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Gear / Technical Help => Microphones & Setup => Topic started by: CorFit Chris on November 27, 2017, 08:36:36 AM

Title: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: CorFit Chris on November 27, 2017, 08:36:36 AM
I’m curious about configuration options when using LD mics onstage.  What factors dictate distance between mics and which polar pattern is used (omni, cardioid, or figure 8)?  I have been using my akg 481’s with 6-8ft split, and planned to get multi-pattern LD’s. However, the few tapers I’ve talked to primarily use the cardioid setting, so this has me rethinking if I need multi-pattern mics.  I will always have a secondary source included (sbd, stack, etc). Small (bar) to mid-size (theatre) venues.
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: heathen on November 27, 2017, 10:07:43 AM
They would allow you to play with setups like mid-side and Blumlein, though depending on the quality of the mics being used the figure 8 pattern may be underwhelming in terms of frequency response.

I can imagine the omni setting being useful for on-stage or outdoors (if those come up for you), but for that matter you could just get AKG omni caps for your 480 bodies.
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: noahbickart on November 27, 2017, 11:12:43 AM
While I know that some tapers swear by the sound of LD microphones, I'm convinced that they just aren't as good for "what we do" as SD condensers, especially since the patterns are created from back to back cardioid capsules. Make sure to listen to a bunch of tapes before buying.
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: obaaron on November 27, 2017, 12:15:39 PM
I run my AKG ck62 omnis split onstage about 6-10' with another set of cards in the onstage center quite often with great results.  Have thought about getting a set of LD's but frankly don't see the marginal value in spending the $$$, when the split omnis tend to add tons of depth/low end.  I would recommend grabbing a set of ck62's since it looks like you hsave 2 sets of AKG bodies, and the omnis will be a good pattern to mix with center cards IMO...at least in onstage scenarios
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: Brian Skalinder on November 30, 2017, 10:05:42 AM
FWIW I ran AKG C-414B-ULS for a while.  I especially liked omnis and Blumlein on-stage or very, very FOB.  But overall, like Noah, I find SDCs better for "what we do".  I'm with the others on getting C62s for your 460s / 480s.
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: Gutbucket on November 30, 2017, 12:24:24 PM
I agree.  Other than impressing folks, the main advantage I see of a pair of electrically switchable LDC is that you get to play around with different patterns using a single pair of microphones.  It's cost effective for gaining the insight into microphone configurations at a reasonable cost while reducing extraneous variables.   If you know what patterns you want to use, SDCs will generally perform better for stereo-pair recording and have the further practical advantages of being smaller and lighter.

Quote
What factors dictate distance between mics and which polar pattern is used (omni, cardioid, or figure 8 )?

In general, the less spacing you use between mics the less open pickup pattern (closer to fig-8 ) you'll want to use in combination with more angle between the microphones.   If you always use significant spacing between microphones on stage, you can use less angle between them and more open pickup patterns (closer to omni).  In that case, with the mics not angled apart much or at all, choice of polar pattern becomes more about how much pickup of room and audience you want or can tolerate to achieve a good balanced against the direct sound on stage.
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: EmRR on November 30, 2017, 01:46:45 PM
Yup, off axis response is almost always better with SDC's.  Though, I'm very curious about the rectangular Pearl ELM-A LDC with it's varying pattern horizontal versus vertical, which will reject more floor/ceiling information compared to side to side. 
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: CorFit Chris on December 01, 2017, 02:54:08 AM
Thanks for the responses.  It seems like all of you are trying to save me some space in my gear bag.  I actually experimented at a Yarn show two nights ago.  I used my typical onstage setup of akg 481's split 6ft, pointed straight back at band and angled upwards about 20 degrees.  But, I also clipped my Church Audio CA-14 omni's to each mic stand and combined the two stereo tracks into a single multi-track.  It came out very clean, with some of that open omni characteristic.  Couldn't have been an easier setup, using gear I already own.  I typically mix in a sbd patch to bring up the vocals, but there was a technical glitch with about 4 minutes of that file, so I'll likely leave it out since the vocals sound pretty good with just the mic files.  I do find that my onstage recordings are sometimes a bit drum heavy, which I don't mind, but I'm sure that would be better mixed if possible.  I attached a pic of the show with my mic setup.  You can't see the details, but you can see the mic stands next to the poinsettia plants. 

Here is a link to the show (untracked for now).  https://soundcloud.com/orithris/yarn-11-29-2017-magnolia-motor-lounge-ft-worth-tx

Any pointers on how to equalize the drums under these types of circumstances would be much appreciated.
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: Gutbucket on December 01, 2017, 09:50:46 AM
^Like'n it, nice job.

