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Jecklin or 4 mic array for string quartet ?
Old 13th January 2021
  #1
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🎧 10 years
Jecklin or 4 mic array for string quartet

For an upcoming string quartet recording session (with video, non-concert) what factors might steer you towards either Jecklin Disc or 4mics/1bar phased array...in a medium sized room with good acoustics ? I'm expecting to add a spot cello mic also....

Given that at least 1 camera will capture a long shot of all players, I'll be looking for a miking method that lets me locate the main pair stand far enough away to accomodate this camera requirement (although I can also boom overhead and forward to some degree).

Which of the 2 approaches is more amenable to a somewhat distant mic placement (we want to avoid individual spot mics for each player...and these shouldn't be necessary in a good space anyway) ?

Last edited by studer58; 27th January 2021 at 10:46 PM..
Old 13th January 2021
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
If you’re going to place the main pair relatively far you’ll get a pretty narrow image with the Jecklin disc. Do you have wide cardioids? I’d use a pair of MK21 in NOS for something like that. You’d have very good reach at a distance and very good localization.
Old 13th January 2021
  #3
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🎧 10 years
I have a CM3 pair which would work well as an NOS pair at a distance.
Old 13th January 2021 | Show parent
  #4
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1 Review written
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using omnis at a larger than normal distance changes the balance between direct, reflected and ambient sound and leads to a rather blurry soundfield without much definition and with poor localisation of sources - at larger distance, a disc between the mics does only minimize the effect of the soundfield becoming mono-ish.
Old 13th January 2021
  #5
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Plush's Avatar
 
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I would suggest sticking with a cardioid stereo pair and a cello spot. Often in a good room / hall, you might end up not using the cello spot, but still record it.

Determine the maximum distance away from the group that still gives you great sound. Then discuss with the video people why your mics need to be *there* instead of farther away.

In comparison, a Jecklin disk recording has the omni mics quite close to the group. Usually on stage in front of the group, so that would be very noticeable in the video frame.
Attached Thumbnails
Jecklin or 4 mic array for string quartet ?-takacs-quartet-jecklin-disk.jpg  
Old 13th January 2021
  #6
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edva's Avatar
 
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As others above have said.
Jecklin is a bit of a "one trick pony" IMHO, and even at that, very subjective in terms of either better or worse than other techniques. If you do decide to use it, an A/B comparison with another technique might be worthwhile. Or just avoid it. Good luck.
Old 13th January 2021
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Why not using hanging MS set in the middle of the quartet? The mic can be 8-10 feet above the players and therefore will be out of the camera.


I did this exactly the way mentioned above.
Attached Files

Beethoven String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135 opening.wav (10.10 MB, 1823 views)

Old 13th January 2021 | Show parent
  #8
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by edva ➡️
As others above have said.
Jecklin is a bit of a "one trick pony" IMHO, and even at that, very subjective in terms of either better or worse than other techniques. If you do decide to use it, an A/B comparison with another technique might be worthwhile. Or just avoid it. Good luck.
having assisted jürg jecklin for 15 years, i strongly disagree with that notion! - in fact, i'm tempted to say that everything conventional a/b can do, oss can do better!

however, it's worth remembering that jürg a) was working for the national radio broadcasting company, b) that he was mainly looking for a way how his mixes would survive fm modulation and c) that the technique should be very simple to implement - it shouldn't come as a surprise then that his first disc was a vinyl disk which he found in the control room (don't recall which disc) and that he ripped some foam from the control room's rear wall damping which he then glued to the disc... :-)
Old 13th January 2021 | Show parent
  #9
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edva's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
having assisted jürg jecklin for 15 years, i strongly disagree with that notion! - in fact, i'm tempted to say that everything conventional a/b can do, oss can do better!

