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Author Topic: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?  (Read 4176 times)

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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2016, 12:34:12 PM »
Any thoughts on these mics: Rode NTG1,2,or 4 for a center channel?  I like the ability to get now and make payments as I go that Zzounds allows and I only have these as options.
I just took a look at these three. The NTG2 is just an NTG1 that uses AA's as well as P48. The performance specs are a bit "less" than the NTG1 which uses P12, P24 or P48 but very similar. If your choice is between those two I'd go with the NTG1 if you have P48 on your recorder.
OTH, the NTG4 is designed to roll off the low end which is tailored for ENG or filmsound location stuff BUT might be better for a middle mic in the 3/4 mic arrays we are discussing.

So, without knowing the costs I'd eliminate your choice to the NTG1 or NTG4. from what i read, the performance specs are best on the NTG1 vs the NTG4 (but very small difference-i.e. NTG1= sensitivity -36dB; NTG4=sensitivity -32dB) very slight favor to the NTG1 (higher negative number is "better" in terms of sensitivity).

Caveat- I've never used Rode's, so am only going by what I am reading.
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Offline JiB97

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2016, 01:12:03 PM »
posting in this thread as I now have 2 ck8s and can use any tips and tricks y'all got
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2016, 01:55:20 PM »
Further reading of gutbucket's explanation of the theory reveals he doesn't advocate the supercardiod in the middle, I/we just decided to try it and found it has a place in certain locations/venues.

I didn't mean to imply that at all, and if I did somewhere please point me to it. 

I totally dig a forward facing supercarioid in the center, it's my standard setup!
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2016, 02:18:54 PM »
Further reading of gutbucket's explanation of the theory reveals he doesn't advocate the supercardiod in the middle, I/we just decided to try it and found it has a place in certain locations/venues.

I didn't mean to imply that at all, and if I did somewhere please point me to it. 

I totally dig a forward facing supercarioid in the center, it's my standard setup!
Hey GB, I thought during some of our discussions you have mentioned that the theory is based on cardioids in the middle. That by using the AKG ck8 we were moving a bit beyond the theory and more toward "practical" application of the theory.
I do know you have used s few different supercardiods, so I shouldn't have made a statement about YOUR advocacy. But good to correct for Chris as he is making a purchasing decision now and it seems to be a Rode supercardiod.
As I said above, we have found using the ck8 has been beneficial more times than not. And on SAT at Greyfox we did a direct comparison by setting up the ck8 AND the ck61 facing forward. results have not been analyzed yet.
Sorry for misrepresenting either the theory, your advocacy of supercardiod or both!
Chris, obviously gutbucket is the go to here, I am only a guy who has used the techniques for about 16 months now.!     :yahoo:
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2016, 06:21:44 PM »
Hey, I'm just stoked some tapers such as yourselves are finding these alternate approaches as valuable as I have!

I suppose the main working premise for selecting the optimal forward facing center microphone for these configuration should be choosing a microphone which is "as directional as possible, while still playing nice".  I currently think of the roll played by the center forward facing mic mostly as "surrogate for SBD", which may help explain the motivation for using a highly directional mic there as a way of focusing on getting the clearest direct sound from the stage and PA, while excluding as much audience noise and hall verb from that channel as possible.  I feel the directional-as-possible part is firmly established at this point, and it's the "still playing nice" part which isn't as well defined.  In my experimentation over the past decade, I've moved from using a center omni to using a slightly more directional sphere mounted omni, to a cardioid, and on to a supercardioid.  A supercardioid, which is the most directional first-order pickup pattern available, is the most directional pattern I've tried.  Moving further to an interference tube "shotgun mic" trades some of the the well behaved off-axis response of a supercardioid for further increased isolation.  I've yet to get a firm feel for where on the continuum pursuing further increased isolation in the center channel becomes overshadowed by increased off-axis coloration and timbre problems of using a shotgun, which is a determination that is always going to be somewhat subjective. Is more rejection actually needed? How bad is too badly behaved? Well it depends both on the situation and the esthetics of the recordist.

Rocksuitcase's and Kindms's recordings using a ck8 shotgun in the center mic roll are helping to explore that territory. 

