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Decca tree with ORTF as front mic?
Old 26th February 2016
  #1
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chrisburke's Avatar
 

Decca tree with ORTF as front mic?

Hi all, I just took a new job at a place where they have a hanging decca tree setup for recording concerts, but I came across something weird when I further inspected it. The previous audio engineer has the normal decca tree configuration, but has replaced the center omni mic with two cardioid mics in ORTF. Too me, that seems like it could be a mess with phasing and comb filtering issues, but I can't knock it till I try it I guess. What do you all think? Have you attempted this before? Has it yielded decent results? Thanks for the input!
Old 26th February 2016
  #2
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DCtoDaylight's Avatar
 

You might try re-posting this Q in the Remote Possibilities section of Gearslutz where the orchestral/acoustic folks congregate, but there's plenty of history for combining near-coincident pairs of cards with omni flankers. The basic concept goes back decades, often with the flanker mics quite far out from the central array, and there's also what's known around here as the "boojum/jnorman array," which is a pair of cards in ORTF/NOS/DIN on the same stereo bar as a pair of omnis in AB (on the order of 18 to 24 inches apart). I have no idea how well the Decca tree layout would lend itself to this, especially with the front-to-back separation, but it's not an insane idea.

In all these models, the concept is that you can play with the relative mix of the cards and omnis to get different levels of direct-ambient sound, and also more "reach" into the ensemble. When set up well it can provide a lot of helpful options in post, especially in situations where the instrumentation and arrangement of the players changes during a performance and you don't have the option of moving mics around. There is the potential for phase issues, but there are also ways that phase interaction works to your benefit (that business about "reach" seems to be related to this).

Search around in Remote Possibilities for "omni flankers" and you should find some reading material - also, you can try this thread for some insights into the boojum/jnorman.

I'd say give it a try - and maybe post some samples if it sounds OK!
Old 26th February 2016
  #3
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisburke View Post
Hi all, I just took a new job at a place where they have a hanging decca tree setup for recording concerts, but I came across something weird when I further inspected it. The previous audio engineer has the normal decca tree configuration, but has replaced the center omni mic with two cardioid mics in ORTF.
Most people would not call this a Decca Tree. That said, there's all kinds of microphone arrays, and they all produce results.

If you're going to use a Decca Tree, you would be well served to study the history and usage by Decca (it evolved and changed throughout Decca's usage) so you can get the most out of it. And so you can understand the "rules" so you have more fun breaking them.

My idle speculation (because that's all it can be given my complete lack of facts ) is that the center position was modified to hold an ORTF pair because the acoustic the tree is being used in isn't really conducive to a Decca Tree. The previous engineer was probably dissatisfied with the stereo image and decided to "strengthen" it with the ORTF pair. Which would make me want to rethink the whole idea of using a Decca Tree in that acoustic.
Old 26th February 2016
  #4
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

I've heard of folks using an M/S pair instead of the front omni in a Decca Tree array, so it doesn't surprise me that someone would try ORTF there as well.
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