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Offline Pieteker

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Help needed with taping strategy!
« on: March 05, 2024, 03:46:52 AM »
Hi,

I'm recording Keane again in April at a sold-out show at Palladium, Cologne, Germany. I want to improve my positioning; the other day, I recorded them in London at a packed Shepherd's Bush Empire but felt like a sardine trapped in a small bowl. The recording had A LOT of crowd noise (chatting, screaming, singing), and I want to minimize this on my next attempt.

So, judging from the picture below of the Palladium, my best bet to get a decent recording is either standing behind the mixing panel behind the bars or going to the balcony on either side in line with one of the big PA speakers.



What should I do, seeing that all the experience is right here?

Pieter
« Last Edit: March 05, 2024, 03:50:27 AM by Keaneboots »

Offline stl_oni

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2024, 08:45:32 AM »
I hate recording at the Palladium. At the back (either in front or behind the mixing desk) you get lots of reverb plus people talking and rushing to the bar the whole time. I try to get on the balcony or up front on the floor in line with one of the speakers on the left or the right, not more than 15-25 rows back from the front. You can grab good recordings with omnis that way, even better with cards. Never used hypers from the back at the mixing desk,
Might work, but still lots of reverb as it is just a crappy sounding venue the more you get to the back. Good luck!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2024, 09:05:02 AM by stl_oni »

Offline Pieteker

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2024, 08:58:26 AM »
Thank you!

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2024, 09:39:41 AM »
Oddball idea: make a stack tape. Walk up and face the speaker in the balcony from about 10-15 feet away. You will look odd facing the speaker, but that will be an optimal way to reduce crowd chatter and pick up direct sound from the speaker. Of course, if this band has lots of stereo effects and you know they mix in stereo, then my advice is wrong. One of my finest recordings I ever made in the 40 years of doing this was from about 6 feet from a Meyer UPA-1 in a balcony. We took over the front table and set the mics up almost as if we were close micing onstage!
Rock on!

edited for spelling
« Last Edit: March 05, 2024, 11:36:14 AM by rocksuitcase »
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Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2024, 09:51:49 AM »
Oddball idea: make a stack tape. Walk up and face the speaker in the balcony from about 10-15 feet away. You will look odd facing the speaker, but that will be an optimal way to reduce crowd chatter and pick up direct sound from the speaker. Of course, if this band has lots of stereo effects and you know they mix in stereo, then my advice is wrong. One of my finest recordings veer made in the 40 years of doing this was from about 6 feet from a Meyer UPA-1 in a balcony. We took over the front table and set the mics up almost as if we were close micing onstage!
Rock on!

Even more oddball idea: Enlist a friend to help and each of you do a mono recording of one L/R stack   :o
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Offline Pieteker

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2024, 09:55:10 AM »
Oddball idea: make a stack tape. Walk up and face the speaker in the balcony from about 10-15 feet away. You will look odd facing the speaker, but that will be an optimal way to reduce crowd chatter and pick up direct sound from the speaker. Of course, if this band has lots of stereo effects and you know they mix in stereo, then my advice is wrong. One of my finest recordings veer made in the 40 years of doing this was from about 6 feet from a Meyer UPA-1 in a balcony. We took over the front table and set the mics up almost as if we were close micing onstage!
Rock on!

Sounds good to me. Thanks!

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2024, 10:15:44 AM »
^ I'm thinking like those guys!

I once wore miniature omnis in the laces of my shoes recording from a side balcony up close to the stage and PA.  The PA speakers on that side were only ~10 feet away, down at foot level.  Made for a clear direct path from PA and stage to the mics, and positioned them about as far away as possible from all the mouths and clapping hands packed in below, behind and to the sides.  Worked really well.  Other times in similar situations I've dangled them over the rail, similarly positioning them.  Also used the on-shoe method a few other times for jazz gigs from right up front with the band setup on the floor rather than on a raised stage.  Each of those arrangements got nice clear direct sound and helped minimize direct pickup of nearby audience members.

