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"Learning the Room"
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #61
Gear Nut
 
OK, tonights plans all came to naught because DUH....

The winds were on risers, the acoustic shell partitions were in place and the rear screen was down, blocking the back wall. In other words, TOTALLY different from the previous nights. It's the dress rehearsal. Oy, ve.



So anyway, since there was no way to compare tonights stuff with previous nights recordings, I just settled in to see what I could do. Tonight the microphone stands were off the stage, so they were further away. I think that has affected how well they pick up the woodwinds. Interestingly, what I hear in the Audacity files is different from when Audacity renders a .wav or MP3...woodwinds sound fine in that. I thought the stage was 4 feet off the floor, in fact it's 30 inches. I brought some milk carton/crates to put my flankers on, so in fact they wound up being 8 feet higher than the stage, just like before. I put the primary pair up as high as they'd go, about 12 1/2 feet, so in fact they were about 10 feet above state level, which is in the ballpark of what I had the two last times.



I'm going to confess something here, because in the end I'M LEARNING...and as stupid a rookie move as this is, well...I did it. I re-discovered the "pan" feature on the tracks in Audacity tonight. OK, well if I pan the omni's 30% L/R and the flankers 60% L/R, wow. Gosh. Geewhiz. Everything just opens up. It sounds like there's an image instead of the flat wall I've been hearing. I messed with the percentages, if I open it up too much there's a "hole" in the middle. 30 / 60 seemed about right.

Here are tonights files. You can stream these. The Mozart has the primary pair of omni's at 50 cm. The Paganini has them 60 cm apart.

Mozart Overture

https://web.stanford.edu/~ahebert/[email protected]

Paganini Violin concerto, first movt.

[email protected]3


Paganini Violin concerto 2nd/3rd movt.

https://web.stanford.edu/~ahebert/[email protected]

As I listen to these I'm noticing a noise floor. Maybe it's the room? Maybe it's the people on stage? Maybe it's the gear? "Floor" might not be the right term. Also, those edgy, raw-sounding sE7's that I have on the flankers can be used to add a little bit of "punch" or high-end clarity to the beautiful but somewhat mushy omni's.

These are the first recordings that I feel like I can say... "OK. That's starting to sound like something."
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #62
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan H ➡️
These are the first recordings that I feel like I can say... "OK. That's starting to sound like something."
The recording sounds better because the hall acoustics were arranged to be better. Get practice listening with one ear so that you can predict this before putting mikes up.
--scott
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #63
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
The recording sounds better because the hall acoustics were arranged to be better. Get practice listening with one ear so that you can predict this before putting mikes up.
--scott
Certainly the concert-setup in the hall plays a big role, but I'm pretty sure it's not the only thing! For example, two weeks ago when I used one of the sE7's as a spot mic on the violin soloist, the microphone was much closer and in a different place. I concluded that it was much too "edgy" and the instrument sounded shrill. The microphone was in front of the instrument and about 3 feet up from it. I went in and played with some EQ to tone down some of the higher frequencies and that helped. Last night the sE7 was in a "flanker" position, 7 feet out from the central pair and all I did as a compromise was to toe the microphone in a little and point it down maybe 30 degrees from the horizontal. But hey, when I listen to this recording, that "edge" is gone and it sounds pretty natural. The soloist is 50-60 feet away from the shell, I don't think that's having much of an effect on his sound!
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #64
Gear Nut
 
Uh-oh. The Pro Engineer that usually records our stuff is in France and his assistant is out of town as well. The conductor has asked me to record the concert. I've told him that I only have ONE setup, so if something in that equipment chain fails, there will be no recording, and he's OK with it. I'm not really ready for this but I suppose I'll do it.

I'm tempted to dash up to GuitarCenter and buy a Scarlett or Tascam AI just so I can route my ribbons into my old Mac and have a backup system.

I'll be spending the afternoon making some sandbags for the mic stands.

Sheesh! This wasn't the plan!
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #65
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Great opportunity to shine…..don’t be overawed by it, you’re not 17 years old ! Did you get that input balance issue sorted out….if it’s still not 100% solid and reliable, that’s the case for rushing off to GC for that replacement interface. ORTF main pair is a safe guaranteed crowd pleaser….but you might hit ‘stellar’ with the other rigs you’re now more familiar with !

