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Offline Gutbucket

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Oddball microphone techniques
« on: December 21, 2007, 10:50:32 PM »
This thread documents some out-of-the-mainstream stereo and surround microphone techniques I've been using, as well as those of some other members here.  For ease of access, following is a list of links to subsections within the thread, which I'll revise as new stuff is included.


[edited to add links below to each of the techniques in this ever-evolving thread]

Telescopic TV antenna spreader bar for spaced omni mini mics (w/painter pole - chair base stand) this post in its original form that starts the thread below-

Spaced miniature omni's, stage-lip on thin welding rod 'stalks' for near invisibility-

Richard's ceiling mounted all-in-one on a stick-

Boundrisphere head sized boundary mounted baffle-

Seperate thread with more details on the boundrisphere-

Bug Eye compact stereo adjustable spaced omni rig-

Elliptical and oversized Jecklin disk baffles-

Moke's rearwardly baffled omnis-

Quad Eye compact surround rig-

Chandalier surround-

Four evenly spaced miniature omni's in a row, stage-lip on thin welding rod 'stalks'-

Improved quad-eye portable stereo/surround rig (with integrated cable management for rapid deployment and tangle-free cabling)

Octo-ear portable surround rig adds ambisonic Tetrmic at center, increases A-B omni spacing to 2 meters, adds 12 total channel capability-

Four channel surround rig with six foot (2m) omni spacing plus center and rearward facing cardioids (full sized MG cards and miniature ATs)-

Revised four channel surround rig with six foot (2m) omnis spacing plus center and rearward facing cardioids (miniature DPA 4098H supercardioids) and smaller recorder package for increased portability- 

Reference 6-channel surround rig- OCT for Left/Center/Right using Microtech Gefell cardioid and supercardioids, + six foot (2m) spaced omnis as dedicated Left/Right surrounds and rear facing Gefell cardioid as center back surround channel

All DPA miniature microphone version of the same 6-channel array substituting DPA 4098H super/hypercardioids in place of the Microtech Gefells.  New experimental addition of two Naiant X-8S figure-8 mics, turning the front/back facing center mics into Mid/Side pairs.  8 channels total-



I've been doing a lot of spaced omni recording.  The technique is obviously nothing out of the ordinary, but here's two interesting implementation ideas that work for me.  These ideas take advantage of smaller, lightweight mics, in this case DPA 4060's.  Can't do these with the ADK TL's.

The first is using an old set-top style TV antenna as a spreader bar to get up to a 5' spacing between mics using one stand.  Some antennas may go even wider, but I usually settle around the around 1 meter (that's 39" in America :P) after adjusting the spacing while monitoring with 'phones.  The telescopic aerials make it really easy to adjust the spacing on the fly.  I've got my eye out for a black pair which should visually disappear better than the 'classic' chrome version.

When I first whipped this up the night before a festival a year or so ago I was just getting back into taping again and didn't have a stand, so I gaff taped the antenna to a telescopic painter pole that slid perfectly into the back support tube of a folding chair.  Fortunately, the omnis out on the ends of the antennas didn't seem to pick up any handling noise when I sat down or moved around.  The chair & pole deal actually turned out to be an advantage because I could leave an identical chair at another stage and easily move the rig between the two.  I keep the mic preamp and recorder in a small shaving kit bag so the whole rig is pretty compact.  When it's time to change stages I just un-telescope the pole, fold the antenna arms down parallel and wrap a velcro cable tie around the pole to secure them, pull the pole out of the chair back and go.  Takes about 30 seconds to break down or set up once it's rigged.  Note for the DPA 406x users, I'm using the short (6' I think) micro-dot extension cables to extend the mic leads from the pole to the MMA6000 preamp. Here are some photos, sorry I don't have any 'in use' at the 'fest shots.

First the painter pole & TV aerial with mics mounted wired to the recorder bag.  The mic leads are just wrapped loosely around the antenna and gaff taped down the pole-
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 03:41:21 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2007, 10:53:20 PM »
Here's a few shots showing how the pole slides into the chair back.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2007, 10:58:40 PM »
A few of the system rigged and ready to go but packed up to move, details of the gaff tape attaching the mics to the ends of the antennas (with out the windscreens) and the shaving kit bag with the MMA6000 preamp > R-09.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2007, 12:47:30 AM »
Ok, here's #2-

In this case I was taping MMW at a local joint, who were in town for a two night run.  This place, like most bars and clubs is not a place where omni's typically work well.  The management has put the nix on what was the usual position of choice for stand placement next to the soundboard (I guess that would be SOB?). Fortunately we could set up stage lip.  MMW is instrumental so no problem missing FOH vocals, but John Medeski had this fortress of gear stacked around him blocking both sight and sound lines to the entire right half of the stage so everyone taping up there was trying to figure out how best to configure things.  Chris Wood (bass) was center stage and Billy Martin's drum kit was sideways facing Medeski with his percussion table behind him.  There is a wall at the edge of the stage which is about armpit height from the house floor and about 8" higher than stage level, so the first night I taped my mics to the inside of this wall facing in, centered on the band about 4' apart, with my recorder bag on-stage behind the wall. Totally invisible to the crowd.  ;)  Recording turned out OK, not spectacular.

