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Author Topic: First show ever, What am I forgetting...  (Read 1598 times)

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Offline G.Kennedy

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First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« on: January 17, 2018, 12:45:07 AM »
I've been lurking for a bit now.  Going through old posts, learning as much as I can. Picking out gear, setting up and practicing.  I think I am ready.  This Saturday is my first show.

My introduction to this site came while researching how to best record a youth orchestra, specifically my 8yr old daughters ensemble. I'd like to thank everyone in advance for all the knowledge that is archived here.

Here is what I have and what I've done to prep.

 -Tascam DR100mkiii w/32g card
 -Line Audio CM3, standard mic clips, no shock mounts. With foamy wind screens
 -home made stereo bar, 1/4" x 1.5" aluminum, very solid. Holes drill for 30cm/90deg(NOS) and 40cm (AB)
 -homemade XLR cables, 10' and 25'
 -Sony headphones for monitoring
 - solid stand, cable ties, tape,zip ties etc...

I have been able to record the rehearsals twice. Both times were very successful. I made a few errors, but the recordings sounds very nice.  During those rehearsals I was 5' behind the conductor and 4' over his head. Once I used 30cm/90deg. Once I used 40cm (AB) straight.

I liked both results and am waffling on what to use this Saturday.

This Saturday the concert will be in a bigger recital hall.  I am guessing I will be 30' behind conductor. Probably 10 rows back.  I will have the luxury of a sound check as the group rehearses for 1 hour before they play.  So I am feeling pretty good about getting the mics up and setting levels correctly.

I may even have time to listen to 30cm/90 vs 40cm AB. But I'm not really sure I going to mess with that on my first outing. I'd like to get them up and leave them up.

If you had this scenario. Which option would you choose ?

And I've read numerous times.  Set the levels at -12 and boost in post (Audacity). That's my plan, unless someone has a better opinion.  The DR100 has dual level record. So I will get a second track that is 12db lower.  I am planning on a setting of 24/44.1 for this outing.

That's it. Thanks for any suggestions to make this go smoothly. All opinions welcome.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 01:05:43 AM by G.Kennedy »
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Offline jbell

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Offline Moke

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2018, 11:03:19 AM »
Remember to take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy.
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2018, 11:55:54 AM »
remember to take rig pics; either after set-up before the program or after the program. Visually documents your config. It gets easy to forget some details.
Good luck! 
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

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Offline G.Kennedy

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2018, 01:34:50 PM »
Yes. I will try to relax and enjoy it. Being a long time stereoholic (not audiophile), this a fun new audio direction. I have built my own pre and power tube amps which drive my vintage Klipsch La Scalas. So I like to tinker.

That’s why the home made stereo bar and cables. I think I want the flexibility of a non fixed bar like the Shapeways.

I am stoked to have the hour of rehearsal to get any bugs out.

The conductor is 100% on board. And we are setting up a plan to load the rehearsal recordings every week to SoundCloud. The the kids can listen to their practice sessions.

Looking forward to Saturday!!!  I will take some photos and post them if I can figure that out. I may have a photo on my phone from a previous concert. Let me see if it loads so you can see the space.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 01:41:36 PM by G.Kennedy »
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Offline G.Kennedy

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 01:52:49 PM »
Ok. Here is the venue. The piano is the main reason I am going back 10 or so rows. If not for that. I’d go front row center.

90deg/ 30cm or 40cm straight at stage ( which I am calling AB. Is that correct?)

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Offline Moke

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 02:11:17 PM »
AB is generally considered two mics, typically omnis, pointed at 0º straight forward, and 9"->12" apart

If you're referring to the CM3 pair as such, 30cm @ 90º, that is what we call NOS. 40cm, I'd call wide-NOS.
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Offline fanofjam

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 02:59:51 PM »
Adding to Moke's comment, the 90 degree angle with a pair of directional mics helps to create the stereo effect.  Stereo effect is created by differences in both sound pressure and timing of the same sound reaching each microphone.  By angling the mics (in the case of DIN and NOS, the angle is 90 degrees), you create a sound pressure difference between sounds arriving at the mics in the horizontal plane. 

So as Moke said, AB is used for split omni's because, since omni's aren't directional (i.e. their pickup pattern is circular), there isn't much of a sound pressure difference between the two mics.  The majority of the stereo effect you hear in AB recordings is a result of the difference it time it takes for a sound to get to one capsule versus the other.  Obviously, in this situation, if two mics are positioned close together that difference will be less pronounced than if they're farther apart.  The rule of thumb is that omni mics need to be about 30cm apart before you're able to hear some stereo effect.

With directional mics, you can create the stereo effect with both timing and sound pressure differences.  Since your directional mics are also spread apart, you'll have the same timing difference as you have with the same spread with omni's.  However, you can pronounce the stereo effect by angling the mics so that the mics are pointing in different directions.  When doing this, sound is entering the front of one capsule and the side of the other capsule.  The pickup patterns of a directional mic is more oval shaped, so the sound level entering the side of one of the mic capsules is a few db lower than the sound coming into the front of the other capsule.  When listening back, we hear these differences and that helps us directionally locate a sound on a recording as coming from one side or the other.

