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Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

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Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:04 am

I’ve been using one ORTF pair to mic up our marimba and piano, it’s OK, but sometimes it’s difficult to get a good balance. Results are acceptable, but I think could be better.
I’d like to use two ORTF pairs, one set on each instrument, but up until now I’ve only owned three cardioids
A local chap who’s just retired had a few things for sale, I managed to pick up a couple of Schoeps CCM22 wide cardioids, which I’m really pleased about, a great deal, basically two mics for the price of one. So now it means that I can use my two Sennheiser MKH40's on the marimba, and the Schoeps on piano. This will enable me to have more control over the balance when mastering.
I’ve read a bit about the CCM22’s being very good on piano, but I’m wondering about using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair? is it advisable? Or would they be better off used in another configuration?
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby ore_terra » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:59 am

Is ORTF not supposed to be with cardioids mics?
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:13 am

ore_terra wrote:Is ORTF not supposed to be with cardioids mics?

I haven’t had a chance to try these wide cardioids yet, and yes, I normally use standard cardioids, just wondering if anyone has any experience using wide cardioids in this application?
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Saxum esse et non provolvere » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:41 am

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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Aural Reject » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:43 am

Arpangel wrote:
ore_terra wrote:Is ORTF not supposed to be with cardioids mics?

I haven’t had a chance to try these wide cardioids yet, and yes, I normally use standard cardioids, just wondering if anyone has any experience using wide cardioids in this application?

I think it's meant that, by definition, ORTF has to be cardioids....or it's not ORTF....

This tool can be quite useful in these situations:

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visualization-NOS-E.htm
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:11 am

Arpangel wrote:I’m wondering about using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

You can't...

An ORTF array is a very specific configuration. It is defined precisely as being cardioid pattern mics spaced apart by 170mm and with a mutual angle of 110 degrees.

Any other spacing, or mutual angle, or polar pattern is not an ORTF array.

However, you can certainly use hypo-cardioids in a near-spaced array if you want to. You just need to remember that for the same kind of stereo acceptance angle (stereo image width) you'll need a much wider capsule spacing.

So ORTF has a stereo recording angle of 96 (+/-48) degrees. To achieve the same thing with hypo-cardioids at the same mutual angle of 110 degrees you'd need a spacing of about 270mm.

If you kept the same physical arrangement as ORTF (170mm spacing, 110 degree mutual angle) but used hypo-cardioid capsules you'd have a stereo recording angle of about 131 (+/-65.5) degrees..
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:57 am

Saxum esse et non provolvere wrote:https://m.thomann.de/gb/superlux_s502.htm

Just sayin’ ...

Neat bit of kit* but maybe not quite up to Schoeps quality ;)

*(I thought of buying one for drum overheads in the studio)
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:16 pm

I often use wide cardioids with the same spacing and angles as ORTF with excellent results ...... if you refer to it as QORTF (Quasi ORTF) of SOORTF (Sort Of ORTF) configuration you’ll keep the MADP (Microphone Array Definition Police) off your back....... :thumbup:

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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Aural Reject » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:26 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:I often use wide cardioids with the same spacing and angles as ORTF with excellent results ...... if you refer to it as QORTF (Quasi ORTF) of SOORTF (Sort Of ORTF) configuration you’ll keep the MADP (Microphone Array Definition Police) off your back....... :thumbup:

Bob

You won't.....he's forum scowled at me before :D
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:43 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:I often use wide cardioids with the same spacing and angles as ORTF with excellent results...

Absolutely... but it would need to be placed a lot closer to the sources than a standard ORTF array to maintain the kind kind of source width.

And the MADP are here to protect and serve... :lol: ...but in all seriousness, it is important to maintain correct terminology both to avoid confusion and to promote understanding.

You wouldn't want your surgeon to remove your spleen instead of your gall bladder because he got confused with the terminology and they're sort of similar things... :shocked:
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:51 pm

True.

Worth mentioning the handy app from Neumann - Recording Tools for assessing such things.

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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:00 pm

Yes the Neumann app is one of the best and easiest to use that I've found. I have it on my phone and tablets and refer to it a lot:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/neumann-recording-tools

But the web-based Sengpiel Visualisations (as mentioned above) is very good too -- particularly since it also indicates the angular distortion incurred with different arrays:

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visualization-ORTF-E.htm

H
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby forumuser840717 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:54 pm

I'm completely with Hugh when it comes to abuse of terminology. ORTF is ORTF - it's a defined technique referring to specific polar patterns in a specific geometry. Saying ORTF-like or Quasi-ORTF to refer to pairs of mics with different polar patterns and/or in different geometries could, in a silly example, be extended to Quasi-Blumlein or Blumlein-like being used to describe a pair of spaced omnis or any other random technique. It becomes meaningless. :protest:

It could be argued that, among more knowledgable engineers, an "ORTF" array is sufficiently well known as to allow terms like ORTF-like or quasi-ORTF to be useful when describing a near-coincident pair in the geometry used by ORTF, and convey useful information but it's still wrong and leads to dilution of the meaning of a specific term and misleading of people who don't know the accurate meaning of the term.

