The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Combining XY and AB Condenser Microphones
Old 17th February 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Combining XY and AB

So my question is, what are the sound quality ramifications of combining a single X-Y stereo mic with a pair of spaced omnis? I'm just starting on this whole sound recording train, so go easy.

Each channel is being tracked, so I'll have the ability to kill in post as needed. Just wondering if it's worth it and/or what any potential benefits might be, if any.
Old 17th February 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
There is a fellow here on the board who has done this extensively. You can also do it with a Blumlein setup plus AB. I regularly to ORTF + AB and it works out wonderfully. My AB's are 35 - 40cm apart so the whole rig works on one mic stand, making it simple. It is sort of like a "Straus packet" which is an omni and a card taped together and set up sort of in an ORTF array.

You could search this board to see what you can snag for further info. The short answer: Yes, it works. It may not be the answer for your gig, though. Benefits: you can vary the ratio of card to omni. Each has a different reach, the card is ~1.7 further reach than the omni. The omni is a fuller sound, more spacious, generally, and has a better lower end.

Have fun.
Old 18th February 2012
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the reply, boojum! I'll try using something similar (as I can) to your setup as a starting point and experiment from there. For me starting out, these kinds of reference points are beautiful.
Old 17th December 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

Any more thoughts on this approach? Particularly placing the pair at the front of a Decca Tree. I had got used to using a Soundfield flanked by a spaced pair and never felt I needed anything else. However, times are hard, and hall recordings are few and far between for me, so I sold the Soundfield based on my experiences that I mostly used the Soundfield as an XY pair to support the omnis or vice versa.
Old 17th December 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

I've done some recording with an MS setup in the middle with omni flankers. I was quite pleased with the sound. The MS gives great stereo localization and flankers add some time differences - which seem to open up the recording a bit.

If you can get a recorder with some extra channels and can put up some more mics - try experimenting with multiple mic setups. I try to do this whenever I can. It helps me learn and I end up with options to choose from in post.

-Tom
Old 17th December 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
I've done some recording with an MS setup in the middle with omni flankers. I was quite pleased with the sound. The MS gives great stereo localization and flankers add some time differences - which seem to open up the recording a bit.

If you can get a recorder with some extra channels and can put up some more mics - try experimenting with multiple mic setups. I try to do this whenever I can. It helps me learn and I end up with options to choose from in post.

-Tom
I wish I had the confidence / time to experiment more. I spend most of my time panicking that the gear won't work. The last session last week had 150 musicians and an audience of 500. 20 minutes before showtime I couldn't hear a thing through my cans. Only to find the jack was in the wrong socket.....

Back to your midside choice. As midside tends to be a gentler image than xy, wouldn't you be looking for something a bit more incisive, knowing that spaced omnis would pick up the softer image?
Old 17th December 2012
  #7
Gear Maniac
I agree with Tommy-Boy. I've been using a Decca tree type set up with a Mid/Side pair in the front and omnis or even cardioids (not as good) on the sides. Have had great luck with this set up giving detail and space with great control over each.
Old 17th December 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saxmeister View Post
I agree with Tommy-Boy. I've been using a Decca tree type set up with a Mid/Side pair in the front and omnis or even cardioids (not as good) on the sides. Have had great luck with this set up giving detail and space with great control over each.
Interesting...so you both must prefer this to xy as the middle mic(s)
Old 17th December 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
I wish I had the confidence / time to experiment more. I spend most of my time panicking that the gear won't work. The last session last week had 150 musicians and an audience of 500. 20 minutes before showtime I couldn't hear a thing through my cans. Only to find the jack was in the wrong socket.....
This brings back some memories: it was like 5 minutes before showtime. Plugged into the wrong socket as well!
Old 17th December 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Matti's Avatar
Maybe try this

Matti
Attached Thumbnails
Combining XY and AB-faulkner-tony-ab-ortf-array.jpg  
Old 17th December 2012
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
...Only to find the jack was in the wrong socket.....

