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Intimacy on location
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #61
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Like the contemporaneous thread here (in Remote et al...)on solo piano recorded in a Swiss radio studio, where the majority of the final mix was generated by an AB Omni pair circa 1m wide, either side of the pianist's head....perhaps you seek a similar player's POV sense of envelopment and perspective on guitar ?

If that's the case, maybe try your Sonodores a few cms above each shoulder, mics pointing down 45 degrees to the floor in front of you, and call it a day ? Or perhaps some low self-noise in-ear-canal binaural mics ? [. . .]
With an appropriate solo arrangement, an instrument like a classical guitar, and a well-practiced player - similarly close mics often work [for me]. . .but a bit more in front of the guitar than over it. As ensemble size grows, that strategy falls apart [for me]. And I am doomed long before anything approaching even a manageably sized ensemble doing something like Rhapsody in Blue.

However, @ gonzalo1004es dropped another impressive pair of samples on me yesterday of a small ensemble in a challenging acoustic space - and well, either the Sonodore LDM-54 mics are very very good, or Gonzalo is very very good, or both. They do indeed seem to be the HD of microphones. . .in his hands, anyway.

Quote:
[. . .] What's your bottom line on acceptance of fingernail noise, string squeaks, heavy guitarist breathing, stomach gurgles etc ? [. . .]
No cue light flashing. . .

I like fingernail noise, string squeaks, and [on occasion] light breathing. They sometimes make tolerable the mechanized hum of another world. Of course, we are talking about gifted, practiced musicians playing tunes that they know extremely well on high-end instruments that they know extremely well. And remember we are hopefully about hiding [A] in [B] - not explicitly just saying [A].

I suppose if a tune were really passionate, heavy breathing could seem fitting?

Cue light flashing. . .

But I’m not into tracking stomach gurgles. Either take some Beano before you come to the gig, or let’s reschedule after your stomach settles.


Don't take me alive,

Ray H. [mad dog & a bookkeeper's son]
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
No, Ray, but they are only playing the Goldberg vars. A piece written for harpsichord with no dynamic range.

It obviously depends profoundly on the acoustic, as you know, and this space in the photos looks like its quite reverberent, so a closer position is probably right.

Interesting use of boundary mics on the baffles.
Thanks for the thoughts, David.

And I meant to overload the phrase 'not too terribly far away' to both comment on distance to the mics as well as imply the result was not too far away from being 'intimate'. . .as I am pursuing the notion.

Yes, it was even fun to see the boundary mics mounted and positioned so.


Ray H.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #63
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
i suspect that what ray is looking for...

[or at least what i think he is looking for - i found the (at first sight somewhat mesmerizing) picture of A hidden in B very revealing]

...cannot be achieved with a single approach; i consider this as unlikely as that we will soon find a new approach that could combine the standard model with new physics.

it is very clear to me though that two (or more) different approaches can be combined, but we have to leave behind the old conventions of classical music that have become canonized, or maybe more precisely, combine them with practices that have long been established in other genre and in other fields of work.

since i have little desire to expose myself to the sharp attacks on everything and everyone who deviates from what i consider to be the equivalent of the doctrine of the cold war era, i defer to private contact with interested forum participants...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #64
Gear Nut
 
TEEspresso's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
Being close with mics in classical chamber music works for pianissimo, but when the dynamic rises you have an acoustic compressor on your hands and things get harsh very quickly.
Can you elaborate on this a bit more, as it brings to mind several related questions and theories I have on dynamic range of recording systems and recording practice and engineering.

To be precise, what is the "acoustic compressor" you refer to? The microphone capsule not being able to handle the sound level due to the proximity of the source? Some other element in the recording chain? Or the air inbetween the instrument and mic itself? Or all of the above?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #65
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEEspresso ➡️
Can you elaborate on this a bit more, as it brings to mind several related questions and theories I have on dynamic range of recording systems and recording practice and engineering.

To be precise, what is the "acoustic compressor" you refer to? The microphone capsule not being able to handle the sound level due to the proximity of the source? Some other element in the recording chain? Or the air inbetween the instrument and mic itself? Or all of the above?
Classical music can have a huge dynamic range. Listen to this all the way through. Do you find it harsh in the fortissimo section?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIv9TF3kGB4

When the mics are too close and the dynamic range is great, I hear a compressive effect. The mics are not overloading in any way, it just sounds unnatural and harsh.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #66
Gear Nut
 
TEEspresso's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
Classical music can have a huge dynamic range. Listen to this all the way through. Do you find it harsh in the fortissimo section?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIv9TF3kGB4

When the mics are too close and the dynamic range is great, I hear a compressive effect. The mics are not overloading in any way, it just sounds unnatural and harsh.

