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Author Topic: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3  (Read 13412 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2019, 04:34:17 PM »
Since I've got a pair of MKH 30, I'd be inclined to add a forward/back bar and just run two center MS pairs separated by some space.....and it's another thing for me to try sometime. 

I did that a few years ago for a few sets at the Wanee festival but still have not gotten around to messing with that part of the recordings.  I was running my then-standard OMT6 setup using single front/back near-spaced supercards in the center + OCT L/R supercards + wide omnis, and figured I'd add the two Naiant fig-8s I had so they were coincident with the front/back facing supercards.  I managed that by running the two fig-8 side-channels into a V3 and used it's SPDIF out to record that onto the stereo channel of the DR-680 without otherwise altering the rest of the setup.  Photos and comments are posted somewhere in the OMT pt2 thread in the Pt1 thread.







I remember thinking about which way I should orient the positive lobe of the Side fig-8 for the rear-facing M/S pair, and I think I settled on both 8's having their positive lobe facing left (stage right).  I'd have to check my notes to be sure.  Obviously one can invert polarity to flip it either way, but this orientation seemed less confusing.  Also its in agreeance with how the rear-facing part of a standard Double M/S setup is handled, except for using separate Side mics instead of sharing a single one.

Quote
All that raises the question of delay use, and what it might or might not do for you.  Duplicate a set of DMS output channels and delay one set to simulate spacing.  Not the same result as the real thing, but maybe also useful, lacking the real thing.   In studio work I have delayed the rear output on certain room sounds to create artificially long first reflections, or used the delayed signal to feed reverbs, not using the delayed signal in a raw audible form.

Delay is certainly an option to play around with and can be useful.  When using the omnis as surround channels I found that in order to be able to use the most appropriate level of that content I sometimes need to apply a touch of delay to perceptually keep the front image locked in front rather than leaking too much into the surrounds.  It works to serve that purpose.  Yet I'd rather set things up so I don't need to do that, because to the same degree that it improves front/back separation for sounds arriving from the front, it compromises the admittedly much less critical directional imaging from all directions other than the front.  For example, with such a delay in place, distinct sounds which should be heard originating behind the listener or off to the side are reproduced first in front (to the extent that the content bleeds into the front microphones) before the delayed surrounds reproduce the direct arrival which actually reached their microphones first.   

That's why I speculated a few years back about substituting rear-facing subcardioids for the wide-spaced omnis when I was using the omnis to feed the surround channels- the idea being that as almost-omnis they would still capture good LF extension, yet their directional pattern would attenuate the mid and high frequency directional content arriving from the front by -6dB (the difference in subcard rear vs front sensitivity) without that content being overly colored due to the good off-axis behavior of subcards.  That's attractive because I'd noted an approximate 6dB difference between the the prefered level for the surround channels and the maximum level at which the front image stayed locked in front without delay applied to the surround channels.   The ephemeral small/lightweight AT853 subcards may have worked really well for this, but owning no subcards myself instead I reinstituted use of the DIY spherical APE balls to make the 4061 omnis a bit directional if only at HF, oriented to face backwards +/- 45 degrees.  Probably still needs delay or EQ to avoid the front image pull to the rear, but maybe a bit less of it.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 09:50:09 AM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2019, 05:17:48 PM »
Lauten LS-308 could figure into this conversation.  I don't know anyone that's used one yet.  Second order cardioid with two capsules.   It'd be a pain to mount in an array. 

Interesting, hadn't seen that yet.  Here's their webpage on that 2nd order cardioid- https://www.lautenaudio.com/ls-308

Looking for photos with enough light through its elongated screen housing basket to reveal what's in there, it seems like it uses a more-or-less-standard double-sided capsule positioned at the silver end of the basket.  See this photo which seems to show empty space in the black portion of the basket- 



Presumably it uses some kind of interesting fixed filtering rather than a straight sum/difference electrical summing network like an electrically switched multipattern LD does using a similar double-sided capsule.  Perhaps the elongated basket is to keep the region immediately behind the mic clear enough for the fancy filtered summing to work correctly without unwanted rear-proximity artifacts.   /speculation

Precedent is the Schoeps SuperCMIT which incorporates a separate rear facing supercardioid in the same mic body along with advanced DSP processing to increase off-axis rejection in their fancy digital output only shotgun.  When you brought the Sanken WMS-50 to my attention this morning I noted its rear-facing capsule, and thought - "this thing could potentially have DSP processing applied similar to what the SuperCMIT is doing in order to increase off-axis rejection performance of the forward facing shotgun, applied afterward in post".  Granted the SuperCMIT filtering is proprietary and presumably needs to be custom tuned to the particulars of the microphone to work correctly.

