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Author Topic: Oddball microphone techniques  (Read 57494 times)

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Offline kgreener

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Re: Oddball mic techniques - evolution through 'Bug Eye' to 'Quad Eye' rig
« Reply #90 on: January 05, 2009, 10:36:41 PM »

I love the B3s.  IMO the sound is much smoother than the DPA.  I don't know why, but it just sounds warmer.  Maybe I lose *a bit* of detail, I'm not sure, but they just sound warm and natural.  I find DPA sound great for ambient, but music just doesn't sound enjoyable to me.  I'd be curious to hear what you think.  I've got a ton of B3 "hat" recordings on my website.  LMK what you think...

I give myself about a week before I cave and just "check" my installed mics...

 Richard


Richard, which cap do you use with the B3's?  I assume the +0 dB (flat) cap?  Listening to some of your samples now and they do sound nice and natural.

 :hmmm:

thanks,
Keith

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Oddball mic techniques - evolution through 'Bug Eye' to 'Quad Eye' rig
« Reply #91 on: January 06, 2009, 12:15:23 AM »

I love the B3s.  IMO the sound is much smoother than the DPA.  I don't know why, but it just sounds warmer.  Maybe I lose *a bit* of detail, I'm not sure, but they just sound warm and natural.  I find DPA sound great for ambient, but music just doesn't sound enjoyable to me.  I'd be curious to hear what you think.  I've got a ton of B3 "hat" recordings on my website.  LMK what you think...

I give myself about a week before I cave and just "check" my installed mics...

 Richard


Richard, which cap do you use with the B3's?  I assume the +0 dB (flat) cap?  Listening to some of your samples now and they do sound nice and natural.

 :hmmm:

thanks,
Keith
yes, the flat cap.

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techniques - evolution through 'Bug Eye' to 'Quad Eye' rig
« Reply #92 on: January 06, 2009, 01:09:39 AM »
Quote
So does hanging the B3s in front of each FOH speaker prevent the 'hole in the middle' that would develop due to such a wide spacing if it was purely acoustic without reinforcement from the speakers?
Most of the sound comes from the speakers.  I would opt for a jecklin disk or something, but the speakers are far apart, and there are no "fills" in the middle, so this is pretty much the only setup that sounds good.  The other alternative is to go way back, but then it sounds too "distant" for me.  Oh yeah, I've also tried an ORTF pair pointing at one stack.  I like that too, but this spaced setup is the most foolproof for an "installed" setup.  Listen to some of my AKG463 "Starlight" recordings on http://Soundmann.com and tell me what you think.

Sounds very good.  I think the direct speaker orientation eliminates the hole in the middle effect for the music.  I do notice it with the ambient crowd sound, but that doesn't bother me and I wonder if I'd notice at all if I wasn't listening for it.

I really liked the sound of the Beyerdynamic MC833 recording with the crowd singing along.
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Offline rastasean

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Its good to see you got to use your rig! I can't wait to hear the recordings from it.
I just got my very own bogen 001b tripod and its very well made and I love the compact size of it.
I'm interested in making a setup similar to yours in order to record drum circles and I want something small and unobtrusive so I do believe I will peruse this.

Last night I got the nerf balls and a TV antenna since I didn't have an extra one. simple tv antenna.

Now I have a question....Do you think it would be better to separate the antennas from the bracket device they are in  and mount it like yours or figure out a way to mount it as is to the tripod?

I don't quite understand, on page 3 of this thread, what the stand extensions are for. At what point do they mount to the 001b?

This is a great device and I'm looking forward to using it and hearing your recordings.

Peace,
Sean
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Offline Gutbucket

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Originally I just used a dollar store TV antenna which had the aerials attached to a little plastic 'T' piece that fit into a socket on many small TVs, no base to it.  I clipped the wires off and gaff taped it to the painter pole and it worked fine. 

If you discard the base so that you just have the two individual antennas, you'll need some way to hold the them together and attach them to the stand.  Moke posted a link earlier in the thread to his telescopic antenna spreader bar where the threaded aerials screw into a nut coupler to connect them (if I recall correctly). When I built the second rig with the stand, I fabricated a little aluminum bracket, sort of like a mini mic bar.  It has three holes, one for the stand stud and two smaller ones for the antenna studs.  The ends of the bar are bent up at a 45 deg angle and the antennas attach to the bottom side, so all the studs exit the top of the bar.  I did that to provide enough range of motion to the antenna hinge joints so that they would fold down parallel to the stand when stowed and pivot up to around 55 degrees above horizontal, which gives me plenty of height.  I can get the mics an easy 2' above the top of the stand that way and don't need to use the extension bars at all.  I've never needed to use them on this rig.

