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Offline JimmieC

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shotgun mics usage
« on: November 19, 2013, 01:01:33 AM »
How often do you guys use your shotgun microphones (e.g., AKG ck69) and what instances?  Would you use them in a smaller places like a bar type venue?  Would think it would definitely cut through the crowd noise but would think better placement of the mics can over come this.  I used to see them at stadium, arena, and pavilion shows.  However, it seems really loud at the arena shows now days.  I see some just use one with a MS configuration.

Also, looks like the seller does not have the extension.  Trying to decide to get a pair of ck69 or ck63.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 03:26:31 AM by JimmieC »
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Offline JimmieC

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2013, 05:42:04 AM »
Talked out of the shotguns by the following posts by Dsatz and John Willet:  http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=158391.0 and http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=148982.msg1903532#msg1903532 I think I will go back to the idea of getting the ck63.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 11:49:55 PM by JimmieC »
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Offline tgakidis

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2013, 07:25:03 AM »
I run them at every Arena show i go to (Phish,Dead,etc) and I think they typically sound better then other sources from the OTS.


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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2013, 08:45:54 AM »
I'm not discounting what DSatz or John Willet say, but I record music played thru a PA, not classical music.
I find them useful when mixing with another source in larger rooms.
By themselves, they work for relatively quiet music recorded from a distance. 
You will the find the ck63s more useful than the ck69s though. 

EDIT:
for a little more than the price of a used set of ck63s you can get these 568s from Tony:
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=165391.0
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 08:50:02 AM by darby »

Offline acidjack

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2013, 08:56:32 AM »
There's always something to be said for experience vs. theoretical type discussions. Two things can be simultaneously right -- guns can be terrible for recording music theoretically, and they can be the ideal tool for what we're doing. I'm pretty sure recording music being played from a PA system at a distance is, itself, theoretically a terrible idea, too, so to some degree, when it comes to doing it, you have to go with your gut and your own experience.

I believe DigiGal uses a gun in M-S configuration a good bit. I've heard some of her results and thought they sounded great.
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Offline DSatz

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 09:18:41 AM »
I've argued against using pairs of shotgun mikes for stereo. I do own several shotgun microphones, though--Schoeps, Neumann and Audio-Technica--and have used them occasionally as mono spot mikes or as the "M" microphone for M/S stereo, where they've worked reasonably well.

The ones I've used have all been the "short" kind. I've also owned a few of the long kind but I never ended up using them, and eventually sold them.

Shotguns CAN'T and DON'T overcome the effect of large distances in reverberant indoor spaces. Professionals don't generally use them that way. At large distances in closed spaces, most sound energy will arrive off-axis due to room reflections. But the off-axis response of shotgun microphones, even in the $2K-and-up category, is their worst aspect. It's muffled and often spitty at the same time.

I urge everyone to look at polar response graphs of shotguns (especially long ones) at different frequencies, notice how radically the pattern changes across the audio frequency range, and think about the consequences. Shotguns can give good, clear pickup when the sound source is directly on axis at a reasonable distance (e.g. maybe up to twice as far as you would place a cardioid, but not farther). That is how professionals use them--making every effort to keep the sound source directly on axis. Being a boom operator for film and video sound production is very demanding work! In that type of situation (as well as outdoors) shotguns can offer just enough extra "reach" to be valuable.

When you're far away in a closed space, you're basically recording in a diffuse sound field.  Good supercardioids (or, as others suggest in this thread, diffuse-field-equalized omnis) are are a far better choice for such ambient recording; their off-axis response is MUCH smoother. If the result with shotguns sounds any good at all under those conditions, that's probably due more to the high-frequency boost that most shotguns have built in (in the better ones, it's switchable), not primarily because of their special directional characteristics.

To use a shotgun for stereo recording, M/S is the preferred method. With nearly all shotgun microphones, especially long ones, the low-frequency pickup pattern is far broader than the high-frequency pattern, which rules out any coincident approach. But M/S lets you aim the narrow, "good" part of the shotgun's pickup pattern at the center of the sound sources, hopefully without too much off-axis pickup of direct sound. Again, this won't work well at very great distances, but the type of recording you can do in a diffuse sound field is always going to be limited anyway.

--best regards
« Last Edit: September 16, 2021, 08:29:20 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 09:34:09 AM »
I'm not discounting what DSatz or John Willet say, but I record music played thru a PA, not classical music.
I find them useful when mixing with another source in larger rooms.
By themselves, they work for relatively quiet music recorded from a distance. 
You will the find the ck63s more useful than the ck69s though. 

EDIT:
for a little more than the price of a used set of ck63s you can get these 568s from Tony:
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=165391.0

Thanks Darby! However these were sold last night. Just waiting for payment.

cashandkerouac

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 01:14:54 PM »
There's always something to be said for experience vs. theoretical type discussions. Two things can be simultaneously right -- guns can be terrible for recording music theoretically, and they can be the ideal tool for what we're doing. I'm pretty sure recording music being played from a PA system at a distance is, itself, theoretically a terrible idea, too, so to some degree, when it comes to doing it, you have to go with your gut and your own experience.

from a practical perspective this ^ makes sense based on my experience.   

I don't use shotguns to overcome the effect of large distances in closed spaces. They suck at that, because at large distances most sound energy comes to them from off-axis (due to room reflections), and the off-axis response of shotgun microphones, even those in the $2,500 and up category, is muffled and irregular.

I also don't use shotguns to "choose" one direct sound source over another one that's beside it, because they suck at that as well.

