The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
cd project - single pair or multiple mics?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #31
Too much "flavour" is not always a good thing ... It's a bit like cooking (which I'm hopeless at) - but too much spice can kill the life.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #32
Gear Nut
Hi jnorman,

I'd go with a stereo spot on the flute- if you don't like it, you could always drop one mic. And while we're talking about me... I'd also spot the piano. Recently I've been using a-b spaced ribbons in the Decca piano position; null the player and constrain the piano width a little.

But hey, you know your clients. Give them what they want!
Mine definitely need that flexibility in post.

Last edited by VillageOp; 4 weeks ago at 01:48 PM.. Reason: Emoji don't translate
Old 4 weeks ago
  #33
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
Thanks for the comments. I am also waffling, since I know that hall pretty well, about using a performance setup with a main ORTF pair at 10-12’ out plus AB omnis just outside the piano lip and AB cardioids about 4’ from the flute. Count on using mostly the main pair with very low concentration of the spots. I know that arrangement will compromise the effectiveness of the flute spot, but it should still give me a little more flute focus if needed.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #34
Lives for gear
 

may i ask those tending to use a stereo spot on the flute (or any instrument not being very large) about the reason for doing so?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
may i ask those tending to use a stereo spot on the flute (or any instrument not being very large) about the reason for doing so?
Because it just sounds better!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Because it just sounds better!
What he said!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #37
Gear Nut
In all seriousness, stereo spot micing yields a more dimensional, lively sound. Especially for the solo instrument(s) on the disc it makes the extra channels worth the effort.

In jnorman's situation, I would put the main stereo pair back a little further than usual to get a too roomy picture, then bring in spots until they sit right.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #38
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Because it just sounds better!
lol! - seriously now: i'm not getting the point as i can't see any need or advantage, on the contrary:

as long as one uses a main pair or multi-mic main system (and from my experience, what i learned, practiced, get to read and discuss with other engineers, most everyone does so), there is absolutely no problem to position a mono source (spot mic) within the stereo or surround soundfield, the position within the soundfield stays stable and does not move as opposed to using stereo spots, a mono spot can more easily and more precisely get aligned to main mics, needs less time and gear (mic stands, cables, mic pres, converters, tracks, disk space, time to edit), introduces less self noise/picks up less stage noise and room sound, introduces less phase shift and - if a wider recording angle is wanted - an appropriate pickup pattern can get used...

i do use stereo spots (or in very rare occasions even l/c/r spots) or multiple mics on sources which have very specific characteristics, be it in terms of size, frequency, dynamics or dispersion or if i need to follow their movement within the soundfield, but i certainly do not want to get the physical movement of say a violin or flute to get portrayed with stereo spots: no freaking way, i'm trying to avoid it!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 09:34 PM.. Reason: edited for clarification
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
I don’t know what to tell you, man. It just sounds better than a mono spot most of the time, especially for solo and chamber music.

A narrow AB gives a narrow stereo image that sits more pleasantly in the overall stereo image than a mono spot. This is why so many big name engineers have used this technique for solo spotting on records since the 70s. The proof is in the pudding. Give it a try sometime if you haven’t already.

Sometimes you’ll see engineers turn the setup 90 degrees to vertical, in case lateral movement is causing movement problems.


Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
lol! - seriously now: i'm not getting the point as i can't see any need or advantage, on the contrary:

as long as one uses a main pair or system (and from my experience, what i learned, practiced, get to read and discuss with other engineers, most everyone does so), there is absolutely no problem to position a mono source (spot mic) within the stereo soundfield, the position within the soundfield stays stable and does not move as opposed to using stereo spots, a mono spot can more easily and more precisely get aligned to main mics, needs less time and gear (mic stands, cables, mic pres, converters, tracks, disk space, time to edit), introduces less self noise/picks up less stage noise, introduces less phase shift and - if a wider recording angle is wanted - an appropriate pickup pattern can get used...

i do use stereo spots (or in very rare occasions even l/c/r spots) or multiple mics on sources which have very specific characteristics, be it in terms of size, frequency, dynamics or dispersion or if i need to follow their movement within the soundfield, but i certainly do not want to get the physical movement of say a violin or flute to get portrayed with stereo spots: no freaking way, i'm trying to avoid it!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #40
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
I don’t know what to tell you, man. It just sounds better than a mono spot most of the time, especially for solo and chamber music.

A narrow AB gives a narrow stereo image that sits more pleasantly in the overall stereo image than a mono spot. This is why so many big name engineers have used this technique for solo spotting on records since the 70s. The proof is in the pudding. Give it a try sometime if you haven’t already.

Sometimes you’ll see engineers turn the setup 90 degrees to vertical, in case lateral movement is causing movement problems.
'sounds better' is hard to argue with - trouble is that it almost never does to my ears! so i keep wondering what others find so attractive about this technique...

