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Faulkner Arrays! Condenser Microphones
Old 21st May 2012
  #1
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Faulkner Arrays!

Pic's from Friday night in St. John's Cathedral, Denver, using both variations of Tony's Phased Arrays. I've had a very nice e-mail conversation with him over the last 2 weeks.

The 4 mic is on a 80cm bar, with (2) DPA 4003 omni's w/40mm APE's @ 67cm and (2) 4012 cardioids in ORTF @ 110deg./17cm. The parallel array has 2 sets of ribbon mic's on it @ 20cm spacing for comparison: The Superlux R102 mkII active ribbon (1.8 micron, active out to 18Khz) and the Recording Tools MRP-01 (also 1.8 micron, but passive to 18Khz). I will post clips after mix down for comparison.
Attached Thumbnails
Faulkner Arrays!-cimg2643.jpg   Faulkner Arrays!-cimg2645.jpg   Faulkner Arrays!-cimg2648.jpg   Faulkner Arrays!-cimg2649.jpg   Faulkner Arrays!-cimg2650.jpg  

Faulkner Arrays!-cimg2652.jpg  
Old 21st May 2012
  #2
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You must be hunting some pretty big game with all that firepower. How do you like your ribbons? I see that more and more ribbons are coming to market at very affordable prices. What is the sound like.

Nice setup, BTW. I have used a similar array starting with the Williams omni spacing and plunking an ORTF or MS in the middle. Seeing Faulkner's approach makes me think that the center array would allow greater omni spacing. I'd love to get a report of how it went.
Old 21st May 2012
  #3
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Bibster's Avatar
 

Interesting.

I feel strangely attracted to the 4 mic thing...

And the 'real' Faulkner array with the 8's as well, but me not owning a pair of ribbons/8's

My question is: How far (relatively) do you place the 4-mic array? Let me explain a bit further: I recently used the same setup, but found that the ORTF was OK, but the omni's were too much in the diffuse field already, hence I couldn't quite use them, IMHO. (Please see my thread https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remot...-do-about.html )

Should one place this array a bit 'too close' for the ORTF? Or is it just not 'the thing to use' in very reverberant spaces?

Would like to try again next Saturday with the choir, so...

Paul
Old 21st May 2012
  #4
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

I was having a chat with Tony this past weekend about the phased arrays and how they came about.

With the 4-mic. array, he did say that you could go further back with it.
Old 21st May 2012
  #5
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Blimey, why am I such a thread-jacker?

Anyways, John, that sounds counter-intuitive to me... But than there's those pairs working together, phased-array (Phased array - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) sort of thing? should that make it more focused on the center?

Is there any more detailed info about the how and whatnots of this beast?

Paul
Old 21st May 2012
  #6
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one more for more info on this. I thought a faulkner array is 2 fig-8s spaced 30cm. I ve tried it once and had a likable result.

Never knew of a 4 mic variation
Old 21st May 2012
  #8
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by stereo type View Post
one more for more info on this. I thought a faulkner array is 2 fig-8s spaced 30cm. I ve tried it once and had a likable result.

Never knew of a 4 mic variation
Tony developed two arrays that thend o be called the Faulkner Array.

The fist was 20cm spaced parallel fig-8s and is the "official" Faulkner Array.

The other is a pair of ORTF cardioids with a pair of omni outriggers at about 60cm spacing for the omnis, I think. Tony told me you can go further away with this - I think the omnis are quite low in the mix.
Old 21st May 2012
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Tony developed two arrays that thend o be called the Faulkner Array.

The fist was 20cm spaced parallel fig-8s and is the "official" Faulkner Array.

The other is a pair of ORTF cardioids with a pair of omni outriggers at about 60cm spacing for the omnis, I think. Tony told me you can go further away with this - I think the omnis are quite low in the mix.
67cm, according to his inteview on YouTube, John. The level of the omni's is dependant on the room and ensemble. I usually have them 3dB down from the ORTF pair. Yes, I go about 3m farther back when I use it.

I envy you having face time with him! He's a very kind and unique person.
Old 21st May 2012
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Tony told me you can go further away with this - I think the omnis are quite low in the mix.
Does this (implicitly) mean that when using this array (ORTF + 60[ish] OMNI), the ORTF on it's own will sound 'too far away', the omni (maybe) 'too close by', yet when properly mixed together, it will sound 'just right' ?

I keep pushing here, as this is what I did the other day with the choir, but I did not manage to get it 100% ok. Maybe because the ORTF on it's own sounded good (enough) ? thus the whole array being 'too close' !?

