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Author Topic: so-called "DIN" stereo recording method(s)  (Read 1287 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: so-called "DIN" stereo recording method(s)
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2020, 11:50:55 AM »
Thanks for the better translation. I chuckled at "DING method". Hoping the the gist of the part I was identifying with auto-translated well enough-

"..and should therefore be representative of the innumerable possibilities of a list with approximately equal proportions of level and transit time differences."
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: so-called "DIN" stereo recording method(s)
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2020, 12:09:03 PM »
Hey morst, since tapers often note just the microphone model and nothing at all about the configuration I'm happy to find any notation of microphone configuration.  I'm sure it reads as Greek to most listeners yet is helpful to other tapers chasing after their own ears.  Sometimes after heading home and having forgotten to note it while recording, I've actually set the mics up again while my memory remains fresh to better document what I did, even if it only serves to remind myself.
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 DSatz

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Re: so-called "DIN" stereo recording method(s)
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2020, 12:35:48 PM »
heathen, here's a quickie translation, but please "see below" re: German vs. U.S. ways of thinking about these issues.

------------
4.3.3 DIN method
The DIN method is unknown in actual practice, and represents a former proposal from German [public] broadcasting for an "equivalence-stereo" arrangement [see below --ds]. Despite this, I have given consideration to this type of setup because it forms a mid-point between ORTF and NOS, and thus represents the countless possibilities for setups having roughly equal components of level and arrival-time differences [again, see below --ds]. The benchmark data for this method are: 20 cm spacing between the microphones; angle between the two main axes, 90°. This leads to a stereophonic recording angle of 101°, with a 52.4%-to-47.6% relationship of level to arrival-time differences [yep, see below --ds].
------------

Here's the "below" part: In U.S. textbooks, it is generally explained that stereophonic localization can be based either on the precedence effect (when two microphones are spaced apart, direct sound from any given source will arrive at the closer microphone first, unless the source is exactly on the center line between them) or the effect of the microphones' directionality, assuming that they're aimed away from one another. Most people here are familiar with that dichotomy, I think. You can go back to the 1970s or even late 60s and find books that showed and compared the two methods. Both had a lot of tradition behind them, and important practical pros and cons could be discussed (e.g. regarding mono compatibility, which was a big thing back in the LP-and-mostly-mono-radio era)(back then most pop music stations were still on the AM band, and many people still listened to FM radio in mono either in their cars or on portable radios)(and airplay was the primary driver of record sales).

In U.S. books and articles starting maybe in the late 1970s (but definitely by the 80s) the "or" became an "or/and"--where the "and" meant directional microphones that were spaced apart and angled apart, but neither spaced nor angled apart as much as in the traditional A/B or X/Y approaches. The authors seemed to feel as if they were being forced to concede the existence of such "neither fish nor fowl" methods, though. They were based on trial and error, and no handy theoretical explanations could be offered for the setups that worked well vs. the ones that didn't. The only advice was to try, listen, not go to extremes, and pray for luck. The ORTF method was sometimes mentioned, a little grudgingly as it seemed to me.

Where they took it somewhat farther in Germany was to reason out that mathematical formulas, based both on the trigonometry of microphone patterns and on experiments that quantified the precedence effect (i.e. how far--to what actual angle--do you hear a source being shifted to the left or right when it arrives at your ears X milliseconds sooner rather than later?), could allow any given angle between two microphones of a given pattern to be translated into a roughly equivalent distance between the same two microphones, or vice versa. Using an equivalence formula, intermediate spacings and angles could be interpolated between any two A/B vs. X/Y endpoints. You can even select your favorite point along the curve of those interpolated settings, depending on the relative effect of "arrival time differences" versus "level differences" that you want to apportion.

That changed the whole game. Now you could choose your desired stereophonic recording angle (based on your distance from the sound sources and the angular width that they represent from your microphones' point of view), then choose how much you wanted to rely on arrival-time differences vs. level differences (each of which gives a recording a different spatial "feel"), and the formulas could tell you the spacing and angle that would give you what you wanted. Suddenly it was no longer guesswork. But that approach didn't find its way to the States until ... frankly, I don't know whether most people here understand it even today. Instead they rely on Williams' or Sengpiel's charts or on Wittek's "stereo assistant" on line. All of which is fine fine fine.

