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Faulkner array and insta-snake in action Audio Interfaces
Old 13th May 2010
  #1
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sonare's Avatar
Faulkner array and insta-snake in action

Here are pics of my first outing with the Faulkner array-- here is what Tony says about it:

Quote:
I have been having more success (with modern mic types) using a four-mic phased array on a wide stereo bar - two omnis at about 66cm or 67cm (26"), angled out, then two subcardioids inside the omnis at about 46cm or 47cm (18.5") overall spacing, again angled out. I balance one pair against the other pair and usually end up with one of the pair dominating by 6dB.
NOTE that Tony uses Mk2H but having stupidly sold mine years back I use Mk2 with a touch of ultra HF lift. The wide stereo bar is a piece of drilled aluminum bar stock with an Atlas stereo bar attached. The short one is a "normal" Atlas-- which are available from Vintage King for around $20 each.

I was going to post a clip but the soprano balance of the small choral ensemble (their musical problem-- not mine) was not good so you'll have to have faith that this setup works surprisingly well. I favored the Mk21 in this very reverberant church. Being able to run one length of shielded CAT5 makes it MUCH easier. This could also make a 3-mic tree easier to wrangle.

You can see the reel that has 250ft of cable on it-- a bit less hassle than 250ft of normal 4ch snake. Note the Ethercons on each end. For REALLY long runs the Ethercons can be coupled. The boxes can be had with pigtails or chassis mount XLRs. BTW-- I ran tests between one channel through the snake and the other (with matched mic) directly in through about 1ft of cable. I could hear NO difference.

Rich
Attached Thumbnails
Faulkner array and insta-snake in action-p1050254.jpg   Faulkner array and insta-snake in action-p1050256.jpg   Faulkner array and insta-snake in action-p1050258.jpg   Faulkner array and insta-snake in action-p1050259.jpg  
Old 13th May 2010
  #2
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Re: Faulkner array and insta-snake in action

I thought the Faulkner Array was two parallel fig-8s?

I can understand adding omni outriggers, but I can't see any fig-8s in your pics???

I'm seeing Tony tomorrow, I'll ask him.

(posted from my iPhone with GS app)
Old 13th May 2010
  #3
That's cool. I'd love to hear some samples of:
1) the sub cards
2) the omni's
3) the mixed

I like that insta-snake idea too, haven't seen that before. Do you have a link for that?
Old 13th May 2010
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
I thought the Faulkner Array was two parallel fig-8s?
Ditto.

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/TonyFau...rray01Engl.pdf
Old 13th May 2010
  #5
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sonare's Avatar
The sample questions were dealt with in the OP-- and you'll have to ask Tony if this is the "Faulkner Phased Array" or the "Faulkner Array." I daresay that he will reply that he probably wasn't the first person to try 2 fig-8s side by side. And keep in mind that this was to combat severe side-slap as much as anything-- unless I misunderstood originally. Not many fig-8s have good LF response.

The Insta-snake may purchased from several sources-- I bought mine the shielded CAT5 at unbeatable prices from Redco Audio-Distributor for Neutrik, Mogami, Canare, Middle Atlantic - ETS PA202F 4ch Instasnake Call them and you can work out a great price-- esp on CAT5 (and it is not easy to find shielded CAT5 with Ethercons).

Rich
Old 13th May 2010
  #6
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Re: Faulkner array and insta-snake in action

So ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonare
The sample questions were dealt with in the OP-- and you'll have to ask Tony if this is the "Faulkner Phased Array" or the "Faulkner Array." I daresay that he will reply that he probably wasn't the first person to try 2 fig-8s side by side. And keep in mind that this was to combat severe side-slap as much as anything-- unless I misunderstood originally. Not many fig-8s have good LF response.
Agreed - this is exactly how he described to me how he came up with the idea of the two parallel fig-8s.

Yes - fig-8s do tend to roll-off early.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sonare
The Insta-snake may purchased from several sources-- I bought mine the shielded CAT5 at unbeatable prices from Redco Audio-Distributor for Neutrik, Mogami, Canare, Middle Atlantic - ETS PA202F 4ch Instasnake Call them and you can work out a great price-- esp on CAT5 (and it is not easy to find shielded CAT5 with Ethercons).
Nice - but I made my own.

(posted from my iPhone with GS app)
Old 13th May 2010
  #7
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

two fig 8s--Faulkner ***Phased*** Array
Old 13th May 2010
  #8
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sonare's Avatar
Since Tony's quote
Quote:
four-mic phased array
doesn't seem to have settled the issue of what he calls this-- perhaps he will weigh-in as he is reading this thread.

