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Author Topic: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics  (Read 1841 times)

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Offline guitard

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Re: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2022, 11:40:41 AM »
I will suggest, and I've suggested it in other threads, to GO LOW, bro.
Tuck those mics UNDER the stage wedges like 2-6 INCHES off the stage deck, on the shortest little stand mounts you can find.
You won't pick up much monitor "wash" if the monitor speakers are pointed AWAY from your mics!

I'm having a hard time picturing what you are describing here (in particular, the bolded text).  Can you please try to further describe this in a way visually-oriented learners can better grasp it?  TIA!
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Offline morst

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Re: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2022, 01:10:58 PM »
I will suggest, and I've suggested it in other threads, to GO LOW, bro.
Tuck those mics UNDER the stage wedges like 2-6 INCHES off the stage deck, on the shortest little stand mounts you can find.
You won't pick up much monitor "wash" if the monitor speakers are pointed AWAY from your mics!

I'm having a hard time picturing what you are describing here (in particular, the bolded text).  Can you please try to further describe this in a way visually-oriented learners can better grasp it?  TIA!
I can try.
Stage monitor speakers are usually built in a trapezoidal or triangular wedge shape so that the speakers can be pointed at the head of the person singing.
By placing recording microphones "behind" the speaker, the amount of sound from that speaker going into the mic will be less than if the speaker were pointed at the mic.
Because these speakers are usually placed on the stage itself (the deck) facing upwards, in order to be "behind" the speaker, the microphone must be placed BELOW it.
Hence the use of the short stands.

Offline checht

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Re: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2022, 01:49:14 PM »
This thread is just in time, as I've been revising onstage placement, and am soon going to add another pair of mics.Currently using mk41s. Started with them at stage lip ortf about 2' high, pointed at band. Too much wedge sound
Thoughts?

I use wide cards or cardioids, the MK41 is a supercardioid with a bit of a back pickup lobe, not present on the patterns I run.


I will suggest, and I've suggested it in other threads, to GO LOW, bro.
Tuck those mics UNDER the stage wedges like 2-6 INCHES off the stage deck, on the shortest little stand mounts you can find.
(image attached of something similar to mine)
You won't pick up much monitor "wash" if the monitor speakers are pointed AWAY from your mics!


(never tried mic'ing a stage with super or hypers but this is my style with the directional mics I've used for the purpose)


Thanks, Morst!
Any thoughts on using omnis?
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Offline if_then_else

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Re: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2022, 02:09:59 PM »
It can help by spreading the mics out and getting them closer and more on-axis with the sources on either side of the drums, when a single microphone position in the center would otherwise be too close to whatever is in the middle, resulting in a recording dominated by that central source.  How far you can space them will depend. 3 feet is pretty safe, 6 may or may not be OK. If you have a SBD feed you can space them somewhat more without worry as the SBD will contribute strong mono content helping to fill any hole-in-the-middle, same goes for a single center microphone or stereo pair in the center between wide-spaced omnis.  In the past I've run 4 omnis across the front of the stage a few times with about ~3' between each, which provided nice even coverage across the entire stage with mixing/panning options.

Alternate option is to use a significantly wider angle between microphones (using directional pattern mics), making the angle between them wide enough so that the central overlap region of the two patterns ends up being somewhat less sensitive than over to either side. This is trickier to get right without monitoring.  You'll want to reduce the the relatively small spacing of a typical near-spaced configuration as the angle is increased to compensate imaging.  If using cardioids, sensitivity doesn't drop off much until relatively far off-axis, so for this approach to be effective you'll probably need to point them 180 degrees apart, directly to either side, and keep some spacing between them.  Using super/hyper-cardioids try them in X/Y with a 150 degree angle or so between them.

[Edited for clarity and inclusion of the second option]

Hi Lee.

Incidentally, I'm going to record Maserati next month. Already got the green light from the band.
The difficulty is that, traditionally, their drum kit is set up right next to the stage lip (DFC).

Where would you set up your mics in this scenario and what mic patterns would you use?
[I mean, the drums are very characteristic for their sound, I'd just like to avoid that the recording is virtually all drums and lacking guitar / bass.]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0qgdEeHcqU
-> old video from 2009 with Jerry Fuchs on drums (RIP)

Offline morst

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Re: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2022, 07:58:12 PM »
Thanks, Morst!
Any thoughts on using omnis?
Yes, apparently so:


