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New Book Coming on Decca Recording Technique
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #151
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
In the Decca Book, section 8.1: About the Decca Tree, there's an 'oddly urgent footnote', just a few paragraphs in....

8.1.1 A note about double basses

It must have been seen as noteworthy to include it so early...before the Tree technique was even elaborated upon ?

The authors recommend a single omni 'area mic', about 2.1 m/7 feet high, aimed at covering the whole bass section, panned hard right, with about 3dB less gain than the other Tree mics...
Salut Studer,

Just my own experience.
I record all my symphonic productions with a M150s Decca.
In every hall I always find the low spectrum very present but I never have the same precision on the bassi that the one I have with the celli.
Adding a spot between first and second bass (even if they are 6 in a line) brings just the rosin, bow and artistic noise back in the main and finally brings the bassi at the same quality level as the other strings.

Fred.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #152
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2bern ➡️
Salut Studer,

Just my own experience.
I record all my symphonic productions with a M150s Decca.
In every hall I always find the low spectrum very present but I never have the same precision on the bassi that the one I have with the celli.
Adding a spot between first and second bass (even if they are 6 in a line) brings just the rosin, bow and artistic noise back in the main and finally brings the bassi at the same quality level as the other strings.

Fred.
Merci Fred, that's good to hear of your first hand successful experience with the omni area miking of basses. My gues is that it's going to vary between one hall and the next, and from one concert to the next, depending on number of basses, nearby walls for reflection etc.

In my familiar hall, the basses can be either in a line or ranked...but always have a wall close behind them, which seems to give a reflective gain boost...but at the cost of a woolly, unfocussed overal bass timbre.

Sometimes the right side outrigger is sufficient to provide the sheer level...but never the detail, articulation, rosin etc that you mention. Thus far I've always relied on miking a single instrument for the detail make-up...but next time I'll try the area method.

Do you ever find any need to EQ that contrabass spot mic...or mute, compress or gate it, for just the necessary clarity ?
What is your typical choice for that mic (mfr, model type) ?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #153
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fred2bern's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Do you ever find any need to EQ that contrabass spot mic...or mute, compress or gate it, for just the necessary clarity ?
What is your typical choice for that mic (mfr, model type) ?
No audio treatment, just a TLM67 in cardio, 1 meter high, oriented in the middle of bassi 1&2.

Fred
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #154
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
The 4 mic Decca Tree historically barely rates a mention, compared with its well-known 3 and 5 mic triangular array bretheren ?

However, it's just as much a Decca Tree as those arrays...see secction 8.3 in the book.

It was apparently developed by Kenneth Wilkinson ('Wilkie') , who used it almost exclusively since 1977.

Main pair width is 91cm/36"and the mics aimed slightly outwards, with flankers/outriggers located as per the 5 mic Tree.

Panning of the centre pair is more 'inward' than on the 5 mic Tree, with an approximate 7.5dB level difference between mics, rather than the 13dB difference of the 5 mic Tree....ref: see optimal panning and gain levels in Fig 8.10 of the book

The chapter is worth a read..I'm assuming you have the book if you're reading this ?

At least presenting much less of a logistical and OHS hoisting conundrum than the 3 or 5 mic Trees...is it anyone's regular or alt. go-to Tree method here ?


**....as a brief footnote, why would there be a table of relative pans and gains for the 4 mic tree in Fig 8.10 (as cited above), and separate entries for ProTools, Pyramix, Reaper and TotalMix FX.... with slight differences betwen each platform (most notably in respect of pan positions) ? If the same pan law were set for all DAWs, wouldn't one expect these to be equal across all the 4 platforms...or is there something else "under the hood" at play here ?
I’ve used the 4 mic tree quite a bit with good results. The recordings that most inspired me to seriously get into orchestral recording a decade ago were selections of John Dunkerley’s 80s and 90s work as well as several 90s and 2000s recordings by Simon Eadon, and they were done this way, so that was my model.

It blew my mind a bit when I first learned how those records were made, because you are creating a stereo image on the console, instead of letting the mic placement do it. But in practice, you can get very good results, as Simon’s and John’s work (and obviously Wilkie’s later work) demonstrate.

For it to work, I find the spec described in the book must be followed closely, and the outriggers must not be placed too wide. The 3 mic tree can be very forgiving, (I mean it’s such a forgiving technique that almost nobody uses it today how decca engineers designed it to work and it still stands up, that’s a discussion for another day lol) But if the outriggers are too wide with just the 2 mic tree, it’s very difficult to find the sweet spot where those 2 middle mics stop sounding unnatural and coalesce into a natural sounding faux-image.

