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Blumlein Samples
Old 20th May 2022
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Blumlein Samples

After a two year hiatus, I recently recorded a community chamber concert.

I put up three pairs of microphones.

Here are 2 samples, each, from two (out of the three) of the stereo pairs. The two stereo pairs I am presenting were the same geometry, and on the same stand (although different heights).

The two pairs of samples are: first, a flute duo, and second, a clarinet quintet. (I thought it was a bit clever of them to perform Mozart's Clarinet Quintet with a clarinet quintet.)

Details will follow, but I wonder if anyone would care to offer any comments first, without any other information. Which do you prefer? Criticisms welcome.

Thank you.

DG

P.S. Error Correction: "Clarinet Concerto" should be "Clarinet Quintet".
Attached Files

SonataFlutes1.mp3 (2.29 MB, 29 views)

SonataFlutes2.mp3 (2.29 MB, 22 views)

ClarinetConcerto1.mp3 (2.05 MB, 25 views)

ClarinetConcerto2.mp3 (2.05 MB, 23 views)

Old 20th May 2022
  #2
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Nice recordings! Hard to beat Blumlein for detail and imaging...
I preferred #1 in both pieces - seemed to have more depth - but I'd be happy with any of them.
Old 20th May 2022
  #3
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🎧 5 years
So all samples are Blumlein, just with different mics ?
Old 20th May 2022
  #4
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🎧 15 years
Not sure about the flutes, but I far preferred #2 of the Concerto - seemed to be much fuller, rounder and more precision of staging, so I could easily follow each single instrument. They lower registers seemed more cloudy and indistinct on #1 .
Old 20th May 2022 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by M50k ➡️
So all samples are Blumlein, just with different mics ?
Yes. #1 in both cases is one pair of mics in Blumlein. #2 in both cases is another pair of mics in Blumlein. Both pairs are Figure 8 mics. Both are on the same stand, but pair #1 is immediately above pair #2 .

This isn't any kind of "gotcha" exercise.

I will post details and pics later.

I will also have a third sample that I found particularly interesting in light of the first two.

DG
Old 20th May 2022 | Show parent
  #6
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Earcatcher's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsyourself ➡️
Not sure about the flutes, but I far preferred #2 of the Concerto - seemed to be much fuller, rounder and more precision of staging, so I could easily follow each single instrument. They lower registers seemed more cloudy and indistinct on #1 .
My observation too.
Old 20th May 2022
  #7
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surflounge's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
yes, SonataFlutes1
and
ClarinetConcerto2

did you use Senn MKH 30’s?
Old 21st May 2022
  #8
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Thank you for comments, so far.

Let me take the next (tiny) step, please.

Consider your preference(s) of pair 1 or pair 2 for the two selections. Now consider this third pair. It is the exact same portion of the two pieces as the earlier Blumlein pairs, but it is not a Blumlein pair. Do you prefer this third pair, or one of the Blumlein pairs?


DG
Attached Files

ClarinetConcerto3.mp3 (2.05 MB, 27 views)

SonataFlutes3.mp3 (2.29 MB, 25 views)

Old 21st May 2022
  #9
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Earcatcher's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I still like the depth and sonic balance of the Blumlein clarinets better (sample 2 of those). The new sample is very upfront and not so well placed in the space. I want to take a step back from it.

The flutes have not convinced me much in any of the samples, because I feel that the space is not reverberant enough for those instruments. If anything, I prefer sample 1 of those.
Old 21st May 2022
  #10
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surflounge's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Blumlein has more dimension. So what's the different mic setups please
Old 21st May 2022
  #11
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🎧 15 years
As Earcatcher says, i don't find the flutes examples revealing enough to decide anything definitively.

The concerto #3 is interesting, far better than #1 , with a different sense of space to #2 . Less in your face than 2, doesn't quite have the pin sharp separation and detail, but I can see some people preferring the coherence of an ensemble in a space. So down to personal preferences, i think, though for me I would probably choose 2, but not be disappointed with 3.