however, it's worth remembering that jürg a) was working for the national radio broadcasting company, b) that he was mainly looking for a way how his mixes would survive fm modulation and c) that the technique should be very simple to implement - it shouldn't come as a surprise then that his first disc was a vinyl disk which he found in the control room (don't recall which disc) and that he ripped some foam from the control room's rear wall damping which he then glued to the disc... :-)
I certainly respect the creativity of his invention, and I believe he is justifiably well respected by many for it. Obviously the technique has been used, and copied, by many. And good for you, what great experience. And I'm sure your experience and results with it far surpass mine.
I will however stand by my (admittedly subjective) comments, especially about making a comparison and listening for oneself, if time and circumstances allow. IMHO that is really the only way to determine if it sounds "better" in any specific context. IMHO. Good luck.
Old 13th January 2021
  #10
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David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have heard some fine quartet recordings made with Jecklin discs. I own one myself (homemade) and also a diffraction-corrected Schneider disc (made by MBHO) which I like a bit better for small ensembles. It's always a treat to happen upon a recording situation where it can be used to good effect, but it doesn't happen as often as I would like. A disc rig has a fixed amount of reach and a fixed stereo recording angle, so it's often the case that you get the direct to reverberant ratio correct but the sound stage is wrong, or vice versa. With a near-coincident pair, there are three additional degrees of freedom: pattern, angle, and spacing. That gives a skilled practitioner the ability to adapt to a wider variety of recording situations.

A video crew implies access to the hall well in advance, so I see no case for using a 4 mic array. There is time to get your main pair right, so use the second pair for some thing useful: hall mics or perhaps a tight pair to go with close-ups.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 14th January 2021 | Show parent
  #11
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edva's Avatar
 
26 Reviews written
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
I have heard some fine quartet recordings made with Jecklin discs. I own one myself (homemade) and also a diffraction-corrected Schneider disc (made by MBHO) which I like a bit better for small ensembles. It's always a treat to happen upon a recording situation where it can be used to good effect, but it doesn't happen as often as I would like. A disc rig has a fixed amount of reach and a fixed stereo recording angle, so it's often the case that you get the direct to reverberant ratio correct but the sound stage is wrong, or vice versa. With a near-coincident pair, there are three additional degrees of freedom: pattern, angle, and spacing. That gives a skilled practitioner the ability to adapt to a wider variety of recording situations.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Excellent summation
Old 14th January 2021
  #12
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🎧 10 years
Thanks guys for your thoughtful and generous contributions to the situation...given the constraints of video cameras I doubt I'd be able to get the Jecklin close enough to be effective.

So I'll go with near coincident cardioid or wide-cardioid (depending on the nature of the room) plus cello spot. I'll post samples here next week....thanks again for your informed and helpful suggestions !

Finally, what are your recommendations for main pair height....I'm not inclined to go much higher than 7-8 feet, as an overhead perspective tends to emphasise the rasp of the violins, while the viola and cello recede overly much ?
Old 14th January 2021
  #13
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I use a rather narrow NOS card pair (maybe 9” since I don’t want the players too spread out in the stereo image), maybe 8’ out (depending on how reverberant the space is), with cello spot (which so far I have never needed in the mix). Anywhere from 6-8 feet up should be fine.
Old 14th January 2021
  #14
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wildplum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Fine quartet recordings have been made with both techniques. However, given your distance constraints, I'd go with a Faulkner 4 mic phased array (omni and wide cards) and take advantage of its greater "reach".
Old 14th January 2021 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Posted as a reply to dseetoo:
As I am testing ms recordings these days; any special considerations about placement/angling the mics? Would you have them crossing the line between violin 1 and 2 (given that they are seated across from one another)?
Old 14th January 2021
  #16
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This was recorded by me a long time ago with a hanged MBHO Jecklin disk and MBHO mics. I like it
https://youtu.be/rvw538VzfMc
Old 14th January 2021
  #17
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🎧 10 years
Hmm....quite a tantalising conundrum ! Getting a Jecklin Disc or m-s array virtually above the quartet is still a problem I can't see being overcome with any boom arm (while also being invisible to the cameras)...that's why I'm favouring arrays that can be placed some distance back from the players.