Back to your midside choice. As midside tends to be a gentler image than xy
Can you expand a little, Rich, on what you intend by a "gentler image"? I'm unable to decide yet whether I agree or disagree. :-)

(and OT reminder from the terminology police: the word "jack' actually refers to the chassis socket part. You were inserting a plug - or a jackplug. Ach, most of the planet now says "jack'...maybe the very same guys who say "loose" instead of "lose". )
Old 18th December 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

I perceive, rightly or wrongly, that because the fig 8 points sideways, it picks up more room sound than cardioids pointing straight ahead, giving it a softer image.
Old 18th December 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matti View Post
Maybe try this

Matti
Yes, this one seems more popular too. Almost seems like xy is avoided whenever possible, which I understand if you only have two mics.....but when you have more I just wonder if xy could be the best partner for a pair of omnis. I am not getting may thumbs up on this thought, though! And howcome that illustration has got Tony Faulkner's name on it? Seems quite generic / obvious?
Old 18th December 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom McC View Post
(and OT reminder from the terminology police: the word "jack' actually refers to the chassis socket part. You were inserting a plug - or a jackplug. Ach, most of the planet now says "jack'...maybe the very same guys who say "loose" instead of "lose". )
OK ok....the jargon police are here
Old 18th December 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Matti's Avatar
It is from an interview of Tony

Matti
Old 18th December 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matti View Post
It is from an interview of Tony

Matti
Is it available to view online?
Old 18th December 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Matti's Avatar
At least it was, the link might be here somewhere -do a search with Faulkner as the key

Edit:

Here: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remot...ner-video.html

There are 2 videos mentioned, the pic is from the Rode one, I tend to remember

Cheers

Matti
Old 18th December 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
It is discussed here in this forum. I do not believe it was exactly as depicted in the picture.

I use a similar array, MS and omni's at the Williams recommened distance for what I am recording. It is compact and works quite well. I have done the ORTF + Williams spaced omnis with similar good results. I like it because it is on one mic stand (quick and easy), offers the spaciousness and bottom end of the omnis and has the localisation of the ORTF or MS. The ratio between omnis and center can be varied, of course.

I use a Sabra Som for the center array and have a carbon fiber rod attached to the Sabra Som for the omnis which I attach with a thin strip of gaffers tape.

Cheers
Old 18th December 2012
  #19
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
It is discussed here in this forum. I do not believe it was exactly as depicted in the picture.

I use a similar array, MS and omni's at the Williams recommened distance for what I am recording. It is compact and works quite well. I have done the ORTF + Williams spaced omnis with similar good results. I like it because it is on one mic stand (quick and easy), offers the spaciousness and bottom end of the omnis and has the localisation of the ORTF or MS. The ratio between omnis and center can be varied, of course.

I use a Sabra Som for the center arrary and have a carbon fiber rod attached to the Sabra Som for the omnis which I attach with a thin strip of gaffers tape.

Cheers
But you have avoided xy with spaced omnis?
Old 18th December 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
But you have avoided xy with spaced omnis?
Rich, "avoided" is a bit strong. I just never have used it. I have an XY mic and may try it. Thanks for the nudge.

Cheers


PS - the omnis are 4061's
Old 18th December 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
grrrayson's Avatar
 

The "ramifications" are the spaced omnis saving you from that characteristic narrow and boring XY sound. Do it!

I'm astonished how often I see good groups here being recorded with XY. The recordings like this I've heard do sound narrow as expected, too much so in my opinion for the musical situations referred to. C'est la vie.
Old 18th December 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
grrrayson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
"avoided" is a bit strong
I avoid it insistently (for ensemble main pair).
Old 18th December 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
I wish I had the confidence / time to experiment more. I spend most of my time panicking that the gear won't work. The last session last week had 150 musicians and an audience of 500. 20 minutes before showtime I couldn't hear a thing through my cans. Only to find the jack was in the wrong socket.....

Back to your midside choice. As midside tends to be a gentler image than xy, wouldn't you be looking for something a bit more incisive, knowing that spaced omnis would pick up the softer image?
Sometimes I have rushed panicked setups too, but it's not always that way. When I have an opportunity, I try to experiment. That being said, I haven't experimented with xy and omni flankers. Maybe it's a good idea in some circumstances!

I'm not sure I fully understand the "gentler image" comment. Do you mean "not precise stereo location information?".

-Tom
Old 18th December 2012
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Bibster's Avatar
 

Rich,

Do you mean by xy + AB something like (IIRC) you said about using xy as the cetner of a decca-tree?
Or more something in the style of the faulkner/boojum (again, IIRC) thinggy: A single 60/70 cm bar with NC pair (ORTF? ) in the middle and omni's at the ends?

I personally never tried xy on ensembles, to my (reduced) knowledge it's a single-instrument thing.

But then again, a H4n (send me the flames!) with 2 omnis on a manfrotto-bar. Batteries, no cables going down... I could be trying that this weekend!

Paul, not Fox, Mulder.
Old 18th December 2012
  #25
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
I'm not sure I fully understand the "gentler image" comment. Do you mean "not precise stereo location information?".

