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NT-SF1

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

Re: NT-SF1

Postby blinddrew » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:45 pm

Use cases are old man talk, nowadays it's all about user stories.

And I haven't just made that up.
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:46 pm

So I'm getting down-an-dirty wiv da OAPz ...

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby blinddrew » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:47 pm

:bouncy:
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby The Elf » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:53 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:Most Tuesdays we go down a local pub to sing shanties and chorus songs very informally with a bunch of like minded people.
Mate, I would love to come hear that! As long as you are prepared to accommodate a synth nerd!...
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:39 pm

No instruments at the session, that's about the only rule, so for the night you'd be an ex-synth nerd. You'd be welcome to stay the night with us.

Cheers,

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Wonks » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:55 am

He could always use a synth to make sea and gull noises...
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ef37a » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:57 am

Do you know "Friggand in the Rigging" ?

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:54 am

Que?

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Wonks » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:11 pm

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:15 pm

The Elf wrote:I'm struggling to understand its usage as a stereo mic beyond simply muting a pair of capsules?

The four tetrahedrally-mounted sub-cardioid mic capsules (A-format) that you see in the Rode mic have to be processed into the B-format by the associated software plugin. The B-format (which can be created directly with the right capsules, but is less practical) comprises three orthogonal fig-eights plus an omni, all coincident with each other -- in effect making three Mid-Side systems pointing in opposite directions (left-right, front-back, up-down).

These can then be combined with each other in clever ways to create any number of virtual mics with any desired polar patterns, pointing in any desired direction. So you can create a stereo array of crossed cardioids or hypercardioids or whatever, pointing in any desired direction -- hence it being an incredibly versatile stereo mic.

But you can go beyond that and create additional mics looking elsewhere to make a 5.1 array or whatever you want. It's also possible to manipulate the signals to create a kind of 'zoom' effect which goes some way to simulating the effect of moving the mic closer or farther away from the source. It's not quite the same thing, but it can be useful!

This is called a 'first order' ambisonic system. The clever people are now using 'higher-order ambisonics' (often shortened to HOA) which essentially creates lots more virtual mics in the B-format -- so 9 or 16 or 25 channels instead of 4, say -- and that allows for far more accurate signal processing and thus more accurate and stable sound images.

H
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:18 pm

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

Try this from 2001:

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... ned-part-3

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ef37a » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:27 pm


Ha! Did not know about that! I remember when I was in my teens a guy had a 5" OR tape of shantys and that was one of them. Such scattalogical stuff was not common then and as teenage blokes we of course thought it hilarious.

There was also a very blue tape going around of Jerry Lewis slagging off Dean Martin.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:40 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:These can then be combined with each other in clever ways to create any number of virtual mics with any desired polar patterns, pointing in any desired direction. So you can create a stereo array of crossed cardioids or hypercardioids or whatever, pointing in any desired direction -- hence it being an incredibly versatile stereo mic.

This is going beyond GAS now, it's getting perilously close to gear porn, Hugh.

Yours, panting,

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:03 am

Interesting. It seems to me that a good way of seeing how useful the mic could really be without buying it first would be to install the Soundfield by Rode plugin and see if I could find and download example files to work with. It turns out there's stacks of them out there, just Google ambisonic files. It'll probably have to wait until after Christmas now but I'll report back on how I found it.

In the meantime I think I'll start raising funds by selling my Octavamod modded LSD2 stereo mic - if anyone's interested there'll be a Readers Ad very soon.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ef37a » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:26 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:Interesting. It seems to me that a good way of seeing how useful the mic could really be without buying it first would be to install the Soundfield by Rode plugin and see if I could find and download example files to work with. It turns out there's stacks of them out there, just Google ambisonic files. It'll probably have to wait until after Christmas now but I'll report back on how I found it.

In the meantime I think I'll start raising funds by selling my Octavamod modded LSD2 stereo mic - if anyone's interested there'll be a Readers Ad very soon.

CC
Ooo! Ooo! That sounds like fun! I have downloaded the zip file of the pluggin, do you know if it will run in Samplitude ProX 3?

Like you CC this will have to wait until after the crimble madness (got son coming and have to clear a room because someone is giving me a whole, pretty good hi fi rig including some quite large Mission speakers.)

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:45 am

AFAIK it should run in any DAW that supports quad tracks or busses. Note that it defaults to A-format, so if you're working with Ambisonic (B-format) material you need to change the input format appropriately.
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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:40 am

Another interesting thing. I thought I'd download Surroundzone 2 for a play as well, however if you Google it the page at Soundfield.com just gives you 404 not found, so I wonder if it's been dropped now Soundfield by Rode is here.

No - I take it all back, ignore the preceding, they've just had a site reorganisation. :blush:

The software is here.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:46 am

It's interesting that, although they do basically the same things, the original SoundField SurroundZone plugin and the new Rode equivalent do work in entirely different ways under the hood (the Rode version using much more sophisticated maths), and the resulting decoded virtual mics do sound noticeably different.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:56 am

From Sam's review it seems that Soundfield by Rode suffers from epic latency while Surroundzone doesn't. Not a problem if you're field recording but if you're using the mic in the studio and you want the artists to hear themselves then it might well be worth having Surroundzone installed for that purpose if nothing else.

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Re: NT-SF1

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:18 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:From Sam's review it seems that Soundfield by Rode suffers from epic latency while Surroundzone doesn't. Not a problem if you're field recording but if you're using the mic in the studio and you want the artists to hear themselves then it might well be worth having Surroundzone installed for that purpose if nothing else.

CC

Yes, it's a fair point. If used purely to post-process recordings then plugin latency obviously isn't an issue.

One way around the latency problem, though, is simply to split out the A-format capsules and mix them together in some convenient way for a real-time monitoring feed. It won't have the accurate directionality or stereo image attributes of the properly decoded signals of course, but it should be enough for live performance monitoring.

The guideline I was always taught years ago for working out where to place the SoundField mic was to listen to the omni (W) signal and use that to achieve an adequate direct/ambient sound balance. Summing the four A capsules will provide the same thing.

I'm told that the Rode plugin works in a very similar way to the Harpex one, and involves an 'upsampling' process (in terms of Ambisonic order, not sample rate) from the A-format signals way above standard B-format, and then decoding the required outputs from there. Hence the much more sophisticated maths and, presumably, the latency, but also the improved spatial accuracy and sound quality.

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