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Author Topic: Spaced omni with center card festy sample  (Read 4003 times)

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Offline boltman

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« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 03:45:11 PM by boltman »

Online Gutbucket

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 11:49:40 PM »
Quote from: soundcloud
Sorry! We can't find that sound.

Did you try to access a private sound, but were not logged in?
Maybe the sound has been removed.
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 05:10:33 PM »
Sorry.
https://soundcloud.com/backwoodsman-1/3-mic-clip

No worries, as an enthusiast for this technique I was happy to see this thread pop up. Thanks for sharing the sample.  I'll try an give a listen tonight if I get a chance.
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Offline boltman

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 11:39:47 PM »
Clip is up.  Needed some TLC.

Feedback welcome.

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 01:20:59 AM »
I'm interested to know how you mix the two sources in post.

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 10:59:10 AM »
In Audacity, pulled up three tracks: omnis panned hard left and right.  Cardioid center in mono.  Each track brought up to -4 dB, then mixer board function used to determine balance of card vs. omni pair in mix.

The PA sound was pretty awful and it required a significant amount of EQ to get an acceptable mix.

Was inspired to do this after reading Gutbucket's post--and I thank him for the inspiration to try it.

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 01:20:27 PM »
Oops, never got a chance that night and it slipped my mind.  I'll give it a listen tonight.

Marshall, you need to at least carefully balance the level of the center card verses the omnis.  Here's what I do when mixing this to 2-channel stereo:

1) Bring up the Left/Right A-B spaced omnis only, panned hard left/right. Balance their levels to get an even playback image.  EQ if necessary to get them sounding acceptable. Then mute those channels.

2) Listen to the center cardioid alone to make sure it doesn’t have obvious problems.  EQ if necessary to get it sounding acceptable, except you needn't worry too much about a lack of bass response in the center cardioid. Mute that channel.

3) Unmute the L/R omnis.  Unmute and slowly bring up the level of the center cardioid, panned center, until it fills the center of the playback image and provides more "presence and proximity" than the omnis have alone, producing a smooth and solid panorama all the way across from left through center to right.  Experiment with various levels, sometimes "just barely enough" center to be audible is optimal, sometimes about the same level as the omnis is right, and sometimes a good bit more level than left/right is best.  Choose whatever works best for the particular recording you are working on. Listen for a while each way before making a temporary decision and moving on.

4) Fine tune the EQ and level settings.  You have a powerful added degree of freedom in EQing things in that you can compensate somewhat for the center verses the left/right response and play them off each other.  This can be very useful or highly confusing.  The omnis are going to have better bass response, the center card is probably going to have more direct mids and highs.  You can tailor each with EQ to complement the other beyond what you would have done with either alone, adn that can work really well, but don't go too overboard.

Part of what makes this work well is the wide omni bass at the sides of the image, and more direct mids and highs at center.  To keep from going crazy with options, EQ the L/R and the center separately first so they sound good alone as a starting point, except as mentioned previously you needn't worry too much about lack of bass response in the center card, and you also don't need to wory as much as you might have about getting enough clear mids in the omnis alone.  Get a good working level balance between them, then play around with EQing the center and sides slightly differently to get the best imaging.

I often end up with something of a diffuse field EQ on the omnis which emphasizes the ambient room sound (some high treble boost, but not as much midrange boost as I would use if I didn’t have the center cardioid in there).  I also often cut a good bit of the bottom end and contour the low mids from the center cardioid to keep things from getting muddy or confusing.  When you try differnet EQ settings, go back and rebalance the levels again. 

After playing around with this for a few recordings you’ll get a general idea of what typically works, but the specific settings will be different for each recording. I usually have a fourth channel which is a rear facing center cardioid and bring that up last to balance crowd reaction, depth, and ambience.

If you are mixing to 3 speakers (Left/Center/Right) instead of 2 channel left/right stereo, the process is the same, but you may arrive at slightly different settings.  If you have a home theater setup, try that out, it’s really cool.  It’s great even with three channels, but with four I split the rear facing cardioid channel to feed all the surround speakers equally and the overall effect when you get the levels and EQ right across all channels is like a the holodeck- you are there.
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 03:49:56 PM »
Hey, thanks Gutbucket.  Excellent explanation. 

