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Author Topic: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config  (Read 1649 times)

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Offline if_then_else

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So, I got taping and filming permission at a small club show in mid-September.
The band members are some long-standing friends of mine (a six piece from Italy
combining space/psych/kraut rock and free jazz). Their synth player is a renowned
sound engineer and producer (and occasional FOH for another favourite band of mine).

I'm going to attempt a multitrack-recording (6-mic channels) + SBD.
The video footage might be webcast by the local promoter at a later date.
As for the audio recording, I'm going to bring along
   1x SD mixpre-6,
   2x Sony PCM-M10s,
   1x Audioroot Femto preamp,
   2x pairs of MBHO mics (hypers and subcards)
   1x pair of Sennheiser MKH-8020s (omnis)

So my question for the mic-array experts here is:

Under ideal circumstances, how would you arrange the mics best and which configs
would you choose?

I'm currently leaning towards using a Faulkner array (subcards and omnis) on-stage
or at the stage-lip and placing the hypers a bit further back (in PAS config).

Any specific recommendations of configs which might work better with this specific
music genre and in this setting? [The venue appears to be the town's oldest pub -
going back to the early 18th century.]

Offline acidjack

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 05:27:22 PM »
I'd probably split the omnis toward the edges of the stage/outer edge of the band, run the sub cards wide in the center, and as you suggest, PAS the hypers from (ideally) a FOB/DFC spot.
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
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Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 09:27:54 AM »
With that many channels why don't you just try for a proper multitrack?
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 if_then_else

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 11:42:20 AM »
I'd probably split the omnis toward the edges of the stage/outer edge of the band, run the sub cards wide in the center, and as you suggest, PAS the hypers from (ideally) a FOB/DFC spot.

Thanks for your suggestions.

The practical  distance between the split omnis will depend on the available mounting options:

I don't want to limit the free moving space of the band. The promoter told me that there were some exposed ceiling beams onto which I could clamp the mics and the camcorder. If so, I'll go for a wider split. Otherwise, I'll use a Cardellini clamp at the stage-lip and split them > 60 cm.

Offline kuba e

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 04:13:53 PM »
PAS hypers give you a very similar sound like sbd and onstage subcards together. Maybe I would try hypers on stage instead omnis. I would try direct the hypers from left and right edge of the stage towards the audience to capture the acoustic of the room. Hypers should be placed so that they capture the acoustics of the room but they reject pa and stage sound. And you can use remaining omnis for close miking. It's just an idea, your solution is without risk.

I've been recording a concert in the old town square recently. I got a sbd signal, and I set up pair of cards at 60 m from the podium. There was significantly more echo than direct sound because buildings. Stand alone listening to dry sbd or echo aud was not possible. But they went well when mixed together and the recording was solid.

Offline kuba e

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 03:12:26 AM »
With that many channels why don't you just try for a proper multitrack?

Opsopcopolis, how would you place the microphones exactly? Place spot mics and one stereo pair at stage lip?

Offline if_then_else

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 05:29:40 AM »
With that many channels why don't you just try for a proper multitrack?

Opsopcopolis, how would you place the microphones exactly? Place spot mics and one stereo pair at stage lip?

FWIW: Last year - at the show in Paris where the picture above was taken - the band's FOH engineer was multi-tracking to her laptop while I was running a pair of cardioids at the stage-lip (as ambience-mics). I don't know the specifics of the soundboard at the new venue, so I don't know whether or not this will be possible again. I'd rather not introduce a lot of additional cabling on-stage and I'd also imagine that there would be a lot of spill from the individual instruments if using spot mics.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 07:18:26 AM »
I've used the Faulkner "47/67" array many times, but for choir and orchestra, which is what it was developed for.  The phased array is intended to give you forward reach to cover a "deep" ensemble setup all from one mic stand.  I can't see why you'd use it for an amplified show.  It might not be bad, but you definitely aren't taking advantage of that array in this setting.  Having the omnis that narrow is going to give you a very wide recording angle - great for a concert hall with nice acoustics; possibly problematic with a low ceiling with all of the early reflections being so close to the mics.  This might cause you to drastically cut the level and / or EQ the omnis heavily in the mix.