With that in mind, perhaps the second part of that center mic selection premise should be the realist's take of- "usually best to use your better sounding directional microphone".  If you have a great cardioid and a crappy sounding shotgun, you'll probably get better results using your better sounding cardioid.   But fortunately here's something I've also found to be true- a well designed multi-microphone configuration can take some of the pressure off having to use a really top quality microphones all around the array.  Using just two mics places lots of responsibilities on those two mics, and its harder to escape the need for top quality microphones. They need to do a large number of different things well.  In these multi-microphone stereo configs each mic position represents a more specialized job, with all the mics working together as a team, partly covering for each other's weaknesses.  Four reasonably strong players can beat two superstars. But the coaching decisions become more involved!

I've said it before here, but I think it bears repeating that audience recording is an odd bird in the music recording world.  What concert tapers do is not closely related to studio recording at all, nor modern classical and film-score recording, and most sources of recording information available on the web or in books doesn't really apply directly.  It's perhaps closest to what would now be called 'minimalist' classical recording as it was done over half a century ago, even though the situations are very different and the gear is almost entirely different. 

These multi-microphone configs intended primarily for outdoor audience recording and I suppose best described as spaced pair plus center microphone configurations, are a sort of mindful combinations, evolutions, and blendings of a few different approaches.  The starting point is two wide spaced mics at least 3' apart.  From there there the main influences are a bit of Decca tree (3-omnis in a triangle), a lot of OCT (two sidways facing supercardioids with a cardioid in the center), informed by a lot of Michael Williams' multi-microphone array design (extensions to his original Stereo Zoom 2-channel ideas), all greatly influenced by David Griesinger ideas on multichannel recording and acoustics.  I've just worked to modify and adapt that stuff to the unusual backwater application of live music audience recording.

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Offline CorFit Chris

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2016, 12:32:00 AM »
I'll say it again, thanks rocksuitcase and gutbucket for helping out and showing concern for others growth and purchasing intensions.   Rocksuitcase, I have listened to your last two shows posted on LMA (Del McCoury and Steep Canyon Rangers) to hear the 4 mic directional setup.  They sound good, and different given the LD vs SD center channels.  There are so many references out there, and I am taken aback at how experimental you all are in changing setups so often "hoping" for a good sound.  I am constantly afraid of screwing up a show due to experimentation. So, thanks for doing much of the experimental work for us!  Gutbucket...I enjoyed reading the evolution of your "alien" rig.  Something like that only works with those tiny DPA omni mics you have.  I'll likely switch from using my Studio Projects C4 omni mics to some affordable CA-11 omni's.   That way I can get the small, retractable antenna poles out wide and not intrude in the line of sight of others in attendance.  Also, my rig blew around a lot and was top heavy.  Not to mention, If it rained I'd need crazy umbrella setup like rocksuitcase used.

Regardless, I think i'll always keep my AKG 461's in the mix in case all else fails.  I'm thinking wide CA-11 omni's, center hyper/super cardioid, and my AKG's in DIN.  This will still leave my Studio Projects C4's to play with the center hypercard caps and omni caps (or for a second stage setup at a festival).  One thing I know is that I'll keep recording and continue posting!  Gracias!
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2016, 09:05:13 AM »
I'll say it again, thanks rocksuitcase and gutbucket for helping out and showing concern for others growth and purchasing intensions.   Rocksuitcase, I have listened to your last two shows posted on LMA (Del McCoury and Steep Canyon Rangers) to hear the 4 mic directional setup.  They sound good, and different given the LD vs SD center channels.  There are so many references out there, and I am taken aback at how experimental you all are in changing setups so often "hoping" for a good sound.  I am constantly afraid of screwing up a show due to experimentation. So, thanks for doing much of the experimental work for us!  Gutbucket...I enjoyed reading the evolution of your "alien" rig.  Something like that only works with those tiny DPA omni mics you have.  I'll likely switch from using my Studio Projects C4 omni mics to some affordable CA-11 omni's.   That way I can get the small, retractable antenna poles out wide and not intrude in the line of sight of others in attendance.  Also, my rig blew around a lot and was top heavy.  Not to mention, If it rained I'd need crazy umbrella setup like rocksuitcase used.

