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Baroque music with Merging Horus, DPA4011/4006/line audio cm3
Old 5 days ago
  #1
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Gaston69's Avatar
Baroque music with Merging Horus, DPA4011/4006/line audio cm3

Hi Guys,

It has been a while since I posted a recording for various reasons however not so long ago I was lucky to record a very nice ensemble in a very nice hall. Used the Merging Horus, DPA4011 in NOS (main pair), DPA4006 outriggers and (5-off) line audio cm3 as spot microphones on the VLN & VLA, Theorbe and (2-off) AKG 414 on Cello and Harpsichord.
Total 11 tracks recorded in Samplitude, no reverb added

Please here is the audio example
Attached Files

example1.mp3 (3.41 MB, 802 views)

Old 5 days ago
  #2
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Very nice, Gaston. My only comment otherwise is that (and this may be a function of my annual battle with sinus interfering somewhat with my ears) I like the sounds left, and the sounds right, but can't seem to hear the "center" in the balance.
Old 5 days ago
  #3
Gear Nut
Gaston this is lovely, an expansive sound. If I remember correctly you were using Crookwood, and now Merging? Subjectively, how do experience the difference?
Old 5 days ago
  #4
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Sounds beautiful.

I just wonder if in certain sections some of the spot mics on the strings 'jump out' a little bit too much from the general milieu and thus come over as a little bit too close-up?
Old 5 days ago
  #5
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Gaston69's Avatar
Hello Harry,

I tried to get a wide panorama and maybe I "overdid" it a tat to much which results in putting the viola's and harpsichord to much in the background.

BTW I'm 50 now and struggling with Tinnitus especially when I use headphones. So I try to use the headphones to a minimum and try to listen to music on lower levels but it comes and goes (the tone I hear uin my right ear approx 7800Hz, very very annoying)
Old 5 days ago
  #6
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Gaston69's Avatar
Hello Klimermonk,

I owned 32 channels of Crookwood preamps with AD and RME Madiface XTC etc however it was bulky and wanted something smaller so I ended up with Merging Horus which sounds really nice however AoiP is sometimes a challenge compaired to Madi but most likely due to the fact that I don't know much about networks in general and it can get quite complicated if you don't know what you are doing in windows 10 ;-)

Nevertheless Crookwood is fantastic as is Crispin Herald-Taylor however Merging Horus/Hapi is younger with different technology and more compact, both pieces of equipment are state of the art.
Old 5 days ago
  #7
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Gaston69's Avatar
Hello James,

90% of my projects I record just stereo as I don't have always the time to setup multitrack recordings and if I do it requires an additional set of skills to get the balance right after all. However in this case I was told by the violinist that by using the stereo technique the harpsichord is overwhelming (compared to the string section) as it is placed in the middle of the ensemble and the string sections stands around it while the microphones hang just above the harpsichord while to lit is taken of. Therefor the additional spots, will listen and try to correct the balance. Thanks for your comments.
Old 5 days ago
  #8
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i assume there was no dynamic processing used on close mics?
Old 5 days ago
  #9
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Gaston69's Avatar
no compressors used on the spots, just a little on the overal mix but very very little with a soft knee (Flux Solera)
Old 5 days ago
  #10
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too bad, see post #4...

...and what you mentioned in #5 : hole-in-the-middle-syndrome.

what was the point about using a 4-mic-array?
Old 5 days ago
  #11
Gear Nut
Thank you Gaston. Yes after enjoying the PaintPot I now have a MultiPre + A/D + MADI rig coming from Crookwood and greatly looking forward to using it. Here I also prefer the simplicity of MADI, and using MADIFace Pro I have a simple monitor controller and interface combined, both in the studio and on the road.

My question was regarding any impressions you have of the sonic differences between the iPre/MultiPre and Merging preamps/conversion?
Old 5 days ago
  #12
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I've not compared the Crookwood vs Merging Horus site by site however both preamps are very much alike in terms of audible performance if I may say so.
The remote control of the Crookwoods is very handy and liked it a lot (no computer needed)


Be very happy with the multi-pre and make music.....
Old 5 days ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i assume there was no dynamic processing used on close mics?
Would you recommend compression on spot microphones?
Old 5 days ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston69 View Post
Would you recommend compression on spot microphones?
yes, i do - i think it's even manadatory! let me explain... - but before i do so, let me mention a few things:

of course i'm aware of the fact that dynamic processing (or in fact any processing) has a bad reputation amongst recordist of classical music - for all the wrong reasons though!