Hanging mics from the ceiling isn't possible, so any type of 'overhead' placement is going to require a stand... in relative proximity to the quartet

Some questions: Da Hong...did you use an omni or cardioid for your mid mic ?
Mathieujm...was your array directly above the players...or out front of their semicircle ?
Wildplum....I appreciate the additional flexibility a 4 mic Faulkner array confers, but the only way it could be giving more 'reach'...than an NOS/ORTF pair alone... would be by replacing the wide cardioid mics with regular cardioids (the outer omni pair would only add ambience and bass extension...not reach per se) ?
Old 14th January 2021
  #18
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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.

David
Old 14th January 2021 | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Some questions: Da Hong...did you use an omni or cardioid for your mid mic ?

In the sample, I did use an omni. (MKH20/30) Most of time, I use omni for my M mic. If I am in a hall which I have never worked in, or not having any sound check time allocated, I would use an 800Twin so I can cover my rear end in post.


If I can't hang my MS rig which I usually do, I would use a single tall stand, something that goes up to 5 or 6 meters. One nice thing about MS is that it is so light in weight and requires no stereo bar, I feel safer to set it high up with a light duty tall stand.


I also did this for a video shoot where they did not want to show the stand. So, I used two stands, one on each side of the group, I used a thin long metal tube rigged on top of the two stands to form a horizontal bar across the group, hang the mic off the horizontal bar. Again, it worked because the MS rig is so light.
Old 14th January 2021
  #20
Gear Maniac
If you don't mind, Da Hong, since we are discussing omni 'Mid', I wondered if you would weigh in on the relative virtues of the MK2H capsule, in this application or even in general. I just happened to be watching the mini documentary on the Emerson quartet the other day and noticed you made some use of MK2H, which to be honest I don't see talked about much. The recent Decca book got me thinking about them again since they encourage their use with balls on a tree. Some seem to think they aren't flat enough to use close, or yet bumped enough to use at distance. Your thoughts, particularly in the context of string ensembles? Many thanks...
Old 14th January 2021
  #21
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🎧 5 years
Ive just bought a used pair of DPA 4060 for this kind of situation, they came with tiny PZM mounts and would be perfect for difficult video shots and DPs.
When floor mounted they are imperceptible and they exhibit marked presence which could grab well mounted low and close.
Not quite my MS standard but useful insurance.
Im also thinking of a used pair of Schoeps CCM8 MS on a tall thin Nextel stand, is there such a thing ?

Roger
Old 14th January 2021
  #22
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Totally NOT in step with this discussion but would a "real" Faulkner array, two parallel figure-of-eights be a possible choice? Tons of "reach" and a nice stereo image.

That array is the first place I go when I need my main pair stand to be farther away from an ensemble than I would like.

Just throwin' it out there.

D.
Old 14th January 2021
  #23
0VU
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
a tall thin Nextel stand, is there such a thing ?
It's a fairly expensive way to do it but you can screw Schoeps STR rods (as used in the BF250 base for mounting RC extension tubes) together end to end and they're available in various lengths, including custom lengths. It's not ideal as you're a bit limited in the achievable length/height and it takes time to screw/unscrew to adjust the height but at only 12mm in diameter they do make a very discreet stand. Schoeps will also make them in black (or any other colour) to special order.

For a bit of continuous height adjustment, a compromise might be to use the telescopic upright tube of one of the K+M banqueting stands so you set the approximate height with the screw together sections then have about 6-10" of adjustment via a telescopic section at the bottom of the stand where it might be less visually intrusive. (The STR rods are threaded at 3/8" Whitworth so will screw onto most Euro/UK mic stands without needing adapters.)

Another not cheap option could be the Schoeps STV stand which is telescopic between 90cm and 140cm but they might make you a longer one to order, I haven't asked.

