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Jecklin or 4 mic array for string quartet ?
Old 19th January 2021 | Show parent
  #31
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➡️
Hi Da-Hong,

I wonder if you can share any changes to your setup approach compared to your older Schoeps-based sessions with ESQ? I remember watching the doc about the Mendelssohn Octet and you seemed very specific about distances for the spots, I wonder if you needed to move the 800s closer than the 2H’s, or the main pair closer/further than usual to achieve the desired outcome? Mostly curious how the new mic array needed adjusted considering how different the mic choices are.


Hi Kevin,


I have been collecting both Schoeps and Sennheiser MKH microphones for years. I seriously need to check myself into those 12-step program to stop ever buying more microphones, at least that is what the boss has been telling me. Anybody knows the phone number to my local charter of MHA (Microphone Hording Anonymous)?



When MKH80, then MKH800 were released, I tried them and loved them, especially the omni setting. The small(ish) double capsule omni gives me that certain sound no other mic does, except the Neumann KM56 and SM2, both of these Neumann share the same small back-to-back capsules, similar in principle to that of MKH800. The 800 are expensive so it took me a while to accumulate enough of them before I could do a full swap. I started to experiment with MKH20, 30 and 800, 800Twin and 8020 sometime in 2017. The experiments I did included recording test, acoustic measurement and reverse engineering of the circuitry. One big attraction of MKH800 of course is the proclaimed 50KHz frequency extension over its older sibling MKH80. The extension comes completely by electronic means. All the MKHxx and MKHxxx capsule share the same design. Therefore, the earlier MKHxx microphones all can reach 50KHz if their frequency compensation circuits are modified. With these findings in hand, I modified all my MKHxx microphones to have their frequency range extended.



Sennheiser microphones seem to have the effect of a lens with longer focal length, using an optical analogy here. With longer focal length, the results are further reach, cropped in, showing more detail, at the price of slightly compressed depth perception. Perhaps you can also describe it as cleaner, clear, less room sound and a bit drier. At first, I thought the Sennheiser mics are less romantic but more direct sounding, perhaps might trigger fatigue more easily. Those early conclusions did not seem to stick, thankfully. What I end up doing with Sennheiser mics is worry less with individual voicing and detail but more with room sound.



For string quartet, when I use MKH20/30 MS as stereo main pair, I do raise the height comparing to the Schoeps AB pair, not a lot but it is further. I think it went from 80-88 inches from stage floor to about 100 inches, or more. Again, they do exhibit further reach than MK2H. The MKH800 omni spot ends to be about the same distance as MK2H, at 24 inches. I could move 800 spot further away still get “solo” sound but then it picks up too much adjacent sound source which defeats the purpose. I/musicians usually only listen and adjust the MS pair till we are happy with the desired result and good balance before moving on. I never worry about spots at the session, they are always there and can be used independently in post without much of concern. I tried cardioid and wide cardioid on MKH800 as spot but I didn’t like the sound quality at all, it is all weird and does not mix well with MKH20/30 MS. My MS is omni based I guess only omni spot works? I am not sure why.




Best regards,

Da-Hong
Old 19th January 2021
  #32
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
What David Rick says is right on. But I am a huge, huge fan of the Jecklin disc, with the general provisos that it is very sensitive to placement (more so than an ORTF pair) and it falls apart in a bad room (and rooms that you thought were pretty good with an ORTF pair will show problems you hadn't noticed before when you set up the Jecklin disc). But having that deep, solid low end that you get from good omnis is amazing, and you also get tight imaging.

So if you can put your microphone pair anywhere, and you have a rehearsal to spend some time setting up and making sure everything is right, I would strongly recommend trying the Jecklin disc. Make sure you have some ability to listen to playback on decent speakers somewhere before finally rolling tape for real.

But if you do not have the ability to do this, I wouldn't try it except as a safety pair.

Also, his comment about the APE balls is a very good one. Use them with the Jecklin, you will like the effect
--scott
Old 19th January 2021 | Show parent
  #33
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➡️
In listening to the very good recording of the Schumann quartets by our esteemed man Da-Hong Seetoo, I particularly like how the listener has a good sense of the room where the quartet is playing. Also laudable is the left-right spread given by the m/s array.