there is no doubt that one can get optimum results with minimal gear an no processing but this is just the case when working under ideal conditions on any level (ensemble, choice of room, gear, setup, monitoring, budget, mix, mastering etc.).
in the ca. 40 years i've been working as a professional sound tech in various areas of our profession, i came across maybe half a dozen occasions which i considered to be ideal - interestingly enough, relying on minimal gear (or actually the tracks just from the mains and maybe ambis) even in these situations did not lead to best results and i therefore have long adopted my setup to have some built in redundancy, meaning i can base my mixes on close mics or switch between different mains (say for cd realease or live broadcast) or substitute ambis with efx etc.

now back to dynamic processing: i guess it's fair to say that no one likes hearing any instrument at short distance - we do position our mics close to instruments nevertheless: no for sonic reasons but for functional reasons.
if we sonically compare the signal of a mic at short distance to one further away, we can experience a soundfield which is both exaggerated yet underwhelming: detailed yet too much hf (or lf), very accurate yet unbalanced in terms of dynamics, clear yet too dry - and the timing is off.
to compensate for these shortcomings (and to make the signal sound as if the mic would have been positioned further away), i'm using: filters, expander, compressor, efx (often three devices with specific settings for early reflections, medium room and large hall) plus time and phase aligmment.

regarding compression, i'm much more concerned about attack and release times than about the amount of compression: luckily, my desks allows to put the dynamic tools anywhere in the signal path (also post fader!) and for temporary ganging of any parameter of channels as i mostly process on the way in - a habit from the analog days but which also comes in handy when going on air live (and without much time for rehearsals)...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 5 days ago at 12:59 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 5 days ago
  #15
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
...now back to dynamic processing: i guess it's fair to say that no one likes hearing any instrument for a short distance - we do position our mics clise to instruments nevertheless: no for sonic reasons but for functional reasons.
if we sonically compare the signal of a mic at short distance to one further away, we can experience a soundfield which is both exaggerated yet underwhelming: detailed yet too much hf (or lf), very accurate yet unbalanced in terms of dynamics, clear yet too dry - and the timing is off.
to compensate for these shortcomings (and to make the signal sound as if the mic would have been positioned further away), i'm using:
filters, expander, compressor, efx (often three devices with specific settings for early reflections, medium room and large hall) plus time and phase aligmment.

regarding compression, i'm much more concerned about attack and release times than about the amount of compression: luckily, my desks allows to put the dynamic tools anywhere in tve signal path (also post fader!) and for temporary ganging of any parameterbetween channels as i mostly process on the way in - a habit from the analog days but which also comes in handy when going on air live (and without much time for rehearsals)...
(The emphasis is mine) While you make a cogent argument for dynamic processing of spot microphones in classical music, I take exception with the idea that it should be done "on the way in". Preserve all the dynamics and purity of sound with the best techniques and equipment available and THEN mess with it in post, if you must, to get the best sound. Recording compression and EQ is 'forever'; applying them in post, ITB gives one the option to reconsider and go back to square one.

PS: I like the recording Gaston - maybe the balance of spot mics could be adjusted a bit, but overall they are cohesive with the mains.

Last edited by jimjazzdad; 5 days ago at 01:02 PM.. Reason: addition
Old 5 days ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
(The emphasis is mine) While you make a cogent argument for dynamic processing of spot microphones in classical music, I take exception with the idea that it should be done "on the way in". Preserve all the dynamics and purity of sound with the best techniques and equipment available and THEN mess with it in post, if you must, to get the best sound. Recording compression and EQ is 'forever'; applying them in post, ITB gives one the option to reconsider and go back to square one.
i'm with you that it's certainly regarded as 'best practice'...

i don't quite agree on the eq though: often, there is much eq 'built-in' from the position of the mic anyway which can get easily adressed on the way in (as well as any eq adjustment on the way in can get compensated in the mix) and i prefer doing so rather than switching between input and return signals while monitoring.

regarding comps, the worst thing which imo can happen is affecting the 'groove' a bit (i consider comps first and foremost to be rhythmic tools - which also happen to affect dynamics a bit); of course i'm assuming one will not use crazy settings such as zero attack or very long release times! - on the positive side, a single-band comp may give a solid lf even when using hpf filters and/or directional mics.

also, when working analog (which is very rare though), there's a difference between pre and post tape processing - if dynamic processing isn't even necessary for better s/n ratio! and i mentioned the advantage (or more precisely: the need) for immediate processing for live feeds. and then there is this damn habit...

..but of course you're better save than sorry: i'm mostly recording to one multitrack recorder straight off the preamps/converters but the redundant recorder gets signals post processing (or even post fader): you need a capable desks/setup for this though! :-)

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 days ago at 03:01 PM.. Reason: edited quite a bit (for clarification)
Old 4 days ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston69 View Post
Would you recommend compression on spot microphones?
Maybe an expander... compression is going to make the spots appear louder, which is usually the opposite of what you want a spot to do (draw attention to itself) When the instrument in front of the spot plays louder, and % wise is louder in the main mics, you want less output from the spots....when the same instrument plays very softly, it might disappear from the mains, and so you want the spot level to lift the instrument a little, so it still has the desired degree of presence.

