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Royer Users Ribbon Microphones
Old 12th March 2014
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I am posting a short clip (Is It True What They Say About Dixie?) from the nosebleed venue. Understand that this is a VFW hall on a Monday when they serve up cheap burgers and music. Some musicians are good, some are better. It is almost always fun. This was in April, 2012, and the crowd was pretty loud that night. The mic is centered over the table that the guys sit around to play. It is Blumlein MS with Back and Right mics phase inverted.

I did not buy the mic new but in new condition from a board member who gave me a good deal on a good mic. The mic is out on loan now and you know it will be a happy day when it shows up on my doorstep again.
Nice! Wish I was there.
Old 12th March 2014
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I am posting a short clip (Is It True What They Say About Dixie?) from the nosebleed venue. Understand that this is a VFW hall on a Monday when they serve up cheap burgers and music. Some musicians are good, some are better. It is almost always fun. This was in April, 2012, and the crowd was pretty loud that night. The mic is centered over the table that the guys sit around to play. It is Blumlein MS with Back and Right mics phase inverted.

I did not buy the mic new but in new condition from a board member who gave me a good deal on a good mic. The mic is out on loan now and you know it will be a happy day when it shows up on my doorstep again.
Nice! Wish I was there.
Old 12th March 2014
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonare View Post
Here is a track the utilizes the SF12 for choral mains and SF24 for brass. The 12 was amped with Pueblo Audio pres (along with the CMC62 outriggers). All other mics went into Broadhurst Gardens or the built-in RME pres. The 24 is peeking over the top of the gobo.

Rich
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...20Faithful.mp3



Rich, that sounds great! Wish I was there also.
Thanks for posting clips. Keep them coming.
Old 13th March 2014
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Hmmm, let's have a look at this.



But with a Blumlein mic like the subject of this thread you cannot separate the front and back lobes into 4 separate channels.

If you add the "left" fig 8 to its reverse phase you get nothing, if you add it to the reversed phase right fig 8 you get a rotated array which still has to be combined with the main signals.

Not sure I can see how a Blumlein mic can ever get surround anything. All you can ever do is have two in-phase 90deg fields of view that are opposite to each other positionally and opposite phase. If you put anything in the two out of phase quadrants you will get nonsense.
Please check the track posted in #23. That is a DS 60 with the front lobes "as is" and the back lobes phase inverted. If the back lobe is not inverted the mic acts as a mono mic. Just as in MS where the fig8 right channel is phase inverted so it is in Blumlein. Likewise the other fig8 in the Blumlein, which is just crossed fig8's. "Just" sort of demeans this array. It was a brilliant piece of engineering by a brilliant engineer.

Your idea that one side of the ribbon will cancel the other is true providing that each side hears the same thing. Otherwise you get the difference and sum. When the Blumlein is in the center of a circle, as in post #23, it hears in four directions. The glockenspiel at right front will not cancel the Sousaphone in left rear. Nor will the nose whistle in left front cancel the washboard in right rear. They will all appear as separate and distinct instruments. But no banjos. They cancel everything.
Old 13th March 2014
  #35
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No banjos...? NO BANJOS...?

I'm outa here...

:-)

HB
Old 13th March 2014
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
A very confused and misleading graphic to be sure. What do the arrows mean exactly. Why three arrows on R-122.

Here is one scenario.

Two loud singers at L and R of one of the in-phase quadrants, this puts the soft singer in the centre of the other in-phase quadrant, but out of phase with the first. This then puts the Cajon in an out of phase quadrant, and god knows what the R-122 is doing.

Nothing else seems to make sense. One wonders if anyone vetted that graphic before publishing on a website. People will be scratching heads.
Definitely not a good graphic, but this is basically how it was done if I remember correctly. The person that recorded it was one of my mentors and he explained it to me.

Royer mic positioned vertically and about 4 feet high or so. Two singers were dead on the left and right positive sides of the microphone. The third singer was in the center position of the negative side of the mic (ie right in the center between the two ribbon patterns). Performer were instructed that they if they saw the other side of the microphone, they were to move back into their original position (to avoid the phase and image issues if they were going into both positive and negative sides of the mic).