But the result is a big gap between American and German writing about this topic that still persists. In the German writing there are three basic categories of two-mike stereo recording methods, all of which are brightly-lit and clearly defined: (a) methods that rely on arrival-time differences only (i.e. spaced omnis), (b) methods that rely solely on the directionality of the microphones, which creates differences in level between channels for each distinct sound source, depending on the angle from which its direct sound reaches the microphones (i.e. X/Y), and (c) "equivalence" methods which rely on calculated, or at least calculable, tradeoffs between principles (a) and (b). All three categories are understood to be fundamentally knowable and predictable, although certain non-ideal behaviors of microphones (e.g. large dual-diaphragm cardioids) still need to be taken into account.

Meanwhile in most American writing there are still mostly just the two opposite poles (spaced vs. coincident), with the in-between area given less respect, even though it's where so much of the fun is--like as if "some people like to swim in those waters, but there are no firm guidelines, and you could get your ass bitten if you aren't careful". That attitude implicitly encourages people to rely on cookbook formulas as safe havens, while others express their indomitable American spirit by doing the exact opposite, declaring that they don't need no steenkin' formulas.

--best regards
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 01:14:08 AM by DSatz »
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Offline heathen

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Re: so-called "DIN" stereo recording method(s)
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2020, 01:39:19 PM »
Thanks very much DSatz.
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: so-called "DIN" stereo recording method(s)
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2020, 02:54:29 PM »
Thanks very much DSatz.
Seconded DSatz      +T
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When you get confused, listen to the music play!

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Offline datbrad

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Re: so-called "DIN" stereo recording method(s)
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2020, 01:18:37 PM »
I ran a 90 degree 15cm spaced pattern with my AKG 461s in the '90s. Since DIN wasn't a term I had ever heard used for a stereo pattern at the time, I just wrote "XY" for source info on my DATs. I knew it wasn't an accurate use of the term, but with NOS being 30cm and ORTF 17cm, I figured anything less than 17cm at 90 degrees was closer to XY than anything else I could call it.
 
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 01:20:24 PM by datbrad »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: so-called "DIN" stereo recording method(s)
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2020, 04:25:22 PM »
At the risk of saying to much when I should probably just coast, I'll add a couple comments.

The first concerns the history of near-spaced configurations such as "DIN" as used in the taper community and is not likely to come as a shock to anyone here reading this thread. It is that in the live music taping community (which is primarily an American phenomena, yet not closely connected with American writing on stereo recording) the use of near-spaced two-microphone stereo microphone configurations is the accepted norm and has for a long time.  Sure, coincident and spaced A-B techniques have long been used as well, but near-spaced has been most common for tapers for decades.  Since I've been around TS, new tapers who come to this site upon having being initially exposed to concert taping through other tapers are likely to assume a near-spaced configuration is simply how it's done (specific config or not, named or not).  In contrast, newcomers to this site who may have some home studio experience but have not really been otherwise been exposed to "audience concert taping" culture often assume "X/Y" simply as how its done. That difference may in part be a reflection of the general mode of American writing on the subject which David describes verses the somewhat more isolated taper subculture.  It could be that what makes concert taping somewhat different is that it didn't really develop until the the 1970's after stereo reproduction of music had already been fully adopted by the culture at large and portable stereo recording equipment had become more widely available, that it for the most part consists of straight "what you record is what you get" ambient stereo rather than mixed/panned "sound on sound" mono track layering, and developed within a somewhat self isolated community in terms of a collective number of enthusiasts doing it, sharing the recordings, sharing tips with each other and talking about best methods amongst themselves, when compared to professional recording circles which was the source of American writing on the subject, prior to dusty corners of the internet such as this place becoming available to everyone everywhere.