What I would urge everyone to try at least once, if you're considering a pair of shotgun mikes for music recording, is to make a mono test recording some time with just one shotgun mike aimed, say, 45 to 60 degrees away from the main music source. When you get home, listen to how it picks up the sound sources that were farthest away from where the mike was pointing. With most shotguns, even the expensive ones, that sound will not be very pretty due to the (reduced but) irregular off-axis high-frequency response. That sound will be prominent in your mix if you use a coincident or closely-spaced pair.

--best regards

if the goal is to capture a "stereo" image of the music coming from the stage and from the PA then I would be foolish to disagree with DSatz.  however, in a lot of cases in which folks are recording far from the stage (i.e. OTS), capturing a true stereo image is not the primary goal.  most "hobbyists" using a pair of shotgun mics to record concert audio are not orienting the mics in a traditional stereo configuration (i.e. DIN, ORTF, etc...); the mics are usually pointed straight at the stacks in order to get as much direct sounds as possible with the goal of minimizing the undesirable off-axis crowd noise.  the resulting audio is much more mono than it is stereo, but the goal of minimizing the off-axis crowd noise is uaually achieved.               

Offline JimmieC

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 09:48:00 PM »
Thanks.  I figured they were still mostly being ran at larger venues.  Looks like the best would be MS or mix with another set of mics.

I was looking at an ebay listing for an AKG 480 (really good condition), ck68 (no extension), and some misc parts for $370.  They have 2 left and almost bought them last night / morning.  It would have upgraded my bodies and had a short shotgun.  They are still available but think I´ll be better of getting some ck63.  I´ll use them more and still have some money for another preamp with not upgrading bodies.

I have seen some great reviews for the AKG C568.  I can´t download or stream for awhile so can´t listen to the shotgun samples out there.  It will have to wait for a couple more weeks.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 10:09:13 PM by JimmieC »
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Offline dointhatrag

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 10:00:20 AM »
imo the kmr81i is the only shotgun you should be using for music, as fas as i can tell, I am the only one who used them in the jam scene too.

Go get them, you wont be dissappointed, and lots of used ones out there
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Online ts

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2013, 10:26:26 AM »
imo the kmr81i is the only shotgun you should be using for music, as fas as i can tell, I am the only one who used them in the jam scene too.

Go get them, you wont be dissappointed, and lots of used ones out there

I used the KMR81's for a few years. 2003 -2005. I think. Great mics, just to expensive to only use 2 or 3 times a year. Used they are 1500 and that's a smoking deal.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 10:28:21 AM by ts »

Offline dointhatrag

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2013, 10:33:39 AM »
imo the kmr81i is the only shotgun you should be using for music, as fas as i can tell, I am the only one who used them in the jam scene too.

Go get them, you wont be dissappointed, and lots of used ones out there

I used the KMR81's for a few years. 2003 -2005. I think. Great mics, just to expensive to only use 2 or 3 times a year. Used they are 1500 and that's a smoking deal.

I got mine on trew consignment for 900 a piece. They are a great arsenal to have in your collection
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cashandkerouac

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2013, 12:13:18 PM »
JimmieC:  here are a couple of budget-friendly options to consider...

1) AKG ck8 hyper-cardioid "short shotgun" caps: the AKG ck8 caps are compatible with the 451/452 series.  you can find them on ebay in very good condition for $100 - $150 each.  i run a pair for outdoor situations and I've been very happy with them.  i also ran them indoors once when i was way in the back of the room and they worked quite well for that application as well. 

2) Nakamichi CP4 "short shotgun" caps:  the CP4 caps are compatible with the Nak 300 bodies and can be found on ebay in good condition for $50 - $100 each. 

if you're mostly recording rock shows in the OTS these would work well.  if you're mainly recording a closer distances you'd be better off using a standard caridioid mic.   

 

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2013, 04:16:38 PM »
If a shotgun must be used for stereo recording, M/S is greatly preferred. [snip]
But M/S at least lets you aim the shotgun at the center of the sound source, and get as much of it as possible into the pickup angle of the one microphone, without much if any off-axis pickup of direct sound sources.

Here's an alternate option which I believe will be superior for music recording from farther back in an outdoor situation-

Keep the single, directly forward facing shotgun orientation and instead of M/S with a 'side' figure-8 mic, substitute two spaced omnis.  Need to either record all three channels seperately or mix them to 2-channel on the fly (left omni hard-panned left, right omni hard-panned right, shotgun panned to center). 

I always thought this would be the way to go back in the day with the Nakamichi 3-mic sets which came with a 3-channel mixer and I suspect would be superior to the once common 3-mic outdoor Grateful Dead taper setup of two PAS shotguns + one center omni, for all the reasons DSatz mentions plus a few others.  I'm mostly advocating this as 'better' because I prefer spaced omnis over M/S at a distance, and because like M/S it uses the shotgun appropriately (pointed the right direction, no phase-interaction problems with two of them, near-spaced).  However it is certainly not limited to a shotgun.  Using a supercardioid or cardioid for the center mic is the way I do it.  Although I haven't used a shotgun for the center mic in this way, I think this is likely to be the best way to use one for music recording at a distance while limiting the problematic attributes of the pattern, providing clarity from the centrally located, directly forward-facing directional mic without phase interaction problems with another shotgun, or with the omnis since they are spaced far enough to either side of the shotgun-mic.

