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Kudos to Mr. Straus... (DIY wide cardioid) Condenser Microphones
Old 9th October 2006
  #1
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Talking Kudos to Mr. Straus... (DIY wide cardioid)

Although I'd love to have a nice pair of wide cardioids (KM143 or MK21), I'm beginning to appreciate the DIY version of wide cardioid, the Straus packet, more and more.

My pairs of Neumann KM131 and Beyer MC-803 really cooperate well. And even if this requires two extra chanels of preamps and more space on my hard drive, it is nice to be able to adjust the balance after the recording, which isn't possible with wide cardioids... Taking the omnis as the base and adding a bit of more direct/present sound from the cardioids, thus creating something that is somewhere between omni and wide cardioid.

With something like an RME HDSP card, it's even possible to mix the signals prior to recording. Less flexibility, but also less disk space.

Here's a short sample of a live choir recording I made last weekend. KM131/MC803 Straus setup, L&R about 70 cm apart, with a touch of KM140 on the small continuo group. Preamp is RME Octamic D. Distance from the choir is about 6 m.

Daniel
Attached Files

geist.mp3 (3.42 MB, 2052 views)

Old 9th October 2006
  #2
do you have a picture for the "non classical music slut?"
Old 9th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post
do you have a picture for the "non classical music slut?"
Good point. Didn't have my camera with me, so here's a pic of a similar setup during another concert. Straus is essentially a combination of parallel cardioid and omni capsules, mixed together for the L&R channels of the main stereo pair. Mathematically, this creates a wide cardioid pattern, which is what e.g. Neumann KM143 and Schoeps MK21 are.
Attached Thumbnails
Kudos to Mr. Straus... (DIY wide cardioid)-straus.jpg  
Old 9th October 2006
  #4
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That's great - so simple and useful. I'm going to give that a try for sure.

Cheers!

Dave.
Old 9th October 2006
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SWR (South West German Radio) use setups likt that a lot. Mostly DPA omnis and KM140, I think.
Old 9th October 2006
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Originally Posted by pkautzsch View Post
SWR (South West German Radio) use setups likt that a lot. Mostly DPA omnis and KM140, I think.
I think a lot of german radio stations do... I often see Schoepses in such setups, too.
Old 9th October 2006
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Never seen Straus packets with BR though. They seem, however, to be REAL Schoeps freaks, using tons of RC1200s. The best-looking live recordings on earth. SWR have some DIY stuff that looks quite rustical.
Old 9th October 2006
  #8
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I'm digging this approach!

So how do you maintain a perfect 50/50 balance between the omni & cardioid mics, or do you do something else? How do you pan them for optimal reproduction?
Old 9th October 2006
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen View Post
So how do you maintain a perfect 50/50 balance between the omni & cardioid mics
I don't... heh
I guess that would only be required if I wanted to create the exact "wide cardioid" pattern mathematically... But I don't consider that an absolute must. I just add a bit of focus to the omnis with the cardioids, according to taste...

Quote:
How do you pan them for optimal reproduction?
Everything is panned hard L&R, an omni and a cardioid on each channel. The mix only takes place on the stereo channels individually, not between them.
Old 9th October 2006
  #10
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ive only done this one once, on a string ensemble. i need to try it again. the first time I was not impressed, all mid range, and lacking bass and highs.(esp. bass)
Old 9th October 2006
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.RayBullard View Post
ive only done this one once, on a string ensemble. i need to try it again. the first time I was not impressed, all mid range, and lacking bass and highs.(esp. bass)
This definitely shouldn't be happening... No lack of bass on the recordings I've made this way (I've even reduced the bass on the sample here a minute touch). What mics did you use?
Old 9th October 2006
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_fu View Post
This definitely shouldn't be happening... No lack of bass on the recordings I've made this way (I've even reduced the bass on the sample here a minute touch). What mics did you use?
schoeps MK4 and mk2s.
Old 11th October 2006
  #13
Thumbs up

I was lucky in the beginning of my career to work on about a dozen records with Volker Strauss. The normal setup for what was called a "Strauss Packet" was a KM84 cardoid and KM83 omni wired into a single mic preamp. We had these special adapter cables that wired the microphones in series, so the mixing happened passively. The cables were wired as follows:
Mic Pre>>Microphone
Pin 1 >>Pin 1 on both mics
Pin 2 >>Pin 2 on mic 1(Omni)
Pin 3 >>Pin 3 on mic 2 (Cardoid)
Pin 3 on Mic 1 is connected to Pin 2 on Mic 2