The extension bars can be useful for other things though.  Simply, they are made of all-thread rod with the same thread as the stand stud, so they can screw into each other or directly onto the stand.  If you want to use them on the 001B stand, keep in mind that it was not designed for a tall heavy load and risks toppling. The steel rod is much heavier than the aluminum stand sections and creates a lot of weight aloft.

The Nerf balls are great as stand feet.  But I suggest using the stand with your choice of small microphones as a straight spaced omni rig by just gaff taping or clipping your mics to the ends of the antennas.  If arranged so the antennas go close enough you could do directional mic arrays too of course.  But I don't recommend duplicating the specialized spherical APE mic baffles unless you really get your head around how and why they work and what they are supposed to do.  You then would need to determine if they will actually work for your choice of mic theoretically, make sure you can build them so that they perform correctly, and figure out when and where and how best to use them.  They can easily make your recordings worse not better.  The rest of the rig is easy and straightforward, the sphere baffles are the experimental part which I can't yet endorse fully without the above disclaimer!

A Jecklin disk is much more straight forward and would be my 1st choice in the center of a drum circle.  You can build one that attaches to the stand's stud along with the antenna.  Set up the antennas so the mics land in the center face of the disk with the aerials straight up and you can adjust spacing and angles as you wish from there.  I can do that by flipping over my antenna bracket before attaching the disc to the stud.

Thanks for the kind words,
Keep on DIY'ing..
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Offline mblindsey

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Admittedly, I haven't read this entire thread.  I know the first post asks for techniques that worked, but I thought I would share one that I've tried several times with split omni's and have experienced "hole in the middle".  I haven't got it quite right...just yet.  If it's windy, I get phase issues (even though the rig is pretty damn solid).  I've tried spacings from roughly 3' to 5.5'.  I affectionately call the setup "death by lightning".

It is made by salvaging the boom arms from two mic stands and some generic clamps used by drummers to attach heavy things to cymbal stands.  I typically run my MC 930's in the middle on a Shure vert bar.  Sometimes I mix all four mics with some success, but the result is usually pretty light on the omni's.

I've posted about this rig before on the Internet (somewhere)...so, if it was here...consider this an update...I've got some more experimenting to do.

--Michael
Mics:  Microtech Gefell m200/M20/nBob Actives>PFA
Pre's: USB Pre2, V2, V3, V3 (optimod), V3 (optimod), MiniME, MiniMP, MP2
Decks: R44 Oade Concert Mod, M10
Playback: Grace m9xx/MiniDAC->Sen 598, Sen 598C, AKG ATHM50X, AKG 7xx, Sen HD598, AKG 553Pro
Mixing: RME Fireface UFX->Reaper->Yamaha HS8

Offline Gutbucket

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Nice! That thing looks super solid, though a lot of weight aloft. The wind phasing is the sound waves being blown around in the air, probably not the stand moving. 

Narrow up the spread to eliminate the hole. Personally I don't go beyond a meter. You can try the spacings recommended in the Stereo Zoom charts if you feel the need for exactitude. Williams' charts don't go that wide but if you follow the trend of the graphs, a meter or so spacing (39") works out to about a +/- 20deg recording angle for a full left-right stage, pretty tight.  More space would be even narrower and risk the hole. The charts cover more typical wider recording angles with the mics spaced up to about 2' max.

Regardless of how it works, that rig looks cool with those long arms!
Great name, though death by powerline looks just as likely. 
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 02:27:52 AM by Gutbucket »
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Offline mblindsey

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Nice! That thing looks super solid, though a lot of weight aloft. The wind phasing is the sound waves being blown around in the air, probably not the stand moving. 

The arms move "a little".  Even thought it is amazingly sturdy, you are absolutely correct, it is also pretty top heavy.  The phasing is not as noticeable on the center MC930's in winds.  I assume this is because they don't have the opportunity to sway independently. 

Narrow up the spread to eliminate the hole. Personally I don't go beyond a meter. You can try the spacings recommended in the Stereo Zoom charts if you feel the need for exactitude. Williams' charts don't go that wide but if you follow the trend of the graphs, a meter or so spacing (39") works out to about a +/- 20deg recording angle for a full left-right stage, pretty tight.  More space would be even narrower and risk the hole. The charts cover more typical wider recording angles with the mics spaced up to about 2' max.

Regardless of how it works, that rig looks cool with those long arms!
Great name, though death by powerline looks just as likely. 

Thanks for the numbers!  Much appreciated.  I've seen the Stereo Zoom charts, but I've forgotten to look back for what they said about spacing omni's.  Now, I've got some more to try.

