Cardioid Flanks

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by John Stafford, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Hi all
    I'm curious about cardioids as flanks. Has anyone here ever used them for this purpose? I know there have been experiments with variations of the Decca Tree that used cardioids.

    It is something I might experiment with, but I don't like experimenting with stuff like this when it is someone else's gig. Another thing I would like to play with is the use of multiple stereo mics with one blumlein at a distance, and perhaps MS with wide cardioid up close.

    That's my thought for the day :wink:

  2. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    John, if I understand your question right...

    I often use a set of cardiods aimed at the extreme far left/right of a large orchestra, to ensure materials from the basses etc don't get lost...I do try to measure off to make sure the material from the flanks is in the same time align as the ORTF/MS/XY/whatever is near the conductor. Also helps me get a 50 ft spread to sound like a 150 foot spread, whicle keeping the cohesiveness of the orchestra intact, by hard panning these flanking mics...

    I've also found this to be a good (great) way to EQ without EQing as well...need more bass? Simply bring up a bit more of that mic's playback...

    Of course, if this was NOT your question, then I apologize for wasting bandwidth... ;)

  3. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I will on occasion use a wide cardiod as a flanking mic in a room that is very reverberant... Usually, I'll use Schoeps MK21's or perhaps the DPA 4015. I've also used multipattern mics with the pattern dialed in a bit. I don't like using a pure cardiod as a flank because I don't think the frequency response of most of them does the music any good. I personally like what the omni flank does to my image and the low end of my recordings.

  4. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    This is exactly my question Ken, thank you for your reply :cool:

  5. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ben
    I have never used the 4015 -my experience of DPAs in general is not very extensive :cry:

    My next quest is for a decent pair of omnis, now that I'm finally adding the AKG 426 to my paltry collection. The quest seems to have no end.....

  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I will mix and match cardioids and omni's depending on the situation, much of it depending on the performance space itself.

    For example, I am often faced with wider-than-deep choral setups, in a particularly dry space. (The "large" side of the Perelman Theater's revolving stage here in Phila., at the Kimmel Center for the Performing arts, and the onstage sound can be deadly dull/dry.) Ever get a 200+ voice choir spread out only two deep, across the back of a wide stage, with a symphony orchestra in front? I've gone as radical as SIX cardioids in that ORTF pair in the middle, as far away from the front line of singers as I dare (backing up against the brass or winds, at times), and then two flanks per side, spreaing the whole thing out panned: Choir Far left, inside left, center left, then center right, inside right, far right. It ain't pretty, but it gets the job done. Between that kind of mic'ing (usually AT 4050's and 4040's) and some room sim after the fact, I can attempt to create a better blend than the thin-sounding stuff that can result otherwise.

    That's an extreme example, of course, but there are plenty of times when I"ll still do a large choir with four cardioids (center pair and then two "outriggers" far L & R), but I'll also have my omni's in the blend as well.

    Most choral directors want a lush blend of everyone, with no discernable solo voice poppping out, so it's always a challenge to get the right blend happening. (Sometimes its' a a whooping soprano or an overly dramatic tenor sticking out if you get overly detailed with cardioids.)

    On the other hand, if there's an orchestra or ensemble accompanying the choir, the omni's can often capture too much of the wrong material, so the cardioids do help a lot in that case, on both the choir as well as the sides of the orchestra. (I'll even mic the basses separately as well in cases like this, if for no other reason than bass management afterwards, in the final mix.)

    I like choices, esp after the fact, and esp if we haven't had time to experiment in new venues. I ask a lot of questions ahead of time about accompaniment and ensembles, choir size, etc., and I always try to get them to have us record the final dress rehearsal as well. That's usally the best way to sort it all out.
  7. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    First off, apologies for not acknowledging your post sooner. I only discovered it now!

    Thanks for the very interesting ideas :cool: I'm trying to get the best out of a collection of mics that is -to say the least- imbalanced. Still, you've given me some ideas to work with. I suppose what I should really do is stop falling in love with individual mics, and make more rational choices in the future :lol:


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