Incidentally, the MK/CCM 22 (one of my favourite mic capsules) is not a wide/hypo-cardioid. Schoeps describe it as an 'open' cardioid. It's a more 'open' pickup than the true cardioid MK/CCM 4/5/6 patterns but definitely not a true hypo-cardioid - that's the MK/CCM 21. They're noticably different and the MK/CCM 22 is definitely more of a cardioid than an omni whereas the MK/CCM21 is more of an omni with reduced rear pickup.

Also, just to spoil my earlier rant about misuse of "ORTF", Schoeps sell an accessory mount (the STC 22) for the MK/CCM22 (and a slightly different one (STC 4) for the MK/CCM4) which they refer to "quasi-ORTF" and say:

"An ORTF-like technique is achieved by using open cardioids (CCM / MK 22). However, due to the lower directivity of the open cardioids, the level difference becomes smaller and thus the recording angle becomes larger. The holder STC 22 is slightly longer to compensate for this with larger time differences. Thus, the same recording angle as in the ORTF technique is achieved. " :headbang:

It's still wrong!

The MK/CCM 21 is a really excellent mic - I've been using them since they came out in 2008 and have replaced most of my MK4s with MK22s as I much prefer them. (I've kept some MK4s for those days where the tighter pickup is needed - like doing ORTF :tongue: ) They work really well in near-coincident pair techniques - though when using one of the defined cardioid pair setups you'd need to adjust the spacings to achieve the same recording angles as you'd get using cardioids.

If you ever want to get rid of them do let me know. :thumbup:
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby The Elf » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:08 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
Saxum esse et non provolvere wrote:https://m.thomann.de/gb/superlux_s502.htm

Just sayin’ ...
Neat bit of kit* but maybe not quite up to Schoeps quality ;)

*(I thought of buying one for drum overheads in the studio)
I grabbed one for use as an audience reaction mic. It sounds a lot better than you might imagine. I'd certainly be happy to try it on drums, though it's not something I've had the opportunity or inclination to do as yet.
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby forumuser840717 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:28 pm

Saxum esse et non provolvere wrote:https://m.thomann.de/gb/superlux_s502.htm

Just sayin’ ...

For better quality, though for rather more money, you could get the Schoeps MSTC 64 U to which the Superlux is perhaps a tribute (for want of a better description).
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Aural Reject » Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:47 pm

forumuser840717 wrote:...my earlier rant...

Careful or you might wander into four mics on a bar territory and there’ll be tears :headbang: :beamup:
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:23 am

Thanks for all the help, OK, so it’s not advisable to use them for ORTF., as such.
I tried them last night on a stereo bar, a short spaced A-B pair, just over the middle of my grand piano, angled slightly aiming at bass and top strings, sounded very good, very clear, and they really did tame a slight boom that can occur in this room.
I’m going to try these on marimba, as that can really sound boomy, and use my MKH's on the piano.
I need a good selection of stereo bars, of different widths, to experiment with, but I’m having trouble finding ones that are wide enough, I’ve got a couple of really short ones, but they are a bit limiting for some things.
I think these CCM22's sound very good, and for what I paid for them, I’m definitely not going to sell them, I think they’re going to be a very useful addition to my mic collection.
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:15 am

Well joking aside, it has to be remembered that ORTF is just one, albeit commonly used, stereo array out of a myriad of variations.

There’s nothing to stop you using your mics at different angles and spacing - thus the apps mentioned can be a great reference.

Makes me think a more accurate reference when describing stereo arrays is to note the mutual angle/spacing and polar pattern (though in preference microphone model number), ie 110/17/cardioid/MKH8040 which is what I do when I want to replicate an array.

Moving on, K&M have a range of bars, the 23560 is excellent but probably more than you need, then there’s the 236. There’s heaps of options from other manufacturers too.

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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Aural Reject » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:30 am

These are quite nice and not badly priced...

https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Lighting/Gravity-MSSTB01-Pro-Stereo-Bar/2WBF

As Bob says, there are lots available from K&M (the 23560 is one of those beasts that offers lots of options but it's 850mm long so probably a little overkill for your scenarios...unless you're still potentially looking at ensemble recording like you were a while back), generics from Studiospares, some rather fancy and (IMO) ridiculously priced options from manufacturers such as Grace...it really depends on what you want and what you're trying to achieve.
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Re: Using wide cardioids as an ORTF pair?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:07 am

If you want a properly wide bar, I can recommend the Manfrotto Mic Mount:
Image
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/manfrotto-mic-mount

It's a bit more expensive than the K&M wide bars, but a lot cheaper than the Grace Design and DPA bars, and it has some operational benefits, such as being able to keep the mounting pegs on the mic suspensions, and just drop them in to the pre-positioned sockets for much faster rigging and de-rigging. It also doesn't flex like the long K&M bar with heavy LDC mics.
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