Regardless, I think i'll always keep my AKG 461's in the mix in case all else fails.  I'm thinking wide CA-11 omni's, center hyper/super cardioid, and my AKG's in DIN.  This will still leave my Studio Projects C4's to play with the center hypercard caps and omni caps (or for a second stage setup at a festival).  One thing I know is that I'll keep recording and continue posting!  Gracias!
Yes, the only thing I am hoping to contain is the top heaviness of the rig we are running. kindms came up with the umbrella configs in order to utilize our available clamps with the mic mounts on the Manfrotto bar.
I really like the antennae set up that gutbucket uses and would aim to find smaller more lightweight mics if we were to buy more mics (which is NOT in our plans for this year!)
Check out taperchris' recordings of Twiddle on the LMA, he often uses both CA cards and CA omnis, to check out the omni sound of them.
We have only had one line of sight issue with the large setup, someone behind us did complain at Greyfox with all the umbrellas and such. OTH, at Phish, everyone on the lawn was using the umbrellas for location reference! ("dude-meet me by the pole with umbrellas")
Thanks for the ups, it can be difficult to switch setups mid fest, but since kindms and I are fully interested to know what this concept will do to make great recordings, we have been lucky enough to pull off those options.
Again, these configs are not for everyone; one listener to the Phish 2016-07-01 commented on the "different ambience" of this type of recording but saying they liked it.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 10:26:35 AM by rocksuitcase »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2016, 10:11:29 AM »
I'll likely switch from using my Studio Projects C4 omni mics to some affordable CA-11 omni's.   That way I can get the small, retractable antenna poles out wide and not intrude in the line of sight of others in attendance.  Also, my rig blew around a lot and was top heavy.

I hear that.  In addition to their fantastic sound, I really love the lightweight, compact, near invisible and weather robust nature of the miniature DPA mics.  And now that I've mostly settled on a few variations of the latest 6-channel oddball setup and verified that the miniature DPAs work nearly as well as the thoroughbred full-bodied MGs, I've thought seriously about putting together an otherwise identical low-cost secondary rig using six miniature Church, Naiant, and/or AT853 mics. I think it would work great.
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Offline Chuck

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2016, 03:28:44 PM »
Since I'm bored and trying to revive my interest in taping, I've been thinking about using my M300's as the main stereo pair and running an LD omni I have plus one of my CK-63 (hypers) down the middle this weekend outside. I'll use four tracks total that way and can bring in as much of each down the middle mic as needed to fill things out when mixing at home... I really like the bass I get with the omni and running a hyper-cardioid down the middle sounds like a good idea too for clarity.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2016, 05:39:52 PM »
Give it a try Chuck, and have some fun with something new.

If your'e open to configuration suggestions for best results, the main thing is going to using significantly more space and angle between the M300's than you typically would when recording using that pair alone.  Don't sweat it if that's not doable, though.

Here's eight specific options for using three cardioids, all of which achieve a recording angle of +/- 60 degrees (120 overall) - http://www.mmad.info/MAD/5Ch/5ch_Surround/Card/All/FTC60/FTC60.htm
And here's seven options for three supercarioids, all of which achieve a recording angle of +/- 60 degrees (120 overall) - http://www.mmad.info/MAD/5Ch/5ch_Surround/Card/All/FTC60/FTC60.htm

[Edit to explain use of the links above- William's hasn't published the 3-microphone stereo curves on their own.  The links above are to the initial 3-mic front segment selection options for 5-microphone surround arrays, but the setup for 3-mic stereo is identical to the front 3 mics of these 5 mic surround setups.  When you select one of the seven or eight angle/spacing options by clicking on the corresponding chart image, that leads to another page of options for the 2 side/rear facing mics.  Click on any of those (doesn't matter which one) which links to a PDF showing the setup details, and simply ignore the extra 2 side/rear mics on the setup chart. 

Also, by going back one page on the MMAD website, one can select from other (all mostly wider) SRA angles than +/- 60 degrees.]


Yes, you're talking about using two cardioids with a supercard in the center (along with the omni), instead of three cardioids or three supercards, yet the optimal configuration for that (in terms of this William's SRA/stereo-zoom stuff) is going to lie somewhere between to the suggestions linked above.  All of William's multi-mic array charts indicate mics of identical pickup pattern for all positions around the array, so when using different mic patterns I compare a few similar charts like this, which use the mic angles and spacings I want, and which I can achieve, and sort of split the difference between them.  Getting in the ballpark is close enough. 

+/- 60 degrees (120 overall) is about as narrow a total SRA as the 3 microphone William's curves go, at least as far as the published array setups on his MMAD website (the carts for supercards go down to 110 degrees, but I linked to the 120 degree page so the comparison between cards versus supercards is clear and direct).   Of course the trend of the curves can be extrapolated to even narrower SRA's, which would be useful for us in concert taping a decent distance from the stage, but the spacing between mics then grow even wider, which most tapers aren't going to do.  Most of his published chart setups on that site are for larger SRAs, more appropriate for 'normal' music recording locations relatively close to an ensemble.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 10:40:25 AM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Chuck

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2016, 07:26:50 PM »
Hey, Gutbucket...