I don't think this process can be automated (maybe the threshold/attack/release/ratio settings can, to some degree...), it has to be under manual control and hands on intervention during DAW mixdown time. Everything I've written here probably applies equally to a live mix and a studio mix of a multitrack recording...no autopilot !

i don't think i'm writing about jazz, blues or rock here either....
Old 4 days ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
(...)compression is going to make the spots appear louder (...)
nope: compression reduces dynamics and lowers the signal (unless you compensate for level attenuation with make-up gain)! it's limiting which makes signals appear louder.

the whole point of using compression (together with previously mentioned techniques) on close mics is to mimic the effect of what some air between the mic and the source does: to make things sound smooth and more natural than what one gets from mics in close position!

and genre or situation don't matter (even if some folks may think laws of physics don't apply the classical music)...
Old 4 days ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston69 View Post
Hello James,

90% of my projects I record just stereo as I don't have always the time to setup multitrack recordings and if I do it requires an additional set of skills to get the balance right after all. However in this case I was told by the violinist that by using the stereo technique the harpsichord is overwhelming (compared to the string section) as it is placed in the middle of the ensemble and the string sections stands around it while the microphones hang just above the harpsichord while to lit is taken of. Therefor the additional spots, will listen and try to correct the balance. Thanks for your comments.
If this is a multi-track recording; fortunately you can pull back on the spots and remix.

A deceptive character of the spot track is; when you increase its level in a mix to the point you can ‘hear it’, it might be too loud.

I spend a lot of time pulling spot levels back a bit, then muting and unmuting the track - trying to notice the spots contribution to the overall mix while keeping its level ‘subconscious’.
Old 4 days ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
nope: compression reduces dynamics and lowers the signal (unless you compensate for level attenuation with make-up gain)! it's limiting which makes signals appear louder.

the whole point of using compression (together with previously mentioned techniques) on close mics is to mimic the effect of what some air between the mic and the source does: to make things sound smooth and more natural than what one gets from mics in close position!

and genre or situation don't matter (even if some folks may think laws of physics don't apply the classical music)...
Thanks for clarifying...I'm often applying make up gain so the before/after differences are diluted. But what I'm tending to seek out is an inverting process...so when the spot instrument gets louder and appears more prominent in the mains, I want the spot mic to "duck out" so it contributes nothing...and when the same instrument is too far from the mains to be present when it's playing softly (or competing with other instruments), I want the spot mic gain to give it more prominence than it would have without that mic. Needless to say this is best done by manual fader riding, so I'm looking for a little "intelligent machine help" to achieve this, if possible.

So I'm asking more of the process than you do. If what you're seeking is simply the mimicing of air between instrument and mic (ie the phenomenon of increasing distance or spacing, whereby air friction diminishes apparent presence), whereas I'm wanting it to dynamically respond to the output of the instrument...more along the lines of a comp/limiter ? Maybe a side-chain analogy, or parallel compression, gets closer to what I'm wanting it to do for the output of my spot mics ?
Old 4 days ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Thanks for clarifying...I'm often applying make up gain so the before/after differences are diluted. But what I'm tending to seek out is an inverting process...so when the spot instrument gets louder and appears more prominent in the mains, I want the spot mic to "duck out" so it contributes nothing...and when the same instrument is too far from the mains to be present when it's playing softly (or competing with other instruments), I want the spot mic gain to give it more prominence than it would have without that mic. Needless to say this is best done by manual fader riding, so I'm looking for a little "intelligent machine help" to achieve this, if possible.
i dunno any piece of gear or software which would achieve this in an easy-to-control/semi-automated but convincing way either...

(except for combining various techniques such as dynamic eq, multiband-compression, side-chaining and ducking)

...so yes, until we get some ultra smart artificial intelligence built into our gear, riding faders and/or editing clip levels will remain the most simple methods.
Old 4 days ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i dunno any piece of gear or software which would achieve this in an easy-to-control/semi-automated but convincing way either...