On a similar note, I saw The Cure at an outdoor amphitheater last year. I noticed that the sound guy was running spaced AKG 414's, at maybe 15-20 feet, on either side of the SBD.  Wouldn't that create a huge "hole on the middle"...regardless of what pattern they were switched to? 

Heh...Those power line's are an optical illusion...way off in the distance...

What does this sound like?
http://www.archive.org/details/cracker2008-08-01
http://www.archive.org/details/matisyahu2008-06-24.naiant-xt.flac16

Full disclosure..there is some processing with a "Stereo Field" plugin for Reaper on both of these.  It was a feeble attempt to salvage what initially sounded really, really bad.  The stereo image was almost dizzying to listen to.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 12:22:20 PM by mblindsey »
Mics:  Microtech Gefell m200/M20/nBob Actives>PFA
Pre's: USB Pre2, V2, V3, V3 (optimod), V3 (optimod), MiniME, MiniMP, MP2
Decks: R44 Oade Concert Mod, M10
Playback: Grace m9xx/MiniDAC->Sen 598, Sen 598C, AKG ATHM50X, AKG 7xx, Sen HD598, AKG 553Pro
Mixing: RME Fireface UFX->Reaper->Yamaha HS8

Offline Gutbucket

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You can use any of the Stereo Zoom carts regardless of pattern to determine omni spacing.  Just read the value at the bottom of the chart for a zero degree angle between mics.  The angle of the graph line changes with pattern but they all intersect the zero degree line at the same point for any given spacing.

I think the very wide spacings can work in two different scenarios for different reasons:  The first is the situation of being relatively close to a wide acoustic source like the classic application of mic'ing a big band, orchestra or choir.  It seems to me that situation introduces amplitude differences as well as phase differences for sources on either side.  The second is the more typical TS situation of mic'ing PA amplified material that is mixed mono, or with alot of mono content. People here are often recording in the second situation which is really an unusual acoustic situation compared to the traditional recording techniques developed stereo recording of acoustic sources.  Widely spaced PA speakers with mono content, mic'ed widely can still create a solid phantom center since the mono information is identical from each speaker and at each mic.  A wide spacing in that case could actually reduce comb filtering of the mono portion by creating a longer path length from each mic to the FOH speaker on the the opposite side (or at least lower the frequency, where it may or may not be a problem).  It also makes for a very open, wide and diffuse crowd sound.  So a super wide application can work but is more specific to the particular situation.

A perfect example of well applied situation #2 is Richard's widely spaced hanging omni lavaliere installation.  Discussion about this and his link to samples are just a few posts back in this thread.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 11:21:13 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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I recently reworked the 'quad-eye' portable recording rig for stage-lip recording use at the '09 Bear Creek music festival last month.  I had put together the original 4 channel version for the same festival last year and was very pleased with the results. Most of the music is instrumental, so stage-lip recording worked nicely. There is little if any time between sets at that festival- one stage starts as soon as another finishes.  If I care to record a following act at another stage, I need to be able to sprint from one stage to the other with gear ready and get into position rapidly.  To successfully record from that position I need a setup that is portable and self-contained, easy to block solo, and able to be swiftly moved if a trombonist decides to crowd surf off center stage (happened) or things otherwise get out of hand up front.

The changes made this year are mostly refinements of the previous design.  The primary change is using Techflex to route all cabling.  The unique application is using sections of black ½” Techflex on the telescopic arms, with both the telescopic antenna and the mic cable running though it.  The sheathing is cut to length so that it is in its expanded state when the arms are retracted and in its fully long-thin state when the arms are extended. It is secured to the telescopic arms with 1” black gaff tape.  The Techflex sections keep the thin 4060 mic cables well protected and completely free of entanglement even when the antenna arms are fully retracted and excess cable bunches up harmlessly beneath the expanded sheathing. To accommodate the configurations I wanted to run for this outing, I only needed this arrangement of Techflex on the Left & Right arms, which I wanted to be able to telescope out enough for a 49” (1 meter) mic spacing.  The Center/Back arms could be much shorter, so I simply gaff taped the cables to the arms and can fold them down to stow without telescoping.

The four mic cables meet where the four arms attach to the top of the stand and are secured there with a Velcro tie-wrap.  The four cables are then fed through a smaller diameter section of Techflex which travels down the stand and is about the thickness of a pencil or a single strand of standard mic cable. 