That said, I've found how tapers think about the nearly ubiquitous near-spaced microphone configurations they are using to be a meaningful differentiation within the taper community. I see three general categories, the first are those who point the microphones at the stacks or there about, using whatever generic near-spaced mic bar they have on hand that hold the mics well, without giving much thought to spacing and angle.. or rather not to the interactive relationship between the two.  It's more like the spacing is good as long as it is "similar to ear-spacing" and otherwise "not spaced apart too much" (having heard about problems with a "hole in the middle"), and angle being mostly about "pointing the microphones so they are focusing on the PA, rather than angled widely focused on the bar, toilets and trash cans and exits along the side walls". The second category are tapers using a popular acronym-named near-spaced configuration or choosing between a couple of them.  They tend to have a good comprehension of result if not not necessarily a good understanding of why certain configurations work well or not - "DIN A with my hypers in situation A, NOS with my cardioids in situation B, but DIN was better with that other pair of cardioids I used to run..".  And the third being folks who have an understanding of trading "arrival time differences" against "level differences" whether they actively use that knowledge or not, by doing calcs, looking up tables, using online calculators, or choosing standard setups with an better understanding of the basis upon which they work.  To be clear, I'm not making any value judgements here.  No category has an exclusive lock on making good tapes and tapers should go about recording however they most enjoy doing it.  Its just that I find these general differentiations useful in helping me understanding the mindset of another taper with regard to their approach, so I can better relate to them in our interactions and conversation.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: so-called "DIN" stereo recording method(s)
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2020, 04:45:54 PM »
My second comment concerns the clearly-defined three basic categories of two-microphone stereo recording methods-

As used by tapers, methods that rely on arrival-time differences only (i.e. spaced omnis), rarely actually rely solely on arrival-time.  A clear, if simplified definition does make for a useful simplification in understanding the underpinnings of how it works, and serves as contrasting corollary to methods that rely solely on the directionality of the microphones creating differences in level between channels (i.e. X/Y), yet most live concert spaced omni taper recordings contain significant level difference information for individual sound sources that are located nearby.  This includes pickup of surrounding audience when recording from a distance, close reflections, and the on-stage sources themselves when recording on stage or at the stage-lip, a common situation in which tapers use spaced omnis.  Inverse square law in relation to the spacing between the microphones and the angle of arrival from such nearby sources determines the level differences.

Coincident techniques as applied are closer to behaving like their simplified "platonic" description in conveying no phase-difference information.  Sure in real world implementations imperfect coincidence imparts some high frequency phase difference, but as real as such unintended errors and their effects may be, they are just that - the effects of implementation errors - and as such tend to represent negative rather than positive implementation-related qualities.  In contrast, level difference of nearby sources in spaced pair recordings generally correlate to positive qualities.  Specifically, it imparts some degree of "equivalence stereo" to the portrayal of those sources (significant in on-stage and stage-lip recordings), and helps push distracting nearby audience chatter to either sides of the playback image, making it easier for the listener to direct their attention away from it and retain focus on the music of interest (significant in more-distant audience recordings).

I'm rambling, but what I'm trying to get at is clarity on some important differences between theory and implementation.  Partly because the two frequently get tangled up in discussion, and partly because in general, tapers tend to be driven more by implementation realities than how theory applies.  In light of this, I tend to think in terms of the basic 3-ways of the "German school of writing" some of the time, yet other-times find it useful to think in terms of a couple different 2-way differentiations, neither of which are representative of the "American school of writing".  I find it more useful to place the key division either between no inter-channel timing cues (coincident level-based only microphone pair techniques and panned mono sources) and some-degree of inter-channel timing cues (near-spaced and wide-spaced microphone pair techniques), or between techniques which are clearly intended to use a somewhat balanced combination of level and timing (near-spaced) and those which are predominantly level or timing based (coincident and wide spaced).

Not trying to convince others that my way of thinking about all this is the right way, only relating what has proven useful to me in the "modeling problem" of connecting theory with implementation realities in a few different ways.  Part of what makes taper-style concert recording so interesting is where and how it doesn't fit neatly into either the American nor European schools of professional recording approaches.  35' wide spaced omni recordings of PA amplified concerts from a position distant from both stage and PA is a good example.  Taper concert recording is representative of otherwise unique approaches and has a history all its own.

It's entertaining for me to think and write about this, so thanks for the space to aimlessly wander around a bit!
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 04:52:01 PM 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<<

 

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