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Mid-side mic recommendations?

I am doing some mixing for bar bands and camcordering the result for my YouTube channel.

My camcorder audio is poor so I am looking into upgrading it.

I have selected the Zoom T24 as the audio recording device and am investigating microphone techniques. Since the audience participation is such an important part of a bar performance, it would be nice to capture that ambient field/feel directly. I settled on the 'mid-side' technique as my probable solution, with a twist.

Please excuse me if I understand this wrong, but it seems most people prefer using identical figure-8 ribbons, or a figure-8 condenser with a cardioid condenser as the mid. I can see advantages to both of these approaches, but what I am really after is the widest possible stereo image without any spatial aliasing, and omnidirectional mono response, so I am considering a figure-8 condenser side with an omnidirectional condenser mid per the original invention of mid-side.

Since this is an experiment for bar band recording (nothing critical is happening) I was wondering if the dual diaphragm Behringer C3 is a potential candidate. I can experiment with all three directional patterns and see which one has the best performance as the mid for my application.

Presumably the bidirectional that matches the side mic would be the best because the frequency response should match well between the two but I really do not know, plus that figure 8 mid also mirror images the rear toward the front in phase-inverted form, creating an overlapping rear image on the stereo sound stage with a left-right side swap as the source traverses front-to-back.

I need the transmitted image to translate to the acoustic space well so that the sound of people walking around and making noise makes sense spatially, and to preserve as much stereo separation as possible so that the ambient feel of being in a bar performance is preserved. That should happen best with omni and figure 8 when they are level-matched so they cancel an on-axis point source in anechoic space and create a response null in the opposite channel when the source resides at the opposing end of the 'side' mic. The omni mic should also preserve good frequency response for mono decoding/downmixing. Sometimes the bass is 5 string and the house music can be trance or dubstep with strong deep bass that I would like to capture realistically.

I was hoping to find a single-diaphragm condenser to use as the side mic, one that matches an omnidirectional condenser well, but I could not find a single-diaphragm condenser figure-8. Does such exist? Would it help? I think I read somewhere that the side mic should be single diaphragm for better phase coherence. Does it matter that much? Where can I find a single-diaphragm condenser figure-8?

Honestly I know next to nothing about microphones. I am hoping for a simple solution that lets me pair up an omni mic with a figure-8 and get reasonable frequency response matching. Would a 3-way mic do it? Is there one that should be particularly suited to mid-side mic?

Comments

kmetal Fri, 09/01/2017 - 16:41
The thing with figure 8, which to my knowledge requires dual diaphragms, is the quality control it takes to accurately match the diaphragms. Having matched diaphragms gives you the matched nulls and pickup patterns. This takes tight tolerances, and is a big part of why you don't see a lot of figure 8 pickup patterns in budget or even mid prices mics. So if your going to opt for one, a lower model one won't likely give you the desired results. You may find a ribbon mic like the cascade fathead meets your figure 8 pickup pattern, and keeps the costs down, while being widely reguarded as a solid pro level mic. Although ribbons may require more pre amp gain than availble with your recorder, and you'd need a booster like the cloudlifter.

By all means experiment, that's what makes audio fun. For my money at the gig, a pair of sm81's and xy configuration would give you a nice phase coherent image of the crowd and you can keep it above the mix position as to keep patrons away from messing w them. They don't have to be 81's, a pair of audio technica 3035's would be just fine. I would also use the same mics in a spaced pair instead of in XY.

You could also just do a single Omni.

Again experimenting is fun, so by all means, but those techniques would work. As far mid/side, I'd stick with mid/side as it's supposed to be, otherwise it's not mid side and won't work as expected. It doesn't mean don't try something, it just means the results are less predictable and could be full of canceliztaions and phase isssues. Or maybe it'll be the coolest thing out there. For anything that's going to be heard by the public, and particularly for a live gig that's one shot only, tried and true is the way imho.

Kurt Foster Fri, 09/01/2017 - 17:55
CherylJosie, post: 452440, member: 50446 wrote: I was hoping to find a single-diaphragm condenser to use as the side mic, one that matches an omnidirectional condenser well, but I could not find a single-diaphragm condenser figure-8. Does such exist?


Audio-Technica AT4050ST




As a member of Audio-Technica’s legendary 40 Series

And dual-version of the immensely popular AT4050

The Audio Technica AT4050ST is the definition of what you might call a “high-end stereo mic“.

With a unique internal design that combines the use of both cardioid and figure-8 capsules…

This mic allows for simple stereo recording on 3 settings:

  • Mid/Side
  • X/Y at 90º spread
  • X/Y at 127º spread
class="xf-ul"> Though not rich in fancy features, the main selling point of this mic is its ability to record pristine sound quality, through the use of premium parts and manufacturing.

bouldersound Fri, 09/01/2017 - 22:00
If I'm recording multitrack I prefer a spaced pair placed either side of stage where they pick up as little direct main or monitor sound. I'll high pass them to reduce the effect of bleed. Being off axis from the speakers means you're mostly getting LF. The reason to use a spaced pair is that you don't want to get too focused an image of the audience, you want it fairly generalized.

But most recordings I do are simpler, using my Zoom H5 with the XY mics. Normally I'll use the line inputs to capture the board mix and the built in mics to supplement it. If I have the option I'll put the recorder and its mics at the foot of stage to capture stage noise, which balances off the board mix nicely and gets some audience. If foot of stage isn't practical I'll go for a spot on the center line of the room (relative to the speakers), typically near the sound booth (if there is one).

Boswell Sat, 09/02/2017 - 07:22
CherylJosie, post: 452440, member: 50446 wrote: I was hoping to find a single-diaphragm condenser to use as the side mic, one that matches an omnidirectional condenser well, but I could not find a single-diaphragm condenser figure-8. Does such exist? Would it help? I think I read somewhere that the side mic should be single diaphragm for better phase coherence. Does it matter that much? Where can I find a single-diaphragm condenser figure-8?

Honestly I know next to nothing about microphones. I am hoping for a simple solution that lets me pair up an omni mic with a figure-8 and get reasonable frequency response matching. Would a 3-way mic do it? Is there one that should be particularly suited to mid-side mic?
The only native fig-8 is a ribbon, because ribbon mics can be made symmetrical about a central plane. You can't get a single-capsule condenser to have a fig-8 pattern because the capsule backplate gets in the way. A condenser mic that has fig-8 as one of its switchable patterns must have two capsules, or at least two diaphragms sharing the same polarised backplate.

