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Author Topic: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2  (Read 15624 times)

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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #210 on: November 08, 2018, 09:13:29 PM »

There was a messy desk thread way back when...I think we need to revive it.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #211 on: November 09, 2018, 09:49:14 AM »
Ugh, you don't want to see my desk!

[edit- kingdong that's a cool photo.  I've never come across Professor Fellgett in researching ambisonics, do you know anything about him? Too bad it does not show the ambisonic equipment in more detail. That was really specialized stuff back in the day.  What we can now do easily digitally on the computer was much more challenging to pull off successfully with analog equipment, due to the precise calibration and balancing required to make all the the matrixing work correctly without level and phase mismatches skewing everything.  We have it so easy by comparison.  It amazes me that we are now recording 6 or 8 channels regularly as tapers and how just that, much less recording ambisonicly, would have blown the minds of those folks doing it 4 decades ago]
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 09:34:30 AM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #212 on: November 13, 2018, 01:01:24 PM »
Kickdown link to Kyle and Mike's most-recent OMT recordings-  https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=188578.0

Thanks for posting this guys!  This is interesting here for providing a comparison of two OMT setup variants made at the same show, using the same common microphones and signal path.  The difference between the two represents a choice of which microphone feeds were used, and the mix itself.  It's quite helpful to hear these two mixes using different microphone combinations with the other variables held constant.

Kindms' OMT4 mix (4 microphone channels total) uses a front/back facing pair of AKGck61 between 3'/90cm spaced omnis.  This pretty much makes for a baseline OMT4 recording in the way Mike and Kyle have been realizing the OMT setup up to this point (although sometimes using the ck61s in X/Y instead of front/back, IIRC)

Rocksuitcase' OMT5 mix (5 microphone channels total) builds upon Mike's newly acquired AKG426 LD stereo microphone, set to crossed hypercardioids with a 55-degree inclusive angle (I presume Pointed At Stacks or pointed just outside of them).  Starting from that, the 3'/90cm spaced omnis are added, as well as the forward facing ck61.  The rear-facing ck61 channel is unused in this mix.

[Edit- I've make some assumptions in this post and the one which follows.  If I've assumed incorrectly, please correct me]
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 02:54:41 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #213 on: November 13, 2018, 01:01:37 PM »
My thoughts-
The clarity and stereo image in the OMT5 mix really grabs me.  I have a soft spot for crossed hypercardioids, as they often get a lot of things right to my way of thinking, sounding really good to me in a number of important ways, and I think this particular set up choice of angle and pattern is well chosen.  In addition to the stereo imaging aspects, there is a very nice clarity, heard especially in the vocals and percussion transients, and the stereo ambient pickup to the rear is nicely balanced against the direct sound arriving from the front.

Part of that is related to the high-quality 426>V3>(SPDIF maybe?)>DR680 signal chain, but a lot of it reflects aspects of the microphone configuration itself.  I've posted previously about how I consider crossed hypers as being something akin to improved Blumlein crossed 8's for real-world taper situations, in that it provides similar imaging and ambient qualities, but with an increased forward-sensitivity bias which makes the perfect placement in a perfect room which Blumlein requires far less critical.

Similar to Blumlein, crossed hypercardioids is sort of like using four center microphones (a forward facing pair + a rear facing pair) instead of two, but with the mix of the four being fixed.  The crossed rear lobes of the hypercard pattern serve a similar role as dedicated rear-facing microphone channel(s).  The difference is that the front/back reverberant balance is fixed, or rather adjusted beforehand by choice of the pickup pattern and the angle between microphones, rather than via mix level of a separate rear-facing microphone (or rear-facing pair).  For those unfamiliar with the microphone, the single-point-stereo AKG426 provides a choice between 9 (IIRC) electronically switchable pickup patterns ranging from omni to figure-8, which may be set separately for either channel, as well as variable angle between the microphone capsules.