Backup can be as spartan as a stereo mix of your main mics (ie a duplicate of your on-site headphone mix) into a Zoom or laptop or phone line-in. It’s a safety after all…does not have to be duplicate system to your main
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #66
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan H ➡️
Sheesh! This wasn't the plan!
When it comes to live music, the "plan" rarely survives contact with reality.


You might find a local musician has one of the interfaces you mention. You could even ask the members of the orchestra.


IMO, the Behringer UMC1820 would be worth a look. Lots of inputs, sensible money.

Chris
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #67
Gear Nut
 
The concert went well, though the violin soloist played better at the dress than the concert, and he knew it. That said, anybody that can do a solid job of a Paganini concerto is seriously impressive. The Ravel piece was absolutely outstanding. I got everything recorded and the files were backed up to an external hard drive before I left the hall. I spent Saturday afternoon making sandbags for the microphone stands.

To my shock, the treasurer offered to pay me what they pay the normal recording engineer. After I protested (based on what I've learned here) that it was too much for a hack like me, we agreed on this.... the orchestra will reimburse me for the purchase of the Line Audio OM-1's ($297) and call it good. For me, that's fantastic, I'll just take that money and go buy a pair of Line Audio CM-4's. Then I can experiment with the CM-4's in NOS or ORTF as my primary and the OM-1's as flankers. The sE7's would get mounted on the central mic stand in NOS or ORTF as my "backup system".

I'd rather not buy more Behringer stuff for all the usual China-based labor-related reasons, but there's an 8 mic-pre Tascam that I can afford if I wait another month. That's more inputs than I need for now but it gives me options for down the road without breaking the bank. But that's for "later". For now I want to just experiment with a primary pair and flankers.

I need to edit the files and get them up for download for the conductor and the media group...
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #68
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan H ➡️
The concert went well, though the violin soloist played better at the dress than the concert, and he knew it. That said, anybody that can do a solid job of a Paganini concerto is seriously impressive. The Ravel piece was absolutely outstanding. I got everything recorded and the files were backed up to an external hard drive before I left the hall. I spent Saturday afternoon making sandbags for the microphone stands.

To my shock, the treasurer offered to pay me what they pay the normal recording engineer. After I protested (based on what I've learned here) that it was too much for a hack like me, we agreed on this.... the orchestra will reimburse me for the purchase of the Line Audio OM-1's ($297) and call it good. For me, that's fantastic, I'll just take that money and go buy a pair of Line Audio CM-4's. Then I can experiment with the CM-4's in NOS or ORTF as my primary and the OM-1's as flankers. The sE7's would get mounted on the central mic stand in NOS or ORTF as my "backup system".

I'd rather not buy more Behringer stuff for all the usual China-based labor-related reasons, but there's an 8 mic-pre Tascam that I can afford if I wait another month. That's more inputs than I need for now but it gives me options for down the road without breaking the bank. But that's for "later". For now I want to just experiment with a primary pair and flankers.

I need to edit the files and get them up for download for the conductor and the media group...
Sounds like you have successfully implemented the catch phrase of that famous philosopher who said, "Adapt, Improvise, Overcome".



At the risk of operating out of my depth, and in no way intending to be condescending to a newbe (because, even after several years, I still consider myself a newbie), I would offer that the CM4 is an extreme value, and worthy to use (I have four of the CM3, which was the previous version of the CM4). BUT... it is a wide card, and although you can use any mic however you care to (you are the "master of your mics", eh), putting CM4s in the position of ORTF does not make that array ORTF. True ORTF requires cards. The results may be exactly what you want. I am not judging. But, you will not have an ORTF recording.

It's all up to you, though.

DG
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #69
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpretzel ➡️
putting CM4s in the position of ORTF does not make that array ORTF. True ORTF requires cards
pls note that schoeps' first implementation of a fixed ortf array even used supercardioids...

(...which i'm still occasionally using btw)
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #70
Lives for gear
 
avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Alan H:

Thank you for the great update and congratulations on the new microphones!