With regards to tuning the sound, I’d recommend starting with the levels noted by John, especially the panning of the middle 2 mics, and then adjusting your outrigger levels up or down a bit until the full image really locks in.

The thing that I like so much about the sound of these recordings, is that it puts the principal octet and any concert soloists in the middle of the picture better than most other setups I’ve studied or worked with. Even an AB60 or ORTF on their own can throw this core group and also soloists to the sides easily, and you wind up with an overly spread string sound, and soloist on the periphery. The Decca 2-mic arrangement works very well to create a string sound that fills the entire width of the stereo image.

I know a lot of people will hate it theoretically, and maybe they also dislike the sound of those recordings, but to me it’s best examples present a unique fullness of sound, and the most natural and musical presentation of the orchestral string section I’ve heard on record.

Here’s a recording I made and mixed using this technique:

https://open.spotify.com/track/6aGUu...Tjys2cJ7iMzs_Q

(Just the track Shadow Light was recorded/mixed with 2-mic tree, not the whole record)

I think John included that section about panning in different DAWs to give a reference for regularly used mixers one might come across, as they don’t all quantize or notate pans the same way.

Last edited by king2070lplaya; 4 weeks ago at 10:31 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #155
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➡️
Here’s one of mine done using this technique:

https://open.spotify.com/track/6aGUu...Tjys2cJ7iMzs_Q

(Just the track Shadow Light was recorded/mixed with 2-mic tree, not the whole record)
Silky smooth viola, I'm envious... very even sound and beautifully balanced with the other strings......actually, I'm enjoying all the tracks, love the percs too.......

Not a known composer for me, like it very much......

thx for sharing

I now have a couple of your recordings in my playlists

ray
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #156
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayS ➡️
Silky smooth viola, I'm envious... very even sound and beautifully balanced with the other strings......actually, I'm enjoying all the tracks, love the percs too.......

Not a known composer for me, like it very much......

thx for sharing

I now have a couple of your recordings in my playlists

ray
Thank you for saying that, and I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the music I've shared here.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Christian "Norsehorse" was there engineering the session with me, and engineering for most if not all of the rest of the album's tracking, so any good sounds are due to his great work and supervision as well.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #157
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➡️
Thank you for saying that, and I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the music I've shared here.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Christian "Norsehorse" was there engineering the session with me, and engineering for most if not all of the rest of the album's tracking, so any good sounds are due to his great work and supervision as well.
wow not 1 but 2 fellow posters on the project...

You two are definitely giving credence to the gearspace membership!

some more please

thx

and big kudos to the musicians really well done


Unrelated to the thread by a mile, I just found out recently that Sherlock Holmes was a violist!!!https://bibliolore.org/2012/03/10/sh...olmes-violist/


ray
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #158
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➡️
The thing that I like so much about the sound of these recordings, is that it puts the principal octet and any concert soloists in the middle of the picture better than most other setups I’ve studied or worked with. Even an AB60 or ORTF on their own can throw this core group and also soloists to the sides easily, and you wind up with an overly spread string sound, and soloist on the periphery. The Decca 2-mic arrangement works very well to create a string sound that fills the entire width of the stereo image.

I know a lot of people will hate it theoretically, and maybe they also dislike the sound of those recordings, but to me it’s best examples present a unique fullness of sound, and the most natural and musical presentation of the orchestral string section I’ve heard on record.
Thanks for that great 'from the trenches' set of observations and hints Kevin...if the theoretical acousticians hate the divergence from hard left right panning, I can live with their disapproval...in favour of a pleasing and convincing recreation of stage imagery. That distortion of typical soloist location in AB and ORTF reproduction has always been a recording bugbear for many. Much appreciated
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #159
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fred2bern ➡️
No audio treatment, just a TLM67 in cardio, 1 meter high, oriented in the middle of bassi 1&2.

Fred
Just in the nick of time !

I was able to employ a Sennheiser Omni between the 3 baroque basses in tonight’s recording/stream-cast of Biber’s stirring ‘Battalia’.

Check out from 50mins onward...as the Basses let fly with arrows, slings and outrageous fortune. Spot miking in the service of drama !