In an OMT setup, the narrow included angle of the central X/Y pair works well for a couple reasons: It points this coincident center pair of microphones so that they are more-or-less on-axis with the primary sound radiators (the PA stacks), providing good direct sound clarity; and it solidifies the center without concerns about loss of spaciousness or stereo width carried by the omnis.  Addition of the forward-facing AKGck61 further increases forward bias and center solidity.  And in a practical sense it provides an additional degree of freedom in the mix.

Kyle, I'm most curious about your thoughts while mixing this concerning the included angle of the 426 in combination with the center ck61:

Do you think you would have used as much ck61 in the mix if the 426 had been set to a slightly more forward directional supercardioid pattern?
Similarity, do you think you would have used as much ck61 in the mix if the 426 had been set to a slightly narrower inclusive angle?
^Those questions hint at the possibility of OMT4 incorporating just the 426 + omnis.  Curious if you speculate that if the most-appropriate pattern/angle combination for the 426 could be determined beforehand (a big if), no forward facing ck61 would be needed.

Alternately, going the opposite way:
Assuming the center ck61 is not "optional" but included as a necessary addition in the microphone setup and mix (with or without a rear facing mic), I wonder about a wider inclusive angle with the 426.  I could see an "over wide" angle of greater than 90 degrees working well as long as the center ck61 is there to hold the center in place.  That would have the front/back facing center pair playing a bigger role as necessary additions to the directional stereo imaging and stereo ambience provided by the 426.  The 426 would no longer be PAS or near PAS, which may be less appropriate in term of direct clarity from a relatively distant recording position in a reverberant room, but it would reduce interaction between 3 the similarly pointed, close-to-coincident channels channels (L/C/R).  The question then becomes- "how wide" and secondarily -"which pattern", both of which get me thinking about how the nulls of super/hyper/fig-8 patterns are oriented and what influence that would have.  Here's a hypothetical- should we use crossed fig-8's and point the nulls just outside the PA stack on the opposite side?  Anglewise with the 426, that would be pretty much the opposite of what you have here (at 55 degrees inclusive), definitely requiring the forward facing supercardioid to compensate.

Or perhaps best to split the difference between those two, using a traditional 90-degree inclusive angle for the 426 in hypercard, supported with the center-front (and possibly rear) facing microphones, which also provides redundancy of the 426 on its own as purist coincident stereo.  Fun to think about the possible variants to toy around with.
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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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #214 on: November 13, 2018, 02:46:21 PM »
I also prefer the mix that adds the C426.  I like the strong center image and direct sound...and all the benefits that come with that.

Did you guys try a mix with just C426 and omnis, without the 61s?
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #215 on: November 13, 2018, 03:11:14 PM »
[edit- kingdong that's a cool photo.  I've never come across Professor Fellgett in researching ambisonics, do you know anything about him? ...]

I hadn't heard of him before I saw that ebay listing which came up when searching 'ambisonics' which of course sent me down a little rabbit hole.  He gets mentioned in the wikipedia ambisonics entry, but there were some more cool photos and info here:
https://www.michaelgerzonphotos.org.uk/ambisonics.html
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 03:15:14 PM by kingdong »

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #216 on: November 13, 2018, 03:21:24 PM »
My thoughts-
 I've posted previously about how I consider crossed hypers as being something akin to improved Blumlein crossed 8's for real-world taper situations, in that it provides similar imaging and ambient qualities, but with an increased forward-sensitivity bias which makes the perfect placement in a perfect room which Blumlein requires far less critical.