(I can host the files if one would like to try it)

Paul (Getting maybe to scientific an approach here? I should listen, not measure distances and do calculus!)
Old 21st May 2012
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Tony developed two arrays that thend o be called the Faulkner Array.

The fist was 20cm spaced parallel fig-8s and is the "official" Faulkner Array.

The other is a pair of ORTF cardioids with a pair of omni outriggers at about 60cm spacing for the omnis, I think. Tony told me you can go further away with this - I think the omnis are quite low in the mix.
I still like to think of the latter as the Boojum/JNorman array!

But, Tenor, thanks very much for sharing - I've been experimenting with this combo and it seems like a pretty great and flexible option. I'll look forward to hearing the clips from your nice-looking setup!

I used something very similar (with a DIN pair rather than ORTF) a couple of months ago for a performance that had pieces with many different combinations of instruments (solo piano, piano + strings, large string ensemble, small string ensemble in different position, piano + accordion, etc.). I was able to optimize the omni-card ratio for each during mixdown, and both the client and I were very pleased with the results.
Old 21st May 2012
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibster View Post
Does this (implicitly) mean that when using this array (ORTF + 60[ish] OMNI), the ORTF on it's own will sound 'too far away', the omni (maybe) 'too close by', yet when properly mixed together, it will sound 'just right' ?
I use this setup now as standard, and would say it's the other way around - in the 'optimal position' for the array, the ORTF on it's own would sound a little too close and the Omnis on their own a little too far. I start with the ORTF (usually Schoeps MK4s) and then use the Omnis (8020s) to 'pull back and widen out' a bit. In fact I track all four as well as the live mix so I can change my mind later! Tony F was probably suggesting the four-mic array could be used further back from the source than the two-fig-8 array, probably due to the greater 'reach' of the ORTF pair, tempered by the Omnis.
Old 21st May 2012
  #13
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Nobilmente's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibster View Post
Does this (implicitly) mean that when using this array (ORTF + 60[ish] OMNI), the ORTF on it's own will sound 'too far away', the omni (maybe) 'too close by', yet when properly mixed together, it will sound 'just right' ?

I keep pushing here, as this is what I did the other day with the choir, but I did not manage to get it 100% ok. Maybe because the ORTF on it's own sounded good (enough) ? thus the whole array being 'too close' !?

(I can host the files if one would like to try it)

Paul (Getting maybe to scientific an approach here? I should listen, not measure distances and do calculus!)

I use this set up very often, and, depending on the room/ensemble etc., either have the omnis to dominate or the ORTF. If the omnis dominate, I tend to narrow the distance between them slightly. Most often though, it is the ORTF pair that take the lead with the omnis added to taste. This really does vary on what is coming over the monitors.
Old 21st May 2012
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njrsound View Post
I start with the ORTF (usually Schoeps MK4s) and then use the Omnis (8020s) to 'pull back and widen out' a bit.
Not to hijack the thread, but how do you like that combination (Schoeps cards and 8020s)?

I'm about to pop for a good pair of omnis and (because I like this array a lot) am thinking about various combos of cards and omnis. I do like the "Schoeps sound," but have been wondering whether it would be better to have it on the omnis or the cards. I tried a pair of 8020s on my last recording and liked them a lot. But I also liked the DPA 4006 pair and the Mk2S pair that I've tried....as always, I suppose, the answer is to get all of them, but one has to start somewhere!
Old 21st May 2012
  #15
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Hi DCtoDaylight.
Well, I started with 4006s as the Omnis and I prefer the 8020s, warmer or more LF. More 'Schoeps-like', maybe, though I don't own Schoeps omnis. Schoeps as the ORTF is what I have, but I'm about to buy a pair of 8040s so will be sure to give them a try as soon as I do. For Cathedral Choir coverage for broadcast I've used KM185 hypercardioids as the ORTF pair (at 90 degrees/ 17cm) which worked well too, and gives you a huge 'zoom range' for a given stand / hanging position by altering the balance between ORTF and Omnis.
Old 21st May 2012
  #16
Not to be "that guy" but didn't Mr. Faulkner say he liked the combination specifically of the Schoeps MK2 and MK21 capsules spaced at ~66, ~44 cm respectively?