Will be interested to see what mics were used, though I can hazard a guess.
Old 21st May 2022
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
One more before the the setup details are fully explained.

It is a woodwind octet. Irrelevant aside: I love the contrabassoon-- nicely present at the cadences.

I think this sample particularly demonstrates one of the realities of Blumlein that one must be alert for when deploying it. (Hint: Listen for position of oboes.)

Again, the numbers refer to the same microphone pairs as previously. That is, numbers 1 and 2 are Blumlein pairs on the same mic stand. Number 3 is a different pair on a second stand.

DG
Attached Files

AntoniOctet1.mp3 (2.55 MB, 28 views)

AntoniOctet2.mp3 (2.55 MB, 26 views)

AntoniOctet3.mp3 (2.55 MB, 28 views)

Old 21st May 2022
  #13
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🎧 15 years
Number 3 for me on that one, the space around the performance is better represented and the performance within it.
Old 21st May 2022
  #14
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My preference was a (tiny) bit toward Mic 2 in the original post. Nothing truly "noticeable"... but just a touch more resonance in the "lows"... and a tiny touch at that. The third sample seemed a bit "broader" image through my cans (AKG371) and, as mentioned, was quite satisfactory on its own. Without being in the room, I'd be hard pressed to explain why I liked one more than the others. Well done.

I do wish my venues (largely churches and school auditoriums) were as quiet as yours on this outing. Cheers.

Last edited by hbphotoav; 22nd May 2022 at 08:01 PM..
Old 21st May 2022
  #15
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surflounge's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Number 3, others sound shallow like a tin can
from the comments, Blumlien could be a problem, so what did you use for the other method?
Blumlein Samples post #8

Last edited by surflounge; 22nd May 2022 at 10:14 PM..
Old 23rd May 2022
  #16
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Thank you all for your helpful comments.

I record as a hobby, and mainly for groups in which I am associated. There is no one locally that I can learn from, so try to elicit critiques and commentaries from this erudite forum, from time to time.

Now, regarding the setup.

Clips labeled "1" are Shiny Box 46U ribbons.

Clips labeled "2" are Sennheiser MKH 30 SDCs.

Clips labeled "3" are DPA 4060 omnis set up 30cm apart, with a 35cm Jecklin Disk.

I had only one opportunity to setup my gear. That was the evening before the concert at the (one and only) rehearsal in the space prior to the concert. I had to set up my gear before the players arrived, and I didn't even know how they would be sitting. I presumed that because of the immovable baptistry, that groups would be performing on the highest level platform (rear-most). I inferred this because this would reduce, as much as possible, the view interference by the baptistry (which is immovable). So, I set up immediately to the rear (away from the audience) of the baptistry.

Turns out I was mostly right-- WITH THE EXCEPTION of the last group, which was the wind octet. (Yes, I appreciate they had intonation issues. But, I am more interested in the recording, per se.)

Since I have had what I consider to be reasonable success with Blumlein in recording small ensembles in the past, I elected to use it for this concert. I also liked (in another past chamber concert) my homemade Jecklin disk, so I set it up, too. I also figured it would be a reasonable backup if the groups positioned themselves too widely for Blumlein. (REALLY glad I did that!)

Until recently, the only figure 8 mics I had were a pair of inexpensive ribbons I bought from Shiny Box, maybe 8, or so, years ago. But, recently, I bought a new pair of MKH 30s. I wanted to compare the two, so I set up both pairs. Arbitrarily, I put the ribbons on top, and the MKH 30s as closely underneath as possible. For the ribbons, I used spider shock mounts, and for the MKH 30s, I used a Rycote Inv 7 shock mount. The MKH 30s were held by a Shapeways 3D printed Blumlein mount (which was mounted in the Rycote).

So, the ribbons were above the SDCs, and the stand was right up against the baptistry (see photos). That put it about 6 - 7 feet out from most of the performing groups. (The octet was the "fly in the ointment" that didn't fit within the SRA of the Blumlein pairs.)

