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Author Topic: Proximity and Double MS  (Read 655 times)

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Offline rigpimp

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Proximity and Double MS
« on: January 11, 2017, 05:42:18 PM »
OK, so I now have a crap ton of mics at my disposal and I want to experiment with some techniques that are new to me.  I have two cardiods (CCM4) and two bi-directional (MK8)  I have run MS a bunch with my Neumann gear and I will get back to that later

For now I want to understand proximity to sound source required for a successful double MS effort.  I know that for running both MK8's in Blumlein I need to be as close as possible to the source.  Is this the case for DMS as well?  With one the M's pointing backwards is mid-room ideal?  Any insight is appreciated.

Initially intend of learning how to use the Schoeps plugin to mix it to stereo first but I am not opposed to learning how to mix it to surround.
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Proximity and Double MS
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2017, 06:24:54 AM »
I don't technically know, Rigpimp! But I would try the DMS FOB/DFC so that the Back M signal wasn't too far back in the room. And that should give you a nice mix of the M/S signals too IMO, up front! The Proximity should be the same as running regular M/S, since the back M signal is the only thing new to the equation!

Do you have a room where you can easily run FOB/DFC? I'd try that before I tried DMS anywhere else ;)

And I am SOOOOO freakin jealous you have [2] mk8's ;D I'd be running mk8/Blumlein FOB/DFC and then my other 2 channels would probably be the mk41's DINa! Have fun trying out some new stuff, most importantly!
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Proximity and Double MS
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2017, 09:07:52 AM »
> I know that for running both MK8's in Blumlein I need to be as close as possible to the source.

?? There's no such rule or principle. Blumlein is just like any other microphone setup: You choose the miking distance that gives you the balance of direct vs. reflected sound that you prefer.

The tricky part (especially when headphones are all that you have for monitoring on location) is that the stereo imaging has to work at the same time. With a Blumlein setup, the rear lobes of the mikes are fully as sensitive as the front lobes, so yes, for the sake of clarity you often do find yourself placing the mikes closer than you might expect (if your habits are based on working with cardioids).

But the stereophonic recording angle that a Blumlein setup can accommodate is relatively narrow. So when you place a Blumlein setup close to the sound sources, the angular width that they occupy (relative to the microphone position) can easily become too great. With cardioids that simply leads to spatial distortion, which isn't nice, but it can be overlooked by most listeners. With figure-8s, however, you pay a steeper price for exceeding the allowable width: For sound sources that are farthest on each side of the stage, the rear lobe of the opposite channel's microphone starts to pick up their direct sound. The two lobes of a figure-8 have opposite polarity, so the two recorded channels end up containing some of the identical direct sound in both channels simultaneously--but opposite in polarity from each other. That can sound "interesting" sometimes, but it can never sound straightforward and natural.

This is probably the main reason that successful Blumlein recordings of live performances are rare. Most stage setups for groups of performers are wider than they are deep. A miking position is required where the width of the (collective) sound sources fits the available stereophonic recording angle, AND where the mikes are close enough for good focus/clarity. When requirement A contradicts requirement B and vice versa, you need to choose a different miking technique for that recording.

--best regards
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 11:12:44 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Proximity and Double MS
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 10:15:03 AM »
Just put the mics where it sounds best in the room.  The advantage of Double M/S is that it frees you of having to take other things into consideration when setting up.

It's helpful to not overthink the rear facing cardioid in a Dual-Mid/Side setup.  If your target output is 2-channel stereo rather than multichannel surround, think of a DMS setup as "improved Mid/Side" in that it offers a choice, after the recording has been made, of any X/Y setup (using cardioids, supercardioids, hypercardioids, or bidirectionals), Blumlein, or M/S (using an omni, subcard, cardioid, supercardioid, hypercardioid, or bidirectional Mid microphone), using any angle you want between microphones.  In that sense it is super powerful and more of a "stick it in an appropriate spot without having to worry about choosing the most appropriate microphone setup at the time," because you dial those things in afterwards.

The most basic aspect to consider with DMS in regards to it's suitability and optimal recording position is that it's a coincident microphone technique.. and that's also represents it's primary limitation.  It is capable of producing the identical output as any coincident microphone arrangement, but if you generally prefer non-coincident near-spaced (or wider-spaced) arrangements it's not going to give you any of that.

I know that for running both MK8's in Blumlein I need to be as close as possible to the source.