(except for combining various techniques such as dynamic eq, multiband-compression, side-chaining and ducking)

...so yes, until we get some ultra smart artificial intelligence built into our gear, riding faders and/or editing clip levels will remain the most simple methods.
I ask others who routinely deal with spot mics, especially in an orchestral or chamber music context...either in live to 2 track or multitrack captures: have I mis-described the role of spot mics, and how they are ideally dealt with at mix time, in relation to their individual dynamic envelope and control requirements, whether by finger on fader, automation, dynamic compression or other means ? Maybe a fixed knee, sliding threshold limiter is what I want to simulate (or more complex than that ?)
Old 4 days ago
  #23
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forget to mention that there are a few dynamic eq's/frequency dependent comps which allow for processing above or below threshold.

another way would be to use a comp on the spot(s) and duck the mains by feeding the relevant channel/group into the sidechain of the mains (and then maybe use ambis to hide things a bit).

sorry to the op for repeated off-topic posts...
Old 3 days ago
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klimermonk View Post
My question was regarding any impressions you have of the sonic differences between the iPre/MultiPre and Merging preamps/conversion?
Hi,

I am a happy iPre/MultiPre owner since 2010 and have never regretted my decision. For me, personally, they are clearly better than Millenia and Grace, even though I would have preferrred the build quality to be a bit more robust (especially on the MultiPre - the ipre was stronger). As long as the unit is fixed in a rack and properly dampened all should be well, but I had to fly with it several times and that made me nervous.

As for sound, I never did a direct A/B comparison, but I have recorded with both and the Merging preamps still are not in the same class to me as the Crookwoods. I hear this from valued colleagues as well, who compare the Merging pres to e.g. Rens Heijnis or DAD preamps. Probably, from a pragmatic perspective, you will just change your mics accordingly to get e.g. a bit more brightness, but hey, I want the best I can get!

What Merging really got right are the converters and that makes a big difference. I now use a DirectOut Andiamo but have been wanting to change to Crookwood A/Ds for years, however I really need to seriously consider DXD and the Crookwood does not offer this...

So, hope that helps. I think you can be very happy with your units, enjoy!

Best,
Dirk

P.S.: Nice recording, Gaston!
Old 3 days ago
  #25
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Here is a revision of the previous sample where I tweaked

1.) the width a little of the ambience microphones (narrowed it a bit)
2.) a little less MS width in Flux Solera
3.) turned up 2db by the viola's
4.) turned down 2 db the theorbe and VLN1

"Hole in the middle syndrome" should be less now
Attached Files

example1_rev1.mp3 (3.41 MB, 268 views)


Last edited by Gaston69; 3 days ago at 08:52 PM.. Reason: add
Old 3 days ago
  #26
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Microphone Setup

I've added some pictures
Attached Thumbnails
Baroque music with Merging Horus, DPA4011/4006/line audio cm3-annotation-2020-02-16-170503.jpg   Baroque music with Merging Horus, DPA4011/4006/line audio cm3-annotation-2020-03-26-210051.jpg   Baroque music with Merging Horus, DPA4011/4006/line audio cm3-annotation-2020-02-16-170350.jpg   Baroque music with Merging Horus, DPA4011/4006/line audio cm3-annotation-2020-03-26-210637.jpg  
Old 3 days ago
  #27
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Everything isn’t pushed forward now
Old 3 days ago
  #28
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Mix & Compression

Some snippets of the mixer and Flux Solera
Attached Thumbnails
Baroque music with Merging Horus, DPA4011/4006/line audio cm3-mix.jpg   Baroque music with Merging Horus, DPA4011/4006/line audio cm3-solera.jpg  
Old 3 days ago
  #29
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Crookwood Andiamo

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf View Post
Hi,

I am a happy iPre/MultiPre owner since 2010 and have never regretted my decision. For me, personally, they are clearly better than Millenia and Grace, even though I would have preferrred the build quality to be a bit more robust (especially on the MultiPre - the ipre was stronger). As long as the unit is fixed in a rack and properly dampened all should be well, but I had to fly with it several times and that made me nervous.

As for sound, I never did a direct A/B comparison, but I have recorded with both and the Merging preamps still are not in the same class to me as the Crookwoods. I hear this from valued colleagues as well, who compare the Merging pres to e.g. Rens Heijnis or DAD preamps. Probably, from a pragmatic perspective, you will just change your mics accordingly to get e.g. a bit more brightness, but hey, I want the best I can get!

What Merging really got right are the converters and that makes a big difference. I now use a DirectOut Andiamo but have been wanting to change to Crookwood A/Ds for years, however I really need to seriously consider DXD and the Crookwood does not offer this...

So, hope that helps. I think you can be very happy with your units, enjoy!

Best,
Dirk

P.S.: Nice recording, Gaston!
I've attached a picture of the config I owned when I worked for the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra
Attached Thumbnails
Baroque music with Merging Horus, DPA4011/4006/line audio cm3-crookwood-andiamo-rig_1.jpg  
Old 3 days ago
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emenelton View Post
Everything isn’t pushed forward now
What do you mean....?
Topic:
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