I suspect we are likely to seem more of this kind of directional enhancement using multiple capsules in one microphone + clever signal processing in the future.. and not just in >1st order ambisonic mics where it is now mostly found.  I can imagine a microphone similar to the WMS-50 which leverages all its capsules in order to improve directionality and off-axis performance along all axes to an extent otherwise not possible from the raw output of each capsule alone.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 01:37:37 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline EmRR

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2019, 12:11:26 PM »
Since I've got a pair of MKH 30, I'd be inclined to add a forward/back bar and just run two center MS pairs separated by some space.....and it's another thing for me to try sometime. 

I did that a few years ago for a few sets at the Wanee festival but still have not gotten around to messing with that part of the recordings.  I was running my then-standard OMT6 setup using single front/back near-spaced supercards in the center + OCT L/R supercards + wide omnis, and figured I'd add the two Naiant fig-8s I had so they were coincident with the front/back facing supercards. 

Super compact!

Quote
All that raises the question of delay use, and what it might or might not do for you.  Duplicate a set of DMS output channels and delay one set to simulate spacing.  Not the same result as the real thing, but maybe also useful, lacking the real thing.   

Delay is certainly an option to play around with and can be useful.  When using the omnis as surround channels I found that in order to be able to use the most appropriate level of that content I sometimes need to apply a touch of delay to perceptually keep the front image locked in front rather than leaking too much into the surrounds.  It works to serve that purpose.  Yet I'd rather set things up so I don't need to do that, because to the same degree that it improves front/back separation for sounds arriving from the front, it compromises the admittedly much less critical directional imaging from all directions other than the front.  For example, with such a delay in place, distinct sounds which should be heard originating behind the listener or off to the side are reproduced first in front (to the extent that the content bleeds into the front microphones) before the delayed surrounds reproduce the direct arrival which actually reached their microphones first.   


The timing displacement of delay in this range doesn't seem like it would exceed 1-2 mS normally.  In most cases it seems to present as a barely detectable stretching of the room.   I need to play with it more.  I feel like the bigger difference I hear is whether or not there are multiple triangulated timing differences, or an artificial triangulation. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2019, 03:46:04 PM »
I think what is optimal is coincident stereo across the front, near-spaced multichannel stereo bolstering that with directional cues from all other directions and knitting everything together, and wide-spaced omnis providing decorrelated diffuse ambient pickup and bass heft.  By comparison I consider coincident-stereo all the way around make be a significant compromise in spatial quality, but it is very attractive in terms of practicality.

Not gonna argue with that at all, but:

One thing I've noticed with the Sennheiser MKH mics in MS or DMS is improved spatial quality and much deeper bass.  They are the first mics I've owned that rendered an image which made me have vivid flashbacks to the space during the capture.  The recording I ran the other night has more bass in the MS than it does in the spaced Oktava omni's, which deliver the bottom almost too well on their own.  If I go to omni mid with the MKH 800 Twin, it's almost too much.  If I were to guess what those mics improve upon, it's greater linearity in response at all angles.  Not that the spaced omni's don't add spatial quality, they certainly do, just that there is probably always room for improvement within what's used in coincident positions.  Those mics were a huge stretch for me, and I've felt justified in the decision every time I hear the results. 

I'm at a loss to evaluate surround mixes, which I'm sure would change my perspective a lot.  I can generate them easily, there's just not a monitor system in place to give guidance.   
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2019, 05:11:51 PM »
we rant a pseudo OMT last night

split dpas, akg ck61 PAS and AKG c426 hyper x/y 90deg

rsc taped the dpas to the railing

AKG c426, AKG414 XLS/ST, AKG ck61, ck22, >nBob colettes >PFA > V3, SD MixPre >  TCM-Mod Tascam HDP2, Sony M10
Little Bear tube Pre >Outlaw Audio 2200 Monoblocks > VR-2's

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2019, 06:23:57 PM »
^ Right on.  I need to go tape something!

RE: two center MS pairs separated by some space

The timing displacement of delay in this range doesn't seem like it would exceed 1-2 ms normally.  In most cases it seems to present as a barely detectable stretching of the room.   I need to play with it more.  I feel like the bigger difference I hear is whether or not there are multiple triangulated timing differences, or an artificial triangulation. 