Rich
Old 14th May 2010
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Phased arrays

Thanks for your picture, Rich. In answer to your and others' various questions I don't really have names for these arrays. I am not selling anything, so I never considered I needed a brand name. These techniques are useful to me so I have told a few people about them - some will love them, some will think they are crazy, I don't mind. The parallel fig8 system dates back to the 1980's and it was christened a "Phased Array" by Granville Cooper who was a British researcher into recording techniques and his day-job was defence radar, where phased-arrays are used to enhance resolution and sensitivity. Francis Rumsey named it the "Faulkner Array" in his book on Mic Technique. It works quite well with ribbon fig8's too. The main benefit comes when you have to work somewhere with a lot too much overbearing live reverberation and a phased array will give your ears a lot of helpful clues.

The four-way array of Schoeps MK2H's and MK21's follows a similar concept really. Putting a set of microphones into a time-aligned system enhances resolution rather as antenna systems work and the stereo imaging acquires more phase information which is helpful. Also the MK2H's have a full frequency response which fattens the bass in comparison with just using an ORTF style pair of directional mics.. With the combination you get forward gain which makes the system act as though the microphone array is closer than the mics actually are. It is a practical solution to recording live orchestral concerts without cluttering the stage with too many microphones, stands and cables all over the place for people to fall over. It sounds good and is popular with video directors because there is less clutter in their pictures to avoid.

My basic premise is that when people talk about the benefits of 'coincident microphone technique' they choose to assume that spatial coincidence is the only possibility - not least because for theorists the mathematics are much easier. With any pattern except crossed coincident fig8's, spatial coincidence results in a mono pressure component which boxes the sound in and narrows the ambience unnaturally. Temporal coincidence meets most of the same criteria as spatial coincidence, and in my judgment our own hearing system should give us a hint (with our sensors time aligned and spaced) because it looks and behaves more like a phased array than a coincident pair of cardioids, say. That is why ORTF and NOS work. The micro-spacing gets rid of the in-phase mono pressure component in the stereo image when you use patterns other than fig8. My ears are not on top of each other, except when I am lying down on my side.

Having just listened through 28 entries for the 2010 AES Student Recording Competition, many sounded like they had been done with mic techniques based on students' ideas of two and three (or more) omnis where the spacing and alignment was not optimised to give a clear unphasy stereo image. It was a shame for some of them because the end result was a bit of a phasy muddle in the stereo. Omni mics behave a bit like the audio equivalent of a wide-angle lens. They get everything into the picture, but at a price: image and perspective distortion - be it barrelling, vignetting, fish-eye it boils down to the same effect. Same story I believe if you allow your life to depend uniquely on omni microphones for stereo recording.
Old 14th May 2010
  #10
Gear Nut
 
MattJazz's Avatar
 

J
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
Thanks for your picture, Rich. In answer to your and others' various questions I don't really have names for these arrays. I am not selling anything, so I never considered I needed a brand name. These techniques are useful to me so I have told a few people about them - some will love them, some will think they are crazy, I don't mind. The parallel fig8 system dates back to the 1980's and it was christened a "Phased Array" by Granville Cooper who was a British researcher into recording techniques and his day-job was defence radar, where phased-arrays are used to enhance resolution and sensitivity. Francis Rumsey named it the "Faulkner Array" in his book on Mic Technique. It works quite well with ribbon fig8's too. The main benefit comes when you have to work somewhere with a lot too much overbearing live reverberation and a phased array will give your ears a lot of helpful clues.

The four-way array of Schoeps MK2H's and MK21's follows a similar concept really. Putting a set of microphones into a time-aligned system enhances resolution rather as antenna systems work and the stereo imaging acquires more phase information which is helpful. Also the MK2H's have a full frequency response which fattens the bass in comparison with just using an ORTF style pair of directional mics.. With the combination you get forward gain which makes the system act as though the microphone array is closer than the mics actually are. It is a practical solution to recording live orchestral concerts without cluttering the stage with too many microphones, stands and cables all over the place for people to fall over. It sounds good and is popular with video directors because there is less clutter in their pictures to avoid.

My basic premise is that when people talk about the benefits of 'coincident microphone technique' they choose to assume that spatial coincidence is the only possibility - not least because for theorists the mathematics are much easier. With any pattern except crossed coincident fig8's, spatial coincidence results in a mono pressure component which boxes the sound in and narrows the ambience unnaturally. Temporal coincidence meets most of the same criteria as spatial coincidence, and in my judgment our own hearing system should give us a hint (with our sensors time aligned and spaced) because it looks and behaves more like a phased array than a coincident pair of cardioids, say. That is why ORTF and NOS work. The micro-spacing gets rid of the in-phase mono pressure component in the stereo image when you use patterns other than fig8. My ears are not on top of each other, except when I am lying down on my side.