Offline boltman

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 08:08:03 PM »
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I'm a definite neophyte since this is my first attempt.  Thanks for the details on this technique, Gut.  Very much appreciated.

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 04:30:37 PM »
Got a chance to listen.  I don't hear any obvious problems. Good direct/reverberant balance and live & open sense of depth and space, which are the strong points of the technique.  Other techniques are stronger on sharp Left-to-Right stereo imaging which can be great when applicable, but I think that's less important in the grand scheme of things and only applies in circumstances when there was significant Left/Right imaging at the recording location, not just good direct/ambient balance and spaciousness anyway.  There  often isn't much significant Left/Right imaging going on in a lot of the situations we record in to begin with, unless you are getting a large percentage of direct sound from instruments on stage or from from a stereo PA.  I don't know anything about the venue though. Have you recorded there before in a similar situation with a different config?  If so, how does this sample compare?  That's the best way I know to really asses it.
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 12:28:38 AM »
I'm away from home this week, but I'll post a supercard-DINa sample from the same festival when I get back.  Thanks for the feedback, Gut.

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2013, 03:46:23 PM »
Mk. 41 sample at the top.

Offline yates7592

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2013, 03:21:29 AM »
Interesting thread.

Question for Gutbucket:
The centre cardioid source - if in its raw state it is 2-channel stereo, is it best to mix it down to mono first before attempting the matrix, or just leave it as 2-channel?

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2013, 11:25:54 AM »
Doesn't matter as long as the two channels are simply identical copies, but curious why would it be 2-channel.  One mic routed to two channels on the recorder?
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Offline yates7592

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2013, 11:47:09 AM »
I could run 4 mics and hence 4 channels, so 2 x stereo pairs. So you would recommend mixing down the 2 x cardioid channels into mono for this exercise?

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2013, 01:22:59 PM »
Probably not (see follow up comment below).

The repercussions of doing so will depend on the configuration in which the cardioids arranged.

If you sum a truly coincident X/Y cardioid pair, you get a virtual single forward facing wide cardioid, with a polar pattern determined by the angle between mics, producing some variety of a sub-card.  That can work, although I'd almost always prefer simply using the X/Y pair as a stereo pair and mixing that with the omnis.  I'd play around with adjusting the X/Y width by panning the Left/Right X and Y channels between hard-panned and center, in combination with the hard left/right panned omnis, listening for what sounds best.

Summing a near spaced pair (ORTF, DIN, etc) would introduce phase cancellations and reinforcements which may or may not cause problems, and would not equate to a single forward facing subcardioid mic in the same way.  It may or may not work well.  You end up with more complex phase interactions between four mic locations instead of between three.  For that reason an X/Y pair in the center is a safer choice, and is partly why I suggest four microphones inhabiting 3-positions (center two coincident in one position) is often better idea than 4 mics that are all pretty close together.  Even if you aren't a fan of X/Y on it's own, it can work very well in combination with the omnis.

What I do- Because I'm only using one forward facing center mic and don't want the 'extra' 4th channel to go to waste, I've used it as a mono soundboard channel, or I put the other cardioid up there and point it backwards, with about 12" between the front and back center mics.  Since they are facing in opposite directions they don't have nearly as much potential for phase problems, and the rear facing mic is usually mixed in at a lower level, giving me control over mixing in some additional room ambience and crowd reaction which can be nice.  The other reason I do that is for surround playback, with the rear facing mic routed to the surround channels, the forward facing card or supercard routed to the center channel and the left/right omnis routed to the left and right speakers, with no mixing.  If using the DR-680 I'll bump that up to two rear facing mics for a total of 5 channels, which is better, but not hugely better.

[edit- ^ The above What I'd do still stands, but I really like coincident center pair in a 2-channel stereo mix along with an AB pair.  If constrained to recording 4 channels total, I'd recommend doing that first for most folks, rather than single front and rear-facing microphones.  If you have a single channel of SBD using up one channel of the four, that SBD feed can take the place of the center forward facing microphone (and do a better job of it) in which case I'd point the 3rd mic backward rather than forward]
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 02:35:53 PM by Gutbucket »
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2019, 02:21:58 PM »
^ I should have emphasized that if the center pair is coincident (X/Y in this case, but might be M/S) I'd definitely use that as a stereo pair in the mix and not sum the two to mono first.  When I answered here..

