Wow, really nice! The band was feeling it a bit more on this one, I think. SO much better sounding than the typical jazz recording where there's lots of spot mics but no natural stereo image. I don't want to hear the sound of a mic 4 inches from a bari sax; I want to hear the whole band sound like it does when you're there! Given where I'm posting this, I suspect I'm preaching to the choir in a big way...
I'm curious - did you adjust the default spacing of the "Faulkner II" array since you're using cards and not subcards? Either way, I think it sounds great. I came across this kind of array after picking up my subcard CM3s, wondering what interesting things you can do with that pattern of mic.
I'm sure you know about this, but for those here who don't, here is Mr. Faulkner himself posting about this setup:
Many thanks! Yes this band was much more together on the slower numbers and I loved this piece myself.
The trouble with this style of recording is you get everything warts and all, and in an awful lot of detail, so mistakes you don't necessarily notice or put up with in the live concert, are there in stark detail in the recording to be heard back time after time.
Regarding the Faulkner II (for want of a better name) array set-up: I've kind of returned to this recording hobby after quite a gap, and decided to upgrade the gear I was using. This recording was really the first time I'd tried all my new toys: the DPAs, the OM1s and the Zoom F8....and I'd come across the marvellous Tony Faulkner video where he describes the ORTF/Omni array and I figured I'd start trying that out too. So for this recording I used the TFII array exactly as he described in the video - ie the DPAs in pure ORTF configuration with their diaphragms 17cm apart, and the OM1s angled out at 90 degrees to each other and their diaphragms 67cm apart, to see how it worked and what it sounded like. For this track in particular, in my opinion I think it worked very well - particularly for headphone listening.
The DPA 2011Cs are interesting - they're actually almost exactly the same sensitivity as the OM1s - I had both set at +30db gain on the F8. They actually get quite noisy if you have to crank up the gain high - the OM1s at similar gain are almost completely silent. That surprised me: I'm not sure if this is a feature of DPAs generally or just this particular capsule and/or the compact (C) amp. However at the gain used here, the self-noise was non-existent to my ears. On the other hand, they have a real clarity and sparkle to the sound - I love the detail they bring out. I think they also have a lower-end lift which I feel is helpful for this kind of recording. They seem to work well in classic ORTF orientation and create a nice wide but very precise stereo landscape - that's maybe due to their off-axis response which is supposed to be excellent. I couldn't justify spending more that what I paid for the 2011Cs but I liked the fact that they were modular so I can upgrade to 4000-series capsules in future if I feel rich!
I might get a pair of Line Audio CM3s to compare with them - a lot easier to justify their price, and from the samples I've heard and what I've read about them, they appear to be quite amazing mics.
The TF articles you provided links to were really interesting - I love listening to and reading Tony's wisdom. It was largely due to an article and review he wrote back in the 1980s in a UK HiFi magazine (I still have the copy and was reading it the other day) that I got into live-to-stereo recording in the first place and I purchased my still-trusty Calrec mics on the basis of his recommendation in the article.
He makes what I think is a very telling comment about the fact that in an orchestra, the conductor believes it's his/her job to get the balance right. If that balance is right, then Tony's approach makes a lot of sense - a simple and unobtrusive mic technique to capture essentially what the conductor wanted the sound to be.
If you read about recording big bands, a similar approach is rarely used - lots of spot mics everywhere and the balance and stereo image reconstructed after the event. I've always thought a simple mic technique *should* be appropriate for big bands, but of course that's going to require the band to be properly self-balanced and/or under the control and discipline of a band-leader who acts just like an orchestral conductor to get the sound he wants the audience to hear. Unfortunately I don't think that's often the case, and it's made worse by the band often needing a PA for singers, keyboards etc.
It made me think about the Sheffield Labs King James Version recording that used a very simple mic technique:http://www.auldworks.com/bbandrecord/bbandrec2.htm#kingjames
Here was a recording made by guys who knew the kind of sound they wanted to capture, and a band-leader who undoubtedly understood how to achieve a great, balanced sound from his band.
So back to the tracks I recorded a few days ago - that Silent Night track worked because it was a nice self-balancing number. All the musicians had their individual levels under control and weren't just blasting away full tilt. As such the trick to capturing it was very simple and I think the TFII array worked really well and pretty accurately sounds like what the audience heard.
I'm looking for more opportunities to record live music in the London/SE England area, so hopefully I'll get another chance soon to try some more experiments with this rig.