The thing to remember is that this only works with KM83 and 84's due to the very low phantom power current that these mics require and the fact that they have transformer coupled output.
The thing to remember is that once the KM-143 came into being, Volker never used the Packet again, AFAIK.
Philips even sold off ALL the KM 80 series mics and replaced them all with KM 100's.
All the best,
-mark
Old 11th October 2006
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
The thing to remember is that once the KM-143 came into being, Volker never used the Packet again, AFAIK.
Interesting... Eberhard Sengpiel mentions this fact, too. He also states that he never really used the setup as a main mic and that there is an obvious risk of high-frequency phase problems, due to the distance between the capsules (haven't personally noticed any, though).

Well, I know it may not be an ideal sollution, but AK43s are quite expensive new (and hard to find on ebay) and this solution allows me to add as much focus to the omnis' signal as I want...

Daniel
Old 2nd October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkautzsch View Post
SWR (South West German Radio) use setups likt that a lot. Mostly DPA omnis and KM140, I think.

Yes. From Stuttgart, few days ago.
Attached Thumbnails
Kudos to Mr. Straus... (DIY wide cardioid)-foto-243.jpg  
Old 2nd October 2011
  #16
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I have done the same thing by taping Sennheiser MKH8020 and 8040 together. I figured it out myself, but alas, no fame, somebody had done it already...

The recording test did turn out quite nice, an organ it was. In the end a plain AB pair of 8020 was preferred. For a small ensemble it might work better, and my Gefell M950 pair certainly does sound nice there.
Old 3rd October 2011
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I've thought of doing this before, just to have some different options captured if there isn't time for a proper soundcheck.

The reasoning I came up with for not trying it was that, especially with the cardioid mic, having another mic in such close proximity to the rear vents might cause some kind of bizarre reaction to its sound pickup. Has anyone noticed this while using the setup?

If I want the kind of control this setup offers you, I usually end up using the Faulkner-style 4-mic array. However, seeing that you all have enjoyed this setup, I will definitely keep it in mind going forward. It seems especially beneficial that you can use the same wide spacing for both pairs. Very cool!

Thanks for the post!
Old 3rd October 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
It seems especially beneficial that you can use the same wide spacing for both pairs. Very cool!
Therein lies a small problem: if you look at the "stereophonic zoom" paper you'll find out that to get the same capture angle that ORTF has, you have to place hypocardioids about 40 cm apart at the same 110 degree angle, not 17 cm. So, if you have to guarantee a good cardioid pickup, the mic array is too narrow for a good AB or hypocardioid pair. Conversly, if you are planning to use the synthesized hypocardioid pair or plain AB, you must have the mic pairs placed about 40 cm apart, which makes the plain cardioid pair too wide and stereo angle somewhat squashed. There is no free lunch here either.

http://www.rycote.com/images/uploads...honic_Zoom.pdf
Old 3rd October 2011
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I was thinking more like, if you are recording a pipe organ and want to set up 2 pairs, both being very wide and either parallel or at a very narrow angle out, this works perfectly.

I like that zoom article, but I find in practical application I prefer it to sound, as he would label it, exaggeratedly wide. So I tend to deviate from the equations in that article in favor of what sounds good to me.
Old 19th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Therein lies a small problem: if you look at the "stereophonic zoom" paper you'll find out that to get the same capture angle that ORTF has, you have to place hypocardioids about 40 cm apart at the same 110 degree angle, not 17 cm. So, if you have to guarantee a good cardioid pickup, the mic array is too narrow for a good AB or hypocardioid pair. Conversly, if you are planning to use the synthesized hypocardioid pair or plain AB, you must have the mic pairs placed about 40 cm apart, which makes the plain cardioid pair too wide and stereo angle somewhat squashed. There is no free lunch here either.