Doesn't matter as long as the two channels are simply identical copies, but curious why would it be 2-channel.  One mic routed to two channels on the recorder?

..I had thought yates might have only recorded 3 microphones total with the center one recorded to two tracks (dual mono).

And if desired, one can go further and tweak the stereo width of the center X/Y or M/S pair to achieve the best fit in the mix.

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2019, 02:31:35 PM »
Weird, I was just thinking about trying this technique this week! The samples are no longer available.

Gutbucket: The only cards I have are CA-14s that are termintated with a single 1/8" plug. If I place them right next to each other and record to mono, would that cause any issues? Do you point the card(s) right at the center of the stage, or some other target? Do you have a good example that you wouldn't mind sharing?

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2019, 02:46:33 PM »
Do you have enough recording channels to record both CA-14 mics?  If so do that.  If in X/Y you can play with summing and not summing afterwards.. if only to hear what it does.  You'll probably want them in stereo in the actual mix.

If you can only record 3 channels and are somehow summing the CA-14s prior to the recorder as an attempt to produce a sub-cardioid pattern rather than a cardioid, there could be some phase cancellation in the sum due to imperfect coincidence (as well as potentially different phase linearity of the two mics depending on how well matched they are), and you may or may not detect any of that in the sum.  If you can record all 4 channels you are safely covered.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 03:45:43 PM by Gutbucket »
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2019, 03:03:44 PM »
I don't have a 4-channel recorder, so I'd have to use 2 2-channel recorders (only my Tascam DR-22WL has a mono setting, also have both Sony PCM-M10 and PCM-A10). For the omnis, I have a pair of Sonic Studios DSM-6 and Radio Shlock 330-3028.

I would be less than open, so I was thinking of using the mono setting on the Tascam with the cards. Should I be concerned about the clocks not matching up when I go to sync them up?

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2019, 03:10:08 PM »
Is there such things as a mini TRS to mini TS adapter, that would leave you with the mono signal from the tip and discard the ring signal entirely?  Then you could use only the mic that's wired to the tip and not have to worry about summing both to mono.
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2019, 04:19:44 PM »
..I would be less than open, so I was thinking of using the mono setting on the Tascam with the cards. Should I be concerned about the clocks not matching up when I go to sync them up?
 
Yes.  Been there.  It doable but a hassle.. on both ends of the equation- making the recording and sync'ing them later during mixing.  I'd not want to have to go back to doing that as standard procedure, although I do so for a SBD feed recorded to a second recorder.

However, if that's what you have and you want to play around with this stuff don't let that stop you.  I made it work that way before I moved on to using recorders that could record more than 2 channels simultaneously.  If you need instruction on sync'ing sources recorded using seperate clocks (2 or more recorders that aren't linked) there are TS threads on how to do that.  Some methods for doing that are specific to the mixing software being used.

Quote
I don't have a 4-channel recorder, so I'd have to use 2 2-channel recorders (only my Tascam DR-22WL has a mono setting, also have both Sony PCM-M10 and PCM-A10). For the omnis, I have a pair of Sonic Studios DSM-6 and Radio Shlock 330-3028.

You will need to use two of your 2-channel stereo recorders to record more than a single pair of microphone channels.  So you might as well go ahead and record all four microphones, as two separate pairs to two separate recorders.  Why go to extra effort to record just a single mic of one pair to the second recorder (or to sum the pair to mono ahead of the recorder) and leave one available recording channel unused?  Sure, you could do what heathen mentions with an adapter, or wire something up to do the same, but why do that when you have both an available recording channel and the ability to sum those channels to mono (or not!) afterwards?
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2019, 04:33:48 PM »
I was afraid of that. I may try it with what I've got, but I am not looking for more hassles when it comes to post-processing (my least favorite aspect of taping).

In the past, I looked around for a passive, 3-channel mixer with 1/8" jacks like the Rolls MX41b. I can't imagine trying to get that + battery box + lots of cables working for me when running less than open. And, I'd have to nail the mix live vs. post-processing flexibility.