Video of Sat 10th April concert: https://arts.adelaide.edu.au/music/e...concert-series

Last edited by studer58; 4 weeks ago at 03:24 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #160
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🎧 10 years
Are we sure that the "Decca tree" still works today?
There is no real substitute for the old M50, and we all know the sonic limits of digital world (AD conversion).
Our late M. Bishop did not like the Decca tree, due to phase problems, and many other tonmeisters (the first one that comes to mind is the Tritonus team) do not use it.
This book today is not the solution to all problems, on the contrary, it could in a certain way procure risks for those who dream to get the famous "Decca sound".
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #161
Quote:
Originally Posted by GIACOMO-_ ➡️
Are we sure that the "Decca tree" still works today?
There is no real substitute for the old M50, and we all know the sonic limits of digital world (AD conversion).
Our late M. Bishop did not like the Decca tree, due to phase problems, and many other tonmeisters (the first one that comes to mind is the Tritonus team) do not use it.
This book today is not the solution to all problems, on the contrary, it could in a certain way procure risks for those who dream to get the famous "Decca sound".
Every engineer has their own personal taste in techniques, of course, and different ways to approach the task of capturing an orchestra. Tonmeisters like those at Tritonus, EBS, Polyhymnia, etc don’t use the Decca tree because that’s not a Technique those people developed in their formative years from their instructors and mentors (Straus, Scholtze, Lauterslager, etc).

So where will you still see and hear the tree? Well, it seems to dominate American and English scoring stages, and many big concert halls in the US, UK, and abroad employ a Decca Tree. It’s the main mic arrangement you’ll hear on releases for LSO Live, CSO Resound, BSO/Nelsons on DG, and Cleveland Orchestra’s “A New Century” series, and other orchestral recordings by engineers like Philip Siney, Classic Sound LTD, Simon Eadon, Shawn Murphy... All that to say it’s still very much in use on many great, high-profile recordings every year.

With regards to M50s and digital sound, my observations have been that Decca releases from 1977-1985, that precarious first generation of digital recordings, retain their signature sound much better than what you heard on their major contemporary labels like EMI, DG, etc. who struggled to adapt their pre-digital techniques to the new medium. As for the M50.... Here’s a fun challenge: listen to the entire Zinman/Tonhalle Orchestra Beethoven set from the 90s. Can you pick out which 2 symphonies were recorded with M50, vs the rest which substituted Schoeps mk2S in the same arrangement? And after listening, do you feel the Schoeps recordings are compromised in any way?

I don’t think anyone who reads this book is exposing themselves to any serious risks, beyond say an unquenchable longing to visit Kingsway or Queen’s Hall.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #162
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GIACOMO-_ ➡️
Are we sure that the "Decca tree" still works today?
There is no real substitute for the old M50, and we all know the sonic limits of digital world (AD conversion).
Our late M. Bishop did not like the Decca tree, due to phase problems, and many other tonmeisters (the first one that comes to mind is the Tritonus team) do not use it.
This book today is not the solution to all problems, on the contrary, it could in a certain way procure risks for those who dream to get the famous "Decca sound".
If you've read the book, you'll be aware that the authors do indeed propose a low cost yet viable alternative to the unobtainable M50....you might even have a cynical smile (or a loud chuckle !) at the serious mention of the "Outrageously Expensive Behringer B5"...with home-made pressure diffraction spheres...in the appendix section towards the end !

Rather than necessarily embracing this specific mic...see it instead as a helpful 'entry level and democratising suggestion'... that everyone can find a practical and affordable doorway to trying out the Decca Tree approach.

Location recording itself presents many problems....that's the principal reason for the collegiate and supportive focus of this entire Remote Possibilities forum ! The Decca Book addresses a surprising number of these, and those suggestions have proven themselves, in the crucible of long-term verifiable experience.

Are they the 'only solutions' to all location recocording problems (?)...that would be a bold, arrogant presumption...but the book abounds with proven, viable hints, and it would be foolish to dismiss them in broad-brush fashion (even if not all appeal to you...or you prefer your own alternative solutions !)
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #163
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
If you've read the book, you'll be aware that the authors do indeed propose a low cost yet viable alternative to the unobtainable M50....you might even have a cynical smile (or a loud chuckle !) at the serious mention of the "Outrageously Expensive Behringer B5"...with home-made pressure diffraction spheres...in the appendix section towards the end !

