Quantcast
"Unusual" mic setups you have tried - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
"Unusual" mic setups you have tried
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
"Unusual" mic setups you have tried

As the title says, I would be interested in hearing the unconventional or perhaps just plain weird microphone setups you have tried during an actual recording session. So not just in the privacy of your living room Microphones added to a "normal" setup as an experiment are allowed.

I'll start with this one: I once tried a stereo pair of Sennheiser MKH805's (a 1960's long shotgun mic) while recording my community band. These were parallel and spaced 30cm. This was indoors I must add, in a room with "challenging" acoustics where I had to be a lot further away from the band than I would like to be (multiple rules of thumb being violated here). I ran a pair of cardioids in an NOS configuration at the same time.

The MKH805's actually don't sound all that bad until you listen to the cardioids. It is a bit of a lose-lose situation: the modern, "non interference tube" cardioids sound way better even to my ears, but you hear the awkward room much more than you do with the 1960's long shotgun 805's.

Regards, Christine
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Recorded a classical concert once where I wasn't able to place the mics as far back as I would have liked, and there was no practical way to put up room mics in a typical position for such. Out of desperation I taped two small omnis to one side wall. A 'normal' horizontal positioning would have resulted a stereo image totally incompatible with the mains, so I put them about 3' apart vertically, so they were both the same distance from the stage. This gave me much needed 'air', without L/R skewing of the stereo image.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by connloyalist ➡️
I'll start with this one: I once tried a stereo pair of Sennheiser MKH805's (a 1960's long shotgun mic) while recording my community band. These were parallel and spaced 30cm. This was indoors I must add, in a room with "challenging" acoustics where I had to be a lot further away from the band than I would like to be (multiple rules of thumb being violated here). I ran a pair of cardioids in an NOS configuration at the same time.
This is a case where the Faulkner parallel figure 8s might have given a result between the two extremes.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Three coincident figure-eights. One pair of N8 ribbons in M/S Blumlein, plus a third forward-facing MKH 30 aimed forward, but tilted up a little so it was aimed directly at the cello soloist's mouth. This was done because the player sometimes had to sing and play at the same time.

David
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by k brown ➡️
This is a case where the Faulkner parallel figure 8s might have given a result between the two extremes.
I tried that once. Problem is that I was backed into a corner (literally) so the rear lobes of my AT4081 figure 8's were picking up all kinds of reflections from the back. I also had a pair of omni's running which suffered from a similar problem, but these ended up sounding better than the figure 8's.

Regards, Christine
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by connloyalist ➡️
I tried that once. Problem is that I was backed into a corner (literally) so the rear lobes of my AT4081 figure 8's were picking up all kinds of reflections from the back. I also had a pair of omni's running which suffered from a similar problem, but these ended up sounding better than the figure 8's.

Regards, Christine
Ouch !!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
Three coincident figure-eights. One pair of N8 ribbons in M/S Blumlein, plus a third forward-facing MKH 30 aimed forward, but tilted up a little so it was aimed directly at the cello soloist's mouth. This was done because the player sometimes had to sing and play at the same time.

David
Wow - that IS different.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Addict
 
Another 'desperate' situation that turned out way better than expected - I was doing sound for a theater archive videographer, shooting a small theater production of Gypsy. Lacking an orch pit, they stuffed the poor 'orchestra' (maddly flailing keybordist, a coupe of horns and a drummer) into a tiny backstage area. In order to leave enough room for the cast to move around, they put the drummer on a platform above the other musicians. This put the ceiling about 2' above the drummers head. So I put two RS PZMs on the ceiling above and slightly in front of the drummer (to pick up the horns; the KB was direct); was some of the best drum sound I've ever gotten. Luckily I'd just done the high-SPL mod to the PZMs
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I was doing live sound and recording for a blues perfomer ( vocal plus acoustic guitar). Besides the vocal and guitar mics I added a pair of MKH30’s placed
appoximately 8ft away, a few feet in front and 7ft high and aimed at the performer who was seated. The MKH30 pair was an almost perfect recording by themselves. Wonderful ambience from them in this great sounding room.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey @ Folkie , you discovered a secret: "classical" recording techniques can work for folk music, because both are fundamentally acoustic in nature.

David
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
Hey @ Folkie , you discovered a secret: "classical" recording techniques can work for folk music, because both are fundamentally acoustic in nature.

David
Yes, I do a fair amount of classical recording as well, but
I have never seen or heard of this configuration for any mics including fig 8’s. Perhaps I wasn’t clear with my posting, there was one fig 8 on either side of the performer.

Last edited by Folkie; 4 weeks ago at 03:58 AM.. Reason: additional comment
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Spaced pair of figure-8's. Cue Tony Faulkner discussion.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I have seen so many kinds of mic array configurations that nothing seems unusual to me. I do, however, see plenty of things I would never do.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
esldude's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Recording small group and needed invisible mics (I only learned at the last minute). Put a pair of pencil omnis on the floor with an 8 inch long block of 2x6 wood between them. Laid this on the concrete floor, and moved around till it sounded pretty good over headphones. Used zip ties to keep the mic diaphragm right against the wood. I'd seen similar setups used for nature recordings only not on the ground.

Recording came out pretty darn good. Only issue was bass was really evident. So some post eq to roll off the low end was needed, and not much else for a decent on site recording. Basically this was working similar to what PZM's do. Sort of like a half dummy head pzm on the floor.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick ➡️
Spaced pair of figure-8's. Cue Tony Faulkner discussion.
Don’t think Tony ever suggested anything like 14ft spacing
and each mic angled inward at 120 deg and downward at 90 deg. Not really any similarity to 8 in spaced parallel fig 8’s except both use fig 8’s. ;-)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Another unusual mic use-I multi-tracked a live jazz concert which took up 7 of the 8 tracks on my 788.
To add some ambience and overall stereo image I recorded an MKH30 (side-facing) at the back of the audience on my camera stand, and added some of it in + polarity to the left mix channel and - polarity to the right mix channel (ala “MS” without a MID mic).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Very clev-ah.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Addict
 
bicarbone's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I had to record sound to a video shoot in a clearing off in the woods. A one hour long show for 4 dancers and 3 musician playing live : double bass, saxophone and drums.

