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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?


Boswell Fri, 06/18/2010 - 02:59

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 [[url=http://[/URL]="http://recording.or…"]choir recording[/]="http://recording.or…"]choir recording[/]. It was specifically about using a pair of DPAs as outriggers, but the argument is similar for spot mics:

Without knowing your room dimensions and microphone distances, it's hard to advise on the outriggers. If you want to keep some of the DPAs mixed in, you could try delaying the two outrigger channels before mixing with the main pair. The human ear is very sensitive to arrival times and will say a sound is louder if it arrives just before another, even if they are of the same intensity. It could be that the outriggers are receiving the side vocalists before the mains and therefore the ear is giving prominence to them. A 10 ms delay (representing about 3.4m air distance) is probably too much, but would show whether the arrival timing was causing a problem.

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

Exsultavit Fri, 06/18/2010 - 10:08

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!

Big K Fri, 06/18/2010 - 17:31

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


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