Rather than necessarily embracing this specific mic...see it instead as a helpful 'entry level and democratising suggestion'... that everyone can find a practical and affordable doorway to trying out the Decca Tree approach.

Location recording itself presents many problems....that's the principal reason for the collegiate and supportive focus of this entire Remote Possibilities forum ! The Decca Book addresses a surprising number of these, and those suggestions have proven themselves, in the crucible of long-term verifiable experience.

Are they the 'only solutions' to all location recocording problems (?)...that would be a bold, arrogant presumption...but the book abounds with proven, viable hints, and it would be foolish to dismiss them in broad-brush fashion (even if not all appeal to you...or you prefer your own alternative solutions !)
In the early 90s I spoke with a Decca engineer when I was working in Cambridge, who told me the Decca M50 were rebuilt to 48V phantom power with solid state FET's. I did not ask him about the capsules, but I doubt Decca at that time still had access to M50 with original aluminum capsules, and thus must have been using mostly the KM83 capsule. So in my opinion the closest approach to Decca sund today would be using 3(5) Neumann KM183s with 4 cm spheres. I have not read the Decca book, and I don't think I am going to buy it. I never have been impressed with the sound the Decca label offered, I find it sharp and out of proportion, but that is my personal opinion I am allowed to have, but others who like it are free to do so. I have always been more a Schoeps man than a Neu-man.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgeltonmeister ➡️
In the early 90s I spoke with a Decca engineer when I was working in Cambridge, who told me the Decca M50 were rebuilt to 48V phantom power with solid state FET's. I did not ask him about the capsules, but I doubt Decca at that time still had access to M50 with original aluminum capsules, and thus must have been using mostly the KM83 capsule. So in my opinion the closest approach to Decca sund today would be using 3(5) Neumann KM183s with 4 cm spheres. I have not read the Decca book, and I don't think I am going to buy it. I never have been impressed with the sound the Decca label offered, I find it sharp and out of proportion, but that is my personal opinion I am allowed to have, but others who like it are free to do so. I have always been more a Schoeps man than a Neu-man.
Thanks for the background info - I've often wondered about [particularly M50 and the like] mic maintenance detail with respect to Decca and a few other labels.

For me, the book was relatively little to do with the Decca Tree - compared to the coverage I was expecting [still complete enough]. But it articulated well other concepts and practices. One notion I've struggled with is appreciating the use of a spaced pair of mics as a kind of spot on a small instrument or vocalist.

I'm still betting many who deploy such configurations do so 'because they can'. . .because they've seen others do so. But the Decca book laid out the thinking on this better than I've ever heard or read.

And I've seen techs use very similar configurations with Schoeps - my favorite microphone manufacturer on the planet - so, it wasn't just a Decca or Neumann thing. The book helped me better understand related goals in context.


It was a good read. And now a bit of a reference.

Ray H.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #165
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath ➡️
But it articulated well other concepts and practices. One notion I've struggled with is appreciating the use of a space pair of mics as a kind of spot on a small instrument or vocalist.

I'm still betting many who deploy such configurations do so 'because they can'. . .because they've seen others do so. But the Decca book laid out the thinking on this better than I've ever heard or read.
Ray H.
That is interesting. I am curious to know what do the authors say about how to avoid left right movement in the stereo-panorama when using spaced-pairs as spots? Time after time when I try myself to use them, this technique causes anomalies because of moving bodies/ instruments, esp. singers, violinists and woodwinds/brass players. Here in Sweden we have a clarinetist who is dancing all over the stage. This guy you can only spot with a wireless bug sticked to the instrument. The stereo-system approach works perfectly for fixed instruments like piano, or when the performer is sitting on a chair; cello and guitar like instruments, but those that take more freedom violin, singers, their movements must be a nightmare for all engineers that want to avoid them flying all over the stereo-panorama. I have seen violinists taking more than 180 degrees freedom around them, just curious, maybe I should order the book.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #166
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgeltonmeister ➡️
That is interesting. I am curious to know what do the authors say about how to avoid left right movement in the stereo-panorama when using spaced-pairs as spots? Time after time when I try myself to use them, this technique causes anomalies because of moving bodies/ instruments, esp. singers, violinists and woodwinds/brass players. Here in Sweden we have a clarinetist who is dancing all over the stage. This guy you can only spot with a wireless bug sticked to the instrument. The stereo-system approach works perfectly for fixed instruments like piano, or when the performer is sitting on a chair; cello and guitar like instruments, but those that take more freedom violin, singers, their movements must be a nightmare for all engineers that want to avoid them flying all over the stereo-panorama. I have seen violinists taking more than 180 degrees freedom around them, just curious, maybe I should order the book.
imo there is exactely one good reason (and many bad reasons) to use dual spots on a physically relatively small source: the ambient proportion of the signal of pretty any stereo system (but especially when using omnis) does sound 'more natural'/'less coloured' than when using a single spot...

