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Author Topic: 4-6 channel configuration help with my gear  (Read 406 times)

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Offline detroit lightning

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4-6 channel configuration help with my gear
« on: August 12, 2019, 01:53:48 PM »
I've done some poking around, but haven't really come up with what I wanted...so I figured it warranted a new thread.

For any show I'm doing open these days, I can basically do the following:

     -R44 with SBD in + Berliner CM33 Cardioid in, and DPA 6061 > Dvice > phone

     -R44 with 4 channels of Berliner CM33 Cardioid in, and DPA 6061 > Dvice > phone

To be clear, my gear includes:
-Recorders: R44, Iphone via DPA dvice
-Mics: 4 Berliner CM33 Card's, 2 DPA 6061's

The DPA's can be spaced on the stand, run on-stage, or on me. That's clear.

What I'm not exactly sure about, is when I'm running 4 cardioid mics in. Before I had the 4 mics I did a lot of XY, because it basically worked from me (not a lot of science behind it). However, now that I can run 4 mics from the same mount - I'm wondering what some options are.

I've thought about just running in different configurations, and I think that would be interesting from an experiment standpoint. However, once I've done that - I need to think of how to best utilize 4 directional mics.

Anyway...open to ideas!

Offline heathen

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Re: 4-6 channel configuration help with my gear
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 02:09:01 PM »
You should probably wade into the oddball mic technique threads.  IMO you should try to define your goal before defining your mic config.  Are you going for surround sound?  Stereo playback?  Something else?

As a starting point, you could use your XY setup as a foundation since you're used to it and had success with it.  Maybe think about how the other mics could build upon and compliment the XY pair.  A big question is going to be how wide you're able to space the mics.

The first things that come to mind for me specific to using four cards are double ORTF or IRT cross: https://lossenderosstudio.com/article.php?subject=17 (whether these will be right for you, though, depends a lot on that initial question of what your goal is)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 02:12:53 PM by heathen »
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: 4-6 channel configuration help with my gear
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 03:15:40 PM »
I'll just throw this non OMT idea in (edit to add: before gutbucket gets in here  8) ) regarding the 4 cards and your access to soundboards. Maybe think outside the box, more like an FOH guy when you have sbd access. Use the XY pair in typical location, take two channels of SBD then figure a way to use the other two cards on stage either as 1] spot mics for a specific instrument (violin, flute, etc) or 2] spacing them wide pointed away from the stage to catch that energy.
3] To achieve this best one can ask the FOH if they have any open channels and feed your cards through their snake.

You have lots of possibilities, yayyyy!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 06:40:57 PM by rocksuitcase »
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 4-6 channel configuration help with my gear
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 05:20:38 PM »
Before suggesting microphone setup ideas, let me ask a question-

Are you comfortably adept with not just time-aligning the starting points of the files recorded on two seperate machines, but also time-syncing one file-set to the other when necessary? This involves precisely time-stretching or time-shrinking the files made on one recorder to match time-points of the files made on the other, and becomes necessary for recordings of significant length when the clocks of the two recorders are set to run at the same nominal sampling rate, yet in reality run at ever-so-slightly different speeds.  It is a practical issue of correcting for clock tolerances and the most complicated part of recording multichannel across more than one recorder. If you are good with doing that, we can provide good suggestions for the use of more than 4 channels.  If not we can still recommend 4 channel options for recording into the R-44 on its own.

The way I look at it myself is this- I'll make the effort to time-stretch in a few cases, but most of the time I'll try to record everything onto one machine whenever possible. It just makes everything smoother, easier, and more enjoyable - from making the recording, to maintaining and cataloging your SD cards and files, to mixing the recordings.