Do you have any samples of this technique that you'd be willing to share?

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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2019, 04:37:01 PM »
Sync'ing up the two recorders wouldn't be too tough.  Just start rolling both a bit before show time and clap your hands real loud in front of the mics, then do it again after the show is over.  Lining them up and stretching should be easy with those distinct start and end points.
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2019, 06:11:26 PM »
^ That's the way to do it.  It's just that lining them up and stretching are post processing tasks dyneq enjoys least (I relate and often don't actually get around to doing the post processing on my recordings).

The "less than open" recording end hassles are mostly about doubling the wiring, connections, batteries, SDcards, making sure both decks are set the same, operating correctly and that both are recording.

In the past, I looked around for a passive, 3-channel mixer with 1/8" jacks like the Rolls MX41b. I can't imagine trying to get that + battery box + lots of cables working for me when running less than open. And, I'd have to nail the mix live vs. post-processing flexibility.

Do you have any samples of this technique that you'd be willing to share?

Yeah, these days, other than dedicating one channel of a 4ch recorder to a SBD feed, 3-mic configs probably make the most sense for SoundDevices Mixpre3 users who only have 3 mic inputs.  Other than that it would be folks with 3 channel preamps or mixers feeding 2ch recorders, but there is too much variation to guess on a good mix without listening

You might keep an eye out for a used Tascam DR2d (unfortunately discontinued, with no direct replacement), which is PCM M-10 sized yet can record 4 channels of external input simultaneously via its seperate Mic and Line 1/8" TRS mini jack inputs.  Then you only need 2 battery boxes to power the mics, maybe even just one battery box if the PIP over the Mic input is sufficient.  That significantly cuts down on the recording end hassles, plus the two resulting stereo files are fully aligned and clock sync'd.  You still need to open them in an editor to mix them, adjusting level balance as appropriate between the two pairs at a bare minimum, but that's doesn't involve much more than editing a straight 2-channel recording, and hearing it come together as you adjust the balance between the two pairs is the fun part IMO.  Thats really the minimum amount of post processing you'd need to do with any 4 channel recording.. so if that's a deal-breaker, its probably best to stick with 2 mics > 2 channels. Plenty of ways to chase that dragon without ever moving beyond 2 channels.

I think there are 3-channel samples from other users posted in the OMT threads, but can't say how far back.   I don't have a sample of this easily available myself currently, but will look to see what I can dig up.

And in that vein, I've long been meaning to put together a few sample sets of my own OMT recordings so that tapers curious about OMT can hear the progression as additional channels are added and hopefully get a feel and better understanding of what OMT is all about and intended to achieve.  Samples would be provided fully level balanced and processed as they would be in the final mix, yet available as various combinations, illustrating the sonic progression as the additional channels are added. I'd also make them available as individual pairs so that folks can listen to them in isolation and in  various combinations without having to make any leveling and balance choices.. just pull them up and play them.  Maybe I'll make it a New Year's resolution.

As example, one song from an 8 channel OMT recording, made available for easy comparison as:
2ch- Spaced omni pair alone
3ch- Forward-facing center mic added (omnis + single center mic)
4ch- Side fig-8 added to that (omnis + coincident pair)
5 or 6ch- Addition of Rear-facing mic(s) (single or pair)
7 or 8ch- Addition of near-spaced supercards (side-facing or 45° forward angled)
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2019, 07:41:07 PM »
Thank you both for the suggestions and feedback.

I think I'll try it with what I've got and use the 3 clap method for syncing. If I was to use HRTF for the omnis vs. AB, do you think that would sound OK?

Gutbucket, your samples idea sounds like something I'd definitely be interested in.


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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2020, 11:36:28 PM »
Gut, you ever try 2 spaced cards with center hyper or gun?  Most indoor venues I frequent are too boomy for omni’s.
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2020, 10:02:36 AM »
^ Sure.  Below are photos of two supercards angled ~90 degrees and spaced more widely than one would want from a single pair alone, plus a cardioid in the middle.  This room (Revolution Live, Ft Lauderdale, FL) is basically as you describe, and this arrangement works very well there.