It sounds to me like a lot of the sound is from the m/s main pair because I don't hear any instrument over spotted sounding. The cello has an appealing detail.

I became intimately familiar with the MKH 20 omni sound when I used to work with Max Wilcox who always traveled with 4 of those mics.


Hello Hudson,

Thank you for the kind words. I am glad you find the Schumann Quartets recording enjoyable.


Out of the three quartets, No1 and No3 were recorded at the 1st venue and the No2 was recorded at a different venue. The 1st venue happened to be one of the nosiest places I ever had pleasure working in. It is noisy as hell. All the motors in HAVC had to be replaced years ago, I am sure. On the other hand, the 2nd venue was very good, with very good acoustics and controlled working environment. To make the two venues sounding like one I had some hoops to jump through. Try to get rid of that much of mechanical noise but not completely destroy the sound was challenging, to say the least. Picture this; On stereo meter, the noise floor never dipped below -35dB! It was nuts.


Therefore, I had to use a lot more spots in No1 and No3 quartets than I usually would like to, just to gain a bit signal to noise ratio. The mastering process, therefore, was very much software driven. Thank goodness for all the fancy software we have now. I don’t think I could possibly get this result three or four years ago.


Yes, Max loved his MKH20 mics. I swapped my MKH40s with him for some old Schoeps he had.
Old 19th January 2021
  #34
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🎧 10 years
In regard to Jecklin disc, does anybody ever complain about that strange looking thing hanging the hall, or appears in the TV camera? These days everybody wants to make video without microphones in the frame, let alone the big disc. Just wondering...
Old 19th January 2021 | Show parent
  #35
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo ➡️
My MS is omni based I guess only omni spot works? I am not sure why.
Quote:
Out of the three quartets, No1 and No3 were recorded at the 1st venue and the No2 was recorded at a different venue. The 1st venue happened to be one of the nosiest places

hard to judge as imo one cannot convey enough context in a few posts - i'm (almost) always deliberately using directional spot mics (which need processing though), regardless of main mic system but certainly in noisy rooms...

___

what i'm not quite getting is why a well-regarded ensemble 'needed' to be recorded in a noisy room though?!


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
I don't think it's probably a good idea here, but I'll mention in the interest of completeness that one can modify a disc array by substituting sub-cardioids for the normal omni's, or even by equipping the omni mics with APE balls. Sometimes that improves the front/rear directivity just enough to make it work.
i hardly recall jürg experimenting with different patterns of mics for the disk (he clearly favoured omnis as mains) but occasionally with materials affecting the damping/absorption/reflection: he had me put up different covers which got wrapped around the disk; he also used pretty much any omni sdc available (and in the studio often preferred results from tube sdcs but was reluctant of using tube mics on location recordings/for live broadcasts).

maybe worth noting that jürg did mostly use the disk just on smaller ensembles, at short distance and hence closer to the ensembles than other mic systems/arrays; he referred to the disk (and decca) being 'close-mic main systems' and hence did hardly use any spots when using the disk, except for say on harp or lute.

i do not recall him using the disk for solo instruments or for a stereo spot - i occasionally use the disk for drum overheads (on solo drum recordings) with just a few additional mics (on bass drums and snare) if not using a modified glyn johns/equidistant l/C/r+kick setup...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 19th January 2021 at 03:40 PM.. Reason: typo/edited
Old 19th January 2021 | Show parent
  #36
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo ➡️
In regard to Jecklin disc, does anybody ever complain about that strange looking thing hanging the hall, or appears in the TV camera? These days everybody wants to make video without microphones in the frame, let alone the big disc. Just wondering...
You bet! ALL the time!

It's sure better than the seventies when everyone was flying big sheets of plexiglas with PZMs on them though. Sounds a lot better too.
--scott
Old 19th January 2021 | Show parent
  #37
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
You bet! ALL the time!