Alternatively, for on camera work on a chamber music festival in a fairly open church, I had various slim Nextel covered aluminium or matte dark grey/black-ish) carbon fibre stands made up which are like variants on the STV. They're 12mm tube, with cables running up the inside of the stands and emerging through some slightly modified (drilled out) Schoeps type clutches into the underside of the BF250 (standard round K+M Type) stand base or through a hole in the side of the tube just above the clutch. Some also have telescopic sections for height adjustment. They don't have booms as the centre of gravity would move too far and make the stand bend but, as vertical stands, they'll happily hold something like a KM100 size mic or maybe even a C414 but they're really intended for Schoeps remote capsules (the CMC can fit under the base of the stand if necessary) or CCMs, Neumann KA extended capsules or DPA compacts. The only thing is that the tubes are quite slim and limted in space internally and in how they are slotted/holed for the cables so the cables are (mostly) captive within the stands. (Excess cable can coil under the cast iron base plates.)

Slightly less slim but there are also mic stands available which look like pretty conventional round base stands a la K+M 260 with telescopc uprights, which incoporate a fixed gooseneck section with XLR at the top and internal wiring. It's possible with some of these to modify them to have 5 or 6 pin XLRs and two channels of cabling inside. It works with something like a Schoeps MSTC64 whjich can plug straight into the XLR/gooseneck but you could probably fashion some kind of adapters neatly to hold various configurations of CCMs or similar and feed them into the XLR. Even for MS.

And lastly, if you plan to do MS with Schoeps, then you could go for one of their RCY stereo extension tubes which hold two capsules, parallel, one above the other. It won't work for vertically aligned (end to end) fig-8s but if you don't mind the S being behind the M (you know my feelings about that ) then it's a very compact way to arrange that. I think they're officially now discontinued but they might be available to special order and, if you wanted to try one, they're hirable.

There's also the SGMSC MS mount and AMS22 MS shock mount, both of which will screw directly onto the STR rod stand option and give some vertical alignement control. The SCMSC is particularly neat when used like that but you might need some foam under the stand base for shock mounting (the Schoeps foam mats are extremely effective at that). If you want to try either of these just drop me a PM.
Old 14th January 2021
  #24
Gear Maniac
OVU I've thought long and hard about doing something similar to your hollow 12mm rod project -- I'm sure others would be eager to learn from your experience if you cared to share more detail (and maybe pictures?) about questions that puzzle me:

1. How to rig a Schoeps remote cable without cutting & rewiring it - surely yours were not internal?
2. Purchasing a visually pleasing clutch assembly... I've decided to make them in the machine shop, but buying would be preferable!
3. How you made some of them telescopic... this was well beyond what I envisioned.
Old 14th January 2021 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Wildplum....I appreciate the additional flexibility a 4 mic Faulkner array confers, but the only way it could be giving more 'reach'...than an NOS/ORTF pair alone... would be by replacing the wide cardioid mics with regular cardioids (the outer omni pair would only add ambience and bass extension...not reach per se) ?
Not in my experience, and I have a fair amount of experience with the Faulkner 4 mic array. The coupling effect of the omni/wide card pair on each side does provide more reach than either a single pair in NOS or ORTF. You adjust how much effect by changing the ratio of omni to wide card. TF claims the effect is akin to the "forward gain" achieved by some radar installations. [I should also mention that TF has, on occasion, used a "standard" card, which I have rarely done (in quotes because I do not know the pattern of the cardioids he used; some are more "wide" than others)].

(TF  on the term "reach")
"We probably need some better alternative terminology if you don't like the word "reach". After all, the dictionary definitions of the word "reach" do not include what I think we are talking about. Stereo or surround microphone phased arrays of most if not all varieties do, in my opinion, deliver more "reach" both subjectively and scientifically. What I understand to be happening is that our ears are working hard to differentiate direct coherent wanted sounds from more randomised indirect incoherent sounds like room honks and excessive reverberation. The more clues and cues we can give our ears, the easier job our brains have pulling musical sounds out of reverberation and reflections. With stereo, we are making the job easier if our microphone system includes useful inter-channel timing information. If you ever have to deal with radio antennae or radar, there is a similar quest to pull coherent wanted information out of incoherent unwanted clutter and noise using timing and phase cues."