The only times I've recorded with omnidirectional mics, would have been when I used those Radio Shack 33-1033 lavaliere mics, intended as a body-worn clip-on vocal mic, but adequate for recording of music.
Back then, I didn't realize that Omni mic recordings develop their stereo field almost exclusively from arrival time differences due to physical distance between the pair, or perhaps a baffle such as a human head.
I now know that wearing omnis to simulate binaural mounting leverages the brain's own perceptual head-related transfer function (HRTF)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-related_transfer_function
But because I did not separate my mics very far, my recordings from that era don't have a lot of stereo going on, except to the degree that those inexpensive mics were not perfectly omnidirectional! Their "failure" salvages my relatively uninformed/experimental technique from back then.
(I actually had a dream to run them X/Y, clipped to a pencil eraser, with the pencil jabbed into the soil of a potted plant FoB DFC at Mississippi Nights.
There was not actually a houseplant near the drink rail of the club when anyone was awake, but I did poke into the back center of the lawn at Riverport once. But I digress)

The other thing I can add regarding polar patterns which CONTAIN omni is that my current favorite stage mics to combine with a board feed are the Neumann KM143, which feature a "sub-cardioid" pattern, sometimes known as wide cardioid, wide-angle cardioid, or hypo-cardioid.
This pattern is (presumably) the mathematical midpoint between omnidirectional and cardioid patterns.
Here is some detail about the so-called first order polar patterns which combine to make the other directional patterns out of the essential elements: omni, cardioid, and figure-of-8
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/using-microphone-polar-patterns-effectively


Before I got the KM143's I would use my KM140 cardioid pair on stage, and usually just ran them X/Y or ORTF on the center line, down low to both get under the stage monitors and to be less obtrusive and less likely to get knocked over!
Compared to the KM140's, the KM143's don't give as much of a stereo picture UNLESS they are separated in space.
When I got the 143's I had some chances to experiment with them, so here is a comparison if you would like to hear closely spaced sub card versus cardioid at the exact same set.


cardioid XY https://archive.org/details/Steepwater2016-10-05.B-KM140
"hipo-cardioide": https://archive.org/details/Steepwater2016-10-05.B-KM143


Once I started separating them farther apart, I learned the hard way that I had better at least try to get them to sound symmetrical, so they are easier to combine with the soundboard feed.
Now I try to keep their locations split similarly across the center line.
I've been aiming them at the kick drum, since it's often dead center on the stage, but I think Gutbucket suggested aiming them at the snare, as that's the loudest impulse on the stage.
I do use snare as a sync signal on quiet parts by zooming in on stick clicks, so having it be equidistant from each mic in the pair will make sync more straightforward.


Neumann KM143 is a AK43 capsule on the KA100 "body" which they call a pre-amplifier.
https://en-de.neumann.com/km-143


Here's a stereo recording made with a pair of the Realistic 33-1033 omni lavs.
No clue what track 13 is called if anyone can ID it!?
https://archive.org/details/ZanyMagpies1993-06-05/ZanyMagpies1993-06-05t13.flac
some lyrics: "sometimes i feel like my back's up against the wall..." "I got a shitload of blues"

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2022, 01:18:12 PM »
Like morst mentions, I also like placing on-stage recording microphones rather low and close to the stage floor, which I find to be helpful in a few ways-  In addition to helping keep the mics out of sight lines, less noticed and less likely to be knocked over, this places them within the acoustic boundary layer of the stage floor for most of the frequency range, which reduces reverberant pickup somewhat and improving overall clarity, but also seems to increase effective reach from the amps/loudspeaker-cabinets placed on the floor across the back-line, helping them to sound closer to the micrphones than they otherwise would.  This is especially the case when the amp/speaker-cabinet is oriented such that it points toward one or both microphones.  That seems to reduce the apparent difference in distance to those often more-distant back-line sources placed off to either side, in comparison to closer centered sources that aren't located directly on the floor (such as the cymbals tom and snare of the drum kit). A drawback is increased potential for performers or stage-hands accidentally stepping on or kicking them, so practical concerns need to be figured in their placement as well as acoustic concerns.

Used on stage, spaced omnis tend to produce both time-of-arrival and level-difference stereo cues based on the spacing between microphones.  They tend to have more level-difference on-stage than when used from a more distant audience position, simply due to the increased proximity of on-stage sound sources to one microphone or the other - the inverse-square-law thing of sound-sources in the free-field which are half as far away being effectively twice as loud.

The thing about getting a clear line-of-sight from the microphones to the snare is all about getting good direct-sound definition and clarity from it, as it serves as the foundation of not just the drum sound but the entire band sound.. and I feel the recording tends to suffer if the snare sounds overly-reverberant and distant, in part due to its transient nature, in comparison to other sound sources that are okay if they sound more ambient.
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2022, 01:19:00 PM »
I'm going to record Maserati next month. Already got the green light from the band.
The difficulty is that, traditionally, their drum kit is set up right next to the stage lip (DFC).