Several benefits of mixing a single forward facing shotgun with two omnis instead of running it M/S with a figure-8:

>Solid bass from the omnis,
>The 'big & open' spaced omnis sound,
>The omnis tend to ‘cover’ the shortcomings of the shotgun and vice-versa.
>Some 'antenna array' directionality from having three mics in a line (something of a relative to Tony >Falkner's 4-mic 'phased array' technique [not to be confused with his several decades older parallel 8's setup most think of when they hear the term 'phased array'])

It’s also an improvement over straight 2-channel spaced omnis-
>Increased articulation, clarity and reach,
>No problem with any wide A-B 'hole in the middle'.
>Both sharper imaging and increased envelopment.

One challenge is getting the omnis optimally wide using a single stand.  As many of you know, I do that by using very light weight miniature omnis mounted on long telescoping arms but most tapers would need either multiple stands or to clamp the omnis to neighboring stands or along a railing.

I haven't done this with a shotgun in the center, but it is currently my favorite setup for outdoor material using a cardioid or supercardioid in the center.  I just returned from running the 2meter spaced mini omnis with a center supercard at a 4-day outdoor festival over the past weekend.  I did not intend this rig for use inside, but I also ran it FOB in the indoor music hall for a few sets, which I will need to listen to determine how well the wide spaced omnis worked from upfront indoors, in some ways that application was the opposite of what this was designed for, and assuming it worked well I think that will help establish it’s general flexibility.

The setup is much more forgiving and flexible overall than I though it would be, and as mentioned above, I think it would help manage some of the shotgun issues to get the best result possible given the other situational constraints.
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Offline mccordo

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2013, 04:37:15 PM »
I just returned from running the 2meter spaced mini omnis with a center supercard at a 4-day outdoor festival over the past weekend.  I did not intend this rig for use inside, but I also ran it FOB in the indoor music hall for a few sets, which I will need to listen to determine how well the wide spaced omnis worked from upfront indoors, in some ways that application was the opposite of what this was designed for, and assuming it worked well I think that will help establish it’s general flexibility.

I was at the same festival and got a chance to see this set-up in person and it is impressive, not to mention very easily portable. I'm really interested in hearing how Gutbucket's extremely FOB recordings sound and would like to compare them to the ones I and other tapers made in the OTS (which was generally inside or just in front of the SBD cage depending on the stage).
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2013, 05:53:07 PM »
Thanks mccordo,

I just took some photos of that particular setup which I'll post in my long running 'oddball mic techniques' thread once I get a chance.  The single forward facing center directional mic plus spaced omnis works especially well at a distance, which is why I think it applies to this thread..

OT festival golfcart ride time-
However, as you know that wasn't an issue last weekend since I was up front FOB in the heart of it for what I recorded.  Although it down-mixes really well to 2-channel stereo, that particular rig was primarily designed as a 4-channel surround rig, with a backwards facing supercardioid as well as the forward stage facing one, meant to be placed at the point of the triangle between stacks, in the 'impact zone' at the center of the crowd, yet capable of being snatched out quickly to safety if necessary.  The point of it is to get a sense of crowd excitement all around from up there as well as the dynamic and present FOB sound, but in a Marvin Gay "What's Goin On" cocktail party background sort of sense with no one voice in the crowd standing out, rather than the more typical, annoying distracted conversations we all hate to hear on our tapes.  It's pretty cool IMO when the crowd is really into it and start chanting and hooting from all around in back or sing back to the stage in unison. It is alive, not simply live.  As I told one curious wide-eyed audience member who wandered up and asked, "It's a current moment harvester for a teleportation time machine."  Which was probably the most accurate answer I gave to that question all weekend.  I told someone else at the Bootsy Collins set that it was a FunkDAR- a Funk Direction and Range detector, and that previously I could never find the funk, but now I always know the direction of the funk flow!  Those answers always seem more satisfying to random audience questioners who aren't tapers or soundguys then a straight tech explaination.   I have treads at TS like this one I can derail for that!

Believe it or not, I was running farther back the last two years than I used to do there.  I did run this way FOB at the stage-rail for one set last weekend.  I used to do that more often there, but it only works well for instrumental bands, or when I know I have the SBD too, and was easier when the festival was smaller and I could often walk up, plop the small stand on-stage and extend the then four omnis to wherever they needed to be.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 05:59:35 PM 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<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

cashandkerouac

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2013, 06:02:16 PM »
If a shotgun must be used for stereo recording, M/S is greatly preferred. [snip]
But M/S at least lets you aim the shotgun at the center of the sound source, and get as much of it as possible into the pickup angle of the one microphone, without much if any off-axis pickup of direct sound sources.

Here's an alternate option which I believe will be superior for music recording from farther back in an outdoor situation-

Keep the single, directly forward facing shotgun orientation and instead of M/S with a 'side' figure-8 mic, substitute two spaced omnis.  Need to either record all three channels seperately or mix them to 2-channel on the fly (left omni hard-panned left, right omni hard-panned right, shotgun panned to center).    [snip]

i think this is a great set-up and makes a ton of sense for all the reasons you cited.  at a very loud show (indoors or out) this set-up is wonderful.  however, if the music coming through the PA is not cranked up to "11" this set-up can be quite problemmatic.  you'll likely end up with a really nice center channel that gets covered in "mud" from the all the nearby audience noise picked up by the spaced onmis.     

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2013, 06:50:28 PM »
It can.  If so you do what you would with any mics, especially omnis farther back, which is to raise the stand up as high as you can.

Actually I was thinking this weekend about substituting upward facing subcardioids for the omnis to further cut down on localized audience noise in the L/R channels.