From your description of what you want to achieve, you need equal sensitivity all around the microphones. For this, I would recommend that you try a crossed-pair fig-8, either as a Blumlein configuration (mics at +/-45 degrees to the centre line), or as M-S Blumlein, where one mic faces forwards and the other faces sideways. As with all M-S patterns, this latter configuration will need M-S decoding before mixing. The microphones can be either a pair of ribbons or a pair of dual-capsule condensers that have switchable patterns.

Now the bit that a lot of people get wrong: you cannot simply use a ribbon mic and a condenser as the two mics of a Blumlein or M-S pair. This is because ribbon mics are velocity-sensitive and condenser mics are displacement-sensitive, so are inherently 90 degrees out of phase with one another. The reason that I said "simply" is that, in instances where I need to use a mix of ribbon and condenser (or dynamic), I use my Audient Mico pre-amp that has a continuously-variable phase control on the second channel, so I can dial in a full-frequency 90 degree phase correction at the time of recording.

Using an omni pattern as the centre (M) microphone and a fig-8 pattern as the S channel will not give a true M-S pair of signals, but at least if you use the same type of transducer in both mics, the signals will be in phase and so will mix correctly.

kmetal Sat, 09/02/2017 - 07:31
Boswell, post: 452451, member: 29034 wrote: Now the bit that a lot of people get wrong: you cannot simply use a ribbon mic and a condenser as the two mics of a Blumlein or M-S pair. This is because ribbon mics are velocity-sensitive and condenser mics are displacement-sensitive, so are inherently 90 degrees out of phase with one another. The reason that I said "simply" is that, in instances where I need to use a mix of ribbon and condenser (or dynamic), I use my Audient Mico pre-amp that has a continuously-variable phase control on the second channel, so I can dial in a full-frequency 90 degree phase correction at the time of recording.

Great piece of knowledge about ribbons right there boz.

It would be incredibly useful if continually variable phase was a standard feature on most pres and consoles.

kmetal Sat, 09/02/2017 - 08:37
Ok, 3 questions based on that thread linked.

1. So if your using a figure 8 ribbon, along w a dynamic cardiod (sm57 for example) on a cab, or anything, in a non-M/S way, you face one side of the figure 8 directly at the source(?) and aim the 57 directly at the source as well? Would phasing be an issue if both capsules are close like in a coincident pair? 18 years deep in recording and this is brand new to me. From what I gather it's not the pickup pattern that causes the issue for the Mid mic, it's the type of mic, or way the diagram works? Why doesn't a moving coil dynamic exhibit the phase issue a pressure sensitive (typical cardiod condenser) would?

2. So a ribbon mic is velocity sensitive, but technically a pressure gradient mic? (http://www.audiomasterclass.com/know-your-microphones-what-is-the-difference-between-pressure-pressure-gradient-and-velocity-microphones)

3. How do you test on an XY plot as you Boswell mentioned.?

I'll attach the screenshot since my phone is acting up and I can't quote the thread.


John Willett Sat, 09/02/2017 - 09:23
Boswell, post: 452451, member: 29034 wrote: The only native fig-8 is a ribbon, because ribbon mics can be made symmetrical about a central plane. You can't get a single-capsule condenser to have a fig-8 pattern because the capsule backplate gets in the way.

Please can I correct this as this is not strictly true.

The Sennheiser MKH 30 is fully symmetrical about a central plane as it is a single diaphragm capsule with an active front plate as well as a back plate.

It is electrically and acoustically fully symmetrical as can clearly be seen from the diagrams.

The Neumann AK/KK 20 capsule is also symmetrical - this also has a front plate but, in this case, it is not active - it's a passive front plate to make sure the microphone is acoustically symmetrical as can be seenfrom the diagrams.

Though fig-8s like teh Schowps and some others are not fully symmetrical as they don't have a balancing front plate and the rear lobe is acoustically different from the front lobe (and is shown in the polar patterns).

So - both the Sennheiser MKH 30 and the Neumann AK/KK 20 figure-8 condenser mics are fully symmetrical.

It's NOT just ribbons.

John Willett Sat, 09/02/2017 - 09:33
CherylJosie, post: 452440, member: 50446 wrote: I was hoping to find a single-diaphragm condenser to use as the side mic, one that matches an omnidirectional condenser well, but I could not find a single-diaphragm condenser figure-8. Does such exist?

Yes - the Sennheiser MKH 30 is a single diaphragm condenser that is fully symmetrical.

Used with any of the MKH 20 / 30 / 40 /50 range it makes an excellent MS rig and is the favourite of many pofessional engineers.

I have a pair each of the MKH 20 / 30 /40 and my MS rig of choice is the MKG 40 /30 (cardioid mid), though I also have a second MKH 30 if I want to do MS Blumlein.

THIS AES Paper is a must read about MS

kmetal Sat, 09/02/2017 - 21:08
Kurt Foster, post: 452455, member: 7836 wrote:

Yeah man those things are cool. I'm a fan of radial. I do wonder what sort of compromise is made when it's not built into the preamp, especially since this appears to be an active box. That said having the ability to vari-adjust the phase I would imagine supercedes any signal degradation that may occur by quite a bit. Considering radials' solid no nonsense builds, I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. When I invest in a stereo pair, I'll order one of these. Would there be a reason to have two of them? My only thought would be to actually get in phase with the drum head or speaker cone, but I'm not sure that's technically phase. Lol all good things in pairs right? Good stuff Kurt keeping that box(s) on my hit list. I like how it has the polarity reverse for null testing or quick checks. I'm assuming that's what it does, but obviously have to read the manual.

When would you use the 1/"4 inputs? The only thing I can think of is matching a DI singal w the mic or vice versa.

John Willett thanks for the link to the paper I'll surely check it out when I'm not falling asleep. Enjoying the talk about mics and their operation, I'm surprised how little I actually know to be honest, definitely taking notes on this thread lol.

CherylJosie Sat, 09/02/2017 - 21:54
pcrecord, post: 452444, member: 46460 wrote: Correct me if I'm wrong but M/S is a figure of eight as side and cardioid as mid. an omni as mid would screw things up right ??
Maybe what you are looking for is blumlein (2 figure of 8) :


I agree that if the ambiance were the only consideration for this project, a Blumlein pair would be the best solution, and I will try that configuration to see how well it works, along with a mid-side and an xy using the cardioid too.

I have a twist though and that twist is that the purpose of this project is not so much to create a realistic quality audio recording but a realistic quality surround experience for virtual reality 'you are there' by wheeling the array around on a cart with a camcorder for video capture. The point is to capture as much of the venue as possible so I can better evaluate my mixing, and also capture the essence of partying all night in a bar and of course that is the crowd, the dancing, and the overall chemistry of the event. So to capture that also I need to move the array around and rotate it.

