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Author Topic: AKG 568 vent position.  (Read 1785 times)

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Offline ts

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AKG 568 vent position.
« on: June 21, 2018, 10:09:57 AM »
Moving this question I asked in the yard. Pokahu says point the vents up. I point sideways. If you position the XLR ends like you would on any other mic the vents are pointing down, which makes sense for ENG work. So for what we do, what’s the best position? I suppose it’s also a matter of taste. Up would mean less crowd noise, down could be disastrous and sideways maybe neutral. What say you?

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 03:13:07 PM »
Orientation of the vents in the interference tube matters for some shotgun microphones and doesn't for others.  For those where it does, it usually means a somewhat broadening high frequency pickup pattern toward the side with the vent openings.  More of a tone-flavor air and brightness thing than a major difference in off-axis rejection.  But there is no need to speculate about whether a particular shotgun mic has this attribute, nor rely on the hearsay of other tapers who may be using a particular orientation simply because that's how they've always done it, the justification for doing so seems rational and they report making sick tapes that way!  Better to figure it out what's really going on for yourself and get a feel for the specifics-

Plug in the mic, don headphones, hit rec/pause, and turn up the gain.  Speak into the microphone with it oriented perpendicular to your face (90 degrees off-axis). Continue speaking and listening while rotating the mic around it's primary axis but always keeping it pointed the same direction.  While doign this, listen for any change in timbre of your voice.  Note if the change of timbre corresponds with the orientation of the vents or not.  If it does change, make mental notes about how, in which way, and in general develop a ear for what is happening.

Once you have that kind of empirical knowledge of how your specific shotgun mic behaves, you can then think about how you want to use that trait to your advantage.   Also question those assumptions!  Check them by trying different rotational orientations in the otherwise same setup over the course of a few outings to determine if your assumptions works out the way you envisioned them or not.  Rinse-lather-repeat.
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 05:49:18 PM »
https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-how-do-shotgun-mics-work

Good article on the subject. There may be an "ideal" physical orientation of the tube vents in a given setting, but it would seem largely guesswork without knowing what frequencies are present at all sides of the mic at any given time. (And which of those are desirable or undesirable)

Offline pohaku

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2018, 05:51:41 PM »
My understanding has been that you don’t want to orient the vents downwards over the crowd. I use up, unless the room has a low ceiling.  If it does, then I orient the vents to the outside.  Gutbucket’s approach makes sense and is certainly more empirical than making assumptions about how the mic might interact with a particular room.
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Offline ts

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 07:59:49 PM »
Orientation of the vents in the interference tube matters for some shotgun microphones and doesn't for others.  For those where it does, it usually means a somewhat broadening high frequency pickup pattern toward the side with the vent openings.  More of a tone-flavor air and brightness thing than a major difference in off-axis rejection.  But there is no need to speculate about whether a particular shotgun mic has this attribute, nor rely on the hearsay of other tapers who may be using a particular orientation simply because that's how they've always done it, the justification for doing so seems rational and they report making sick tapes that way!  Better to figure it out what's really going on for yourself and get a feel for the specifics-

Plug in the mic, don headphones, hit rec/pause, and turn up the gain.  Speak into the microphone with it oriented perpendicular to your face (90 degrees off-axis). Continue speaking and listening while rotating the mic around it's primary axis but always keeping it pointed the same direction.  While doign this, listen for any change in timbre of your voice.  Note if the change of timbre corresponds with the orientation of the vents or not.  If it does change, make mental notes about how, in which way, and in general develop a ear for what is happening.

Once you have that kind of empirical knowledge of how your specific shotgun mic behaves, you can then think about how you want to use that trait to your advantage.   Also question those assumptions!  Check them by trying different rotational orientations in the otherwise same setup over the course of a few outings to determine if your assumptions works out the way you envisioned them or not.  Rinse-lather-repeat.

Some shotgun mics having venting all around and some don’t. The 568’s have venting on only one side of the tube, while some high end mics like Neumann KMR 81’s and lower end like Nak CM 304’s are all around the tube. I can see how rotating the tube may have an effect on mics with half tube venting but don’t see how there would be any difference on tubes with all around venting. Although I do remember back in the day some CP4 fans saying “spinning the tube” made a difference. :P

Offline Walstib62

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2018, 08:04:11 PM »
Certainly misconceptions can come into play without a clear understanding of the subject matter.