What are the exceptions?
1) Figuring it out- Determining what techniques work for you and if recording more than 4 channels is worth the effort or not.  This may take a while, which is fine as long as you are okay with doing the sync work.  If you do decide it is worth the effort, I'd suggest moving to a 6-channel recorder sooner than later.  That will make everything more straight forward, and can even potentially sound better as well with all channels always in phase-synch down to sample level.  You can pick up a Tascam DR-680MK2 quite inexpensively these days, which will allow you to record 6 channels onto one machine (up to 8 channels if using it's digital coax input simultaneously).  There are other 6-channel recorder options but, along with the R-44, the DR-680 is my favorite multichannel "taper" recorder.  You may never need any additional channels than the 680 offers, but you'd also gain the capability of sharing clock between the DR-680 and R-44 so that you could record up to 10 channels using a single shared clock (which you cannot do with most other currently popular 6 and 8 channel recorders).  The files from the two separate recorders would need alignment to the same initial start-point, but once aligned will stay in sync with sample-accuracy and no time-stretching/shrinking needed.   I recognize that you specifically listed the equipment you have on hand, so I'll stop talking about a new recorder, but just keep in mind this dynamic if you decide to press ahead long term with recording more than four channels total.

2) Getting a SBD recording, either when SBD is available via USB, or if my primary recording location is not adjacent to the soundboard.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 4-6 channel configuration help with my gear
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2019, 05:25:11 PM »
Do you have a way to run the 6061 pair into the R44 rather than into the phone?  That could be anything able to power the DPA's with the correct voltage: a pair of phantom adapters, a battery box, or a preamp other than d:vice.
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<<

Offline detroit lightning

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Re: 4-6 channel configuration help with my gear
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 08:30:27 AM »
Thanks for the feedback!

re: Gutbucket's points:
1. time aligning/syncing - Yes, not an issue. That said, from a feasibility standpoint 4 channel suggestions are more of what I'm looking for. I think I'm basically in your camp about ease of use/enjoyment.

2. Running DPA's inot the R44 - this is definitely a good idea, and I'd like to do it. Frankly, I bought an extra set of the Berliners because there was as good price, and I already had a pair. Probably didn't need them (this is TS, after all) but whatever. Anyway, running cards & omni's at once is a natural fit

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 4-6 channel configuration help with my gear
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 11:17:23 AM »
A few options below for your consideration, any of these can be used for either AUD or stage-lip/on-stage (be aware that stage-lip/on-stage positioning without SBD inclusion will typically cause any PA-only amplified content to lack level and clarity).

Primary 4-channel setups using R44 alone (AUD or stage-lip/on-stage) :
1) 2ch SBD, wide-spaced omnis > R44

2) X/Y cardioids, wide-spaced omnis > R44 (OMT4)

3) Front/back facing cardioids, wide-spaced omnis > R44 (OMT4)

4) Near-spaced cardioids facing band, wide spaced cardioids facing audience > R44

6-channel setups using both R-44 and d:vice>phone:
Anyone using DPA d:vice to record line in (SBD) yet?  That would allow the phone to be placed at the SBD and the R44 free to be placed elsewhere for 4ch AUD or stage-lip, enabling the inclusion of SBD with any of the 4ch microphone setups above. Would require microdot-terminated input cables with blocking caps (and possibly attenuation).   If I were a d:vice user, I'd look into this!

6-channel setups which do not require custom d:vice input cables:
1) SBD, near-spaced cardioids > R44
    On-stage spaced-omnis > phone

2) L/C/R/B facing near-spaced cardioids > R44
      Spaced-omnis > phone (OMT6)

3) Any of the 4-channel setups above > R-44, and omnis > phone as spots on stage. Essentially what Rocksuitcase suggests above, yet substituting omnis as on-stage spots for cardioids. A few reasons for this: D:vice will not power your cardioids; I find it generally easier to place tiny omnis onstage as spots; exact close placement is less critical with omnis; and you can get good "stage presence" of the other on-stage sources through on-stage omni spots.  Place the omnis somewhat closer to the sources of interest to highlight them as substitute for cardioid directionality as needed.  This is really just a modification of any of the spaced omni setups above by treating the omnis as spots instead of as a typical wide-spaced pair.
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<<

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 4-6 channel configuration help with my gear
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 11:39:43 AM »
Also, you can often record just a single channel of SBD without losing anything, as the SBD feed will often be mono anyway.  This frees up one extra channel for another microphone.  I did this a couple weeks ago recording the Quebe Sisters in Asheville where I sacrificed one of two rear-facing supercardioid channels in my OMT 8 setup for SBD. As the recording position was in front of the board at the back of the room, I would have sacrificed both rear-facing channels for SBD but had only one XLR cable on hand to patch into the SBD and I think the provided feed was mono anyway.  Playing with the mix over headphones, I'm glad I retained the single rear-facing cardioid (except when some feral kid starts running around back there for a song or two  ;) ).