Blumlein pair would exhibit the unfortunate quality that as the array rotates, the surround image alias will cause the audio image of people in the venue to suddenly cross over from left to right due to the alias in the surround image. As the cart turns away from the stage, the surround image of the stage will 'wrap' through the middle due to the cloverleaf pattern of the stereo image produced by the dual lobes. Even a mid-side using two figure-8 mics exhibits the same behavior, since the two configurations (xy vs m-s) are basically duals of each other.

Likewise, traditional mid-side with cardioid will not present the viewer with a true 360 degree sound field capture due to the cardioid, but omni mid mic will capture symmetrically, with ideal stereo separation when the mics are balanced for optimum cancellation.

I could use a purpose-built surround microphone instead of a mid/side, but that is even more expensive. The one I checked into that is small and convenient for camcorder is ~$4000.

The price of even a quality mid-side implementation is way too high for this project. This is bar bands, not the London Philharmonic (though if I can tune it well enough with 'real' gear later, maybe...)

One vendor suggested I use Fat Head ribbons and I considered it, but that solution was still going to cause me several difficulties, including a need to find a matching omni ribbon mic (is there such a thing?). I suppose I could use another Fat Head for the mid mic but then I am still stuck with an image alias and phase inversion on the backside that could interfere with other things (such as an A-B or NOS that are added to the array for phase ambiance capture).

So eventually I decided to scrap the original plan due to the cost of doing it right, and go with a cheap solution that I know you are all going to hate.

It is an experiment and hopefully only temporary until I get better at this and come up with some funding.

CherylJosie Sat, 09/02/2017 - 22:19
Boswell, post: 452451, member: 29034 wrote: From your description of what you want to achieve, you need equal sensitivity all around the microphones. For this, I would recommend that you try a crossed-pair fig-8, either as a Blumlein configuration (mics at +/-45 degrees to the centre line), or as M-S Blumlein, where one mic faces forwards and the other faces sideways. As with all M-S patterns, this latter configuration will need M-S decoding before mixing. The microphones can be either a pair of ribbons or a pair of dual-capsule condensers that have switchable patterns.

Yes, correct. The point is to capture the sound of the entire venue including the ambiance so that I can more objectively evaluate the speaker positioning and mix in post-game, while keeping the liveliness and intimacy of the bar setting true to life.

I am also looking forward to experimenting with new tech. ;)

Now the bit that a lot of people get wrong: you cannot simply use a ribbon mic and a condenser as the two mics of a Blumlein or M-S pair. This is because ribbon mics are velocity-sensitive and condenser mics are displacement-sensitive, so are inherently 90 degrees out of phase with one another. The reason that I said "simply" is that, in instances where I need to use a mix of ribbon and condenser (or dynamic), I use my Audient Mico pre-amp that has a continuously-variable phase control on the second channel, so I can dial in a full-frequency 90 degree phase correction at the time of recording.

I had stumbled on that, yes, though it appears I could use a phase shifter to fix it? or not? some seem to think so...

Using an omni pattern as the centre (M) microphone and a fig-8 pattern as the S channel will not give a true M-S pair of signals, but at least if you use the same type of transducer in both mics, the signals will be in phase and so will mix correctly.

I do not understand what a 'true M-S pair of signals' means. I thought the point of using a cardioid was to focus the capture on a stage and apparently it works well for that, but I am interested in full 360 degree capture. It seems that there is no such thing as a 'true M-S' since all those currently in general use seem to violate the original design that used an omni.

The point to using the omni is to capture the full 360 degrees of sound field.

CherylJosie Sat, 09/02/2017 - 22:21
John Willett, post: 452456, member: 47971 wrote: Please can I correct this as this is not strictly true.

The Sennheiser MKH 30 is fully symmetrical about a central plane as it is a single diaphragm capsule with an active front plate as well as a back plate.

It is electrically and acoustically fully symmetrical as can clearly be seen from the diagrams.

The Neumann AK/KK 20 capsule is also symmetrical - this also has a front plate but, in this case, it is not active - it's a passive front plate to make sure the microphone is acoustically symmetrical as can be seenfrom the diagrams.

Though fig-8s like teh Schowps and some others are not fully symmetrical as they don't have a balancing front plate and the rear lobe is acoustically different from the front lobe (and is shown in the polar patterns).

So - both the Sennheiser MKH 30 and the Neumann AK/KK 20 figure-8 condenser mics are fully symmetrical.

It's NOT just ribbons.

Thanks for that info. Unfortunately those options are also out of reach for me.

I have to use inferior mics for this because I just do not have the $$ to do it right.

bouldersound Sat, 09/02/2017 - 23:05
CherylJosie, post: 452461, member: 50446 wrote: Likewise, traditional mid-side with cardioid will not present the viewer with a true 360 degree sound field capture due to the cardioid, but omni mid mic will capture symmetrically, with ideal stereo separation when the mics are balanced for optimum cancellation.

I think if you want an identifiable front and back of the image you're going to need the cardioid mid. If not then the omni mid seems like a good way to go.

I was thinking that you might try a pair of PZMs back to back for a single point, dual hemispherical pickup pattern that only needs hard panning to sound right. Though without a larger boundary they might not have their full LF extension.

I'm assuming you're going to use speakers for playback. If not then something more suited to binaural playback, like a dummy head mic, would be good for this.

pcrecord Sun, 09/03/2017 - 04:56
CherylJosie, post: 452461, member: 50446 wrote: the audio image of people in the venue to suddenly cross over from left to right due to the alias in the surround image.
I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish here. If you capture video and sound in a crowd and turn the camera, the audio needs to turn as well.
Please explain why this would be a problem to you.

Thing is, it's all a fun talk but most movie surround sounds are all done in post. You could record 2 stereo sources, add mono sources as well and combine them to surround sound in your daw. (assuming the DAW support surround sound).

I think we need to understand what you want to do and why before going further...

CherylJosie Sun, 09/03/2017 - 11:08
Yes, as professionals here you would be confused by my inquiry. This is all amateur experimentation by someone with more ambition and time than resources or experience, and I am probably doing everything wrong and making you all cringe with my shortcuts, compromises, and assumptions. The fact is I need to keep the cost down and that impacts all my decisions.

I have two goals. The first is to learn how to make a decent live recording of the bar bands I mix for, in horrible acoustic conditions, at minimal expense, so that we can objectively review our performance offline. So far my attempts have been dismal per my standards because I do not know the first thing about it and I spend most of my time at gigs setting up and running the mixer. The camcorder so far has been parked in a corner capturing 1 hour files of SD video and compressed audio. When I put the camcorder too close to the stage it distorts the audio badly and the compression breathes like a monster.

