Okay - so I just recorded a chamber concert in which I both had to play and record. I only had a few minutes to set up so I had to make educated guesses as to the best positioning. While I'm used to using M/S for smaller chamber groups and solo instruments (acoustic guitar and piano particularly), this particular chamber orchestra was doing BIG works (Finlandia, Karelia and a few others) so the orchestra actually had around 40+ folks in it. This is the largest group I have ever recorded with M/S. So, here are the details. I am not very pleased with the results that I obtained. I used a Beyer M130/M160 combination (which I've been VERY pleased with on M/S for string quartets and similar). Hall - Small hall, seats 400 - good acoustics in general with approximately a 1.8 second decay (RT60) measured while no other bodies in the hall (this information was provided to me by the stage manager). Stage was NOT specifically designed for orchestra, so a large, recessed cavity is what I had to deal with for the orchestra's positioning (no shells...:-( ) Positioning - I placed the M/S array only a few feet behind the conductor and approximately 8.5 feet above stage level. For flanks, I moved a pair of Gefell M296s in place but 12 feet from the stage at the outer width of the orchestra - angled in at about 20 degrees. The main purpose of the spots was to get the LF that I wouldn't from the ribbons and to pick up some ambience. I also placed a U195 as the spot for our bass soloist (oh yeah - we had a bassist play the Vivaldi violin concerto....This was VERY cool. I didn't play it as well as he did and I played the violin for over 15 years! Thankfully I gave it up for Lent one year and picked up the horn instead... :lol: ) So anyway...here's what I don't like. In general, I just can't get the balance right between the M and the S. I'm software decoding (phase inverting the right side of the S and mono-ing the M) within Sequoia the same way I always do. I get a lot of ambience, but not as much direct as I want. If I bring up the center, I get way too much mono info and not enough spread. My first inclination would be to move it in even closer, but then I'd be almost parallel with the first violin and the first cello. So, those of you who are well versed in M/S and full orchestra - what do you think I did wrong??? (BTW - don't get me wrong - the recording is acceptable and even good in some spots, it's just that, to me it only hits the 80% mark, and I don't like that. I'll post some clips of the vivaldi soon - it's a GAS!) Oh, one last thing - If you need a spot or a direct mic for string bass - the U195 is THE mic for you. OMG - I've used some others before for this task (all sorts of omnis, a couple N**mans, and others, but the U195 gets it all - the attack, the resonance with none of the bloat...simply amazing! I ran it in "flat" mode, no low cut and no "fat" boost switch.) Thanks!!!! J.