Offline DSatz

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2018, 09:27:09 PM »
Walstib62, the article that you linked to is excellent, and helps counter the mistaken idea that shotgun microphones are simply "more directional" than, say, supercardioids, and/or that they can "reach" across greater distances. The way they actually work doesn't correspond to the visual assocations that people seem to make with them (telescopes, telephoto lenses, rifle barrels, rhinoceros penises or whatever).

Shotguns are basically designed to muffle any incoming sound that doesn't come from directly in front of them. They do this in a way that is highly frequency- and arrival-angle-specific. That can be helpful IF the unwanted, off-axis sound is distinctly different from whatever you're trying to record. Then there is low correlation between the sound processed by the interference tube and the sound that arrives on axis. The unwanted sound, arriving through the slots in the tube, is statistically unlikely to cause serious phase conflicts with the desired, on-axis sound. The desired sound must remain in front of the microphone in order for this to work, though; it may not also enter via the interference tube in any substantial amount.

The problem is that indoors, unless you record very close up and/or in an anechoic environment, the sound that reaches the capsule via the tube is ultimately the SAME sound that you're trying to record. To various degrees, it is reflected, delayed, diffused, and absorbed in an irregular, frequency- and angle-dependent manner before it reaches the microphone; then when that sound enters the interference tube, it undergoes further frequency- and angle-dependent cancellation effects. Finally, that greatly-munched-upon indirect sound, with various delays and rolloffs and peaks and valleys of up to 12 or 15 dB, gets combined with the direct sound at the microphone capsule.

The result is usually rather chaotic. Shotgun microphones used in indoor, reverberant spaces have highly irregular upper midrange and high-frequency response as a result of all these cancellation effects, and their overall integrated (all-angle or "diffuse-field") response is usually quite dull. If you try to use them to compensate for distant placement, you'll pick up mostly off-axis sound and relatively little direct, frontal sound, so the diffuse-field response is what will mainly determine the outcome of any such recording. And diffuse-field response is the Achilles' heel of shotguns as a class.

When professional recording engineers use shotgun microphones for stereo recording--which isn't all that often--the overall approach is M/S as a rule, and at fairly close range. There are good stereo shotgun microphones from Neumann, Audio-Technica, Sanken and Sennheiser which have a figure-8 microphone built in to the same housing as a (generally short) shotgun. Or a small figure-8 microphone for the "S" channel, such as a Schoeps CCM 8, can be clipped onto a single-channel shotgun microphone.

I mean, it's always a problem whenever your miking distance is greater than you want it to be. Sometimes, when your mike placement is constrained by other practical considerations, there is no really good solution. But a pair of good supercardioids will usually outperform any shotgun arrangement in that situation--even the best-sounding, multi-thousand-dollar shotguns from Schoeps, Neumann or Sanken--because the supercardioids' off-axis response is smoother, and combines with the on-axis pickup in a far less conflict-ridden manner.

--best regards
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 11:52:43 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline GDfan

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2018, 11:09:17 AM »
Moving this question I asked in the yard. Pokahu says point the vents up. I point sideways. If you position the XLR ends like you would on any other mic the vents are pointing down, which makes sense for ENG work. So for what we do, what’s the best position? I suppose it’s also a matter of taste. Up would mean less crowd noise, down could be disastrous and sideways maybe neutral. What say you?

I have had a couple pairs of these over the last decade and when I did some "The Dead" recordings in 09' I had the vents up. Since that time I have purchased a pair of right angle stubby XLR cables and when I used these recently the vents were down due to the cable I using being oriented down (right angle stubby). The recordings from 09 sound more open and the ones recently sound a bit dull if that is a good analogy.. I think if I were to use these again in the future I would use different cables so I could have the vents facing up (IMO).
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2018, 03:35:37 PM »
Moving this question I asked in the yard. Pokahu says point the vents up. I point sideways. If you position the XLR ends like you would on any other mic the vents are pointing down, which makes sense for ENG work. So for what we do, what’s the best position? I suppose it’s also a matter of taste. Up would mean less crowd noise, down could be disastrous and sideways maybe neutral. What say you?

I have had a couple pairs of these over the last decade and when I did some "The Dead" recordings in 09' I had the vents up. Since that time I have purchased a pair of right angle stubby XLR cables and when I used these recently the vents were down due to the cable I using being oriented down (right angle stubby). The recordings from 09 sound more open and the ones recently sound a bit dull if that is a good analogy.. I think if I were to use these again in the future I would use different cables so I could have the vents facing up (IMO).

I think there may be more variables than just the vent orientation in your above scenario.

