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Author Topic: Recording Marching Band (formerly: Furry windscreens - moisture resistance?)  (Read 15109 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Recording Marching Band (formerly: Furry windscreens - moisture resistance?)
« Reply #75 on: September 23, 2014, 03:44:59 PM »
Your quad-eye rig doesn't look a whole lot taller when collapsed (fatter but maybe not longer) and has a lot more in place outta the bag.  The feet are still low to the ground but those bright green balls on the feet are a nice beacon.  I may have to add that for open use spaces.  What did you use for those?  Was it tennis balls?

That light-stand I'm using and a few other small ones are designed so that the legs fold upwards (over center, with the feet ending up at the top), which allows for a shorter stowed length about the length of each leg.  Most light-stands stow with the legs folded downwards (feet at the bottom), so they stow longer than the length of each leg.

The green balls at the bottom (and also the ones acting as the spherical baffles for the omnis microphones) are light but dense, solid closed-cell foam balls used in Nerf brand toy guns, sold in packs of 6 or 8 as 'ballistics balls'.  I bought them at a local Toys-R-Us. Used as replacement stand feet, they help keep the stand from sinking into soft soil or sand, and provide some cushioning on hard concrete surfaces as we visual indication.  I just made used a razor knife to make a slit in the balls that was about the width of each leg and about 3/4 of the way deep into the ball and slipped one onto each leg.  For the spherical microphone baffles, I melted holes of the appropirate size through them with the head of a heated nail and painted them charcoal 'Nextel' grey with a spray can of upholstery paint from an automotive store.

If you can't find those particular green Nerf Balistic Balls I prefer, I've seen balls made of the same material in sporting goods stores, in a slightly smaller diameter and usually yellow in color, sold as floating practice golf balls and outdoor ping-pong balls (or maybe paddle balls).
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 03:50:28 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Recording Marching Band (formerly: Furry windscreens - moisture resistance?)
« Reply #76 on: September 23, 2014, 05:31:47 PM »
The camera tripod format is also better because it is more obvious about the space it is staking out.  A traditional mic stand has legs that spread wider and very low to the grand so the outer dimensions of the real estate it occupies are not very obvious and those are easier to get accidentally entangled in.

A light stand (designed for holding lights for photography) is the most common type of stand used for recording around here.  It is basically much more like a camera tripod than a traditional microphone stand, but has fixed instead of telescoping legs, making it much simpler and faster to setup, though it provides less leveling adjustments.  Instead of a hand-cranked top tube for fine adjustment of height, they have simple multi-sectioned telescopic vertical tube section which clamp in place. They are available from about 12" to up to to 25'+ tall. Similarly to a camera tripod, the diameter of the footprint can be adjusted as to be wider for for more stability or narrower for a smaller and more compact footprint, at the risk of being less stable. 

Not only that they are often much more reasonably priced and/or better made.  I trust my cheap-o Ravelli 10 foot stand any day over the Shure S15 stands I've seen.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Recording Marching Band (formerly: Furry windscreens - moisture resistance?)
« Reply #77 on: September 23, 2014, 05:59:31 PM »

That's a great idea.  I have a cheap but very good monopod that goes about 65" that I'm thinking of using.  If I can attach some type of small case or bag to the top of the monopod / tripod / etc. to hold the tinybox and my M10, the entire recording setup will be contained in a very small space.  I have a couple small camera cases and a little neoprene one with a belt loop that can be attached to the monopod handle.  Then it's just a matter of cable management.


My concern with monopod (as I interpret that concept) is that you'd have to hold it up? 


Well for me, I own a monopod already and if I'm on field level on the aforementioned pit-instrument schlepping crew, I'll be right there to hold it.  Most of these places also have a chain-link fence or rail on the front of the stands where you can clamp the monopod to also.
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Offline voltronic

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Had a competition after many weeks off at a very windy stadium last night.  Thank goodness for TBrown's muppetts!  This is the same band, but it's an excerpt near the end of the show that has a bit more variety.  I was set up right on the 50, but clamped to the rail in front of the front row of seats in the stands.  You will hear piano (synth) and the mallets through the portable PA, a drumline feature, then full band - almost all woodwinds and brass are to the right of the 50.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wvfajrzvi38h66v/141018_01.flac?dl=0

Same lineage as before: CM3s (NOS) > tinybox > M10.
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Offline Karl

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Sounds very nice Voltronic! Now that the season is done, or nearly done, how did it go overall?
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Offline voltronic

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Thanks!  The season went well, although I only got to record a handful of times.  Didn't bring my rig to record finals competition since they had a professional company there making DVDs for all of the bands.  Unfortunately our disc was blank... too bad since their performance was far better.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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I'd like to ask what lessons were learned from this taping experience?  Things you'd do differently and things you thought worked
well.

Offline voltronic

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I'd like to ask what lessons were learned from this taping experience?  Things you'd do differently and things you thought worked
well.