-Tom
I think that covers it too.....less precision, more wash.
Old 18th December 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibster View Post
Rich,

Do you mean by xy + AB something like (IIRC) you said about using xy as the cetner of a decca-tree?

A single 60/70 cm bar with NC pair (ORTF? ) in the middle and omni's at the ends?

I personally never tried xy on ensembles, to my (reduced) knowledge it's a single-instrument thing.
Paul, not Fox, Mulder.
I mean either of your first questions. I have a Manfrotto 3 mic 65cm bar that I used to sit the Soundfield in the middle and 2 omni flankers on the end.

Now that I no longer have the Soundfield I feel a touch exposed, as I could use it as an omni, xy, fig 8 or midside pair. When I used it on its own, I usually went for a fig 8 pair with about 70% emphasis on the front. When I used it with my omni flankers, I used it as an xy pair. So I guess I am trying to find a simple solution that would work in the way the Soundfield did when used with omnis. You have to bear in mind that I am not a pro, I am a £100 a day every now and again recordist. So the Soundfield was amazing in that I didn't need to worry about mic config as it always gave options later. Now I need to decide quickly at a session under pressure and with limited experience. So xy, although boring to some, seems safe in that if I judge the room reverb incorrectly, I can dial in more xy than omni.

I never tried ORTF as I always had the Soundfield, so ORTF was not an option on the free software. Is it not more washy and therefore closer to what I would get with a spaced pair of omnis?

I always felt the Soundfield lacked depth when used on its own regarldess of its config, as it is still 4 mics in one place, like XY - So I do understand why people avoid XY on its own for ensembles. Just not sure why people don't use it with spaced omnis....
Old 18th December 2012
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Bibster's Avatar
 

Well, you being a 100 quid-a-day bloke, I'd say get a superlux S502. I'll only cost you one day worth of pay.
Stick it op the manfrotter bar with two omnis.
Works like a treat, Boojum gets awesome results with this (sort of) array.
I'd say: do not hesitate to get closer than needed for the ORTF. Just a tad. Otherwise it's too far for the omnis, so yes, it might be washer.
(Wasn't there a thread about this array? We should revive it maybe..)

I even build a tiny box with xlr5 for the ORTF and 2x 30cm xlr3 for the omnis. Stick some Cat5 in the other end, straight into the other tiny box that goes with the H4n.
Getting the mics out of their boxes takes most time.

Lim(Setup-time-->0)

Last edited by Bibster; 18th December 2012 at 12:03 PM.. Reason: tijpous.
Old 18th December 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibster View Post
Well, you being a 100 quid-a-day bloke, I'd say get a superlux S502. I'll only cost you one day worth of pay.
Stick it op the manfrotter bar with two omnis.
Works like a treat, Boojum gets awesome results with this (sort of) array.
I'd say: do not hesitate to get closer than needed for the ORTF. Just a tad. Otherwise it's too far for the omnis, so yes, it might be washer.
(Wasn't there a thread about this array? We should revive it maybe..)

I even build a tiny box with xlr5 for the ORTF and 2x 30cm xlr3 for the omnis. Stick some Cat5 in the other end, straight into the other tiny box that goes with the H4n.
Getting the mics out of their boxes takes most time.

Lim(Setup-time-->0)
Any reliable American dealer for the Superlux S502?
Old 18th December 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 
richgilb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibster View Post
Well, you being a 100 quid-a-day bloke, I'd say get a superlux S502. I'll only cost you one day worth of pay.
Stick it op the manfrotter bar with two omnis.
Works like a treat, Boojum gets awesome results with this (sort of) array.
I'd say: do not hesitate to get closer than needed for the ORTF. Just a tad. Otherwise it's too far for the omnis, so yes, it might be washer.
(Wasn't there a thread about this array? We should revive it maybe..)

I even build a tiny box with xlr5 for the ORTF and 2x 30cm xlr3 for the omnis. Stick some Cat5 in the other end, straight into the other tiny box that goes with the H4n.
Getting the mics out of their boxes takes most time.

Lim(Setup-time-->0)
I already have a pair of Audix SCX-1 that I intend to use in the middle and I now have a K&M stereo bar to put in the middle.

I infer here that ORTF might be OK closer than XY might and might there fore work better with Omnis?
Old 18th December 2012
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Bibster's Avatar
 

Dunno how to relate XY to ORTF. Give it shot at your next gig?
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
NetworkAudio / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
19
bcgood / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
3
PT6.7UZR / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
6
velvetgeorge / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
17
tigeba / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
9

Forum Jump
Forum Jump