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Old 2nd February 2021 | Show parent
Gear Head
I remember the late Mike Skeet many years ago told me about a technique which he called The Clay Pigeon Array (Skeet Shooting!).
I found this description in one of his papers published on the website

If you have a wide orchestral layout, or a wide choir, not in the preferred semi-circle where a single pair would suit, or you are recording a wide staged drama production, try the use of two spaced apart M&S pairs of mics!
You have them at around 1/3rd and 2/3rd spacings along the front of the performance area. The crucial thing is that you angle them inwards to the front centre of the layout. For instance, with an orchestra or choir, you angle both pairs inwards symmetrically something like 10 to 30 degrees depending on the situation and how far back the pairs need to be.
Obviously, pointing them straight ahead would not work! What you get with this technique is the left half of the soundstage covered by the left output of the left pair and right half of the soundstage covered by the right output of the right pair. The ambience from behind the mic positions is also acquired.
Both pairs are conventionally decoded and mixed together. The Mid mic polar patterns probably need to be cardioid, soft cardioid or omni, as appropriate to venue characteristics. Soloists beside the conductor have been satisfactorily covered, however spot Shot Gun mics with are not ruled out! Possibly it can be helpful if the spaced out M&S pairs are moved a little in their positioning to result in a more appropriate near central placing of a front stage soloist’s sound?
Spaced M&S pairs have been used for sound feeds to camera for Black Swan Film & Video excellently filmed for DVDs of the National Children’s Orchestra concerts. It actually suits the visuals to not have a mic stand behind the conductor, albeit that the writers mic stands are still ‘annoyingly’ shiny silver and not non-reflective black!
Some stages are two restricted in space to get a mic stand directly behind the conductor, and slinging from above can be a nightmare! Covered in Paper No.2 is the hidden bonus available from this use of spaced apart pairs of M&S rigs, as it does also allow for 5.0 Surround play back! – see the comments in the earlier Paper No.2.