I made a little progress last night after reading your comments.

Evaluating: Zoom R24 8-channel mixer/recorder w/24 track memory. This belongs to a friend who offered it at half off retail. The thing I like most about this recorder is I can capture 8 channels simultaneously with it, plenty for a true surround recording, and post-process the raw tracks in a DAW, plus I can also do home recording with it in my surround sound home theater that is acoustically treated. This will be my first recorder/mixer since my Tascam Porta 1 4-channel cassette from the 1980s.

Purchased: On-Stage My800 quick release stereo bar, $35 on eBay, free shipping, no tax. This will give me the opportunity to experiment with various stereo arrays, without committing to an off-the-shelf microphone bracket and spending those thousands that I do not have on quality mics the brackets are designed for. My initial attempt at XY with a pair of cheap vocal mics on stands convinced me I need a single bracket that I can configure microphones on and this one seems the most repeatable and flexible.

https://on-stage.com/products/view/13025/201933

Purchased: Behringer B2 Pro 1" switchable dual-diaphragm mic, $100 on eBay, manufacturer refurbished (so they claim anyway).

http://www.music-group.com/Categories/Behringer/Microphones/Large-Diaphragm-Microphones/B-2-PRO/p/P0190


Hold on a minute before you groan. So why did I buy a set of crappy mics?

I am going to experiment with different polar patterns before committing to a more robust solution with better microphones.

I intend to post-process the m-s in a DAW but I can also probably figure out how to monitor and post-process a m-s stereo program in the Zoom directly too, provided I capture both an in-phase and reverse-phase copy of the side mic.

I need a free DAW. There is no funding for Pro Tools in my immediate future.

I have an i7 computer running Windows 10 and I have an iPad Air 2 with 64GB. Either one can handle DAW although presumably the PC is going to be more powerful and faster, but that depends on what I can find for software. I tried Reaper under Linux years ago but could not figure out how to use Jack so never got anywhere with it. I suspect that PulseAudio was causing conflicts because that is what everyone kept complaining about with Ubuntu. I saw a recommendation for a nice-looking DAW on the iPad and that is probably the way I will go if it works properly, but honestly I think I would prefer using a device with more horsepower and options.

So that is the first goal, and eventually I will likely invest in a pair of budget but quality ribbons such as the Fat Head that apparently has great symmetry, phase, and bandwidth in its polar response, but might not match any given omni mic so may require more research and some EQ to set up the original concept of mid-side that captures the whole space in two channels.

kmetal Sun, 09/03/2017 - 14:35
This whole thing is confusing. If you want to record in surround, set up a surround configuration of mics. Then pan in the mix/post sessions, according to the camera.

Some boundary mics are a good option as boulder alluded to.

Reaper is the only free daw I know of that does surround. I've done a fair amount of research on surround. I opted for Samplitude which does 5.1, and avid media composer(7.1) and magix video pro (5.1), eventually upping to sequoia.

Based on your setup and requirements, I'd run reaper on the w10 machine, snag an 8ch interface like the focusrite scarlett rack, and an sm57 bundle pack, which includes 3 or 4 57s, and a beta 52. So run 5 (Front L/C/R, Surround L/R) mics, and two line ins (L/R) right off the board. Reaper will do up to 11.1 I believe without modifying the code.

I'd use one handheld camera and a few cheapo cameras for multiple angles, one moving, the others fixed.

Basically either record and mix in surround, or stereo. M/S is fine for stereo and various daws handle it similarly. My old ART mpa pro preamp had M/S decoding built in.

It honestly sounds like your asking a lot from your bugeted equipment and perhaps asking it to do things it's not meant to. As someone who's learned the hard way on this, I'd say stuck w tried tested and true, or aquire gear that meets your needs natively.

You can always rent stuff. I rented a $10,000 cannon camera to record my cousins wedding for like $275 for the whole weekend. Cuz it was a weekend it counted as a single day rental. Showed up Friday, sent back Sunday night or Monday or Monday morning. I used ATS rentals in Boston, and had zero problems. Other than trying to edit a 3cam HD shoot on my buddies dual core MacBook in adobes video software suite. Editing was a nightmare and learning experience, and nothing like the fun time I had editing and learning on my collages Mac Pro tower in final cut, a couple years prior.

You've got computer power enough, and reaper to meet your daw/nle requirements, maybe a basic video editor from magix would help soreuce things up for low cost of entry. To me you'd be well suited to rent some mics and an interface, or borrow one, or take advantage of a return policy. That way you get a more suitable setup, better overall experience, and the working knowledge of your requirements from here on out.

kmetal Sun, 09/03/2017 - 14:39
Also, moving the mics and camera around on a cart is going to represent the inadequate acoustics of the room as opposed to gauging how well your mix is.

Maybe just take some direct feeds off the board and have a Stereo pair that you set up for room and audience. You could move the mics in between sets to capture different perspectives and edit into one audience track.

CherylJosie Sun, 09/03/2017 - 15:01
The first goal, summarized, is to capture a quality mid-side stereo rendition of a live bar band performance from the sweet spot of the venue and maybe mix in a spaced array also to create a more realistic phasy binaural 'feel'.

I will try it first with the Behringers to see how well it works for me as a concept before I invest in 'real' mics. I could put a pair of them up front in mid-side configuration to capture the stereo image, and another pair toward the rear of the venue in figure-8 parallel/phased array that seems to have more 'reach' than NOS, ORTF, DIN etc. and possibly more coherence than A-B omnis, at least according to the reading I have done so far.

After looking over the options, it seems I might be best off investing in a single mid-side stereo microphone of reasonable quality for ~$500 or less.

Rather than focusing on the sound of the band alone, I am after that 'Prairie Home Companion' ambient theater sound to clearly capture the audience participation that is such a big part of the fun when drunk people are dancing to loud amateur performances that might be otherwise lacking in appeal.

I am fairly certain I saw a mid-side stereo mic up there on stage in front of Garrison Keillor to capture his sound effects people cavorting around, stomping, and slapping themselves as they blow raspberries and beat-box. The stereo imaging and reaction of the live audience is vital to the appeal of the broadcasts.

I just want to approximate a surround field using whatever gear I can afford, and using engineering cleverness in place of money, with the major bottleneck being the cost of the microphones to accomplish this, so I am breaking all the rules and starting over from scratch.

kmetal Sun, 09/03/2017 - 15:28
That makes sense to me. I'm sure all will not be lost w the beeringer mics, in a proof of concept role, or secondary pair. They should be fine. I'm personally not familiar w M/S mics so can't reccomend one or the other. I do like things that do whatever the given need is, by design.

