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Author Topic: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3  (Read 23597 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #210 on: October 21, 2020, 09:25:12 AM »
Thanks.  Will need to get my editing setup back in action first, then I'll take a deeper look at Reaper.  Currently using Samplitude.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #211 on: October 21, 2020, 01:18:19 PM »
Really enjoying listening to that Jimmy Herring Egg recording again, big thanks Rock' and Kind'.

A more advanced post on OMT mixing today-
When I keep myself in analytical mode when listening to high quality recordings like that one where things are working well (acknowledging that what denotes "high quality" to me is the ease in which I can let myself switch out of that mode and get carried away by the music), one of the more nuanced things I tend to notice are the differences between the portrayal of the quieter, less-dense parts and the louder, denser portions.  That leads me to thinking about why they are different, how I might manage them differently, and how I might arrange implementation of that in an automated way. 

It's not so much the change in dynamics as experienced through the recording (which can also be a factor of course), rather I've long noticed quieter/less-dense parts sound best with more emphasis on the ambience than loud/dense parts which sometimes tend to get thick and cluttered, loosing dimensionality.  I suspect this is likely the acoustic behavior of the room as experienced at the recording position as the room gets increasingly loaded with acoustic energy which is no longer being sufficiently dissipated, and that is being faithfully translated through the recording.  Three things from my experience inform this view: Listening of various bands/ensembles in specific rooms - particularly amplified material performed in rooms designed for acoustic music; listening to my own recordings in surround and trying to decide on an optimal level of the surround channels - generally deciding it should vary along with the density and intensity of the music; and the difference when mixing to 2 channels - where it should also vary, but needs to be adjusted with more careful consideration, and the overall amount and its dynamic variability is more critical, for somewhat different reasons.  This balance between Direct and Ambient sound is one of the two things (and pretty much the only two IME) that beg to be treated somewhat differently for 2-channel stereo verses multichannel surround stereo, the other being how best to manage 3 front playback channels instead of 2.

For somethings I've been willing to put the time into I've used manually applied automated volume envelopes on the rear-facing channel(s).  I haven't but could do the same with some or all of the content from the omnis as well if things get over boomy when it gets loud.  I've not yet played around extensively with trying to further automate it using gentle program compression but that would be a much easier way to do it. Something like parallel compression on the ambient stuff so it automatically contributes more during the lower level parts and effectively gets backed off during the louder parts.

I have tried applying some gentle straight-compression to the rear facing channels and couldn't really get that to work in the way I wanted (that being parallel only in the sense of the main channels not being compressed at all), and should probably revisit this with proper parallel compression on the ambient channels as that tends to sound more transparent to me.

Interestingly I wonder if applied to the omnis it might be good to use a somewhat differently shaped detection signal.  Reducing the omnis when the bottom end gets over thick, and reducing the rear facing channels when the ambient reflections get over-dense.

This is complicated stuff, don't worry about attempting to apply anything like this until you feel fully confident in all other aspects of mixing these OMT recordings.
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 kuba e

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #212 on: October 25, 2020, 10:02:28 AM »
This is interesting. I recently listened to some Bob Dylan's 40-year-old recordings, some sound fantastic. Even recordings of semi-electric music that were made with cheap microphones sound very good. In contrast, audience recordings of very loud music made with cheap microphones are usually bad. I also guess it has to do with the acoustic of the room. Because the differences between a cheap and an expensive microphone decrease again when recording onstage. I thought that more expensive microphones could capture more precise details, and probably those details are important in an audience recording in a room with bad acoustic. It seems to me that those who record folk and country have a big advantage. Classical music does not forgive any inaccuracy, and loud amplified music has very few details.

I tried several times, when I had a recording where there was a bad sound at the beginning and over time the sound engineer improved it, to choose a different ratio of omni and xy in the first and second part.