But importantly, it's somewhat less susceptible to that problem than either two omnis alone, or the old GD section thing of using two shotguns plus a single omni.  Here's why-

First the omnis are ideally relatively widely separated.  In my case this weekend they were 2 meters apart.  That is far enough apart that any immediately nearby localized talking is mostly isolated by the distance between the two omnis, the rear facing supercard is also far enough away from either omni that the nearby chatter it picks up is also mostly decorelated.  So any one nearby talker only appears in one mic, usually not all three. With only a single omni you get whatever conversation is nearby, clearly and loudly. To my ears this picks up more of an atmospheric 'cocktail banter' background than specific attention grabbing annoying conversations you can follow.  I was running this relatively low up font this weekend for lower visual imposition, with the nearly invisible horizontally extending thin telescopic mic antennas just above and out of arms reach height for most folks.  With a few exceptions, the crowd noise this weekend I picked up was good rather than bad. 

The other thing is that the center directional which is more isolated from crowd noise significantly bolsters the omnis in terms of the music verses crowd noise balance.  More so than I expected.

I think we all agree no single setup is ideal for all situations.  This is just another tool in the kit to pull out for a appropriate situation, and one I think would make for of the more musically appropriate setups if using a shotgun mic.


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)

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2013, 09:54:28 PM »

Actually I was thinking this weekend about substituting upward facing subcardioids for the omnis to further cut down on localized audience noise in the L/R channels.

that's very intriguing.  i'll bet that wold sound really nice with a focused forward-facing center channel. 


But importantly, it's somewhat less susceptible to that problem than either two omnis alone, or the old GD section thing of using two shotguns plus a single omni.  Here's why-

First the omnis are ideally relatively widely separated.  In my case this weekend they were 2 meters apart.  That is far enough apart that any immediately nearby localized talking is mostly isolated by the distance between the two omnis, the rear facing supercard is also far enough away from either omni that the nearby chatter it picks up is also mostly decorelated.  So any one nearby talker only appears in one mic, usually not all three. With only a single omni you get whatever conversation is nearby, clearly and loudly. To my ears this picks up more of an atmospheric 'cocktail banter' background than specific attention grabbing annoying conversations you can follow.  I was running this relatively low up font this weekend for lower visual imposition, with the nearly invisible horizontally extending thin telescopic mic antennas just above and out of arms reach height for most folks.  With a few exceptions, the crowd noise this weekend I picked up was good rather than bad.


wow, now that's some very cool stuff!  good audience noise is really powerful and extremely desirable for that "i feel like i'm there" listening experience.  when the audience is in balance with the music it's great, but the more out of balance it gets the worse it sounds.  i suppose the struggle to get "good" audience noise has more often been achieved by good technique rather than a cooperative audience; but it seems like audiences at rock shows and festivals are getting increasingly less interested in listening to music.  the way you describe the positioning of omnis to get "good" audience noise makes a lot of sense.               



The other thing is that the center directional which is more isolated from crowd noise significantly bolsters the omnis in terms of the music verses crowd noise balance.  More so than I expected. 

bonus!   ;D



I think we all agree no single setup is ideal for all situations.  This is just another tool in the kit to pull out for a appropriate situation, and one I think would make for of the more musically appropriate setups if using a shotgun mic.

many thanks for the very helpful info   :D

Offline JimmieC

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2013, 11:34:57 PM »
bass_ur_face:  It looks like the ck8 will work with the 460 preamp using the ring adapter, which luckily came with my set.   I´m going to pick one up and try like Gutbucket described at some Downtown Alive or such events.  I´d like to try a 451 sometime too but then would need ck1s.  I think I would like the high frequency bump. 

I have tried messing around a little bit with the ck32 and ck47 capsules as mentioned by Gutbucket but most of the time I get lazy (the actives have made me even lazier) and just run the ck61s (less to carry).   I need tgakidis to cut the HM1000 cables down and / or may be Techflex Flexo F6 self wrapping split braid would help to use these capsules with too much cabling on the HM1000.  I don´t think they sound as good either but have not ran them with an external preamp.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 12:02:31 AM by JimmieC »
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2013, 11:51:55 PM »
Thanks for putting up with all the cross-topic blather.

Location and Jedi skills of social pressure/persuasion/influence are just as key. Most didn't realize that their moving away or turning their conversation in the other direction was gently influenced. The louder zone in front at least attracts those more enthusiastic about the music. The talking back around the board & section is sometimes louder in relation to the music, more banal, annoying, distracting and rooted in place.

Also depends on the music, at last weekends funk fest a dispersed laughing party ambience is on.  That don't fly the same at acoustic bluegrass, jazz or classical gigs.
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2013, 09:51:14 AM »
imo the kmr81i is the only shotgun you should be using for music, as fas as i can tell, I am the only one who used them in the jam scene too.

The KMR 81i is, indeed, an excellent gun mic. (and I have one myself).  But I would also say that the new Sennheiser MKH 8060 would also be good for music.

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2013, 10:15:16 AM »
bass_ur_face:  It looks like the ck8 will work with the 460 preamp using the ring adapter, which luckily came with my set.   I´m going to pick one up and try like Gutbucket described at some Downtown Alive or such events.  I´d like to try a 451 sometime too but then would need ck1s.  I think I would like the high frequency bump. 

