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Author Topic: omnis for stealth  (Read 1692 times)

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Offline scrtaper

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omnis for stealth
« on: February 23, 2017, 08:35:11 PM »
So when are omni's a proper choice for stealth recording, when close to a stack or ???? just curious when to use these guys. Thank you
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Online jagraham

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2017, 08:52:24 PM »
Very close to a stack, or front row/"onstage" works well. However, some would argue cards work just as well or better for the stack. Another option is outdoors. Good open outdoor venue sound is good for omnis, whereas they aren't that great in a roofed venue or arena. If you tape outdoors in a windy venue, omnis will help cut out the wind.
Mics: Nak CM-300s, Nak CM-100s, CP-1s, CP-2s, AT-853s(Cards, Hypers, Omnis) CA-14s(Cards, Omnis)
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Recorders: Tascam DR-70D, DR-2D, Edirol R-09

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Offline scrtaper

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 09:18:46 PM »
but with it being outside in a large crowd, wouldn't you have more crowd noise then with cards?
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Offline Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B)

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 09:24:52 PM »
With omni's I prefer to make a triangle with the stacks. Stand as far back as the stacks are apart.

Besides where you stand I also try to make sure I'm not standing anywhere near any drunk idiots (or just any idiot). If that is the case I try to move a little closer first. Otherwise...just try to get as close to that spot as possible.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 09:33:23 PM »
If you close your eyes and manage to forget everything that they have informed you about where you are and what to expect it to sound like, and just listen without either focusing on any sound in particular nor ignoring any other sounds in particular, and it sounds really good to you without any annoying elements distracting your attention, then a pair omnis properly arranged will make a more natural sounding recording from that position than a pair of microphones with any other pickup pattern.

I've made fantastic recordings using omnis from places than many folks would say they should never be used.

Instead of a list of where to use them or where not to, consider the attributes which make omnidirectional microphones different than other patterns, and use that to decide when and where their use is appropriate:

>They pick up sound equally from all directions, which can be good, bad, or both at the same time.  It is why they sound very natural, and open, and is why they'll pick up the sound of idiots talking behind you, or annoying reflected sound bouncing off the metal roof of a concert shed, or the rear concrete wall.
>They are considerably less susceptible to both wind noise and "handling noise" (vibration, movement, shaking, etc) than any other pattern.
>Cost wise, they generally produce better quality sound per dollar than any other pattern.
>They are easier to setup and use without problems.  Setup configuration specifics are less critical than with directional mics.
>They are more forgiving of slight movement or rotation while recording without producing audible problems.
>They "go lower" picking up the lowest bass, which can be good or bad.
>No proximity effect- their tone doesn't change at close recording distances.
>If you mount them close to something not acoustically transparent (a wall, your head, a Jecklin disk, a ping-pong paddle) they become semi-directional.
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Offline scrtaper

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 09:37:47 PM »
thank you that was probably the coolest and most informational comment i have ever recieved
Ca14 cards> Rode M5 > Nak CP-1,CP-2,CP-4 >Superlux S502
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Tascam DR60D MKII > R-09

Online jagraham

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 09:42:52 PM »
but with it being outside in a large crowd, wouldn't you have more crowd noise then with cards?

Of course, but it's kind of a risk you take, you have to guess in advance if the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
Mics: Nak CM-300s, Nak CM-100s, CP-1s, CP-2s, AT-853s(Cards, Hypers, Omnis) CA-14s(Cards, Omnis)
Pres: CA STC-9200, CA-UBB
Recorders: Tascam DR-70D, DR-2D, Edirol R-09

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Offline nulldogmas

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 11:18:54 PM »
Just one small note to add to Gutbucket's as-always-great explanation:

If you close your eyes and manage to forget everything that they have informed you about where you are and what to expect it to sound like, and just listen without either focusing on any sound in particular nor ignoring any other sounds in particular, and it sounds really good to you without any annoying elements distracting your attention, then a pair omnis properly arranged will make a more natural sounding recording from that position than a pair of microphones with any other pickup pattern.

