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Author Topic: Musings on shotguns vs rifles  (Read 1469 times)

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Offline tim in jersey

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Re: Musings on shotguns vs rifles
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2021, 08:24:17 PM »
The whole notion of shotguns having wide dispersion, even with bird shot, is vastly over exaggerated in the public mindset.  "You don't even have to aim" and that sort of nonsense.  Yes, there is dispersion to a certain degree when using bird/buck shot, but go to a range and try it out on cardboard targets and most people would be shocked at how tight the dispersion is at the type of home defense distances they have in mind.

That said, a shotgun is one of the most versatile guns a person can have.  I just can't help but address the widespread (no pun intended) misconception about how much the shot disperses.

Took Mom In Jersey to the shooting range recently. Almost 80, and she's *scary* accurate with the .22 target pistol my dad gave her as a wedding present...

Offline voltronic

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Re: Musings on shotguns vs rifles
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2021, 06:10:03 AM »
The whole notion of shotguns having wide dispersion, even with bird shot, is vastly over exaggerated in the public mindset.  "You don't even have to aim" and that sort of nonsense.  Yes, there is dispersion to a certain degree when using bird/buck shot, but go to a range and try it out on cardboard targets and most people would be shocked at how tight the dispersion is at the type of home defense distances they have in mind.

That said, a shotgun is one of the most versatile guns a person can have.  I just can't help but address the widespread (no pun intended) misconception about how much the shot disperses.

Thanks; that's exactly what I was trying to get across in my earlier post, and you said it more succinctly.
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Offline lsd2525

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Re: Musings on shotguns vs rifles
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2021, 09:53:58 AM »
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Offline datbrad

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Re: Musings on shotguns vs rifles
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2021, 03:07:04 PM »
One of the highlights of my GD taping days was a discussion me and my cohort Chet had with Owsley in the taping section 1st night Boston Garden'93 about my Nak CP4s + a center CP1. He was patching his Greenpeace buddy's D6 out of different rigs throughout the tour and all the tapers that night shunned him because they didn't know who it was. Chet called him over and when he saw my rig he was skeptical of the 3 mic method and went on for 15 min about the stereo purity of a pair of cards and how wrong it was to mix 3 mics. Well, he ended up patching with us anyway and he came back every night after that, so he must have not been too horrified, lol. The only time in my life I actually smiled while getting lectured about my misguided ways.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 04:51:01 PM by datbrad »
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Offline DSatz

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Re: Musings on shotguns vs rifles
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2021, 07:56:50 PM »
Well, he did have a point. Any approach toward recording is based on some particular type of playback system that it's suitable for. Historically the two main schools of thought about stereo were the one from Blumlein (two directional, coincident microphones -> two loudspeakers) and the one from AT&T Bell Labs (many microphones spaced apart -> an equal number of speakers).

Three microphones/recording channels/loudspeakers is just the Bell Labs approach stripped down to a certain compromise between effectiveness and effort/cost. But if three is better than two, then four is better than three, and so on--the more discrete channels you have (complete from microphone through recording through playback via a separate loudspeaker for each), the closer you can come to recreating the original sound waveforms of the performance.

Cutting the Bell Labs approach down even further, to two channels, leaves a notorious "hole in the middle" if the sound source is wide, such as a symphony orchestra. The technique of adding a center mike originated in an attempt to mitigate that problem. But it's only somewhat effective, and it comes at a cost of other qualities about the recording unless you are very practiced at the technique, and also rather lucky. Any time you mix signals from separate microphones into one recording/playback channel, you produce cancellations and colorations of sound that can't be straightened out by any form of subsequent processing, unless your microphones are picking up mutually-exclusive sound sources or nearly so (see the "three-to-one" rule).*

In most cases if you're limited to two playback channels then it's better, in my opinion, to give up the Bell Labs approach entirely, and use either some variant of the EMI/Blumlein approach (e.g. ORTF), or go over to a more recently developed alternative such as sphere stereo recording, IF you're sure that some representation of the original sound is what you want to capture. Otherwise multi-mike, multi-track, reverb and EQ, and create your own original project from the ingredients that the musicians provide.