TF has comment on these matters a few times here on GS and there are several interviews with him on the web that address this topic.

Whatever you decide to use, good luck with the recording.
Old 15th January 2021 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 5 years
Thanks Zero
I was looking on Schoeps sites this evening and saw most of those devices,
Steve Higgs of Origin Audio specialised in those adaptions but he has retired and sold his stock to Terry Tew.
It looks expensive, even to hire.
Buts thanks for the experiences, I will investigate more.
Roger

Last edited by Rolo 46; 15th January 2021 at 06:53 PM..
Old 16th January 2021
  #27
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🎧 5 years
Ive spoken to Terry Tew, 2 x CCM 8 are 30 quid a day, the 1600mm tubes and MS mount a few quid.
Not too bad over a 10 day booking for the festival.
Will investigate further.
Im also thinking of going for' Front seat sound', a low K&M stand with a MKH30/30 rig on a short boom at head height of the front row.
It sounds good there and is out of vision, wether it translates to a good hall recording waits to be heard.
Old 17th January 2021 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klimermonk ➡️
If you don't mind, Da Hong, since we are discussing omni 'Mid', I wondered if you would weigh in on the relative virtues of the MK2H capsule, in this application or even in general. I just happened to be watching the mini documentary on the Emerson quartet the other day and noticed you made some use of MK2H, which to be honest I don't see talked about much. The recent Decca book got me thinking about them again since they encourage their use with balls on a tree. Some seem to think they aren't flat enough to use close, or yet bumped enough to use at distance. Your thoughts, particularly in the context of string ensembles? Many thanks...



Before I bought into MK2H many years ago, I did my own mic shootout. We rented 30+ possible candidates and spent one evening recording myself and other fellow musicians playing our respective instruments. It was a great exercise because I had to make sure what I really wanted before investing into a large quantity of them as they are not exactly cheap. MK2H have been my main tools for many years. Slowly, I expended my capsule range to include MK2, MK2S, MK21 and MK41. I also had MK8 for a while.

I am a violinist and I listen to my instrument from 3-4 inches away, not 3-4 feet away. At the distance of 3-4 feet, MK2H seemed to resemble what I hear my own playing better than others mics. It may not be as pretty sounding as the MK2 but it is closer to what I hear how I play. So, I settled on MK2H. This may not be the best way to choose microphones but my playing provides me with a very familiar and stable reference, I went with it.

Another reason for getting the Schoeps in general was that it is easy to service them as they are constructed with discrete through hole parts up to their CMC6. Other than the capsule, there is no proprietary parts used. If you own and use many of them it is inevitable you will run into service issues.

We all know MK2H has a mild lift in upper frequency range. That lift comes from the golden color washer they inserted between the plastic acoustic lens and the casing. If you were to remove that washer and the lens, the lift is gone and the mic behaves just like MK2. I have not confirmed this directly with Schoeps but from my own measurements and tests my confidence is pretty high that the capsules in MK2H and MK2 are essentially the same. So, you can consider the MK2H as a modified MK2.

I did try the 40 and 50 mm balls with MK2H for AB stereo, as well Decca tree applications. The result was not pleasing to my ears, I am afraid. The sound becomes hard and flat in depth. I think one should get the real M50 if you want to recreate the “real” Decca tree sound.

I have used MK2H as M in combination of MK8, AKG C-414, lastly a MKH30. All those combinations work well enough but none ideal. Unsurprisingly, MKH20/30 seem to be best matched mics for MS. I like using omni for M because the true bass response.

For many Emerson Quartet recordings I used six Schoeps MK2H, stereo AB pair plus four spots. But, for their latest Schumann complete Quartets recording which has just been released, I used MKH20/30 MS, plus 4 MKH800 spots, all Sennheiser. In my mind, the jury is still out in regard to which brand of microphones are better. Both Schopes and Sennheiser can make great sounding recordings, albeit differently in their presentations.



Da-Hong
Old 18th January 2021
  #29
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
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.
Old 18th January 2021
  #30
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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.
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