I can't remember exactly how the Cajon was dealt with. My recollection is something to the effect of that it was sitting on the floor away from the mains in the mono position (either between the two players or by the third singer on the negative side). There was a second royer mic (an R122) positioned on it to give just a slight bit of presence on that instrument. As memory serves, it was actually only used on a single tune- all the others were just singing, guitars and such from the 3 positions.

--Ben
Old 13th March 2014
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Please check the track posted in #23. That is a DS 60 with the front lobes "as is" and the back lobes phase inverted. If the back lobe is not inverted the mic acts as a mono mic. Just as in MS where the fig8 right channel is phase inverted so it is in Blumlein. Likewise the other fig8 in the Blumlein, which is just crossed fig8's. "Just" sort of demeans this array. It was a brilliant piece of engineering by a brilliant engineer.

Your idea that one side of the ribbon will cancel the other is true providing that each side hears the same thing. Otherwise you get the difference and sum. When the Blumlein is in the center of a circle, as in post #23, it hears in four directions. The glockenspiel at right front will not cancel the Sousaphone in left rear. Nor will the nose whistle in left front cancel the washboard in right rear. They will all appear as separate and distinct instruments. But no banjos. They cancel everything.
Boojum, I suspect the confusion in this thread may have arisen because people took you to be manipulating the rear lobe of a _real_ Fig8 mic , whereas it in essence concerned the rear lobe of a _virtual_ Fig8 pattern obtained when two independent capsules are combined.

Your Pearl mic has four independent capsules (~cardioid), so it might have been clearer to have described things in terms like "manipulating the strength and polarity of the rear-pointing cardioid capsules".

The main thing to be kept in mind through all this is that when two identical, non-omnidirectional mics of _any_ pattern (subcardioid, cardioid, supercardioid...even Fig8) are placed coincident, 180° back-two-back, and combined equal level, you get:

- always an Omni, when the mics are combined with identical polarity

- always a Fig8, when the mics are combined, one with inverted polarity

The only change along the series: subcardioid >cardioid>... is in the intensity of the resultant Omni or Fig8. (Of course, combining at disparate levels will yield intermediate patterns.)

With performers arranged all around an array of two real Fig8's, one can certainly make a good (stereo) recording. But one can't really inflate it to genuine full surround sound because there are fewer "degrees of freedom" than what one gets from four independent capsules. A mic can't be "over-milked" for more data than it contains; for instance, it's mathematically impossible to chop the Fig8's "+ve / -ve blob pattern" into separate manipulatable "+ve blob" and "-ve blob" entities. (A feat akin to trying to solve two algebraic simultaneous equations for four unknowns...or to tugging your shoelaces to lift yourself off the ground.) Reversing the polarity of a Fig8 mic doesn't create out of thin air a "new" independent mic channel, to be used in a daw. One can't defend it being a valid new mic on the reasoning that its +ve lobe now aims at a different part of the auditorium (e.g. audience)...for its equal-weight -ve rear lobe always comes along for the ride.

But with your Pearl mic that above constraint doesn't pertain...as you well knew...but might in retrospect have emphasized more?
Old 13th March 2014
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom McC View Post
With performers arranged all around an array of two real Fig8's, one can certainly make a good (stereo) recording.
No. I am arguing that this is not possible. You can only use the two in-phase quadrants, the other 180 deg total cannot be used for stereo.

You cannot place performers in a circle around a fig 8 and get a good stereo recording.
Old 13th March 2014
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
When the Blumlein is in the center of a circle, as in post #23, it hears in four directions. The glockenspiel at right front will not cancel the Sousaphone in left rear.
No, but the left channel being out of phase with the right channel will produce nonsense. Doesn't matter what type of source is sitting between them.
Old 13th March 2014
  #40
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Sorry David. Not to be blunt, but you're wrong. It's completely possible and was done a lot before there were heavy multi-mic techniques. The Wailin' Jennies recording is a perfect example of what is possible with performers on both sides of the mic. Phase is a relative thing. If one performer is out of absolute polarity, it won't be heard as long as it isn't being picked up by the other side of the mic. The phase issues when dealing with ribbons are only related to bleed problems when a signal is picked up by both positive *and* negative sides of a mic.