It's sure better than the seventies when everyone was flying big sheets of plexiglas with PZMs on them though. Sounds a lot better too.
--scott
The standard advice then was to 'paint the edge-boundaries black, so the plexiglas won't catch and reflect the stage lights' !
Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #38
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🎧 10 years
OK...so as promised here's a sample from the video session. It ended up being in a large cube shaped 'drawing room' of around 8x8x8 metres, with no floor coverings and no furniture...so a fairly bright reflective ambience, a little 'slappy' in fact.

As predicted the camera constraints required having the mic stand far enough back that NOS or ORTF were the only viable approaches...and anything using omnis (Jecklin, 4 mic Faulkner) would have simply emphasized the slappy/brash nature of the room.

So I went with S502 ORTF pair, about 2.8 m high, and same distance back from the quartet...plus AT2020 LD cello spot (which is the only added reverb...the room sound is au naturel)

Here's a sample from a pre-take warmup. I'm wondering if some gentle eq-ing might ameliorate the overall sound...welcoming any suggestions
Attached Files

DM sample edit.mp3 (4.40 MB, 1017 views)

Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #39
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Here's a sample from a pre-take warmup. I'm wondering if some gentle eq-ing might ameliorate the overall sound...welcoming any suggestions
Yeah, there's a room slap there, and it's a little bright on top. I have actually never had much luck eqing the top down or using delayed reverb to reduce that effect but I know other people do both. I bet it works out fine with the video as it is, because the video will show it being in a room that you expect to sound like that. If it sounded like it was in a huge and perfect room it wouldn't work with the video.
--scott
Old 21st January 2021
  #40
Gear Nut
I was thinking about the slap last night and thought about TF's solution in some churches with looong reverbs and also how we avoid slap in some hall PA system with eyebrow curtains. maybe this would work for your slaps....

from TF interview :About five years ago somebody wanted me to go and record four hands piano, Schubert’s Three Marches Militaires, in a small chapel near Bordeaux. Lovely job to have, and lovely wine around there, but the chapel’s reverb was about 4.8s long without an audience in the room. With four hands on a piano playing Three Marches Militaires it just sounded ridiculous; like I’d got a reverb for Christmas and was putting it on everything! I ended up using a pair of ribbons, and found a local recording studio that lent me some of those semi-circular things to place behind microphones for getting rid of the room sound if you’re recording in a bedroom or similar. It looked bizarre but it worked, and it sounded lovely.

Ray
Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #41
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🎧 10 years
Yes, I think once it's paired with the video, 'context gestalt' will see the sound and vision glue together nicely

Given the short hire and setup time, no wall treatment was possible...but the use of ribbon mics, plus something like TF's reflexion absorbers, could have helped a lot....in terms of treble taming and slap reduction. I'm sure we'll be back there, so an opportunity to do better next time.

Definitely time for me to get a pair of high-functioning ribbons !
Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #42
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Definitely time for me to get a pair of high-functioning ribbons !
I don't know how big an improvement they'd be.... they can definitely be a huge help in a long skinny church where most of the nastiness is coming from the side walls and you can set up a pair with the nulls pointed at the sides. They'll smooth out the top end some but they aren't that much of a fix.

That said, everybody should have a pair of the Audio-Technica AT4081s... I think they are real sleepers and don't get the publicity they deserve.
--scott
Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #43
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Yes, I think once it's paired with the video, 'context gestalt' will see the sound and vision glue together nicely

Given the short hire and setup time, no wall treatment was possible...but the use of ribbon mics, plus something like TF's reflexion absorbers, could have helped a lot....in terms of treble taming and slap reduction. I'm sure we'll be back there, so an opportunity to do better next time.

Definitely time for me to get a pair of high-functioning ribbons !
I was actually thinking you could have put curtains as reflexion absorbers behind your mics directly on the stand or a separate stand. They're just meant as a barrier maybe 6-8 inches long around the perimeter of the mics and plain fig 8 work well too.....although they might not tame that hi end....of course treating the space would have been nice...Could you link to the video once completed?



R
Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #44
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🎧 10 years
Thanks Scott...I know that Al Schmitt is a big fan of the AT 4081...and it seems to be a ribbon that's slipstreamed a lot of significant design innovations into an affordable package (18 patents pending....I thought ribbons were about the most simple transducer around !) :

http://recordinghacks.com/microphone...echnica/AT4081
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews...-at4080-at4081
https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/at4081

There seemed to be hints of its preamp self noise being a concern ?