My only concern would be is that your restricted to using them in that role, which may or may not be an issue at all.

A decent stereo mic pair is the Rode Nt-5 stereo mic that doesn't break the bank. Just figured I'd mention it if you haven't come across them yet in your research. lol a big part of engineering is working with what's available and that holds true on just about any level. I've had to scotch tape mic wires together between body and capsule, minutes before showtime.

CherylJosie Sun, 09/03/2017 - 16:21
I do not know how to set up a surround configuration of mics. No idea. If anyone is confused by my posts, that confusion probably stems directly from my lack of knowledge and experience. Is there a relevant thread? I presume that boundary mics are stuck to the walls and would need a wireless interface to capture their output?

Here is the second goal: I want (not need) a hand-held, or at least a camera-cart-based, 'you are there' recording that re-creates what I experienced live, at least to the extend I can do such with minimal investment, from my subjective vantage point as a person in the audience. This is in addition to the quality mid-side mic stereo capture and an HD camcorder that I will eventually invest in once I decide what to buy.

Some of you are responding to me as if this were a pro recording session. I am mixing for, and recording, amateur bar bands that perform for drinks and gas money with minimal equipment. If I take home anything at all besides tinnitus and a headache, I am coming out ahead, provided I am not also bringing home a disease in addition to deafness.

This pro forum has an Alice through the Looking Glass feel to it regarding this project. We bar bands are amateur. Sorry for cluttering the forum and confusing people, but I hope that my project is at least somewhat interesting, if puzzling to those that have experience and funds for greater things. Probably this would be much less confusing if I were actually doing a real recording session with a pro who owns some equipment already. I have a shoe string budget to work with for this hobby and basically no relevant experience.

Here is how the average gig goes. We show up an hour and a half before the gig and set up equipment in a hurry. I have to stay out of the way of the band while they lug their gear on stage or I risk getting crushed underfoot, but I help them wire up the PA once the gear is placed. I tune the FOH EQ by ear off the house music, cut the proximity from the vocals, EQ out the monitor feedback, and do a minimal sound check that usually involves forgetting to turn on the monitors for at least one instrument, and barely verifying that the effects are working let alone tuned.

Then I spend the rest of the night massaging the mix into shape over the course of three sets and maybe experimenting with the delay to set up some echo that resembles the original cover tunes.

By the time the sound is tuned up for the third set, most everyone but me and the band and the bartender have already gone home, and I am exhausted from the exertion (I have some health issues).

There is no time to set up surround mics and route it through the aux feeds, and no channels left for it either. I am limited to 16 input channels, with perhaps 3 or 4 spare aux on one mixer, or no spare aux at all on the other, depending on the band. I need a stand-alone solution for recording that has absolutely nothing to do with the band gear. They will not wait for me to set up recording gear. Things happen fast and my gear has to deploy nearly instantaneously or I risk completely botching the sound check. That is why I have just been sticking a camcorder on a tripod in the corner, that and lack of any other gear.

The end product of the second part of this project will be a 'you are there' video that has a 7.1 bitstream derived from 6 microphones in a coincident mid-side surround array, for direct translation into 7.1 without the need for any complicated/expensive DSP.

One mic is the omni mid and the other five are all side mics tightly spaced around that single mid. Since some physical compromises are necessary for mid-side recording anyway, I am guessing that a few more compromises to squeeze even more mics into a single point will not hurt much, but the cost of six microphones definitely hurts, especially if they all cost in excess of $1000, hence the refurbished multi-pole Behringers at $100 each for the proof-of-concept stage.

Another solution might be a coincident array of one-piece mid-side microphones, but that probably causes more problems than it solves while still not addressing the cost adequately. It seems more risky to me.

The bar bands serve as a convenient subject for this surround sound project that sort of took on a life of its own. I got started mixing for bands on a fluke and gave just about no prior thought to this surround sound project either. In fact, I independently conceptualized the mid-side surround recording technique before I actually came across it online.

The surround-sound 'camcorder' I build from scratch will be wheeled around the venue so that I can capture and evaluate the room acoustics, my mixing, the performance, and the patrons dancing around drunkenly, at least until I might find a real, practical use for it in the future.

I thought I was being creative, but like in all other things, people have beat me to this and are even making a living on it professionally, as evidenced by this web site I just now discovered:

http://www.creativefieldrecording.com/2017/06/07/the-unconventional-microphone-buyers-guide/

The two off-the-shelf field surround recording solutions I identified either use a Soundfield arrangement with tight geometrical control of a tetrahedral phased array of omni mics (most likely the best technical solution IMO), or use a set of cardioid mics arranged in a 5-channel array with some form of 'interference tubes' between the front 3 channels to enhance the front sound stage channel separation (simpler but likely far less accurate). Both use considerable DSP to create the standard Dolby/DTS bitstream-compatible audio output signals and both cost a minimum of several thousands of dollars, so out of reach.

Even a simple pro-quality mid-side mic all-in-one solution costs in excess of $1000. That is the entire budget I have allocated for this hobby/project to date.

I have to use cheap microphones for this or it will never happen, hence my experiment with the Behringers and my consideration of the Fat Heads as one potential solution that will not stretch the budget beyond all reason (provided I can find a well-matching ribbon omni to use as the 'mid').

The goal is to create a convincing and stable surround image with minimal investment in a coincident array, more than it is to capture phase-frequency coherent sound with pro recording laboratory precision. This is bar bands, not a symphony orchestra. I am mixing for these bands as a half-deaf noob with no top octave or training, and that alone is enough to compromise the sound unacceptably to a pro even if the performance was worth capturing with pro equipment, so this is definitely a sow's ear situation more than it is a silk purse. The bands do not really care what I do as long as I get the sound decent and stay out of their way. The recording is entirely my own initiative.

OK, you pros can laugh now. Yes it is ridiculous, like most of what I do these days. That did not stop me from tuning my home theater with bass traps made of pillows in cardboard boxes, and it will not stop me from designing my own surround mid-side mic array that is somewhat geometrically compatible with the predefined channels of a 7.1 bitstream.

So now you have the missing piece of this puzzle you are scratching your head over. I need the omni mid mic because the five figure-8 side mics need to capture the entire sound field with decent separation between channels, including e.g. both the front left and its diagonally opposed rear surround right channel captured with a single mid-side array so that 6 mics can produce 7 channels in post-processing.

I also discovered what appears to be a hobbyist set of mid-side and spaced-array mics that probably also cost several thousands of dollars, if I could find a source for the plans to build my own. All I could find was this YouTube video:



This group of guys on the beach capturing the sound of waves seem to be Japanese. Presumably the design of their mic arrays is on a Japanese web site. I could find nothing in English. I posted the timestamped link where the array is shown, toward the end of the video.