It's a good idea trying to reduce the omni or the rear channels for louder parts of the recording.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 10:05:02 AM by kuba e »

Offline heathen

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #213 on: October 25, 2020, 11:41:53 AM »
Never forget the paramount importance of location. Mediocre mics in the best spot will walk all over the best mics in a mediocre spot.
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 EmRR

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #214 on: October 25, 2020, 11:48:28 AM »
I think most times I actually end up using everything I put up.  The real challenge is in the level tweaking, especially challenging when many secondary spatial elements are 15-20dB down relative to the mains, and possibly heavily filtered. You can mute/unmute and not hear an obvious difference, so it takes a long period of deep comparative listening to decide if 1) it’s worth keeping 2) should that stuff go up 1dB, or down?  Etc.  Then listen on a bunch of different systems; that’s where I’m most likely to discard an element entirely, like filtered spot shotguns for example. 
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 #215 on: October 26, 2020, 09:53:52 AM »
Heaten, you are right, the location is the most important. But Besides, I have a feeling, there is a bigger chance that the audience recording will turn out well when, for example, jazz is recorded compared to loud rock.

EmRR, you described it exactly. I also sometimes listen for a long time before deciding whether to use the rear channel in the mix. These are very delicate things.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #216 on: October 26, 2020, 11:11:06 AM »
What EmRR mentions above rings true for me.  Most of the time I also tend to use all of the channels I've recorded and careful adjustment of relative levels is the most critical adjustment.  I do think its important to emphasize that its OK to not use all recorded channels, and to try the option when exploring to determine what works best in the mix. Also to listen long enough to sort of get out of one's head and really get a deep feel for what is best.  Something I've noticed and find quite interesting is that both long-term listening and the first initial few seconds of listening can be especially revealing of certain things I otherwise quickly acclimate to and may tend to overlook when working on a mix.

Over the weekend I pulled out the rig and was listening to one of the last recordings I made prior to the shutdown.  It was at an outdoor amphitheater, and as such avoids a lot of the overloaded room issues when things get cranking. Interestingly what I wished to automate in this case was not the level of the rear-facing channels but the level of the Side channel of the center M/S pair.  Partly because I'm listening back directly from the F8, which provides playback level and pan control for all channels except those routed through M/S>L/R decoding, which can only be muted or soloed.  That means I build the mix around the fixed level of the center Mid channel, and after all other channels are balanced well against that, I play with switching the Side channel in and out.  Remember that I'm using an LCR near-spaced arrangement of supercards, the center of which is serves as the Mid of the M/S pair, so there is already directional stereo information from the 3 LCR arrangement.  The full 7 channel mix with the Side channel muted is nice and solid and dimensional as it is.  Still, switching in the Side channel adds a whole 'nother layer of dimension. Unfortunately I can't vary the level of Side and its a bit too much at some points.  Ideally I'd lower the Side level and suspect I would find a setting that works everywhere.. but the reason I'm posting this is that given the Side level and resulting M/S ratio I was stuck with I found myself preferring both with Side and without Side at different points within in the recording and at different points within my listening time.  Often upon switching it in while listening the otherwise somewhat-excessive Side is attractive, then at some point it strikes me as too much, especially upon long term listening.  Often that corresponds with things getting more dense, complex and louder.  But I also noticed it when stepping away long enough for my acoustic memory to "reset" upon coming back again.
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 kuba e

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #217 on: October 27, 2020, 08:23:19 AM »
Thanks Gutbucket, that's a good inspiration. I will focus on quiete and louder passages and try different settings.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Oddball microphone technique (OMT) - part 3
« Reply #218 on: November 06, 2020, 11:54:43 AM »
This is interesting. I recently listened to some Bob Dylan's 40-year-old recordings, some sound fantastic. Even recordings of semi-electric music that were made with cheap microphones sound very good. In contrast, audience recordings of very loud music made with cheap microphones are usually bad. I also guess it has to do with the acoustic of the room. Because the differences between a cheap and an expensive microphone decrease again when recording onstage. I thought that more expensive microphones could capture more precise details, and probably those details are important in an audience recording in a room with bad acoustic.

Coming back to this, I think it hinges on the naturalness and good behavior of the microphone's off-axis sensitivity and performance being far more critical in a live audience perspective recording, due to that representing such an inseparably large portion of the resulting recording.  In the studio, isolation and extreme off-axis rejection is more possible, easier to achieve, and expected, and whatever ambience it has is more purposefully created.  This is reflected in the particular attributes of high quality "taper" mics.  And by extension, I see the value of OMT hinging largely on improving the quality of off-axis pickup still further with regards to how we are able to manage and manipulate it in an overall sense.
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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