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Author Topic: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3  (Read 16544 times)

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« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 04:46:40 PM by Gutbucket »
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2019, 06:37:47 PM »
--reserved--
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2019, 07:08:29 PM »
I'm shifting a discussion here that started in another - ORTF + Central Omni thread at GS - then drifted into more oddball topics. 

It started getting into new OMT territory around the end of this post, when we started discussing ideas about interference tube "shotgun" mics as Mid channel center mics.  The first part of that post was a rehash of conclusions I'd made concerning "ambient pair" mics over the course of the first two OMT threads.

then EmRR posted this oddball setup which sealed the deal!

« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 07:13:37 PM by Gutbucket »
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2019, 07:08:53 PM »
When looking at your OMT pdf’s, I took it as a general approach to have the center somewhat forward of the spaced omni’s.  Trying to parse your thoughts above in that context.  I’m guessing some offset for minimal time of arrival, but not a lot?  I'm remembering 3-12" from somewhere. 

That's right. In my previous post in the ORTF + Central Omni thread thread I was referring to the common practice of positioning ambient mics significantly further back in the room than the main array - several meters or more.   Based on that I used to be concerned about how to achieve sufficient front/back spacing between main mics and ambient mics, but I'm no longer concerned with that and typically arrange things so the ambient/surround mics are only about 12" behind the others.

I do generally position the center microphone forward slightly.  That emulates other LCR microphone setups like OCT and Michael William's extension of Stereo Zoom to 3 or more channels, where doing that in specific combinations with L/R angle, spacing and pickup pattern is intended to provide "image linking" between the Left-Center and Center-Right sectors without excess image overlap or gap.  The ideal is that the "edge" of the imaging segment captured by the left/center stereo pair of channels should not extend over to the right side, but sort of seamlessly "hand-off"  the image to the center/right stereo pair of channels. This kind of thing may be more important for surround playback where it can achieve continuous image linking across speaker sectors, and where directional imaging can extend seamlessly beyond the L/R speakers out into the L-Ls and R-Rs sectors when things are setup correctly for it.  I can clearly hear this kind of smooth and solid image linking in surround playback when it's right.  Really cool and one of the reasons I keep my mic setups compatible with good surround playback even though I don't currently have any surround playback set up.

This is visually indicated in Image Assistant when playing around with 3 mic L/C/R arrays, where it becomes evident that it takes some degree of center forward spacing to cause the imaging curves for the L/C and C/R sectors to line up correctly across the center. (Note: Image Assistant is a bit complicated and takes a bit of familiarization to be useful.  I prefered the old Java version which presented all the information on a single display instead of more modern "sparsely populated tabs".  The Sengpielaudio Visualiser is easier to understand making it a better resource for many, yet is limited to the visualisation of 2-channel stereo microphone setups)

But does that matter in a 2 channel stereo mix where those discrete imaging sectors are sort of being overlaid upon and woven against each other, and the center is a phantom position rather than a physical speaker corresponding to a discrete microphone channel defining the edge of each sector?  It's certainly not obvious in the same way when listening back as there is only one Left-Right sector between the two speakers (not counting the non-imaging "beyond the speakers" region of diffuse sound).  My feeling is it's less likely to matter, partly because of that but also because I'm typically manipulating the level of channel pairs against each other more in a 2ch mix to sort of layer them, and as channel gains are changed relative to each other, the image linking relationships shift.  In surround I'm balancing pairs and  the level of sectors against each other, but the separate sectors are intended to be "contiguous" rather than "overlaid".

I'll note that for practical reasons, sometimes over the past year or so I've ended up angling the telescopic arms which support the omnis and L/R supercards slightly forward, causing the center to no longer be forward of those mics.  Usually that's done to squeeze the array into an odd spot, or as a way to angle the L/R facing mics more forward when necessary.  Since I'm not currently set up for surround playback set up I've not listened to these particular recordings in surround mode to determine how much impact that lack of forward-spacing on the center mic has on image linking across segments.   Doesn't seem to pose any problem in the 2-ch mix.

In any case, I don't think forward spacing of the center in relation to the omnis is a major factor.  It's more important in keeping an appropriate geometric relationship between the center any near-spaced mic positions adjacent to it. In my case the side-facing L/R and rear-facing Ls/Rs supercards, and in simpler OMT setups the similar spacing between the single front-facing and back-facing mics. 