The human ear (or brain) is really good at filtering out sounds coming from directions that it doesn't want to listen to. That's one reason cards often sound more true to what you experienced at a show — they're mimicking the directional focus that you can no longer do when you're listening to fixed stereo channels instead of standing in a room where you can tilt your head slightly, etc., to distinguish sounds you want to hear from those you don't.

So, the advice that if it sounds good with your eyes closed, it'll sound good with omnis, is still an excellent one. Just be sure to stand dead still and iisten to *all* the sounds that you can hear, not just what's coming directly from the stage.

Offline admkrk

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2017, 12:14:21 AM »
I was ready to disagree with you until I got to the bold part. However, that is still relevant with directional patterns. Using cards, in clubs, will usually cut out the chatter behind the mics, but noises like bottles clanking, when tossed into a bin, seem to be amplified, or at least as noticeable as with omnis. Chances are, you will notice something like that less at the venue, than in the recording. It works that way for me anyway.

Just one small note to add to Gutbucket's as-always-great explanation:

If you close your eyes and manage to forget everything that they have informed you about where you are and what to expect it to sound like, and just listen without either focusing on any sound in particular nor ignoring any other sounds in particular, and it sounds really good to you without any annoying elements distracting your attention, then a pair omnis properly arranged will make a more natural sounding recording from that position than a pair of microphones with any other pickup pattern.

The human ear (or brain) is really good at filtering out sounds coming from directions that it doesn't want to listen to. That's one reason cards often sound more true to what you experienced at a show — they're mimicking the directional focus that you can no longer do when you're listening to fixed stereo channels instead of standing in a room where you can tilt your head slightly, etc., to distinguish sounds you want to hear from those you don't.

So, the advice that if it sounds good with your eyes closed, it'll sound good with omnis, is still an excellent one. Just be sure to stand dead still and iisten to *all* the sounds that you can hear, not just what's coming directly from the stage.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2017, 09:55:11 AM »
Thanks for the kind words.

These are spot on observations:

The human ear (or brain) is really good at filtering out sounds coming from directions that it doesn't want to listen to. That's one reason cards often sound more true to what you experienced at a show — they're mimicking the directional focus that you can no longer do when you're listening to fixed stereo channels instead of standing in a room where you can tilt your head slightly, etc., to distinguish sounds you want to hear from those you don't.

Using cards, in clubs, will usually cut out the chatter behind the mics, but noises like bottles clanking, when tossed into a bin, seem to be amplified, or at least as noticeable as with omnis. Chances are, you will notice something like that less at the venue, than in the recording.

Our ears are essentially omnidirectional, made semi-direcitonal by having them mounted on either side of our acoustically opaque head.   Yet our hearing and attention is very much directional because of a massive amount of unconscious signal processing in regions of the brain associated with hearing.  Although you can intentionally "listen to all sounds around you equally" you can't ever really turn off the directional aspect of your own hearing.  We only become consciously aware of sounds after they've passed through those unconscious signal processioning steps.  You can turn off the conscious part and semi-conscious parts by listening mindfully, concentrating and trying to hear everything.  But as long as we are awake the unconscious stuff is always active.  Even while sleeping only some unconscious hearing processes become inactive along with the conscious ones.

So our hearing is actually both omnidirectional and very directional at the same time. Our physical ears are more like omnidirectional microphones, and our unconscious mental hearing processes are sort of like a very advanced directional microphones.  But neither type of microphone can do anything nearly as sophisticated as what our ear/brain system does.

