bragimike wrote:The mics that I requested are Line Audio CM3s.
Good choice, but the CM3s have been discontinued and replaced with the CM4s, as discussed at considerable length here:https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=66995
But the CM4s would be a good and very cost-effective choice for your application, and actually better than the CM3s in an ORTF array as they have a better defined cardioid polar pattern.
And as Mike has suggested, a better idea still would be to go for a stereo set of Rode NT55s as these give you both cardioid and omni capsules, and thus a lot more options. Spaced Omnis is a much favoured technique for orchestral recording.
However, our conductor has suggested soundfield mics as an alternative.
I suspect that's the only high-end mic he's heard of! ;-) Even a simple A-format soundfield mic, like the Rode NT-SF1, means you're looking at an investment of at least £850, compared to £250 for a pair of CM4s...
Other A-format mics (SoundField SPS200, Sennhesier Ambeo, etc) are much more expensive. More importantly, monitoring on location is difficult becuase you need a software decoder to convert the A-format signals into B-format, and then convert those to stereo so you can hear what you're doing... so unless you have a high end recorder with A-format decoding built in or are running a laptop, mic placement becomes rather tricky....
The cheapest full-function SoundField mic with decoders built-in, the ST450, would set you back around £,7000....
Don't get me wrong -- I love the SoundField mic and I have two (an obsolete SPS422B and an ST450Mkii)... but I'm not sure the expense would be justified in your situation and -- probably more importantly -- the sound quality from a coincident array like the SoundField is not as flattering as that from an ORTF array, and mic positioning is a lot more critical.
My current view is that a matched pair in an ORFT configuration would be better value for money for what the orchestra wants to achieve and more straight forward to work with.
Absolutely -- spot on. I concur!
With the money saved, I'd suggest investing first in a decent mic stand that won't cause problems with sight-lines. I'd recommend the combination of K&M 26007 tube with a K&M 26700 round base. (Shown here fitted with a radio-mic antenna, but a small ORTF stereo bar works perfectly well too!):
And then maybe a slim two-channel multicore mic cable, such as the Van Damme Blue Series Studio Grade 2-pair multicore (268-202-060) which makes a quick, easy, and very neat single cable run:http://www.van-damme.com/vandamme_product/van-damme-blue-series-studio-grade-up-ofc-pre-jacketed-multicore/
The two inner cables are jacketed, so all you need to do is strip back the outer sheath to reveal a sufficient length of each mini cable to connect to the mics on the ORTF bracket at one end, and into the recording machine at the other. I tidy up that sleeve junction with some heatshrink sleeving, and then solder the XLRs to the tails. I've been using this cable on stereo arrays for years and it works extremely well.