Offline ts

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2018, 06:37:52 PM »
How come every shotgun thread turns into a you’re not supposed to use shotguns for stereo recording? We all know that. Someone, not gonna mention a name, made that quite clear in one of the GD Tapers Compendiums. However short guns seem to be used on a regular basis. The way I figure it is we are not all professionals. We are hobbyists looking to have fun and capture music at the same time. We don’t get paid. Maybe if we did we might pay attention to protocols. ::)

Offline DSatz

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2018, 10:17:22 PM »
ts, this thread has 10 messages in it so far. Nine are about how to use a pair of shotguns for stereo recording, while mine led to a suggestion (based on the way professionals generally view this) of using one shotgun plus a figure-8. I don't think that the thread has "turn[ed] into" "you’re not supposed to use shotguns for stereo recording".

I own four shotgun microphones, including one stereo model. I use the mono shotguns mainly as spot mikes, for voiceover work, or very occasionally as the "M" microphone in an M/S pair. What I suggested was based on my own experience, and wasn't intended to be oppositional. When I really want to oppose something, you'll know!

--best regards
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 09:39:24 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2018, 09:58:06 AM »
Quote
How come every shotgun thread turns into a you’re not supposed to use shotguns for stereo recording?

Because that's generally true. 

There are good reasons why..
1) Typical near-spaced stereo configurations aren't recommended with shotguns.
2) Some stereo techniques are likely to work better than others.
3) Audience-perspective live music recording from a distance is different than most forms of professional recording.

We can discuss all of that stuff here.  Hopefully these kinds of threads help tapers make more-informed decisions when considering various approaches, which when combined with their own experience and listening preferences might make for better sounding tapes.  Do whatever you like, there is no taper police to come after you if you prefer to do it a particular way.  Only practical, theory-based, and real-world suggestions here - no hard-fast rules. 

Here are two setups using shotguns I can make strong arguments for (rather than simply substituting shotguns in place of standard first-order directional mics in near-spaced configurations)-

1) Coincident- Shotgun as Mid in a Mid/Side stereo-recording arrangement (as suggested above).
2) Spaced- Shotgun as Center microphone in an L/C/R stereo-recording arrangement.

..or better, a combination of those two approaches, such as as a Mid/Side pair in the center between widely-spaced omnis.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 12:42:13 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline spyder9

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2018, 12:03:20 PM »
Samples of C568EB shotguns, run in stereo, vents pointed out.  Discuss.

Radio City Music Hall (theater)
https://archive.org/details/bobandphilduo2018-03-03.r1.spyder9.flac16


BB&T Center (auditorium)
https://archive.org/details/deadandco2018-02-26.r1.spyder9.flac16

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2018, 12:42:03 PM »
Diggin' that Radio City pull.  Good "real-world" example of it working well. To me this is confirmation that audience-perspective live music recording from a distance is indeed different than other types of recording. 
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
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Offline illconditioned

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2018, 07:40:10 PM »
Samples of C568EB shotguns, run in stereo, vents pointed out.  Discuss.

Radio City Music Hall (theater)
https://archive.org/details/bobandphilduo2018-03-03.r1.spyder9.flac16


BB&T Center (auditorium)
https://archive.org/details/deadandco2018-02-26.r1.spyder9.flac16
Yep,   Sometimes shot gun point at stacks is a nice way to go.  Simple and gets the job done.
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Offline ts

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2018, 08:19:38 AM »
Samples of C568EB shotguns, run in stereo, vents pointed out.  Discuss.

Radio City Music Hall (theater)
https://archive.org/details/bobandphilduo2018-03-03.r1.spyder9.flac16


BB&T Center (auditorium)
https://archive.org/details/deadandco2018-02-26.r1.spyder9.flac16
Yep,   Sometimes shot gun point at stacks is a nice way to go.  Simple and gets the job done.

Exactly. Simple, easy to use and usually works out just fine. So back on topic. I guess it’s best to point the threads to the sides or up. Going to try up next time as Pohahu suggests. I’m always looking for variations especially with stuff you’re not supposed to use. :facepalm:

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2018, 06:01:43 PM »
All that matters to anyone else is that the recording sounds good.
Extra credit if your tape sounds better than the other guy's.

If you get a kick out of bucking trends while making good sounding recordings, mo power to ya, but that's just a personal thing.
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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2018, 10:35:35 PM »
Samples of C568EB shotguns, run in stereo, vents pointed out.  Discuss.

Radio City Music Hall (theater)
https://archive.org/details/bobandphilduo2018-03-03.r1.spyder9.flac16


BB&T Center (auditorium)
https://archive.org/details/deadandco2018-02-26.r1.spyder9.flac16
Yep,   Sometimes shot gun point at stacks is a nice way to go.  Simple and gets the job done.