I have tried these 4 mic arrays (ORTF or NOS + AB) a half dozen times on different orchestras and different combinations of mics, but I am not thrilled with the results. Still prefer two mics in the center with outriggers. Maybe the Schoeps has something special in the specific combination.
Old 21st May 2012
  #17
Old 21st May 2012
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njrsound View Post
Hi DCtoDaylight.
Well, I started with 4006s as the Omnis and I prefer the 8020s, warmer or more LF. More 'Schoeps-like', maybe, though I don't own Schoeps omnis. Schoeps as the ORTF is what I have, but I'm about to buy a pair of 8040s so will be sure to give them a try as soon as I do. For Cathedral Choir coverage for broadcast I've used KM185 hypercardioids as the ORTF pair (at 90 degrees/ 17cm) which worked well too, and gives you a huge 'zoom range' for a given stand / hanging position by altering the balance between ORTF and Omnis.
Thanks for the input! I definitely agree about the 8020s being warmer than the 4006s, although I felt like they also have some of the transparency of the DPA (the fast diaphragm maybe?). They really are a nice mic, especially for the price.
Old 21st May 2012
  #19
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When I run my attempts at this array I have my omni's at the Williams chart spacing for omnis, ~40cm, and an ORTF or MS between them. And, as others do, I balance one array against the other depending upon the room and the group. The ORTF/MS does give you more reach than the omnis would have on their own. With the MS there is an advantage of being able to play with that soundstage, too. But ORTF is so forgiving and so good it will always work.

I started with this array recording a band I like but which I could not spot mic. What I needed was basically an archival technique that was quick and easy, forgiving, and presented minimal sight line intrusion. This succeeds. It works at a 4' to 5' level and also up overhead above the conductor in a chorale presentation. It is not the "be all and end all" but it does work well in a lot of situations. I will try a wider omni width. I think I will put three up, two at 40 cm and the third at 67cm so I can compare. That will be down the road a bit.

Cheers

PS - the band which provided the impetus is the wonderful Freak Mountain Ramblers, America's best bar band.

PPS - What started me on this assemblage was the Eargle array of ORTF in the center with flanking omnis at about half the distance from center stage to the stage edge. I saw that Williams spec'ed omni's close together, as is the custom in Europe, so I thought I would try it that way. It is two mic stands easier than Eargle's technique. I have not compared the two methods, however.

Last edited by boojum; 22nd May 2012 at 02:02 AM.. Reason: punctuation
Old 22nd May 2012
  #20
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Back briefly to Faulkner arrays ...

Last year I compared a Faulkner (MkI) pair of C414B-ULS with my usual C426B (90 degree hypercardioids) as main pair in an orchestral gig (both pairs through a BG2). (Also using outrigger omnis and wood spots as required). The objective was to see if the parallel fig-8s could be useful in controlling reflections in a large conventional "shoe-box" traditional hall from parallel side walls, wooden floor and concave roof arch (slap echo is fairly fierce and muddying). Using the C426B in Blumlein/M-S Blumlein had not proven useful in the past.

The effect on orchestral balance was noticeable with an increased focus on centre strings, requiring less use of the wood spots and more of the outriggers. (Tony has also noted that M-S processing to increase the S-component and hence width can help the otherwise narrower stereo image.) The definition of the sound improved but what the fig-8s also emphasised was the echo from the rear of the hall, just far enough away to be clearly heard as a separate event. Swings and roundabouts ... The final mix used the C426B.

Tony admits that it is not an everyday technique, but is to be considered where other approaches do not work. It did not appeared suited to this particular environment, but may well work on a different sized band, or other more benign environments (getting further back from a quartet or chamber ensemble). But it will always be on the list for trial ...
Old 22nd May 2012
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenor39 View Post
T.F. - "I was a sort of 'Gearslutz' annoying teenager living at home..."
I had to laugh at this quote! Funny but not accurate. I'm sure some of us are middle aged, thank you.
Getting to the phased array - he references MK21's for the ORTF, even the graphic uses the wide cardioid pattern. Did you notice more pull with 4011's? Did you try a 4021 for the ORTF? I'm wondering how critical it is that the center pair be a wide card ORTF.
Old 22nd May 2012
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
T.F. - "I was a sort of 'Gearslutz' annoying teenager living at home..."
I had to laugh at this quote! Funny but not accurate. I'm sure some of us are middle aged, thank you.
Getting to the phased array - he references MK21's for the ORTF, even the graphic uses the wide cardioid pattern. Did you notice more pull with 4011's? Did you try a 4021 for the ORTF? I'm wondering how critical it is that the center pair be a wide card ORTF.
I will get my hands on a 4015/16 pair in the next few months and let you know. I'm guessing I might get a better center image with the wide cards, but even Tony would say that experimentation is the key. It worked very well with my 4012's (HV version of 4011) and I have used it with my 4021's in their dedicated ORTF mount with good results.
Old 22nd May 2012
  #23
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My experience is that 4015s are better suited as main pair and in this sort of rig. 4011s and 4006s are trickier to blend and end up being too close for the cards and too far away for the omnis. 4015 is just right.