Where would you set up your mics in this scenario and what mic patterns would you use?
[I mean, the drums are very characteristic for their sound, I'd just like to avoid that the recording is virtually all drums and lacking guitar / bass.]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0qgdEeHcqU
-> old video from 2009 with Jerry Fuchs on drums (RIP)

Cool band I'd not heard of before.  If they will be setup as they are in that video with the drum-kit centered and placed all the way forward at the stage-lip edge, bass cabinet more or less behind the drummer and guitar cabinets across the back-line to either side, I'd try a spaced A-B arrangement of omnis or subcardioids (preferably, but substitute whatever pattern you have) at the stage-lip about the width of the drum kit itself, with the mics parallel to each other and as low to the stage-floor as you can get them.  That's very close to the drums but provides a clear line to the guitar amps on the back-line.  In the resulting recording that should place the two guitars strongly to either side and keep the kick centered as well as the bass for the most part.  The drum kit will sound very wide (perhaps unnaturally so) with lots of stereo spread and the snare significantly louder in the right channel, but that seems appropriate for this band which seems based on a huge drum sound along with complementary guitars creating that enveloping wash kind of sound thing. 

It's going to be very loud with big drum transients at the mic positions.  Make sure the max SPL of the mics can handle it without distortion and you leave plenty of head-room with recording levels. That close-proximity loudness should keep the audience reaction in balance even using omnis.

I'm looking forward to hearing this one!
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<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2022, 01:20:19 PM »
[..]last 2 shows I moved back to about even with the front of the kick drum, center stage. Mics at 9', ortf, pointed down and a bit towards the house. I Had a chance to try different setups during a long soundcheck, and liked this the most. With a bit of SBD mixed in, I like this much better than stage lip or others.
https://archive.org/details/sd2022-03-12/sd20220312.matrix.2448-02.flac

That's a cool arrangement. Basically an overhead pair on the drum kit picking up the entire stage, the angling slightly toward house/audience serving to temper the level of the drums a bit. So helpful to be able to try a few different arrangements and listen for what works best.

Quote
I have a pair of Vanguard pencil condensors on the way, and was thinking to try 'em out with omni caps. Would very much appreciate input on placement and aiming. Stage lip gets a lot of crowd noise, most venues are 200-300 capacity.

That placement of your's 9' up in front of the drumkit will probably work well with the omnis, just space them apart somewhat farther apart, say 2-3 feet, no farther than corners of the kit.  If using them low to the stage instead, with the drum kit in a more typical position centered and in back (rather than far forward at the lip as with Maserati), you might slide them farther on-stage and away from the audience members immediately up front.  A lot depends on how loud the band plays, but at least the audience contribution from the front row tends to consist of positive focused enthusiasm rather than the distracted conversational blather farther back.
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<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2022, 01:21:20 PM »
Haven't had a chance to listen to any of the links you guys have posted above yet, but will.  Thanks for including them.
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<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline checht

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Re: "Dumb" Question about onstage mics
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2022, 01:24:29 PM »
[..]last 2 shows I moved back to about even with the front of the kick drum, center stage. Mics at 9', ortf, pointed down and a bit towards the house. I Had a chance to try different setups during a long soundcheck, and liked this the most. With a bit of SBD mixed in, I like this much better than stage lip or others.
https://archive.org/details/sd2022-03-12/sd20220312.matrix.2448-02.flac

That's a cool arrangement. Basically an overhead pair on the drum kit picking up the entire stage, the angling slightly toward house/audience serving to temper the level of the drums a bit. So helpful to be able to try a few different arrangements and listen for what works best.

Quote
I have a pair of Vanguard pencil condensors on the way, and was thinking to try 'em out with omni caps. Would very much appreciate input on placement and aiming. Stage lip gets a lot of crowd noise, most venues are 200-300 capacity.

That placement of your's 9' up in front of the drumkit will probably work well with the omnis, just space them apart somewhat farther apart, say 2-3 feet, no farther than corners of the kit.  If using them low to the stage instead, with the drum kit in a more typical position centered and in back (rather than far forward at the lip as with Maserati), you might slide them farther on-stage and away from the audience members immediately up front.  A lot depends on how loud the band plays, but at least the audience contribution from the front row tends to consist of positive focused enthusiasm rather than the distracted conversational blather farther back.

Many thanks, you're help is very appreciated!
Schoeps MK41s > nbob KCY >
Naiant PFA 60v > Sound Devices MP-6II -OR- Naiant IPA > Roland R-07 or Sony PCM-A10
Vanguard V1s matched pair
Recordings at LMA

 

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