_______________
* I attended (via Zoom) a very interesting historical presentation Saturday night by someone who actually went to Decca years ago, interviewed engineers, and got access to the session logs from when the "Decca Tree" was supposedly used for stereo LP recordings. It turns out that the actual setups varied considerably. Many of the later recordings so praised by certain audiophiles as classic, must-have LPs were in fact not made with the Decca Tree method at all--and that much of the time when it was used, baffles were inserted among the three microphones in an attempt to increase the separation among the channels, and there was spot miking as well. He showed a fair number of session photos. I was rather shocked; I had to unlearn and relearn this chunk of recording history.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 04:42:55 AM by DSatz »
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Offline kindms

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Re: Musings on shotguns vs rifles
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2021, 07:01:10 PM »
I'll add the places my KMR81's have worked out best have been pretty close, as when used similarly to boom mics capturing dialog right off camera.  Seems counterintuitive to the general perception of purpose.   The times I've put them into a larger mic array at distance, they give one version of a particular 'focus', but it's not very natural.  I can maybe get a bit more vocal intelligibility out of an array with a PAS shotgun in a swim sounding room, but there's a definite limit of usefulness.  It seems to work better to have an ambisonic array or dual mid side array that can be steered in post to find the best focus. 

The sound of a pump shotgun being armed nearby is probably the most terrifying to an intruder, as you don't need much of a clue in the dark to hit a target.  You will need more drywall work though......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiHHgjaR0TI

this was eye opening. you better be sure there is NOTHING you love behind or anywhere near someone you are shooting at inside or outside your home. this guy shows regular loads going through 2 internal walls and the external wall.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Musings on shotguns vs rifles
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2021, 10:10:41 PM »
I'll add the places my KMR81's have worked out best have been pretty close, as when used similarly to boom mics capturing dialog right off camera.  Seems counterintuitive to the general perception of purpose.   The times I've put them into a larger mic array at distance, they give one version of a particular 'focus', but it's not very natural.  I can maybe get a bit more vocal intelligibility out of an array with a PAS shotgun in a swim sounding room, but there's a definite limit of usefulness.  It seems to work better to have an ambisonic array or dual mid side array that can be steered in post to find the best focus. 

The sound of a pump shotgun being armed nearby is probably the most terrifying to an intruder, as you don't need much of a clue in the dark to hit a target.  You will need more drywall work though......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiHHgjaR0TI

this was eye opening. you better be sure there is NOTHING you love behind or anywhere near someone you are shooting at inside or outside your home. this guy shows regular loads going through 2 internal walls and the external wall.

I always have liked that guy's videos. He actually tests things properly instead of pontificating based on "experience".

Speaking of which - that common trope about racking the slide on the shotgun to scare an intruder could potentially get you in big trouble. It's a sure way to give away your position in the dark.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Musings on shotguns vs rifles
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2021, 06:59:12 PM »
One of the highlights of my GD taping days was a discussion me and my cohort Chet had with Owsley in the taping section 1st night Boston Garden'93...

Great story, thanks for sharing that.

* I attended (via Zoom) a very interesting historical presentation Saturday night...

And this.  I'd heard the actual recording approaches used at Decca varied significantly.  Any chance that presentation was archived online anywhere?  I'd love to see it.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Musings on shotguns vs rifles
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2021, 07:04:24 PM »
On the one microphone > one speaker stereo convention, the wisdom behind it, and carefully breaking it-

I've been out recording smaller outdoor patio gigs a couple times in the past several months before venturing down to Miami to record "for real" at an outdoor garden venue on Monday night.  It was really good to see so many local tapers show up, and hello to anyone reading this who was there. There were folks I've not seen in years, and a couple new folks I met for the first time.  Felt like things getting back to normal.  Anyway, while listening to my recording directly off the recorder over headphones yesterday, I found myself thinking about the whole multi-microphone thing, the two original approaches to stereophonic recording originating in the 1930s, later panophonic-mix based stereo, and my own oddball taper path from stereo to multichannel and back around to stereo.. sort of pulling it all into perspective. 

I realize that:
>Most people listen in 2-channel stereo, over headphones, in cars, maybe to a stereo at home.
>Few will ever experience my recordings played back in the way they were originally intended to be listened, using a 1:1 relationship between the microphones and multiple speakers properly arranged around the listeners.
>I don't even have a playback system setup to do that myself at the present time.
>Simple is often best, not as an end in and of itself, but because of the other things a simple approach makes less-problematic, more straight-forward, clear, or otherwise advantageous.
 
So, given all that, should I go back to recording just 2 to 4 channels all the time, perhaps with upgraded equipment based on a simplification of what I'm doing now?
Not personally, but I now know what microphone channels I'd use in doing that, which I'd eliminate in simplification, how things would differ, and why.  And I feel I can objectively recommend a logical path forward for tapers with similar interests.
Does it make sense and is it worth it to me to continue to record using multichannel arrays that undoubtedly seem ridiculous to most folks? 
Yes, yes, and yes.

