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Advice for miking a solo cello in a reverberant room
Old 10th April 2021 | Show parent
  #31
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GeneHall's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediakobo ➡️
I really want to use the TLM67 as I’ve heard it can record a cello beautifully. But I thought the stereo pair of 414s would be the better choice. I really wish I had more time to set up to try all these suggestions.
In my opinion/experience, you absolutely must be allotted more time to make better decisions on the day. If you can rent the space on any given day prior to the event and test your plot, I would be doing it even if it meant a few bucks out of my pocket. Some very effective communication and empassioned negotiation strategy can give you the upper hand on game day, if anything by lowering any potential anxieties going in cold on the day.
My concern would be if someone/something has no concept of how precious that single hour is for your outcome, and that hour gets shaved to 45 minutes, suddenly that time loss could even impact the performances, not to mention the detrimental expense to your own outcome.

And yes, the TLM 67 is a great choice for cello, amongst many other things it is well suited to capture

Old 10th April 2021 | Show parent
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Such risers are very common in cello performance, particularly in string quartets. Usually it's one level, not 2 as in this case, and with all faces sealed, like a box, not open as in this case. The cello spike mechanically couples the 2 resonance chambers (cello body and stand enclosure) which theoretically lends a 'sympathetic radiator potential' to the pairing ?

The net height shown in your pic is a little higher than that of a typical single riser box...but not by much.

In practice, the coupling/amplifying effect is minimal, and beneficial...and the greater benefit derives simply from the increased height...which aids in cello projection and dispersion. Embrace it, don't fear or fight it...it might even prevent you from needing to use a spot mic, and leave all the work to the (appropriately placed) main pair ?

If you find they contribute a honky, saxophonic quality that's disagreeable, consider stuffing the empty chambers with pillows, rolled blankets, sheets of foam, yoga mats etc to damp them down....like the filling material in sealed speaker boxes.
Thank you for the explanation. That's reassuring to know!
Old 10th April 2021 | Show parent
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall ➡️
In my opinion/experience, you absolutely must be allotted more time to make better decisions on the day. If you can rent the space on any given day prior to the event and test your plot, I would be doing it even if it meant a few bucks out of my pocket. Some very effective communication and empassioned negotiation strategy can give you the upper hand on game day, if anything by lowering any potential anxieties going in cold on the day.
My concern would be if someone/something has no concept of how precious that single hour is for your outcome, and that hour gets shaved to 45 minutes, suddenly that time loss could even impact the performances, not to mention the detrimental expense to your own outcome.

And yes, the TLM 67 is a great choice for cello, amongst many other things it is well suited to capture

I will certainly suggest that to the cellist. She is the one paying for everything, and will probably just break even since seating at the venue is limited due to covid restrictions.
Old 10th April 2021
  #34
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🎧 5 years
The venue has a lot of visual appeal, and cluttering the space with cables and mics detracts from that appeal. You will make the video look markedly worse without much hope of making the audio sound markedly better (at least in the recording studio sense of better). I would make a good honest recording of the sound in the room.
That old album recorded at the Taj Mahal sounds extremely reverberant and very odd, but it sold a lot also.
Old 10th April 2021 | Show parent
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
The venue has a lot of visual appeal, and cluttering the space with cables and mics detracts from that appeal. You will make the video look markedly worse without much hope of making the audio sound markedly better (at least in the recording studio sense of better). I would make a good honest recording of the sound in the room.
That old album recorded at the Taj Mahal sounds extremely reverberant and very odd, but it sold a lot also.
Yes, it's a fine line between disrupting the visual aesthetic and getting decent audio. As the video producer, I want to avoid obstructing the view of the performer with mics or stands if at all possible. My plan is to keep the mics low in front of the cello. If I can't get a decent sound that way, then I'll defer to the 4099s.
Old 11th April 2021 | Show parent
  #36
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediakobo ➡️
Yes, it's a fine line between disrupting the visual aesthetic and getting decent audio. My plan is to keep the mics low in front of the cello. If I can't get a decent sound that way, then I'll defer to the 4099s.
Depending on how the performer orientates the cello whilst performing, anything too low or straight on may miss out on full spectrum of sound projection.
Some cello players lean their instrument right back , and the trajectory of sound kind of aims upwards at a 20-30ish degree angle.
Straight on or low may grab more resonances and lows than your'e after. Imagine the sound of a cello like a baseball trajectory towards centre field from the bat. Sorry for the tacky analogy.
The hi-mids are travelling upwards off the stage. The 2nd riser may be too much for this particular room, maybe not. You want those hi mids as unblurred by the room as possible. I know there are de-verb software solutions available but can't speak for how they actually will work, most classical recordings are as unadulterated as humanly possible.

