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Author Topic: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?  (Read 1423 times)

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Offline melontracks

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Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« on: September 23, 2022, 04:09:00 PM »
Taping a show in a small room tonight. I'll be able to position myself anywhere in the room I please, seated. Normally, I'd use my CA-14 Church Audio ST-11 mics with the card caps in this situation, but have lately been experimenting with the omni caps with mixed results, and I'm not sure why I'm getting good and bad results. Maybe distance from the source?

The music is "Americana" and I believe the act will be just the songwriter/multi-instrumentalist (no band). The FOH guy at the venue is great and attentive, so the sound will be good throughout the performance and throughout the room.

If you were me, where would you sit, and which caps would you use? Have meant to ask for feedback on this for a long time, but it's just now occurring to me, since I'm really just now dusting off the gear after a couple-year hiatus that I feel I'm not alone in having taken...

Thanks in advance!


Chris
« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 04:14:14 PM by melontracks »

Offline jb63

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2022, 04:32:25 PM »
OMNIs : as close to front and enter as possible. And don't overload it. I'd go for sound right from the performer to my mics.

YMMV
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Offline melontracks

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2022, 04:42:44 PM »
OMNIs : as close to front and enter as possible. And don't overload it. I'd go for sound right from the performer to my mics.

YMMV

That sounds like a plan, and easy! I was thinking if I used omnis, I'd try to enlist my wife into helping out by holding one mic to get ~3ft spacing... Would it be worth it? And how critical is the accuracy of the spacing? Is phasing an issue if I get the spacing wrong? My default mic spacing for this approach is only about 4 inches, out of convenience.

Offline DavidPuddy

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2022, 04:46:03 PM »
With omnis, if you have a "baffle" there are no issues with phasing

Offline melontracks

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2022, 05:02:04 PM »
With omnis, if you have a "baffle" there are no issues with phasing

Thank you. My wife's purse is a pretty solid baffle. Should be good to go. :)

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2022, 05:05:22 PM »
With omnis, if you have a "baffle" there are no issues with phasing

Yeah, placing omnis on your shoulders and using your head as a baffle works, as does placing mics on either side of a bag.

And that situation definitely sounds like a good candidate for omnis. After much angsting over this for indoor shows, I've finally arrived at: If it sounds good from where I am in the room, use omnis. If it sounds bad — whether because of room echo, yammering audience members, or whatever — go to cards to try to improve as much as possible on the suboptimal sound.

Good luck!

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2022, 05:06:10 PM »
Agreed with jb63 and DP.

Omnis will sound more natural and magical when you get it right, and can work well in this kind of situation, with teleportation time-machine like potential.

2 feet apart will be good up close and might be easier to do, which is about arm-rest-width in row seating, and probably easier at a table too.   Spaced less than about 1-1/2 feet is when a baffle of some sort will do most to improve things.  Anything works in a pinch, like a handbag, a coat, menu, table cards..

One thing to be careful of is if the PA is much louder than the performer, in which case you either need to be really close to the performer, or make sure you pickup enough clear PA in addition to the direct sound from the performer.  That direct sound from the performer and instruments contains the magic juju!  If it sounds good right up front in the center (with no muddy off-axis PA zone there) get right in front with the audience behind you and everything falls perfectly into place.

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2022, 05:13:02 PM »
Another trick: When recording from the row or table, if the audience is chatty or too loud, you can use something as a baffle behind the mics - between them and the audience noise - which could be seat backs, the stuff mentioned above or even you and your wife!  That won't eliminate the noise, but will make it indirect-arriving sound and thus more diffuse and less attention grabbing, and biases toward getting most of the direct sound in the recording from the performer.
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 melontracks

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2022, 05:15:43 PM »
Another trick: When recording from the row or table, if the audience is chatty or too loud, you can use something as a baffle behind the mics - between them and the audience noise - which could be seat backs, the stuff mentioned above or even you and your wife!  That won't eliminate the noise, but will make it indirect-arriving sound and thus more diffuse and less attention grabbing, and biases toward getting most of the direct sound in the recording from the performer.

I like it. Fortunately, this venue has super respectful audiences. The worst thing I've ever picked up from the aud here is the crinkling of one of those flimsy water bottles. god, i hate those things.

One thing to be careful of is if the PA is much louder than the performer, in which case you either need to be really close to the performer, or make sure you pickup enough clear PA in addition to the direct sound from the performer.  That direct sound from the performer and instruments contains the magic juju!  If it sounds good right up front in the center (with no muddy off-axis PA zone there) get right in front with the audience behind you and everything falls perfectly into place.

Interesting. I was actually worried about the wedges at the front of the stage, and picking that up instead of the performer, though I guess with omnis I'll be getting a little bit of everything. This guy plays guitar, piano, harmonica, etc., so I'll be curious to see if he even has a monitor, and where it'll be. Usually, at this place, the wedges are right at the edge of the stage, which is just a couple of feet from the front row. I'll take good notes, regardless.

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2022, 08:06:09 PM »
nothing better than taping in a small room.I've done a lot of house and small venues.sitting up close is great, you get a mixture of 'stage' and 'PA' sound.
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Offline melontracks

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2022, 10:27:51 PM »
After all that, just got down to the venue and discovered that both the wife and I had assumed the other had put my gear in her purse and neither of us had.  :facepalm:

I guess I'll always have the memories. Ha! Thanks for the tips. I'll use them next time.

