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Low cost field recording rig?

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Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:09 am
by The Elf
Arpangel wrote:
MOF wrote:
I get M&S completely, on a mixer, I have a mixer with built in M&S decoding, but it’s not portable. Maybe someone can tell me how it works on the DR100? Do I just select M&S and it automatically records a stereo file? It’s not clear in the manual, all a bit confusing.
I've already answered this, you can't monitor in stereo on the recorder on the headphones, you will hear M on channel 1 and S on channel 2. without spending a lot more money on a recorder/mixer that has the M/S decoder built in you will have to put up with this limitation.
Oh dear, I’m sticking to cardioids.
Just monitor mid and side solo. The point is that you can sort out the stereo width back at base, so no need to worry about monitoring in stereo while you're recording - assuming each mic is working as it should.

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:02 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
Back in the late 80s and early 90s when the BBC were starting to make TV programmes in stereo, location mixers had no MS decoding or monitoring, so we simply ganged the two channels together with the same gains, panned each hard over (Mid left, Side right), and just monitored the Mid mic on the left output. The side channel would then take care of itself, to be extracted into stereo loveliness in post-production.

If the location mixer didn't have headphone monitoring facilities that allowed soloing of just the Mid (left) channel, we used an adaptor plug/socket in the headphone cable that routed the left channel to both sides. Simples.

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:22 pm
by forumuser840717
Arpangel wrote:
MOF wrote:
I’ve got the MKH30/40 combo too, it does seem a shame not to use them in this role, I think I’m going to have to persevere with M&S until I get it right, I think my Tascam DR100 does support it.
You put the mid mic’ on channel 1 and the side mic’ on channel 2. The gain settings are typically identical and this also typically looks like the side channel is lower level.
I don’t think you’ll be able to monitor in stereo with that recorder as you’re listening to an un-decoded M/S recording.

I get M&S completely, on a mixer, I have a mixer with built in M&S decoding, but it’s not portable. Maybe someone can tell me how it works on the DR100? Do I just select M&S and it automatically records a stereo file? It’s not clear in the manual, all a bit confusing.

If you're up for a little DIY, then you can buy (for £31.71) from the lovely people at Sowter a Type 8392 transformer which is specifically designed as a fixed ratio MS matrix for headphones. Just add a suitable box, a resistor, a few bits of wire, a couple of connectors and an hour or two with a drill and a soldering iron and you're away.

I have one in my bodgit box and another in my general toolkit - one in a little diecast box a smidge bigger than a credit card and around 20mm thick, which has a 1/4" TRS socket and RCA/phono connectors for inputs and 1/4" and 1/8" TRS for output, the other in a metal tube (an offcut of electrical conduit) with a 30cm flying lead to male 1/4" TRS plug for input and a 1/4" TRS socket for output.

If you want to experiment with varying the L-R width on headphones, you'd need to be able to vary the balance/levels between the the left and right channels of the headphone feed separately but for a quick and simple monitor matrix to headphones of an MS pair it works fine.

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:17 am
by Arpangel
Hugh Robjohns wrote:Back in the late 80s and early 90s when the BBC were starting to make TV programmes in stereo, location mixers had no MS decoding or monitoring, so we simply ganged the two channels together with the same gains, panned each hard over (Mid left, Side right), and just monitored the Mid mic on the left output. The side channel would then take care of itself, to be extracted into stereo loveliness in post-production.

If the location mixer didn't have headphone monitoring facilities that allowed soloing of just the Mid (left) channel, we used an adaptor plug/socket in the headphone cable that routed the left channel to both sides. Simples.

Thanks for all your help folks, I think I'm right in saying, the Tascam DR100 will record a mid and a side signal, undecoded for monitoring. I import into my DAW the two raw tracks. I then split the side mic into two tracks, inverting the phase of one of those, then I put the mid mic on a third track. Stereo width is achieved by raising or lowering the levels of the two side mic/tracks.

:?:

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:34 am
by The Elf
Arpangel wrote:I then split the side mic into two tracks, inverting the phase of one of those, then I put the mid mic on a third track. Stereo width is achieved by raising or lowering the levels of the two side mic/tracks.

:?:
No - just download the free MSED and slap it over the raw stereo file - and set it to decode. Job done!

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:41 am
by Arpangel
The Elf wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I then split the side mic into two tracks, inverting the phase of one of those, then I put the mid mic on a third track. Stereo width is achieved by raising or lowering the levels of the two side mic/tracks.

:?:
No - just download the free MSED and slap it over the raw stereo file - and set it to decode. Job done!