I have tried messing around a little bit with the ck32 and ck47 capsules as mentioned by Gutbucket but most of the time I get lazy (the actives have made me even lazier) and just run the ck61s (less to carry).   I need tgakidis to cut the HM1000 cables down and / or may be Techflex Flexo F6 self wrapping split braid would help to use these capsules with too much cabling on the HM1000.  I don´t think they sound as good either but have not ran them with an external preamp.

JimmieC: i think you will be very pleased with the ck8.  having the a60 adapters so you can use the 451/452 series caps with the 460 bodies provides great flexibility.  as for the ck1s caps verusus the standard ck1, i am a big fan of the high frequency bump of the ck1s model.  it's not a night and day difference; the ck1 and the ck1s are very similar and have the same basic "flavor".  however, the high frequency bump is desireable if your recording from a distance.  enjoy!

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2013, 01:08:23 PM »
Here's the rig I put together for last weekend.  It's using DPA 4098H supercardioids as front and rear facing center mics, they use miniature interference tubes so they are technically related to shotgun mics but I don't consider them to be shotguns, closer to derringers I suppose.  The omnis on the longer arms are DPA 4061s.  More details and photos in the oddball mic techniques thread if interested.



« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 01:09:55 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline JimmieC

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2013, 12:21:15 AM »
cool.
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2013, 06:25:28 PM »
Hey gutbucket - I'd love to hear what your setup sounds like (2m omnis with card/super in the middle outdoors). Where can I d/l a sample?

I'm contemplating trying your method with one of these passive mixers (2 mono inputs 1 stereo input and a stereo output):

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/3631-REG/Azden_CAM_3_CAM_3_3_Channel_Mic_Mixer.html

I have a set of AT853's with the omni caps that I could plug in to the stereo input (after a battery box) and a set of CA-11 cards that I could plug in to another battery box and then in to one of the mono inputs (it should allow the left channel to come through, I believe?). It would require more equipment/power sources/cabling, but I'm intrigued by the idea of a hybrid pattern approach since I mostly roll open from fairly far back at outdoor fests.

What did you use for the telescoping rods for the omnis, and how did you mount them to the tripod?

Thanks,
John

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2013, 07:20:24 PM »
I don't have any downloadable samples up anywhere currently, but I'll work on getting some together.

The four telescopic arms are repurposed TV 'rabbit ear' antenna aerials (black ones rather than chrome), the center front/back facing ones just aren't telescoped out very far.  They're attached in opposing pairs to short aluminum bars covered with black heatshrink and those slip over the threaded stud atop the stand.  It's a continuing evolution of the 2-channel spaced omni setup I started doing about 5 years ago. Details on this version of that rig are at the end of that thread, directly linked in my previous post above.

If you plan to record only 2-channels and mix the three mic signals before the recorder, you'll want to use a mixer which allows for panning or assigning the center mic to both the left and right channels of the recorder.  Some small mixers have left/center/right assignment switches for each input instead of rotary panning knobs, and that would work fine for this.  I think the old Nakamichi 3 channel mixer that was provided with their 3-mic sets worked that way, but I've never used one of those.  However, the mixer you linked to doesn't appear to have any channel routing capability and you'd probably end up with the center mic mixed only into the left or right channel.  You might be able to use a 'Y' cable and adapters to split the center mic signal to feed both of it's mono inputs and keep the mixer's attenuators for those channels the same so the center signal is panned center, and feed the mixers stereo input with the left and right mic signals, but I can't guarantee that will work.  I suspect a different mixer would work better.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 07:25:17 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline dyneq

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2013, 09:50:16 PM »
Thanks for any uploads. I'd love to hear this setup, specifically the 2 omni/1 directional idea you brought up.

I've used my strongest google fu to search for a mixer with TRS 1/8" inputs/output and this was the only one I could find.

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2013, 10:25:18 PM »
You'll have better luck finding an appropriate mixer with RCA or 1/4" inputs and using interconnect cables terminated with the those connectors at the mixer side or, less ideally, adapters for your existing interconnect cables.

It will take me some time, but I'll work on getting a few samples together when I get a chance.
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2014, 10:15:24 PM »
I've had good results with AKG 568s in certain situations.  Everything is a series of compromises.

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2021, 06:01:08 PM »
I made multitrack recordings and a live broadcast mix at an outdoor show yesterday, and tried a pair of KMR81's on the stage pointing out at the crowd, apparently a pretty common approach but one I'd never tried.  I'd call the result instantly recognizable, and funny too what specific bits of conversations they pull out of the crowd in between songs.   Jury out on this until I listen more. 

I also had a dual mid-side pair out at front of house going to a portable recorder, haven't integrated those yet. 
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2021, 08:54:35 PM »
Were they wide spaced like I've commonly seen them used for that?  If so did you perceive any hole in the middle of the audience stuff in the mix with them hard panned, or soft-panned to make it less extreme?  I ask because I love wide spaced omni audience and ambience, yet I find I sometimes find I want to softpan my near-spaced rear-facing supercards that are picking up more precise rear arriving cues to achieve more of a smooth fill across the whole soundstage.

The thing I've always wondered about interference tube mics onstage facing out at the audience is the sound contribution of the stuff they are attempting to reject - the loud stuff on stage to the sides and behind, and PA above or to the sides.  How much does off-axis misbehavior poison the well?  KMR81's are likely better than many other options in that regard, yet still no champ  in terms of off-axis smoothness.
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Offline EmRR

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2021, 08:25:17 AM »
They were wide as possible, there were stone pillars supporting a roof, and I had the pillars between the mics and the mains which were outside of the roof on the ground.

