Where to put Ambience Omnis

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by DavidSpearritt, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Got a really special gig for three days starting tomorrow. Chamber wind quintet with piano and soprano, their third CD. In our really beautiful hall, I rarely use ambience mics, as I rely on tiny amounts of reverb later to add air and bloom if at all.

    If ambience omnis were to be used, what is the best practice for locating them, distance-wise from the group and main pair. I assume they should be well into the reverberant region of the hall, ie further than the critical distance, but how much further as a first try?

    The width of them is another variable I do not have a good intuitive feel for, the width of the group, 1/3, 2/3 positions across the hall? Any hints from you ambience gurus would be welcome.

    I remember taking note of some live BBC sessions in St John's Smith Square and St James Piccadilly years ago, where AKG414 pairs were out wide, almost near the walls and at the edge of the stage, but only 2m in front of the musicians. This seemed odd to me at the time. But those BBC blokes are pretty saavy when it comes to live recording.
  2. uncruss

    uncruss Guest

    You don't say what configuration your main pair will be. If they are spaced omnis rather than cardioids in ORTF, for example, it might affect the answers you get.--Uncle Russ
  3. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Sorry, main pair will be MK21's in ORTF.
  4. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I think it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish with this set of mics... Do you just want them to provide a feel of the room? Do you want to use them to get some direct sound and widen your image? etc...

    When I do sessions in great rooms like that, I tend to mic in 2 or 3 "zones." Close mics (which are optional), an ensemble pair, and then ambience. The Ensemble pair is usually able to stand on its own, the close mics add clarity that may be needed, the ambience is usually just to add a natural reverb. In that case, I usually place the mics anywhere from 15-30 feet back in the hall, up high (usually on my 17' Bogen stands) and anywhere from 10-20 feet apart. In this case, it is just capturing a diffuse field reverb sound so there isn't an image so much to leave a hole in from mics that are spaced too wide.

    When I'm using the omnis as more of a secondary spaced pair or flanking pair (even on chamber music), the rules change and then I go by the ones I'd consider when working with an orchestra or other ensemble where the entire mic rig is part of the sound.

    The hall where I was working tonight has a setup similar to the first description- MKH80's in ORTF, MK21's as outriggers, and a pair of KM130's hung in the back of the hall aiming down for ambience... As it is a concert hall, I rarely use the ambience mics in a live show (the audience is usually too loud), but for sessions, they sound great. It is a great hall and I love to use those mics whenever I can... Waves used it as one of the samples for the IR-1 convolution verb (Zipper Hall).

  5. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ben, this is valuable. After discussing with the artists, and listening to the live concert trial from the other night, they want to continue with more defined sound image of the second CD, which had more definition and separation of the wind instruments, ie good old AKG426 main pair with 4003 outriggers.
  6. BigRay

    BigRay Guest

    Mr. Spearitt, good to see someone else using the 426. Do you use it frequently? I love mine but am getting it modified by SPAudio to make it a little bit "faster". What configuration do you use most with that mic?

  7. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    We use ours most of the time, we love it, unmodified. Usual config is main pr in Blumlein. I have just finished 2 days of recording this chamber group, with this mic as main in pure Blumlein, 2 x 4003's as outriggers, Schoeps MS pr on piano spot and Royer SF24 on the soprano. Multi-tracked to my brand new Lynx Aurora 8 into Wavelab to disc.

    The control with multitrack is spectacular, but when it failed on the first day because the ASIO buffers were not set big enough, and I couldn't get monitoring to work (I am a dufus, sometimes and under pressure, the brain goes on holiday!), the good old Nagra V stereo mix was relied on. It sounded great too. :) Love the Lynx BTW. What a box.
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Isn't it just one of the coolest pieces since sliced bread?!?
  9. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member


    I've been looking at the Aurora 8, but holding off for the Firewire card which, like everything Lynx, is somewhere between late and never...

    How do you rate it's converters? And how do you do the control of it from the PC?

  10. BigRay

    BigRay Guest

    Thanks for the info! Nice to see someone else that uses that mic. Im building a sequoia based DAW and have ordered the lynx AES 16.Ive heard good things about it, hope it works out.

  11. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Really, I hadn't heard that about Lynx. I seem to be observing a receding of Firewire for USB2 in new devices. I sure hope Lynx are making a USB2 LSlot card as well.

    Really transparent.

    With an AES16, ASIO driver and Wavelab.
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well, Lynx had some very LONG release problems with the Aurora. The main thing was, they wanted to make sure the firmware was bulletproof.

    The converters really are that nice. Smooth, transparent and beautiful.

    You can control them from a software package that is included as long as you have the Aurora and the AES16. You can control levels (input and bal/unbal) as well as clocking info. It can be VERY helpful.

  13. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member

    I would not be using the AES16 (since I'm notebook-based), so was wondering if the IR control worked well? Anyone tried it? Or maybe the Firewire card will include control capability...

  14. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I haven't tried the IR although I do have a pocket PC (which they report as being able to control it).

    Considering how much development they put into that thing, I would assume that it works well. I just hate the idea of a line-of-sight control interface.

    As I understand it, yes, the Firewire interface is designed to be able to be used as a control mechanism as well as the signal interface.


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