The typical delay needed to help disassociate the front image from bleeding into the surround channels is in the 10-25ms range, or an order of magnitude more than the 1-2ms corresponding to the front/back microphone position spacing.  Still not long enough to be perceived as a discrete echo or reflection but easily audible, but shifts directional imaging around strongly. 

I've played around with shorter 1-4ms time difference compensations for the center channel using both a physical center speaker and a phantom center.  It makes an audible difference yet is considerably more subtle.  I'm not convinced a precise alignment is critical..  or rather, I've convinced myself that I needn't worry too much about exact center mic spacing forward, partly because I can tweak center timing a bit withing that range if it helps lock in the front image or transient clarity.

Delay and level compensation is something Image Assistant lets you model as well, although that's hidden in a separate preferences popup.  Without adjusting any of that, Image Assistant assumes equal level and timing across all microphone channels.  Some of William's multichannel microphone array setups specify time and delay compensations to be applied to certain channels for the image linking between sectors to line-up correctly.  A smaller subset of them are "native arrays" which work as intended without any such compensation.  I find his arrays work well in terms of natural imaging, but I'm not concerned with achieving super accurate image-linking all the way around the listener including the side and back sectors so I tend to use his setups more as "known good" guidelines.  When I'm thinking about the multichannel microphone setup geometry I want, I'll search through his setups and compare a few which are close to what I want for other reasons, sort of converging on a solution.

One thing I've noticed with the Sennheiser MKH mics in MS or DMS is improved spatial quality and much deeper bass.  They are the first mics I've owned that rendered an image which made me have vivid flashbacks to the space during the capture.  The recording I ran the other night has more bass in the MS than it does in the spaced Oktava omni's, which deliver the bottom almost too well on their own.  If I go to omni mid with the MKH 800 Twin, it's almost too much.  If I were to guess what those mics improve upon, it's greater linearity in response at all angles.  Not that the spaced omni's don't add spatial quality, they certainly do, just that there is probably always room for improvement within what's used in coincident positions.  Those mics were a huge stretch for me, and I've felt justified in the decision every time I hear the results.

I've never used them but those Senns are hard to beat in those aspects from everything I've heard from folks like yourself familiar with them.  I suspect it's their linearity of response at all angles combined with good phase behavior throughout the frequency spectrum and phase match between microphones.  Those kind of attributes should be important for a coincident technique work at its best.  By contrast spaced omnis are essentially randomizing phase above a certain frequency as determined by the spacing between them, goodness almost in sort of a diametrically opposed way.

A really good coincident stereo recording can stand so well on its own in depth and spatial terms that it sometimes causes me to question the stereotypical conceptions of coincident verses spaced stereo techniques.  I think the quality of the microphone(s) has a lot to do with that.  And I think its also dependent on a good recording situation.  It doesn't fake things so much, even in a good way, but rather gets things right or not right within the ultimate constraint of how good the soundfield situation was in the location where the microphones were placed. 

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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: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2019, 06:32:09 PM »

RE: two center MS pairs separated by some space

The timing displacement of delay in this range doesn't seem like it would exceed 1-2 ms normally.  In most cases it seems to present as a barely detectable stretching of the room.   I need to play with it more.  I feel like the bigger difference I hear is whether or not there are multiple triangulated timing differences, or an artificial triangulation. 

The typical delay needed to help disassociate the front image from bleeding into the surround channels is in the 10-25ms range, or an order of magnitude more than the 1-2ms corresponding to the front/back microphone position spacing.  Still not long enough to be perceived as a discrete echo or reflection but easily audible, but shifts directional imaging around strongly. 

I've played around with shorter 1-4ms time difference compensations for the center channel using both a physical center speaker and a phantom center.  It makes an audible difference yet is considerably more subtle.  I'm not convinced a precise alignment is critical..  or rather, I've convinced myself that I needn't worry too much about exact center mic spacing forward, partly because I can tweak center timing a bit within that range if it helps lock in the front image or transient clarity.

10-25mS; ok, totally different ballgame.  What about with a stereo mix?  That's where my thinking was.   
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2019, 07:12:37 PM »
I haven't messed with center channel timing tweaks in stereo mixes as much.  In some ways it might matter more than with discrete L/C/R playback because in the 2ch case its summing electrically in the mix rather than "in air" in the room, which could make for more audible combing related effect.  Let me know what you find if you play around with it.  I'll do the same.
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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: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2019, 12:25:24 PM »
I wonder what spacing standards exist, or if there are opposing schools of thought, amongst nature recordists.  Im thinking particularly of the low end from lightning strikes.   Might put some outside fenceposts on the concept, or it might not.....maybe just another signpost. 

