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Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 6

Discussion in 'Acoustic Keyboards' started by David French, May 21, 2006.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. larsfarm

    larsfarm Active Member

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    Thanks for the illustration! If you rotated the pairs around the piano, constant radius, how would that alter the recorded sound?

    best regards
    Lars
     
  2. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I have been a little inconsistent. Sorry about that. Operating from memory. Lets get the notebook out.

    Looking at my notes from the last piano recording I did with the SF24 and Omni outriggers, here are the dimensions.

    1. SF24, 2770mm from front leg, piano skewed with tail around so that the tail leg is 440mm further back than the near front leg.

    2. SF24 2070mm high

    3. 4003's, 2140mm away from near front leg, 740mm out each side of centre line where SF24 was, and 2370mm high.

    So in summary, the omnis were a little nearer than the SF24, spaced 1.5m apart, and 2.4m high, whereas the SF24 was further out and lower.

    Now I think I said that the omnis should be nearer based on theory, due to the directivity accent from the SF24, but that you should use your ears.

    I also said to START with the mics in these sorts of positions but move them as required as I cannot possibly understand what your hall is like. Unfortunately I have been too specific about my case and you have taken me too literally without a sound check. Our rooms are obviously very different and one should always listen and adjust.

    I know you said you didn't have a sound check, and from your dimensions and sound of your omni pr, your room is smaller than the one I am in. Is this true? I am in a chamber concert hall that seats 1200. Ceiling height at the stage is some 17m. What is your room like.

    Sorry to have confused you.
     
  3. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

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    Yes a little. Again these are starting positions before repositioning after careful listening and balance.

    I find the big problem with Blumlein is that on its own it can sound mono and too far away if a very quick balance is done in headphones without proper listening. So if I am setting up without decent sound check, I start by placing it closer than one would like, to spread the image and I can usually do something with it later with a little reverb. If its too far away there is nothing that can be done.
     
  4. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

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    Jun 19, 2002
    Location:
    Indiana
    Interesting.

    2770 mm is about 9 feet, and my Blumlein pair was about 8 feet away. Yours was about 6.8 feet high, while mine was only about 4 feet high. So, you were about 1.8 feet (54 cm) farther away. Yours presumably was not too far, but mine was way too far, yet mine was closer. Yes, differeny halls. Mine at 600 seats is smaller. Greater sound density at the same distance? Here's a picture of the hall, and here's a stereo impulse I made of the hall. The speaker was a Genelec 1037C. It was resting back on a chair aimed up and out into the hall. The mics (4007 spaced 30 cm and 250 cm high) were about 2/3rds of the hall's length back (at FOH). That should give you a very good idea of what I'm dealing with.

    Our omnis were the same distance away, yours are twice as wide, and your were just a little bit higher.

    We have the same setup except for four major factors: Your SF-24 was twice as high, your omnis are brighter, , your omnis were twice as wide, and your hall is bigger. All in all, It still seems odd to me that my recording is so very much worse. I really want to get to the bottom of this. I woudl be very happy to be able to make piano recordings as good as yours. Could you post a little of this recording you've been speaking of?
     
  5. aracu

    aracu Active Member

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    Sep 27, 2005
    David (Spearritt), I'm surprised that you recomend placing the outriggers 4 meters apart, which seems far apart, but I take your word for it based on the high quality of your recordings. Would you recomend a similar
    placement as a starting point, if the main mic is a AKG c426b and the
    outriggers are Sennheiser 800's ?
     
  6. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

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    Yes omnis at 4m because the centre is filled by the Blumlein pair. Its a great way to start the positioning.
     
  7. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

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    The hall is the big factor of difference here. I will try to post something when and if I get permission from the artist.
     
  8. aracu

    aracu Active Member

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    Sep 27, 2005
    When you have your omnis so wide apart, do you usually have
    them pointing (downward and) straight ahead or inward?
     
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

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    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Outriggers spaced 4m is perfectly acceptable when using such a strong center as blumlein/ortf/XY. For piano, I certainly wouldn't go MUCH further, but 4m is fine. The purpose of the omni outriggers really is to capture the sound of the instrument in the space, not the sound of the instruments mechanics. Leave that to the center pair.

    As for direction - aim them how you'd like. With more directional omnis (such as M50s or M296s), I would bring them slightly towards center and angled down slightly towards the instrument. For less directional ones (Schoeps, Earthworks, DPA), it's all a matter of personal preference.
     
