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Flexible stereo setup (not only) for organ recording
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Flexible stereo setup (not only) for organ recording

Hello everyone,

I would like to share with you the result of a little recording project that I recently did, during one of my concert trips.

Two MS-setups - with two different mid-microphones each -, turned outwards, give a 6 channel recording with a very flexible stereo- and surround-sound, that can be highly adjusted in post: stereo width, pattern of the virtual mics, how much sound from the room. That would be possible with a Double-MS-Setup as well, but DMS has no runtime-stereo and therefore sounds pretty flat -> not so nice for organ music.
I played, recorded myself and programmed an interactive calculator/mixer in HTML+JavaScript, so that you can listen and try it out in the browser. Adjust recording angle/pattern or room percentage and the calculator finds the appropriate mix. Needs a recent browser that supports the WebAudio-Api, preferably Chrome, + a decent computer, as browsers are not known as efficient sound processors 😉 (it might be necessary to lower down the volume, depending on the audio mixing implementation of the browser).

Mics: Schoeps MK8, MK41, Sennheiser MKH8020.

Enjoy!

https://bit.ly/387XFg1
Attached Thumbnails
Flexible stereo setup (not only) for organ recording-freudenstadt.jpg   Flexible stereo setup (not only) for organ recording-spacedambisonics.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Here for the gear
 
Nice playing and nice calculator/mixer!

I like different patterns for different parts of the composition. It shows how complicated can a double organ recording be. It would be interesting to experiment with different patterns in a single organ recording. Perhaps you can add one to the site.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3
I have thought about that. Maybe I wouldn't change within a piece, but use different setups for different pieces of an album.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 
DaveyJones's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Fantastic!

Hi there,

what a great result! Although I have recorded organ many times as part of a larger ensemble, I have never produced a solo organ album - it is quite amazing to hear how different the instrument sounds even when the array is in a fixed position.

Great work and a fantastic implementation of letting us listen and compare so easily on the webpage.

I have and love the MK8 capsules but they did not, to my ears, make the best sound for me here; I much preferred a heavier omni mix...


Thanks, Dave
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Addict
 
norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hi Stefan,

Thanks for posting. Interesting: much more flexible than the Schoeps KFM 360.

Coincidentally, and more mundanely, I am just starting to play with a single MMS array (to give me a compact but more flexible MS setup) and note you have used the same (https://www.stefan-kiessling.com/?Thema=mmsstereo). The Schoeps double-MS plugin isn't really suited to this use, of course, so I wonder what you have found to be the most effective route to vary the mix of the two forward-facing mid-mics? Have you created your own plug-in?

Cheers,

Roland
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJones ➡️
Hi there,

what a great result! Although I have recorded organ many times as part of a larger ensemble, I have never produced a solo organ album - it is quite amazing to hear how different the instrument sounds even when the array is in a fixed position.

Great work and a fantastic implementation of letting us listen and compare so easily on the webpage.
Thank you, Dave!


Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 ➡️
Hi Stefan,

Thanks for posting. Interesting: much more flexible than the Schoeps KFM 360.

Coincidentally, and more mundanely, I am just starting to play with a single MMS array (to give me a compact but more flexible MS setup) and note you have used the same (https://www.stefan-kiessling.com/?Thema=mmsstereo). The Schoeps double-MS plugin isn't really suited to this use, of course, so I wonder what you have found to be the most effective route to vary the mix of the two forward-facing mid-mics? Have you created your own plug-in?
For MMS it should be the most practical way, that you use a normal MS-decoder for one of the mid-channels and add the other mid-channel (panned to the center) to the amount that your ears like.
For my recordings I created my own little DAW that calculates and displays the resulting virtual polar patterns and stereo parameters in its mixer, so that I can also see, what I‘m doing.
The same way I did the mixer in the browser.

I found out that I like virtual pairs of hyper cardioids (between fig.8 and supercardioids).
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajmund ➡️
For MMS it should be the most practical way, that you use a normal MS-decoder for one of the mid-channels and add the other mid-channel (panned to the center) to the amount that your ears like.
Hi Stefan,

That's interesting. So you are decoding, say, M1+S, then adding some of M2 centred, so essentially adding a central mic to a stereo (say, for example, a virtual xy) pair. Is that what your DAW is actually doing?

This seems rather different (more like LCR?) than decoding M1+S and M2+S then combining the two. Or, indeed, mixing M1 and M2 before decoding M1+M2 with the S mic. Or not? Perhaps overthinking, but I'm not sure of the pros and cons.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 ➡️
Hi Stefan,

That's interesting. So you are decoding, say, M1+S, then adding some of M2 centred, so essentially adding a central mic to a stereo (say, for example, a virtual xy) pair. Is that what your DAW is actually doing?

This seems rather different (more like LCR?) than decoding M1+S and M2+S then combining the two. Or, indeed, mixing M1 and M2 before decoding M1+M2 with the S mic. Or not? Perhaps overthinking, but I'm not sure of the pros and cons.

Cheers,

Roland
There is no difference except that you are essentially adding the side-channel twice.
(M1+S) + (M2+S) = M1+M2+2xS

also it makes no difference, which channels you are mixing first:
(M1+M2)+S = (M1+S)+M2 = (M2+S)+M1

As XY and MS are just different representations of the same thing (intensity stereo), MMS is like XY plus a centered mic.

You can try that out with my polar patterns calculator on my website.

https://www.stefan-kiessling.com/?Thema=recording

Stefan
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajmund ➡️
There is no difference except that you are essentially adding the side-channel twice.
(M1+S) + (M2+S) = M1+M2+2xS

also it makes no difference, which channels you are mixing first:
(M1+M2)+S = (M1+S)+M2 = (M2+S)+M1

As XY and MS are just different representations of the same thing (intensity stereo), MMS is like XY plus a centered mic.