Having said that, I completely agree with Mr Bushman that aesthetics are of paramount consideration.
I've recorded Esteddfod/recital events where I had no hiding place for cables or stands.
I used my vintage solid BeyerDynamic stands which are flat nickel finish and silver xlr cables with dullened clear insulation made by a Scandinavian company I can't recall the name of. Point is I didn't have a bunch of black cables running across upstage perimeter
Very good cables
It minimised the distraction and intrusive look of my set up

Be very interested to see and know how you decide to manage all considerations to get your result.
I think it's a tough gig, maybe others would see it as straightforward and better be able to anticipate their outcome. The limited setup time adds a bit of unnecessary stress.
Old 12th April 2021 | Show parent
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
well, they do...

(or how else would you then describe the effect they have whithout any doubt when getting used in a reverberant room by comparison to a hypercardioid? - i don't really care if the result is due to some kind of air turbulence and/or is digitally filtered or if a line-array design is getting used: i just wan't the speaker to be understood and for this, shotguns are useful tools)
If you put a shotgun and an omni in front of a source in a reverberant room, the balance between reverb and direct sound will be about the same between them. Except that the room reverb will sound a lot more natural with the omni.

If you put a hypercardioid at the same place in front of a source in a reverberant room, the hypercardioid will have far, far less room reverb than the shotgun or the omni.

Try it! It's a good demo! It demonstrates why film sound guys use hypercardioids indoors and shotguns outdoors very clearly.
--scott
Old 12th April 2021 | Show parent
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
That old album recorded at the Taj Mahal sounds extremely reverberant and very odd, but it sold a lot also.
"In the sixties when I first came to America, people here were very interested in everything from India, especially if they could smoke it." -- Dr. Desai
Old 12th April 2021 | Show parent
  #39
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
If you put a shotgun and an omni in front of a source in a reverberant room, the balance between reverb and direct sound will be about the same between them. Except that the room reverb will sound a lot more natural with the omni.

If you put a hypercardioid at the same place in front of a source in a reverberant room, the hypercardioid will have far, far less room reverb than the shotgun or the omni.

Try it! It's a good demo! It demonstrates why film sound guys use hypercardioids indoors and shotguns outdoors very clearly.
--scott
i've been using shotguns on literally thousands of gigs (to pick up tap dancers, flamenco dancers, to feed ambis to in-ears, occasionally even as overheads) etc: the claim that omnis and shotguns perform just even anywhere similar in terms of the wet/dry ratio is so far out that it leaves me speechless - nevermind...
Old 13th April 2021 | Show parent
  #40
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
i've been using shotguns on literally thousands of gigs (to pick up tap dancers, flamenco dancers, to feed ambis to in-ears, occasionally even as overheads) etc: the claim that omnis and shotguns perform just even anywhere similar in terms of the wet/dry ratio is so far out that it leaves me speechless - nevermind...
The real question, though, is....does this information spark enough interest and humility in you... to give the substitution of hypercardioid for shotgun a try ?
Old 13th April 2021 | Show parent
  #41
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
The real question, though, is....does this information spark enough interest and humility in you... to give the substitution of hypercardioid for shotgun a try ?
it isn't an information but a claim which stands in stark contrast to my experience - it's interesting enough to spark my interest in how recordists choose their gear so i'll ask a few i know: afaik they mostly use a shotgun plus a fig8 (which i'm interpreting as another sign for shotguns not picking up much ambient sound).

there remains the issue that in lots of situations (such as in very large halls), depending on distance to the source, the line between ambient and diffuse sound gets blurred so what gear to use could become an interesting question in case one sticks to scott's definition... :-)

and regarding the talk of humility (besides that it's none of your ****ing business), i doubt you are in a position to make a qualified statement about both my alleged behaviour and the disputed matter - or have you been carrying a set of mics which includes (amongst other things) a pair of shotguns to thousands of gigs and have been using them in all sorts of acoustic environments and for pretty much every genre for 40 years?

___


anyway, be assured that i do not intend discussing the use of shotgun mics here any further...

...but rather get back to this thread's topic: as much as i like the tlm67, i don't get the point of using it (or any other mic) in a poor position (too low) only to keep the sightlines clear:

either audio prevails and then one uses whatever one thinks does the best job and puts the mics in appropriate positions - if video prevails, one adjusts to the videographers wishes: in the latter case, i'd use a headset and clip mics, possibly even go wireless (plus a pzm) but certainly not a single ldc!
Old 13th April 2021 | Show parent
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
i've been using shotguns on literally thousands of gigs (to pick up tap dancers, flamenco dancers, to feed ambis to in-ears, occasionally even as overheads) etc: the claim that omnis and shotguns perform just even anywhere similar in terms of the wet/dry ratio is so far out that it leaves me speechless - nevermind...
Try it! Do the test! It's an eye-opener!

