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All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: NT-SF1

Postby Wonks » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:21 am

Sam Inglis wrote:
Wonks wrote: if the group form a circle around the mic, how do you then create a workable stereo image for normal use (rather than a surround sound one)? You'd have to go mono.

Not at all! You can decode an Ambisonic mic to a stereo array that has a 360-degree acceptance angle (back to back cardioids). Or you can decode it to multiple spot mics pointing at the individual musicians, and pan those as you like.

OK, I see. Thanks.
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:45 am

Sam Inglis wrote:Not at all! You can decode an Ambisonic mic to a stereo array that has a 360-degree acceptance angle (back to back cardioids). Or you can decode it to multiple spot mics pointing at the individual musicians, and pan those as you like.

This was what I got from the article and what is making me seriously think about saving up some shekels. I really like the idea of this flexibility. Thanks for that, Sam.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Wonks » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:19 am

It also allows you to virtually remove that one player with bad timing or an out-of tune instrument from the mix. ;)
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:27 am

:D
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:43 am

Apart from the fact that I could never justify spending that sort of money on a microphone - huge fan that I am of Rode and their works - for my music recording work it would always be hugely compromised.

Most of my music work (ie 95%+) these days is location recording of live concerts with an audience present. I'm increasingly finding that more and more restrictions are being imposed on me - always in a friendly and polite way - about where mics and stand may be placed. In many cases simply having the mics in view is frowned upon. For all intents and purposes stands have to be invisible. On one occasion in the last year the last-minute demands on mic placement were so extreme that I had to simply pack-up and leave... no point wasting my time and energy attempting to produce a fatally-flawed recording.

So brilliant though the Rode would be I'd never be able to place it satisfactorily. I know it's only 'one' mic... but even a single stereo-pair is frowned on by some.... widely-spaced omnis is often the best deal that I can reach.
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:39 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:I'm increasingly finding that more and more restrictions are being imposed on me - always in a friendly and polite way - about where mics and stand may be placed. In many cases simply having the mics in view is frowned upon. For all intents and purposes stands have to be invisible.

Yes. It's a hugely frustrating situation, often down to total misunderstandings of H&S requirements from people more interested in protecting their backs than understanding the law, or even applying common sense!

On one occasion in the last year the last-minute demands on mic placement were so extreme that I had to simply pack-up and leave... no point wasting my time and energy attempting to produce a fatally-flawed recording.

Yes, I've had that too. Told I had to set the mics up at the back of the church, so after patiently explaining the nonsense of that request and getting nowhere I packed up and came home.

On a slightly more amusing occasion I was told that "as it was such lovely weather they were going to do the concert outside instead". I did have a stab at that with a pair of spaced MKH20s omnis (being the mics with the lowest susceptibility to wind noise that I had with me), purely as an experiment and not expecting it to work...

...and lo, in the few sections where the inevitably horrendous wind noise wasn't obliterating the choir, the adjacent main road traffic noise was... And when I sent them the file out of courtesy they complained about the quality of my recording! :headbang: :x

The only way to overcome the mic-stand phobics is to fly the mics on catenary wires, like what the pros mostly do... but the cost of the appropriate hardware and the H&S requirements involved in that is massively worse, let alone the far greater rig/derig times. And that's assuming the building has appropriate and accessible mounting points anyway... which few do!

H
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Wonks » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:52 pm

silent drone mic stands?
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ef37a » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:53 pm

Mike, add a few large artificial floral displays to your kit inventory!

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby blinddrew » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:23 pm

Wonks wrote:silent drone mic stands?
How quiet do drones get nowadays? And how much wind shielding would you need to protect from their own wind noise?
Asking from a purely hypothetical stance of course.

[EDIT - floral stands sounds a lot more practical!]
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:38 pm

Hmmmmmm........ I wonder if the concept of "Dirigible mic stands" has legs (we'll probably not legs but you know what I mean) :thumbup:
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:18 pm

The sadness is that these are genuinely pleasant people I'm dealing with. It's just that they have zero understanding of the recording process. I've also had it said that they've seen choirs on t'telly with no mics visible at all... not realising of course that what they saw and what they heard were in two different timeframes which had been overlaid...