Similar to Blumlein, crossed hypercardioids is sort of like using four center microphones (a forward facing pair + a rear facing pair) instead of two, but with the mix of the four being fixed.  The crossed rear lobes of the hypercard pattern serve a similar role as dedicated rear-facing microphone channel(s).    Response to this below in red

Kyle, I'm most curious about your thoughts while mixing this concerning the included angle of the 426 in combination with the center ck61:

Do you think you would have used as much ck61 in the mix if the 426 had been set to a slightly more forward directional supercardioid pattern?  responses in green
Similarity, do you think you would have used as much ck61 in the mix if the 426 had been set to a slightly narrower inclusive angle?                       responses in green
^Those questions hint at the possibility of OMT4 incorporating just the 426 + omnis.  Curious if you speculate that if the most-appropriate pattern/angle combination for the 426 could be determined beforehand (a big if), no forward facing ck61 would be needed.           response in blue

Alternately, going the opposite way:
Assuming the center ck61 is not "optional" but included as a necessary addition in the microphone setup and mix (with or without a rear facing mic), I wonder about a wider inclusive angle with the 426.  I could see an "over wide" angle of greater than 90 degrees working well as long as the center ck61 is there to hold the center in place.  That would have the front/back facing center pair playing a bigger role as necessary additions to the directional stereo imaging and stereo ambience provided by the 426.  The 426 would no longer be PAS or near PAS, which may be less appropriate in term of direct clarity from a relatively distant recording position in a reverberant room, but it would reduce interaction between 3 the similarly pointed, close-to-coincident channels channels (L/C/R).  The question then becomes- "how wide" and secondarily -"which pattern", both of which get me thinking about how the nulls of super/hyper/fig-8 patterns are oriented and what influence that would have.  Here's a hypothetical- should we use crossed fig-8's and point the nulls just outside the PA stack on the opposite side?  Anglewise with the 426, that would be pretty much the opposite of what you have here (at 55 degrees inclusive), definitely requiring the forward facing supercardioid to compensate.

Or perhaps best to split the difference between those two, using a traditional 90-degree inclusive angle for the 426 in hypercard, supported with the center-front (and possibly rear) facing microphones, which also provides redundancy of the 426 on its own as purist coincident stereo.  Fun to think about the possible variants to toy around with.
Re Hypercardiods: I used crossed Hypercards for most of the first 20 years I was taping. My early mentor at SU, Mark Fitzgerald, took the spec sheet of the Sony TCD5M and compared the input output sensitivities and "matched" them to the microphone he thought would best do the job of making a decent recording from a diffuse field. Hence we wound up with Beyer Dynamic M201c's. We all had the textbook of the era, David Miles Huber's "Modern Recording Techniques" which led us to the Hypercardiods crossed in XY, which we ran typically at 90" but occasionally at 110'. He explained it exactly as Lee does above, properly aligned, you actually can get the rear "quadrant" picked up as a result of the math.

I do feel that the 55' angle of the crossed Hypers allowed for a "smooth" addition of the CK61 cardiod to the center of the mix. If we had gone with "supercards" at 55' it may have required less ck61 in the mix for the reasons you mention; the supercard would have brought out more of the center vocals and imaging wise (IMO).

As for the choice of angle pre show, since we record in this venue often, I did tell Mike it would probably wind up being 55 or 60'; and yes, the 55' was essentially PAS as the Cap's PA is set a bit wide. Additonally to your point, while mixing I turned off the center ck61 many times to hear what just the 4 channel (426 hypers plus ck22 spaced omnis) would sound like. There was just enough centering and vocal clarity added which made me keep it in the mix; but as anyone who mixes OMT knows, you are making trade offs at every turn! For this OMT5 choice, I am happy with the tone and overall sound quality.
OTH- I am not 100% sure as to why kindms used the OMT4 with no 426 in the mix, but my ears told me this was a possibility as well. One variable which skews against typical OMT results IS the superior quality of this AKG C426 microphone and signal chain (V3 -> 680) which does appear to blend well with the AKG ck22 omnis.


I'll come back in and address the final thoughts here later (running 426 and spaced omni only):
Going the other direction, I DO feel running the 426 at 90 or 110 degrees would allow for a great stereo image then adding a cardiod in the middle would be just right. Of course, all this discussion implies running spaced omnis as well. So either an OMT5 or OMT6 with a rear channel added would make for a solid recording using the 426 this way.

