time aligning spot mics in choir/ orchestral recordings?

Discussion in 'Orchestra' started by Exsultavit, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Exsultavit

    Exsultavit Active Member


    Do you do this? Under what circumstances? Interested in what folks do with this tool- it was not available in the 'old days' when we simply observed good 3:1 ratio and other guidelines. Does delaying spot mics assist you in getting better audio now that this tool is available? Your thoughts?
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, spots and outriggers generally need delay with respect to the main stereo pair. Here's a quote from a post I wrote in 2007 in response to choir recording. It was specifically about using a pair of DPAs as outriggers, but the argument is similar for spot mics:

    PS Welcome back to RO - is it a couple of years since I last remember you here?
  3. Exsultavit

    Exsultavit Active Member

    Well- thanks for remembering me, and glad to pop in again!

    I appreciate that you time-align even outriggers, Boswell. But I question whether it's actually necessary. Here's my (not very scientific) reasoning:

    Since the start of recording orchestras until the advent of computers with such tools, we didn't even get to consider this- for instance, all those famous Decca orchestral recordings still sound pretty good to my ears, and they use a Decca Tree and (many times) many spots.

    I have done some experimenting with time aligning tracks and have not always found an improvement. Often, I don't hear the difference! I could question my hearing or train myself to hear and 'correct' for this, but I'm not sure I want to screw around with time arrival phenomena that occur in nature- not that recording multimike is at all 'natural' in the first place. Regardless, those Decca records are seminal recordings-- and many others that have not been time-aligned already sound 'right' to me.

    Anyway- that's my point of view on the subject- but only mine. I didn't write in, though, to start a debate or certainly to criticise another's methods. I was just checking in to see what the larger community is doing these days. Your response is very useful to me. Looking forward to hearing from others!
  4. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    I even had some bad results when trying to allign. Seems, it is depending on the given acoustic and placement. In a church you have all sort of reflections
    adding to a natural sound, but "hearing" with sets of ears positioned at different locations within this sound pool is tricky. Let your ears rule...

    Big K
  5. Exsultavit

    Exsultavit Active Member

    Big K-

    Yes, that also is an interesting angle on this. What instrument(s), in all the stuff and leakage coming into a given track, are we 'aligning' the sound to?

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