A lovely performance and I loved the piano sonics. The voice has clipping even well before the fortissimo begins and it does indeed sound harsh. Are the plosives clipping the capsule like wind? The sibilants are quite high too, indicating very close mic placement. One can hear her move away as she gets loudest as well.

But is that harshness due to the capsule? Proximity effect? Or the chain not having enough dynamics even though the microphone may? Where is the "analog compressor" in the chain?

I ask because I have been curious about this for a long while. The Neumann System-D engineers talk about their digital microphone system having wide dynamic range so there is no gain needed, nor is there limiting needed. They are aware of the dynamic range problems in recording chains.

I'm interested in applied theory: A wide dynamic range recording system with 24bit encoding capable of a theoretical 144dB ( A Nagra VII say ) fed by a microphone system ( mic - preamp - ADC ) capable of 130dB input would capture nearly any classical symphony let alone a chamber quartet with no need for gain staging or even gain.

Of course where to place the mics is the art and science of engineering, and for the sake of the theory, let us suppose a good hall and skilled musicians.

And naturally one would need a playback system capable of such dynamic range as well to play back such a recording. I have one that goes to 116dB and another that does 120dB which I use for the orchestral stuff. Still not at Bayreuth levels, but I can dream...

I'm not a practitioner of very close microphone placement, and I find I can get all the fine details, cues, interplay etc with placement at least 2 meters away if not farther, depending on the room and interplay of the reverberant field, number of performers etc. etc.

I wasn't a fan of the reverb mix in the Lise Davidsen - Grieg vidja either, as an aside, but the performance was really just superb despite the technical limits. As another aside it occurs that Rens' 60V mics will have excellent dynamic ranges just due to the higher voltage, another reason to get a pair.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #67
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
When the mics are too close and the dynamic range is great, I hear a compressive effect. The mics are not overloading in any way, it just sounds unnatural and harsh.
I think this is entirely a perception thing; there's nothing going on with the mikes but in our brain. Which is why you can't fix it by changing microphones. It is definitely an audible effect though.
--scott
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #68
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Just a few observations with no theoretical underpinning...

A crescendo of any sort energizes the space it's enclosed within. A cardioid pair is going to exclude input of reflections from the rear of that space, an omni will include reflected energy from all angles (direct and reflected) of incidence)

Does this imply they'll respond to loud dynamics and reflected acoustic energy differentially...as the going gets louder ?

If it were an issue of running out of bits to capture the dynamic range, even 16 bit should theoretically be sufficient, 24 bits more so. If any doubt remains, make the same recording with one of the newer32 bit floating point "shotgun" recorders (Zoom F4 and F6, MixPre) ....which should remove any chance of the recorder being the compression culprit.

Maybe the digital mics, where conversion takes place within the mic body (eg Neumann, Sennheiser) remove this compression that David observes ?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
I think this is entirely a perception thing; there's nothing going on with the mikes but in our brain. Which is why you can't fix it by changing microphones. It is definitely an audible effect though.
--scott
Thanks, Scott -

I always deeply appreciate your perspectives, along with the likes of Mr. @ josephson , and a few other high-end product engineers, generally.

I'm often thinking I should measure more, especially where large dynamic ranges are at play and where I may be tempted beyond that 15-20 db gain sweet spot.

For example, and to Ray's [ @ studer58 ] point: https://youtu.be/pbrn7mMQ2BE?t=738

Aside: I was surprised at how distinctly different Rens' mic cable options [e.g. Mogami vs. van den Hul] sounded to me. @ gonzalo1004es had recommended the latter.

Then there is the bother that my left and right ears don't hear the same things, given the exact same signal.


Well, 60V probably won't help me with that last one.

Ray H.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #70
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
i suspect that what ray is looking for...

[or at least what i think he is looking for - i found the (at first sight somewhat mesmerizing) picture of A hidden in B very revealing]

...cannot be achieved with a single approach; i consider this as unlikely as that we will soon find a new approach that could combine the standard model with new physics.

it is very clear to me though that two (or more) different approaches can be combined, but we have to leave behind the old conventions of classical music that have become canonized, or maybe more precisely, combine them with practices that have long been established in other genre and in other fields of work.

since i have little desire to expose myself to the sharp attacks on everything and everyone who deviates from what i consider to be the equivalent of the doctrine of the cold war era, i defer to private contact with interested forum participants...
Clean this mess up, else we'll all end up in jail
Those test-tubes and the scale
Just get it all out of here
- Kid Charlemagne

You know I'm in, right? And looking forward to your thoughts.