I'd love to try the MK21 also.
Old 22nd May 2012
  #24
Variations of the 4 mic system have become my go-to for discrete/live/limited-soundcheck-time situations with ensembles. I find it works better the closer the inner pair are to the outer pair, as the time difference between the inner and out mic on either side is less (As TF describes, the inner pair are spaced much further apart than the ORTF spec, wider even than the NOS spec!)

So for example, I was recording string quartet in a very live hall. So I set it up with the inner pair as a slightly wider NOS with regular cardioids and then used wide cards about 2cm out on each side for the outer pair. Worked like a dream!

In my experience, It's been a very flexible concept and lends itself well to many situations.
Old 22nd May 2012
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenor39 View Post

Thanks Tenor, I didn't know about this.

The man is so full of common sense, that's so refreshing in itself. It's noticeable too amongst musicians, many of the most capable are willing to share ideas and techniques, without thought of financial gain. We have Plush and other engineers on here who pass on ideas that would take a lot of trial and error to arrive at.

Perhaps Gearslutz ought to strike a particular gong for this sort of thing!
Old 23rd May 2012
  #26
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The Faulkner Youtube interview is priceless. Especially when he mentions the TASCAM DR-680, which is my go-to recorder! (Just beginning my location recording journey...)
Old 23rd May 2012
  #27
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Tony Faulkner's "4-microphone array"

As Tony described this to me a few years ago, at that time he was using a pair of Schoeps subcardioids (MK21) 47 cm apart, flanked on the same bar with a pair of Schoeps omnis (MK2) 67 cm apart. All the mics are aimed outward (30-45 degrees) and a bit downward into the orchestra.

About four years ago, we began using this four-microphone center array with a pair of omni flankers (probably 3 or 4 meters to each side of center) as our standard center array for recording symphonic performances at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. It has been very successful there. We lead with the omnis in the center (we use MK2S capsules with some HF lift) with the MK21 subcardioids about 4-6 dB lower. However, if a solo in the woodwind section needs a little lift, and we don't have separate WW mics in place, we ride up the subcardioids 2-4 dB and that works very well.

This symphony hall is quite live and reverberant and the center array usually is hung over the first (or second) row of seats, about 2-3 meters behind the conductor's podium. Height is typically 3-3.5 meters above the stage floor.

We tried this array initially with a pair of the wonderful Josephson C617 omnis and, for whatever reason, it did not work as well with the MK21 capsules as it does with the Schoeps MK2S capsules. Rather than continue to experiment, we simply took Tony's direction and put Schoeps across the bar and that works very well.
Old 24th May 2012
  #28
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After doing some extensive 'net research, it seems that the ORTF cardioid version is for closer up and the 47cm sub cardioid is for farther away. That makes complete sense.
Old 24th May 2012
  #29
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There's an interesting paper by Williams (an 1992 AES publication) available here, which throws new possible light onto an alternate dual mic pair, this time involving low passing an omni pair at 700Hz and high passing an ORTF pair at the same frequency, and then combining their outputs.
"Frequency Dependent Hybrid Microphone Arrays for Stereophonic Sound Recording" is the paper and you can find it here: http://www.mmad.info/Collected%20Pap...2%20pages).pdf

The thinking seems to be that, although the omni pair and ORTF pair are going to pick up differing ratios of direct to ambient sound, in practice these can be minimized (same goes for the stereo recording angle) I'm not clear on the intended spacing of the omni pair...in the diagram on page 9 of the paper they seem to be 'outrigger' type of distances...but that might be for illustration purposes only ? If discussion on this blows out, we may have to create a new "FDH Mic Array" thread....

It's an easy-ish read...about 8 pages with the remainder taken up with supporting graphs. So it represents a precursor to the Tony Faulkner (boojum/norman) array..or maybe that's where Tony got the idea from ?
I wonder whether, because of the 700Hz rolloff, the 2 pairs of mics would necessarily have to be carefully matched in terms of output, so as to avoid any dip or hole at that frequency ? Has anyone tried something like this ?
Old 24th May 2012
  #30
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oops, sorry that central pair is coincident, not ORTF...but there are examples of uses of hyper, hypo as well as regular cardioids for the centre pair and at various angles, in the various graphs at the end of the paper.
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