A better if still primitive microphone analogy is an ambisonic microphone.   From a single point in space, an ambisonic recording captures four components of the soundfield in which it is placed- the omnidirectional information, the left/right information, front/back, and up/down information.  After the recording has been made one can choose whatever directional pickup-pattern one wants and point virtual microphones in any direction via combinations of those components.  Sort of like a simplified version of what the unconscious and conscious hearing process does.  Except our hearing is way more resolved, and more importantly our brain is constantly tweaking it's virtual microphone directional patterns and angles every moment.

We unconsciously filter out much of the conversations behind us, until they cross a threshold where we become consciously aware of them.  We can consciously ignore them until they cross another threshold where those sounds are competing with what we are actively concentrating on.  We do the same for reflections, reverberation, and whatever.  When a bottle clinks, it crosses those unconscious thresholds which other chatter does not - were're well evolved to unconsciously react to a twig-snap in the woods so that we direct our consciousness towards the tiger stalking us.

So directional mics mimic a very simplified pre-processed version of our directional hearing, which is fully baked into the cake at the time the recording is made.  One of the reasons I enjoy record in surround using microphones pointing forwards, backwards and sideways, is that I can bake that cake later (similar to ambisonics) and tweak the recipe to taste before it goes in the oven.  Better still and in addition to the well-tweaked pre-baked 2-channel stereo, at home at least I can also play back those recordings in surround, which allows my brain to do it's own cake baking.   Its a way in which I can capture both the omni and directional aspects, and find a better compromise between the two for a natural sounding recording yet with reduced distractions than I can by simply pointing a pair of the most directional microphones I have at the PA.
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Offline admkrk

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2017, 03:18:10 AM »
In a way I think you have this backwards. A bottle clinking, in a club, becomes a part of the surroundings, while you are there. In other words, you almost expect to hear it, so it is not startling after the first one or or two. On the other hand, conversations directly behind you, are more likely to get your attention, since you cannot see where it is coming from, as opposed to conversations in front of you. Of course my opinion is based on my paranoia of a tiger, or something else, stalking me.  :hmmm:

We unconsciously filter out much of the conversations behind us, until they cross a threshold where we become consciously aware of them.  We can consciously ignore them until they cross another threshold where those sounds are competing with what we are actively concentrating on.  We do the same for reflections, reverberation, and whatever.  When a bottle clinks, it crosses those unconscious thresholds which other chatter does not - we're well evolved to unconsciously react to a twig-snap in the woods so that we direct our consciousness towards the tiger stalking us.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2017, 09:37:27 AM »
Some great discussion in this thread.  I have starting using omnis to stealth quite a bit over the last year or two.  In general I will mount them just under my shoulders on my upper chest, using the my body as a baffle to mitigate the rear noise. Seems to work pretty well overall, but obviously the louder the sound source the better.

Few recent examples:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/uwymx143qsu90kq/10%20Inner%20City%20Blues.m4a?dl=0

http://www.dimeadozen.org/attachments/8/574588/7363790/sample.mp3

http://www.dimeadozen.org/attachments/8/569658/7314071/sabbath%20sample.mp3

https://archive.org/details/dawes2016-07-23/dawes2016-07-23t02.flac
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

Offline scrtaper

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2017, 08:53:35 PM »
what was your mic position on your body and where were you standing at the dawes sample, that sounds really good, were you in the pit?
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2017, 09:44:58 AM »
Yeah, in the pit right in front of the right stack
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
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Offline fandelive

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Re: omnis for stealth
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2017, 01:46:18 PM »
I'm double taping shows using both a pair of cardioids and a pair of omnis for one year now. I've always found omnis to give better results provided that you can roll-off a bit of bass in post.

You can check some samples here :
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=567842
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=559138
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=582631
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=583919
Mics : Sony ECM-717, SP-BMC-12, MM-HLSC-1 (4.7k mod), 2x DPA4060, 2x DPA4061
Battery box : SP-SPSB-6524 w/bass roll-off filter, MM-CBM-1
Preamp : Church Audio CA-9100
Recorders : Sony MZR-700PC, Edirol R-09HR, Tascam DR-2d

 

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