Somehow, I independently conceptualized almost exactly this same microphone array of using mid-side to capture the surround image, but I also designed my coincident array so that it translates directly into a 7.1 surround bitstream using only mixing and filtering instead of complicated DSP transforms.

It is just an experiment. No one's career as a music professional or recording engineer is on the line here. We are all just playing for fun.

OK pros, you can throw your eggs and tomatoes at this noob/amateur now. No, really, actually your interest and advice have been really helpful in clarifying things for me. Thanks bigly.

CherylJosie Sun, 09/03/2017 - 18:37
Well, back to the immediate task of capturing quality stereo, now that the surround experiment is launched.

My current short-list for a quality mid-side microphone:

$1,299.00 https://eu.audio-technica.com/microphones/studio/AT4050ST

[="http://www.shure.co…"]$950 http://www.shure.co…
[/]
The list is short because these are the only two I could find that were not camcorder shotgun microphones, or mid-side adapters that fit around a shotgun microphone, or a device-specific mid-side mic with most likely poor performance (although I wounder about the one that fits on a Zoom handheld recorder directly... no.)

The price is still too high so I will need to work on that. Maybe I can find a used mic somewhere that still functions OK. There is a discontinued Sennheiser or something that might be available. I did not find anything of note on eBay today. I should set up a search and have it message me if it finds anything.

It seems difficult to find used studio quality recording gear through Google search. Any favorite studio recording classified ads I should check?

I am not planning on using this microphone in rugged environments. If I have to walk a considerable distance or risk getting wet, the camcorder will suffice. Since coincident stereo recording works best from up close, I will probably be setting this stereo mic up directly in front of the stage, just far enough away to pick up the FOH somewhat off-axis without being in the middle of the dance floor. If not that, then it will be placed nearer one side of the stage so it can pick up the PA so it needs to handle the dBs cleanly.

I would appreciate some feedback on the utility of a camcorder shotgun mid-side for recording in a bar. My impression is that the pronounced polar asymmetry of the shotgun mic is going to warp the frequency response so radically that it will have poor imaging, but it would have the advantage of being able to work from the rear of the room up high where it is out of the way of the dance floor. It would render such microphone useless for studio recording though and that is probably not my ideal case since I would like to do some more amateur home recording too.

My other option is to piece together a mid-side from two budget ribbons and my initial impulse is to get a pair of Fat Heads, but I am unsure of which model would work best for mid-side. I guess I can message them and ask. The advantage would be that I can also try XY but either way I end up with a mirrored/aliased and phase-inverted rear image unless I can find a budget cardioid or omni ribbon mid that matches well to the figure-8 side.

The web site on field recording lists several microphones that are commonly paired in mid-side configuration, but they are all out of my budget. Maybe later. I will look them over and see if I can find them used anywhere. Most of the combinations that were mentioned on recording.org seem to be listed so it makes a good reference. I will need to spend some time on this to evaluate properly.

Any recommendations, of these options? Given the overriding restriction of budget, where would you start?

pcrecord Sun, 09/03/2017 - 18:50
CherylJosie, post: 452470, member: 50446 wrote: When I put the camcorder too close to the stage it distorts the audio badly and the compression breathes like a monster.
Most camcorder have a manual volume adjustment.. don't leave it to auto it makes a mess of audio with compression..

Experiments leads to strong knowledge, I can't be against it ;)

The Fat head mics are not bad but nowhere close to Royer or AEA. Think of a Royer SF-12 or SF-24.. Serious business. But they are expensive.
I have 2 Fat head and use them not as much as I thought because they sound very dark. I think the Fat head II are a bit better in that aspect.
If you end up going for X/Y, a pair of mini K47 would do a very good job since they are affordable but not hyped in the high frequencies.

CherylJosie Sun, 09/03/2017 - 19:05
Thanks for that info, I will check it out. Yes I was concerned about the possibility of investing in a budget ribbon only to find out that it was junk anyway. There is lots of wisdom in going for the known working solution and I might still do that if I can raise some funding for this.

The camcorder is a cheap standard-definition JVC without a manual volume control option. Eventually it will be replaced with a better recorder. For now I am relying on a friend to bring his higher quality camcorder to 'high value' gigs and do the recording independently of me.

kmetal Sun, 09/03/2017 - 20:43
Here's a link to some basics on surround mic'ing, from DPA microphones.

https://www.tonmeister.de/symposium/2005/np_pdf/A16.pdf

So here's some thoughts. If your getting an eletist vibe from here it's not the case. There's no eletists here, we are here because we are, by and large competent audio-centric people, who like to help others, learn, and discuss their craft. If your looking for 'yes men' that is something you'll have to look elsewhere for. The reccomendations I have made personally are all relatively low cost, high performing mics.

A boundary (PZM) mic doesn't have to be stuck to the wall, nor is it specifically wireless, it's just a type of mic made to pickup sound when laid on or close to a boundary like a wall or table. Shure makes one I like, crown also makes one.

If you record stereo, i.e. M/S you'll need some sort of upmix capability within your daw of choice. If you record surround, you'll need a daw that supports surround sound, and will have to encode it to the format(s) of your choice.

The closest you could get to surround without actually recording surround and having to have "mirrored/aliased, phase inverted rear image" as you described it would be to use M/S facing front and rear, which gives you 'true' center images for both front and rear, with some control over the stereo width. Albeit w the phase inversion inherent in M/S decoding.

As for the moving camcorder and the 'your there' experience overall I'm not sure this is attainable to a satisfactory degree with the equipment you've outlined. One must keep expectations in line with their tools and experience level, othewise dissapointment is the predominate outcome.

By all means experiment. For proof of concept, ultimate audio quality source is not required, nor are top quality mics. If anything HD audio and video is likely to reproduce the ugly more clearly along with the good. Even the best actors wear makeup.

This book https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998503355/?tag=r06fa-20

Is a great resource and outlines all the types of mics and how they work, and plenty of the most common mic techniques, and what to expect from them, including M/S, and surround techniques.

Beyond that I think you'll find your most useful and convincing answers as you experience your ideas through trial and error. And if needed there's plenty of well documented time tested techniques which deliver the expected performance, leaving the rest to the magic of the performance and acoustics of the room.

With reguard to your pillows in boxes bass traps, I would suggest proper fire treatemt (as always with acoustical treatments), and using standard fluffy building insulation, to give you a safer more acoustically efficient trap. You could even test the difference with free REW software and any mic and soundcard/interface you want.