Invisible mics setup was requested. I had an MS Neumann setup centered in front, off frame, and a omni sdc as a crotch mic on the drum kit.

But I needed to get some more detail from the bass and sax players. They didn't want to have wireless so I had to conceal one omni on a branch in a tree over the saxophone. And hid another one in a nettle bush behind the bass player. Just added a dpa PZM style using the plastic disc provided in my DPA 4061 stereo kit for bite and clarity in front of the bass player, right on the ground and got a very pleasant and balanced recording.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I did a live radio show in a small room with an up and coming young band whose leader insisted that the drums would sound best with a pair of fairly distant room mics, even though the room was tightly packed and loud. I put up the mics, the show sounded fine anyway, and everyone went away happy.

About a year later, I got a call from the engineer at a well-known NPR station where they were going to do a live set with this same band. He wanted to know if I had any tips, since he had pretty much duplicated my setup from their photos and it was sounding pretty bad. I told him, "I didn't have enough i/o to use those mics even if I had wanted to. I doubt that I even plugged them in."
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I was recording a mixed classsical / jazz concert. Venue was small enough to be acoustic, but the PA would be live due to announcements and the fact that Gavin Breyars' "The Sinking of the Titanic" and another piece are performed with playback. I convinced them to use mostly my mics and let me send some splits to their Dante stage box. (You get some leverage when your client is also their client.) In addition to my main pair, I've got a pair of TLM-193's on piano, a couple of sax mics, a stereo ribbon mic on the string quartet, a violin spot, and a spot for the clarinet soloist who's doing a solo sonata with a backing track played from my rig. I want an ambience pair, but I don't want the PA in it, so I put a 1.5 meter AEA bar up high with a pair of MKH 30's oriented so that their nulls reject the flown speakers. I ended up with remarkably low PA leakage, and I was able to time align the pre-recorded stuff to match it, so my ambience mics actually functioned the way I wanted.

David
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Sharp11's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A few years back - this worked surprisingly well - one km 184 pointed at the hole inside the piano, one km 184 off the the right a few feet away (visible upper right), and one at 4050 in cardioid mode place high above the strings.

The sound was diffuse and controllable on a “per mic” basis - the main issue was with the mic pointed at the hole, it had quite a resonance frequency at one note, so I cut that frequency - aside from that, it was a really good ambient sound sort of mono, but with a close up reinforcement via the spot mic at the hole.

This was my old monitor setup - a pair of dyn audios since replaced by genelecs and a sub.
Attached Thumbnails
"Unusual" mic setups you have tried-img_0003.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
glyn johns, polyhymnia and beyond

two of my 'unusual' mic setup have become my default setups for drums and ensemble/orchestra recording:

- for drum recording, i'm often using a "modified glyn johns equidistant l/C/r+sub" (plus a snare for mic for efx send): often mk4's (for the sides), an mk4 or mk 21 for the centrally positioned overhead (above snare) and a blm3 (with a steep lpf) for the kick - capital 'C' as the center mic is by far the most important mic...

[worth noting that i consider this setup to become useless with very tightly packed ensembles or with any kind of amplification (unless backline/wedges a very carefully positioned and levels stay reasonable and balanced) - excellent on solo drumkit or in the studio though]

___


- if not using soundfield or double m/s, my go-to main mic setup for ensembles/orchestras consists of a mk4/mk8 pair for the center, a pair of mk21's for the sides and blm3 for lfe (again with lpf) and (often three pairs of ambis but as a minimum) a rear-facing pair of spaced ambis (of various patterns), making the entire array a "frequency-dependent modified polyhymnia pentagon".

the most important thing (besides the offset of the centrally positioned m/s system) and the 30°angling of the mk21's (or mk41 in some situations) is the spacing which is defined not only by the size/width of the ensemble but mainly the room sound (i get to measure most rooms i'm working in): i try to avoid resonant low frequencies which plague so many venues/concert halls in the old world (even though they are considered to sound 'nice'...) and hence spacing gets calculated after measurement, borrowing technique from subwoofer array design: certainly not a field of expertise of most 'recordists' :-)

i don't 'randomly' place spot mics (on soft instruments) either but rather use concentric semi-circles of directional mics and apply 'gain shading', somewhat similar to line array alignment...

___


p.s. i was once forced to rely on a pair of blm's positioned at the lip of the stage for a live broadcast 'cause the (fairly well-known) maestro was obvioulsly in a bad mood after the rehearsal (which indeed didn't go very well): he didn't want to see any mic yet didn't want to (or couldn't?) cancel the broadcast either...

...but the most unusual mic setup (with acoustic/classical music) i ever got to experience very clearly was when i got to compare close to 100 mics from each of the three leading manufacturers of sdc's!

(i learned a few things about self noise, off-axis behaviour, eq correction, gain staging, preamp noise, hitting converters at specific levels, mix bus headroom etc. which - amongst other things - led me to base my rig mostly on schoeps and studer gear)

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 2 weeks ago at 09:43 PM.. Reason: p.s. added and typo
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 376 views: 32408
Avatar for panatrope
panatrope 17th October 2020
replies: 168 views: 21020
Avatar for studer58
studer58 24th February 2018
replies: 3306 views: 63189
Avatar for Synth Guru
Synth Guru 21st August 2021
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump