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Author Topic: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3  (Read 24729 times)

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Offline kuba e

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #165 on: March 13, 2020, 08:54:17 PM »
Thank you. It is nice from you.

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #166 on: March 18, 2020, 02:07:26 PM »
Slick!  Digging the press-in friction mounting of the antennas via deformation of the rubber "bushings".  It's innovative, simple, low-profile, and appears to be quick to setup and break down. Nice work!
Yeah kuba, very slick! I really like this approach to the wide small omnis. +T
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E|DPA 4060 SK
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Offline heathen

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #167 on: April 12, 2020, 03:09:38 PM »
Question for the OMT experts.  I'm finally getting around to working on my JRAD Red Rocks recording from last summer.  I ran DPA 4061s spread as wide as I could...at least 15 feet I'd say.  Going into the show I was planning on sticking with just that but for the hell of it I took a patch from Todd R's MG M200 rig that was set up in the center of the "section" (and thus about the center of my DPAs).  I figured I could use those sweet sweet MGs to fill in the center of the DPAs if needed.

When I started mixing them together, though, the stereo image got weird at times.  It's most noticeable on a guitar solo, where it will sound like it starts to come from one side then shifts to the other side (left/right in the stereo image, that is).  I kept track of which mics were in which channel so I'm pretty confident I don't have the L/R channels mixed up.  I did try swapping the channels of one set of mics and that seriously messed things up so I don't think that's the issue.  Todd's mics were in a near-spaced configuration...I think it was approximately DIN.

Does anyone have an idea about what could be going on here?

I chickened out and only posted the DPAs.  If anyone is bored and wants to take a crack at mixing the sources just let me know and I'll get you the master files.
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pres: CA9200 | DPA d:vice Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #168 on: April 13, 2020, 11:13:56 AM »
^ Sounds good here straight up Lucas.  Enjoying it this morning, thx.  Currently rollin' the sweet Bird Song.


I had some fun messing around with OMT in a giant sewer pipe the last couple weekends- https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=194159.msg2327608#msg2327608
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 11:25:55 AM by Gutbucket »
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 heathen

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #169 on: April 13, 2020, 04:44:10 PM »
^ Sounds good here straight up Lucas.  Enjoying it this morning, thx.  Currently rollin' the sweet Bird Song.


I had some fun messing around with OMT in a giant sewer pipe the last couple weekends- https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=194159.msg2327608#msg2327608

Thanks.  If nothing else it's interesting to switch back and forth between my recording and the official recording, because it really illustrates that "hole in the middle" effect from listening to just the wide-spaced omnis on their own.  Which is not to say that I think mine is bad, it's just a radically different presentation of the sound.

I'd love to hear some of the sewer pipe stuff!
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pres: CA9200 | DPA d:vice Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #170 on: April 13, 2020, 05:57:06 PM »
Was good fun playing into opposite ends of the shorter pipe length a couple days ago, mostly doing simple 2 chord jams for her to practice simple yet timely fingering changes.  I'll have to listen to see if we were able to make it through a complete segment without embarrassment!  Only brought the phone along for that session so as not to intimidate the fresh upstart talent on the other end.
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 Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #171 on: July 31, 2020, 11:21:10 AM »
Linking this post I made over in The World's Finest Blumlein Array thread.  In it I posted about a realization of why I think the approaches covered here are important at a basic fundamental "gestalt" level if you will.  Although that realization isn't particularly new, it has grown increasingly clear to me as I progress along my own taping journey.

Len's links to derivations of virtual arrays of two and three 2nd order hypercardioids in comparison to Blumlein are what sparked my reflections and serve as notable data-points applicable to OMT.
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 heathen

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #172 on: October 11, 2020, 04:51:55 PM »
Almost two years late, I finally got around to this one: https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=195497.0

I ran AT4031s 13" and 110* apart.  In the center I ran AT853 subcards facing directly forwards and directly backwards.  I didn't end up using the rear-facing mic.  There was already more than enough room sound for my taste, and I didn't think the recording benefited from having it in the mix.  Speaking of the mix, I ended up using more of the center mic than I initially imagined I would.  There was a point where it really seemed to anchor everything, and I went with that.  I did some fairly mild EQ once the three mics were mixed down to stereo.  Unfortunately, I don't think the sound was all that great that night.  The bass is largely lost in the mix, and the low end is mostly mush other than the booming kick drum.

For anyone interested in a comparison, here's Ricky's recording from the same stand, but he was using a PAS configuration: https://archive.org/details/Spafford2018-10-27.AKG.P170.AUD.flac16 and here is another source...I think this stand was about 10 feet closer than us, but way towards the stage right side: https://archive.org/details/Spafford2018-10-27.Spafford.Ogden.Denver.DarKeLive
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pres: CA9200 | DPA d:vice Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline fireonshakedwnstreet

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #173 on: October 11, 2020, 07:08:25 PM »
Almost two years late, I finally got around to this one: https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=195497.0

Nice warm sound and has some punch.
Mics: AT853Rx (C,O); ATM41HE; Nak 300 (CP-1/2); Samson CO2
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Offline EmRR

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #174 on: October 11, 2020, 09:15:21 PM »
Almost two years late, I finally got around to this one: https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=195497.0

 Unfortunately, I don't think the sound was all that great that night.  The bass is largely lost in the mix, and the low end is mostly mush other than the booming kick drum.

For anyone interested in a comparison, here's Ricky's recording from the same stand, but he was using a PAS configuration: https://archive.org/details/Spafford2018-10-27.AKG.P170.AUD.flac16 and here is another source...I think this stand was about 10 feet closer than us, but way towards the stage right side: https://archive.org/details/Spafford2018-10-27.Spafford.Ogden.Denver.DarKeLive

Sounds good.  The comparisons are interesting.  See what you mean about the kick.  Common problem in one club here.  You might try some tricks in RX7/8 Rebalance, might be able to make some bass to even up against that kick.  I'm in the process of pulling apart a mono 4060 recording and equalizing the stems separately, pretty amazing what the RX8 update will do. 
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

Offline kuba e

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #175 on: October 12, 2020, 09:57:47 AM »
Thanks Heathen, the recording sounds pleasant. From my little experience, when I recorded couple times with the rear microphone far in the audience, it turned out that it is better to first use a pair xy in the center and only when the channel is free, then add a rear microphone. When I have xy, I can make an m/s adjustment and that is a big advantage for me over the single forward microphone. But maybe your configuration can be successful when we are closer to the stage.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #176 on: October 12, 2020, 06:55:14 PM »
Thanks for posting the recordings Heathen.  Its informative to be able to compare with the two other recordings.  Listening around the general frequency response differences, which is almost always the first thing I notice and recognizing that influences perception of other aspects, I hear more 3 dimensionality in your recording which is one of the things I've come to expect from an OMT arrangement.  Interestingly, I notice more audience pickup in the Ricky's PAS stereo pair.  That's somewhat surprising as I imagine the PAS angle from the recording position you both shared was likely significantly less than the 110° used between your AT's.


This brings to mind something I find useful in considering how an arrangement of microphones works in a collective sense.  Not with regards to stereo image pattern overlap, but in terms of overall sensitivity and how that sensitivity is distributed. I've posted previously about the overall sensitivity pattern of an array. By which I mean the collective combination of all microphones in the array in sort of a monophonic sense, at least in that they overlap each other and produce a collective sensitivity pattern "shape".  We modify this collective sensitivity pattern before recording by choosing the patterns, angles and positions of the microphones which form the array.  We further modify the shape of that pattern afterward by choosing which channels to include and adjusting their levels relative to each other.  One thing adjusting the level of the center microphone channel against the Left and Right microphone channels does is modify the shape of the collective sensitivity pattern of the array.

The entire picture is considerably more complex, but this way of thinking is a useful simplification for illuminating the most fundamental aspect of an array's overall sensitivity to the 3d sound field in which it is immersed at the recording location.

On the Sengpiel Audio stereo microphone array visualizer [http://www.sengpielaudio.com/HejiaE.htm], the collective sensitivity is represented by a single grey pattern line which surrounds the two smaller, individual microphone pattern lines in red.  When initially loaded, the virtualzer defaults to an EBS microphone setup, which is a pair of cardioids spaced 25cm and angled 90° apart from each other.  The polars of the individual microphones in red are cardioid shaped. The collective sensitivity pattern of the two in combination is shown in grey and also cardioid shaped.  It's actually something of a directly forward-facing subcardioid.  If you change the angle between mics from 90° to 0° the collective pattern tightens up to a true cardioid.. if you change the angle to 180° it widens into more of a circular shape, indicating a more omnidirectional collective sensitivity for the combined array of two cardioids facing away from each other.

I'm thinking of recording in a room as a "sensing problem", first simplified to this kind of overall collective sensitivity shape (sort of the monophonic case if you will), then further differentiated with a careful ear towards the interactions between whatever divisions we choose to further impose on it.

Like a single omni, a Blumlien 90° crossed pair of fig-8's, or an ambisonic microphone (each of which have equal sensitivity across all horizontal directions) most multichannel OMT arrangements also have sensitivity across the entire horizontal plane.  That's because they commonly include omnis and/or include directional microphones that are generally pointed so as to cover all cardinal directions, at least to the degree that their patterns overlap and provide sensitivity to direct sound arrival across all horizontal directions.  We gain some control over the shape of that collective horizontal sensitivity by way of the physical arrangement of the microphones. We further modify that collective sensitivity pattern by choosing which channels get used, their routing (which get assigned to the Left output channel, which to the Right, which to both), level adjustment, EQ or other filtering, Mid/Side ratio adjustments, and perhaps subtle panning adjustments as necessary.  The key is that we gain deferential control over sound arriving from different portions of the horizontal plane to some degree, both prior to and after making the recording.

The stereo and 3d cues are generated by differences between the microphone channels. In addition to those cues picked up from the environment itself, they include differences in phase, time-of-arrival, and response due to the particular microphones used and how they are positioned and oriented with respect to each other.  In other words, they are both "of the environment" and "of the array" in terms of the way in which the array is energized by the sounds in environment (and how we further modify the interaction of channels in the mix). Such "of the array" interactions are inevitable, so we should make sure the interactions between the microphones themselves make for positive, or at least neutral additional cues which don't end up doing more harm than good.  That gets tricky.

Binaural human hearing is similar in that it is collectively omnidirectional in the overall sense, yet differentiated in such a way that we are able to determine direction and other auditory attributes.  Similarly, the raw data contains cues that are both "of the environment" and "of the interactions of our sensing array".  The cues are complex, not simply level and time-of-arrival based.  Our brains, formed by evolution and trained by life experience filter and interpret the data in such a way as to consciously ignore the base-level interactions particular to the sensing array of funny shaped ears placed on opposite sides of an actively articulated head - the end result being conscious perception of directional cues and other high level auditory aspects, without noting level, spectral, and timing differences directly.  It either works right, or it doesn't. If it doesn't something may seem "off" and to some extent we can train ourselves to be more consciously aware of such things, or it might just sound bad or lacking or flat or involving or whatever.

We do well to design our artificial hearing array mic setups in such a way as to play nicely with the expectations of our brains.  And by play nicely I mean trick ourselves into believing the auditory illusion is convincing.  Beyond the ability to stack the deck by devising clever microphone arrangements and manipulating the resulting channels in the ways we do currently, there are a clear paths forward toward creating more sophisticated auditory illusions using the recordings we are making today.  I can already do that to some extent by manipulating for playback over more than two speakers, using relatively simple forms of multichannel surround playback.  But I also know of and foresee various ways of making more convincing illusions over 2 speakers or headphones by more complex manipulations of the differentiated data we collect, making for a better fit to the complexities of the human hearing sensory array and producing an even more convincing high-level conscious experience. 

I might be reaching a bit, but I think the careful adjustment of the center mic channel level verses the other two in heathen's recording represents an important step in that direction.  Consider how adding a second microphone channel to mono is able to change our perception so dramatically by producing a far more robust stereo illusion of the original event.  The big change is not the addition of another channel" but what our brain does with the additional information it is able to provide.
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 fireonshakedwnstreet

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #177 on: October 12, 2020, 11:35:36 PM »
I absolutely love the philosophy behind OMT. Though I may not understand all the technical aspects, I know these recordings just have a little something more than your "traditional" recording. Thanks to gutbucket and all the other contributors for the knowledge on this thread. I am just getting into taping and have been using OMT. I will also add that for the beginning taper that does not have a great all around pair of mics, OMT is a great way to get a good overall product with less than stellar mics. Gonna pick up some hypers and 8s for some more experimentation next year.

Here is a recording (Nak cp2/SamsonC02/AT 853Rx cards) of a local GD cover band I made last week. Regarding the mix I cut some of the mids and highs as the guitars were just piercing. I also smushed down some really loud vocals throughout the show. I am also posting a link with mp3s of the CP2s and Samsons alone, as well as combined for comparison with the final six channel mix.

https://archive.org/details/touchofgrey2020-10-03_202010/tog2020-10-03.flac24
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1b247Tir6sa0H2X0oF-bTtOEWeVsA414A?usp=sharing



Mics: AT853Rx (C,O); ATM41HE; Nak 300 (CP-1/2); Samson CO2
Recorders: Tascam DR-70D x2
Pres: Edirol UA-5(BMp2+) x2
https://archive.org/details/@fireonshakedwnstreet
Home of the eBay OMT

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #178 on: October 14, 2020, 11:16:43 AM »
Hey fireon,

Good to hear you are enjoying making recordings this way, and thanks for posting the links.  I'll make some observations and suggestions in a following post. 

First I want to talk a bit about how and why I agree with your statement about these techniques being able to get the most out of less expensive microphones.  An important part of my own path to this point has been determining what level of performance is required to achieve results that meet or exceed my own quality standards when used in these unusual arrangements, within the constraints of cost, robustness, size, weight, and other considerations.

When I really got into playing around with additional channels and how best to incorporate them into what later became dubbed OMT, I was using odd combinations of top quality and less expensive microphones. The top quality mics are my personal reference for how I expect high quality directional microphones to perform.  Acquiring and using them helped better tune my ear and mindset to what "top quality" really means in terms of extended frequency response, smoothness of response, off-axis pattern behavior, low noise and more subjective subtle qualities of depth and imaging, in a hands-on way I which could not achieve by simply listening recordings made by others.  My familiarity with the nuances of their use and performance in regular 2 channel stereo configurations translated as a reliable level of confidence in making decisions about the unusual multichannel OMT setups.  That helped reassure me that my assessment of any shortcomings of the oddball setups I was experimenting with would not be limited by the performance of the microphones themselves, but rather by how I was employing them or other external factors.  In that way they served as a quality-performance reference against which I could determine how well smaller, lighter, less costly and precious mics might be able to be substituted in their place.

At the same time, I was also using low cost mics, sometimes borrowed, to create setups I could not easily or safely achieve using my larger, heavier, more delicate reference mics. They served as a way to test some setups that I could not otherwise achieve or easily deploy in many real world taping situations.  That way of approaching the problem from opposite directions helped in converging on practically achievable arrangements I could reasonably deploy wihtout worry, capable of achieving a level of quality I was fully satisfied with.

The short and long of it is that I decided somewhat lesser quality mics could work satisfactorily for me, yet I still wanted something higher quality than the miniature directionals I had been borrowing.  I started looking for the best quality miniature low-powered cardioid/supercardioids I could find.  I found what I thought might work and ended up making a few 2-ch stereo test recordings using all three categories of mics in the same configuration at the same time - 3 separate stereo pairs for comparison.  I could easily hear a difference between each of the three, and after playing around with the resulting recordings a bit, I made the following initial conclusions:
1) I decided that for straight 2-channel stereo recording, I felt I needed the top quality mics to achieve a really excellent quality I would be completely satisfied with.
2) Using my best microphones as the quality reference, I found I could get similar results from the very good quality supercardioid candidate with some EQ adjustment, after which they only really came up short in the more subtle subjective nuanced qualities relating to imaging and 3d depth qualities.
3) I found I could somewhat improve the low cost pair to some degree, yet not to the same extent, and not with the same degree of ease as the better quality candidate mics.

At the same time, I'd determined that the early OMT arrangements hinted at achieving similar nuanced qualities of imaging and depth using lesser quality microphones.

I decided there was no way I could afford 6 to 8 channels of top-most quality mics needed to achieve the OMT setups I wanted to use, and doing so wasn't really practical for my intended uses anyway.  Instead I decided to follow the path of a sufficient number of good quality mics that I new I could use and manipulate the way I wished to employ in unique ways, instead of a pair or two of really top studio-quality mics configured in the way I would need them (using active cables and all that).

So in one way I determined that my best mics really are best!  But I also determined that I could get very close to the same quality level using somewhat less expensive microphones that were a far better fit for my uses in most other ways, and actually exceed those results due to the way that allowed me to use them.

I guess what I'm trying to convey is this- 
> Using these somewhat complicated multichannel setups can be fun! 
> I think it's useful to work from a strong foundational understanding of basic 2-channel stereo recording, both in theory and practice.
> One can then sort of simultaneously throw away much of the specifics of traditional 2-channel techniques (which I feel is necessary for really extending things in the most useful ways) while still using the basic relationships and insights to inform the extension to additional channels. This represents the most difficult step for most tapers.
> Make the most of what you've got, and think carefully about where you want to go with it.
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 Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #179 on: October 14, 2020, 11:22:32 AM »
Apologies to anyone following along for the excessive length of my last couple posts. I realize I'm really missing recording and our discussions here about it, and that gets me waxing on a bit much.
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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