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What is this technique with ribbons? Ribbon Microphones
Old 25th January 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 

What is this technique with ribbons?

Hi guys,

A really long time without posting anything around here. I wanted to ask if you have any idea what stereo technique is the one used in the picture with two eight-figure microphones. Are not they too close? We can't see the main pair and we don't know how much of these microphones they will be using either.

Any help? Thanks a lot!

Subefotos
Old 25th January 2019
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by oncloudnine View Post
Hi guys,

A really long time without posting anything around here. I wanted to ask if you have any idea what stereo technique is the one used in the picture with two eight-figure microphones. Are not they too close? We can't see the main pair and we don't know how much of these microphones they will be using either.

Any help? Thanks a lot!

Subefotos
It looks like someone is "stereo spot miking" the violin with ribbons in an AB pair.

We can come up with all sorts of theoretical plusses and minuses, but it all comes down to how it sounds in the final mix.
Old 25th January 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
A very nice spaced figure-of-eight solo pickup. Should offer excellent dimension.

This placement has the benefit of rejecting the piano sound behind the mics because the piano is in the null of the figure-of-eight pickup.

Totally hot, totally pro.
Old 25th January 2019
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Thanks a lot both. I think I can give it a try soon to this technique. A real pity we can't see the main pair.
Old 25th January 2019
  #5
Does anyone recognize the mics in question?
Old 25th January 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
Does anyone recognize the mics in question?
Coles 4038
Old 25th January 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Dr. Jule's Avatar
 

YouTube

Here you can hear a bit of it.
Old 25th January 2019
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
elpillo's Avatar
 

Hey, Plush. I'm a little confused and would really appreciate if you can expand in this subject. A few days ago, I mentioned the stereo spots used by someone I met and your response, without knowing what mic pattern she was using, was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
No, there is no reason for it. I would call your cited engineer a janitor.

Now you're saying:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Totally hot, totally pro.

Please enlighten me.
Old 25th January 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Hello elpillo,

Sure I remember exactly why I made the comment and called your engineer friend a janitor.

RE: string quartet recording

She had suggested putting two microphones on each instrument and to also use a main pair. Furthermore, you mentioned that this engineer recommended that one pan the microphones to the opposite sides in relation to where they were set up.

All of that is really bad advice. There is no reason whatever to use two microphones on each of the two violins, the viola, and the violincello. The panning recommendation is certainly wrong as well. It will not create "space." When listening back the brain would have to work hard to make sense of what is presented. Then the listener would turn off their hi-fi.

In this instance with the violin and piano recording, it is a wise practice to mic the SOLOIST (NOT an ensemble member as in the string quartet example) in stereo. In the mix, the mics can be panned to make an agreeable placement of the violin soloist and have her sound floating in the stereo picture.

For example, pan one mic hard left and the other one at 9 or 10 o'clock. The violin sound floats on the LFT side and does not sound "pasted on."

One recordist is a janitor and the other is a aesthetically skilled tonmeister making a record for DG.
Old 25th January 2019
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
Does anyone recognize the mics in question?
I'm surprised to find the 4038s here producing a rather plasticky/synthetic violin sound, as if the violin used here is a slightly less fine instrument than it is... Does anyone else have this reaction? I've heard solo violin recordings made using two AB-spaced Royers SF2s that have sounded superb and imbued with just those positive attributes of ribbons that you'd set out to achieve in using ribbons on violin.

I'd have guessed that the 4038 pair would have offered even more of the same, yet they are instead producing a coloration that to me makes the violin sound less open and less 'fragrant'.

Regarding the mics on piano, the one placed uncomfortably close to the rim by the start of the curve would appear to be a Schoeps CMC, given the look of the cable that has been wrapped around the overhead and stand coming out of the capsule (clearer in the youtube video). Presumably this one CMC is one half of a 'close' pair and there is additionally a mid pair further back, plus possibly a distant/reverb pair as well. (No way to tell from the videos whether it's a CMC2 or CMC4 or CMC21, of course.)
Old 26th January 2019
  #11
Gear Nut
 

To my ears, Royer SF series are much superior on violins to Coles 4038. I think my SF12 is the best mic for strings Ive ever heard.
Old 26th January 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
I hear no problems with the violin sound. It is greatly influenced by an overarching reverb sound applied generously.

Coles is the premier microphone for this type of work. A stereo microphone would not have provided the same flexibility in the mixing process.
Old 26th January 2019
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I hear no problems with the violin sound. It is greatly influenced by an overarching reverb sound applied generously.