Quote
Within MS, as I said previously, I've liked the addition of a pressure omni for the lows, and that could be high passed.  I'm curious whether that will at all prove useful with spaced omni's, I'm thinking maybe not. 
 

The addition of a single pressure omni coincident with a M/S rig changes things in less complex ways than the addition of a center single omni to ORTF.  Essentially, beyond extending sensitivity to lower frequencies, it shifts the Mid channel pickup pattern more toward omni.  With all 3 mics coincident in space, there isn't the complex 3-way phase relationship ORTF + a center omni produces by occupying 3 non-coincident near-spaced positions.

Quote from: EmRR
Quote from: Gutbucket
Likewise I'm currently curious how a true shotgun (albeit a short one) as Mid compares against the supercard Mids I'm using

I will get back to this question.  I’ve run the KMR 81i twice, once in MS and once with two in a PAS array along with a MS pair and a board feed.  The PAS was kinda weird in the imaging, as dsatz has frequently pointed out.  It does have that certain Neumann lower midrange quality we like so much.  In both cases, the highs are both clear (on-axis) AND muffled (off-axis), I can hear the interference tube for better or worse.  I take his point that the off-axis stuff will have a much smoother transition with a supercard in the upper mids and highs, and in the lower registers sound mostly the same.   With the MS version I have a full multitrack to combine it with, the PAS version worked OK as supplemental 'focus' fill with the MS doing most of the work, plus I like that particular mic's low mid contribution. 

This is a good discussion.  My hope is that the audibly bad off-axis behavior of an the interference-tube center microphone will be low enough in level to be masked by the contribution of the other microphones in the array.  The other microphones are on-axis covering the center-mic's off-axis directions and they have good off-axis behavior themselves.  If that making effect holds true, the additional forward-axis clarity from the higher directivity of a gun-mic should make it beneficial over a less tightly focused supercard with superior off-axis behavior in the special center position.  Of course it also depends on how heavily one needs to lean on the center channel in the mix - off-axis interference-tube artifacts will be boosted by the same amount as the good on-axis signal as center channel level is increased.  That kind of mix decision is subjective, and is honestly one of the more important mix variables. Sometimes center channel needs to be boosted significantly to achieve sufficient clarity and psychoacoustic proximity.  Doing so intentionally biases the array more strongly toward the forward-axis.  The ability to do that can really benefit the recording when that's needed, even if it collapses the soundstage width somewhat (and may compromise sector image linking in surround), and is not a true representation of how it would have sounded to a listener standing at the recording location. < But I don't care at all about that kind of documentary recording anyway.  I want to make the best sounding recording I can which convinces the listener of its "realness" by how good it sounds.  Working the illusion.

Quote
I feel like I'd use the shotgun MS setup in a pinch in a big distant room again, if I knew I wouldn't have much footprint or options, I don't see myself revisiting a close spaced pair again anytime soon, maybe widely spaced in a larger multitrack situation.

I've thought about a pair of shotguns versus a single one as Mid or as the C in L/C/R.  I do think a PAS pair could be useful, however I'd set them up as a coincident pair rather than near-spaced and tweak stereo width afterward.  I would do so partly as the logical final step towards increasing PAS directivity for good clarity (each gun on axis with a stack, rather than one centered between stacks) and partly to optimize pickup of whatever stereo information is present in the PA mix, assuming there is any.  Upon reflection, these are actually two sides of the same coin.   Stereo width adjustment of the pair in post manipulates the sum and difference information between the two channels. By increasing stereo width (increasing the ratio of Side vs Mid) we are emphasizing the difference between those channels.  And if that difference is more or less solely determined by the difference in source content each is on-axis with, rather than time-of-arrival phase-differences at LF extending to phase-randomization at HF from the non-coincident near-spacing, it would seem such a width adjustment would better target just the differences in direct sound between the two sides of the PA, in comparison with a single forward facing gun + stereoization of it with a bi-directional oriented 90 degrees off-axis.   Essentially, this is a special-case of the old comparison of the virtues of X/Y verses M/S coincident stereo and the advantage one may have over the other when both can be setup with one goal in mind then ratio adjusted in post to best effect with another goal in mind.  Hope that makes sense.

I don't really want to run X/Y shotguns (to awkward and bulky), and have no shotguns anyway so I probably will never get around to trying this.  But I would have loved to have tried taping Dan Healy's lush stereo Dead mixes this way in combination with a pair of wide omnis, as sort of the inverse of the then common to that era technique of a near-spaced shotgun pair + single omni. 