...but since i got no problem tweaking signals until they sound right, i can only assume that those who don't wanna touch any filters or use artificial efx stick to dual spots.
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  #167
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgeltonmeister ➡️
In the early 90s I spoke with a Decca engineer when I was working in Cambridge, who told me the Decca M50 were rebuilt to 48V phantom power with solid state FET's. I did not ask him about the capsules, but I doubt Decca at that time still had access to M50 with original aluminum capsules, and thus must have been using mostly the KM83 capsule. So in my opinion the closest approach to Decca sund today would be using 3(5) Neumann KM183s with 4 cm spheres. I have not read the Decca book, and I don't think I am going to buy it. I never have been impressed with the sound the Decca label offered, I find it sharp and out of proportion, but that is my personal opinion I am allowed to have, but others who like it are free to do so. I have always been more a Schoeps man than a Neu-man.
When one examines the Decca fet M50's, one finds that they all used the aluminum capsules. Later M50 mics delivered to Decca in the early 70's were built with gold KM83 type capsules. But those were removed and replaced with the "real thing" aluminum capsules. Aluminum are the only really desirable capsules for real M50 sound.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #168
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
imo there is exactely one good reason (and many bad reasons) to use dual spots on a physically relatively small source: the ambient proportion of the signal of pretty any stereo system (but especially when using omnis) does sound 'more natural'/'less coloured' than when using a single spot...

...but since i got no problem tweaking signals until they sound right, i can only assume that those who don't wanna touch any filters or use artificial efx stick to dual spots.
Do I understand well you use single spots, but tweak them the old school way (as I learned at the radio in the 1980s) by Eq-ing and using a reverb on them?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➡️
When one examines the Decca fet M50's, one finds that they all used the aluminum capsules. Later M50 mics delivered to Decca in the early 70's were built with gold KM83 type capsules. But those were removed and replaced with the "real thing" aluminum capsules. Aluminum are the only really desirable capsules for real M50 sound.
I just wonder where Decca got the real thing aluminium capsules from. The manufacturer of the aluminium wasn't producing it anymore. That is why Neumann had to find another solution. My first CD I bought from Decca was Georg Solti, Mosorski, Pictures at an Exhibition, arrangement for orchestra, the sound is just so sharp, trumpets are penetrating my eardrums, must be the aluminium holy grail.
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  #170
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"But those were removed and replaced with the "real thing" aluminum capsules."

Citation please.

D.
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  #171
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgeltonmeister ➡️
That is interesting. I am curious to know what do the authors say about how to avoid left right movement in the stereo-panorama when using spaced-pairs as spots? Time after time when I try myself to use them, this technique causes anomalies because of moving bodies/ instruments, esp. singers, violinists and woodwinds/brass players. Here in Sweden we have a clarinetist who is dancing all over the stage. This guy you can only spot with a wireless bug sticked to the instrument. The stereo-system approach works perfectly for fixed instruments like piano, or when the performer is sitting on a chair; cello and guitar like instruments, but those that take more freedom violin, singers, their movements must be a nightmare for all engineers that want to avoid them flying all over the stereo-panorama. I have seen violinists taking more than 180 degrees freedom around them, just curious, maybe I should order the book.
Whatever main pair you are using will still tend to faithfully record the movement, to a large degree irrespective of the spot counter-acting this. Working on the main pair first (let's say you you are recording a solo violin with piano accompaniment) you can damp down the apparent movement with either a mid-side main pair, with more emphasis on the mid mic...or XY, which tends to give a narrower width to the stereo image than say AB or ORTF.

Now moving to the spot pair, you might either sacrifice the stereo aspect altogether, and just use a mono spot....which will tend to lock the soloist in whatever location the spot is panned to...or else if using small-space distance AB spots, pan them both inwards eg 10am and 2pm or 11am and 1pm, to reduce the perception of movement.

So you'd manipulate the image width of both your main pair and spot pair ( or spot-mono) until you have sufficiently curtailed the sense of soloist movement...at the expense of some sense of overall stereo image.

