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Old September 9th, 2005, 10:30 PM   #1
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Ambient shotgun mic for church

I am installing two ambient mics Left and Right for the congregation of a church to be fed into there live video editing board. I have looked at the ME66 but wonder what you guys recommend. They are about 20' from the ground and are pointed at about a 45 degree angle away from the FOH cabinets. I would love to hear your thoughts.
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Old September 9th, 2005, 10:35 PM   #2
 
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If you want mud, then use the ME66's. You'll be much better off with a pair of omni mics if you're looking to get good ambiences. You can also heavily EQ, and maybe get a slightly useful sound.
If all you're looking to do is mix these with a house recording feed, then they *might* work with a lot of low and low mid EQ in post.
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Old September 9th, 2005, 10:44 PM   #3
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During a seminar at NAB Fred Ginsburg said shotguns reject audio from the sides but pick up amazingly well from the rear of the mic. Therefore in a room the mic would tend to pick up a lot of reflections or ambience from the rear and muddy up the audio.

A better solution is to use a cardioid-pattern mic like the Audio Technica AT 4051. He demonstrated the difference using an AT 897 and compared it to a 4051 and the difference could easily be heard even under those conditions.

I'm planning to try out a 4051. In my situation sometimes I'll have a couple of guys in front of me chatting while a loud outboard engine is behind me. And all the while the shotgun is picking up both the fishermen in front of the camera as well as the engine that's 180 degrees out of frame.
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Old September 9th, 2005, 10:48 PM   #4
 
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If you use directional for ambient mics, you lose a lot of bottom due to proximity effect. This is why omnis are better. No proximity effect.
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Old September 10th, 2005, 03:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
If you use directional for ambient mics, you lose a lot of bottom due to proximity effect. This is why omnis are better. No proximity effect.
If I were doing surround sound recording in a church
and wanted to place a mic in the front left corner and
another in the front right corner, would omnis
or cardioids be recommended? One concern about
going with omnis is picking up the reflections off
the walls, where the mikes would be up against.
Another concern with the omnis would be picking
up overhead HVAC noise (fans and so forth)
which I could (?maybe) attenuate with a cardioid.
Any advice for this situation?
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Old September 10th, 2005, 09:36 AM   #6
 
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Well...first I wouldn't put mics in the corners, why would you do that? Would you expect the listener of the recording to be listening to a live performance with his/her head stuck in a corner? :-)

Mics need to be treated just like ears. Hypersensitive ears. Place them where your ears hear the best sound. If you're placing mics for reasons of aesthetic vs common sense and good mic placement, you've already lost the ability to get good sound.

I would not use cards, no. As far as HVAC, same answer as above. You can employ tactics in post to reduce the noise, but you're better off trying to work without the noise.

In the boxing arena for the Olympics, they used 4 shotguns pointed straight down, ran 2 EQ's per mic, and got 'reasonable' sound. Are you going to be happy with reasonable? Or are you aiming for 'good' or 'great?"
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Old September 10th, 2005, 10:11 AM   #7
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If I understand you just want the mics for ambience to make the recording less dry. I would not use a shotgun mic, a cardioid pattern with no back lobe will work better. You will not be close enough to get individuals no matter what mic you use.

If you are hanging them look at some choir mics. Place them where you get the least amount of sound from the speakers. Try to keep them behind or even with the FOH speakers.

I am using Shure BG5.1s for ambience. they work ok. I have tried others but tnone of them are great in the location I have. Placement is more important if you are using a decent mic but I don't like moving mics 30 feet in the air.

Sam
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Old September 10th, 2005, 01:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
In the boxing arena for the Olympics, they used 4 shotguns pointed straight down, ran 2 EQ's per mic, and got 'reasonable' sound. Are you going to be happy with reasonable? Or are you aiming for 'good' or 'great?"
A while back you mentioned hearing about some
pretty different (but effective) miking techniques
used at (I think) the Olympics. You had mentioned
that you were going to share it here sometime.
I'd like to hear about it.
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Old September 10th, 2005, 01:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Gates
If I understand you just want the mics for ambience to make the recording less dry. I would not use a shotgun mic, a cardioid pattern with no back lobe will work better. You will not be close enough to get individuals no matter what mic you use.
Placement is more important if you are using a decent mic but I don't like moving mics 30 feet in the air.

Sam
Right, I just want them for ambiance. The speakers and
musicians will be individually miked. What is a good rule
of thumb so far as distance the mic should be from
individual persons when miking for ambiance? I think I've
heard about 15 feet. And what is a good way to elevate mikes into the air? Light stands?
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Old September 10th, 2005, 05:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Largent
Right, I just want them for ambiance. The speakers and
musicians will be individually miked. What is a good rule
of thumb so far as distance the mic should be from
individual persons when miking for ambiance? I think I've
heard about 15 feet. And what is a good way to elevate mikes into the air? Light stands?

Our mics are on the steps to the stage about chest high to a person standing and 15 to 17 feet from the front row. If they are turneded up it sounds like a large group singing no indvidual voices. That is really too loud because it muddies up the rest of the mix. It works best to turn them just loud enogh to hear. Then it is easier to cut and splice in post.

If this is a pemanent installation you can use choir mics you can hang them from the ceiling. I have hung SM81s and CK451s but the decorating police (..err committee) :) didn't like it. That's why ours are on the steps.

Sam
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