You can try that out with my polar patterns calculator on my website.

https://www.stefan-kiessling.com/?Thema=recording

Stefan
In theory yes, practically not really 100%.

The distance between the microphones used for MS causes delays, 4-6 cm between the microphones, simple calculation tells you which frequencies will add up and substract.

It would be very interesting if anyone who owns the equipment for it could provide 3D polar patterns of the Schoeps mk8 combined in MS with a mk2S capsule. In theory it creates two back to back cardioids, but practically the polar patterns will look very distorted. That is maybe what we like so much about MS.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgeltonmeister ➡️
In theory yes, practically not really 100%.

The distance between the microphones used for MS causes delays, 4-6 cm between the microphones, simple calculation tells you which frequencies will add up and substract.
That's true, but I am using small condenser mics only, so the distance is way shorter and: it would only be an issue for sound that's coming from high angles above or below the central axis of the mic setup.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #11
Gear Addict
 
norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajmund ➡️
There is no difference except that you are essentially adding the side-channel twice.
(M1+S) + (M2+S) = M1+M2+2xS

also it makes no difference, which channels you are mixing first:
(M1+M2)+S = (M1+S)+M2 = (M2+S)+M1

As XY and MS are just different representations of the same thing (intensity stereo), MMS is like XY plus a centered mic.

You can try that out with my polar patterns calculator on my website.

https://www.stefan-kiessling.com/?Thema=recording

Stefan
Thanks for taking the time with me on this. While you were typing this, I spent some time with my physicist son, who is staying, and he usefully wrote out the equations for me for all three options of using MMS.

In short, if you mix the two mid mics before decoding with the side mic, or decode each mid mic with the side mic then mix the two resultant stereo pairs, there is no difference. In essence, and as you say on your website, you make the recording angle and pattern/volume distribution independent. It was useful to have this confirmed: which one I choose simply becomes a matter of convenience in the DAW.

However, if you decode one mid mic with the side, then add the second mid mic to the decoded stereo pair, as you suggested in post #6 , then you lose this independence. Which makes good sense.

Time to play around for real...

Cheers,

Roland
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 ➡️
Thanks for taking the time with me on this. While you were typing this, I spent some time with my physicist son, who is staying, and he usefully wrote out the equations for me for all three options of using MMS.

In short, if you mix the two mid mics before decoding with the side mic, or decode each mid mic with the side mic then mix the two resultant stereo pairs, there is no difference. In essence, and as you say on your website, you make the recording angle and pattern/volume distribution independent. It was useful to have this confirmed: which one I choose simply becomes a matter of convenience in the DAW.

However, if you decode one mid mic with the side, then add the second mid mic to the decoded stereo pair, as you suggested in post #6 , then you lose this independence. Which makes good sense.

Time to play around for real...

Cheers,

Roland
One of the basic math laws is, that it absolutely makes no difference, in which order you are summing up three values. Mixing the three mics is no other thing: the sample values are summed up. Which one you mix up first makes really no difference. You get the independence between pattern and recording angle by choosing the three factors a, b and c.

L = a*M1 + b*M2 + c*S
R = a*M1 + b*M2 + c* -1 * S

My calculators with the sample tracks are calculating these three factors according to the desired recording angle and virtual pattern.

Stefan
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajmund ➡️
That's true, but I am using small condenser mics only, so the distance is way shorter and: it would only be an issue for sound that's coming from high angles above or below the central axis of the mic setup.
My estimation of the distance between the Schoeps mk8 and the mk4 is at least 5 cm.
Attached Images
Flexible stereo setup (not only) for organ recording-spacedambisonics.jpg 
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajmund ➡️
One of the basic math laws is, that it absolutely makes no difference, in which order you are summing up three values. Mixing the three mics is no other thing: the sample values are summed up. Which one you mix up first makes really no difference. You get the independence between pattern and recording angle by choosing the three factors a, b and c.

L = a*M1 + b*M2 + c*S
R = a*M1 + b*M2 + c* -1 * S

My calculators with the sample tracks are calculating these three factors according to the desired recording angle and virtual pattern.

Stefan
Sorry be doubting you, but this doesn't make much sense to me: if you decode an MS pair (say omni MS) then add the other mid mic to that (however narrow the pattern), you will, of course, reduce the width. And the maths isn't the same, but as follows:

Combining mid mics first
M = μM1 + λM2
L= μM1 + λM2+S
R= μM1 + λM2-S

Decoding each MS pair then combining
L1=M1+S L2=M2+S
R1=M1-S R2=M2-S
L=μL1+λL2
= μ(M1+S)+ λ(M2+S)
= μM1 + λM2+S [i.e. same as above, combining mid mics first] etc.

Decoding one MS pair then adding the M2 mic (centrally) to the stereo pair
L = μ(M1+S)+ λM2
= μM1 + λM2+μS [i.e. different]

I've just done the L channels in the second and third examples, to reduce the horrible maths...

The first two approaches are fine - and surely what you are using - but the third is a different beast.

Off to the pub now to cool my brain!

Cheers,

Roland
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgeltonmeister ➡️
My estimation of the distance between the Schoeps mk8 and the mk4 is at least 5 cm.
These 5cm would be crucial for the sound that comes from the ceiling. The sound that comes from the organ „sees“ almost no difference in the distance.

Of course there is also sound coming from the ceiling, but at this point the direct sound is way louder.

(btw: there is no mk4. It's mk8, mk41 and Sennheiser mkh8020)
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