Best of luck,

-Kyle

dvdhawk Sun, 09/03/2017 - 22:56
pcrecord is right. The most common mistake I find is people shooting with the audio set to auto, instead of making a simple manual adjustment. You have a number ways to make it louder in post, but you cannot un-distort it. The AGL (automatic gain level) usually sounds horrendous on loud sources.

Another surround video below. You can jump to 1:30 if you want to get right to the cumbersome surround recording rig. But if you take in the first 90 seconds, the takeaway should be that Hollywood has warped everyone's sense of reality. TV and movies rely largely on fake, foleyed-in ambient sound and overdubbed dialog, because somehow that is still more cost effective and a better use of Ms. Streep's time than the laborious job of getting a perfect field audio recording. And when you consder how much effort goes into a short clip of a waterfall, imagine how much harder it would to be to track a moving POV in a crowded room.

You wouldn't necessarily need expensive mics for this method, but (if I'm being honest) the whole thing seems like an exercise in futility with very little return for amateur video production. If the camera audio is just plain unuseable, I'd either use a fixed X/Y like a Rode, or a dynamic omni like an E-V 635. Or, Sony makes a small camcorder designed spcifically for capturing decent stereo x/y audio.



Which makes you get all philosophical, and wonder, if a decca tree falls in the forest....

pcrecord Mon, 09/04/2017 - 05:04
CherylJosie, post: 452479, member: 50446 wrote: I was concerned about the possibility of investing in a budget ribbon only to find out that it was junk anyway.
Fatheads are not junk at all.. but they have a specific sound that isn't suited for everything.
If a customer have an Electric amp that has pronounced HF, I just put up a sm57 and a fat head and know it's gonna sound good. ;)
The right tool for the job is all it takes !

paulears Mon, 09/04/2017 - 06:12
I'm amazed nobody has mentioned how terrible stereo recording in bars normally is. If any of the band play amplified instruments, or there is a drum kit involved, all the usual rules on stereo recording go out of the window. Add in the kind of PA system bars tend to have and it's normally a sonic mess!

I love the M/S technique where you can tweak width afterwards, but the uncontrolled atmosphere in a bar produces odd results. Somebody shouts from the left, or somebody else's phone goes off right and these things get enhanced. The real issue with this kind of recording is the balance. Something is always really loud, masking the quiet stuff and this is where effort needs to go in. Stereo is rarely important because the venue has pretty poor acoustics and while M/S works brilliantly in excellent spaces, it's pretty rubbish in poor ones. If the kit is too loud, then you need to mic up the quiet ones. A recent outing with a zoom in a rotten room showed that X/Y suffers very similarly, and a 4 channel recording produced good results on the close miked items but a really confused mess in the stereo channels, because the room was boxy and noisy, and the PA was only carrying vocals and the keyboards - the drums were everywhere.

I don't really have a solution, but I'm pretty sure M/S might not be it because you will get a mono sound from the stage area and stereo noise and talking.

bouldersound Mon, 09/04/2017 - 11:25
And there you have the result of tl:dr. If the OP had been more concise then key details wouldn't have been lost in the flood of words.

Paulears, it's her band's PA that she is running. She wants to take samples of the sound in various parts of venues, including audience participation. She wants a surround sound sort of result.

I'll reiterate, if using an omni mid mic in a M-S setup there will be no sense of front vs. back. A Pro Logic type processor will just put everything along the center line into the center speaker, even things coming from behind. A mic array with a defined front will be better for that.

paulears Mon, 09/04/2017 - 11:33
In this case, where realism isn't perhaps so vital, maybe a spaced pair might capture more of the atmosphere?

Mind you, a visiting video crew set a camera up 20 rows from the stage, and left a one piece video mic (looked like a Rode) sitting on the seat! Camera mic pointing at stage, and the Rode doing ...... well, not really sure?
Paul

bouldersound Mon, 09/04/2017 - 12:00
paulears, post: 452497, member: 47782 wrote: In this case, where realism isn't perhaps so vital, maybe a spaced pair might capture more of the atmosphere?

Mind you, a visiting video crew set a camera up 20 rows from the stage, and left a one piece video mic (looked like a Rode) sitting on the seat! Camera mic pointing at stage, and the Rode doing ...... well, not really sure?
Paul

I watch a lot of science lectures on YouTube and it astounds me how often audio is treated like an afterthought when it's actually central to the presentation. There's a reason the term "vidiot" was coined.

DonnyThompson Tue, 09/05/2017 - 02:52
CherylJosie, post: 452474, member: 50446 wrote: The first goal, summarized, is to capture a quality mid-side stereo rendition of a live bar band performance from the sweet spot of the venue and maybe mix in a spaced array also to create a more realistic phasy binaural 'feel'.
FWIW, As with most all things, your quality will only ever be as good as the weakest link in your chain.
By and large, cheap gear generally gives you a "cheap sound". There are a few exceptions; with mics, Shure 57's and 58's are tried and true, sound great and can take ridiculous punishment, both in high SPL's and in the rigors of load ins/outs. They are also very directional and offer better rejection of unwanted sounds.
Condenser mics - at least cheap ones like the Behringers - may not be the best solution for your particular scenario. Weighing the pros and cons out, between your cheap condensers and good dynamics, I'd look to using good dynamic mics instead.
The problem with MS recording in your situation is that most club venue acoustics SUCK. And using MS, you'll be picking up a lot of those bad room sounds. You're also dealing with the fidelity of the FOH mix, which can go either way in those scenarios
Quality Middle -Side miking requires two main things: Good mics, and a good-sounding environment.
MS is commonly used in studios, where both of those things are controllable and favorable.
It's also common for recordings of sound in a controlled and tuned live environment - concert halls which are known for their awesome sounding acoustics, and who's FOH fidelity is usually stellar.
Bars and nightclubs generally don't offer these "favorables", and using cheap condenser mics on top of this will likely never give you a quality you'll be happy with. Compromise your gear, (and your environment) and your sound quality will also be compromised.
IMHO of course.
-d.

paulears Tue, 09/05/2017 - 05:55
I think you are, like me, commenting based on trying it, and discovering that the best microphone techniques, used with success for years rarely work without being in the right place. There's no special microphone, or clever technique or even very deep pockets that makes a good recording possible in a rotten sounding space. Add a PA system into the deal and it's even worse.

Try a trick. Next time you're in the place, stick some foam earplugs in to reduce the volume and have a listen to how different it sounds at a lower volume. PAs in small rooms make it loud, and your ears exaggerate everything. What you hear with earplugs in may not be the best frequency response ever, but my goodness, do you suddenly hear all the nasty things that your mics, good or bad, will hear and then get the blame for!