Coles is the premier microphone for this type of work. A stereo microphone would not have provided the same flexibility in the mixing process.
Interesting comments, Mr Plush - thank you. Referring here to the use of two mono ribbons in AB for spotting a violin, am I right in inferring that you find the 4038s superior to all alternatives (Royer SF-2 pair, AEA N8 pair etc)? And are ribbons your default for this application, or do you find, say, a certain tube LDC cardioid (using two as an AB pair) is more 'mellifluous' still...or would your default be to use an SDC cardioid pair on the basis of 'record neutral then tweak to taste in post'? Is there a recording you've made with 4038s as AB spots on a violin that's available via youtube or another streaming site? I do appreciate your point that the violin sound in this new DG recording has been compromised by broad-brush application of digital reverb; I hadn't picked up on that on first hearing. I'd be very interested in hearing 4038s on solo violin not tainted by reverb (4038s have been on my list of likely buys for a long time!).
Old 26th January 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Good ribbons are the first choice for spotting violin. Besides their good and neutral tone, that kind of transducer minimizes finger on string noise and minimizes bow noise. Offers pure tone.

Coles are preferred because they do not have a mid range “intelligibility” or “presence” boost like some other ribbons.

But choose other good ribbons according to what is available.

You could use a tube condenser with a phat band limited sound (the mic would be out of spec) or small diaphragm condenser.

But years of trial and error points to a Coles or neutral AEA ribbon mic instead.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
But years of trial and error points to a Coles or neutral AEA ribbon mic instead
Should an AEA 44 type mic be considered? I've always thought of 4038s as excessively dark (not so neutral). What about the Royer SF1 or SF2? Is the 4038 your first pick when available?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgee View Post
Should an AEA 44 type mic be considered? I've always thought of 4038s as excessively dark (not so neutral). What about the Royer SF1 or SF2? Is the 4038 your first pick when available?
David Rick has made some interesting comments recently, to the effect that he prefers his new AEA Nuvo N8s to his Coles 4038. Mr Rick, if you're reading this, could you write a few thoughts on how you'd compare the results of these two as spot mics on violin, flute and brass? (If you have any samples you could upload as well...….) Thank you in advance.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pk View Post
David Rick has made some interesting comments recently, to the effect that he prefers his new AEA Nuvo N8s to his Coles 4038. Mr Rick, if you're reading this, could you write a few thoughts on how you'd compare the results of these two as spot mics on violin, flute and brass? (If you have any samples you could upload as well...….) Thank you in advance.
Seconded!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pk View Post
David Rick has made some interesting comments recently, to the effect that he prefers his new AEA Nuvo N8s to his Coles 4038.
There has been a minor misunderstanding here. I do like my N8's for certain things, but I do not own, nor have I ever used those storied Coles mics. Further, while I enjoy my N8's, they are a good ways down my frequency-of-use list. I think jnorman has considerably more experience with these mics than I do.

Getting back to original question: What I see is that the engineer elected to use a pair of figure-eights as a stereo violin spot. The configuration shown has three notable advantages:
  1. Use of figure-eight nulls allows the featured soloist to stand very close to her pianist partner without creating a leakage problem into the spot mics. (Plush noted this earlier.)
  2. It is very desirable to use stereo pickup for solo violin, because the instrument characteristically radiates each note in a somewhat different direction. A mono spot would miss this important sonic characteristic. (Note the small mic spacing though. This prevents the violin from occupying the entire width of the sound stage, which would sound foolish.)
  3. Use of ribbon mics allows a placement far closer than one would ordinarily want for violin pickup. It suppresses some unpleasant sonic elements that would not be heard at greater distance. (Plush noted this as well.)

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oncloudnine View Post
Hi guys,

A really long time without posting anything around here. I wanted to ask if you have any idea what stereo technique is the one used in the picture with two eight-figure microphones. Are not they too close? We can't see the main pair and we don't know how much of these microphones they will be using either.

Any help? Thanks a lot!

Subefotos
It is a spaced pair. Depending on the actual distance some call it AB.
The figure 8 type of mike has a null aimed to the side = the piano so it only captures the violin.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pk View Post
I'm surprised to find the 4038s here producing a rather plasticky/synthetic violin sound, as if the violin used here is a slightly less fine instrument than it is... Does anyone else have this reaction?
I think the recording is pretty faithful, but her sound and general musicianship for me personally leaves a lot to be desired ...
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