The areas that could be improved on upon a quick listen are vocal-level/clarity and a stronger center image.  Both of which would be corrected by the SBD patch.  Those deficits actually make for a good setup in combination with a SBD patch because it leaves room for the SBD to provide those aspects cleanly without conflicting with what your on-stage mics are providing.  Without any SBD I'd like to have either a single mic in the center, or a coincident (or near-spaced) pair to make for a strong center with sharp imaging.  If up for a variation on this setup, I'd try it sometime with the CA omnis in your standard 6' split location and the AKGs in the center.  Another strategy would be to keep everything the same but also mic the PA with one channel (basically a stack tape) and pan that to center as SBD substitute.

A center mic or pair can be equalized differently than the wide omnis if necessary to help bring the vocals up when you don't have good SBD. 

I don't have a problem with the level of the drums in comparison to the guitar and bass, its just that the vocals/harmonica are a bit low and dark. May be tough to bring out the vocals with EQ without also targeting the snare and cymbals, but try bumping the midrange a bit.  Play around with the slope between that bump and the range just above it where the snare and cymbal ring lives.

Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: DSatz on December 06, 2017, 08:33:56 PM
Switchable-pattern large-diaphragm microphones are always built with dual-diaphragm capsules. In the "cardioid" setting, such capsules have a pickup pattern that's cardioid only in the midrange. The pattern always broadens out at low frequencies (more so in some designs than others), while becoming narrow at high frequencies. See for example the attached set of polar diagrams for a much-sought-after vintage studio "cardioid"--the broad pickup pattern at low and low-mid frequencies is part of what gives "warmth" when recording vocals in a studio.

If you set up a closely-spaced or coincident pair of such microphones for stereo, though, the cardioid setting is a very poor choice giving both uneven localization (due to the "beamy" high frequencies) and a lack of spaciousness (due to low-frequency response that's nearly mono; broader pattern = increase in the same information being picked up in both channels "in phase").

Cardioid is the "default choice" that most people fall back on--though you might chalk that up to inertia and conformism as much as anything else, particularly with microphones that have four or more patterns available (a very big advantage over the usual three). Supercardioid and (for non-coincident setups) "wide cardioid" can be really excellent choices for two-microphone stereo recording, and if you look at directional patterns as graphed against frequency, you will often find those patterns to be smoother and more consistent.

--best regards
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: John Willett on December 07, 2017, 10:43:47 AM
While I know that some tapers swear by the sound of LD microphones, I'm convinced that they just aren't as good for "what we do" as SD condensers, especially since the patterns are created from back to back cardioid capsules.

Not fully true.

Only switchable LD condensers use back-to-back cardioids.

There are plenty of LD condensers that are single-pattern and use a single diaphragm (eg: Gefell M930, M940, M950, M960)
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: noahbickart on December 07, 2017, 02:45:35 PM
While I know that some tapers swear by the sound of LD microphones, I'm convinced that they just aren't as good for "what we do" as SD condensers, especially since the patterns are created from back to back cardioid capsules.

Not fully true.

Only switchable LD condensers use back-to-back cardioids.

There are plenty of LD condensers that are single-pattern and use a single diaphragm (eg: Gefell M930, M940, M950, M960)

Yes, thanks for the important correction. I was indeed referring to the switchable models like the AKG 414 versions, and the Neumann TLM 170, etc.
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: DSatz on December 07, 2017, 08:43:46 PM
John, the subject of this thread is multi-pattern large-diaphragm microphones, and Noah's comments are correct if you view them in that context. It can be boring to type out (and to read!) all the qualifiers all the time.

By the way, I think you could legitimately add the Neumann TLM 103 to your list. (To my surprise, I've never found anyone here who uses it.)

--best regards
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: bhtoque on December 07, 2017, 09:02:06 PM
Some of my best on stage tapes have been made with a stereo LD mic (fig 8's) in the center and split omni's on the sides.

An AKG C422 or the like is going off the deep end, but a Studio Projects LSD2 isn't too spendy.

The LSD2 is the only piece of gear I regret selling. Loved that thing.

JAson
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: CorFit Chris on December 09, 2017, 01:16:25 AM
Some of my best on stage tapes have been made with a stereo LD mic (fig 8's) in the center and split omni's on the sides.

An AKG C422 or the like is going off the deep end, but a Studio Projects LSD2 isn't too spendy.

The LSD2 is the only piece of gear I regret selling. Loved that thing.

JAson

I’ve heard some great recordings from the LSD2.
Title: Re: Multi-pattern LD mic ?’s
Post by: Fried Chicken Boy on December 24, 2017, 03:40:00 PM
By the way, I think you could legitimately add the Neumann TLM 103 to your list. (To my surprise, I've never found anyone here who uses it.)

Not the same mic, I know, but Dan/nyctaper has done a number of recordings with a set of fixed-card TLM 102. > http://www.nyctaper.com/?s=neumann+tlm (http://www.nyctaper.com/?s=neumann+tlm)