Having just listened through 28 entries for the 2010 AES Student Recording Competition, many sounded like they had been done with mic techniques based on students' ideas of two and three (or more) omnis where the spacing and alignment was not optimised to give a clear unphasy stereo image. It was a shame for some of them because the end result was a bit of a phasy muddle in the stereo. Omni mics behave a bit like the audio equivalent of a wide-angle lens. They get everything into the picture, but at a price: image and perspective distortion - be it barrelling, vignetting, fish-eye it boils down to the same effect. Same story I believe if you allow your life to depend uniquely on omni microphones for stereo recording.
Fascinating and very good reading. You have givin me much to think about. Great to read a
detailed comment.
Old 14th May 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
My ears are not on top of each other, except when I am lying down on my side.
But the stereo signals are destined for loudspeakers (and NOT ears) to reproduce the sound field of phantom images between the speakers, so the ears are presented with the same sound field as they would be in the hall.
Old 14th May 2010
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
But the stereo signals are destined for loudspeakers (and NOT ears) to reproduce the sound field of phantom images between the speakers, so the ears are presented with the same sound field as they would be in the hall.
Hi David,

Didn't you mean: "so the ears are NOT presented with the same sound field as they would be in the hall" ?

Best,
Dirk
Old 14th May 2010
  #13
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No I meant what I said. A stereo mic array is designed to excite loudspeakers to create the same (ideally) sound field in the living room as in the hall.
Old 14th May 2010
  #14
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Lots of very similar conversation (and not a few white papers) way back in the '60s. IIRC, Paul Klipsch was a proponent of (for playback, anyway) a L/C/R system comprising a pair of Klipschhorns L/R and a Belle Klipsch in the center. It was a large help if the room was designed around the loudspeaker setup, the K-horns needing corners and all. 5.1 is not all that different in practice (the multiplexed audio notwithstanding)... but I still very much enjoy the fidelity, dynamic range and soundstage created by well-recorded stereo through two AR9s.

One of my favorite symphonic recordings (the TelArc Fennell/CSW Holst/Handel/Bach) was recorded with three Schoeps SKM-52U omnis. The half-speed mastered, direct-to-cutter vinyl is amazing... even after 30+ years and dozens of plays. Simple. Effective. Amazing.
Old 14th May 2010
  #15
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Plush's Avatar
Always hungry here for more and more commentary from Tony F.

Come on, you gearslut!

Also interested in political musings, dirty humor, gossip and producer "ratings"
and bad habits of known producers.
Old 14th May 2010
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
No I meant what I said. A stereo mic array is designed to excite loudspeakers to create the same (ideally) sound field in the living room as in the hall.
Hi David,

Sorry, not trying to hijack this thread. But stereo happens in our brain, not in the room. It's the combination of the loudspeaker signals that gives the illusion of phantom sound sources.

I'd say that's rather different than the original sound field.

Hence the great possible improvements of adding a center speaker.

Dirk
Old 14th May 2010
  #17
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Nobilmente's Avatar
 

I've had (really) good results with the Faulkner array (fig8's and omnis).
The set up reaches into the ensemble too. It is not usually the first set up I go to, but it is really useful in problematic rooms with too much reverb, as has been said (it gives you more control) or rooms that are narrow.

The first time I chose to use it (with success) was in recording a large brass ensemble in a relatively small and slightly narrow, long church. I expected the stereo to be a bit narrow and was pleasantly surprised at the spread. I always set it up with omnis present and have added them in everytime as far as I can recall.

I'm usually apprehensive about trying out a technique for the first time, in case it does not do what I expected it to do, so it is really valuable to hear what other folk have had success with.
Old 14th May 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf View Post
But stereo happens in our brain, not in the room. It's the combination of the loudspeaker signals that gives the illusion of phantom sound sources.

I'd say that's rather different than the original sound field.
Perhaps there is a misunderstanding. I interpreted Tony's remark that co-incident techniques don't work well because his ears are not on top of each other, as being similar to the common fallacy that the mics are like ears, they should not be in the same place in space.

But this is incorrect. The mics signals are not for the ears, but are for loudspeakers where all they have to do is try to replicate, between the speakers, the sound field in the hall. Our ears are still listening to the soundfield the same way, with head separation and stereo decoding in the brain.

It's the replication of the soundfield that is important, and coincident techniques do this best. People may prefer spaced mic sounds, but it's not as accurate a soundfield replication between the speakers.

But I'll butt out of this now, because:

Quote:
Also interested in political musings, dirty humor, gossip and producer "ratings"
and bad habits of known producers.
This is what I am interested in hearing about most, too.
Old 15th May 2010
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post

.... The mics signals are not for the ears, but are for loudspeakers where all they have to do is try to replicate, between the speakers, the sound field in the hall. Our ears are still listening to the soundfield the same way, with head separation and stereo decoding in the brain...
Probably misinterpreting your wording, David, but this seems almost to be saying that the loudspeakers _by themselves_ somehow generate a phantom soundfield which the ears are thereafter allowed to witness?

