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EQ-ing the main pair.....heresy ? Spatial Processor Plugins
Old 10th September 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
EQ-ing the main pair.....heresy ?

Recording recently in a location booth, I noticed the Trident mixer had a 4-5 dB cut at 300Hz applied to the main pair of mics (which are usually MKH20's or Schoeps MK2S). I had my 8020 pair in the same overhead AB suspension, and thought this was an odd practice.....aren't we supposed to 'leave the main pair alone' in terms of EQ ? During rehearsal the EQ was in bypass mode, and so my ear became accustomed to the flat sound. Out of curiosity I engaged the EQ, and the mix gained in clarity to a noticeable degree....more focussed, less woolly. This location setup usually uses a pair of outriggers as well as spot mics when required, so I wondered whether the contribution of these other mics might have tipped the balance in terms of overall energy contribution at this frequency region ?

What I'm getting at is that this auditorium scenario is little or no different to most, in the sense that the main AB omni pair is sited above or slightly behind the conductor's head at the 'usual' height, stage width can accommodate a full symphony orchestra, stage is elevated about 36" above floor level, very high ceiling. My recording setup was without outriggers, capturing a 60+ voice choir, yet despite these differences the EQ,when engaged, had a noticeably beneficial effect. Could there be some sort of interaction with the stage floor which results in a 'frequency pile-up' around 300 Hz ?

If any GS'ers here have some orchestral or choral recordings made in such a setting, using a 'reputable main pair' (with or without outriggers) would you like to set up such a desk (or software) EQ to replicate this scenario....and then report back here with your findings ? Easy enough to do, although I don't know the Q of the mid tonal pots of that Trident desk....anyone care to guess ?

I fully expect to uncover results along the lines of "you need to EQ (if at all) to the particular conditions of the hall you're in", but if this produces some sort of universality in terms of a noticeable improvement......well, we could be onto something a little significant...... no ?
Old 10th September 2011
  #2
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recordinghopkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
.....aren't we supposed to 'leave the main pair alone' in terms of EQ ?
Not necessarily.

Quote:
...the mix gained in clarity to a noticeable degree....more focussed, less woolly.
This is why. If it sounds good, it is good. (Typical GS response, I know)

Quote:
Could there be some sort of interaction with the stage floor which results in a 'frequency pile-up' around 300 Hz ?
There could be any number of acoustic challenges that may require some tonal shaping to achieve the best results.

Quote:
I fully expect to uncover results along the lines of "you need to EQ (if at all) to the particular conditions of the hall you're in"
You got it.
I hope I wasn't too succinct for you.
IMHO, EQ is not evil. For the classical engineer, signal integrity is paramount, which is probably why you may have heard some say otherwise. However sometimes a little tweaking is in order (depending on the mic choice, placement, and room) to more effectively achieve the desired results. Less is usually more.
Old 10th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
Yes, I'm not against EQ tweaking either, especially on spots, and to a lesser degree on outriggers which in some halls can add to the total of LF energy picked up, so a judicious high pass filter can help there too. However I can't think of any 'serious' omni mic which has a discreet dip at this frequency (you'd expect ruler flatness around 300Hz), but maybe Behringer or Superlux will come out with one....the 'classical mic' for people who can't bear to EQ !

I'm still interested to hear results from anyone who's EQ'd this dip into their existing main pair files, and can comment on the effect ?
Old 10th September 2011
  #4
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I tend to do this in post if required. Unless a real time mix is required on the night. Even then, I always record the unprocessed data.
Old 10th September 2011
  #5
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Matti's Avatar
Sometimes you could use shuffling eq a'la Blumlein
-Easiest with something like Waves S1

Matti
Old 10th September 2011
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
I tend to do this in post if required. Unless a real time mix is required on the night. Even then, I always record the unprocessed data.
Yes I do also. I suppose when radio broadcast want a stereo mix for live to air broadcast that's when the desk EQ comes into play. I'd sooner record flat and EQ later via software if I'm recording to multitrack.
Old 10th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
Being a hair shirt coincident type, Im not sure eq ing is in the mantra,unless the **** has really hit the fan.
Subtraction is best and might be allowed by the central committee but what about the issue of phase,this may require a show trial.
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