--Ben
Old 13th March 2014
  #41
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Performers sitting at the sides of a Blumlein array will be recorded correctly, but will be played back with opposite polarties in L and R loudspeaker.

In optimal listening conditions in the sweet spot, this will sound awkward, especially if the recording was done in a dry room, and the exact -90 and +90 degree spots were occupied.

However, in real life, the end result could be not bad at all. Tonally, balance wise and even imaging could be better than one might suspect.

In any case, I have heard genuine AB (with only omnis) recordings, with AB (omni) spots that produced MASSIVE out of phase imaging. Truly unlistenable. I would prefer listening to a Blumlein placed sideways any day.

As a last note, how many of us have never been fooled by a loudspeaker connected with the wrong polarity (especially in suboptimal conditions), only to find out after an hour or a days work that something is wrong ?

I a not convinced that this "misuse" of the Blumlein would produce overy exaggerated in-the-head imaging. I am also not convinced that the artefacts would always be bigger than using another stereo array, possibly with some necessary spot mics.

So, if it works, why not ?
Old 13th March 2014
  #42
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However, when you play back in mono, balance problems should arise.
Old 13th March 2014
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
Sorry David. Not to be blunt, but you're wrong. It's completely possible and was done a lot before there were heavy multi-mic techniques. The Wailin' Jennies recording is a perfect example of what is possible with performers on both sides of the mic. Phase is a relative thing. If one performer is out of absolute polarity, it won't be heard as long as it isn't being picked up by the other side of the mic. The phase issues when dealing with ribbons are only related to bleed problems when a signal is picked up by both positive *and* negative sides of a mic.

--Ben
Ben, please read carefully. I am saying that sources can be in the two opposite 90 deg "In-phase quadrants" (call them north south) but NOT in the east west quadrants as these are out of phase, ie left channel is out of phase with the right channel.

As I said above, I recorded ten tenors, five on each side of a blumlein array, but they HAVE to be inside the two 90 deg views.

Have a look at the graphic I posted.
Old 13th March 2014
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
Performers sitting at the sides of a Blumlein array will be recorded correctly, but will be played back with opposite polarties in L and R loudspeaker.

In optimal listening conditions in the sweet spot, this will sound awkward, especially if the recording was done in a dry room, and the exact -90 and +90 degree spots were occupied.
It sounds a lot worse than "awkward" if you have good loudpspeakers or headphones.

Quote:
However, in real life, the end result could be not bad at all. Tonally, balance wise and even imaging could be better than one might suspect.

In any case, I have heard genuine AB (with only omnis) recordings, with AB (omni) spots that produced MASSIVE out of phase imaging. Truly unlistenable. I would prefer listening to a Blumlein placed sideways any day.
Respectfully disagree here. Side quadrant Blumlein sounds a hell of a lot worse than spaced omnis.

Quote:
As a last note, how many of us have never been fooled by a loudspeaker connected with the wrong polarity (especially in suboptimal conditions), only to find out after an hour or a days work that something is wrong?
Well I must be super-sensitive to phase problems because it never fools me. I go to peoples places and they play their stereo and I can hear straight away. Except of course if they are playing a surround Blumlein recording, then its fine of course.

Quote:
So, if it works, why not ?
But it doesn't.
Old 13th March 2014
  #45
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It all becomes very hard when one has to use folk-law (sic) instead of science to discover how things behave.

If we are talking about a microphone technique that aims to use two figure-eight patterns at 90 degrees to each other to make a stereo recording, then only two of the four quadrants formed by the axes (that's one axis, two axes) will generate the same polarity in both channels. The other two, to a greater or lesser degree, will generate signals of the opposite polarity in the two channels. These will combine destructively either in a listening room or when electrically combined to mono.