1. Having the mics pre-set in the mount / clamp setup is definitely the way to go for these time-pressure situations, but since these mics need a wider spacing it's difficult to fit the assembled rig in a bag.  I compromised by having the full setup pre-cabled and mounting rig attached to the superclamp, so all I had to do was clamp onto a rail and slide in the mics.

2. Contradicting #1 a bit, if I know ahead of time that I'll be recording from the sideline / track area, I can use a stereo bar with narrower spacing pre-set with the mics as opposed to my DIY NOS mount which is a bit bulky.

3. The TBrown Muppets are fantastic windscreens, but I need to remember to bring some hair bands or other way of securing them (with the foam underneath) tighter on these mics.  A couple shows were VERY windy and thought I thought the screens were going to take off.  Every year our November shows are extremely windy.

4. One show got moved indoors to a HS gym because of the weather.  I knew this ahead of time but only brought my omnis simply because they are much cheaper to replace if they got wet during the unload.  I should have used the CM3s.  The gym was half the size I expected it to be which made it even more boomy than anticipated. 

5. A couple shows I decided not to bring my recording rig because someone else was recording or there was a "professional" setup.  I now know that I should always bring mine. 
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- Gustav Mahler

Offline Karl

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Yep on the "professionals" messing things up. One time they were adjusting their gain knobs DURING OUR PERFORMANCE. Luckily I recorded myself that time so all was not lost. The other time I am kicking myself for not recording was they had their gains too high, and every snare drum rimshot you could hear the nasty cracking of clipping. Oh yeah, another is this year (and two years ago, same company) the final product was in mono (even though they have a stereo setup). So glad i got my own copy.

The other mistake that the "professionals" consistently mess up is spacing the mics too far (about 30 yards apart) so then it messes up the sound of the snare drums.

I wouldn't hesitate to contact the people that recorded your competition and see if they can get you a copy that isn't silent!
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Offline voltronic

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Yep on the "professionals" messing things up. One time they were adjusting their gain knobs DURING OUR PERFORMANCE. Luckily I recorded myself that time so all was not lost. The other time I am kicking myself for not recording was they had their gains too high, and every snare drum rimshot you could hear the nasty cracking of clipping. Oh yeah, another is this year (and two years ago, same company) the final product was in mono (even though they have a stereo setup). So glad i got my own copy.

The other mistake that the "professionals" consistently mess up is spacing the mics too far (about 30 yards apart) so then it messes up the sound of the snare drums.

I wouldn't hesitate to contact the people that recorded your competition and see if they can get you a copy that isn't silent!

We did contact the company - and it was completely blank, as in no video either.  I'm not too optimistic about the sound though - they had 4 mics that I couldn't identify, all older-looking pencil condensers with plain aluminum bodies but no visible logos.  One X-Y pair at the 50, and outriggers on each 30.  They didn't seem to be aimed with a great deal of precision.  They also appeared to have just foam windscreens on a very windy day.  Sigh.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Could be a parent has a smartphone video.  Do you think you will record audio and video next season just in case?


Offline voltronic

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We got a couple good parent videos from folks who own good DSLRs so we're covered there.  Typically those people send me their video and I replace their on-camera audio with my recordings and we have a nice pairing. 

Lesson learned - I'm always bringing my audio gear whenever I can.
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- Gustav Mahler

Offline Gutbucket

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Just got a chance to listen, sounds good.  Thanks for posting that clip.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Recording Marching Band (formerly: Furry windscreens - moisture resistance?)
« Reply #88 on: September 05, 2015, 09:58:47 AM »
First band show of the season was last night, and I tried my X-Qs in a 1m spaced config on top of the press box.  Lineage was X-Q > FP24 > M10.

This was the first public performance for the kids, so the playing is understandably tentative and/or ragged at times.  Also, this was a football game crowd, so the audience was pretty loud during the show.  Competitions will have a quiet audience.

On a side note, the Rode WS8 screens I was using for the first time are fantastic.  There were some significant wind gusts up there, and you hear very little of it on the recording.

BTW, in the pic below that's the visiting team's band leaving the field; not our kids.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6uu9qjwxkhmaicb/AAAdcnBAbxfBRXROxLmIGQhza?dl=0
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- Gustav Mahler

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Recording Marching Band (formerly: Furry windscreens - moisture resistance?)
« Reply #89 on: September 05, 2015, 11:11:21 AM »
Nice facility you have there. 

The perspective of the photo makes it look like the microphone position is pretty distant from the playing field?  The chain link rail is the top of the press box with nothing behind you like a wall?  Then there are those two banners attached to the chain link fence.  Wonder if those tend towards any boundary effect?

Certainly a useable recording for teaching purposes although there is that crowd chatter. 

Looking at the picture, there don't seem to be many other options for placing microphones short of putting up a stand nearer the field. You just need a remote controlled mic stand like the old power car antennas that went up and down with a push of a button.   ;D

 

 

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