In the case of the 416 there is some other stuff going on besides just the interference tube, but the comparison between the 416 and a hypercardioid is pretty stunning.

Oh, I will say that the shotgun will get rid of discrete slap echoes and flutter echoes... because those are correlated. I'll also kind of qualify that by pointing out that the DPA and Schoeps "shotguns" aren't classic shotguns at all... the interference tube works at high frequencies but most of the directionality comes from the capsule venting like a conventional microphone.
--scott
Old 13th April 2021 | Show parent
  #43
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
Try it! Do the test! It's an eye-opener!

In the case of the 416 there is some other stuff going on besides just the interference tube, but the comparison between the 416 and a hypercardioid is pretty stunning.

Oh, I will say that the shotgun will get rid of discrete slap echoes and flutter echoes... because those are correlated. I'll also kind of qualify that by pointing out that the DPA and Schoeps "shotguns" aren't classic shotguns at all... the interference tube works at high frequencies but most of the directionality comes from the capsule venting like a conventional microphone.
--scott
as previously mentioned, i did try but came to a different conclusion, be it by occasionally using 'atypical' gear (schoeps; i never got to use a dpa) or in situations which would need a more in-depth examination (in what kinda venue and where exactly in the venue i get to use and compare mics) - nevertheless, thx for insisting on the off-topic!



p.s. if you get to shoot from the side of a stage into a large venue to feed the artists some crown noise between the songs (but duck the signals during the songs), i can recommend comparing shotguns to any other type-o-mic too: a real ear-opener!
Old 13th April 2021
  #44
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I rather like these off-topic discussions - sorry, OP. It is far more constructive than my typical banter.

With respect to my Schoeps CCM 41 vs my Schoeps miniCMIT indoors, I initially didn't view either of them as a compelling choice for critical music fidelity. Especially for a lead [song] vocal or lead instrument [like a guitar or cello lead/solo]. I viewed them both as dialog mics.

Indoors, I would favor one over the other. . .often just depending on how they responded in the environment and - to an extent - my own personal tastes. One clear case I avoid for the miniCMIT is when the mic has to be close to a reflective surface - like the ceiling. That is nothing to do with taste; it just becomes unworkable. But in a large room - away from surfaces - yeah, I've been thrilled to use the MiniCMIT.

I was in initially limiting both to dialog due to a [I now think] misimpression I got from correspondence with Schoeps years back.


I've since - joyfully - used them both indoors for music; but my thought for the specific case is to try them in-situ.

Ray H.

Disclaimer: I don't have near the experience in sound recording that even other contributor's shoelaces here have.

OP: Thanks for posting this interesting query. I've enjoyed reading the responses.
Old 13th April 2021 | Show parent
  #45
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I’ve been contemplating the options and my plan is evolving daily thanks to all your feedback. The show is a week and a half away so there’s still time to tweak, but I’m pretty much set on using the 414s as an M/S pair as David Rick suggested, but I’ll probably set them lower than what would be considered an optimal height, to avoid obstructing the view of the performer on camera. The cellist agrees that the video should take priority.

In addition to using 4099’s on the instruments and a lav for her voice, I was thinking of adding a stereo set of 4060’s with the boundary layer mount on the platform on which she will be playing. Since they would be nearly invisible to the audience and cameras it seems like an easy way to get some potentially usable audio to mix in with the rest. Or do you think this would be a waste of time?

Last edited by Mediakobo; 14th April 2021 at 05:47 AM.. Reason: typos
Old 13th April 2021 | Show parent
  #46
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Wavefront's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediakobo ➡️
In addition to using 4099’s on the instruments and a lav for her voice, I was thinking of adding a stereo set of 4060’s with the boundary layer mount on the platform on which she will be playing. Since they would nearly invisible to the audience and camera it seems like an easy way to get some potentially usable audio to mix in with the rest. Or do you think this would be a waste of time?
Not only that, but even if you don't end up using them at all in your final mix, the additional DPA's would:
  • provide a perhaps non-ideal but at least semi-workable alternative in the extremely unlikely event that you experience a serious issue with your 414's before/during the concert.
  • offer a good opportunity to evaluate this boundary mics on the riser technique for potential future use according to your tastes, and to compare it to another one (your M/S main pickup), which is often a worthwhile exercise.