Thanks Elf, much appreciated, as you say job done!
Like the interface, and stereo field display, and, it’s free!

:thumbup:

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:52 am
by The Elf
Arpangel wrote:
The Elf wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I then split the side mic into two tracks, inverting the phase of one of those, then I put the mid mic on a third track. Stereo width is achieved by raising or lowering the levels of the two side mic/tracks.
No - just download the free MSED and slap it over the raw stereo file - and set it to decode. Job done!
Thanks Elf, much appreciated, as you say job done!
Like the interface, and stereo field display, and, it’s free!
And it's also useful for other mid-side tricks. I often use it for mastering, and for sorting out spatial oddities. Was using it last night, in fact, to help out a stereo recording where dry was in one side, but reverb was in both L/R.

Don't underestimate the power of MS manipulation - once you grasp it you begin to understand the possibilities.

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:56 am
by Hugh Robjohns
Hear hear!

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:11 am
by Arpangel
Hugh Robjohns wrote:Hear hear!

Hear "here" even.....

:)

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:18 pm
by blinddrew
Surely Hehearar?
;)

Anyway, there was a really good article from Zukan on creative uses for MS in the November issue: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... techniques

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:50 pm
by The Elf
Pushmepullyou < (mid = the side giveth and the side taketh away) > uoYlluPeMhsuP
=
Over here! <=> !ereH revO

I think that sums it up? :mrgreen:

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 3:52 pm
by omsoc
Hugh Robjohns wrote:I think it comes down to what you want to achieve. A spaced-omni technique doesn't give any front/back separation. If you're just recording a general ambience effect that obviously won't matter and may even be a bonus. But if you're after a sound in a specific location, some directivity to focus on the wanted source and reduce any unwanted ambient sounds may be more useful.

Using shotgun mics for stereo can be done, but it's very easy to have a big hole in the centre if you're not very careful, and off-axis sound sources can be very phasey-sounding, especially if they're moving in relation to the mic array.

Personally, when I'm out and about recording natural sounds I tend to use an MS pair (Sennheiser MKH 30/40 or 30/50 usually, sometimes a 30/20 combo) in a Rycote Cyclone windshield, supplemented with a pair of spaced DPA 4060 Cores (personal mics) which are mounted on FM radio aerials to allow me to easily adjust their positioning. All recorded onto a Nagra VI.

Image

Or if I need to be more compact, I'll use one or other of those rigs feeding into a Sound Devices two-channel preamp with MS decoding and monitoring, and record its (unbalanced) output onto an Olympus LS11.

H

what is the manfretto conector that you are using to connect the ariels to ? i have a joby connector thing but it was not compatable with the ariel screws.

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 4:23 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
That rig is based around a couple of DAB telescopic antennae screwed into an F‑type coupler which is clamped in a Manfrotto Pico Plier mount.

Image

https://www.manfrotto.com/uk-en/pico-clamp-max2kg-8-to-15mm-1-4-and-3-8-attach-mc1990a/
The aerials and coupler cost just over £10... and the Pico mount more than doubled the overall investment! (But it is very elegantly engineered and will undoubtedly have other uses).

I use DPA 4060Core mics which are inserted into small foam windshields and then placed inside Rycote fluffies, the latter being pushed down over the DAB aerial ends. It's quick and easy to rig, and works very well even in strong gusty conditions.

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 6:27 am
by innerchord
The Elf wrote:Don't underestimate the power of MS manipulation - once you grasp it you begin to understand the possibilities.

Quite.
More free MS tools:
https://hofa-plugins.de/en/plugins/4u/
https://goodhertz.co/midside-matrix/

Re: Low cost field recording rig?

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 7:14 am
by Arpangel
innerchord wrote:
The Elf wrote:Don't underestimate the power of MS manipulation - once you grasp it you begin to understand the possibilities.

Quite.
More free MS tools:
https://hofa-plugins.de/en/plugins/4u/
https://goodhertz.co/midside-matrix/


MS is one of those things I’m always "about to do" but for some reason I just glaze over when I get the mic's out the draw, oh sod it, just give me a another pair of spaced cardioids.
MS just seems like a lot of effort to go to most of the time, just to get stereo.
I know it has a lot of adjustment potential after the event, but.
This is typical me, I’m well aware, or maybe I’m just becoming more and more lazy lately.
I tell you, it’s become so bad, I tend to reach for my Tascam DR100 these days, rather than get some proper mic's out, and most of the time, for what I do, it’s absolutely fine.