Have thought many times about the approach DavidPuddy mentions, either with a friend, or by using a miniature planted rig on the opposite side, but have never done it.  Would be sort of the ultimate take on this technique.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2024, 10:17:31 AM by Gutbucket »
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Offline fanofjam

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2024, 03:45:14 PM »
Yup, that's exactly what I was going to suggest.  I'd just choose one of the stacks and record close up.  You'll still hear the chompers between songs but during the music the stacks will dominate most of the crowd noise. 

As far as recording both stacks for stereo, I've owned multiple recorders/rigs for a long time and it's not unheard of for me to find a place near a stack to stash one of my rigs and just let it record into either one or both channels, then I stealth the stack on the other side.  Requires a bit of skill in post to create the master recording, but nothing too technical.  It's mainly about matching the length of the two recordings using the stretch tool since two separate recorders will never synch up perfectly over the course of...say...a two-hour show.  By the end, one recording will be longer than the other by some numbers of milliseconds.  If you join them together without any stretching of one to match the other, the mix-down will start out sounding fine, but by the end of the recording you will start to hear a reverb type of effect.  Or if the time difference between the two recording is more than a few milliseconds, the effect is more of a slap-back effect. 
« Last Edit: March 05, 2024, 03:48:30 PM by fanofjam »

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2024, 04:34:25 PM »
^ End result after the channel sync'ing should be very similar to the technique of hanging a wide spaced pair out in front of the PA speakers as we discussed in a recent thread installing permanent mic rigs a venue, and in others in the past.    IME that technique can produce a recording with excellent upfront clarity, good stereo width, and a big open decorellated room and audience sound.
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Offline Thierry

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2024, 06:01:31 AM »
Palladium is such a shitty venue. You'd be better off in the balcony. The podium is quite low, things are hard to see if you aren't that tall.

Offline Pieteker

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2024, 03:29:12 PM »
Thank you all once again for your input; it is much appreciated.

I've decided to arrive early at the venue and secure my spot on the right side of the right PA speaker, where the lady in the white top is standing.



Pieter

Offline Pieteker

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2024, 03:31:27 PM »
Thank you all once again for your input; it is much appreciated.

I've decided to arrive early at the venue and secure my spot on the right side of the right PA speaker, where the lady in the white top is standing.



Pieter

Can I use my head rig with microphones attached to glasses for this?

Offline fanofjam

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2024, 03:45:47 PM »
Can I use my head rig with microphones attached to glasses for this?

Thats pretty much the location I go for when there's a wraparound balcony.  It'll be loud, but most mics should be able to handle it.  IMO that's a perfect situation for stack taping.  I'll lay my jacket or fanny pack down and have my rig hiding at my feet so I don't get muscle atrophy during the show...LOL. 

Offline Pieteker

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2024, 04:04:10 PM »
Can I use my head rig with microphones attached to glasses for this?

Thats pretty much the location I go for when there's a wraparound balcony.  It'll be loud, but most mics should be able to handle it.  IMO that's a perfect situation for stack taping.  I'll lay my jacket or fanny pack down and have my rig hiding at my feet so I don't get muscle atrophy during the show...LOL.

Good advice! Thx.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2024, 04:05:02 PM »
^ Which also gets the mics farther away from the most nearby talking mouths and clapping hands.  But headworn will work too.  I'd slide a bit further away so as to be right next to the vertical support post, which will serve to shield you somewhat from folks screaming their enjoyment at the stage from the other side of the post.  If headworn, consider rotating the rig so it faces directly toward the close PA while you are able to face center stage.  Wear earplugs!
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Offline Pieteker

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2024, 04:27:12 PM »
^ Which also gets the mics farther away from the most nearby talking mouths and clapping hands.  But headworn will work too.  I'd slide a bit further away so as to be right next to the vertical support post, which will serve to shield you somewhat from folks screaming their enjoyment at the stage from the other side of the post.  If headworn, consider rotating the rig so it faces directly toward the close PA while you are able to face center stage.  Wear earplugs!