The Left/Right 4060 pair has standard microdot connectors, which attach to a short adapter cable (microdot> 1/8” TRS stereo male).  The Center/Back pair is already terminated to an 1/8” TRS stereo male.  Two stereo mini-jack extension cables then run though a larger ½” diameter section of Techflex in an umbilical to the recording bag. The mic cable junctions are gaff-taped and with the stand fully raised, excess cable at the junction point is gathered and secured using three plastic wire ties around the stand’s next to bottom-most  extension tube clamp.  The cabling is arranged and tied on a diagonal so that it does not interfere with collapsing or extending the telescopic stand sections. Nice and tidy.

Using the extension cables allows me to put the preamps in the recording bag instead of gaff taping them to the stand itself- which is both more secure, more weather protected, and makes for very rapid setup and breakdown.  I carried the hemispherical foam windscreens, but never needed to use them for this outing.

A few photos of setup in a parking lot are shown below.



































Click here for a link to a Flickr slideshow with many more detailed photos and descriptions.
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Offline cybergaloot

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Re: Oddball mic techniques - evolution from 'Bug Eye' to 'Quad Eye' rig & beyond
« Reply #100 on: December 07, 2009, 07:45:40 PM »
Here's few more pics.
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MICS: Line Audio CM3, CA-11 (O & C), CA-14 (C), CAFS, Studio Project C4 (O,C, HC), Studio Project LSD2, ADK-tl, ADK-A6, ADK-5.1, MXL 603S, JM-27s, Sennheiser e600 Drum Pack, Avantone Drum Mic kit, Shure MX393S
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PLUS: Gaffers tape, lot's of gaffer's tape! And cables, lot's of cables.

Offline Jimna

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Re: Oddball mic techniques - evolution from 'Bug Eye' to 'Quad Eye' rig & beyond
« Reply #101 on: December 07, 2009, 09:05:05 PM »
badass!  how did the tapes turn out?
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Offline illconditioned

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Re: Oddball mic techniques - evolution from 'Bug Eye' to 'Quad Eye' rig & beyond
« Reply #102 on: December 07, 2009, 10:02:55 PM »
This rig is so cool.  I gotta wonder what the audience (or the band) thinks of this thing.  The aliens have landed to take them away :).

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline cybergaloot

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Re: Oddball mic techniques - evolution from 'Bug Eye' to 'Quad Eye' rig & beyond
« Reply #103 on: December 08, 2009, 07:37:22 AM »
I'd worry about it looking like a toy to play with to the Wookies but Lee was out in the masses with it at Bear Creek. I saw him when the singer from Galactic began crowd surfing right in front of him. It was so crowded that I was surprised anyone could move out of the way.
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Walter

Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. Will Rogers


MICS: Line Audio CM3, CA-11 (O & C), CA-14 (C), CAFS, Studio Project C4 (O,C, HC), Studio Project LSD2, ADK-tl, ADK-A6, ADK-5.1, MXL 603S, JM-27s, Sennheiser e600 Drum Pack, Avantone Drum Mic kit, Shure MX393S
RECORDERS: H2, DR-40, R16, R-44, HD24, DR-2D, DR-44WL, Denon DN-500R
PRES: CA-UGLY, CA-9000, UA-5, Art USB Dual Tube Pre, Focusrite Platinum Octopre (X2)
STUFF: Patchbox I, Patchbox II, ZED-22fx, ZED-24, Soundcraft Si Impact, TOA D-4 + 2X D-4E, M-Audio MobilePre, compressors, Alesis MultiMix 8 Line Mixer 
PLUS: Gaffers tape, lot's of gaffer's tape! And cables, lot's of cables.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball mic techniques - evolution from 'Bug Eye' to 'Quad Eye' rig & beyond
« Reply #104 on: December 08, 2009, 11:49:26 AM »
Thanks for the kind words all, and for those photos Walter- I didn't realise it was as visible as that from back in the amphitheater (my inner Jedi cringes slightly).  I don't leave this thing unattended in those situations. It's so easy to manage I can quickly fold an arm out of harms way, or pick the whole thing up and get out of there if necessary. If I go to take a leak it either goes with me, goes back to the section or stays there with a competent & situationally aware friend. 

I need to get some samples together Jim, I ment to have that done by now.. life intervenes.  If it sounds good up there the recordings do too.  The straight L/R stereo pair sounds good alone, but mixing in some center in a stereo mixdown is usually better.  Surround playback is best- big & wide with the crowd cheers coming from behind.  I'm a bit concerned that my second-hand 4060 C/B pair may be falling off spec, one mic seems to sound somewhat dull and the've never been as well matched as my original pair.  Maybe I should send some photos to Bruce at DPA America and plead for a price break on a matched set of 5 for the next revision.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

 

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