Now in terms of an acceptable 'recording' from sounds in the latter two quadrants, it depends on a few things. Some listeners (including the sub-class, producers) like the phasiness and 'enlarged image' that out of phase results produce, especially if it is varied. (Remember flangeing?) But more discriminating listeners tend not to. A Blumlein recording will always contain 'out of phase' components from the sound from the 'sides'; the usual object is to ensure that these sounds are not highly correlated (eg., reverb from side walls) and not musically significant.

Also, the dividing lines between the 'in-phase' and 'out-of-phase' quadrants are not hard and fast. If you remember the old '3 to 1' rule, basically this said that if the 'interfering sound was 10dB less than the wanted sound, that was acceptable. So if the angle of the source is such that the signal from the 'negative polarity' mic is 10dB less, then maybe the degree of cancellation is sufficiently low to be acceptable. This means that sources outside the plus/minus 45 dgree lines may still be fine. However, sources at plus/minus 90 degrees will not.

Acceptable sound is in the ear of the beholder. But it is well known that for figure 8 stereo, you avoid placing sound sources at the sides of a fig-8 stereo array; "that way be dragons!" Any effect may be used on artistic grounds, but lets not throw the science baby out with the bathroom echo bathwater.
Old 14th March 2014
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
No. I am arguing that this is not possible. You can only use the two in-phase quadrants, the other 180 deg total cannot be used for stereo.

You cannot place performers in a circle around a fig 8 and get a good stereo recording.
We actually agree on this, David! My brief remark was, alas, open to misinterpretation - ironic, as I'd been cheekily implying a lack of clarity from others.

For I wasn't addressing situations with performers spread evenly through all the sectors of the 360° circle. For me it's a "given" - that I assumed was common knowledge to everyone? - that one should avoid important stuff getting located in the two ambiophonic L- and R-sectors. I've done enough Blumlein recordings (plus array-testing "walkarounds") to have a pretty good handle on what happens when performers stray into those two "Bermuda triangles": with occasional luck, such sounds may come over as diffuse, ethereal, pleasant; more often, though, it just results in something queasy, unfocussed and unsatisfying.

With the above proviso's in place, it's possible to come away with a reasonable stereo recording, even when performers are behind the array. I'd originally plumped for a wording "reasonable" (in the sense of acceptable or enjoyable), but upgraded it to "good", as I was terrified of getting hate mail from Rolo. :-)

The main thrust of my previous post, though, was merely that one can't do a multiple repurposing of the two signals from a pure dipole pair in order to gain extra channels, generate additional imaging information and get access to genuine surround sound. Even if one sidesteps the obvious ambiophonic pitfalls, a Blumlein pair recording has certain baked-in signatures (resistant to any amount of manipulation in post) that disqualify it from being a true to the auditorium snapshot. For instance, if you record four musicians: "1", "2", "3" and "4", sited at respective locations: "11 o'clock", "1 o'clock", "5-30" and "6--30", then the stereo playback image location - progressing from Left to Right speaker - would not be in the sequence "1" -> "4" -> "3" -> "2" (as, say, a Jeckin Disk would deliver), but would be "1" -> "3" -> "4"-> "2". Moreover with "3" and "4" sounds always polarity-inverted w.r.t. those from "1" and "2' (i.e. speaker cones suckin' when they otta be pumpin').
Old 14th March 2014
  #47
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Hi Tom,

Thanks for the clarification and additional comments.

Quote:
For me it's a "given" - that I assumed was common knowledge to everyone? - that one should avoid important stuff getting located in the two ambiophonic L- and R-sectors.
Well not according to this thread, hence my banging on the tin can about how wrong performers in a circle around a Blumlein pair is for surround but particularly for stereo. But the myth seems to pervade the airwaves. 180 deg of the rotational area around a Blumlein pair cannot be used.

Quote:
With the above proviso's in place, it's possible to come away with a reasonable stereo recording, even when performers are behind the array.
Yes, agreed and as I said I got a great result with five tenors each side of a Blumlein pair, beautiful blend and fantastic stereo image.
The Ten Tenors - Colours CD, Male Vocal | CD Online
Old 14th March 2014
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
You cannot place performers in a circle around a fig 8 and get a good stereo recording.
Bruce Swedien thinks you can!

