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Blending Blumlein and ORTF Choirs

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by audiokid, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm preparing my mix's for the choirs I just finished recording.

    2 DPA 4011A in ORTF
    1 Royer SF24 in Blumlein
    1 Audix M1280 micro condenser for added detail

    Any suggestions of how you blend blumlein and ORTF?

    John, did I hear you right... choose which of the two that sounds (fullest, widest most detailed) and add the other to taste?

    Any suggestion?
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    That's how I do it. Sometimes I just opt for a single stereo pair but often the combo of ribbon and condenser can be nice. I rarely add in my spots but it does happen often enough for me to still put 'em up on stage.
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    That last recording I sent you was a single SF12 and no spots or supporting ORTF. One mic.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Any blending needed will depend on the overall sound you are getting from the main stereo pair plus any warmth and width control you feel you may need. There may somethimes also be rear reflections into the ribbons that need attention. There were a couple of things I mentioned about blend in your previous thread, posts #2 and #8, mainly about tonal balance and width control.

    If your main ribbon pair sounds as good as you want, don't be tempted to tinker too much with it. Good phase control is precious and should only be diluted through blending in other mics if there are real deficiences in the balance.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Here are 3 tracks.

    DPA 4011 ORTF recorded @ 44.1 straight into the FF800.
    Royer SF-24 Blumlein recorded @ 44.1 into Lavry MP10 into an RME FF800.
    Blend of the SF24, DPA 4011A's and an Audix M1280 on a carbon microboom

    profile-rig.jpg choirview-rig.jpg
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I feel I was about 6 inch too high for the SF24. I moved it down a bit the next day and it really tightened up. The imaging and reverb was much more pleasing to me. Its an amazing ribbon mic. Thanks John Jennings for getting it to me in time!
    The DPA 4011A's are another amazing mic. I love this matched pair. The sibilance and imaging, wow. And this was all recorded @ 44.1 direct into a FF800 in a not so great room.
    I wanted to do this as basic as possible. A few high end mics are so simple to set-up and sound so good.

    Which do you prefer?
  7. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    To my ear it's the SF24 hands down. Better depth and detail than the DPA. The blended track loses the depth I hear in the SF24. I might need to get me one of those SF24s!

    Thanks for posting the tracks!

  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks Jeff.

    The SF24 and Lavry MP10 combo make this unfair. Its a great and very portable combo that I highly recommend. I own a Lavry AD11 and will now get an interface for that to go into my PAL laptop. That should be deadly.
    To do this accurately we all know I would have needed to keep them all into the FF800 pre's or better yet, used three MP10's or something like the True Precision 8, Millennia HV-3D etc.
    However, in my test run before the show I ran both Royer and DPA's into the FF800. The Royer SF24 was still better suited as you notice. At that point I knew it was the mic for this so I switched it out and ran the Royer into the MP10.

    These Royer SF are so easy. I see what the buzz is now.

    Now I need an 8-channel Microphone Preamp just to have more fun like this lol... G.A.S.
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, I prefer the way the piece comes over on the SF-24. This may have a lot to do with the positioning of the DPAs not being quite optimal yet, although not being there I would be hard put to suggest how to change it. The room seems to be against you on all the examples.

    Nice sounds, though!
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks Bos, and for all your help!

    The only thing missing in the church were pigeons lol. The Figure 8 worried me, I could hear everything reflecting from the ceiling and top balcony and why I hoped the DPA's cardioid would have helped there. When I dropped the SF24 down 6 inches the next day that improved (I'll upload a track later).

    The DPA were 17 cm at 110° pointing horizontal to the middle row. What would you might have done different with those?
    Or, both you and John mentioned M/S. Do you think this would have been better?

  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I do not think in that live of an environment that MS would have necessarily been better. Possible a spaced omni pair closer to the stage would have eliminated some room ring but what you have is not unpleasant at all. I have often found that PFL'ing the mic's at location gives a different impression when you get back to the barn and your controlled mix environment. It's one reason I throw up multiple stereo pairs and run redundant recorders. It gives me flavor options.

    Chris asked if I would post some off list comments I made regarding imaging and combining and why I would not combine the stereo pairs in this particular instance. As an aside, I think I like the passive SF12 sound better overall but it is perhaps more finicky about placement than the SF24.

    So, here are my comments:
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I love those SF24's I've used one as an overhead on a kit and its the best I've ever heard. A pair of API 512's on it...BANG!.

    Is it me or is this room's nodes really hot in the key signature of the piece?

    Sounds really good Chris you're on the right track! Fun FUn
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hi Dave,

    Ya! I think you just heard it!

    The room is really lower mid hot. There are two singers in this that kill it. Quite painful as they are in the standing wave.

    Other than removing the introductions and applause, I am not allowed to tweak these so it is what it is but I'm going to try and get the choirs to move to a new location in town. There are so many other churches with better sound, to me. The person in charge of the city choirs loves this room. Its going to be a tough battle but I have a feeling if I can get them into a new spot, and record them, they will be thrilled.
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    My MP 2NV arrived two days late for this ( so disappointing!) . That also goes great with the SF24 BUT, I have it now though, so I'm really excited to improve and do some justice!
    The Millennia M-2b is unreal glorious with it but I didn't want to take that out of my rack. So tempting.
    I'm getting my acoustic guitar chops up for a demo on those two.

    The Lavry wasn't a disappointment though, my placement was too high and the backside of the Royer was facing the ceiling/ balcony to much. I don't hear that annoying standing wave spiking as much with the DPA's. Ooh, they are sweet too.
    Lowering the SF24 6 inches down the next day helped. I should have tilted it a few degrees to the top head a bit as well. Live and learn. I'll post a track with it down 6 inches tonight and see if you think it helped!

    Thanks for all your comments. I'm having a lot of fun being on the same side as you guys now.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Choir 6 DPA 4011A ORTF direct to FF800

    Choir 6 Royer SF-24 Lavry MP10 > FF800

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