Last edited by studer58; 22nd January 2021 at 01:56 AM..
Old 21st January 2021 | Show parent
  #45
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayS ➡️
I was actually thinking you could have put curtains as reflexion absorbers behind your mics directly on the stand or a separate stand. They're just meant as a barrier maybe 6-8 inches long around the perimeter of the mics and plain fig 8 work well too.....although they might not tame that hi end....of course treating the space would have been nice...Could you link to the video once completed?
R
Yep, I'll definitely post a link once the video hits YouTube. The 'localised curtains' idea sounds like it would have validity, and wouldn't be hard to implement...I wonder if it would be as effective for ORTF/NOS as for a ribbon ?
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #46
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Yep, I'll definitely post a link once the video hits YouTube. The 'localised curtains' idea sounds like it would have validity, and wouldn't be hard to implement...I wonder if it would be as effective for ORTF/NOS as for a ribbon ?

Ahhh it depends where the slap originates from....!!are the musicians not hampered by it? as for the reflexion barrier it works well on cardioids , that's how most people use them, albeit closer in but it might work well in your scenario.....

Ray
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #47
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayS ➡️
Ahhh it depends where the slap originates from....!!are the musicians not hampered by it? as for the reflexion barrier it works well on cardioids , that's how most people use them, albeit closer in but it might work well in your scenario.....Ray
Yes, I could see it helping....here's a snap from the session....

Logistically, you can see how hanging a Jecklin Disc or AB pair over the players would only work if the stand were located close behind either of the cellist's or 1st violinist's back....with a sufficiently long boom arm.

However, AB (implying omnis) would tend to pull in even more of the room's exposed surfaces...so not really an option ?

If the camera view is pulled in fairly tight in to the quartet, in the above-named side on mic stand setting, the vertical trunk of the stand would be out of shot....and similarly the camera doesn't need to see too far above their heads, so a suspended mic pair could also be out of frame.

The absence of floor covering isn't helping...but in this situation it's probably more the walls and ceiling conspiring to accentuate the bright slap sound, so I doubt a carpet would have helped much ?

It would be satisfying to nail a solution to this type of situation (or at least to ameliorate the brashness if possible)...either through mic choice, localized shielding or better mic placement...as it's not an uncommon setting for location recording people to find ourselves in (a medium sized but 'bright' room, with no scope for acoustic treatment of surfaces) ?
Attached Thumbnails
Jecklin or 4 mic array for string quartet ?-recording.jpg  

Last edited by studer58; 22nd January 2021 at 03:16 AM..
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #48
Gear Nut
excerpt sounds like Michael Nyman/Balanescu quartet?

R
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Yes, I could see it helping....here's a snap from the session....

Logistically, you can see how hanging a Jecklin Disc or AB pair over the players would only work if the stand were located close behind either of the cellist's or 1st violinist's back....with a sufficiently long boom arm.

However, AB (implying omnis) would tend to pull in even more of the room's exposed surfaces...so not really an option ?

If the camera view is pulled in fairly tight in to the quartet, in the above-named side on mic stand setting, the vertical trunk of the stand would be out of shot....and similarly the camera doesn't need to see too far above their heads, so a suspended mic pair could also be out of frame.

The absence of floor covering isn't helping...but in this situation it's probably more the walls and ceiling conspiring to accentuate the bright slap sound, so I doubt a carpet would have helped much ?

It would be satisfying to nail a solution to this type of situation (or at least to ameliorate the brashness if possible)...either through mic choice, localized shielding or better mic placement...as it's not an uncommon setting for location recording people to find ourselves in (a medium sized but 'bright' room, with no scope for acoustic treatment of surfaces) ?

curious, how did the cello spot sound? would that not be an interesting area..i.e low pair/s with room supplement...I think you can't fight such a "room".

