greetings some of you may have have seen my posts regarding this on other forums... i have been looking for an optimal solution for quite some time and got some (i think) very useful input, but think theres a better solution out there. i have recorded too many carnatic (south indian classical) music concerts close mic'd in noisy venues and am now quite sick of the sound... looking to start a little label with a 'purist' approach to do the same... i've found a big room with a great, natural reverb, now i need to buy the gear and begin testing. I have a very finite 3rd world budget and simply cannot test equipment here before buying... hell most companies aren't even represented here. I have tried very hard to find a two mic solution, m/s looks like an option, but i'm not sure. So heres an illustration of the two options i have currently zoned into (the choice of mics is indicative... currently i am more concerned with the approach): My questions: * if i were to use the m/s approach here, the vocal will be 3' or more away from the array... isn't this likely to make the voice sound very thin? *what would happen if i used an omni as the 'm' mic, in this situation? * as long as i don't put any musicians on axis with the 's' mic, it should hold up well when folded down to mono...no? or will the balances change severely? * if i were to go with the 3 mic approach... how will the vocal sound through the x/y pair (without the spot mic)... will it sound unstable in the stereo field? will x/y or some near coincident pair alone be enough for the trio, with the vocal anchored in the center, or willl i have to necessarily spot the vocal? (the stereo pair i guess will be directly in front of the vocal, about 5'-7' away.) I look forward to hearing of possible alternate approaches, as well as caveats and problems i might encounter with either of the two illustrated approaches. please note: * i intend to use no no reverb or post production effects, at least as far as possible. Minimum number of mics is a must. * sight lines between the 3 musicians should be quite good. * vocalist has to be in the centre of the soundstage at all times * mrithangam (two headed percussion instrument) has the potential to be louder than the voice, but plays a supporting role only... i should be able to place it far enough so that it doesn't override the voice. * most of the musicians are old and very senior... pretty set in their ways... i won't for example be able to ask them to look up and sing into a blumlein pair or change the approximate positions/orientation of the musicians... thanks in advance for any inputs. rfreez.