Exactly. Simple, easy to use and usually works out just fine. So back on topic. I guess it’s best to point the threads to the sides or up. Going to try up next time as Pohahu suggests. I’m always looking for variations especially with stuff you’re not supposed to use. :facepalm:

Why not split the difference and point the vents @ 45*?

Offline Walstib62

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2018, 10:52:05 PM »
The vent position makes little to no difference, especially when used to record music in the typical "taper" application.

Offline ts

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2018, 03:48:10 PM »
The vent position makes little to no difference, especially when used to record music in the typical "taper" application.

I agree with that statement with mics like the Naks that have venting all the way around. The 568’s are only half vented and vent position definitely makes a difference.

Offline Walstib62

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2018, 05:08:19 PM »
The vent position makes little to no difference, especially when used to record music in the typical "taper" application.

I agree with that statement with mics like the Naks that have venting all the way around. The 568’s are only half vented and vent position definitely makes a difference.

No it does not. Proximity has no effect on frequency cancellation inside the interference tube.

Offline wharfratjoe

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AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2018, 05:20:32 PM »
Thanks for the topic and link. I have been running a pair of C568EB's with the vents up. The venues are small and usually run them with either BSC1 or MBHO440 and mix them together. Glad I'm still sort of a newbie at this recording thing.  I like to experiment and go against the grain sometimes. I  will see about vents sideways at at larger venue.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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Offline Walstib62

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2018, 05:41:37 PM »
Thanks for the topic and link. I have been running a pair of C568EB's with the vents up. The venues are small and usually run them with either BSC1 or MBHO440 and mix them together. Glad I'm still sort of a newbie at this recording thing.  I like to experiment and go against the grain sometimes. I  will see about vents sideways at at larger venue.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

You could do that but the only way you could prove that vent position matters in a given setting would be to have  at least 2 mics in very close proximity to each other and the vents facing in different directions.  In the scenario you suggest, it sounds as though you would have the vents facing in opposite directions...180 deg. from each other, but at a slight distance from each other.  Depending on room acoustics and your location within that space, you would not hear much difference between the 2, at least not any more than any other stereo pair of microphones (other than the pickup pattern)

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2018, 06:17:59 PM »
Thanks for the topic and link. I have been running a pair of C568EB's with the vents up. The venues are small and usually run them with either BSC1 or MBHO440 and mix them together. Glad I'm still sort of a newbie at this recording thing.  I like to experiment and go against the grain sometimes. I  will see about vents sideways at at larger venue.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

You could do that but the only way you could prove that vent position matters in a given setting would be to have  at least 2 mics in very close proximity to each other and the vents facing in different directions.  In the scenario you suggest, it sounds as though you would have the vents facing in opposite directions...180 deg. from each other, but at a slight distance from each other.  Depending on room acoustics and your location within that space, you would not hear much difference between the 2, at least not any more than any other stereo pair of microphones (other than the pickup pattern)

 "I  will see about vents sideways at at larger venue": I was thinking about JRAD at the Wiltern and Phish at MGM Grand Garden. Definitley larger venues
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Offline ts

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2018, 08:03:07 PM »
The vent position makes little to no difference, especially when used to record music in the typical "taper" application.

I agree with that statement with mics like the Naks that have venting all the way around. The 568’s are only half vented and vent position definitely makes a difference.

No it does not. Proximity has no effect on frequency cancellation inside the interference tube.

Ok.

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2018, 01:23:52 AM »
I always run mu ck8s or ck69s with vents up sounds killer every time
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Offline ts

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Re: AKG 568 vent position.
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2018, 09:43:38 AM »
Samples of C568EB shotguns, run in stereo, vents pointed out.  Discuss.

Radio City Music Hall (theater)
https://archive.org/details/bobandphilduo2018-03-03.r1.spyder9.flac16


BB&T Center (auditorium)
https://archive.org/details/deadandco2018-02-26.r1.spyder9.flac16
Yep,   Sometimes shot gun point at stacks is a nice way to go.  Simple and gets the job done.

Exactly. Simple, easy to use and usually works out just fine. So back on topic. I guess it’s best to point the threads to the sides or up. Going to try up next time as Pohahu suggests. I’m always looking for variations especially with stuff you’re not supposed to use. :facepalm:

Why not split the difference and point the vents @ 45*?

Now that’s something worth trying. A little bit of both. Not straight up and not to the sides.

 

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