Secondly, but equally as important, is the decision as to what capsule pattern(s) to use. Riffing off your idea Lee:
426 at 55' or 60' in Hypercards + ck61 (cardiod) front + ck22 (Omnis) spread at least 90cm is what we have run 2-3 times so far. The 426 in Hypers is very nice sounding BUT the narrow angle probably prevents the pair from being an ideal "safety" pair (to obtain a 2 ch recording no matter what else).

426 at 90' or 110' (Cards or subcards or fig 8) +ck61 cardiod + omnis pair would allow for a safety pair plus allow flexibility in mixing just as you mention, I suspect. I would try this in an outdoor venue or an acoustically perfect setting such as the Egg, but not in a reverberant large room such as MSG.  I am thinking what Lee is, that the combination would allow for a nice wide stereo image from the 426 plus a solid center via ck61 using the 426 in subcards or cards. Using it in fig 8 would be a different sort of mix but also something I would try.

To wrap this up, we did try the AKG C426 in "subcards" (#7 on the 9 ch box (AKG A26?)) at 90' by with zero other channels at Bob + Wolf bros 11-09 just because the HEAVY rain prevented us from slinging all the gear for 6 channels. The result was VERY good. (as kindms mentioned, the house was full for Bob but half full for New Bohemians- which obviously does influence the direct to reverberant ratio.)

« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 01:09:16 PM by rocksuitcase »
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Offline kindms

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #217 on: November 13, 2018, 07:12:33 PM »
RE: Why I mixed ck22 + ck61 vs. ck22 + ck61 + c426

I will admit to being a know nothing when it comes to mixing etc. I just know what i like. So I mixed for that. I tend to load them all in audacity and then feel it. I found I was able to get something smooth with the 4 mics I chose to use, I honestly didnt have any real philosophical reason for doing so.

I also rolled the bass quite a bit in my mix which i almost never do. To get an idea the bob weir recording we made the night after is almost in the same spot of the room with the 426. The difference is pretty striking. The room was of course at max for Bobby so we think most of that boom was the open room. which is why i dropped the rear ALOT but left it in.

To speak to crossed hypers on the c426. I wqas listening to the Bobby in the car and definitely on several occasions the crowd source was behind me. Put a nice smile on my face.
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #218 on: November 14, 2018, 09:54:17 AM »
I tend to load them all in audacity and then feel it.
A totally appropriate philosophy!

Yeah, a full house usually means a shorter reverb decay time / tighter sound.
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #219 on: November 14, 2018, 01:10:14 PM »
I tend to load them all in audacity and then feel it.
A totally appropriate philosophy!

Yeah, a full house usually means a shorter reverb decay time / tighter sound.
Updated my post above responding to the alternative configurations gutbucket mentions.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #220 on: November 14, 2018, 03:52:10 PM »
Going the other direction, I DO feel running the 426 at 90 or 110 degrees would allow for a great stereo image then adding a cardiod in the middle would be just right. Of course, all this discussion implies running spaced omnis as well. So either an OMT5 or OMT6 with a rear channel added would make for a solid recording using the 426 this way.

Secondly, but equally as important, is the decision as to what capsule pattern(s) to use. Riffing off your idea Lee:
426 at 55' or 60' in Hypercards + ck61 (cardiod) front + ck22 (Omnis) spread at least 90cm is what we have run 2-3 times so far. The 426 in Hypers is very nice sounding BUT the narrow angle probably prevents the pair from being an ideal "safety" pair (to obtain a 2 ch recording no matter what else).

Since folks doing OMT generally aren't averse to tweaking stuff, it might be useful to consider a Mid/Side adjustment done afterwards as an intended part of the arrangement.  So if coincident 60 degree hypers on their own produce an image which is a bit overly narrow, yet achieves the desired clarity by being appropriately on-axis to the stacks, perhaps the best course will be to widen that afterwards to taste to produce the a 2-channel purist "safety pair" output that has both sufficient clarity and good image-width.

