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Recording cello/piano in hall - CM4 or NT45-o?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Recording cello/piano in hall - CM4 or NT45-o?

Hi everyone! Got some great recording advice here in the past so I'm back again - this time with a fairly specific question on mic preferences.

I'm recording cello +piano (duo Sonata and a concerto movement) in a concert hall. It's actually a large church but set up as a concert space (Londoners might know where...) and the acoustics are quite resonant without being unpleasantly boomy.

However (due to some logistics) I'm not recording at the usual performance end, so there's no raised stage/arch - just on the floor. Unfortunately I've never recorded in this layout before so I'm not sure how the acoustic is this way round.

I'm using my Sound Devices Mix Pre 6 so I can use max. 4 mics. I have 2 pairs of Line Audio CM4s at my disposal, and also a pair of Rode NT5s with NT45-o Omni capsules. I've never used the Rodes before so I don't know how well they work on cello/piano but I like the idea of having omnis.

Last time I recorded in this space, I did a fake omni version of my CM4s, by taping the sides over (recommended by someone on here!) and much preferred the sound to the untaped CM4s in this space, which obviously didn't pick up much of the ambience.

I'm thinking of going for the Rodes with the omni capsules as a main pair a few feet back, and then also have the CM4 (normally!) closer to, possibly in ORTF, to add a bit of definition. I presume the actual omnis will sound nicer than my taped up cardioids...

Any improvements/alternative suggestions? Best distances?

Thanks for any advice!!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I only suggested the 'taped up CM4's' as a bush-mechanics kludge, to give you a good approximation of an omni...great to see you've replaced them now with the real deal !

With only 4 mics max. recordable, I'd recommend one of 2 possible approaches:

1) a "4 mics on a single bar"as per boojum/Norman/Faulkner phased array....with Rode omnis on the outer bar edges @66cms and the CM4 inside these @47cms spacing, all mics splayed out at 45 degrees (look up the relevant threads in this sub-forum, as there's a wealth of supporting detail and audio samples related to this method to benefit from !)

If using this approach I recommend focussing your attention on getting the omni pair sounding right...with the intention of only using a little of the CM4 pair to give some bite/definition...say around 9dB lower, in the blend of the 2 mic pairs ?

2) use one pair or the other (depending on the surrounding acoustic...whether you want to maximize/exploit it [omnis] or rein it in [CM4]) as either AB omni or ORTF/NOS main pair to capture both instruments...and also using the other pair in narrow AB mode at the "Decca Tail" position of the piano, for a bit more piano clarity and body.

For suggestion 2, the recently published Decca Book (also examined here: New Book Coming on Decca Recording Technique ) is a highly recommended wealth of info on your particular case
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
choice of pattern depends in room acoustics, distance from mics to source, wet/dry ratio, intended results, time and gear available for rebalacing while mixing, mixing skills, taste etc.

short: no one can tell you for sure (although a picture would help) - you've gotta try on your own and compare results from different approaches...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
I only suggested the 'taped up CM4's' as a bush-mechanics kludge, to give you a good approximation of an omni...great to see you've replaced them now with the real deal !

With only 4 mics max. recordable, I'd recommend one of 2 possible approaches:

1) a "4 mics on a single bar"as per boojum/Norman/Faulkner phased array....with Rode omnis on the outer bar edges @66cms and the CM4 inside these @47cms spacing, all mics splayed out at 45 degrees (look up the relevant threads in this sub-forum, as there's a wealth of supporting detail and audio samples related to this method to benefit from !)

If using this approach I recommend focussing your attention on getting the omni pair sounding right...with the intention of only using a little of the CM4 pair to give some bite/definition...say around 9dB lower, in the blend of the 2 mic pairs ?

2) use one pair or the other (depending on the surrounding acoustic...whether you want to maximize/exploit it [omnis] or rein it in [CM4]) as either AB omni or ORTF/NOS main pair to capture both instruments...and also using the other pair in narrow AB mode at the "Decca Tail" position of the piano, for a bit more piano clarity and body.

For suggestion 2, the recently published Decca Book (also examined here: New Book Coming on Decca Recording Technique ) is a highly recommended wealth of info on your particular case
Thank you so much for the suggestions!

Yes I know the idea was a temporary measure.. I have to admit, I used it a few times (procrastination and inability to decide on where best to put my budget being the main culprits). Second confession: the Rode mics are borrowed, so I'll see how I like them before deciding which to get myself. (Which I promise will definitely happen...)

Ah, I see I'll have to do a lot more researching - plus get hold of a longer bar. Might have to DYI that one. I'll try to garner some more knowledge re the 4 mics on here, as you recommend.

And thank you for mentioning the Decca book! My next question would have been to ask for recommendations for some helpful method/book, having more-or-less cleared out the recording section at the local library and found that none of the volumes is at all classical-orientated. I shall put this on my Christmas list!
Old 4 days ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
If this is a performance situation, I would either use the Boojum/jnorman 4-mic array, or keep it simple and use the CM4s in NOS out front. If there is no audience, I would put the rodes in AB at the piano lip, and have the cello facing the pianist several feet away, with the CM4s as a narrow AB pair about 3-4 feet out from the cello. Add some reverb in post to taste.
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