When I solo’d the kmr81’s they were reasonably smooth. I had the hpf on and another sweepable hpf in the console to knock down the huge woofy bass you’d expect from being near and slightly behind the mains. Stage volume was not high.  They were hard panned in the mix. With the band playing, I only really got a slight sense of ambience added with them all the way up, no hole, but applause at endings was two hard panned pockets, no middle at all. 

It’ll be interesting to hear how they integrate with the FOH DMS capture when I get that imported.  Being outside with a total lack of room reflections I expect they’ll all live relatively low in the mix.  We’re usually in a very reverberant small theater with a rear of room center NOS-ish pair and an opposing sidewall boundary pair and those live pretty low. The outdoor probably will run higher in comparison. 

In this kind of multitrack / live mix scenario my biggest personal ? is how close did I get in the live mix. The goal is to try and minimize the need for post-production for the producer, and this one was extremely difficult to hear clearly in the moment. I was as far behind the structure as possible but the bass bleed was still enough that I couldn’t really tell where kick drum and bass were in the mix.


Here’s the usual show location, we don’t often have drums there:

https://youtu.be/yrIryQ0FH0s?t=5323

and the one in question:

« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 09:42:49 PM by EmRR »
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2021, 10:00:43 AM »
^Nice looking venue.  Kudos to you on getting the live mix dialed in to the extent you could, that's a tough cookie.  I've struggled getting a decent live mix of my mics alone for patching out to other folks, and even at a multi-day things where I've had the ability to dial in a decent rough mix after the conclusion of the first day for patching out on following days, when listening to that rough-guess mix later its almost never really where I'd really like it to be.
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2021, 11:08:50 AM »
Ive always thought super wide shotguns were an interesting choice for ambiance. I think I generally prefer a less directional sound for my ambient mics in a live multi. Iirc Pearl Jam uses in the neighborhood of 8-10 shotguns on stage and at FOH to get their ambient signal and I think it generally sounds pretty good (tough to capture that arena energy without tons of bleed)

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2021, 01:01:17 PM »
It won't be my first, second, or third choice as only option!  Glad I got a chance to try it, and an outdoor show like this seemed the best place to experiment.  They'll be useful mixed with the dual mid-side at FOH. 

I can imagine having a half dozen or more would start to make a lot more sense if trying to build an artificial 'telephoto' hyperrealistic up close crowd ambience. 

That stage is in a county park, and this was a local arts council event.  I'd guess we had 2-300 on the hillside, kinda hard to tell.  No idea what it's normally like. 

I usually get an input list several days in advance and am involved in planning the console layouts and mic selections, so I'm able to preset the  broadcast mix console in advance, best guesses on channel EQ, dynamics, etc.  That helps a lot.   About 50% of the inputs are regular house band so they are predictable. 

I have a Wohler broadcast speaker panel which is more ' old car radio / laptop' response range that lives at a preset volume, and a set of full range speakers on a fader so I can change the perspective pretty quickly.  Most gets done on headphones though due to high environmental noise and stage bleed. 
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 09:12:12 AM by EmRR »
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Offline EmRR

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2021, 09:39:56 PM »
The shotguns are indeed useful mixed with the MS from FOH. The binaural effect of wide spacing and hard panning does make for an enveloping ambience.  Not sure if I'd necessarily go out of my way for it, but if it's easy to set up it's useful.

Anyway that's pretty different from what most people here would do with them.  The times I put them in larger audience mic arrays for additional pin-point clarity were all good.   If a room is super reverberant or boomy, they can help focus the result, albeit possibly imperfectly.....in an imperfect situation. 
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 05:20:33 PM by EmRR »
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2021, 02:21:45 PM »
If it's an easy venue, I'll run my AKG 568 shotguns alongside hypers just to get a different flavor. Sometimes the shotguns sound better than the hypers.

Examples:

North Mississippi Allstars Live at Terminal West on 2020-01-25
https://archive.org/details/nma2020-01-25.davidpuddy.akg568

Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7 Live at Variety Playhouse on 2019-11-20
https://archive.org/details/jhiw2019-11-20.DavidPuddy

Billy Strings Live at Cat's Cradle on 2019-11-01
https://archive.org/details/billystrings2019-11-01.akg568

They're not right for all situations, but the results are very usable.

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2021, 10:57:56 AM »
If it's an easy venue, I'll run my AKG 568 shotguns alongside hypers just to get a different flavor. Sometimes the shotguns sound better than the hypers.

Examples:

North Mississippi Allstars Live at Terminal West on 2020-01-25
https://archive.org/details/nma2020-01-25.davidpuddy.akg568

Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7 Live at Variety Playhouse on 2019-11-20
https://archive.org/details/jhiw2019-11-20.DavidPuddy

Billy Strings Live at Cat's Cradle on 2019-11-01
https://archive.org/details/billystrings2019-11-01.akg568

They're not right for all situations, but the results are very usable.

This is what I have started doing as well, especially in "boomy" rooms.  Really like the results.  The 568's have pretty full sound for a shotgun.  Mix with ck63's DinA or PAS.  Also noticeable reduction of crowd chatter.
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2021, 12:33:06 AM »
i was hesitant before buying some ck8s but I am glad I did as I run them in pretty much any situation you can run hypers in including both indoors and outdoors. Not sure why there seems to be an aversion to them in our community as I have heard many good older tapes made with Nak cp4s. I think you can really gain a lot with a pair of short shotties mixed with a single omni or spaced a-b omni pair when taping outdoors as it gets the best of both worlds, imo.