Andre
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #71
Gear Nut
 
OK, so lots of folks are new to the thread and don't know where I'm coming from. I'm a clarinet player, first...saxophone player, second...and I guess composing and recording tie for third place in my musical life. My clarinets are from the so-called "Golden Age" of grenadilla woodwinds, when the wood harvested in Madagascar was of exceptional quality. My b-flat and A clarinets are from the early 1970's. To replace them with e-bay or person-to-person purchases would cost me about $1,000 - $1200, plus or minus. Add in $800 per instrument for complete overhauls by the best woodwind guy in California, and that's $2600 - $2800. To buy brand new Selmer, Backun or Buffet level professional-model clarinets would cost around $5,000 for a pair, and could go up to almost $10,000 depending on the models I chose.

That's my first priority. I'm not spending $5,000 or more on recording gear for my third priority! I know that some of you professional engineers will not like that, but that's just how it is. So this means I can't have a locker full of Schoeps and Neumann microphones.

I'm about $1300 into this now, in terms of gear. I made my two flanker mic stands from stuff I had around the house, all they cost me was one can of satin black paint. I'm not counting my Mac, I had that already.

sE7 cardioid pair - $200
Cascade Fathead ribbon pair - $380
Line Audio OM-1 pair - $300
cables - $175
13 foot tall central mid stand - $60
Behringer euphoria UMC4040 - $170

Total about $1300

The orchestra reimburses me for the OM-1's...essentially that just buys me the CM-4's, so that's a wash. The Tascam 8 channel AI is about $350. That will bring me up to $1650, and that's what it would cost to buy two professional level clarinets from the "Golden Age" to replace my beloved instruments, should disaster strike.

That's about it. I'm not going to go acquiring much more than that. deedeeyeah has introduced me to a Beyer double-ribbon hypercardioid microphone that I'm really interested in, but it's a $700 microphone. Well....maybe someday. But not now. I'm recording concerts, not producing audio CD's for distribution, though my recordings will get used for advertising purposes.

OK, I've written about my budget 3x now...'nuff of that.

Here's the link to the final edit of the Mozart Overture to the Magic Flute, recorded Saturday night. This is a high-res MP3...twice the size of the usual standard MP3. The performance is not perfect, there's an issue with the second violins in an exposed spot, not to mention the hellacious crash of a trumpet players water bottle off the riser at 1:52 but such is life. You can hear the conductor say "bravo!" to the orchestra at the very end. He was happy with it. This was done with OM-1's, 10 feet overhead and 3 1/2 feet directly behind the conductors platform. They were separated by 60 cm. The flankers are sE7 cardioids, set off the stage parallel to the main stand, and 8 feet above stage level. They are six feet on each side of the main stand.

https://web.stanford.edu/~ahebert/Re...AL-highres.mp3

There's room for improvement in that recording, but all in all, I'm pretty happy with it.

I will be AFK for about 3 weeks, will edit the remaining pieces when I get back.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #72
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan H ➡️
That's my first priority. I'm not spending $5,000 or more on recording gear for my third priority! I know that some of you professional engineers will not like that, but that's just how it is. So this means I can't have a locker full of Schoeps and Neumann microphones.
People who do this day in and day out have to buy a locker full of Schoeps and Neumann microphones. But you don't have to, because you can RENT a locker full of Schoeps and Neumann microphones when you need them. Believe me, I don't own a piano, but I can get a Steinway with a phone call.

I'm not saying that you can't do anything without the best tools, but I am saying that the best tools are pretty reasonable if you don't need them full-time.
--scott
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #73
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
People who do this day in and day out have to buy a locker full of Schoeps and Neumann microphones. But you don't have to, because you can RENT a locker full of Schoeps and Neumann microphones when you need them. Believe me, I don't own a piano, but I can get a Steinway with a phone call.

I'm not saying that you can't do anything without the best tools, but I am saying that the best tools are pretty reasonable if you don't need them full-time.
--scott
depends on what you consider to be reasonable (and of course where you're working): around here, getting a relatively large steinway c delivered to your concert hall of choice in your city sets you back ca. chf2000.--; this includes transport, a single tuning before or after sound check/rehearsal/before the concert and a touch up during the intermission.

the concert hall sets you back an even higher amount of money and if you want me to set up my forest of mic stands with a ton of schoeps and neuheiser mics, you're pretty quickly approaching figures which are no longer deemed 'reasonable' by most anyone's standards...