The Jecklin Disk was mounted on a second stand. I placed it as close as I could to the first stand (about a foot closer to the performers), and I elevated the Jecklin Disk about a foot higher than the ribbon Blumlein pair.

When I set up my mics, I had envisioned the octet being positioned across the back of the highest platform. I checked the geometry, and if they positioned themselves like that, they would have fit within the SRA of the Blumleins. But, alas, when they came in, they sat in a U shape, with some on the highest platform, and the rest down on the next platform. Some of them were beside, and even slightly in front of my ribbon stand (thus putting them in the rear lobe of the figure 8 pickup!).

You know what that did to my pickup pattern. In clips 1 & 2 of the octet, you can hear some oboe sound on the right, instead of the left where they were physically positioned.

Thus, for the octet, I can only use the Jecklin Disk data.

For all the other groups, I have more flexibility.

For chamber groups, I like a more intimate, "you are there" recording. For flutes, for example, I like to hear a bit of the flute chuff (because that's what flutes sound like when you are up close). I hear that with the MKH 30 samples (clips labeled "2"). So, I will likely use all or mostly MKH 30 data for flute pieces.

I guess that shouldn't be surprising because ribbons tend to roll off at higher frequencies (such as the "chuff").

For the other groups (so as to not "wear out my welcome" I didn't post samples from most of the groups), I am still evaluating.

In fact, I'm not sure why, and maybe my perception will change when I try to carefully control for loudness differences, but I think I like a combination of the omnis and the Blumleins. Seems to add spaciousness. But, I don't want to destroy the Blumlein imaging.

There's probably a fine line there somewhere.

Anyway, I'm continuing to work on it, and thank all of you very much for your helpful comments.

I have included some pics from the final rehearsal to show how my mics were set up, and how the octet was positioned.

If anyone has further questions, I'm happy to (try to) answer.

Regards,

DG

P.S. I'm trying to figure out how to post photos. I used the "insert photo" button in the posting window, and I copied and pasted links from google drive. But, I don't see any images in my post. I'm working on it.










Last edited by dgpretzel; 23rd May 2022 at 06:00 AM.. Reason: Add note about photos
Old 23rd May 2022
  #17
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Here are photos.
Attached Thumbnails
Blumlein Samples-20220505_200255.jpg   Blumlein Samples-20220505_200311.jpg   Blumlein Samples-20220505_200426.jpg   Blumlein Samples-20220506_175655.jpg   Blumlein Samples-20220506_175729.jpg  

Old 27th May 2022 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpretzel ➡️
Thank you all for your helpful comments.

I record as a hobby, and mainly for groups in which I am associated. There is no one locally that I can learn from, so try to elicit critiques and commentaries from this erudite forum, from time to time.

Now, regarding the setup.

Clips labeled "1" are Shiny Box 46U ribbons.

Clips labeled "2" are Sennheiser MKH 30 SDCs.

Clips labeled "3" are DPA 4060 omnis set up 30cm apart, with a 35cm Jecklin Disk.

I had only one opportunity to setup my gear. That was the evening before the concert at the (one and only) rehearsal in the space prior to the concert. I had to set up my gear before the players arrived, and I didn't even know how they would be sitting. I presumed that because of the immovable baptistry, that groups would be performing on the highest level platform (rear-most). I inferred this because this would reduce, as much as possible, the view interference by the baptistry (which is immovable). So, I set up immediately to the rear (away from the audience) of the baptistry.

Turns out I was mostly right-- WITH THE EXCEPTION of the last group, which was the wind octet. (Yes, I appreciate they had intonation issues. But, I am more interested in the recording, per se.)

Since I have had what I consider to be reasonable success with Blumlein in recording small ensembles in the past, I elected to use it for this concert. I also liked (in another past chamber concert) my homemade Jecklin disk, so I set it up, too. I also figured it would be a reasonable backup if the groups positioned themselves too widely for Blumlein. (REALLY glad I did that!)

