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  1. Registered User

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    Mid-Side and Blumlein

    I didn't include these in the last post, because MS isn't a true stereo technique and Blumlein is just... special.

    I set up the Mid-Side mics roughly in the same spot as I had the four 414's for the mono pickup pattern comparison. Up to now I was using 184's and 414's, but since the 184's are fixed cardioid I can't use two of them for a mid-side like I can the 414's. So, to have something to compare to them, I grabbed two new mics – the Oktava MC-012 small-diaphragm condenser mic outfitted with a cardioid capsule, and a Stellar RM-4 bi-directional ribbon microphone. The MC-012 is the 'mid' and the RM-4 is the 'side'.



    After that I replaced them with a pair of AKG C414B-XLS, with the bottom one set to figure-of-eight and the top one set to cardioid.



    As you may or may not recall from my introduction to Mid-Side, in order to make it work, some steps must be followed after the tracks are recorded. The 'side' track is duplicated, with the original panned hard left and the duplicate panned hard right and also phase-switched. Since you can adjust how much 'side' you want after the fact, I included 3 different mixes for each example with different amounts of side channel, so you can see what a great tool this technique is! Here are the soundfiles:

    Oktava + Stellar Mid only
    Oktava + Stellar Side only
    Oktava + Stellar Mid-Side (low side)
    Oktava + Stellar Mid-Side (medium side)
    Oktava + Stellar Mid-Side (high side)

    AKG C414 Mid only
    AKG C414 Side only
    AKG C414 Mid-Side (low side)
    AKG C414 Mid-Side (medium side)
    AKG C414 Mid-Side (high side)

    With the C414's set up right over eachother, all I had to do for Blumlein was switch the top mic to figure-of-eight pattern and rotate the mics in their shockmounts 45 degrees. That way, the lobes of the figure 8 patterns formed an 'X' facing the drum set, as opposed to the '+' they would have formed in the MS configuration. While one could certainly record Blumlein with the + configuration, it would sound strange once panned, however. That is because one side would have the top mic which is getting direct sound from the source, and on the other side is the mic that is getting no direct sound and only room reflections. That would result in a very weird stereo image, but would definitely be useable in mono. I then brought in the Stellar RM-7, which is a stereo Ribbon mic. It has two ribbon motors stacked on top of eachother, 90 degrees apart, so it's basically a fixed blumlein microphone.



    Here are the results:

    AKG C414 Blumlein
    Steller RM-7 Blumlein
    Last edited by thismercifulfate; 07-19-2011 at 11:18 PM.

  2. Registered User

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    Expanding on Glyn Johns, Mid-Side and 'Nomni'

    I have read a lot of discussions on which kind of mics and which pickup pattern to use for Glyn Johns, the main issue at hand being the floor tom. The guideline to Glyn Johns has you place the right overhead mic just 4 inches over the floor tom, pointing right over to the snare or hihats.



    With directional mics proximity effect will be a big deal here. So to explore this, after I recorded the Glyn Johns for my previous post, I ran a couple more takes changing the AKG C414B-XLS to their 5 different polar patterns.

    Glyn Johns Omnidirectional
    Glyn Johns Wide Cardioid
    Glyn Johns Cardioid
    Glyn Johns Supercardioid
    Glyn Johns Figure-Of-Eight

    * * *

    At the end of the Mid-Side recordings, I still had the 414's set up, I took things a step further. The 'Mid' mic can be any polar pattern that isn't figure-of-8, so I recorded some more takes, with the 'Mid' 414 in 4 different pickup patterns.

    Omnidirectional Mid-Side
    Wide Cardioid Mid-Side
    Cardioid Mid-Side
    Supercardioid Mid-Side

    * * *

    When I recorded the 'Nomni' tracks, I was running an RE-20 on the kick.



    But I felt like it wasn't adding much to what was already there. I thought perhaps it was because of the mics already close proximity to the kick drum, but then it hit me! The RE-20 and the 414's were on opposite sides of the kick, so likely some phase cancellation was the reason for the lack of added bass when I enabled the kick channel. Listen to the Nomni pair alone first, then with the added kick and then with the kick channel's phase switched and head the huge difference! Always check the phase of your tracks!

