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Old May 30th, 2008, 04:02 PM   #1
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How would I capture the crowd with reduced PA.

At concerts I plug directly into the sound desk and use an omi mic to capture crowd response. Is there a way to reduce the sound coming from the speakers and get a "more" isolated crowd response? I'm thinking a shotgun mic pointed away from the speakers might archive this however would appreciate any input on this matter. Most of the concerts I do are in halls which reflects the sound in all direction.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 11:54 AM   #2
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As always, to isolate a sound you need to get as close to it as you can with a directional microphone, with your back to the unwanted sound. So your idea is about the best you can do. You'll get more frequency distortion with a shotgun than you would with a hypercardioid, but for audience sound that probably doesn't matter very much.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 01:09 PM   #3
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Just a question: What PA stands for?

Maybe this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_address?
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Old June 1st, 2008, 01:37 PM   #4
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I have done lots of concerts at pro level including U2 at red rocks and queen live magic at wembley in the 80's.

On all occasions we rig two shotgun mics above the PA (public address) system pointing out into the crowd.

Most of the time we also post produce the crowd fx by grabbing clean reaction and dubbing it across song breaks or if there is audience participation have the crowd on sep tracks so we can add it if needed.

You also need to filter all the bass rumble if it is a large PA rig. 150-200hz should be about right.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 07:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pietro Impagliazzo View Post
Just a question: What PA stands for?

Maybe this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_address?
Yes, PA stands for Public Address
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Old June 1st, 2008, 07:07 PM   #6
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I have done lots of concerts at pro level including U2 at red rocks and queen live magic at wembley in the 80's.

On all occasions we rig two shotgun mics above the PA (public address) system pointing out into the crowd ...
My mention of hypers vs shotguns was assuming that Nicholas was shooting in indoor halls much smaller than Wembley. I did forget to mention that shooting from behind the plane of the PA speakers is better than being in front of them.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 08:15 AM   #7
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As always, to isolate a sound you need to get as close to it as you can with a directional microphone, with your back to the unwanted sound. So your idea is about the best you can do. You'll get more frequency distortion with a shotgun than you would with a hypercardioid, but for audience sound that probably doesn't matter very much.
Hello David,

"Frequency Distortion?" Can you elaborate on that?

I like Gary's suggestion. Catch it wild and dub it in.

Shotgun mics (with those slotted interference tubes) still pickup a lot of sound from the sides and rear and in most of the shotguns, that sound is pretty nasty. It doesn't matter so much whether you're inside or out because, in this case, the sound sources are all around you.

If you can get onto one of the towers out in the audience, you might get a more complex sound field of audience sound, but it's a hassle.

Regards,

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Old June 2nd, 2008, 03:58 PM   #8
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Hello David, "Frequency Distortion?" Can you elaborate on that?
Ty,
Well, I guess amplitude distortion would be more accurate. The electrical signal waveform coming out of the indoor deployed shotgun is more different from the source's pressure waveform than it is when deployed outside. But since the damage is mainly at the low end, the effect is almost as if the response curve of the mic has been altered so I slid into calling it frequency distortion. Disagree?
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 05:56 PM   #9
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Ty,
Well, I guess amplitude distortion would be more accurate. The electrical signal waveform coming out of the indoor deployed shotgun is more different from the source's pressure waveform than it is when deployed outside. But since the damage is mainly at the low end, the effect is almost as if the response curve of the mic has been altered so I slid into calling it frequency distortion. Disagree?
Hi David,

Mics with interference tubes are highly directive at high frequencies, but more omni at mid and low. Outside is different, but I have been in outside spaces that are almost as reflective as some inside spaces, or the ambient sound is too high and gets into the side or rear of the mic.

Bottom line: What you want is direct sound, not reflected sound. You have to be on your toes (or ears) to be able to hear that as you set up and make decisions as to which mic will be your choice.

Regards,

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Old June 3rd, 2008, 10:26 AM   #10
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or if there is audience participation have the crowd on sep tracks so we can add it if needed.
Recording the audio on separate tracks has been working quite well for me, in addition with trying to find good mic placement, of course. I record mostly indoors, and no matter where I put the mics, they always pick up some sound (direct plus reverb) originating from the PA. Some of that is good to have in the final mix, in my opinion, because that's what makes it sound "live". Too much, though, and the track becomes hard to understand/listen too. Therefore, I find myself adjusting the levels of the audience tracks all the time, to get the right balance at any time.

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