 :coolguy:

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2024, 04:48:59 PM »
If headworn, consider rotating the rig so it faces directly toward the close PA while you are able to face center stage.

^That assumes making a typical Left/Right stereo stack tape, the way most tapers would go about doing it.  Which is the safe bet.


I hesitate to mention this, but will anyway in case you want to get somewhat oddball with it.  I also mention this for the others contributing to the tread who may want to try it sometime.

 Accidentally, via occasional instances of two of the four channels of my stealth recording setup not working properly, I've discovered I sometimes prefer making a Center/Rear channel recording over a traditional Left/Right one, particularly in a stack-taping situation.  That would be done by having one mic facing directly toward the near PA speaker and the other mic facing in the opposite direction, out into the room.  At this venue something like that would be achieved by wearing your head mounted rig the normal way without rotating it, as your right ear will be facing more or less directly toward the PA.

You'd then end up with one "drier" stack channel, and one somewhat "wetter" room/audience/ambience channel, although that "wet" channel will also tend to be dominated by content from the close PA whenever the band is playing.  Consider the resulting raw recording to have a Sum/Difference (Mid/Side) relationship rather than Left/Right.  You can run that through a typical Mid/Side to L/R decode step to get a standard L/R stereo output.  The dry PA stack channel serves as the Sum or Mid channel, so that content fills the center of the resulting stereo image.  The ambient channel serves as the Side or Difference channel and gets spread out to either side, and you gain the ability to vary the level of it to achieve the best stereo feel and depth.  Funky but it can work quite well, providing some welcome control over direct/reverberant balance, more stereo interest than a straight L/R stack tape typically does, and makes for a wide yet symmetrical portrayal of the room ambience and audience reaction in the resulting recording even though you are way over to one side in the room.

If anyone tries this, feel free to hit me up to discuss a few mixing details.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2024, 08:31:38 AM »
Are you sure the PA isn't in stereo? Many of the venues in that size range here (in the Netherlands) do mix in stereo.

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2024, 08:39:27 AM »
I've used that same spot in a couple of venues. I'm usually out in the open but going undercover isn't going to be much different. I'd take a few pieces of gaffer tape and wrap them around a lighter or a sharpie marker to carry in with you then use that to attach the mics down low on the rail, fence or whatever at the level of your feet. As others mentioned that will get them away a few feet from talkers and clappers, will line them up better with the PA speaker and will keep them from moving around. Wear an extra shirt and hang it on/tie it to the handrail then run your recorder inside the shirt pocket.
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Offline guitard

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2024, 09:30:58 AM »
If headworn, consider rotating the rig so it faces directly toward the close PA while you are able to face center stage.

I do this all the time with my MK41s.  I can easily turn the Kangaroo 45° either way.  I told my wife about this and she said I must look stupid with my hat turned to the side like that.  I replied that it's a concert - and you gotta really look weird to stand out in that setting.
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Offline adrianf74

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2024, 07:54:21 PM »
I do this all the time with my MK41s.  I can easily turn the Kangaroo 45° either way.  I told my wife about this and she said I must look stupid with my hat turned to the side like that.  I replied that it's a concert - and you gotta really look weird to stand out in that setting.

I want to know if you’re using a full-size Kangaroo or a Joey. ;)

But I digress — completely agree with that last statement; nowadays, you’re probably more normal “looking” at that point.
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Offline fanofjam

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2024, 11:06:13 AM »
I do this all the time with my MK41s.  I can easily turn the Kangaroo 45° either way.  I told my wife about this and she said I must look stupid with my hat turned to the side like that.  I replied that it's a concert - and you gotta really look weird to stand out in that setting.