Ho hum! :)
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:23 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:The sadness is that these are genuinely pleasant people I'm dealing with. It's just that they have zero understanding of the recording process.

Of course, and there's no reason they should know about the recording process... but you'd think they'd listen to the advice of someone who does!

I've also had it said that they've seen choirs on t'telly with no mics visible at all... not realising of course that what they saw and what they heard were in two different timeframes which had been overlaid...

...or via slung mics carefully positioned out of shot. The slung Schoeps mics for The Proms at the RAH are almost invisible to the naked eye, let alone the cameras!

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby The Elf » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:55 pm

I am definitely interested in this mic for surround recordings (I typically use a pair of ORTFs), but I'm struggling to understand its usage as a stereo mic beyond simply muting a pair of capsules?
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Wonks » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:23 pm

The Elf wrote:I am definitely interested in this mic for surround recordings (I typically use a pair of ORTFs), but I'm struggling to understand its usage as a stereo mic beyond simply muting a pair of capsules?

The idea is that you can create your own pattern microphone, you don't simply mute two mics. So you can bring the included area in tighter, or widen it after recording, whereas with a stereo pair, you are stuck with what you've got. Which if you are experienced, probably isn't a problem, but there may still be times when you might want to reduce the ambient/audience/background noise.
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby The Elf » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:25 pm

I still don't really get it. Maybe the subject of a one/two-pager in the mag, Hugh?
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Sam Inglis » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:32 pm

You could think of it as an extension of the Double Mid-Sides array, which Hugh describes here:

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... ides-array

The two key differences with the Soundfield mic are that it is three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional, and that the figure-8 and omni components are synthesized from the output of subcardioid capsules, rather than captured natively by figure-8 and omni capsules.
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:49 pm

Wonks wrote:whereas with a stereo pair, you are stuck with what you've got.

And that's the attraction of this thing. Think of it like compression. You could use it while you're recording but most of us leave it till we're mixing so that we're a) not stuck with a bad choice, and b) can tweak at leisure rather than in a hurry while recording. This mic seems to offer something of the same flexibility when it comes to mic placement. Of course, I don't expect you can fling the thing up any old place and expect to fix it in the mix. I'd expect it to take some experimenting to find the optimum sort of placing for it, but even given that the promise is very attractive.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Sam Inglis » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:19 pm

I've actually done quite a few experiments with trying to record a whole band around a Soundfield mic, in the spirit of the Cowboy Junkies, and it's bloody difficult, but not always for the reasons you'd expect. Singers have got so used to working with close microphones that the art of controlling dynamics in the performance has been lost; and also, what sounds like a reasonable balance to the 'naked ear' as it were sometimes sounds completely different to the mic!
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby John Willett » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:52 pm

The Elf wrote:I am definitely interested in this mic for surround recordings (I typically use a pair of ORTFs), but I'm struggling to understand its usage as a stereo mic beyond simply muting a pair of capsules?

To put it simply ...

It's basically MS with four cardioid microphones in a tetrahedral array.

The output of the four capsules is "A-format".

This is matrixed to "B-format" which is: figure-8 mid / figure-8 side / figure-8 vertical / omni

From these you can get any stereo or surround mic. array you want. :thumbup:

Plus - if you record on 4-channels you can do all this in post production and adjust at will. :thumbup:
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:35 pm

OK, well here's one particular use case* that I have in mind. Most Tuesdays we go down a local pub to sing shanties and chorus songs very informally with a bunch of like minded people. As time's gone on we're getting good at this we think (here's an example, not a great recording but to show what I mean). We'd love to do a recording that would catch this sort of informal ambience but combined with a better quality of sound and previously I've though of lofting an LSD2 stereo mic in crossed figure-8 arrangement to catch the overall sound and perhaps passing a cardioid mic around to whoever's leading. This mic, maybe, if set up in the middle of the pub, might be just the thing to allow me to change the notional mic setup on a track by track basis as the singing moves round the room.

CC

* I used to use UML in my job and to be honest this sort of usage of the phrase "use case" grates a bit. Just thought I'd use it so as to show I can get down-n-dirty wiv da kidz too.
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