Not quite that simple.  Blumlein is tricky because it is completely omnidirectional with regards to directional pickup sensitivity yet has the most narrow stereo recording angle of any stereo microphone configuration with regards to the stereo image it captures of whatever is "in front".  So a close recording position is helpful in the first sense, as a way of increasing the pickup of clean the direct sound without getting swamped in room 'verb, yet the narrow stereo pickup angle means that is can be difficult to fit all the sources within it's narrow stereo recording angle without moving further back.  The SRA for crossed bidirectionality is less than +/- 45 degrees, compared to +/- 180 degrees for crossed cardioids setup with the same 90 degree angle between the mics.

But again, the advantage of DMS is that you don't need to worry about all that stuff when setting up.  Just put the microphones where it sounds best in the room and dial in the virtual coincident microphone configuration which sounds best afterwards.


Here's a suggestion you might try a time or two which may prove interesting-  Your DMS setup will consist of one CCM4 facing forward, one CCM4 facing backwards, and one MK8 pointing sideways. You'll need to record that to 3 separate channels*, so presumably you're using a recorder with or more 4 channels.    Go ahead and use the 4th channel to record your other MK8, facing fore/aft and arranged coincidently with the DMS setup.  Then you can compare native M/S Blulmlein (bi-directional Mid) with the virtual Blumlein derived from the DMS setup.   You'll also get a good feel for how even a slight amount of adjustability in being able to tune in the most optimal microphone configuration afterwards can make a substantial difference in the quality of the resulting recording.

*Unless using the Schoeps DMS hardware decoder to derive a 2-channel output, but that eliminates the freedom to dial in the most optimal settings afterwards while listening in a controlled environment.


I just went to post and noticed DSatz had replied while I was typing. He likely covered much of what I just stated with greater expertise and insight, but I'll go ahead and post anyway before reading his post.  I can always re-edit mine if I've stuck my foot in my mouth.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Proximity and Double MS
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2017, 11:02:48 AM »
^ Okay, I think I'm good. 

Initially intend of learning how to use the Schoeps plugin to mix it to stereo first but I am not opposed to learning how to mix it to surround.

With DMS you can derive as many virtual microphones as you want, of any pickup pattern ranging from omni through bi-directional, and point them in any horizontal direction.  That makes multichannel surround output possible as well as two channel stereo output from the same DMS recording.

However, the basic defining aspect of DMS being a coincident microphone arrangement limits the practical number of useful virtual microphone channels.  It can work well for 4 output channels, but there is not enough channel separation to optimally derive more channels than that without excessive overlap.  The DMS plugin can derive 5 channels with less than optimal separation, and more than 5 is probably not worth pursuing even if entirely possible.

Surround recording with DMS is useful primarily for film and tv, where a compact rig is vital if mounting on a boom, and/or where great immersive surround quality is less important than a good down-mix compatibility to stereo or mono.   Most of those users are deriving 4 channels (without a center channel) as ambient beds that are mixed with separate dialog in the center channel and perhaps other content panned to produce 5.1 or whatever the output format happens to be.  But for a really great sounding music surround recording targeting 5 or more playback channels, you'll probably want to use non-coincident microphone configurations.  Not only due to the channel separation issue with increasing counts, but also due to the common subjective preference for near-spaced configurations verses coincident configurations which probably applies even more strongly to multichannel surround stereo than 2-channel stereo.

Now having said that, go ahead and try it anyway!  Once you've made the DMS recording and have it saved as 3 separate channels, you can always go back and decode it in anyway you like.  Even if there are more optimal ways of recording music in surround, it's still great fun to play around with, you'll probably learn a lot from doing so, and you may enjoy listening that way more than the stereo output.
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: Proximity and Double MS
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2017, 09:58:00 PM »
I love this forum.  I always have and sometimes it hits me harder than others.

One of the things I love about recording MS is working it all up in post the way my ears like it.  I know that is also a benefit that I'll enjoy about DMS. 

Thank you all for the tips, particularly the narrow angle of Blumlein.  I'll just poke around with the new toys and try new stuff.  I'm excited about that. I do use a 4 channel recorder so I have enough to play with, for now.   ;)
Mics: Schoeps MK5 G MP, Schoeps CCM 4 Lg MP, Schoeps MK8 MP, nBob cables > PFA, KCY 250/5 > PFA
Pre/A>D/P48: Sonosax SX/M2, Sonosax SX/M2-LS, E.A.A. PSP-2, Naiant Tinybox, Neumann BS48i-2
Recorders: Edirol R-44, Sony PCM-M10

http://archive.org/bookmarks/kskreider

 

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