I want to know if you’re using a full-size Kangaroo or a Joey. ;)

But I digress — completely agree with that last statement; nowadays, you’re probably more normal “looking” at that point.

This might be a revelation to most people that read this, but most tapers (me included) look weird in everyday life.  :) 

So I figure whatever I look like at a show...in the dark...amongst other weirdo's...no big deal.

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2024, 02:25:15 PM »
If headworn, consider rotating the rig so it faces directly toward the close PA while you are able to face center stage.

I do this all the time with my MK41s.  I can easily turn the Kangaroo 45° either way.  I told my wife about this and she said I must look stupid with my hat turned to the side like that.  I replied that it's a concert - and you gotta really look weird to stand out in that setting.
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Offline Pieteker

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2024, 12:32:06 PM »
I really enjoy this thread and the advice and experiences that you're sharing with me. I read in a text file that a good way to get a good recording is by going up to the balcony and placing the recorder (whether internal mics or externals) beneath the railing, aimed at the PA speaker. I plan to use my Tascam DR-2D, which has good cardioid mics, and my Roland R-05 with a pair of AT831s plugged into them. I'm confident this setup will yield some results.

Offline aaronji

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2024, 12:56:52 PM »
Even more oddball idea: Enlist a friend to help and each of you do a mono recording of one L/R stack   :o

I essentially did this last night at a John Scofield show. One mic clamped on each side of the balcony, pretty close to the stacks. The balcony was closed, except for the back, but the light guy, some guests, and the DJ were there and they warned me it might get boisterous. So I tried something new...

Came out pretty well, I think, but I haven't had the chance for a close listen yet.

Offline Pieteker

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2024, 03:43:32 PM »
Even more oddball idea: Enlist a friend to help and each of you do a mono recording of one L/R stack   :o

I essentially did this last night at a John Scofield show. One mic clamped on each side of the balcony, pretty close to the stacks. The balcony was closed, except for the back, but the light guy, some guests, and the DJ were there and they warned me it might get boisterous. So I tried something new...

Came out pretty well, I think, but I haven't had the chance for a close listen yet.

How did you clamp the mics?

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2024, 04:21:23 PM »
Nice follow up Aaron!  Did you use the 4015s?
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2024, 04:44:39 PM »
How did you clamp the mics?

I used two Manfrotto 035 SuperClamps (https://www.manfrotto.com/global/super-clamp-w-lt-stud-1-4-2900-035rl/). As there was nobody else up there, I just attached the mic clips directly to the studs. I lucked out, because I had my "erector set" (SuperClamp, 003 Nano base, 122B and 099B extension poles, 026 Umbrella adapter, plus a variety of spigots, rapid adapters, thread converters, etc.). I anticipated running either a "stand" built from this on the floor or clamping a stereo pair to the rail. The venue's lighting guy said that he could find another SuperClamp and extra long cables if I had another spigot. This worked out for the best, because they were indeed loud in the booth and also because I was with my 12-year old. He hates the floor at standing shows, which makes sense because he is a lot closer to average ass-height than I am...

Nice follow up Aaron!  Did you use the 4015s?

Indeed. I love those mics...

Offline HealthCov Chris

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2024, 04:19:55 AM »
Looks like a million places to clamp in that joint!  I bet you'll find a good spot.
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Offline Pieteker

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2024, 01:11:10 PM »
Hi again,

As I am going to position myself on the balcony next to the PA speaker, I thought of mounting my AT853s to my shoes.
What do you think? Is this the worst setup ever, or could it perhaps do something good? I assume this will minimize any loud cheers and banter next to me.




Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2024, 02:57:51 PM »
Pull 'em back to the laces - they are vulnerable out there.
Angle them apart much more widely - if wearing both on the same shoe.
Moving one over to the other foot - I suspect will work better.
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 Sebastian

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2024, 03:07:26 PM »
Bear in mind that you'll need to keep your foot steady the whole time. It is really hard not to move your head too much, but it is even harder not to move your feet. A different approach could be to attach it to the balcony railing at about knee height. This can be done with some velcro bands (like the ones that are sold as cable ties). The white mics and cable aren't ideal, but I guess nobody will notice it, especially in the dark. I've done that in the past and walked away with really nice results.