Quote
I gotta wonder if there is value in using only one, pointed directly at the closest stack rather than at the center of the stage, then mixing it in the center of another stereo array.  It's usually vocal register stuff I'm missing, and dead on the stage adds more drums than anything, which is NOT the deficit in the other arrays.

Yes you can!   I've done something very similar when taping non PA amplified acts up close, to specifically focus on something I wish to highlight and dominate the center of the playback image.  For instance I'll point the center mic at the snare or more toward the primary player to increase pickup of that source (the center mic gets angled more toward one side), even though the rest of the mic array may be angled somewhat differently to get even Left/Right pickup of the entire band and a correct front/back relationship between band and audience. This can be quite useful up close.  For PA taping, if close enough to the PA that there is significant differentiation between pointing a center shotgun at a stack (more vocals) versus the between the stacks (more drums) it should work the same.  In that way, the center microphone can be thought of more as a primary emphasis thing rather than a hard direction with respect to the other mic channels when recording.  Likewise its level (and EQ) control emphasis of proximity and clarity in the mix.  It is only its panning in the mix where perceived direction comes into play. In the stereo mix you can pan the center microphone slightly to one side or the other of center to balance things as necessary.  This aspect is really cool and one of the really useful flexibility in mixing things.   
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 09:23:02 AM by Gutbucket »
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2019, 07:32:48 PM »
My hope is that the audibly bad off-axis behavior of an interference-tube center microphone will be low enough in level to be masked by the contribution of the other microphones in the array.  The other microphones are on-axis covering the center-mic's off-axis directions and they have good off-axis behavior themselves.  If that masking effect holds true, the additional forward-axis clarity from the higher directivity of a gun-mic should make it beneficial over a less tightly focused supercard with superior off-axis behavior in the special center position. 

I'd say that seems totally true.  In the context of the shotgun alone as Mid of a MS array with minimal side contribution to the mix, I'm hearing the interference tube.  Not necessarily bad, just a different quality, less seamless image from center to sides. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2019, 10:35:22 PM »
As Lee knows we have tried the AKG ck8 as a center mic a few times over the years since we first tried OMT (2016 January was the first OMT for us) Then Greyfox 2016 we slammed a bunch of OMT and have been trying it ever since. Recently, at Adirondack Independent Music Festival, I ran the ck8 all day for five sets including Twiddle, Ryan Montbleau, and Kung Fu, all on the LMA. My reasoning was expecting a loud Rock n Roll PA, anticipating chatty crowd at outdoor all day festival, therefore might utilize the rejection from the ck8 shotgun pattern. I need to write up more of our OMT3, 4 and 6 experiments for this thread, and hope to have time soon. Meantime,here are a few pics of the ck8 as a center and a few links. (gakbrellas rock!)

https://archive.org/details/Twiddle2019-08-31.akgomt           
https://archive.org/details/kungfu2019-08-31.akgomt-24
https://archive.org/details/ryanmntblu2019-08-31.akgomt-24

https://archive.org/details/delmccoury2016-07-15.24.ck22ck8ck61

pic 1: AKG ck22 x 2 spread 90cm| AKGCK8 fwd 0'|AKGck61 rear 180'
pic 2 & 3: AKG ck22 x 2 spread 90cm| AKGCK8 fwd 0'|AKGck61 rear 180'|AKGck61 fwd 0'|AKGc414 XLSII x 2   [2 separate rigs- the 414's were stereo pair, the ck8 and ck61 aimed forward in the OMT4 using 5 mics (neat eh?) was for comparison]. I wound up mixing the ck8 and not the 61 for all the sets.

 
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 10:44:46 PM by rocksuitcase »
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2019, 11:46:26 PM »
As Lee knows we have tried the AKG ck8 as a center mic a few times over the years since we first tried OMT (2016 January was the first OMT for us) Then Greyfox 2016 we slammed a bunch of OMT and have been trying it ever since. Recently, at Adirondack Independent Music Festival, I ran the ck8 all day for five sets including Twiddle, Ryan Montbleau, and Kung Fu, all on the LMA. My reasoning was expecting a loud Rock n Roll PA, anticipating chatty crowd at outdoor all day festival, therefore might utilize the rejection from the ck8 shotgun pattern.

