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Author Topic: Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?  (Read 1089 times)

Mark Van Nostrand

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Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?
« on: November 19, 2018, 04:59:22 pm »

Have a last minute setup for a live recording-- the church does not want to have microphone stands anywhere near the ensemble (choir).  The issue is accessibility for the choreography, and not blocking audience angles (and allowing audience to smart-phone-record, obstruction-free).  Not ideal from the sound engineering angle, but will make do with the requirements.  So am going to have an X/Y pair at the back of the church (approx 60 feet...!), and want to have two widely space ribbons flanking the ensemble (also 60 feet back, and roughly 60 feet apart).  The X/Y is too close to the back wall to use figure 8 in blumlein (reflections would be odd), so they will be card's instead.  However, the outriggers would be at a location where the wall is deeper (diagram attached).  Therefore am considering using ribbons as "directional" outriggers-- mostly because I want to involve them in some way in the sound, and the back wall would be more like 20 feet back.  My concern is that omni's would just be too diffuse, since the whole setup is so far back to begin with, will take some focus wherever possible.  All 4 mic's would be 10-11 feet up.

Note- there will be some gentle sound reinforcement for soloists, but for nothing else.

Looking for experiences with figure-8's as a widely spaced pair (not Faulkner-esque), or even thoughts on this as a solution to widen a deep-field stereo image.  Thanks in advance.

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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2018, 02:14:23 pm »

What's the critical distance in that room? Most rooms it will be much closer than where you are placing your mics. You will also be getting a lot of the random noises from the crowd, if they are fine with that in the recording then sure but I know that most people don't particularly like hearing a recording that sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom with a whole lot of coughing and sneezing and shuffling and cellphone ringing etc.

All you need to ensure is that everything is in phase, which will be particularly difficult considering how large your choir is and from that far you are recording them as an ensemble and not as different sections.

You might end up dropping the XY or the spaced pair. Have you considered flying a decca tree in the middle of the room or something along those lines? Or just flying mics above the choir or is flying mics really out of the question.

Maybe some shotgun mics.

Just let my brain spew out in this post, I find it generally helps when someone else is looking for a solution or brainstorming.
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Mark Van Nostrand

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Re: Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2018, 10:11:22 pm »

Turns out the distance is 40 feet, fyi.  Originally, I had the main pair much closer-- around 12 feet behind the conductor.  But the choir director didn't want microphone stands in the isles (and no hanging is possible), and required that they be pushed to the back or eliminated. So my options became deep-field recording, that was it.  The focus of the choir director is the performance, understandably-- though she also wants a good DVD for fund raising.  And I have explained that the audience noises will be noticeable-- even distracting at times.  Obviously, the DVD will not be ideal, because of the requirements of microphone proximity.

The X/Y with outriggers was sort of a built-in backup for each other-- hoping to use them all, of course, but knowing it will be difficult to achieve.  Since getting any closer is forbidden, will just focus on phase alignment, and accept the deep-field reality. 

One other option would be to add a single SDC-- card capsule, in the middle, just below the X/Y pair.  As another option to blend with the outriggers (3 spaced pair).  Would have several possible mixes to end up with.  Sadly, it will all be quite ambient, with close-up audience sounds.  Although, the choir, at full force, has 120 people-- so they can project for sure.  There will be smaller subsets as well-- some youth choir (as few as 45 singers).

Looking forward to the brainstorming time, Jean-Pierre-- and thanks.
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Dave Pluke

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Re: Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2018, 10:24:44 pm »

You will also be getting a lot of the random noises from the crowd...

Agreed.  From that distance/position, a super cardioid SDC would likely yield better results.  You can place one of those reflection guards at the rear of a bidirectional mic but, at that distance, the front field would still be too wide.  As ambient mics for a recording, maybe.  Not for the primary source.

Dave
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 11:24:45 am »

With the SDC, and one of the figure eight you could do M/S middle side for the stereo and process back to the L/R.  Allowing to adjust how much reverb and room is in the stereo signal and keeps the mono center for clean signal.
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Mark Van Nostrand

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Re: Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2018, 10:32:00 am »

With the SDC, and one of the figure eight you could do M/S middle side for the stereo and process back to the L/R.  Allowing to adjust how much reverb and room is in the stereo signal and keeps the mono center for clean signal.

Wow, hadn't considered M/S... no idea why.  Could be a nice solution.  Would still have the audience issues on the center mic, but M/S could work nicely.  To the other post from Dave-- the reflection guards behind a figure-8 is actually something I had considered, but would also agree that audience would still be too much a part of those mic's to use as any meaningful part of the mix.  Not ruling it out, though.

As far as hypercard's-- that is also a good option-- just would lose some low end at those distances-- could be a little thin-- just not sure.  But would cut down on the audience.

Thanks for the ideas, all-- dress rehearsal is Tuesday, when I will hopefully have enough time to try all of these ideas.  Though I fully expect to have more restrictions communicated at the rehearsal... just got word from they guy who evaluates physical setup and licensing for the group-- he wants to put our heads together to get the ideal physical setup at the event.  That is code for "more restrictions coming"...  heh heh.

Jean-Pierre-- hadn't heard your thoughts yet-- would welcome them.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2018, 01:02:47 pm »

Why not a couple of PZM's on the conductor's podium? The proximity is going to be your killer. You will wish for shotgun mics for your XY. You need to bring the band to the mic or you will end up with nothing but room in your recording. Not so bad for a choir, but when the crowd is 3X louder than the choir it will be not nearly as much fun to fix and explain.
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Mark Van Nostrand

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Re: Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2018, 04:57:32 pm »

Why not a couple of PZM's on the conductor's podium? The proximity is going to be your killer. You will wish for shotgun mics for your XY. You need to bring the band to the mic or you will end up with nothing but room in your recording. Not so bad for a choir, but when the crowd is 3X louder than the choir it will be not nearly as much fun to fix and explain.

Hmm, interesting idea.  Couldn’t use the podium (it will be moved during the performance), but could put a pair on the front wall of the front pews.  Roughly 5 feet in front of the first row of choir.  Would be lower than the choir, that’s the only difficult piece. Choir is 7 rows deep, on tiered risers— PMZ’s would be knee level of the lowest tier of singers.  Still might offer more focus.  Worth a try— never know what’ll work in this event. Hemispherical pattern could work well for this.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2018, 06:05:03 pm »

In theory, you could put the PZM's on the floor if you wanted. It is still going to get the first row of singers more than the back, but it will at least give you something that is more direct than the room and the crowd.
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Mark Van Nostrand

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Re: Widely-Spaced Figure 8 Pair?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2018, 06:22:47 pm »

With the SDC, and one of the figure eight you could do M/S middle side for the stereo and process back to the L/R.  Allowing to adjust how much reverb and room is in the stereo signal and keeps the mono center for clean signal.

So M/S is the answer-- tried it at the dress rehearsal.  The center signal was really needed.  Used Hypercard for mid, and ribbon for side.  The outriggers, ironically, sound the best of all though-- just haven't had a chance to try them all together with different combinations in post yet.  The M/S would be good all by itself, for sure.  But I have a feeling those outriggers may play a big part in this-- provided the audience sounds aren't too in-your-face.

So now we just have to hope that the audience isn't too restless during the music.  Because dress rehearsal was without audience... The choir can belt it though-- was really driving the hypercard hot-- 45 feet away.
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