    Nomni Solo
    Nomni + RE-20
    Nomni + RE-20 ()

  3. Registered User

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    Adding Spot Mics

    The ORTF is a great example for adding spot mics. It has a nice and wide spread, and the snare and bass sound that were captured sounded somewhat distant. So adding a snare and kick mic will allow me to mix in sound direct sound from them at the desired volume I want. Listen to the ORTF pair by itself first, then with a kick mic added, with a snare mic added and then with both. I used an SM57 on the snare drum and an RE-20 on the kick and used the KM-184's for overheads.



    Listen to how the kick and snare become more 'focused' and 'forward' with the addition of their close mics in the mix:

    ORTF Overheads only
    ORTF Overheads + Kick mic
    ORTF Overheads + Snare mic
    ORTF Overheads + Kick and Snare mics

  4. uhn tiss uhn tiss...

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    This is a really great resource you've provided for us thismercifulfate! As someone who wants to set up their own small recording set-up at home and eventually do audio engineering at university, this has been very helpful and informative.
    Thanks so much for this!

  5. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrummaDan View Post
    This is a really great resource you've provided for us thismercifulfate! As someone who wants to set up their own small recording set-up at home and eventually do audio engineering at university, this has been very helpful and informative.
    Thanks so much for this!
    Hey I'm really glad it helped you. Thanks for listening!

  6. Pearl does it for me

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    Absolutely fantastic TMF!
    Well worth the read and listen.

    Am I wrong in viewing this thread as mikes and recording in a relatively controlled environment?
    Can you tell me/us how this may be related to live reproduction please...

  7. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3pearlkits View Post
    Absolutely fantastic TMF!
    Well worth the read and listen.

    Am I wrong in viewing this thread as mikes and recording in a relatively controlled environment?
    Can you tell me/us how this may be related to live reproduction please...
    You wouldn't be wrong at all. I'm on the studio side of audio engineering 99% of the time. However, that doesn't mean that none of this applies to Live sound.

    One of the big things in live sound for mics is their gain-before-feedback. Take for instance condenser mics will be extremely funnicky in small live venues, because how sensitive they are and their high-end extension makes them very prone to feeding back. Dynamic mics are the king here for a good reason. You probably won't need overheads mics on a kit in a smaller venue - both because the cymbals will project well enough on their own in the space, and because using condenser mics would be a feedback nightmare. Live sound is a whole different beast. You have to take into consideration many more sources of bleed and potential feedback like the mains, monitors; you often have few options for positioning the instruments around and you are working in untreated rooms of various shapes and sizes. And then there are soundmen....

    Pretty much all that I've gone over so far is simply knowledge. Having it will lead you to make different decisions for live sound than you would make in a studio recording environment. For instance you'll know now why using lots of omni mics probably won't be a good idea for a live concert. Mic selection and positioning are some of the best tools for either place, and will give you options and also make your life more easy. Overall many subtleties get lost in live sound... like the difference between using an SM57 or an i5 on your snare. And during an event you don't have time to make tiny adjustments or shootout mics... whereas in the studio, although time is money, you'll often afford yourself to take the time to tend to small details, because you want to get your money's worth and go for the best sound. In live sound, it's simply gotta work from the start on and you shouldn't have to worry much about it.

  8. Pearl does it for me

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    Thanks TMF.
    I am trying putting together a PA to cover not only our 5 piece band (drums, gut, bass, Keys and gut, Vox), and also my local school who historically has probs with little children and projection for performance. Even though you have said that the signal chain is best left as clean as possible, does this automatically leave room for gates etc in live reproduction. Given your comment about being able to tell the difference between various mikes in a live situation, are there "go to " mikes for live music? So many questions lol, but the school seems keen on lapel mikes, I've suggested that "shotgun" type mikes may be better value and easier to control than multiple lapel mikes for the school, for dramatic presentations anyway. Do you have any suggestions for sound reinforcement here?
    In years gone by, I was quite used to having Senheiser's on toms, a SM 57 on snare, an AKG D112 on kick, SM 57's on gut amps, SM 58 on Vox etc etc.
    Nowadays the Senheiser's are gone and seem to be replaced by and large with SM57's ,the 58 is a 58 Beta etc etc
    Is this all good?