And btw: Good luck getting a good tape at the Palladium. I'm not from Cologne, but I make a point of avoiding shows there. It's just one of the worst sounding venues out there. And when it's full it gets really uncomfortable. The E-Werk on the other side of the street is a whole different story. Love that place! ;)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2024, 03:10:08 PM by Sebastian »

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2024, 05:11:40 PM »
Bear in mind that you'll need to keep your foot steady the whole time. It is really hard not to move your head too much, but it is even harder not to move your feet. A different approach could be to attach it to the balcony railing at about knee height. This can be done with some velcro bands (like the ones that are sold as cable ties). The white mics and cable aren't ideal, but I guess nobody will notice it, especially in the dark. I've done that in the past and walked away with really nice results.

And btw: Good luck getting a good tape at the Palladium. I'm not from Cologne, but I make a point of avoiding shows there. It's just one of the worst sounding venues out there. And when it's full it gets really uncomfortable. The E-Werk on the other side of the street is a whole different story. Love that place! ;)

Thanks!

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2024, 05:33:59 PM »
I have made a few very good recordings using the mic-on-each-shoe technique, but was using omnis, and seated.

Each situation is different, and in many it will be better to attach to the railing as Sebastian mentions, lay them on a table or drink rail, or do something else entirely.

Keep all these ideas in mind, adapt them and think creatively.
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Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2024, 05:39:07 PM »
If bags are allowed (even small ones), you might also be able to clip your mics to one and lay it at your feet, where it'll stay put more easily than your toes.

Offline AbbyTaper

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2024, 10:05:31 PM »
I have made a few very good recordings using the mic-on-each-shoe technique, but was using omnis, and seated.

Interesting idea.  If you're not in the first row is the sound blocked?  I'd be concerned someone edging past me to get to the washroom or whatever would step on my foot.  :)

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2024, 03:56:41 AM »
Hi again,

As I am going to position myself on the balcony next to the PA speaker, I thought of mounting my AT853s to my shoes.
What do you think? Is this the worst setup ever, or could it perhaps do something good? I assume this will minimize any loud cheers and banter next to me.
can you get white shoes to match the mics?
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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2024, 09:35:59 AM »
Nulldogma's suggestion is good. If you can do it, in a bag on the floor will be easier to manage than on-shoe.

I have made a few very good recordings using the mic-on-each-shoe technique, but was using omnis, and seated.

Interesting idea.  If you're not in the first row is the sound blocked?  I'd be concerned someone edging past me to get to the washroom or whatever would step on my foot.  :)

Did it that way for a few jazz gigs with no raised stage, seated on same floor as performers, from front row center seat or the front table.  Specifically chose to run that way seated at the table rather than typically body-worn or placed on the table itself because I wanted to use the table and the extra distance down to the floor to attenuate audience chatter - specifically whatever chatter might occur at my own table.  Attended with friends that are not generally talkative during the music, but are not tapers or church-mouse quiet. I did not want to over-shush them and wanted to be able to talk with them before/after and between pieces.  Also made it easy to just walk in with them an roll without having to set anything up.

Had previously gaff taped the same miniature omnis to the underside of the table, spaced a few feet apart peaking out from under the front edge.  That worked well too, but required some stealthy setting up, and did not attenuate nearby audience chatter as much.
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 bonghitwillie

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Re: Help needed with taping strategy!
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2024, 03:43:54 PM »
i know it is too late and i dont know what mics you use. if they are lav type mics, looking at you picture, i would gaff tape them to a pillar and stand in front of it or stand in balcony and tape mics facing out where your feet are.

 

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