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Author Topic: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”  (Read 4233 times)

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Offline prepschoolalumniblues

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How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« on: July 30, 2019, 12:19:13 PM »
I’m a new taper and I’m trying to learn as much as possible about different recording configurations so I can try them out for myself. (It’s been so nice to have this forum as a resource!) As I read more details about setups, I’m wondering how tapers estimate measurements like “x feet from the stage.” Do you go off of the seating chart? Having a keen sense of spatial reasoning? If you have a specific approach to this I’d love to learn more.

Offline seethreepo

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2019, 12:58:00 PM »
if you want to get crazy precise drop a few gps pins and do the math between the two. Otherwise I think its educated guessing for the most part (in my case for sure) .   
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Offline bobwiely

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2019, 01:11:07 PM »
There is an iOS app that is called “mic tools”
Under the Stereo Mic Tools section select
Recording Angle Calculator.
The bombview screen for stereo mic alignment is amusing but legit... it makes me chuckle 🤷‍♂️
Play with that as you read countless posts / aes papers,
and of course curse your way through lots of trial and error...
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Offline Gordon

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2019, 01:39:17 PM »
I rarely list distance from stage.  I do list stand/mic height as that is much easier to estimate.  I'm about 5'11"-6'  with my arm sticking straight up that adds about 18" to that.  So that's roughly 7.5' so easy to estimate the rest.  I generally run 8-8.5 high.
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Offline heathen

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2019, 01:50:11 PM »
OK... First I'll access the secret military spy satellite that's in a geosynchronous orbit over the Midwest. Then, I'll ID the limo by the vanity plate "MR. BIGGG" and get his approximate position. Then, I'll reposition the transmitter dish on the remote truck to 17.32 degrees east, hit WESTAR 4 over the Atlantic, bounce the signal down into the Azores, up to COMSAT 6, beam it back to SATCOM 2 transmitter number 137, and down on the dish on the back of Mr. Big's limo... It's almost too easy.




Just kidding...I eyeball it.  Welcome aboard.
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Offline lsd2525

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2019, 02:11:20 PM »
Some venues (mostly local around here) I'll actually carry a measuring tape. I do a lot of mic+SBD>video camera on the fly matrices so I want to set the mic delay as close as possible. Sometimes I'll "walk it off". I usually guess it within a few feet give or take.
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Offline ideal77dlr

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2019, 02:34:01 PM »
To be honest it comes from practice. I even sometimes make ‘micro adjustments’ in terms of where I’m standing during the first song. Rarely do I get this wrong. It just comes with doing it multiple times. If anything, most tapers are too far back.

If you’re starting out, try going to a big show rather than a small one, simply because there’s more sound around you and it’s louder - and point your mics, A-B style, at the stacks about 15-20 feet away and try to get those metres around -12db.

Do that a couple of times and you’ll develop a feel for what works and what doesn’t.
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Offline prepschoolalumniblues

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2019, 03:52:26 PM »
Thanks everyone!

Offline TheMetalist

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2019, 04:12:54 PM »
most tapers are too far back.

I agree with this.

It's unfortunately impossible to get the perfect answer to your question. Tapers have different taste. Personally I want to catch so much of the stacks direct sound as possible before the sound starts to bounce around or change tone for whatever reason. So, I'm always pretty close to the stacks. Left, right or center depends on the venue. Other tapers want a more of the natural room sound. They surely prefer to be further back. And it's of course also many other things that will affect your recording. Close your eyes and trust you ears is my recommendation.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2019, 04:43:52 PM »
I have a hard time estimating the distances myself. If there are seats, I will count the rows back and then estimate the width of a single row. The smaller distance is easier to pinpoint. I have also estimated from venue diagrams that are often available on the web in the "technical specifications" section. In the end, I don't worry about it too much, to be honest.
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Offline jeenash

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2019, 05:29:41 PM »
For open taping bands you probably won't have much choice. I've found at most taper friendly venues they allow stands only in certain areas. Some spots are better than others.

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2019, 06:01:20 PM »
For open taping bands you probably won't have much choice. I've found at most taper friendly venues they allow stands only in certain areas. Some spots are better than others.
Or walk in @ sound check, set up wherever the fuck you want, dial in your dialiables and then bounce after to go get dinner with the band. Make sure to come back high as duck and make fun of your friends who are sitting in line... 🤦‍♂️

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2019, 04:31:19 PM »
Angle estimation- A clenched fist held at arm's length and viewed through one squinted eye covers ~10°.  Calibrate your own fist by comparing multiple fist widths against some known, easily observed angle.  I've learned how much protruding thumb knuckle I need to include in the fist-width measurement to get it very close to 10°, which works out to a tolerance of around +/- 5° for typical PAS angles.   Using this method I found myself estimating the screen width at a movie theater last week to be right about 50 degrees as viewed from my seat during a boring trailer.

Distance estimation- Calibrate your stride-length in a similar manner to walk off distances pretty accurately.  When estimating relatively close distances from my seat, I'll sometimes imagine how many "me's" laying on the floor head to foot it would take to span the distance.  Alternately, look for some item or feature of a known dimension, say 10' to 20' long and and mentally overlay multiples of that.
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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2019, 05:22:07 PM »
Real answer:  guess-timate...

