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Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

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

Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby bragimike » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:06 am

The equipment has been purchased and I tried it out at the weekend. I used an ORTF configuration at different distances from the orchestra to find the best placement. I may try XY this weekend to compare. This may be for another post: but is ORTF preferable over XY for an orchestra?

The equipment itself sounds great!
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:21 am

I often use ORTF rather than X/Y for orchestras and ensembles, but I’ll also often use Omni outriggers as well. I find ORTF gives a good balance of definition and expansiveness whereas X/Y is a little clinical for my liking. It’s all related to the room and where you can place the microphones too of course.

The good news is that you can experiment and make up your own mind :thumbup:

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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:30 am

Preferable is entirely down to the kind of sound you're looking for (or the producer or conductor wants).

Coincident arrays like XY tend to give much more precise imaging at the expense of a reduced sense of 'spatiousness'... whereas near-spaced arrays like ORTF tend to give more of a sense of spatiousness at the expense of imaging precision.

But there are also other considerations, such as the sound of the room itself. An ORTF array needs to be quite a long way back from the orchestra because it has a relatively narrow stereo acceptance angle. That means it will capture a relatively large amount of the room sound which may or may not be desirable.

In contrast, XY cardioids typically need to be right above the conductor because it has such a wide stereo acceptance angle, and thus has a much smaller proportion of room sound...

So choosing and placing the mic array(s) is what audio engineering is all about... and there is as much artistic interpretation involved as their is engineering science.

Just remember that an XY array can have any desired mutual angle -- it doesn't have to be 90 degrees -- and that there are more near-spaced options than just the classic ORTF format!
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