  9. drumtarist

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    May I post a link to this thread on my "recording workshop" blog (once I start it up)?
    Currently playing;

    Pearl EX in Wine Red
    Mapex Black Widow 14" x 5" Maple
    AA, AAX, HHX, A Custom

    Roland TD-4k

  10. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3pearlkits View Post
    Thanks TMF.
    I am trying putting together a PA to cover not only our 5 piece band (drums, gut, bass, Keys and gut, Vox), and also my local school who historically has probs with little children and projection for performance. Even though you have said that the signal chain is best left as clean as possible, does this automatically leave room for gates etc in live reproduction. Given your comment about being able to tell the difference between various mikes in a live situation, are there "go to " mikes for live music? So many questions lol, but the school seems keen on lapel mikes, I've suggested that "shotgun" type mikes may be better value and easier to control than multiple lapel mikes for the school, for dramatic presentations anyway. Do you have any suggestions for sound reinforcement here?
    In years gone by, I was quite used to having Senheiser's on toms, a SM 57 on snare, an AKG D112 on kick, SM 57's on gut amps, SM 58 on Vox etc etc.
    Nowadays the Senheiser's are gone and seem to be replaced by and large with SM57's ,the 58 is a 58 Beta etc etc
    Is this all good?
    I have to be honest and say I'm probably not the best guy to ask about live sound stuff, but I'll do my best to answer your questions. If you need to use gates for whatever reason, go for it. Yes, there are a lot of 'go to' mics for live sound, but that doesn't mean you absolutely have to use those mics. If you just have a few individuals, as in main characters for a musical or something, then it's probably fine putting lapel mics on each of them. For a choir or something, get a pair of condenser mics over or in front of them, but this could be tricky depending on your set up, stage/room etc... I've never seen shotgun mics being used for this kind of situation. With my limited experience with them I will tell you that they probably wouldn't be ideal for any kind of area miking, like a group of kids, and I have no idea if they would be a feedback nightmare with a PA or not, but instinct tells me they would be.

    Yeah, you see a lot of Shures everywhere, but I also see Sennheiser and others. The brand doesn't really matter... Shure, Sennheiser, EV, Audio Technica, Heil and others allo make great dynamic microphones for live use. I think the D112 works great for kick and bass cab live, also in the studio, but there are plenty of comparable mics too. Shure gets picked a lot because they are the most well-known brand by far, and also are the most widely-available in stores, not because they make superior products across the board. Their products are quite fine, just as all others I mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by A7X_EXPORT View Post
    May I post a link to this thread on my "recording workshop" blog (once I start it up)?
    Yeah of course you can, Send me a link when you do!

  11. Is this Illidan?

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    I've never seen shotgun mics being used for this kind of situation. With my limited experience with them I will tell you that they probably wouldn't be ideal for any kind of area miking, like a group of kids, and I have no idea if they would be a feedback nightmare with a PA or not, but instinct tells me they would be.
    Shotgun mics are great if you want to hear one person. Not too sure about feeback, but they shouldn't really have many issues.

    I know when we've had drummers who can't not hit a mic (seewhatididthar?) we used a shotgun above the drummer to capture the snare. They are so precise that it could be tuned to pretty much only pick up the snare.

    As for Shure being common, I think this has more to do with how durable they are. You drop a 57 and provided you don't break the capsule off it keeps working just like new. There aren't many other mics that can boast that. It has nothing to do with sound as far as I can tell, and everything to do with durability. The Shure mics pretty much sound the same no matter what you do to them, and because they are so popular people know exactly what to do with them and what to expect sound-wise as well. This speeds things up with different sound people, as they all know the 57.

  12. milestones

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    You, sir, are super-awesome for posting all that information!

    This was a great and very informative read and the blind mic shootout was actually very entertaining - I did exactly as you suggested and wrote down my thoughts as I was listening to the files. As for the stereo techniques, I was blown away by how natural the Recorderman technique sounded - the sound was really realistic and the all the instruments from the kit had a pretty full, natural sound. I'm really curious about your own observations and hope to read them soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MW_drummer
    Oooh, Nice rack over those twin virgins with great bottom end. I bet you really lay the wood to those.

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