But then again, take all that with a grain of salt as I am not technically knowledgeable in the slightest and I am sure there are good reasons that folks don't run shotties (short or long) for taping.
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Offline DSatz

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2021, 09:28:53 PM »
The reason for the aversion is that shotgun mikes have relatively poor sound quality off axis--uneven response, sometimes extremely uneven, with peaks and dips of 10 dB or so depending on the angle. Shotgun mikes are meant to help distinguish DIRECTLY on-axis sound sources from qualitatively different, environmental sound--not from reflections of the original sound. If you're recording indoors from any distance, the same sound reaches the mikes from all angles at once, and much of the desired sound will arrive off-axis. When it mixes with the on-axis sound, it degrades the quality of the pickup.

The other problem (for stereo recording) is that shotgun mikes have a narrower pickup pattern at high-mid and high frequencies than in the rest of the range. So if you arrange a pair of them in any of the common coincident or closely spaced arrangements, any angle and distance good for the low and mid frequencies can't possibly be optimal for the high frequencies, or vice versa. All the Williams formulas and curves, etc., are based on the assumption of polar patterns that are basically constant across the frequency range. Shotguns fail that requirement by a long, long way--the longer ones being worst of all.

As a result, professionals don't generally use shotgun microphones for stereo recording except for M/S stereo, where a well-placed shotgun can be a good center ("M") mike. Some very nice stereo mikes have been built with a shotgun as the "M" element, or a small figure-8 mike can be mounted directly above the capsule diaphragm of a mono shotgun. But that approach requires the majority of sound pickup to be direct/on axis. And the audience area of a concert venue is generally too far from the sound sources for that to be possible.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2021, 07:38:57 PM by DSatz »
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2021, 10:49:22 PM »
PAS shotguns can pull that maximal on-axis sound out of the muck.  Many times the off-axis in a large club or auditorium is garbage, no matter the pattern, so a shotgun may win the clarity war amongst imperfect options. 
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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2021, 06:39:26 PM »
PAS shotguns can pull that maximal on-axis sound out of the muck.  Many times the off-axis in a large club or auditorium is garbage, no matter the pattern, so a shotgun may win the clarity war amongst imperfect options.

But as a forewarning, some have strong pickup rear, which can be a challenge.
Slappy echo has been experienced, but timing is everything.    ;)



 That rear lobe is only 10db down.
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Offline EmRR

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2021, 06:58:24 AM »
Well……everything is omni at some low frequency too. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50

Offline EmRR

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2021, 09:32:00 AM »
This is in another thread, might as well park it here.  Flew this in a 1000 capacity club once, worked well.  Dual mid-side with optional shotgun mid and a PAS spot.  Pan the PAS spot as angled, it matches the DMS imaging.   Plus AB omni's.  Get some more 'dry' vocals out of the PA stacks off to the side, some more 'dry' stage sound out of the mid.  Both shotguns in the -15-20dB relative to the DMS.  Made a positive difference.   If you wanna go there; 7 channel capture. 


Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2021, 12:32:34 PM »
Good to hear more of your hands-on experience of adding shotguns to an existing array.  As I've mentioned before, I suspect the other mics in the array help to hide the off-axis issues of the shotguns, particularly at the levels at which you are using them.  Also, it's somehow comforting that your setups make my arrays seem almost tame in comparison. ;)

I should try your single PAS spot shotgun technique to get that little extra bit of vocal clarity in the mix, always a fundamental challenge.  For others following, that's a single shotgun pointed at whichever PA stack is closer, louder, and clearer, with its output panned to [edit]center in the mix, or to whatever position helps perceptually center the vocal/PA content.  Yes, that means that microphone is intentionally arranged asymmetrically with regards to all other microphones in the array, yet it's output ends up being used symmetrically in the mix.

[edit- In actual use, was the actual angle between the two shotguns as small as it looks in the photo?  It appears pretty small, maybe ~15 degrees or so.  Just trying to parse if the inclusion of only one of the two might have produced a similar result.  Maybe you played with that in the mix?]
« Last Edit: December 13, 2021, 08:10:12 PM 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<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline EmRR

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2021, 08:45:13 PM »
I’d guess 20+ degrees. I was surprised to find if panned exactly it then integrated into the MS image perfectly, panning center throws it off. It does not drag the image to one side. The center aimed gun grabbed a bit drier stage instrument sound.  As you said any anomalies are swamped by the main mics, even if much louder in the mix. All center stack capsules are coincident with respect to horizontal sound, the mid gun not to vertical.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2021, 08:47:00 PM by EmRR »
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2021, 08:11:26 PM »
Interesting on the panning integration, thanks!
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 mcfoster

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2022, 05:57:36 PM »
If it's an easy venue, I'll run my AKG 568 shotguns alongside hypers just to get a different flavor. Sometimes the shotguns sound better than the hypers.

Examples:

North Mississippi Allstars Live at Terminal West on 2020-01-25
https://archive.org/details/nma2020-01-25.davidpuddy.akg568

Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7 Live at Variety Playhouse on 2019-11-20
https://archive.org/details/jhiw2019-11-20.DavidPuddy



Billy Strings Live at Cat's Cradle on 2019-11-01
https://archive.org/details/billystrings2019-11-01.akg568

They're not right for all situations, but the results are very usable.