Yeah, that works! 

I was just in Albany week before last for my wife's family reunion, went up above Lake George and hiked Cat and Thomas.  Seems like there's a lot of cool music going on there.
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2019, 09:39:17 AM »
Sanken double MS teaser video:

Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2019, 11:19:32 AM »
^ Interesting. 

I'm seriously considering picking up a short stereo shotgun with M/S output if I can find a decent one for a reasonable price.  Having the Side channel built in will keep the rig as compact as possible and simplify mounting, wind screening, and cabling. Sanken CMS-50 is one candidate.  The WMS-50 linked above looks like they took the CMS-50 and added a rear-facing capsule and a second output connector.  That raises the question of how much spacing is desirable between the forward facing and rear-facing ambient/audience channels.  In the WMS-50 design, as in any DMS setup, there is no spacing of significance.  That's necessary for DMS using a single Side channel, and is how the microphone is kept small and compact to make it appropriate for video and film use on camera or on boom where a single microphone providing a 4 or 5 channel output can be mounted inside a blimp.

I'd be really happy to find a coincident arrangement of front and rear facing mics ideal for OMT.  That WMS-50 plus spaced omnis would make for an OMT6 rig using only 3 microphones.  Same with an ambisonic mic in the middle.  But I doubt it will be.   I think what is optimal is coincident stereo across the front, near-spaced multichannel stereo bolstering that with directional cues from all other directions and knitting everything together, and wide-spaced omnis providing decorrelated diffuse ambient pickup and bass heft.  By comparison I consider coincident-stereo all the way around make be a significant compromise in spatial quality, but it is very attractive in terms of practicality.

It is interesting comparing the newly announced WMS-50 above to the WMS-5 model it replaces.  The modifications seem to be raw Double Mid/Side output on two seperate mini XLRs (front M/S + rear M/S) rather than de-matrixed 5.0 L/R/C/Ls/Rs output on a single multi-pin fullsize XLR.

My reasoning was expecting a loud Rock n Roll PA, anticipating chatty crowd at outdoor all day festival, therefore might utilize the rejection from the ck8 shotgun pattern. I need to write up more of our OMT3, 4 and 6 experiments for this thread, and hope to have time soon.

Yep, that's the idea behind using a shotgun-mic in the center.  Looking forward to reading more about your thoughts on the variations you've tried.
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2019, 11:57:12 AM »
I think you should try this double MS style or stereo shotgun for what you are doing. Sure makes sense. We have used the c426 only 2-3 times as the front/rear coincident. the result sure is smooooth!. Makes for easy mixing and editing etc.
Just for grins, how much is that Sanken WMS50?     ;D

Here is fuzzy snap using the c426 as the coincident center. We also ran akgck22 spread 4 feet, AKGck3 50' angle, a bit inside of PAS.  so the mix was an OMT 6 on the Dr680 and kindms did not run a deck.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 12:06:56 PM by rocksuitcase »
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2019, 12:52:54 PM »
That's why I want to get the Tetramic operational again even though it won't provide a shotgun center.  It will otherwise will make for a good test of D-M/S /ambisonics in the center between wide omnis and serve as a compact second rig assembled from gear I already own.

No pricing on (D-M/S) WMS-50 yet.  Found a listings for WMS-5 (the model it replaces) at B&H and Full Compass @ $4,750 which is far too rich for my use. 

Full Compass has the (M/S) CMS-50 listed @ $895 which is within reason, yet that's about half the $1750 price quoted elsewhere so could be a mistake.  Unfortunately I just discovered that it uses a cardioid Mid capsule behind its short tube though, where I would prefer a tighter supercard like the (mono) CS-M1 http://www.sanken-mic.com/en/product/freqpola.cfm/8.1001900.  In the frequency response graph on that page you can see it's better off-axis rejection through the full range (especially at HFs) in comparison to CMS-50 http://www.sanken-mic.com/en/product/freqpola.cfm/8.1002000.