Boswell Tue, 09/05/2017 - 08:15
I've just come across '">this Youtube video, ostensibly about how to extend the M-S miking technique to surround sound. It's badly done from a video point of view, but also is so full of errors that I just want to be sure that people do not set microphones up in the way described there.

Rode NT2-As are one of the microphone types I often use in the studio for M-S recording, both conventional M-S, using cardioid/fig-8 patterns in the M and S channels respectively, and also M-S Blumlein, where both mics are fig-8, orientated with one facing directly forwards and the other sideways.

A big mistake in the video is the microphone positioning. For M-S to work, it's essential that side-facing mics such as the NT2-A are set up co-axially on a vertical line, so that sounds arriving from all sides hit both microphones at the same time.

The surround sound extension they attempt to describe in the video is laughable. They add a third microphone set to an unspecified pattern and facing backwards behind the S-mic (the M-mic is already erroneously in front of the S-mic). Carrying out their instructions and mixing it in with the split S channels and the M channel is going to cause all sorts of phase errors and cancellations. It would be much better from an acoustic PoV not to use the third mic, but to set the M mic to fig-8, thus setting up an M-S Blumlein configuration. Call it "double midside" if you must.

John Willett Tue, 09/05/2017 - 10:03
CherylJosie, post: 452462, member: 50446 wrote: Yes, correct. The point is to capture the sound of the entire venue including the ambiance so that I can more objectively evaluate the speaker positioning and mix in post-game, while keeping the liveliness and intimacy of the bar setting true to life.

In this case I would use a soundfield mic.

4 capsules capture the complete sound field and you can mix down to stereo or surround (or even surround with height).

The Tetra mic. is very affordable and the Brahma is even cheaper, if you can't afford a genuine Soundfield mic.


CherylJosie, post: 452462, member: 50446 wrote: I do not understand what a 'true M-S pair of signals' means. I thought the point of using a cardioid was to focus the capture on a stage and apparently it works well for that, but I am interested in full 360 degree capture. It seems that there is no such thing as a 'true M-S' since all those currently in general use seem to violate the original design that used an omni.

A true MS signal is mid and sides - the mid can be anything you want - but using an omni for mid would give you the effect of back-to-back cardioids in stereo (Read the Dooley and Streicher paper I linked to in my previous post).

Oh - and, as far as I am aware, the original MS was two figure-8 microphones and was used by Blumlein. This rig matrixes out to XY figure-8s (often called a Blumlein pair); but, using the MS way, you can steer the rig (again, shown in the Dooley and Streicher paper I lnked to above).

CherylJosie Tue, 09/05/2017 - 13:46
kmetal, post: 452480, member: 37533 wrote: Here's a link...

Thanks, that was helpful.

If your getting an eletist vibe from here it's not the case.

Not detecting any elitism. just pros making good recommendations to me when I cannot afford the ante for the adult game.

A boundary (PZM) mic doesn't have to be stuck to the wall...

Boundary mic is not a new concept to me but zero experience with them. How do I estimate likely place to put them? Put my ear next to the boundary? Will they stick to a painted metal ceiling? Unfamiliar with mounting systems.

If you record stereo, i.e. M/S you'll need some sort of upmix capability within your daw of choice. If you record surround, you'll need a daw that supports surround sound, and will have to encode it to the format(s) of your choice.

Assuming that reaper will do it. I have used Audacity with some success but the time shift resolution is too grainy to line up phases well and real time DSP is problematic and never ASIO so unknown quantity to me.

I can also use mencoder or something else Linux if I have to. Not afraid of the challenge, just the glitches.

Here is the other I was referred to for iPad: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/multitrack-daw/id329322101?mt=8
Need to free up some space to install it, thinking of just wiping and starting over. 64G iPad Air2.

Have a PCI e-mu 1212M. That does some processing for surround in Win but the driver is out of date. ASIO or whatever optical plus SPDIF. Never used multichannel on it but I have done some effects with it.

I like the concept of DSP in a sound card but I hate doing anything on a PC. Win10 crashes on me every day again and needs re-install, royal pain, but I have to do it every year since forever. Linux has proven much more stable but the hardware support sucks and I am not a posix hacker so that makes it difficult too.

The closest you could get to surround without actually recording surround and having to have "mirrored/aliased, phase inverted rear image" as you described it would be to use M/S facing front and rear, which gives you 'true' center images for both front and rear, with some control over the stereo width.

I did not like the XY center image or the separation from the Zoom handheld, that is why I thought I would try mid-side, especially after hearing some examples online.

As for the moving camcorder and the 'your there' experience overall I'm not sure this is attainable to a satisfactory degree with the equipment you've outlined. One must keep expectations in line with their tools and experience level, othewise dissapointment is the predominate outcome.

The published polar patterns and frequency response on the B2Pro is awful and the effectiveness in mid-side is likely below par if not comical.

If I do it all with discrete mics I either have to use cheap ones or find another solution such as a Kickstarter. I just do not have the funds but I hate begging. Stay tuned...

Most likely I will end up with a nice stereo mic of whatever design eventually for simplicity, but I want to learn more before I invest in quality mics. $1000 is a lot of money for me. I am already sweating over the investment so far and I do not even own the mixer yet.

That reminds me, what do you think of the Zoom R24? The band members tell me the recording can be downloaded raw to a DAW. That give me 8 channels of live.

If anything HD audio and video is likely to reproduce the ugly more clearly along with the good.

Here is what I have captured so far with the camcorder: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC14R8PRrmDGj7732kwgH3xQ

Performances at the Pioneer are me mixing, plus a few more including the outdoor gigs, but The Hummers only put vocals through the PA and their stage volume is deafening at The Pioneer. Some of the musicians recorded and posted on YouTube Facebook etc. and the quality is better because they have better gear, better being Zoom XY handheld and clamp-on HD camera.

This book https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998503355/?tag=r06fa-20

OK, going to order that and Floyd Toole's books also. Thx.

With reguard to your pillows in boxes bass traps, I would suggest proper fire treatemt (as always with acoustical treatments), and using standard fluffy building insulation, to give you a safer more acoustically efficient trap. You could even test the difference with free REW software and any mic and soundcard/interface you want.

I gave up on fiberglass. Started feeling raspy throat from the contamination of silica and took it out before even finishing install. I will be wrapping the boxes in some sort of covering, but cannot make cardboard fireproof. Mylar? Plastic storage bins? I have black paper on the wall behind my AT projection screen to soak up the light spill. Curtains are fire retardant but soak up too much treble. Tradeoffs...

I tuned with REW already but not since the latest absorber revision. At gigs, thinking of doing some REW tuning in situ for the mains EQ, but ear works fine too given how rough my mixing skills are anyway.
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