Your wireless mono spot will of course accomplish this also, as you've explained...keep working on the width manipulation and panning of both mains and spot(s) until the apparent movement either stops, is minimised....or no longer troubles you !

Then, you can use Voxengo MSED to 'artiificially widen' everything again....
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #172
You can narrow the spot pair, or orient it vertically to avoid that L-R movement. Performers will sometimes move side to side, but don’t tend to move so much up and down.

I just recorded a fantastic pro mezzo-soprano today, using an 11” AB of cmc621, no movement at all. Best kind of day at work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgeltonmeister ➡️
That is interesting. I am curious to know what do the authors say about how to avoid left right movement in the stereo-panorama when using spaced-pairs as spots? Time after time when I try myself to use them, this technique causes anomalies because of moving bodies/ instruments, esp. singers, violinists and woodwinds/brass players. Here in Sweden we have a clarinetist who is dancing all over the stage. This guy you can only spot with a wireless bug sticked to the instrument. The stereo-system approach works perfectly for fixed instruments like piano, or when the performer is sitting on a chair; cello and guitar like instruments, but those that take more freedom violin, singers, their movements must be a nightmare for all engineers that want to avoid them flying all over the stereo-panorama. I have seen violinists taking more than 180 degrees freedom around them, just curious, maybe I should order the book.

Last edited by king2070lplaya; 4 weeks ago at 11:31 PM..
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  #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➡️
"But those were removed and replaced with the "real thing" aluminum capsules."

Citation please.

D.
You mean an internet citation??
Why?

I was told this by the man who put the alu capsules in the mics. He worked in the design / tech dept. at Decca Records.

In fact I owned some Decca fet m 50 mics and both had alu capsules. When I checked with Neumann to see the year of delivery, one of them was from 1953 and was shipped with an alu capsule.

The other mic was from 1971 and was shipped with a gold KM83 capsule. Decca received it new from Teldec and immediately converted that one to alu capsule. They did that with all the later M50 mics they bought.

Decca had a stock of scores of alu capsules for that purpose.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #174
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➡️
You can narrow the spot pair, or orient it vertically to avoid that L-R movement. Performers will sometimes move side to side, but don’t tend to move so much up and down.

I just recorded a fantastic A-House operatic mezzo-soprano today, using an 11” AB of cmc621, no movement at all. Total pro!
Vertical spacing is one of those smart tricks one can use.

Operatic and opera singers are the only ones you can coerce to not move !

...unless of course the libretto asks for it.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #175
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1 Review written
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgeltonmeister ➡️
Do I understand well you use single spots, but tweak them the old school way (as I learned at the radio in the 1980s) by Eq-ing and using a reverb on them?
i'm having a hard time with most techniques used in the 80's (well, except that i bought a failight in '86...), not only in classical music, and i dunno what approach you used back then so cannot tell whether there's any overlap between our approaches - this is what i've been using:

- single spot unless the instrument is very large
- directional spots
- mostly sdc's
- mics with mostly flat fr
- no tube mics
- spots get positioned in semi circles
- spots get time (and phase) aligned to the mains
- mains are mostly coincident or close-to-coincident unless the orchestra is very large
- in the latter case, i do like using a l/c/r main mic system (with or without outriggers) but hardly ever in a traditional decca style

short: spots get tweaked in terms of level, timing and panorama but also eq, dynamics and ratio between direct, reflected and ambient sound.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #176
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GIACOMO-_ ➡️
Are we sure that the "Decca tree" still works today?
There is no real substitute for the old M50, and we all know the sonic limits of digital world (AD conversion).
Our late M. Bishop did not like the Decca tree, due to phase problems, and many other tonmeisters (the first one that comes to mind is the Tritonus team) do not use it.
This book today is not the solution to all problems, on the contrary, it could in a certain way procure risks for those who dream to get the famous "Decca sound".
I am personally not a fan of the Decca tree at all, and I do not think the imaging it produces reflects what I hear in the hall in the places where I want to sit. But that is a personal judgement call and I have a number of customers who love the Decca tree.

What I will say is that the Decca tree depends on the high frequency directionality of the M50, and although it can work with microphones other than the M50, it can take some tinkering to make it work properly and a lot of people are not willing to do that tinkering. A modern small diaphragm omni like a DPA 4006 will work very poorly as-is in a tree, but if a ball is added to it to force it to become beamy at higher frequencies it can work quite well.