Unfortunately, B9Audio's post today in the B9Audio thread doesn't convey strong enthusiasm concerning my proposal for them to produce a modular M/S stereo microphone with a fixed S capsule and amplifier body which would accept interchangeable Mid capsules of various pattern (any B9 capsule, currently including: omni, subcard, widecard, cardioid, supercard, and a short shotgun), or a blank end-cap for straight fig-8 use.  That suggestion is rooted in my thinking about all this, but I think this kind of modular stereo mic could make for a popular product well beyond the taper micro-niche.  It would be unique amongst its competition and serve to differentiate B9A as not just a producer of Schoeps clones, but as innovator.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 09:38:35 AM by Gutbucket »
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2019, 01:09:31 PM »
raises the question of how much spacing is desirable between the forward facing and rear-facing ambient/audience channels. In the WMS-50 design, as in any DMS setup, there is no spacing of significance. 

I'd be really happy to find a coincident arrangement of front and rear facing mics ideal for OMT.  That WMS-50 plus spaced omnis would make for an OMT6 rig using only 3 microphones.  Same with an ambisonic mic in the middle.  But I doubt it will be.   I think what is optimal is coincident stereo across the front, near-spaced multichannel stereo bolstering that with directional cues from all other directions and knitting everything together, and wide-spaced omnis providing decorrelated diffuse ambient pickup and bass heft.  By comparison I consider coincident-stereo all the way around make be a significant compromise in spatial quality, but it is very attractive in terms of practicality.

I really wonder where the sweet spot is.  An all in one mic that does everything may be just as expensive as having all the discrete tools, and constrain your placement options. 

Since more often than not I'm doing this in an official capacity for a band, I may be slightly less pressed for rig compactness, but I still feel that pressure, also from a safety and liability point.  Even working 'officially', so many things in smaller venues are pure 'seat o' the pants' in approach. 

Since I've got a pair of MKH 30, I'd be inclined to add a forward/back bar and just run two center MS pairs separated by some space.....and it's another thing for me to try sometime. 

Right now I'm still going through the options with the dual output mic, focusing on the variable mid pattern in post thing.    I might consider front center with the dual output mic for pattern variability, also with the shotgun stacked in there (either aimed center coincident or PAS coincident, depending on the situation....argh, another custom swivel mount). Rear cardioid MS spaced near coincident to the front MS (don't own a dedicated supercard)....hmmm...what spacing?  AB omni to the sides. 

All that raises the question of delay use, and what it might or might not do for you.  Duplicate a set of DMS output channels and delay one set to simulate spacing.  Not the same result as the real thing, but maybe also useful, lacking the real thing.   In studio work I have delayed the rear output on certain room sounds to create artificially long first reflections, or used the delayed signal to feed reverbs, not using the delayed signal in a raw audible form. 

That new Sanken (timing and price unknown) looks like it would still let you derive all the various dual diaphragm center patterns through a different work path, if you duplicated signals in post and took the rear MS down to mono, killing the S contribution.  You could derive supercard mids with a bit of work in post.  Seems as compact as a Tetramic.  But ouch that's expensive. 

Working mostly in controlled small studio settings, I have always gravitated to coincident spacing, and it's interesting to think through the 'why's'.  I tend to work with live bands in studio, so there's a lot of non-coincident bleed between multiple mic sources already. Perhaps coincident placement in that context gives some counterbalance to the bleed. 

Someone really needs to grab my Oktava Figure Eight in the Yard Sale before I find another way to incorporate it!  : )
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2019, 01:12:07 PM »
Note to EmRR..

This morning I edited the post I made here yesterday, adding the paragraph below as another angle-about/justification-for some forward spacing of the center microphone:

This is visually indicated in Image Assistant when playing around with 3 mic L/C/R arrays, where it becomes evident that it takes some degree of center forward spacing to cause the imaging curves for the L/C and C/R sectors to line up correctly across the center. (Note: Image Assistant is a bit complicated and takes a bit of familiarization to be useful.  I prefered the old Java version which presented all the information on a single display instead of more modern "sparsely populated tabs".  The Sengpielaudio Visualiser is easier to understand making it a better resource for many, yet is limited to the visualisation of 2-channel stereo microphone setups)

..it also ties the coincident DMS question to the forward spacing of the center mic thing, and gets to another reason I suspect near-spacing all directional mics except for the center forward-facing position is likely to be superior, if less practical, assuming gear of equal quality is used.
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2019, 01:17:15 PM »
^
cool, thanks.  I haven't checked out that part of Image Assistant. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

Offline EmRR

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2019, 04:11:29 PM »
Lauten LS-308 could figure into this conversation.  I don't know anyone that's used one yet.  Second order cardioid with two capsules.   It'd be a pain to mount in an array. 




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSAoaxHND28
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

 

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