Rather, the loudspeakers collude with the ears to trick the brain into projecting an image between the speakers. The ears have done their task in getting this phantom soundfield assembled ...they don't have to go and listen to it again. :-)
Old 15th May 2010
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
It's the replication of the soundfield that is important, and coincident techniques do this best. People may prefer spaced mic sounds, but it's not as accurate a soundfield replication between the speakers.
Coincident techniques can create a sound image where the sounds are
localized clearly, but we don't necessarily hear things localized that
clearly in the live situation. The exaggeration of localizing sound is not
an accurate model of how we hear things, although it might work well
on a recording. A comparison of spaced or coincident recording comes down more to particular recordings, mics, halls etc.
Old 9th June 2010
  #21
Can you send refer me to any links or generally more info on your CAT5 snake? I thought most folks here said that it caused terrible noise and other issues. I assume that you are not having these problems.

Thanks!
Old 9th June 2010
  #22
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sonare's Avatar
One person looked at the Instasnake spec and failed to notice that the "noise" was above 100kHz. It is a non-issue. I cannot hear ANY coloration with it and I am using 250ft.

The Insta-snake may purchased from several sources-- I bought my shielded CAT5 at unbeatable prices from Redco Audio-Distributor for Neutrik, Mogami, Canare, Middle Atlantic - it is the ETS PA202F Call them and you can work out a great price-- esp on CAT5 (and it is not easy to find shielded CAT5 with Ethercons).

Rich
Old 9th June 2010
  #23
Thumbs up ETS InstaSnake PA200 Series

Wow, that's pretty fantastic! Thanks for the heads-up. Here's the ETS InstaSnake at Markertek. Cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonare View Post
One person looked at the Instasnake spec and failed to notice that the "noise" was above 100kHz. It is a non-issue. I cannot hear ANY coloration with it and I am using 250ft.

The Insta-snake may purchased from several sources-- I bought my shielded CAT5 at unbeatable prices from Redco Audio-Distributor for Neutrik, Mogami, Canare, Middle Atlantic - it is the ETS PA202F Call them and you can work out a great price-- esp on CAT5 (and it is not easy to find shielded CAT5 with Ethercons).

Rich
Old 9th June 2010
  #24
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sonare's Avatar
Here is the Redco link-- Redco Audio - ETS PA202F 4ch Instasnake

They DO have the best deal on CAT5 also-- I went with them for all of it because Markertec couldn't do the shielded CAT5 (custom length) with Ethercon connectors. Better price on the ETS stuff as well. Be aware that they can supply chassis mount XLR on the boxes or the pigtails you see in my pics. Why they seem to regard it as a secret is beyond me.

Rich
Old 9th June 2010
  #25
I've worked with RedCo before - good experience on a few custom cable orders. We also have their hip G5 rack.

This ETS product is quite a surprise for me...I hadn't seen this InstaSnake before. Thanks again for making me aware. I work in a university concert hall that has noise in a few of the cable runs to various locations (catwalks, certain channels on the stage, etc). I'm thinking about how I could easily tap into existing CAT5 drops all over the building with this system and bypass the original copper to see if it quiets down some of those runs. Fantastic find.
Old 9th June 2010
  #26
I can definitely see this easing the pain of remote recording, too. I hate monitoring with headphones in the room! It'd be pretty painless to use this with the tested 850' of phantom powered distance to setup a monitoring room elsewhere in the facility.
Old 9th June 2010
  #27
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sonare's Avatar
Remember that with NON shielded CAT5 you are limited to 3 channels of phantom but the shield gives you 4 along with other advantages.

It is worth going to the ETS site and getting the spec PDF

Rich
Old 9th June 2010
  #28
Order 2 cables to color coordinate with the venue for the ultimate in chameleon recording:

one in white and one in black along with some white and black gaffe tape...your cables would never be seen again!
Old 10th June 2010
  #29
Gear Nut
 
Lazerface's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsbe View Post
Order 2 cables to color coordinate with the venue for the ultimate in chameleon recording:

one in white and one in black along with some white and black gaffe tape...your cables would never be seen again!
Assuming that every venue is either black or white... The few churches in my area where I've recorded have had all kinds of color for carpet, and also seem to have 3'-4' of wood paneling up each wall, if not already full wooden paneling.

Now I really want to try out/buy one of these CAT5 snakes. Damn you gearslutz for raiding my bank account!
Old 15th September 2010
  #30
Gear Head
 
panphonic's Avatar
 

Which type of cat5 cable do people use with the instasnake system? I'm mainly wondering if people have had success with stranded conductor cable, or solid core?

thanks

James
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