"I also used the Blumlein technique on the Andre Crouch Choir for the song 'Man in the Mirror' on Michael [Jackson]'s Bad album ... When I recorded the choir on 'Man in the Mirror' with Quincy and Michael, I had the choir stand in a circle about 20 to 30 feet in diameter, around the two microphones."
Old 14th March 2014
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peller View Post
Bruce Swedien thinks you can!
Must be right then.
Old 15th March 2014
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Ben, please read carefully. I am saying that sources can be in the two opposite 90 deg "In-phase quadrants" (call them north south) but NOT in the east west quadrants as these are out of phase, ie left channel is out of phase with the right channel.

As I said above, I recorded ten tenors, five on each side of a blumlein array, but they HAVE to be inside the two 90 deg views.

Have a look at the graphic I posted.
I think we're saying similar things. If the graphic you're talking about is the Royer Graphic, please see my post explaining it. The person that made the Wailin' Jennies recording was a (now departed) mentor and colleague of mine. He had explained the process is great detail and while I don't remember quite all of it, I do remember most.

--Ben
Old 15th March 2014
  #51
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No, I am talking about this graphic.
Attached Thumbnails
Royer Users-blumlein.gif  
Old 16th March 2014
  #52
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MS and its sophisticated daddy, Blumlein, are confusing to understand. Just look at this thread. But if folks have used it successfully and are using it successfully in the center of a circle of performers I'd say it works, QED. Bruce Swieden has a good track record of successes. It seems to be working for me but I may have it all wrong. I will try a Blumlein array with two ribbons, MRP-01's, next Monday with that bluegrass jam. I will take pics to illustrate how the venue looks so we can compare that to how it localizes the players. I would say this is a fair test. If anyone has some suggestions to make it better please post them. This will be a teaching moment. The question is who will be learning. We can't all be right. Just some more right than others.
Old 16th March 2014
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
But if folks have used it successfully and are using it successfully in the center of a circle of performers I'd say it works, QED.
Disagree completely. None of this is open to interpretation or a secret. Its simple physics. It doesn't matter how big a guru hat you're wearing, you cannot argue with the laws of physics.

Over and out.
Old 16th March 2014
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I will try a Blumlein array with two ribbons, MRP-01's, next Monday with that bluegrass jam. I will take pics to illustrate how the venue looks so we can compare that to how it localizes the players. I would say this is a fair test. If anyone has some suggestions to make it better please post them. This will be a teaching moment.
I'd suggest you arrive half an hour earlier at the deserted hall and do a quick test recording of yourself, while you encircle the Blumlein array at say 3m, announcing your angular location at each stop on the journey. (The array needn't yet be set up as intended for the band.)

For sound sources, use both:
a) percussive, staccato sound": e.g. handclaps, dog-clicker, cookie tin & spoon :-)
and
b) sustained notes: e.g. whistle, yell, sing a note, harmonica etc.

So it might go something like:
"One o'clock!"...<click, click, click>...<whistle>
"Two o'clock!"...<click, click, click>...<whistle>
"Three o'clock!"...etc..."Twelve o'clock!"...

Any early musician stumbling upon the ongoing ritual may join in - after due recovery from the convulsions of mirth. Seriously though, this simple 15 min. exercise can give plenty of fodder for analysis at your home leisure. (Besides careful listening, also check your daw vectorscope display.)
Old 16th March 2014
  #55
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With Blumlien MS, the instruments near or on the line horizontally along the center of the microphone array will sound like they are very much closer together. The circle would need to divide into two groups, one on each side of the array. The group in the rear of the array would have it's stereo image symetrically reversed between left and right.