single-channel SBD setups using the R44 alone:

1a) 1ch SBD, wide-spaced omnis, 1 rear-facing cardioid
1b) 1ch SBD, near-spaced L/R cardioid pair, 1 rear-facing cardioid

2a) 1ch SBD, wide-spaced omnis, 1 forward-facing cardioid (OMT 3 + SBD)
2b) 1ch SBD, near-spaced L/C/R cardioid triplet > R44 (OMT 3 + SBD)
(The center forward-facing cardioid and SBD serve similar, redundant rolls in this case.  Because of that it is more useful to point the center mic backwards if the SBD is good, IMHO)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 11:45:41 AM by Gutbucket »
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<<

Offline prepschoolalumniblues

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Re: 4-6 channel configuration help with my gear
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2019, 11:49:06 AM »
A few options below for your consideration, any of these can be used for either AUD or stage-lip/on-stage (be aware that stage-lip/on-stage positioning without SBD inclusion will typically cause any PA-only amplified content to lack level and clarity).

Primary 4-channel setups using R44 alone (AUD or stage-lip/on-stage) :
1) 2ch SBD, wide-spaced omnis > R44

2) X/Y cardioids, wide-spaced omnis > R44 (OMT4)

3) Front/back facing cardioids, wide-spaced omnis > R44 (OMT4)

4) Near-spaced cardioids facing band, wide spaced cardioids facing audience > R44

6-channel setups using both R-44 and d:vice>phone:
Anyone using DPA d:vice to record line in (SBD) yet?  That would allow the phone to be placed at the SBD and the R44 free to be placed elsewhere for 4ch AUD or stage-lip, enabling the inclusion of SBD with any of the 4ch microphone setups above. Would require microdot-terminated input cables with blocking caps (and possibly attenuation).   If I were a d:vice user, I'd look into this!

6-channel setups which do not require custom d:vice input cables:
1) SBD, near-spaced cardioids > R44
    On-stage spaced-omnis > phone

2) L/C/R/B facing near-spaced cardioids > R44
      Spaced-omnis > phone (OMT6)

3) Any of the 4-channel setups above > R-44, and omnis > phone as spots on stage. Essentially what Rocksuitcase suggests above, yet substituting omnis as on-stage spots for cardioids. A few reasons for this: D:vice will not power your cardioids; I find it generally easier to place tiny omnis onstage as spots; exact close placement is less critical with omnis; and you can get good "stage presence" of the other on-stage sources through on-stage omni spots.  Place the omnis somewhat closer to the sources of interest to highlight them as substitute for cardioid directionality as needed.  This is really just a modification of any of the spaced omni setups above by treating the omnis as spots instead of as a typical wide-spaced pair.

I really love reading your posts about configurations like this! Since you mention which way the cards are facing, I'm wondering how you set up the omnis... do you face them towards the performers, towards the audience, or perpendicular to both? (Does distance from stage matter in your decisions, also?) I've been doing some extremely JV experimenting on my own and I'm curious about what you've found to work well.
Mics
Omnis: Church Audio CA-14, Sound Professionals Ear-Hook Ultra Low Noise Binaurals (MS-EHB-2-PREM)
Cards: Sound Professionals ATU853 (SP-CMC-4U) with low-sensitivity mod

Recorder
Marantz PMD620 MKII

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 4-6 channel configuration help with my gear
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2019, 12:11:49 PM »
Doesn't matter much which way the omnis are pointed.  Especially if they are tiny like Detroit lightning's near-microscopic 6061 pair, but also when other microphones are being used in combination along with the omnis.  If you can get an couple extra inches of spacing by pointing the omnis sideways and using their mic bodies to extend the capsules further than the limits of the mounting bar, do that.

If you are recording 2 channels using just a pair of omnis on their own and they are larger than the DPA miniatures, best to point them directly toward the source of interest (the PA stacks).

In some cases I intentionally make small omnis larger to make them slightly directional at high frequencies and point them forward, sideways or backwards for various reasons.. as covered in the OMT threads.
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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