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2022, 12:05:32 PM »

Nothing is more important than actually bringing all of the gear to the show.  :banging head:
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2022, 01:44:06 PM »
Another trick: When recording from the row or table, if the audience is chatty or too loud, you can use something as a baffle behind the mics - between them and the audience noise - which could be seat backs, the stuff mentioned above or even you and your wife!  That won't eliminate the noise, but will make it indirect-arriving sound and thus more diffuse and less attention grabbing, and biases toward getting most of the direct sound in the recording from the performer.

Yeah, the body acts as a great baffle, both between and behind the mics. Does a surprisingly good job of minimizing chatter from behind

Offline Papaphunk

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2022, 02:58:32 PM »
ISO wife who will hold one of my omni mic's 3 feet away from mine for an entire show  :D
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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2022, 04:38:04 AM »

Nothing is more important than actually bringing all of the gear to the show.  :banging head:
number 2 is making sure you're not too incapacitated to effectively use it

Offline jbosco

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2022, 09:10:09 AM »

Nothing is more important than actually bringing all of the gear to the show.  :banging head:
number 2 is making sure you're not too incapacitated to effectively use it

I can't tell you how many times after a show and after I've packed up all my gear I'd go find my buddy still staring at his gear, or in some conversation and unable to comprehend that the show was over and it was time to go home and I'd have to put his stuff away for him.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2022, 11:40:04 AM »
You are a good taper friend to have!
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 grawk

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2022, 06:13:23 AM »
You are a good taper friend to have!

sounds like a few phish shows in the late 90s
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Offline lmgbtapes

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2022, 03:50:57 AM »
I'm partial to omnis for a litany of reasons - many gutbucket posts on this subject have been consumed! I am always in pursuit of that time machine quality, prefer energy (and often in small-medium clubs, lack of rear chatter/bar noise) from the front, find that the drum kit is often lacking in PA mix, and to be frank, want to enjoy the shows too, which for me is being near the front. That plus the 'dollar for dollar value' has led me to primarily run omnis up close, sometimes running standard FOB setup as backup.

I have an interesting comparison to add to the mix - this venue is 250, not 150, but would put it in the same 'small venue' category-

Here's omnis (CA-14s!) on stage right near the lip center between two wedges, direct line of sight to all the amps on stage, mics inches from stage floor:
https://archive.org/details/tmg2021-08-20/02_Jaipur.flac

And here's MK4s FOB (not mine, rare show for me with fellow taper in attendance, always fun):
https://archive.org/details/tmg2021-08-20.mk4.flac24/tmg2021-08-20mk4_t02.flac

Good food for thought. Both sound great to my ears with different qualitative elements. The key piece that's often lacking with omnis on stage and no SBD to mix with is the vocals, but this isn't as severe in small rooms. For me, this is one of those time machine tapes. Plan was to get SBD for matrix but didn't pan out, and I really don't mind, which probably wouldn't be the case in a larger room.

Sorry to hear about the gear fail. Always rough. Just posting for the folks who may Google this however many decades down the line. Nice to be able to contribute, finally.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2022, 04:19:35 AM by lmgbtapes »

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2022, 09:51:10 PM »
Was just browser streaming both above links, switching back and forth.. then pulled off the quick-finger-jab manual sync trick honed long ago playing back with two R-09s, only problem in this case being the sync, once absolutely nailed (takes a few times, close listening, patience, luck) only holds for one song. Still, the combo with the FOB mk4s at about 50% volume in comparison to the stage-lip CA14 omnis is sounding particularly right.
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 roffels

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2022, 11:37:06 PM »
Was just browser streaming both above links, switching back and forth.. then pulled off the quick-finger-jab manual sync trick honed long ago playing back with two R-09s, only problem in this case being the sync, once absolutely nailed (takes a few times, close listening, patience, luck) only holds for one song. Still, the combo with the FOB mk4s at about 50% volume in comparison to the stage-lip CA14 omnis is sounding particularly right.

Definitely. I took an inexperienced stab at making a matrix of those two sources a while back, and thought they sounded best together than apart. There were some instruments that the on-stage mics just didn't pick up well but could be heard in the monitors, and the clarity afforded by the on-stage mics enhance the schoeps recording.

I ran spaced omnis (2.5 feet) and cards (ortf) both FOB in a small venue Friday. I definitely liked the sound of the cards on their own better than the omnis, but found that I prefer the omnis when mixed with the board feed I captured. I'll have to remember to post some samples once I get the ok to share this.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Omnis vs. Cards in small (150 capacity) room?
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2022, 09:08:06 AM »
Yes. That's getting at what I've posted about in the past about combining sources, in that it tends to work best when the specifics of the content between them differs such that each provides whatever is lacking in the other.  If the SBD is good, SBD and omnis or another room/audience dominant arrangement can complement each other in this way more so than SBD and a directional pair pointed at the PA because each is providing aspects that the other is clearly lacking. And reciprocally, might do so with less potential conflict where the shared content is are otherwise very similar.

In contrast a directional AUD pair on its own in isolation can represent a better balance than either the omnis or SBD on their own. But with a PA directed AUD pair the balance between direct/reverberant, clarity/room-audience involvement, instrument and frequency balance is baked in, a consequence of recording position and microphone-configuration arranged so as to pick up a bit of everything with the intent of providing a well-balanced amount of each.

That's not to say the addition of omnis or SBD won't help an AUD pair, they obviously often do.  Only that when they do it is because whatever aspect they improve was lacking in the baked-in balance of the AUD pair to begin with.  If the AUD were perfect, those additions would be superfluous.

In a way, its two different philosophical approaches.  But each work together.

Combining the sources linked above, the FOB AUD serves to provide more SBD-like clarity, as well as acting like a room pair conveying great involved and layered audience reaction.

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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