If there's no visual penalty to bother the performer, you have the channels available in your recording system, and the small amount of extra time needed as part of your overall setup timeframe, then I cannot think of any good reason not to give it a try, under your circumstances.
Old 13th April 2021 | Show parent
  #47
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
If you put a shotgun and an omni in front of a source in a reverberant room, the balance between reverb and direct sound will be about the same between them. Except that the room reverb will sound a lot more natural with the omni.

If you put a hypercardioid at the same place in front of a source in a reverberant room, the hypercardioid will have far, far less room reverb than the shotgun or the omni.

Try it! It's a good demo! It demonstrates why film sound guys use hypercardioids indoors and shotguns outdoors very clearly.
--scott
kludgeaudio: Let me see if I am understanding you correctly.
This past Sunday I did a livestream featuring Flamenco dancers on a VERY small stage in a reverberant space (the venue used to be a laundromat). My solution was a short shotgun mic (AKG 460/CK8) just out of camera view, pointed at the stage floor, centered on where most of the action was going to be. It worked great.
Are you saying that if I used an omni (such as a 4006) then I would have gotten a similar result?

Last edited by wildplum; 13th April 2021 at 04:55 PM.. Reason: typos...
Old 13th April 2021 | Show parent
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
p.s. if you get to shoot from the side of a stage into a large venue to feed the artists some crown noise between the songs (but duck the signals during the songs), i can recommend comparing shotguns to any other type-o-mic too: a real ear-opener!
I do a lot of gigs with a guy who wants 416s mounted right underneath the PA arrays or on top of the stacks for audience sound in recording or audio-for-video mix. He rolls off the whole bottom end and claims there isn't much leakage and what is there is in phase with the PA and doesn't need any delay tinkering. I think he's off his nut, but if that's what he wants, I have some 416s in the kit for him.
--scott
Old 13th April 2021 | Show parent
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildplum ➡️
kludgeaudio: Let me see if I am understanding you correctly.
This past Sunday I did a livestream featuring Flamenco dancers on a VERY small stage in a reverberant space (the venue used to be a laundromat). My solution was a short shotgun mic (AKG 460/CK8) just out of camera view, pointed at the stage floor, centered on where most of the action was going to be. It worked great.
Are you saying that if I used an omni (such as a 4006) then I would have gotten a similar result?
No, I'm saying that the reverberation level would not have been very different with the omnis. Or with PZMs too... PZMs are a great choice for that sort of thing if you don't mind a lot of room sound.
--scott
Old 4 weeks ago
  #50
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Well, the concert recording went well considering all the challenges involved. I'm still editing the video but I wanted to report back with some audio samples.

My final mic setup was
- 414 XLS in Mid-Side configuration
- DPA 4060 boundary mics placed on the riser in front of the cellist
- DPA 4099 on the cello
- MKH8050 for voice
- NT5 pair with omni capsules in back of the room

My initial plan was to use a lav for her voice, but a few days before the show the cellist decided she didn't want to wear a lav, so I scrambled to find a suitable mic that could pick up her voice without being too close. I had to place it further away than I had wanted because she was afraid of hitting it with her bow.
I used a pair of 414's in M/S configuration for the main mics, and I felt they did a really good job at capturing the performance. I was really impressed with the 4060 boundary mics. The 4099 added some nice presence to the overall mix, imo. The NT5s were mainly to pick up audience applause, but I did use them to give a touch of reverb to the mix.

I very much enjoyed the experience of recording this. It was definitely a learning experience, and thanks to all of you the cellist was happy with the result.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the mix as well as the separate tracks. I'm just a novice when it comes to music mixing...and recording for that matter, so your feedback is most welcome.

-- 24-bit, 96kHz wav files --
Overall mix, with some light mastering compression and EQ added
https://mskk.box.com/s/69rl6u4q2yvcqkadqirq4tk48vurtlll

AKG C414XLS Mid-Side pair
https://mskk.box.com/s/q6ntf7bkwhqc5k1l923a8qdpc48n0tr4

DPA 4060 boundary mics
https://mskk.box.com/s/g3vhqn10v91vqdpvlebk3v052uzmi0za

DPA 4099 cello mic
https://mskk.box.com/s/rphg8g8x3bjanoni1tbcckfua7hcdipm

NT5 pair with omni caps
https://mskk.box.com/s/dpnvjfz7jkr4otmdhm16wg9gq2pfdzdo
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Advice for miking a solo cello in a reverberant room-cello-concert-mics-2.jpg   Advice for miking a solo cello in a reverberant room-cello-concert-mics.jpg  
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