This is actually four channels total. The L/R supercards are pointed +/- 45 degrees (maybe 10-15 degrees outside of the stacks). I turned the center cardioid into a Mid/Side pair with the addition of the Naiant X-8S fig-8 gaff taped to it. 
 
L/R = Microtech Gefell M-21 supercard 
Center Mid = Microtech Gefell M-94 cardioid 
Center Side = Naiant X-8S fig-8
> OCM R-44

The triangular "mic-bar" is actually a folding light-stand foot.  It comes with one leg drilled and tapped and I drilled and tapped the other two for use with 3-mics on-stage at floor level.  Here I flipped it upside down and fixed it atop a short telescopic bar fixed with a superclamp to the angled handrail.  That works well to extend the mics somewhat over the crowd in the pit.

I would run this as my regular setup there, but I now just use my pre-rigged OMT8 setup everywhere.   It is 8 channels instead of 4 but is actually smaller and lighter and easier to setup. The core of that setup is quite similar in that it uses a center supercard (in M/S with the same Naiant X-8S as seen here) between two similarly spaced, +/-45 degree angled supercards in a similar configuration as the photos above.  It also includes a pair of wider omnis and a pair of rear-facing supercards, and although I typically use some of all of those channels, the rear-facing pair and omnis don't contribute as much in this room.
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2020, 10:25:45 AM »
If I was to use HRTF for the omnis vs. AB, do you think that would sound OK?

HTRF-like omni spacing without any baffle (head) between the microphones would be too narrow for the center microphone to behave nicely in combination.  With the baffle in place the omnis become directional, so you can get away with less spacing between them and it might work okay.  The intent of the center microphone will be to provide increased forward directional clarity, but that's at the expense of stereo image when added to the already stereo-image-balanced HTRF omnis.  Increased spacing between the L/R pair makes room for the center channel, retaining stereo image width among other things.
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2020, 05:40:11 PM »
To help with the sync, why not use a line cable, and output one of the stereo channels to the unused channel of the recorder handling the mono?
That way you don't really even need to clap, since you'll have an exact clone of that one channel as a reference, on both decks!
It makes intuitive sense to me to then process time squash/stretch on the single center channel, but there may be reasons to do it on the stereo pair instead, such as you prefer to squash rather than stretch (throw away data, rather than interpolating to create new data)
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2020, 06:19:51 PM »
To help with the sync, why not use a line cable, and output one of the stereo channels to the unused channel of the recorder handling the mono?
That way you don't really even need to clap, since you'll have an exact clone of that one channel as a reference, on both decks!

This strategy works.  I've done it using two DR2d recorders (4ch ea) when I needed 6 channels total but could not use a single, larger multichannel recorder.  I did so by recording the headphone line-out from the first into the mic-in of the second to serve as duplicate "sync tracks".  The sync tracks certainly help with alignment and sync, but keep in mind that there is a small amount of digital latency between a recorder's analog input and analog output.  That means that when the sync tracks on the two recorders are perfectly aligned visually, the other tracks are not actually in perfect sync but offset by whatever the signal path latency is through the ADC>DAC of the first recorder + ADC of the second recorder.  Probably only a few milliseconds which is equivalent to a few feet and thus may not be significant, but is something to be aware of.

If this worries you, you can determine perfect alignment using a clap, figure the latency offset by aligning the clap peaks, and then will be able to align perfectly using that offset the next time without needing a clap.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 06:35:00 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2020, 06:22:38 PM »
keep in mind that there is a small amount of digital latency between a recorder's analog input and analog output.  That means that when the sync tracks on the two recorders are perfectly aligned visually, the other tracks are not actually in perfect sync but offset by whatever the signal path latency is through the ADC>DAC of the first recorder + ADC of the second recorder.  Probably only a few milliseconds which is equivalent to a few feet and thus may not be significant, but is something to be aware of.

If this worries you, you can determine perfect alignment using a clap, figure the latency offset by aligning the clap peaks, and then will be able to align perfectly using that offset without needing a clap.
DANG LATENCY AGAIN!
 :cheers:
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Re: Spaced omni with center card festy sample
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2020, 06:35:35 PM »
Its a latent issue!
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

 

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