The next day I grabbed two pieces of stainless TIG welding rod before leaving work and taped the leads of the mics to the rods with narrow strips of black gaff tape.  At the venue that night I placed my gear behind the stage lip and considered where to better arrange the mics. I figured I'd shoot for a nice clear, present image of Billy's drum kit and percussion table with a direct line of sight to Chris Wood's bass amp and let the obscured keyboard amps (and baby grand at the back corner of the stage) be more atmospheric and diffuse since their level was plenty loud. I shifted left so that the 4' spread between mics was centered on the side-on drum kit, with the percussion table to the immediate left and the bass amp directly in front of my right mic towards the rear of the stage.  I bent the rods into a nice gentle curve and taped them to the wall so that they rose about 2-1/2' above the stage and projected about 18" in towards the band and away from the crowd.  The result was two thin, black bug antenna-like stalks with the mics on the ends, nearly invisible from the crowd eventhough they were directly in the line of sight from the floor.  The recording worked out quite well if a bit unconventional in its sound staging.  The percussion table segments are clean & clear on the left, the drum kit is present though unnaturally wide, filling the stage L-R, the basses are centered and the keys are to the right with a nice reverberant ambient depth.  Even Medeski is much cleaner sounding than the night before when the mics were closer to him, probably since the mics were up in 'clean air' with nothing around them. Anyway it worked great and I can't wait for another opportunity to try this again.

Apologies for the long winded explanation, here are the pics.  First assembling the rods and mics with the gaff tape, no windscreens used-
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2007, 12:51:13 AM »
Finished and ready for the show, I didn't bend them until I was at the venue-
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Offline jeromejello

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2007, 12:53:58 AM »
gutbucket, you must have been the guy that i met at Bear Creek.

i really did like your chair set up.  envious of the small rig for sure.  and the you had the extra r-09 to patch the 722 rig too.

+t
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2007, 12:55:09 AM »
Here's the rods bent as used (I actually took these photos the next day)-
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Offline illconditioned

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2007, 12:58:41 AM »
Great work "repurposing" whatever you find around you.

Not a new position for mics, but I wanted something to suspend mics from the ceiling and have no wires getting in peoples' way.  This is a pair of Beyerdynamic MC930 > self made (18v) battery box > Edirol R09.

Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2007, 01:00:49 AM »
gutbucket, you must have been the guy that i met at Bear Creek.

i really did like your chair set up.  envious of the small rig for sure.  and the you had the extra r-09 to patch the 722 rig too.

+t

That's me.  Good to meet you up there.  The chairs work pretty well, but I'm thinking of switching to a small stand if I can find one that is small but goes high enough, I don't want or need anything too big.  I think that would be just as portable, but I could use it without the chair.  The pole rotates pretty easy in the chair too so I have to be careful that it stays oriented right.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2007, 01:04:23 AM »
Here's the whole rig laid out on the floor to give you a better idea-
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2007, 01:17:23 AM »
And finally here are a few shots from the show.  If you look very closely you can see thin curving black lines in each shot in front or around Mr. Martin, mostly on the left side of the photos.  The shots of him working the percussion table show both stalks, one in front and one behind him.  It's easier to make out the left one with the percussion table cloth behind it. I didn't take these but found them on the web.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2007, 01:33:30 AM »
Great work "repurposing" whatever you find around you.

Not a new position for mics, but I wanted something to suspend mics from the ceiling and have no wires getting in peoples' way.  This is a pair of Beyerdynamic MC930 > self made (18v) battery box > Edirol R09.

I like the all-in-one hang from the ceiling unit, Richard.  I'm looking for some cardioids and considering the Beyer930's so I'm interested in your batt. box.  I think they'll operate on 12-48v, no? And with a sensitivity of 30mV/Pa you probably don't much gain from the R-09 I'd guess.
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Offline illconditioned

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2007, 10:40:00 AM »
Great work "repurposing" whatever you find around you.

Not a new position for mics, but I wanted something to suspend mics from the ceiling and have no wires getting in peoples' way.  This is a pair of Beyerdynamic MC930 > self made (18v) battery box > Edirol R09.

I like the all-in-one hang from the ceiling unit, Richard.  I'm looking for some cardioids and considering the Beyer930's so I'm interested in your batt. box.  I think they'll operate on 12-48v, no? And with a sensitivity of 30mV/Pa you probably don't much gain from the R-09 I'd guess.

Yep, they work great with the Edirol R09.
The battery box is two 9V batteries in series (18V), and uses 2k resistors (instead of 6.8k for regular phantom).  It is unbalanced (just uses wire 2 (+) of the XLR).  The result is 12v drops accross the mic, which powers just fine.

 Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2007, 10:56:31 AM »
Richard,
I've seen the pciture of that rig before, and always wondered,... what is the deal with the headphone jack connection?
Both the headphone and the mic in jacks have a "jack extender", a male rt angle miniplug, about 2" of wire, and a female jack.  This is to protect against the "weak jack problem" on the Edirols.  Oh yeah, since that photo I've glued the plugs in with (matching) black hot melt glue  :).

 Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techiques that worked
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2007, 11:11:41 AM »
...
The battery box is two 9V batteries in series (18V), and uses 2k resistors (instead of 6.8k for regular phantom).  It is unbalanced (just uses wire 2 (+) of the XLR).  The result is 12v drops accross the mic, which powers just fine.

 Richard


Simple. If I go the MC930 route I'll put one of those together for sure.  Thanks for the R&D.

Lee
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