[it's not that i haven't tried: i'm no newbie but have practiced pretty much any technique for 35+ years as a pro plus a couple of years before as an amateur. and i'm not lacking the experience of big budget productions with almost unlimited resources and/or working with big names either: in fact, i assisted a big name engineer for 15 years and have been working with countless very respected and well known artists of various genre].

btw: the studer vista desk i'm using to record and mix has a fairly sophisticated algorithm which allows to position a mono source within the stereo or surround soundfield, based on a variable virtual main mic system and is taking into account intensity-based and delay-based panning - plus quantec efx ain't bad either so maybe i'm spoiled...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #41
Lives for gear
 
Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
The proof is in the pudding.
No. The proof *of* the pudding is in the eating. Or as William Camden wrote in 1605: "All the proofe of a pudding, is in the eating"

Sorry, can't help my dumb ass pedantic self today. Just don't get me started on horses and water. Sigh...

Back to Gearslutz -- I agree on the narrow stereo spots. I don't know why it works, but it *does* sound better to me for some reason. More seamless in the mix? IDK.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #42
I’m sorry my use of a common colloquialism has triggered you, Bruce. It literally breaks my heart to hear it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
No. The proof *of* the pudding is in the eating. Or as William Camden wrote in 1605: "All the proofe of a pudding, is in the eating"

Sorry, can't help my dumb ass pedantic self today. Just don't get me started on horses and water. Sigh...

Back to Gearslutz -- I agree on the narrow stereo spots. I don't know why it works, but it *does* sound better to me for some reason. More seamless in the mix? IDK.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
No. The proof *of* the pudding is in the eating. Or as William Camden wrote in 1605: "All the proofe of a pudding, is in the eating"

Sorry, can't help my dumb ass pedantic self today. Just don't get me started on horses and water. Sigh...
I put stereo eggs in my pudding. Mono egg is too hard to pan.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #44
Lives for gear
 
Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
I’m sorry my use of a common colloquialism has triggered you, Bruce. It literally breaks my heart to hear it.
May not have been you -- I was hungry. Some times that's all it takes.

Oh, and I can get you some gaffers' tape to fix that break. Or would duct tape be better? Where is that other thread now...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #45
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
So, back to the two basic choices:

1. Performance setup with ORTF mains 10-12’ out with omni spots near piano lip and AB card spots about 4’ from flute.
OR
2. Players facing each other about 10’ apart, with AB omnis between them, same spot mic setup as in choice no. 1.

I am leaning toward no. 1 because I think I’ll get a better mains picture...
What say?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #46
My .02c, don’t really care for either option, tbh.

Option 1 I don’t care for, because it presents a lot of conflicting information into your stereo field. For one thing I don’t care for the way ORTF conveys a piano, specifically it’s size and width. And the idea of balancing 3 different perspectives to achieve a coherent piano sound seems like a losing battle to me.

If I had to use cardioid Mains, I’d much prefer an AB setup of around 2’ to give the piano an effective size in the stereo image.

In the second option, I fear it would place the soloist too far from the piano for comfortable hearing and communication during the performance.

All that said, you should do what you’re most comfortable with. Always best to be as comfortable as possible at the gig, to avoid infectious anxiety.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #47
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
King - what would be your suggestion?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #48
Lives for gear
Here's what I've done with oboe (the grown-up flute ) and piano...audio sample below.

AB omni SD main pair, aiming for good blend of ambience and clarity on oboe (piano can afford to sound a bit distant), LD cardioid spot on oboe around 1 metre up/back, Decca tail spot pair of OM-1's on 25cm AB bar a metre back from rear leg of piano. Blend to taste

It could depend if the piano is an accompanying instrument, or whether the composition calls for 'equal billing' of both (which is rare) ? Stereo spot on the oboe might have been even better, but the instrument does get moved around a little !
Attached Files

oboe.mp3 (2.88 MB, 437 views)

Old 4 weeks ago
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Here's what I've done with oboe (the grown-up flute ) and piano...audio sample below.

AB omni SD main pair, aiming for good blend of ambience and clarity on oboe (piano can afford to sound a bit distant), LD cardioid spot on oboe around 1 metre up/back, Decca tail spot pair of OM-1's on 25cm AB bar a metre back from rear leg of piano. Blend to taste

It could depend if the piano is an accompanying instrument, or whether the composition calls for 'equal billing' of both (which is rare) ? Stereo spot on the oboe might have been even better, but the instrument does get moved around a little !
Pretty good! But you did not mention the bassoon. Overall the balance good. It must have been in a nice acoustic?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #50
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurcher_lover View Post
Pretty good! But you did not mention the bassoon. Overall the balance good. It must have been in a nice acoustic?
I'm sure a bassoon can pee higher up the wall than a flute or oboe...it's a nice big concert hall, seats close to 700, although you don't really get a good sense of its size from that recording; this one recorded in the same place conveys it better: Portable setup to record opera soprano on-site
Old 4 weeks ago
  #51
I’d do it in a similar way to the video I shared further up the thread. 3 pairs; one for flute, one for piano, one for room. The soloist is turned around facing the piano (er, well the piano is turned around, technically, facing upstage). There’s the video you can reference and some photos further up if you want to see it in more detail.