Until recently, the only figure 8 mics I had were a pair of inexpensive ribbons I bought from Shiny Box, maybe 8, or so, years ago. But, recently, I bought a new pair of MKH 30s. I wanted to compare the two, so I set up both pairs. Arbitrarily, I put the ribbons on top, and the MKH 30s as closely underneath as possible. For the ribbons, I used spider shock mounts, and for the MKH 30s, I used a Rycote Inv 7 shock mount. The MKH 30s were held by a Shapeways 3D printed Blumlein mount (which was mounted in the Rycote).

So, the ribbons were above the SDCs, and the stand was right up against the baptistry (see photos). That put it about 6 - 7 feet out from most of the performing groups. (The octet was the "fly in the ointment" that didn't fit within the SRA of the Blumlein pairs.)

The Jecklin Disk was mounted on a second stand. I placed it as close as I could to the first stand (about a foot closer to the performers), and I elevated the Jecklin Disk about a foot higher than the ribbon Blumlein pair.

When I set up my mics, I had envisioned the octet being positioned across the back of the highest platform. I checked the geometry, and if they positioned themselves like that, they would have fit within the SRA of the Blumleins. But, alas, when they came in, they sat in a U shape, with some on the highest platform, and the rest down on the next platform. Some of them were beside, and even slightly in front of my ribbon stand (thus putting them in the rear lobe of the figure 8 pickup!).

You know what that did to my pickup pattern. In clips 1 & 2 of the octet, you can hear some oboe sound on the right, instead of the left where they were physically positioned.

Thus, for the octet, I can only use the Jecklin Disk data.

For all the other groups, I have more flexibility.

For chamber groups, I like a more intimate, "you are there" recording. For flutes, for example, I like to hear a bit of the flute chuff (because that's what flutes sound like when you are up close). I hear that with the MKH 30 samples (clips labeled "2"). So, I will likely use all or mostly MKH 30 data for flute pieces.

I guess that shouldn't be surprising because ribbons tend to roll off at higher frequencies (such as the "chuff").

For the other groups (so as to not "wear out my welcome" I didn't post samples from most of the groups), I am still evaluating.

In fact, I'm not sure why, and maybe my perception will change when I try to carefully control for loudness differences, but I think I like a combination of the omnis and the Blumleins. Seems to add spaciousness. But, I don't want to destroy the Blumlein imaging.

There's probably a fine line there somewhere.

Anyway, I'm continuing to work on it, and thank all of you very much for your helpful comments.

I have included some pics from the final rehearsal to show how my mics were set up, and how the octet was positioned.

If anyone has further questions, I'm happy to (try to) answer.

Regards,

DG

P.S. I'm trying to figure out how to post photos. I used the "insert photo" button in the posting window, and I copied and pasted links from google drive. But, I don't see any images in my post. I'm working on it.









I assume you meant a Rycote “INV7 HG-MKIII” shockmount. The regular INV7 would
not work for this. In case you didn’t realize it, if you rotate the shockmount 45 deg to the left then the LEFT channel becomes the SIDE channel and the RIGHT channel becomes the MID channel for MS fig 8’s. I advised them when they were designing it so it would work this way.
Also in either case the mic stand is midway between the on-axis lines of the mics. For those not familiar with the Shapeways Blumlein/MS-Fig 8 mount it’s a “nose-to-nose” mount.
Old 27th May 2022 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie ➡️
I assume you meant a Rycote “INV7 HG-MKIII” shockmount. The regular INV7 would
not work for this. In case you didn’t realize it, if you rotate the shockmount 45 deg to the left then the LEFT channel becomes the SIDE channel and the RIGHT channel becomes the MID channel for MS fig 8’s. I advised them when they were designing it so it would work this way.
Also in either case the mic stand is midway between the on-axis lines of the mics. For those not familiar with the Shapeways Blumlein/MS-Fig 8 mount it’s a “nose-to-nose” mount.
Yes, thank you. I should have been more complete.