Instead, I'd go with what acidjack recommends, or as oscopolis suggests, a "proper multitrack".  I don't think he means to spot-mic all of the instruments, which is what you might do if this were all-acoustic.  Instead, I think he means to take multitrack feeds of all instruments from the board as you mentioned the FOH engineer was doing with her laptop so you can balance everything individually in post.

If you really want flexibility for post-mixing and can get pre-fade sub-outs from the board, run the individual feeds to your MixPre-6, and then a set of wide omnis to one M10 with PAS hypers to the second M10.

If the FOH mix is really good and the PA is clean, you might be able to use acidjack's setup and eliminate the board feed entirely.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 07:20:19 AM by voltronic »
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 08:11:41 AM »
Instead, I'd go with what acidjack recommends, or as oscopolis suggests, a "proper multitrack".  I don't think he means to spot-mic all of the instruments, which is what you might do if this were all-acoustic.  Instead, I think he means to take multitrack feeds of all instruments from the board as you mentioned the FOH engineer was doing with her laptop so you can balance everything individually in post.

If you really want flexibility for post-mixing and can get pre-fade sub-outs from the board, run the individual feeds to your MixPre-6, and then a set of wide omnis to one M10 with PAS hypers to the second M10.

This is exactly what I was going to recommend to a T. If the FOH doesn't have the ability to get a multitrack over USB (which is what I assume you meant with the Paris show) as with an A&H or Midas board, get six outs from the board. Gives you a much better spread in post. Especially in a room that size, the mix from the board will most likely be pretty skewed towards vox and DI'd instruments (keys mostly.) Rather than try to capture 4 different images of the room/stage, just get some sort of assorted outs from the board. If they're really into you doing this, they shouldn't have a problem taking a bit of time to help you organize outputs from the board! The omnis to an m10 will provide a great room image to liven up the board tape.
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 if_then_else

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 09:44:49 AM »
Thanks opsopcopolis and voltronic for clearing this up.

I had already imagined that just because a specific setup
is recommended for a specific style of music, it might not
necessarily be the best choice for a completely different genre.
So, it's great to get some feed-back from people who are
more experienced with these mic configs in a real-world scenario.

I still have a spare mixpre-2 preamp at home.
So, if if I understand you correctly, you suggest going
* MKH-8020 -> mixpre-2 -> M10
* KA500HN -> MBHO MBP 604 -> Femto -> M10
* SBD (individual feeds) -> mixpre-6

Where exactly (and how high) would you position the omnis?
(I'd guess that 2 superclamps and some short telescopic extension arms
might make good mounting options for them if spaced wide apart.)

>> If they're really into you doing this, they shouldn't have a problem
>> taking a bit of time to help you organize outputs from the board!
>> The omnis to an m10 will provide a great room image to liven up the board tape.

As I wrote initially, they're absolutely pro-taping (and always interested
in talking shop about recording equipment). Their synth player is a huge fan
of vintage Neumann mics (although he has various Schoeps mics in his cabinet, too).
BTW: the venue is just a short pop from the headquarters of Schoeps. ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H1kaAmkeDg

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 10:06:26 AM »
 :cheers:

You could always double mic all the instruments like they used to do for multitrack recording, but these days with digital boards it is redundant to do that sort of recording. Most boards will allow the engineer to send you isolated tracks/combinations of tracks (for example, you could get a stereo track with one guitar on the left, keys in the center, and the second guitar on the right; another stereo track comprising of all the vocals; and finally a third stereo track with drums/bass) that gives you more freedom, but will also require a lot more mixing than your normal multimic set up for AUD recordings
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 voltronic

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 03:44:49 PM »
I still have a spare mixpre-2 preamp at home.
So, if if I understand you correctly, you suggest going
* MKH-8020 -> mixpre-2 -> M10
* KA500HN -> MBHO MBP 604 -> Femto -> M10
* SBD (individual feeds) -> mixpre-6

That sounds about right.  If you are getting a good 6-ch feed, I doubt you'd use that along with both pairs of mics in your final mix.  I would imagine you'd only use both the hypers and omnis together if you decide to drop the board feed.