I duplicated the rear signal from the MKH 800 Twin and delayed it a bunch of different ways, in a mix with the front and rear also combined to make a wide cardioid as part of a MS signal.  I didn't find anything with that particular situation that sounded better, always a more cloudy result when I really started comparing mute/unmute.  Probably more of a surround thing. 
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 08:09:52 PM by EmRR »
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2019, 09:32:45 AM »
I suspect so.  Thanks for the confirm on delays to coincident channels in the stereo mix. 

Interesting angle on nature recordists' approach for low frequency capture.
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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: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2019, 09:46:42 AM »
Interesting angle on nature recordists' approach for low frequency capture.

I've done a good bit of thunderstorm captures with omni MS, and you get good crackling motion, but main strike is always close to mono.  I wonder what decorelation does for that, or if it's impractical due to the very low frequency.  It may blur the directional cues in the coincident image by the time it's wide enough to give effect.  Or it may require severe low-passing. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2019, 06:16:26 PM »
Grabbed an Impact LS-3SAP pole, seems unique in that it has a 2 way socket that'll give you a right angle, or remove the stud to used it as an extension.  I haven't noticed any other mention of this hardware around here. 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1339819-REG/impact_ls_3sap_adjustable_pole_with_socket.html

I used the right angle socket to mount it to a Manfrotto 154 as a width extension, and with the Manfrotto pole moved all the way to one side, you can get 2 feet out on either side of center, more if not worried about center.  V shaped bars are easy too, if you wanted to have center forward of sides. 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/503258-REG/Manfrotto_154B_154_Triple_Microphone_Holder.html/c/product/503258-REG/154_Triple_Microphone_Holder_Bar_Black_
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2019, 02:25:47 AM »
I did some searching bu couldn’t find much... had anybody tried using a figure-eight mic as a center channel between two split omnis? I feel like I might be misunderstanding how that type of microphone works... but it seems like if you had a MixPre-3 this setup would give you both the center clarity from the stage and some of that rear-facing goodness that OMT advocates.
Mics: Line Audio CM4 (sc); Line Audio OM1 (o); Audio-Technica AT853Rx (c, sc, o); Audio-Technica ATU853 (c, o); Oktava MK-012 (hc, c, o)

Decks: Sound Devices MixPre-3, Marantz PMD661 (Oade warm mod), Marantz PMD620MKII, Marantz PMD-706 (Oade warm and concert mods)

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2019, 07:48:16 AM »
I did some searching bu couldn’t find much... had anybody tried using a figure-eight mic as a center channel between two split omnis? I feel like I might be misunderstanding how that type of microphone works... but it seems like if you had a MixPre-3 this setup would give you both the center clarity from the stage and some of that rear-facing goodness that OMT advocates.

I have landed on figure 8 center sometimes, gives the most forward directional pattern (outside of a shotgun, which will be more forward in the upper mids and treble, but less forward in the lows), fine so long as having the rear pattern is cool.  If there's a bunch of junk from behind then it won't be so great.  Rejects maximum up/down/side, can be good in narrow rooms or low ceilings.  If PA is wide relative to stage, then you might miss some PA sound with figure 8.  All depends on position. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2019, 11:05:22 AM »
Grabbed an Impact LS-3SAP pole, seems unique in that it has a 2 way socket that'll give you a right angle, or remove the stud to used it as an extension.  I haven't noticed any other mention of this hardware around here. 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1339819-REG/impact_ls_3sap_adjustable_pole_with_socket.html

That's the most recent one I picked up a while back.  Works well into a superclamp because it allows me to orient the extension either vertically or horizontally from the clamp. I most frequently use it in combination with one of these folding feet to create a short stand:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1119713-REG/impact_ls_3sb_backlight_stand_base.html

A few weeks ago I played around with finding the best way to record a friends jazz trio at their regular outside patio gig.  No PA, and no real good place to put the rig without it being either overly distant or in the way directly in front of the band, so I tried placing the mic array over the band looking directly downward.  To do that I placed my big stand next to the drummer with the LS-3SAP extension extending vertically so that I could use the 90 degree oriented stud socket at the top to mount the mic array facing straight down.  That fit nicely and got the array in good proximity with a good stereo perspective, without it being a nuisance.  Only problem was the guitar and keys amps placed on the ground were then 90-degrees off axis and came across overly diffuse.  Made for a sweet recording of the drums though!
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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