Likewise, tweaking that could be useful in an OMT mix as well.  And doing so takes advantage of the phase-difference-free nature of the 426 coincident-pair
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #221 on: November 14, 2018, 04:03:29 PM »
Going the other direction, I DO feel running the 426 at 90 or 110 degrees would allow for a great stereo image then adding a cardiod in the middle would be just right. Of course, all this discussion implies running spaced omnis as well. So either an OMT5 or OMT6 with a rear channel added would make for a solid recording using the 426 this way.

Secondly, but equally as important, is the decision as to what capsule pattern(s) to use. Riffing off your idea Lee:
426 at 55' or 60' in Hypercards + ck61 (cardiod) front + ck22 (Omnis) spread at least 90cm is what we have run 2-3 times so far. The 426 in Hypers is very nice sounding BUT the narrow angle probably prevents the pair from being an ideal "safety" pair (to obtain a 2 ch recording no matter what else).

Since folks doing OMT generally aren't averse to tweaking stuff, it might be useful to consider a Mid/Side adjustment done afterwards as an intended part of the arrangement.  So if coincident 60 degree hypers on their own produce an image which is a bit overly narrow, yet achieves the desired clarity by being appropriately on-axis to the stacks, perhaps the best course will be to widen that afterwards to taste to produce the a 2-channel purist "safety pair" output that has both sufficient clarity and good image-width.

Likewise, tweaking that could be useful in an OMT mix as well.  And doing so takes advantage of the phase-difference-free nature of the 426 coincident-pair
I like this idea. One thing which slows me down at this point is lack of skill doing the M/S adjustments. kindms has done our MS decoding in the past by doing the simple technique(s) but we've not extensively used the M/S adjustment tool(s).
OTH- you've written recently about fig 8's crossed or M/S in the center (fwd, rear or both) and I feel with the 426 we could easily do some of these configs.
Also, you have a point about the yumminess of EXACT coincidence at the capsule end. This microphone is proving to be an excellent pick-up and truly allows us flexibility one could never have with just stereo pairs.
For instance, we have already run the 426 in: [1] Hypers at 55',60',90 ; [2] cardiods at 60 [3] "supercard" at 90 [4] one cap at 0' and the other at 180' cardiod to be a"classic" center for an OMT6 we did at Phish (2018-11-17)
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #222 on: November 16, 2018, 03:31:40 PM »
Kyle, what Gutbucket is saying is not a bad idea. You can save the center microphone and quite similar result you can achieve with akg426 and M/S manipulation. Then you can use the center microphone for something else (for example, to make a stereo side or rear facing pair).
On the other hand, I understand you. You use Audacity, and the possibilities of mixing are very limited there. Then the center microphone with akg426 makes sense.

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #223 on: November 16, 2018, 03:54:29 PM »
Kyle, what Gutbucket is saying is not a bad idea. You can save the center microphone and quite similar result you can achieve with akg426 and M/S manipulation. Then you can use the center microphone for something else (for example, to make a stereo side or rear facing pair).
On the other hand, I understand you. You use Audacity, and the possibilities of mixing are very limited there. Then the center microphone with akg426 makes sense.
kuba- I feel you are correct. There is a way to do rudimentary MS via Audacity. Not to mention I truly need to go up to izotoope or some other software with ability to do good plug ins. You get what you pay for and Audacity is free.
As for the mic config then we would running only the 426 for the center/rear + Omni spread, thus could use the other two channels for a side facing card midway between center and omni like gutbucket does with the subcards.
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 2
« Reply #224 on: November 18, 2018, 10:52:25 PM »
Trying again, with another impromptu rigging.

Poway Symphony Orchestra
2018-11-18 sunday

DPA4060 pair as 16' spaced pair, with APE response balls, and mics forward @0º just emerging from the balls, with grids only exposed.
Line Audio CM3 pair as 0º forward and 180º rearward, from the stage lip, center.
Mics arranged along the stage lip edge.
Tas. DR70D 24.96

And, also Gude Head binaural stream_ R09HR 24.96 from 1st row DFC

these are shareable, and will be going to LMA
« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 10:56:02 PM by Moke »
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