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Mike Senior
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Joined: 08/08/03
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Loc: Cambridge, UK
Judging stereo mic techniques over headphones
      #1068135 - 29/09/13 07:10 PM
Anyone have any special tricks or 'rules of thumb' for judging stereo spread or dry/wet level over headphones when recording with a stereo mic rig on location? Clearly experience is a big part of it, but are there any good ways a newbie can fast-track their progress here?

Things like reference tracks, vectorscopes, and crossfeed plug-ins all spring to mind (and things like the Stereophonic Zoom charts can also be helpful), but is there anything else? I'm just riffing here, but maybe some way to guess initial miking distances in terms of the critical distance, maybe?

Interested to hear any ideas on this one, however off-the-wall...

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Judging stereo mic techniques over headphones new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1068137 - 29/09/13 07:33 PM
I find it quite hard to judge how the imaging will work on speakers from headphones alone, and so I always use a vectorscope of some kind -- usually a DK Technologies MSD600M++.

H

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The Elf
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Loc: Sheffield, UK
Re: Judging stereo mic techniques over headphones new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1068139 - 29/09/13 08:00 PM
During a break I will go out and listen to a test recording on phones in the performance space. It's amazing how much this can tell you.

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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1400
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Judging stereo mic techniques over headphones new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #1068141 - 29/09/13 08:14 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

I find it quite hard to judge how the imaging will work on speakers from headphones alone, and so I always use a vectorscope of some kind




That's kind of my tack too.

--------------------
Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio.


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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1400
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Judging stereo mic techniques over headphones new [Re: The Elf]
      #1068142 - 29/09/13 08:15 PM
Quote The Elf:

During a break I will go out and listen to a test recording on phones in the performance space. It's amazing how much this can tell you.




That's a cool idea. I like that a lot! I'll give that one a try on my next job...

--------------------
Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio.


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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1400
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Judging stereo mic techniques over headphones new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1068168 - 30/09/13 04:39 AM
Quote Mike Senior:

Quote The Elf:

During a break I will go out and listen to a test recording on phones in the performance space. It's amazing how much this can tell you.




That's a cool idea. I like that a lot! I'll give that one a try on my next job...




Although, it just struck me that this would surely depend heavily on the relationship between the acceptance angle and the 180-degree headphone-listening stereo panorama. Any thoughts on this The Elf?

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Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio.


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The Elf
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Joined: 14/08/01
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Loc: Sheffield, UK
Re: Judging stereo mic techniques over headphones new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1068174 - 30/09/13 06:55 AM
Quote Mike Senior:

Quote Mike Senior:

Quote The Elf:

During a break I will go out and listen to a test recording on phones in the performance space. It's amazing how much this can tell you.




That's a cool idea. I like that a lot! I'll give that one a try on my next job...




Although, it just struck me that this would surely depend heavily on the relationship between the acceptance angle and the 180-degree headphone-listening stereo panorama. Any thoughts on this The Elf?



It's all about compromise, as ever. No mic is perfect and no stereo mic technique is perfect. But my little trick helps me to know whether the recording I'm making is creating a believable sense of space and depth. Headphones can tell me that better than speakers - it removes other spatial 'interference'.

There will always be a dislocation between reality and the recording (e.g. if spot mic's or wide omnis are in use), but as long as the illusion of genuine space is supported I'm OK with it. When I listen in headphones in the performance space I know within seconds whether I'm on it or not.

I have a dual ORTF recording that I am particularly proud of where I noticed that I'd captured a car driving outside the hall. The effect of hearing this in headphones in the actual hall was eerily realistic! It's become a reference standard for me!

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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1400
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Judging stereo mic techniques over headphones new [Re: The Elf]
      #1068178 - 30/09/13 07:25 AM
Quote The Elf:

There will always be a dislocation between reality and the recording (e.g. if spot mic's or wide omnis are in use), but as long as the illusion of genuine space is supported I'm OK with it. When I listen in headphones in the performance space I know within seconds whether I'm on it or not.




Thanks for the clarifications, The Elf. It's always interesting hearing the thinking behind these kinds of decisions.

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Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio.


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