The analogy of course is your ears.  Both ears point in different directions and they're spaced by 17 or so cm (not uncoincidentally, that's ORTF and DIN spacing).  Our ears don't point straight forward, so our natural hearing also relies on both sound pressure and timing differences for directional sound location.  Lots of people like their recording to reproduce what they heard at the show, so ORTF and DIN (or DINa) are probably the most popular configurations since they replicate the spacing of your ears.

Sooo, if I remember correctly, your mics have cardioids in them.  Because of the above, I'd recommend using the NOS configuration over the AB configuration.  (I'd personally probably go with DIN or DINa, but that doesn't appear to be an option for you tonight.  NOS tends to be preferred when you're closer in to the sound source.)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 03:19:27 PM by fanofjam »

Offline G.Kennedy

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2018, 03:29:10 PM »
Thank you both for helping me understand all this.

Ok. CM3 at 90deg/30cm is what I am going with.
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Offline Moke

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2018, 03:35:24 PM »
G.

*I put this together a couple of years ago, to help get a new audio forum get underway.  It is a playback forum, not a recording forum. I tried to explain stereo recording to a group of playback enthusiasts, and this is what I came up with. I've been told it helps sort out the basics of stereo recording, from a few new recordistas.
Hopefully might help?
http://www.hifihaven.org/index.php?threads/a-songcatcher-in-the-wild-natural-aural-imagery.48/

*Then photobucket killed it by cutting the image links; I fixed it.
Then a forum software change killed the thread again; I fixed it again.
All of that to say, that there are a few isms that might still need correcting. Its a work in prgress.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 04:04:44 PM by Moke »
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Offline fanofjam

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2018, 04:04:01 PM »
G.

I put this together a couple of years ago, to help get a new audio forum get underway.  It is a playback forum, not a recording forum. I tried to explain stereo recording to a group of playback enthusiasts, and this is what I came up with. I've been told it helps sort out the basics of stereo recording, from a few new recordistas.
Hopefully might help?
http://www.hifihaven.org/index.php?threads/a-songcatcher-in-the-wild-natural-aural-imagery.48/

+++T Moke.  Excellent work!

Offline rigpimp

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2018, 06:26:43 PM »
Remember to take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy.

^^This.  Have fun first, then post your mistakes here:  http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=183662.0 and learn from them.   :tomato:  You'll have recorded 100x and still make mistakes you made during your first 10x.

Oh yah, and welcome to a hobby that will be an obsession before you can blink!

Good luck!

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2018, 06:39:01 PM »
Ok. Here is the venue. The piano is the main reason I am going back 10 or so rows. If not for that. I’d go front row center.

Go up front*.  Piano recording is challenging, and difficult to record clearly from further away.  Unless it is so much louder than the other instrumentation that it swamps everything else (unlikely), you'll most likely do best by getting slightly closer to the piano than you would the other instruments, not further away.

Why? Piano is a rather diffuse as a sound source (primarily radiating up and down perpendicular to it's soundboard, more than horizontally).  Some sound reflects directly of the lid out in one direction if raised to full-stick and you can see the strings and hammers reflected in the underside of the lid from the recording position, yet much of the sound reflects off the floor and other piano structures, and only arrives diffusely.

I made a recording recently of a concert grand and orchestra about 5' away from the curve of the piano.  It blocked the view of the entire orchestra from the recording position except the outer edges of the violin sections far left and the cellos and bass sections far right.  Worked out quite nicely.  Granted the piano is the featured element on that recording and was played as such.

For what you are doing, recording from the front row is likely ideal.  If I could, I might shoot for setting up directly behind the seated conductor/keyboardist, right over the center-most brass floor-receptacle in that photo, but it depends on the players and how live the room is.  You might make a slightly more forgiving recording from the center of the front row.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 07:10:27 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2018, 07:06:17 PM »
*Go up front.  <This is also important for numerous other reasons besides a piano being involved.  Without getting too deep- Choice of recording position is one of the most important choices we can make in live music recording. 

Here are few reasons why closer is usually better for acoustic music when there is no PA amplification involved:

1) You get a better balance between pickup of the sound arriving directly from the instruments and the reverberant sound bouncing around the room.  Microphones don't have a brain attached to them like ears do and cannot ignore/ hear-around the reverberation clearly in the same way as our brain/ears system can.  A recording position somewhat closer than where it sounds best with your own ears is usually going to work better for acoustic performances.  A recording made from where it sounds best live with your own ears will typically sound more distant and less "present" than your live impression was from that position.

2) It places the innumerable noises of humanity (audience) behind the recording position.  If you are recording from row 10 you'll get a great close-proximity recording of audience sniffles, coughs, whispers, jangling jewelry, candy-wrapper openings, along with a more distant, reverberant portrayal of the music.  You probably would prefer the opposite.   And, even if you had a truly church-mouse quiet audience, their applause will typically end up being significantly louder than the music due to their immediate proximity.

Now don't worry about any of that too much, but trust me on this, setup up front. 
When we don't it's either because we can not, or because other factors are involved.

Have fun with it.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 07:13:04 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Moke

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Re: First show ever, What am I forgetting...
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2018, 07:24:21 PM »
The only thing that would keep me out of the front row center seat would be a reserved ticket seat. Even then, I'd be fenagling my way into it.
And agreed with Gutbucket, about being up there, up front, and near that floor jack plate. The piano will go diffuse quickly enough, especially if you stay a bit lower. You don't need to fly at 8' either; who listens from up there? Record from the level of the music.
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