If you feel you need to capture it in performance setup with a main pair, I’d use an AB mains of wide cards or omnis, and spots on the piano and flute just in case, and rooms further back, but I would go out of my way to position the main AB and soloist so that I only really needed to use the main pair and maybe a bit of room. I’d also take some time to make sure that the piano and flute spots played nicely with the mains and with each other.

I’ve done it both ways, and strongly prefer the relative simplicity and purity of sound of the first approach. The second approach can be done well but there are more points of failure.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #52
Lives for gear
 
fred2bern's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
I’d also take some time to make sure that the piano and flute spots played nicely with the mains and with each other..
This is something so nice to read! It should be done on every recording...

Top gear used as spots sometimes don't fit top gear used as main.

One of the best tips I read here.

Fred.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #53
Gear Addict
 
lukedamrosch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
I’d also take some time to make sure that the piano and flute spots played nicely with the mains and with each other.
Hi Kevin, I agree with Fred that this is a very good point. As usual, the answer to the following is surely "both" to some extent but, in your experience, do you find that this adjustment process more frequently involves a change of placement or a change of mic/pattern in order to best integrate your mains and spots?

I'm always interested to hear the methods and preferences of more experienced engineers in areas like this, since limited setup/soundcheck time often forces me to commit to a mic'ing approach with a certain amount of "what-if's" had I had time for further adjustment... always striving to make a more informed choice more quickly.

Many thanks as always,
Luke
Old 3 weeks ago
  #54
I usually move the mics if I’m making adjustments on stage, as I’m usually content with the mic selection I’ve made (or cornered by my limited mic collection ).

But like I said above, my setups are usually “main” mic-less. I mic the piano optimally, and the soloist optimally. and then grab the room with a third pair, maybe. For that approach, i’ve kind of settled on thinking of the soloist pair as the main pair as I’m balancing it. This is especially important if I’m doing a performance-staged setup, or something like a piano trio/quintet. I want mostly the instrument(s) of focus in that pair, and then I place the piano mics so that when I turn them up, they blend nicely and sound in-perspective. This often means a closer placement than for a solo piano recording (and I’m usually using a Decca tail placement for these setups).

I would love to shadow on a Polyhymnia chamber session sometime, to see how those engineers balance and adjust their particular setup. I really like the records I hear done in that way, like the Julia Fischer records that Jean-Marie Geijsen has made. I’m not looking to adopt it, so much as understand how that philosophy to mic’ing and balancing works in practice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lukedamrosch View Post
Hi Kevin, I agree with Fred that this is a very good point. As usual, the answer to the following is surely "both" to some extent but, in your experience, do you find that this adjustment process more frequently involves a change of placement or a change of mic/pattern in order to best integrate your mains and spots?

I'm always interested to hear the methods and preferences of more experienced engineers in areas like this, since limited setup/soundcheck time often forces me to commit to a mic'ing approach with a certain amount of "what-if's" had I had time for further adjustment... always striving to make a more informed choice more quickly.

Many thanks as always,
Luke
Old 3 weeks ago
  #55
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
(...)my setups are usually “main” mic-less (...)
i'm glad you are mentioning (and practicing) this! - i would like to point out though that my prior question why to use stereo spots was based on the assuption there is a main pair (and gets used as such) which is a vastly different scenario from balancing two stereo 'spot mains' plus (maybe) ambis.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #56
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'm glad you are mentioning (and practicing) this! - i would like to point out though that my prior question why to use stereo spots was based on the assuption there is a main pair (and gets used as such) which is a vastly different scenario from balancing two stereo 'spot mains' plus (maybe) ambis.
When I record large ensembles and spot soloists for works like concertos, or song cycles with orchestra, I would still use a stereo spot for that instrument or singer. And in what I wrote above about how I’d approach the recording if I were doing a main-and-spots setup, I would also use stereo spots there.

I did just see a setup yesterday though that got me thinking, and I’d really love to hear the end result. It was Photos of a Judith Sherman setup for voice and piano, using an AB pair of Sonodore omnis as the main pair, and mono Sonodore omnis as spots for both the piano and singer.
Topic:
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
Forum Jump
Forum Jump