R
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #50
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Earcatcher's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Thanks Scott...I know that Al Schmitt is a big fan of the AT 4081...and it seems to be a ribbon that's slipstreamed a lot of significant design innovations into an affordable package (18 patents pending....I thought ribbons were about the most simple transducer around !) :

http://recordinghacks.com/microphone...echnica/AT4081
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews...-at4080-at4081
https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/at4081

There seemed to be hints of its preamp self noise being a concern ?
In these recordings the viola da gamba consort was picked up with a Blumlein array of AT4081's: 5 Violas da gamba and singers (samples attached)
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #51
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayS ➡️
curious, how did the cello spot sound? would that not be an interesting area..i.e low pair/s with room supplement...I think you can't fight such a "room". R
Not of much use, perhaps unsurprisingly....a lot of leakage from the other 3 strings players.

So yes, a lower pair would have probably got a quite good ensemble blend... without such a dominant 'room overlay'

Paraphrasing the Richard King chapter on string quartets: when all 4 players are equally dissatisfied with the blend of recorded instruments, it's safe to assume you have achieved the most satisfactory mix for the ensemble.
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #52
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher ➡️
In these recordings the viola da gamba consort was picked up with a Blumlein array of AT4081's: 5 Violas da gamba and singers (samples attached)
That array gives nice articulation to the da gamba players, without adding further cloudiness...the photo of the space shows it to be very narrow yet tall, with much exposed stone. The Blumlein pair was merged with another main pickup, is that correct ?

Did you find the overall space to be more helpful for your recording than I experienced in my situation, despite the close reflective surfaces ?
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #53
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
There seemed to be hints of its preamp self noise being a concern ?
It's more the thermal noise of the transformer than the self-noise of the step-up pre-preamp, but yes. That's how it goes with ribbons. It's quieter than a 44DX but it's no Schoeps by any means. This is the downside of that great pattern.

Not for use on clavichords.
--scott
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #54
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
The absence of floor covering isn't helping...but in this situation it's probably more the walls and ceiling conspiring to accentuate the bright slap sound, so I doubt a carpet would have helped much ?
The floor reflection comes before the wall reflection and will add to the brightness but not to the slap-ness. Still, there's a rug in back... wouldn't hurt to put them on top of it and see if it changes anything. Of course, the video guys may hate the rug underneath.
--scott
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #55
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #56
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayS ➡️
lol - brilliant example of using a mic technique which first and foremost takes the room into account!

with so many reharesals, streams, concerts, recording sessions taking place in acoustically speaking 'difficult' venues these days, i'm not gtting why folks do not more often use directional mics and (close to) coincident mic techniques...
Old 22nd January 2021 | Show parent
  #57
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Earcatcher's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
That array gives nice articulation to the da gamba players, without adding further cloudiness...the photo of the space shows it to be very narrow yet tall, with much exposed stone. The Blumlein pair was merged with another main pickup, is that correct ?
I don't remember exactly, but possibly there was a bit of M/S main array blended in, although I'm sure most of what you hear is just the AT4081's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Did you find the overall space to be more helpful for your recording than I experienced in my situation, despite the close reflective surfaces ?
Particularly the wooden barrel ceilings in this space were very helpful (soft and not too bright), as with all early music. That chapel is also very deep on the audience's side, which gives a wonderful gradient to the decay of the reverb on the back of the Blumlein pair.
Old 22nd January 2021
  #58
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🎧 10 years
In a very echoey sounding room, it presents a strong candidate for PZM microphones. Years ago, I did a video job for a music master class in a large room in a church basement with stone floor; nothing worked better than my cheap Radio Shack PZM mics. The teacher did not have to wear a lav and he could walk around. The conversation and the playing all got picked up well. It sure was camera friendly, too.
Old 22nd January 2021
  #59
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🎧 5 years
Thats what Im going to try this season if its video event
PZM DPA 4060 close and low, the DPA mounts are 3 " black rubber, tiny for eyeline.
Otherwise its a low stand with my trad MS array (now MKH800/30) looking up.
Old 23rd January 2021
  #60
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
So just to get this straight, we are now okay with video telling us where to put our mics? We are using noisy lavalieres instead of better sounding mics because someone behind a camera tells us so? I thought I was done with that when I left the motion picture business. Never a happier day in my life. Ugh.

D.
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