loud (composer riding the faders, driving playback alone to ca. 93dbA peak, me trying to bring the orchestra above that without killing the audience) through a pa BEHIND the orchestra, six wedges for monitoring plus in ears with a click track for the conductor.

close to 40 spots (all directional) and a 'main' omni a/b (to get at least some kind of natural ambience besides the four efx devices; could barely use the 'mains' for recording though). solo piano got 414's for the pa (see pic) and a pair of mk4's for recording.

here are a few more pics from the rehearsal...

p.s. and the (main) live desk was analog - it's been a while since i did a show on such a battleship...
Yeahhhh....That's not anything like a regular concert recording, and I wouldn't even give a second thought to not using a standard concert recording set up. It's close mics, and clip ons or GTFO.

And I feel for you having to use the analog console. Doable, but certainly not fun after spending so many years with the capabilities of ease of use of digital. I don't pine for the days of patching in all the analog outboard gear.
Old 29th January 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Yannick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monitor View Post
Dear all

Shostakovitch symphony 10, and Prokofjef violin concerto.

woodwinds will be in three's.

1-2 AB stereo (hung from the ceiling)
34 outriggers (hung from the ceiling)
56 Woodwinds
7 solo violin (mono spot)
8 timp
9-10 perc LR
11 CB
12 harp
There won't be a need to spot the percussion. However you will need more wwind and brass mic. I always use wind outriggers to my woodwind stereo mic. If you aim properly you will have better coverage of the horn section, as well as the bassoons on the right, you can also pick up some low brass if they are sitting in the right place.
If you have a good balance in the winds/versus strings, there is a good chance the percussion will also not sound too distant anymore. They will be all over the wind mics, which you can aim to have less or more of the percussion, if they are not omnis of course.
Old 29th January 2019
  #18
Gear Addict
 
fred2bern's Avatar
 

"I will be recording a youth orchestra in a nice venue."

It is always more difficult for young people to play piano instead of forte (hormones probably...).

I'm with Yannick, I would not spot the percussions and save your inputs for the horn section.

Wich violin cto from Proko is it? First has 4 horns, 2 trpts and one Tuba, second only 2 horns ans 2 trumpets.
Old 30th January 2019
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2bern View Post
"
Wich violin cto from Proko is it? First has 4 horns, 2 trpts and one Tuba, second only 2 horns ans 2 trumpets.
It's the first concerto
Old 30th January 2019
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I'd go really simple.

Main pair with outriggers. Spots on timp and harp. Nothing else.

The problem with youth orchestras is that when one puts out a lot of spot mics, you pick up a lot of mistakes and ensemble problems along with the good playing.

Better to have a soft focus approach to these younger musicians.
maybe I'l add a hall pair instead of too much spots
Old 30th January 2019
  #21
Thanks for the help everybody!

my plan for now is :
1-2 AB stereo omni
34 outriggers omni
56 Woodwinds omni
7 solo violin (mono spot) omni
8 timp cardio
9-10 hall LR omni
11 CB omni
12 harp cardio

the orchestra stage manager would like to have
nothing too visually obtrusive. That's why we 'll try to hang the main pair.
I am now scared to put ribbons.


I'll follow Plush' advice, but I still keep the spots, but can leave them out of the mix,
and even add Woodwind outriggers as Yannick suggested, instead of using perc spots.

I would normally mike the soloist in AB 10 or 20cm with a tube LDC or ribbon pair.
but that looks more bulky then a mono SDC on a smallish stand.

I even don't know if a mono spot at knee heigth pointed upwards can give acceptable sound.

Last edited by monitor; 30th January 2019 at 01:24 PM.. Reason: added questions
Old 30th January 2019
  #22
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Yannick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monitor View Post
11 CB omni
12 harp cardio

I even don't know if a mono spot at knee heigth pointed upwards can give acceptable sound.
I would do CB cardio, and harp omni.
In my experience CB even with hypercard or fig8 has a lot of bleed from the rest. Harp is always loud, sometimes needs a little spot for precision, easier to get away with an omni.

Violin solo : place your spot right under the lower edge (towards the bowing hand) of where the music stand would be, if he plays by heart.
Old 30th January 2019
  #23
Man that's a lot of omni!

I'd be prepared to swap the winds or solo spot out for cards or subcards, now or in the future.

Listen for how the string bleed into the wind mics affects the balance and timbre of that section when turned up, and same for the solo spot.

Using a lot of omni can seem like the honorable thing to do, but practically speaking it can kind of bite you in the butt if you aren't careful of how the bleed will affect the timbre, balance, and stereo image.
Old 30th January 2019
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Man that's a lot of omni!

I'd be prepared to swap the winds or solo spot out for cards or subcards, now or in the future.

Listen for how the string bleed into the wind mics affects the balance and timbre of that section when turned up, and same for the solo spot.

Using a lot of omni can seem like the honorable thing to do, but practically speaking it can kind of bite you in the butt if you aren't careful of how the bleed will affect the timbre, balance, and stereo image.
Hi Kevin,

I very much appreciate your thoughts.

you are right: I have 2 subcardiods CM3 , 4 fig8 ribbons,
8 omnis Gefell, 2 OM1, a Soundfield and 2Gefell UM70s.

I can swap woodwind spots for ribbons - fig 8
and change the solo pickup pattern to card or fig 8

difficult to test during the dress-rehearsal, but testing spot mikes setups out in their rehearsal hall the days before won't be a problem.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Gear Head
 

Nice - what were the mains and outriggers?
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Gefell MV691s with M93 (main) and 55k (outrigger) capsules
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