  10. aracu

    aracu Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Very interesting. The one thing I don't understand is, if the goal of
    the outriggers is to capture the sound of the instrument(s) in the
    space, why not have them much further back in the hall. David
    Spearritt suggested that having the main pair closer would produce
    a wider and dryer stereo image, so why not have the outriggers
    much further back to capture more ambience. I guess it would depend
    on the acoustics of the particular hall.
     
  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

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    Tacoma, WA
    Think of it this way (well, I do at least).

    Get the mics up on the instrument too close and you capture the instrument virtually devoid of space.

    Get the mics away from the instrument too far (deep into the hall) and you capture the essence of the space, but nothing much of the instrument.

    Put the mics where there is a good blend of the two and you now have a great sense of how the instrument actually interacts with the space. That's the purpose of these outriggers.

    J.
     
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

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    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Mr. French -

    I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of doing what I could with your piano sample. I found the tracks to be usable overall. Granted, there are things I'd like to be better, but I think you still have a potentially good recording on your hands.

    (Dead Link Removed)

    What I did -

    Each file to its own track.

    Left Schoeps at unity gain and panned hard left and right.
    Placed left R122 at -2.0 dB and panned -20 dB left
    Placed right R122 at -6.2 dB and panned 20 dB right

    EQ on Schoeps - HPF at 29Hz
    EQ on R122 - High Shelf at 2700 Hz with max gain at peak of curve at 2.2 dB

    EQ on total mix - 1dB cut at 814 Hz spanning 2.5 octaves

    SIR Reverb - added in lightly to flavor.

    Let me know what you think. Given a little more time, I'm sure there's more to do, but I was satisfied with these results after only 5 minutes of playing.

    J.
     
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

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    Oh...I forgot - I delayed the Schoeps by 4 ms. They just seemed to fit better there.

    J.
     
  14. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

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    Jeremy has done an excellent job in repairing this recording. :cool:
     
  15. aracu

    aracu Active Member

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    Sep 27, 2005
    It's like using a stereo pair and two omnis on three
    mic stands to create a very wide decca tree.
     
  16. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

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    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Not quite.

    Decca trees are flown over an ensemble, not out in front of. In fact, Decca Trees rarely capture much of that "you are there" sensation which I referred to in the previous post - you know, the good blend between direct versus reflected.

    When I reach for Decca tree it's almost always because I don't like the acoustics of the venue. It allows me to get a very deep representation of the orchestra despite the rather close placement. It's particularly good in overly ambient venues such as churches or cathedrals.

    The benefit to DT is the amazing stereo representation of the orchestra and the rejection of bad acoustics.

    The drawback is that there are often significant phasing issues (which can actually help the illusion of a "wide" orchestra).

    Think of the above mentioned pattern as simply a stereo pair with an ambience retrieval pair.

    This is real similar to the majority of the recordings that I make.

    For full orchestra, I usually go:

    Main pair - Schoeps CMC6 MK2S (If the acoustics are good - MK4 in ORTF if not so good.)

    Aux/Flank pair - Schoeps CMC6 MK2S/MK21 or Gefell M296 (all depending upon the hall)

    Spot mics.

    I could easily run with just the two main mics, but adding those flanks really opens up the sound quite a bit. Obviously mix to taste.

    J.
     
  17. aracu

    aracu Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Very helpful comparison... and I'm surprised that there would
    be more phasing issues with the decca tree configuration than
    with the widely spaced outriggers.
     
  18. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends mainly on how much of the pairs is in the mix. The Blumlein pr with no phase issues has the principal gain. The outriggers are brought up just to add incoherant room, and should not be balanced so that they start to disturb the image.
     
  19. aracu

    aracu Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    That is really interesting, it's like you just add a touch of
    them for that extra bit of magic, but just a subtle amount,
    being careful not to overdo it. In a way it resolves the debate
    between using Blumlein versus spaced omnis. I still haven't
    gotten over that mp3 of yours of piano, (arrangement from
    Carmen?) great piano sound and performance with perfect
    ambience and reverberation, ideal for the genre to my ear.
    I suppose that that ambience, if overbalanced, could start to
    sound too indistinct.
     
  20. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

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    I have permission from the artist to post these samples. The pianist is Jayson Gillham, http://www.jaysongillham.com

    The two samples are made with same pianist, same piano, same hall, same piece. You can't get much better than that for consistency. :)

    Etude 1 is the setup as described above. Etude 2 is similar but with Schoeps MK21 outriggers instead of the omnis and with slightly different positions of mics and piano. Both main pairs are the glorious SF24.

    http://www.lodestarrecordings.com.au/downloads/Etude1.mp3
    http://www.lodestarrecordings.com.au/downloads/Etude2.mp3
     

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