I used 26" spaced Audix omnis and PAS (9" spaced) CK-63's this weekend at Red Rocks for Blackberry Smoke, moe., and Gov't Mule. I really liked how beefy the recordings were. I blended them about 50/50 for these recordings....

https://archive.org/details/moe2016-08-25.4micmixV2
https://archive.org/details/bbs2016-08-25.4micmix
http://www.timebetweenthenotes.com/audio.html#gm2016-08-25

That's what got me thinking about experimenting with multiple mics. What do you think about using two PAS hypers in the center rather than one down the middle? There are probably phase issues with two, but I'm quite happy with the results. ???
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Microphones: (2) Microtech Gefell M300, (2) AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, (2) CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and sub-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), (2) Audix M1290-o, (2) Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, (2) Naiant MSH-1O, (2) Naiant AKG Active cables, (2) Church CA-11 (cardioid), (2) CAD C9, (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2016, 08:17:31 PM »
Hey, Gutbucket...

I used 26" spaced Audix omnis and PAS (9" spaced) CK-63's this weekend at Red Rocks for Blackberry Smoke, moe., and Gov't Mule. I really liked how beefy the recordings were. I blended them about 50/50 for these recordings....

https://archive.org/details/moe2016-08-25.4micmixV2
https://archive.org/details/bbs2016-08-25.4micmix
http://www.timebetweenthenotes.com/audio.html#gm2016-08-25

That's what got me thinking about experimenting with multiple mics. What do you think about using two PAS hypers in the center rather than one down the middle? There are probably phase issues with two, but I'm quite happy with the results. ???
Chuck, I just listened to the BBerry Smoke for 2 tunes and think the recording is quite nice. Definitely "full" sound quality as you mentioned. The Rocks can be a tough environment to record in- great job!
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Offline fsulloway

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2016, 08:29:18 PM »
To the OP, I wouldn't really make drastic changes or spend a lot of money soley based on that HWA tape you made. I'm not saying a change up/addition of gear wouldn't be beneficial however. The advice given above is spot on and you'll make better tapes for sure. I couldn't hear his vocals when I taped them a year or so ago. my buddy just taped them last week too. He commented that Todd's vocals were buried and just not clear so there may not have been anything you could have done better. 
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2016, 01:59:23 AM »
Those sound smokin' Chuck, love it. Thanks for the links.

I'd go so far as to say I think a pair of PAS hypers/supers in the center between spaced omnis is one of the best use of 4 AUD channels for most tapers outdoors.  I'd put the center pair in X/Y (or M/S).  I don't normally care for 90deg X/Y cards on their own except for close non-ambient stuff, but think of pushing the center pair to coincident as sort of a the inverse of spacing the outer mics further and/or angling them more when using a third mic position between them.  You get a rock-solid center anchored image, with phase-free level-based stereo cues in the middle of the playback stage from the X/Y center pair, enveloped in a big open and wide, time/phase-based stereo ambience from the omnis.  Four mics, but less potential phase weirdness from using only 3 mic locations rather than 4.

You links sound very natural to me, though, so keep doing what your're doing!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 09:33:43 PM by Gutbucket »
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
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Offline CorFit Chris

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Re: Will AKG 460's with ck8 improve vocal clarity in recording?
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2016, 01:46:25 PM »
To the OP, I wouldn't really make drastic changes or spend a lot of money soley based on that HWA tape you made. I'm not saying a change up/addition of gear wouldn't be beneficial however. The advice given above is spot on and you'll make better tapes for sure. I couldn't hear his vocals when I taped them a year or so ago. my buddy just taped them last week too. He commented that Todd's vocals were buried and just not clear so there may not have been anything you could have done better.

Thanks, I agree.  I have recorded them in the past with the same issue.  In fact, I was listening to some other shows and can hear people in the audience yelling to turn up his mic.  I seem to have the same issue with Greensky Bluegrass as well.  I do want something (hypercard or shotgun) do point down the middle and see what comes of it.  I don't anticipate having enough expendable income to save up for high quality mics anytime soon, so I plan to keep mixing and matching cheaper mics until I find the configuration that works best for my ears and ease of use.

***Also, how about throwing up some pics in the Rig section for us visual learners.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 01:50:10 PM by CorFit Chris »
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