You are here

A Shout Out for the Gerzon Array

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

Moderator: Moderators

A Shout Out for the Gerzon Array

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:12 pm

I recently recorded a series of concerts in a chamber music festival in a local hall which is renowned for its acoustics - for chamber music.

My standard set-up has been an ORTF pair of Neumann TLM193 cardioid mics, with a spaced pair of Sennheiser MKH 8020 omnis at around 60cm to add more room to taste. I believe this is known as one of Tony Faulkner arrays. Radio New Zealand who normally record the festival often use a similar setup.

I was fascinated to read Hugh’s article on what he called the Gerzon Array in the November issue, that is cardioid SDCs with 50mm spacing and a 120 degree mutual angle. I had the luxury of three days of rehearsals, so I put up the Gerzon array as comparison to my usual set up and decided I preferred it - once the ‘shuffling’ technique was applied. The shuffling seems to give me the perceived spaciousness that I achieved by adding omnis to the ORTF mix previously, but with no ‘sonic degradation’ as noted by Hugh. I’m using a pair of Sennheiser MKH8040s for this and the SSL X-EQ 2 plug in to apply side eq.

I’m curious to know why this technique isn’t more widely known as it seems a perfect solution, at least in the above scenario. Is it because the technique of shuffling is now so easy to execute in a DAW? And also, are there any downsides? Almost seems too good to be true....... I’m a long time ORTFy (with occasional unsuccessful distractions along the way), so I’m wondering if this might be my new first approach in situations like the above.

It’ll be interesting to hear what RNZ think of it when I submit the files.

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4186
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
http://www.bickerton.co.nz

Re: A Shout Out for the Gerzon Array

Postby Aled Hughes » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:24 pm

It was a fascinating article, and I look forward to trying the technique out myself as well.
Aled Hughes
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1257
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Pwllheli, Cymru
www.stiwdiosain.cymru

Re: A Shout Out for the Gerzon Array

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:13 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:I put up the Gerzon array as comparison to my usual set up and decided I preferred it - once the ‘shuffling’ technique was applied. The shuffling seems to give me the perceived spaciousness that I achieved by adding omnis to the ORTF mix previously, but with no ‘sonic degradation’ as noted by Hugh.

Excellent news! I'm really glad you liked it. And yes, the shuffling is the critical key to its success.

I’m curious to know why this technique isn’t more widely known as it seems a perfect solution, at least in the above scenario. Is it because the technique of shuffling is now so easy to execute in a DAW?

Weird, isn't it? I guess it was the shuffling that probably put people off it just because it was so hard or inconvenient to do in the analogue world. And without the shuffling it's not a particularly impressive sounding array.

And also, are there any downsides?


Not that I'm aware of -- other than the shuffling requirement, and the need for mics with *really* good off-axis responses.

It’ll be interesting to hear what RNZ think of it when I submit the files.

Please let us know -- and thanks for the feedback on your experience with the array. :-D
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 30648
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: A Shout Out for the Gerzon Array

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:31 pm

Thanks Hugh.

Will let you know how it goes.

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4186
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
http://www.bickerton.co.nz