Is there gas in the car?

Ray H.

As long as I was double dipping Essays, I didn't view it an offense to double dip The Royal Scam. But you can trust me with potato chips at a party.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #71
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath ➡️
Clean this mess up, else we'll all end up in jail
Those test-tubes and the scale
Just get it all out of here
- Kid Charlemagne

You know I'm in, right? And looking forward to your thoughts.


Is there gas in the car?

Ray H.

As long as I was double dipping Essays, I didn't view it an offense to double dip The Royal Scam. But you can trust me with potato chips at a party.

It's high time for a walk on the real side
Let's admit the bastards beat us
I move to dissolve the corporation
In a pool of margaritas
So let's switch off all the lights
And light up all the Luckies
Crankin' up the afterglow
'Cause we're goin' out of business
Everything must go

Steely Dan: Everything must go

ime dynamic range is no longer an issue in terms of our technical capability to record and play back music: a proper gain structure and hugely powerful amps/speaker systems allow to record and play back pretty much anything, from a whisper to a thunder - however, the comfort zone within which an audience (or a listener at home or elsewhere) feels fine in terms of dynamics (and level) is rather limited and depends on the environment:

- outdoors, one can blast away and get as loud as the pa gets: people can run away.
- indoors, there's only so much a room can take and people cannot run away.
- when broadcasting, the network has a strict set of rules with which you must comply.
- when listening in a car, noise from the engine, rolling and wind set clear minimum limits (or else the music gets masked) and the limited space maximum limits: again, one cannot run away.
-when listening at home, you are still at the merci of the sound tech who mixed things but you a) have a remote control and b) you can run away.

so: each playback environment needs a different dynamic range/the times when a single type of mastering was sufficient to achieve a reasonably homogeneous sound for any playback environment are long gone - in an extreme case, i think it's not enough to just make different masters, but suspect that you also need to make different recordings and mixes, then blend elegantly between them and i therefore would suggest that you also use different microphone systems; one system rather close, one system at a bit more distance/in a more traditional way and of course you still want to have mains and (multiple) ambis, from close to the ensemble to far back in the room.

(i do this occasionally, not because of dynamics however but because of the ratio of direct sound, reflections and diffuse sound).

___


besides all the material, one difficulty scott pointed out remains: first find a room that is acoustically suitable AND where the musicians feel comfortable - the different mixes, the different dynamics and the blending should then be the smallest problems...?! ;-)

(i've been using mastering and broadcasting processors for decades to tweak the dynamik range of mixes (of various genre) and to adjust to different environments)
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #72
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Maybe the digital mics, where conversion takes place within the mic body (eg Neumann, Sennheiser) remove this compression ?
No I don't think any mics are having a problem. We can hear a mic is too close even when the volume is low.

And I don't think its got anything to do with a non-linearity in the source, like in the piano.
https://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/Piano/Dynamics.html

Not in the source, not in the path (although direct/reverb ratio must play a part), must be in the receiver (ear-brain).
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #73
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Is this ear-brain compression a function of listening to the concert in a hall, listening to a recording of it at home or a function of how the mics render it ?

Years ago the hifi press were forming an opinion that every recording has a narrow optimal listening level window, which should adhered to. So you'd be advised against listening to a Mahler symphony in a car at whisper levels....and similarly not listen to a solo guitar recital recording at 105dB.

The general rule would be that you should listen to the recording at a level coinciding with that which you'd experience the same instrument or ensemble in a typical concert setting. This all gets a little murky when stage-amplified and PA systems at concerts are involved....much easier to adhere to with purely acoustic, unamplified music.

Presumably it would also assume minimal compression and limiting in translating the 'performance' via recording through a delivery medium: CD, radio, Internet ...car radio, home stereo. We know that considerable shoe-horning of natural dynamics occurs during mastering ....so is it reasonable to expect more than 15-25 dB of dynamic contrast in a commercial recording or broadcast....compared with the same material performed live ( and measured at which distance ?)

So many caveats.. !
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #74
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
RE: the singer excerpt

Engineers and singer fell in love with the nice sounding soft singing.

They then favored that soft singing set up over one that could flatter the singer overall.

Her loud singing is ugly and that's the reason for the problems.
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