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Author Topic: Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis  (Read 351 times)

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Offline vantheman

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Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis
« on: August 26, 2021, 02:01:52 PM »
Hi folks,

I took a good spin around to make sure we're not repeating ourselves, at least recently. This thread is a spinoff of my other thread where we designed a nice upgrade to my entry level AT853 rig: https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=197566.0

So I'm in search of an adjustable off the shelf stereo bar. All the ones that I see that are under a few hundred bucks seem to only extend to DIN/ORTF-ish lengths. But with these CM4s I have coming I need to go wider than that as I'm going to follow Gutbucket's Improved PAS technique. I don't need to go extremely wide but it would be nice to go to about 20" spacing. Most of the bars I've seen are designed for 5/8" mounts, and that's fine with me.

I would be mounting it to a Manfrotto flex arm however. I love this flex arm, and it has a 1/4" male mount at the end which works for my existing rig. One thing that it doesn't do is swivel, so if there's some kind of 1/4 to 5/8 adapter that would allow me to swivel the bar, that seems ideal so I have some control over the position once the bar is secured to the arm.

Bars with these specs seem rare at an affordable price. I may design my own eventually, but I'd rather just get up and running with something off the shelf in the near term, if such a thing exists.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2021, 02:10:18 PM by vantheman »
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

Offline kindms

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Re: Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2021, 02:10:48 PM »
how heavy are the mics ?

smallrig.com

we use a series of 4 of the rails to have a 4foot omni bar that breaks down in to 1 foot sections. But we use the actives with it. We have used heavier mics. They have various mounting options and adapters etc

might be worth a look also pretty inexpensive
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Offline vantheman

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Re: Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2021, 02:23:32 PM »
They are Line Audio CM4s, so not big or heavy, and each one will be mounted to one of these Rycote shock absorbers like these: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/894262-REG/rycote_041125_in_vision_stereo_pair.html
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

Offline vantheman

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Re: Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2021, 02:29:35 PM »
The whole thing should be so light I'm wondering if I can just laser cut some 1/8" ply and etch some rulers for distance.
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

Offline audBall

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Re: Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2021, 03:42:28 PM »
My modular bar is "off-the-shelf" in the sense that the adjoining segments and adapters were purchased off eBay, and the terminal mic mounts purchased from user followinbob, but any mic mounts could theoretically be attached at the ends with proper adapters. Each segment is approximately 25 grams fwiw, so wide extensions will need to be weight-considered and supported properly. The photo shows ~50cm spacing. 

https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=182199.msg2358218#msg2358218

That thread also has some great ideas from others, too related to modular mounts and smaller microphone sizes (lavalier, etc.).

Offline voltronic

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Re: Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2021, 05:32:45 PM »
They are Line Audio CM4s, so not big or heavy, and each one will be mounted to one of these Rycote shock absorbers like these: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/894262-REG/rycote_041125_in_vision_stereo_pair.html

Make sure you do not use the Duo-Lyre mounts shown in that product, as they are far too stiff for ultra-lightweight mics like the CM4.

The best mount for isolating a single CM4 is the INV-6 SOFT. Second best (slightly stiffer) is the regular INV-6.

If you are really bored and care to know why, this thread should help.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2021, 05:44:28 PM »
Access to a laser cutter! Cool!  Weight is relative.  I'm familiar with the Line Audio mics from folks here at TS using them but have not used or handled them myself.  I do recall another discussion where they were deemed too heavy for the rig being discussed (I think Voltronic posting about his modular thin carbon-fiber tubing 'T' stand designed for miniature DPA omnis), but that doesn't mean they are any heavier than other mics of similar size.  I'd think several identical laser-cut 1/8" ply parts (luan door skin material?) laminated together would do the trick without sagging or failure.  Once you get familiar with how much adjustabilty you really need and converge preference you might move to something like audBall's setup.. or go with something off-the self and modular like the smallrig.com stuff kindms and rocksuitcase are using which look well built and not over-priced - but you will still need to figure out what you want to get the right bits to assemble.  I see some stuff on that site I might pickup for my own rig.

I really like audBall's setup pictured at the above link.  It's clean, not visually intrusive, and adaptable with modular-width arrangement tailored to fit the situation rather than having unused bar extending out beyond the mics.  It does appear its fine-grained width-adjustability is somewhat constrained by the length of individual segments.  But I imagine a few shorties in the mix along with some longer ones might help with that.  My take on it is that something like that setup would be an excellent option once you determine a few typical spacings that you end up using most commonly.  For determining what those spacings might be you might want something easily and infinitely adjustable that is inexpensive to mess around with - a DIY laser-cut slotted bar made out of ply could serve that temporary role.

Something you might consider is shock mounting the bar itself where it attaches to the articulating arm, with the mics rigidly mounted to the bar, rather than individual suspending each mic on the bar.  Advantages are a cleaner, more compact and streamlined arrangement aloft, providing less visual occlusion and less windage; easier setup with a more tightly constrained relationship between the two mics (or more); less stuff up there that might get knocked askew; and the potential for improved isolation by way of the increased suspended mass and its higher at-rest inertia.  Disadvantage is needing to determine the appropriate suspension spring rate for the combined weight of bar, mounts and mics (stiffer elastics in the Rycote duo Lyre or whatever) and how it connects to the bar.  See again the photo of audBall's arrangement above.  If you didn't know it was there you might not even notice the Rycote Lyre suspending the bar at first glance.  Really nice job on that setup Horus!  Like he mentions, getting to a really optimized arrangement like that is a journey.

I use telescopic TV "rabbit ear" antennas and some custom made attachment parts in my DIY setup.  I really like the antennas as they provide an extremely wide-range of easy and rapid adjustment, and fold/telescope down compactly, but they are somewhat delicate and are really only able to support light-weight miniature mics such as your AT 853s or the miniature DPAs I use. The central hub supporting them and the cabling has a mounting stud that can be attached to a tall stand, low foot, extension bar, clamp or whatever depending on the situation.  I don't currently use shock mounts with it, but plan to add a single complaint "floater" suspending the entire array as discussed above, connected to a ball-mount - and I see one that might work at smallrig.com, thanks kindms.  It's certainly been a journey.


Edit- I see voltronic just posted prior to this post.  Correct me if I misspoke about the relative heft of the Line Audio mics above.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2021, 05:49:06 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline audBall

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Re: Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2021, 10:10:01 PM »
It does appear its fine-grained width-adjustability is somewhat constrained by the length of individual segments.  But I imagine a few shorties in the mix along with some longer ones might help with that. 

Gut, your observations and insight are always appreciated here and you are correct. These segments are 5cm in length so that constrains the iterative lengths, but those could be customized, as you mention, with shorter segments/adapters of sorts. So far, I've found that hasn't been much of a problem at distance. What helps offset that somewhat, and what I really like, is having the adjustable microphone angles (plug to The Stereophonic Zoom) at the ends with the (fb) mic mounts - which hold in place at the selected angle remarkably well.

Offline vantheman

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Re: Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2021, 10:36:08 PM »
Access to a laser cutter! Cool!

Access is a bit strong. I design my own stuff in Adobe Illustrator and send it out to a service. It’s not cheap, so it’s not my first choice. It’s necessary sometimes though. Parts of my stealth rig are laser cut plywood.
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

Offline vantheman

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Re: Off-the-shelf Stereo Bar for Subcards/Omnis
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2021, 10:37:48 PM »
They are Line Audio CM4s, so not big or heavy, and each one will be mounted to one of these Rycote shock absorbers like these: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/894262-REG/rycote_041125_in_vision_stereo_pair.html

Make sure you do not use the Duo-Lyre mounts shown in that product, as they are far too stiff for ultra-lightweight mics like the CM4.


Thanks for catching that.
AT U853A Cardioids (SP-CMC-4U) > SP-SPSB-10 12V > Sony A10

 

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