If you use an M50, you can follow the recipes used by Decca exactly. If you use something other than an M50, it will take a little bit of fiddling with compensation balls, angles and distances and you won't be able to just put them at the distances in the book and expect them to work. However, as an engineer, you should be used to that.

As far as the digital issues go... personally I am very pleased with modern digital although it took 30 years of development to get it to the point where I am pleased with it. But, if you are not pleased with it, by all means hire me and I will be happy to carry the Nagra or the ATR-100 out. Every year I still do a couple analogue gigs in the field and they always sound great.
--scott
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #177
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgeltonmeister ➡️
Here in Sweden we have a clarinetist who is dancing all over the stage. This guy you can only spot with a wireless bug sticked to the instrument. The stereo-system approach works perfectly for fixed instruments like piano, or when the performer is sitting on a chair; cello and guitar like instruments, but those that take more freedom violin, singers, their movements must be a nightmare for all engineers that want to avoid them flying all over the stereo-panorama. I have seen violinists taking more than 180 degrees freedom around them, just curious, maybe I should order the book.
I worked on a rock gig in the seventies where the guitar player was sufficiently impaired that he had to be gaffer-taped to the chair in order to keep him upright and in place. This approach may also work in the classical world.
--scott
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #178
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
i'm having a hard time with most techniques used in the 80's (well, except that i bought a failight in '86...), not only in classical music, and i dunno what approach you used back then so cannot tell whether there's any overlap between our approaches - this is what i've been using:

- single spot unless the instrument is very large
- directional spots
- mostly sdc's
- mics with mostly flat fr
- no tube mics
- spots get positioned in semi circles
- spots get time (and phase) aligned to the mains
- mains are mostly coincident or close-to-coincident unless the orchestra is very large
- in the latter case, i do like using a l/c/r main mic system (with or without outriggers) but hardly ever in a traditional decca style

short: spots get tweaked in terms of level, timing and panorama but also eq, dynamics and ratio between direct, reflected and ambient sound.
D, how do you time and phase align? Speaker processors? How would you do the time alignment, with some sort of "sweep" or "chirp" at the instrument position? I've only known to do it by measuring distance (tough) or ear.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #179
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Here's what I do:

I mic most things with stereo spots
a ton of tube mics
mostly omni mics (known as a real microphone)
no time alignment ever
spaced or non coincident mains
I don't record with any EQ
often mix directly to stereo with a Sonosax mixer
Mix to a Sonosax SX-R4+ recorder or to a Nagra Seven recorder or to a Stellavox SM-8 tape recorder
Reverb added at the session
I use an Acousence a/d converter
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #180
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➡️
Here's what I do:

I mic most things with stereo spots
a ton of tube mics
mostly omni mics (known as a real microphone)
no time alignment ever
spaced or non coincident mains
I don't record with any EQ
often mix directly to stereo with a Sonosax mixer
Mix to a Sonosax SX-R4+ recorder or to a Nagra Seven recorder or to a Stellavox SM-8 tape recorder
Reverb added at the session
I use an Acousence a/d converter
...which is pretty much the opposite of what i'm doing but i guess we're not only talking about different approaches but also about very different situations and gear needed to achieve our specific goals:

i choose an approach which i consider to be very robust in the sense that it can get scaled up to huge input count, can get used in semi-amplified situations (often the case in modern music) of fully amplified situations (say if you have an orchestra playing along with a jazz or rock band) but also for broadcasting - for this, some of the measures i mentioned imo are mandatory or else one would end with a huge mess in terms of transients, bleed, ambient sound, lf build up, blurry image, lack of localisation etc. which is definitely not what i would want to offer any producer...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Klimermonk ➡️
D, how do you time and phase align? Speaker processors? How would you do the time alignment, with some sort of "sweep" or "chirp" at the instrument position? I've only known to do it by measuring distance (tough) or ear.
the simple approach (besides using one's ears) is to use a goniometer or even a level meter on the pfl bus - to get the correct timing, i record a clave which i hit right in front of the main mic system and hence get the delays for all spots at once - if going full tilt, i do indeed use speaker processors to align and then of course also use a fft.

i almost always time align spots (if feasible: there's not much of a point in trying to do so when using any spaced mic system) - in some cases however, i find frequency dependent phase alignment more valuable than simple time alignment.

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4 weeks ago at 10:10 PM..
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