With an omni mid these problems would not occur.
Old 16th March 2014
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peller View Post
Blumlein technique on on Michael Jackson's album
Michael's pet chimpanzee in the central quadrant.
Old 16th March 2014
  #57
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Hark the herald sounds great, Rich - really lovely!
Old 23rd March 2014
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixkitchen View Post
From my experiments with folding B Format down to UHJ stereo the results are a kind of 'fold-around' stereo soundstage. Certainly not a natural, immersive 'surround' image but an interestingly wide stereo rendering of what was happening all around the mic. I used B2X processing Ambisonic Studio | B2X Plug-in Suite which I'm guessing is doing some complex phase inversion type voodoo. BTW, can any one explain what it actually is doing in terms that a non rocket scientist can understand?
If you're using my B2Stereo/UHJ plug-in to convert B-Format to Stereo UHJ, it's doing this:
S = 0.9396926*W + 0.1855740*X
D = j(-0.3420201*W + 0.5098604*X) + 0.6554516*Y

Left = (S + D)/2
Right = (S - D)/2

where j is a +90° phase shift
And this is done inside the plug-in with Impulse Responses from Angelo Farina: Conversion between B-format and UHJ
Old 24th March 2014
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom McC View Post
I'd suggest you arrive half an hour earlier at the deserted hall and do a quick test recording of yourself, while you encircle the Blumlein array at say 3m, announcing your angular location at each stop on the journey. (The array needn't yet be set up as intended for the band.)

For sound sources, use both:
a) percussive, staccato sound": e.g. handclaps, dog-clicker, cookie tin & spoon :-)
and
b) sustained notes: e.g. whistle, yell, sing a note, harmonica etc.

So it might go something like:
"One o'clock!"...<click, click, click>...<whistle>
"Two o'clock!"...<click, click, click>...<whistle>
"Three o'clock!"...etc..."Twelve o'clock!"...

Any early musician stumbling upon the ongoing ritual may join in - after due recovery from the convulsions of mirth. Seriously though, this simple 15 min. exercise can give plenty of fodder for analysis at your home leisure. (Besides careful listening, also check your daw vectorscope display.)

OK, here is the progress report. I went very early last week only to find the music was cancelled for a St. Patrick's corned beef and cabbage feed. I cannot go tomorrow as I will be away until late in the afternoon and unable to make it from Portland to Cannon Beach in time.

As for announcing position: I figured every 45 degrees I would announce the degrees and jangle my keys, too. Once for Blumlein and once more for Blumlein MS. Yes, I can just mix the regular MS as MS Blumlein but what is 0 degrees for Blumlein is 45 degrees for Blumlein MS. Also, I will be running a pair of the German MRP-01 ribbons against a pair of Mk8's to maximize the "bang for buck" ratio. No, please don't ask, I will not sing, too. I am in an exclusive contract with DGG. LMAO
Old 24th March 2014
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
As for announcing position: I figured every 45 degrees I would announce the degrees and jangle my keys, too. Once for Blumlein and once more for Blumlein MS. Yes, I can just mix the regular MS as MS Blumlein but what is 0 degrees for Blumlein is 45 degrees for Blumlein MS. Also, I will be running a pair of the German MRP-01 ribbons against a pair of Mk8's to maximize the "bang for buck" ratio.LMAO
Thanks for the update, Boojum. Your anglng nomenclature is a bit confusing, though.
It should IMHO just be given with respect to the main "axis of aim" of the array (i.e. usually w.r.t. to the line from the mic stand to the centre of the podium) Thus only one value is needed - and that is _independent_ of the type of array being tested.

If you go with a clock notation, the direction from array to podium centre would be: "12 o'clock", and the unambiguous locations of the performers might be: "12 o'clock", "1 o'clock", "2 o'clock", "3 o'clock".."11 o'clock",...etc.)

Or, with a compass notation, those same values might be: "0° North", "30° East of North", "60° E of N", "90° E of N"...,"30° West of North".

Possibly your intended step size of 45° is too large - and also 'unlucky', in that it would coincide with the frontier of an ambiophonic sector for a 1:1 Blumlein (or MS Blumlein) array. For example, the ambiophonic R-sector extends from 45° -135° E of N. Maybe some additional steps through the critical transition regions?

Since the image location of sustained notes is trickier to discern than that of staccato sounds, it's a real shame that you are contractually forbidden from singing...but could you at least announce the positions in a slow leisurely drawl? :-)
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