http://www.rycote.com/images/uploads...honic_Zoom.pdf
The "packet" approach works best in spaced (and parallel!) setups. That's what this thread is mainly about. The goal is to control the bass response and the amount of room with minimal effort and visual impact.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GIACOMO-_ View Post
Yes. From Stuttgart, few days ago.
Two interesting things here that are typical of that hall (Beethovensaal): the outriggers are TLM50s, and you can see the rear mics, sort of Hamasaki square, on that v-shaped bar in the upper part of the picture.
In addition, they often spot mic violas with Royer fig-8s to keep the brass out, strings usually are Schoeps or Neumann cardioids (here it's Schoeps, as the round bases at the stage lip tell us) and double basses will often get a few U89s.
Old 23rd October 2011
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Old 24th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Also used for solo classical piano (see at 2'39")

Murray Perahia - YouTube
There are 4 mic in the bar, is an M/S or for mix two different sound/color ?
Old 24th October 2011
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIACOMO-_ View Post
There are 4 mic in the bar, is an M/S or for mix two different sound/color ?
Or two different types of omnis or ...

It's drawing a long bow concluding it's a Straus Packet from such flimsy evidence.
Old 24th October 2011
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But isn't sticking the omnis and cardioids next to each other going to affect the polar pattern of the cardioids?
Old 24th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheikyearbouti View Post
But isn't sticking the omnis and cardioids next to each other going to affect the polar pattern of the cardioids?
It might, just slightly. The same thing happens with M/S, and nobody worries...

Mixing the omni and card will also make the possible slight distortion less prominent. I would not/do not worry about it.
Old 24th October 2011
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Or two different types of omnis or ...
It's drawing a long bow concluding it's a Straus Packet from such flimsy evidence.
By the look of the setup it is a Tritonus recording. Given that they are all Detmold Alum, it would most likely be a pair of Sennheiser MKH20/40 used like a paket.
All the best,
-mark
Old 17th October 2013
  #28
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Straus Packet KM83+M84 pictures

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
The normal setup for what was called a "Strauss Packet" was a KM84 cardoid and KM83 omni wired into a single mic preamp.
I tried to find Straus Packet pictures with google but to my surprise there are none of the original KM83/KM84 setup, so I decided to get my old KM's and make a few pictures. This is the setup that Volker Straus taught us in the mid 80's (conservatory The Hague, NL). He only liked Neumann, so any setup with other mics is a variation. He even "forbade" us to use Schoeps since he didn't like its sound. The packet was used either as a mono mic or as a stereo pair. He would e.g. use 4 stereo pairs and a wide KM83 AB pair for a string quartet. A total of 18 mics.
Attached Thumbnails
Kudos to Mr. Straus... (DIY wide cardioid)-straus_packet_single.jpg   Kudos to Mr. Straus... (DIY wide cardioid)-straus_packet_pair.jpg  
Old 17th October 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees de Visser View Post
I tried to find Straus Packet pictures with google but to my surprise there are none of the original KM83/KM84 setup, so I decided to get my old KM's and make a few pictures. This is the setup that Volker Straus taught us in the mid 80's (conservatory The Hague, NL). He only liked Neumann, so any setup with other mics is a variation. He even "forbade" us to use Schoeps since he didn't like its sound. The packet was used either as a mono mic or as a stereo pair. He would e.g. use 4 stereo pairs and a wide KM83 AB pair for a string quartet. A total of 18 mics.
I thought one half of the Strauss packet requires an omni. I don't see any omnis in these very nice photos.
Old 17th October 2013
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees de Visser View Post
I tried to find Straus Packet pictures with google but to my surprise there are none of the original KM83/KM84 setup, so I decided to get my old KM's and make a few pictures. This is the setup that Volker Straus taught us in the mid 80's (conservatory The Hague, NL). He only liked Neumann, so any setup with other mics is a variation. He even "forbade" us to use Schoeps since he didn't like its sound. The packet was used either as a mono mic or as a stereo pair. He would e.g. use 4 stereo pairs and a wide KM83 AB pair for a string quartet. A total of 18 mics.
That's some very cool info Kees! Thanks for sharing!

Can you elaborate a bit on the spacing of these pairs? Was there a rigid, standard spacing for these "spot" pairs, or would it depend on the situation? Also, how typically would one balance and pan all of these pairs into a cohesive sound? Also (sorry for so many questions) do you have any favorite reference recordings that feature this technique?

Thanks so much!

Kevin B
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