You can't really see the setup very well in the photos, though. They were taken 1) in haste, and 2) for my own use, without any intent at the time of "publishing" them.

Sorry.

DG
Old 27th May 2022
  #20
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
From the New York Times:
Fair Use Guidelines

Fair use is a U.S. legal doctrine that helps support freedom of expression by allowing the unlicensed use of a copyrighted work in certain circumstances. Examples of fair use include criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. When determining whether a proposed use is fair use, you should look at the following factors:


1. Purpose:
The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature, or is for nonprofit education purposes.

2. Nature:
The nature of the copyrighted work itself. For example, is the work based on facts or was it created purely for expression or entertainment? Is the work published or unpublished?

3. Amount:
The portion and substantiality of the pieces used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.

4. Effect:
The impact of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.


I'm no copyright lawyer, but I'm pretty sure the sort of technical discussions we have here on Gearspace fall under "fair use" guidelines (just like me quoting the NYT now).
Old 28th May 2022
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
There are a few a few odd statements in Stavrou's book - and here I'll risk Federal prosecution by quoting directly.

Under the heading: "Cardioid vs Omni MS"

"Some people seem to think that using a cardiod mic in place of an omni is OK. Not so. In fact it's a really bad idea . . ."

Wow!

He goes on to explain it's because of, quote:"...incredibly dull response of the off-axis cardioid."

Quite true of LDC cardioids, but certainly not true of SDC cards (which are only down a couple of dB at 90 degrees [and even then only at very high frequencies]), but he makes no such LDC/SDC distinction.

To go so far as to tell readers using a card as the M mic (the way MS is done more than any other) is "...a really bad idea." is just weird.

And don't get me started on chapter 18 "Gravity and it's Affect on Music" . . . it's just -- I don't know . . .

...gotta go, I hear sirens outside!
Old 28th May 2022
  #22
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surflounge's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
more secrets...
Rudy Van Gelder and secrecy
Old 29th May 2022
  #23
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist ➡️
I choose to respect the author, not going to happen.
https://pdfcoffee.com/download/mixin...-pdf-free.html

P.99....'disadvantage' etc
Old 29th May 2022
  #24
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist ➡️
the recording is still out of tune, and MS isn't actually a million miles away from Blumlein either, if you had 2 U87ai mics or similar you could change the bottom one to cardiod or omni and boom, we've gone from Blumlein to MS with one tiny change.
Except for the minor problem that now your pair is aiming 45 degrees the wrong direction. It also now needs to be de-matrixed - MS is a sum and difference technique; Blumlein is not. A bit more than one tiny change. Not to mention the fact that de-matrixed MS with card or omni Mid sounds nothing like Blumlein, because the resulting pattern is a coincident pair of cardioids.

But you're right - MS isn't a million miles away from Blumlein, more like 995,000.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Here for the gear
 
OK, so what you did here is right down my alley. This is exactly the sort of ensemble I will be recording. I have almost no idea what all the alphabet soup of gear acronyms mean, so the specifics of your recording kit escape me.

So, what did I learn from listening to your samples?

I can barely hear any difference at all between your two blumlein pairs. I suppose there's some difference, but in terms of how I enjoyed or didn't enjoy the music, they're both fine. The third, non-blumlein setup gives a lot more room presence, and I happen to like that.

However...and this is important...

I'd rather have a performance as in tune and in-sync as possible. To me, that's more important than the minute details of where one of the instruments "sits" in perceived space. Not to knock your friends, OK! They're not pro's, they're having a blast playing in a woodwind octet and more power to them! My performances aren't perfect, either. So thank you for a dose of reality and a reminder of where to invest the bulk of my time...

...rehearsal time, personal practice, intonation, phrasing and so on.
The nitty-gritty details of the recording are secondary to me.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by M50k ➡️
Not to mention the fact that de-matrixed MS with card or omni Mid sounds nothing like Blumlein, because the resulting pattern is a coincident pair of cardioids.
Not quite, actually closer to a pair of supercardioids for a cardioid mid.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Right you are!
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