You could pace it off it its a venue with no seating - each step is about 30 inches.

Or count the seated rows and multiply by 3ft. 

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2019, 05:47:02 PM »
Record the SBD on the same clock, then count samples, divide by sample rate, and multiply the time by the speed of sound to find the distance.


Or usa a laser?
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2019, 08:29:53 PM »
Record the SBD on the same clock, then count samples, divide by sample rate, and multiply the time by the speed of sound to find the distance.

Don't forget latency through the digital mixing board, may be minor but should be subtracted for a truly accurate measure.
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<<

Offline morst

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2019, 10:08:27 PM »
Record the SBD on the same clock, then count samples, divide by sample rate, and multiply the time by the speed of sound to find the distance.

Don't forget latency through the digital mixing board, may be minor but should be subtracted for a truly accurate measure.
Whoa! I was only thinking about counting in post, where everything is frozen in time already. But that's true. All digital gear must induce latency although for instance, the Dante network which is often used for digital audio signal routing usually runs at an expected latency of 1ms
https://www.audinate.com/faq-catagories/latency


"Latency should always be set as low as is possible. In a live sound system, transport latency less than 1ms is expected, because many other parts of the signal path (signal processors) also add to the overall system latency. "


at 48kHz, 1 ms is 480 samples, at 44.1 its 441. So at 1127 ft/sec, 1 ms is 1.127 feet!
Thanks Gutbucket!
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Offline Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B)

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2019, 10:10:42 PM »
I don't even put that info in my TXT file!

I did start putting OTS or FOB when there are 2 independent sections because otherwise some people will ask in comments.  Obviously if you weren't at the show, or aren't familiar with the venue that doesn't help much.

I really should document that info (and a lot more info like mic configs) more, but I forget so often that I don't bother.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2019, 09:33:20 AM »
Strikes me that what gets noted sort of serves as a taper's personal mark in some ways.  I always chuckle when I see temperature and humidity noted in capnhook's txt files.

Main things I'm looking for are typically the gear used (almost always noted) and mic configuration (not consistently noted).
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<<

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2019, 10:50:18 AM »
S.W.A.G. for depth measurements. If I can, I count rows of seats, or perhaps unique "landmarks" as a more accurate measure.
I list everything, and take pictures, as i know for a fact, that I'll forget everything as soon as I don't.

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2019, 03:08:57 PM »
Strikes me that what gets noted sort of serves as a taper's personal mark in some ways.  I always chuckle when I see temperature and humidity noted in capnhook's txt files.
That's a great idea since those directly affect the speed of sound.
How would you measure RH though, does hook bring a sling psychrometer to gigs?????
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2019, 04:00:10 PM »
These days he probably checks weather on his phone.

..But we both live in Florida, where long-time residents have been known to develop an uncannily accurate sense for humidity in addition to swimming-pool/ocean-water temperature!
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<<

Offline daspyknows

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2019, 11:14:20 PM »
Pretty sure I read the trick was putting recorders with internals all around the venue and winging it.

But seriously, in my experience stealthing most cases when it's GA it's a rough estimate based on a variety of factors including crowd, proximity to center barriers (if any) and distance from stage, if stealthing with reserved seats it is just luck scoring the best possible tickets and in the majority of open taping situations the location is dictated by the venue since setting up in the "perfect" spot for taping is not going be allowed.  Bands with a taping section do not put tapers in the best spot for taping.   

Offline barrettphisher

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2019, 07:03:42 PM »
most tapers are too far back.

I agree with this.

It's unfortunately impossible to get the perfect answer to your question. Tapers have different taste. Personally I want to catch so much of the stacks direct sound as possible before the sound starts to bounce around or change tone for whatever reason. So, I'm always pretty close to the stacks. Left, right or center depends on the venue. Other tapers want a more of the natural room sound. They surely prefer to be further back. And it's of course also many other things that will affect your recording. Close your eyes and trust you ears is my recommendation.

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2020, 06:02:41 AM »
Another way to estimate distance is to get really good at disc golf.
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Offline Twenty8

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2020, 09:28:35 AM »
Another way to estimate distance is to get really good at disc golf.

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2020, 08:58:48 PM »
Yes-edumacated guesstimating I would say. From years in marching band, I got a perspective as to what 100 yards and what 10 yards (30 feet) is like. From years doing sound then taping bands I got a different perspective with added guesstimating tools. Also, as someone said, the average depth of a row, foot space with chair, is about 3 feet.
additionally, some measure from stage, I guesstimeasure from stacks. (not always the same measurement)
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Offline voltronic

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2020, 06:02:17 AM »
I have used this app for years to find angles from my rig position.  It works very well.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appyhand.bearingcompass
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Offline Twenty8

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Re: How do you estimate recording location “coordinates?”
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2020, 09:27:16 AM »
After figuring out distance and using the chart I have printed from the "Improved PAS" thread, I used this app for angle finding.
Super handy as it lets you take a picture for all your angle needs.
If I need PAS, or P.outside.the.S, its invaluable.  I use it anytime I am not using a Shapeways mount.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.keuwl.protractor&hl=en_US
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 09:32:41 AM by Twenty8 »
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