...so frankly, i do not advocate recording (!) unless you have a pretty good reason to do so - a sponsor wasting lot of money imo doesn't qualify for this - or then hire an amateur, record in a semi-decent hall with a less spectacular grand piano and use fewer mics.

to me looks like to op is on track (towards the latter option) - still, i suggest he'll get a condenser fig8 or use one of his ribbon mics for additional recording options...
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #74
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
depends on what you consider to be reasonable (and of course where you're working): around here, getting a relatively large steinway c delivered to your concert hall of choice in your city sets you back ca. chf2000.--; this includes transport, a single tuning before or after sound check/rehearsal/before the concert and a touch up during the intermission.

the concert hall sets you back an even higher amount of money and if you want me to set up my forest of mic stands with a ton of schoeps and neuheiser mics, you're pretty quickly approaching figures which are no longer deemed 'reasonable' by most anyone's standards...

...so frankly, i do not advocate recording (!) unless you have a pretty good reason to do so - a sponsor wasting lot of money imo doesn't qualify for this - or then hire an amateur, record in a semi-decent hall with a less spectacular grand piano and use fewer mics.

to me looks like to op is on track (towards the latter option) - still, i suggest he'll get a condenser fig8 or use one of his ribbon mics for additional recording options...
A friend has suggested that he might gift me with an AKG Perception 420 that he doesn't use any more. This is/was a popular dual-capsule, multi-pattern LDC. It was apparently one of AKG's most popular microphones for home studios in the 2010's. I expect that it's not a knockout microphone for this purpose but maybe teamed up with one of the sE7's might produce a decent midside recording.

I still need to try using one of my ribbons for midside. I haven't tried that at all, yet.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #75
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan H ➡️
A friend has suggested that he might gift me with an AKG Perception 420 that he doesn't use any more. This is/was a popular dual-capsule, multi-pattern LDC. It was apparently one of AKG's most popular microphones for home studios in the 2010's. I expect that it's not a knockout microphone for this purpose but maybe teamed up with one of the sE7's might produce a decent midside recording.

I still need to try using one of my ribbons for midside. I haven't tried that at all, yet.
I think the Perception series might be better relegated to spot mic duty...and a minor one at that...maybe tympani or harp ?

Re ORTF and CM3/CM4 mics. Yes, these are both wide cardioids...and it's been long advocated in this forum that they thus do better in NOS formation (ie 90 degrees, 30cm spacing) than ORTF...so give that a trial run

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOS_stereo_technique

Try entering a few variable figures (mic spacing, angles, orchestral width, array type) into the Sengpiel calculator below, and see if NOS 'dimensions' gives you imaging equivalence with 'everybody's-favourite-but-mine' ORTF ?

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visualization-NOS-E.htm

If you don't already have a small stereo bar, this will get you NOS (and ORTF and XY) easily:

https://youtu.be/FLd9XBb1qFY

https://edge.rode.com/pdf/page/378/m...quickstart.pdf
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #76
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
I think the Perception series might be better relegated to spot mic duty...and a minor one at that...maybe tympani or harp ?

Re ORTF and CM3/CM4 mics. Yes, these are both wide cardioids...and it's been long advocated in this forum that they thus do better in NOS formation (ie 90 degrees, 30cm spacing) than ORTF...so give that a trial run

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOS_stereo_technique

Try entering a few variable figures (mic spacing, angles, orchestral width, array type) into the Sengpiel calculator below, and see if NOS 'dimensions' gives you imaging equivalence with 'everybody's-favourite-but-mine' ORTF ?

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visualization-NOS-E.htm

If you don't already have a small stereo bar, this will get you NOS (and ORTF and XY) easily:

https://youtu.be/FLd9XBb1qFY

https://edge.rode.com/pdf/page/378/m...quickstart.pdf
I have a small spreader and I drilled the one I made so that I could do ORTF and NOS, too. I tried a NOS configuration with the sE7's and the imaging was better but the nature of those microphones....ewww. Did Not Like.

Well. That sengpiel audio calculator looks like a little project. I might take some measurements at the next set of rehearsals and see what I come up with.

All right, I'm AFK for a couple of weeks. For everyone who followed this thread, thanks for the input! I learned a lot in this process!
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