Or, you could completely flip the whole concept around and do it like a quasi-classical recording:
 - PAS MBHO hypers are your main pickup
 - 8020 omni flanks for ambiance / width
 - board feeds mixed in at fairly low levels, only on the instruments that need it as you would with "spot mics"

Where exactly (and how high) would you position the omnis?
(I'd guess that 2 superclamps and some short telescopic extension arms
might make good mounting options for them if spaced wide apart.)

Difficult to say without seeing / hearing the venue in person.  My starting point would be about 1 m spread, on the same bar as your MBHOs and aligned to be the same distance from the stage. 

I would want them to be up very high to avoid crowd noise, but you have that low ceiling which you also don't want to be close to.  If you can get your mics fairly close to the stage, you may be able to set your mics a little lower than you would if you were farther away, since your direct / ambient ratio will be improved.

Work to get the best placement for your PAS hypers, and if you get a good sound from your omnis as well, consider it a bonus.

BTW: the venue is just a short pop from the headquarters of Schoeps. ;)

Well, you may ruffle some feathers with your Sennheisers, but that should be offset by the MBHOs whose chief engineer used to work with Schoeps.
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q
Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24
Tascam DR-70D JWMod | Sony PCM-M10

Tascam DR-70D FAQ
Team Line Audio
Quote
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

Offline if_then_else

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 11:32:12 PM »
I still have a spare mixpre-2 preamp at home.
So, if if I understand you correctly, you suggest going
* MKH-8020 -> mixpre-2 -> M10
* KA500HN -> MBHO MBP 604 -> Femto -> M10
* SBD (individual feeds) -> mixpre-6

That sounds about right.  If you are getting a good 6-ch feed, I doubt you'd use that along with both pairs of mics in your final mix.  I would imagine you'd only use both the hypers and omnis together if you decide to drop the board feed.

Or, you could completely flip the whole concept around and do it like a quasi-classical recording:
 - PAS MBHO hypers are your main pickup
 - 8020 omni flanks for ambiance / width
 - board feeds mixed in at fairly low levels, only on the instruments that need it as you would with "spot mics"

Where exactly (and how high) would you position the omnis?
(I'd guess that 2 superclamps and some short telescopic extension arms
might make good mounting options for them if spaced wide apart.)

Difficult to say without seeing / hearing the venue in person.  My starting point would be about 1 m spread, on the same bar as your MBHOs and aligned to be the same distance from the stage. 

I would want them to be up very high to avoid crowd noise, but you have that low ceiling which you also don't want to be close to.  If you can get your mics fairly close to the stage, you may be able to set your mics a little lower than you would if you were farther away, since your direct / ambient ratio will be improved.

Work to get the best placement for your PAS hypers, and if you get a good sound from your omnis as well, consider it a bonus.

BTW: the venue is just a short pop from the headquarters of Schoeps. ;)

Well, you may ruffle some feathers with your Sennheisers, but that should be offset by the MBHOs whose chief engineer used to work with Schoeps.

Thanks.I have a much clearer picture of the recording and mounting equipment I need to bring along to the show, now.
I'm going to update the thread after the concert with some rig pictures and some links to the audio / video capture (after it has been approved for circulation by the band)

Offline kuba e

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2017, 06:07:01 AM »
Opsopcopolis and Voltronic, thank you for the explanation. IfThenElse , it looks like you will have a lot of work with set up, mixing and synching. I wish you a great recording.

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Open Taping: Looking for suggestions for some 6-ch mic array and config
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2017, 09:18:32 AM »
I'd want to know what mix is available from the soundboard, 2 track or multi.  If you could get the multi track from the board, that would be something to really look carefully at using.

Have to also say I am not familiar with the ability of the SD and the board the band is using.  Would it be possible to capture the board multi track and the mics feeding the SD in one multi track daw file? 


Then there are the sync issues between the Sony and the SD, and possibly the board mix if you get a separate file from it instead of a 2track into the SD.

It would really help if you could check levels during the sound check.  If you are having to go in and just record as best you can live, not easy.

Looking at the yt video, that was obviously multi camera.  That tends to create a level of visual expectation that's hard for one person to match, especially if you can only set up cameras and let them roll not being able to adjust shooting positions on the fly.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 09:24:21 AM by 2manyrocks »

 

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