I really like the sound of all of these recordings. Thanks for posting the links. Been reading up on this thread for some advice as I just received a pair of AKG CK8X's from a fellow member here. Thanks Corey! I am excited to run them in a couple venues locally for times when I do not feel like the hassle of being right up front, or know that I am going to encounter a really chatty situation. As much as I like to stay low profile, there are a couple spots around town here that people don't even know I am recording (clamped to a railing) where I won't mind running a large set of mics. I would rather do that than set up in an area I do not want to hold down and or have a stand. Also, If I am not so into the band or want to go catch something else, I don't feel rude packing up and leaving. Hoping for some good results with them, but we will see I guess. Any more tips would be appreciated. Basically PAS, and what 6 inches apart or so? Thanks!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 05:59:29 PM by mcfoster »
Recording:
AKG CK1X,2X,3X,8X>Modded MK46's>PFA's ADK-51's>Zoom F6 and or F3
Sennheiser MK2E gopro elements> DR-05

Playback:
Peachtree Nova? Topping D70?Marantz NA6006?>Inspire Audio SET EL84 tube amp?Hafler SE-120's? Amp Camp Nelson Pass designed 8 watt Class A (building now)>Klipsch Custom KLF-20's, RF-7's it depends on the day.

Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2022, 06:05:57 PM »
If it's an easy venue, I'll run my AKG 568 shotguns alongside hypers just to get a different flavor. Sometimes the shotguns sound better than the hypers.

Examples:

North Mississippi Allstars Live at Terminal West on 2020-01-25
https://archive.org/details/nma2020-01-25.davidpuddy.akg568

Jimmy Herring and The 5 of 7 Live at Variety Playhouse on 2019-11-20
https://archive.org/details/jhiw2019-11-20.DavidPuddy



Billy Strings Live at Cat's Cradle on 2019-11-01
https://archive.org/details/billystrings2019-11-01.akg568

They're not right for all situations, but the results are very usable.


I really like the sound of all of these recordings. Thanks for posting the links. Been reading up on this thread for some advice as I just received a pair of AKG CK8X's from a fellow member here. Thanks Corey! I am excited to run them in a couple venues locally for times when I do not feel like the hassle of being right up front, or know that I am going to encounter a really chatty situation. As much as I like to stay low profile, there are a couple spots around town here that people don't even know I am recording (clamped to a railing) where I won't mind running a large set of mics. I would rather do that than set up in an area I do not want to hold down and or have a stand. Also, If I am not so into the band or want to go catch something else, I don't feel rude packing up and leaving. Hoping for some good results with them, but we will see I guess. Any more tips would be appreciated. Basically PAS, and what 6 inches apart or so? Thanks!

I ran them on a regular K&M stereo bar pointed at the outer edge of the stacks

Offline JiB97

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2022, 06:38:13 PM »
https://archive.org/details/dco2017-05-28.akg468/dco2017-05-28t07.flac

^^example of short shotguns (AKG 460|ck8) from the lawn of your typical "shed” outdoor amphitheater....the sound was sort of phasey to begin with at times due to the wind and whatnot but the recording is definitely listenable for a PA recording
« Last Edit: January 15, 2022, 05:45:24 PM by JiB97 »
AKG ck3/ck8 | c460b  + Naiant Actives | PFAs
Audio Technica u853r (omnis/mini-guns)
Tascam DR-70D

My Archive Links

Offline mcfoster

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2022, 12:01:19 PM »
Sorry for the newbie shotgun question, but I was wondering if and what effect the orientation of the vent? on this AKG CK8X has if anything on the directionality of this particular model of microphone. I am hoping to to them out tonight, so I might as well get it right the first time. Thanks All.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 01:45:11 PM by mcfoster »
Recording:
AKG CK1X,2X,3X,8X>Modded MK46's>PFA's ADK-51's>Zoom F6 and or F3
Sennheiser MK2E gopro elements> DR-05

Playback:
Peachtree Nova? Topping D70?Marantz NA6006?>Inspire Audio SET EL84 tube amp?Hafler SE-120's? Amp Camp Nelson Pass designed 8 watt Class A (building now)>Klipsch Custom KLF-20's, RF-7's it depends on the day.

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #52 on: January 14, 2022, 08:00:21 PM »
Sorry for the newbie shotgun question, but I was wondering if and what effect the orientation of the vent? on this AKG CK8X has if anything on the directionality of this particular model of microphone. I am hoping to to them out tonight, so I might as well get it right the first time. Thanks All.
A couple of previous threads with discussion:
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=186891.0;all
https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=156938.0;all
DPA4061 HEB/AT943 -> CA-UGLY -> R-09
Samson C02/Superlux S502/iSK Little Gem -> DR-680MKII
AKG CK63 -> AKG C460B -> DR-680MKII
AKG CK63 -> nBob actives -> Baby NBox -> R-09/DR2d

Offline mcfoster

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Re: shotgun mics usage
« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2022, 12:58:22 PM »
Thank You. Tiried em last night. Not the magic bullet I was hoping for in that venue, but the crowd was insanely loud and chatty... I went vents up. Tried hypers from the same spot the second set. Sound different but good as well, but half the crowd left by then. Anyhow, good option to have around..
Recording:
AKG CK1X,2X,3X,8X>Modded MK46's>PFA's ADK-51's>Zoom F6 and or F3
Sennheiser MK2E gopro elements> DR-05

Playback:
Peachtree Nova? Topping D70?Marantz NA6006?>Inspire Audio SET EL84 tube amp?Hafler SE-120's? Amp Camp Nelson Pass designed 8 watt Class A (building now)>Klipsch Custom KLF-20's, RF-7's it depends on the day.

 

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