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Room mic, without an actual room...? Reverb & Delay Plugins
Old 22nd August 2015
  #1
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Room mic, without an actual room...?

If i was recording a small acoustic group outside I am wondering if there would be any point to having a further back stereo pair to capture the entire group/ambience, even though it will be on grass with zero trees/concrete or anything to reflect any sound, so basically a completely dead environment.

This brings into question the purpose of a room mic for me... is it to capture just reflections of the room... or is it to capture more than that? Would a stereo pair further back, add anything to the close mics?
Old 23rd August 2015
  #2
Mho
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Uad Ocean Way reverb works good for this.
Old 23rd August 2015
  #3
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Convolution reverb models rooms.
Old 23rd August 2015
  #4
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hmmm maybe i didnt make my question clear, im not really looking for a reverb plugin/hardware. i'm just wondering if a mic further back aimed to pick up the entire group will actually add anything beneficial to the sound when mixed with the close mics considering its is in a completely dead environment.
Old 23rd August 2015
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon8822 View Post
hmmm maybe i didnt make my question clear, im not really looking for a reverb plugin/hardware. i'm just wondering if a mic further back aimed to pick up the entire group will actually add anything beneficial to the sound when mixed with the close mics considering its is in a completely dead environment.
Yes. Give yourself the option then decide when you mix. Could give some nice depth.
Old 23rd August 2015
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

I would throw up a room mic. I wouldn't call an outside space a dead environment exactly... Even with only the ground, you should get some reverberations and ambience, although not the sound that you're used to. You should get a darker, more balanced sound that could blend well, and maybe some slap echo if you are recording something loud and percussive, and there are distant obstablces. If you want to see what I mean before hand, run a mix through a convolution plugin in and play with some of the outdoor spaces. Space Designer has quite a few stock, and I'm sure altiverb does as well.

Regardless, it doesn't hurt to throw up a mic or two if you have the channels to spare. You don't have to use them. Let us know how you fair!
Old 23rd August 2015
  #7
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon8822 View Post
If i was recording a small acoustic group outside I am wondering if there would be any point to having a further back stereo pair to capture the entire group/ambience, even though it will be on grass with zero trees/concrete or anything to reflect any sound, so basically a completely dead environment.

This brings into question the purpose of a room mic for me... is it to capture just reflections of the room... or is it to capture more than that? Would a stereo pair further back, add anything to the close mics?
Every environment, inside or outside, is different, acoustically. Every mic will capture the quality of the sound at its location. Really no way to answer the question.

Stand where you want to put the mic and listen. Will this add anything to your recording? Not sure? Put up a mic, send it to its own tracks and try blending it in at mix.
Old 23rd August 2015
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon8822 View Post
hmmm maybe i didnt make my question clear, im not really looking for a reverb plugin/hardware. i'm just wondering if a mic further back aimed to pick up the entire group will actually add anything beneficial to the sound when mixed with the close mics considering its is in a completely dead environment.
Only if you like the sound of the room. If you're outside, only if you like the sound of outside (which can amount to mostly wind noise and nature sounds).

The purpose of so-called "room-mics" is to get a recording of the sound of the source in the room. Usually that sound is used to enhance the sense of space and depth in an otherwise close mic-ed performance. But if you don't like the sound of the space then mic-ing it will only give you more of what you don't like. If the space has no sound, then there will be nothing to get from mic-ing the space aside from the source sounds directly reaching those mics.
Old 24th August 2015
  #9
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon8822 View Post
If i was recording a small acoustic group outside I am wondering if there would be any point to having a further back stereo pair to capture the entire group/ambience, even though it will be on grass with zero trees/concrete or anything to reflect any sound, so basically a completely dead environment.
Dirt still reflects sound, and air has diffuse properties. There's plenty of ambience outdoors. You can even find impulse responses of outdoor environments. It won't cost you anything to try it, so I say go for it!
Old 24th August 2015
  #10
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon8822 View Post
If i was recording a small acoustic group outside I am wondering if there would be any point to having a further back stereo pair to capture the entire group/ambience, even though it will be on grass with zero trees/concrete or anything to reflect any sound, so basically a completely dead environment.

This brings into question the purpose of a room mic for me... is it to capture just reflections of the room... or is it to capture more than that? Would a stereo pair further back, add anything to the close mics?
As you might expect, it depends. Rather than call them "room mikes" you might call them "main pair" and use them to define your stereo image. I'm talking stereo techniques like AB, ORTF, NOS, M/S, etc. Then you pan your spot mics in to match the various instrument positions in your stereo image, and pull spot levels down until the spots are just adding a bit of clarity to the main pair. Done like this, the main pair is still fairly close in, because there's no reason to be very far back (no wall or ceiling reflections to capture).

Note that if there's any wind at all you'll need baskets and windshields. Just sayin'. One of the primary reasons to use M/S or other coincident techniques is you can use a stereo windshield kit. A favorite technique of the field recording crowd.

Another thing to note is that a technique like this makes the ensemble responsible for their own balance. The main pair records them all as they are, and it's a PITA to try to alter the balance later if it can be done at all. Groups like string quartets balance themselves naturally. Jazz groups, not so much.

Also of note, you'll perhaps want to add a touch of artificial reverb in post depending on how dry your capture actually is. But exterior work often needs some added verb, so don't be surprised by that.
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