Why? At the very least, I very much look forward to getting back to proper multichannel playback again, even if few others ever get to experience that.  It is what really hooked me and I can't let it go. Further, I certainly hope others will eventually get to experience the enveloping, transportive 3-dimensional nature of it, perhaps by way of some sort of head-tracking binaural rendering over headphones.  Yet beyond that, I decided I would still record using these multi-microphone methods even if I were to never have the opportunity to listen that way again, because I find it makes for better, more consistently-good 2-channel stereo output than I am otherwise able to achieve in taper recording scenarios.  The taper recording scenario thing is our biggest constraint and what makes this form of recording different from other forms of recording.  Ironically, it is not recording for surround but the adaptation of that recording method to 2-channel output that represents the point at which I break with the one microphone > one speaker purist stereo rule of thumb.. deliberately and a by lot. "All your base are belong to us."

^
That realization is the primary motivation for this post.  I remember when it came to me, somewhat late and counter to my expectations.  Previously I figured I was following a separate, distinctly alternate recording path, necessarily sacrificing 2-channel reproduction purity for something more correct in a multi-dimensional sense.  Most folks including experts I acknowledge and admire seemed to feel that way (optimize the recording arrangement for either 2-channel stereo or multichannel playback, better not to attempt both simultaneously), the arguments for dong so were sound, the pitfalls clear, and who was I to question 90 years of collective stereo recording history?

Stepping back a bit, I took the multi-channel recording / multi-channel playback path early upon seriously getting into live music performance taping, and did so because I found it especially well suited to conveying unique aspects of the live music experience I was hoping to re-create.  To explore this I was willing to sacrifice 2-channel stereo purity and accepted that as a necessary compromise toward achieving the greater goal.  I was happy enough to find I was able to get my microphone arrangements designed specifically for multichannel playback to work nicely for 2-channel stereo as well, realizing that in doing this I was breaking the traditional one-microphone>one-speaker rule for good of thumb for good stereo purity. Perhaps it worked because I realized early on that achieving optimal channel separation was even more important for really good multichannel playback than stereo, was challenging to achieve across the microphone array, and that the same techniques helped avoid problems when combining multiple channels in a 2-ch stereo mix.  I've posted in many threads here at TS about the complexities of running two microphone pairs with the intention of mixing them and how its not as simple as just putting up your two favorite stereo-pair configurations in the hope that their sum will be better than either alone.  That's where channel interactions between pairs get complicated.  Fortunately I realized that in doing so I gained additional degrees of control quite welcome in situations where tapers otherwise have little control.  I found I gained more than I suffered with the additional channels, as long as their potential interactions were well considered and designed around, and as as long as I was willing to make the commitment to mixing it.

It was at that point I began to make revisions to my microphone arrays which had previously focused on multichannel playback above all else, doing things to optimize them for best 2-channel output in addition to discrete multichannel output.  My hope was to develop a single recording method for myself that I was happy with regardless of playback modality.  The revelation that followed was twin-fold: First that I was able to get it to work better than I'd hoped; secondly and more fundamentally that breaking the underlying one-microphone>one-speaker purity rule was not necessarily a road to perdition as long as it's done carefully with the focus on minimizing its potential problems in light of the potential benefits.

Here's the thing about it- With regards to multichannel playback I had been operating essentially in "purist recording mode" with each microphone feeding an independent speaker for the most part.  That's definitely the case with the three front L/C/R channels, although the surround channels don't always follow a 1:1 microphone > speaker correlation.  But in 2-channel output mode I'm definitely breaking the purity rule by mixing multiple microphone channels together.. not just a couple but five each side.  I actually introduced one additional channel I use solely for the 2-channel stereo mix that does not get used at all for multi-speaker playback: a single figure-8 the addition if which turns the directional Center channel microphone into a Mid/Side pair.  It is one of the channels I would not give up if I were only recording four channels for stereo output alone, and that makes for an ironic situation: My recording arrangement for 2-ch stereo output consists of one more microphone channel than does my recording arrangement for 7-channel discrete output.

Blasphemy I know, but happy to be the weird uncle on this one.

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Offline kuba e

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Re: Musings on shotguns vs rifles
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2021, 04:13:27 PM »
Thank you for very nice posts about recording for stereo playback. I understand that one pair of microphones for recording is best for professionals. These are pure recordings, but it requires the art of placing the microphones correctly and choosing the right configuration and pattern. Unfortunately, I am not able to do that. And as Gutbucket has already written, tapers have a very limited choice of place to setup and no listening feedback. Gutbucket's multi microphones approach for tapers makes sense to me. I personally like Gutbucket's technique because it helps me with more possibilities and I can learn a lot from it. Recording on multiple microphones and processing it gives me the opportunity to be aware of at least the basic principles of acoustics and to train my hearing a bit. And most importantly, it's more fun for tapers.

 

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