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Old March 20th, 2014, 04:28 PM   #16
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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Re: H6 and the MS mike question

So I am interested in what your version of the Decca tree is and the mics you would use today.
I don't have a version yet, but if and when it happens it will be constrained by budget and safety considerations. For a small orchestra concert I was planning as follows:

The mics involved will probably be Rode NT 55s with omni capsules (a matched pair +1), because of their bang-for-buck and excellent quality control. Much as I would love to use Neumanns or DPAs, it ain't gonna be happening. I would be unwilling to use cheaper mics that use Chinese sourced capsules because while they can be good value for money, I have found individual units to vary too much.

The rig will probably be 3 tall (and weighted) floor stands spaced L(1st/2nds), C(2nds/Vlas), R(Vlas/Cello/Bass spaced L-R ~ 200cm and L/R - C ~ 150cm at first.

I expect the WW will also sound fine with this spacing in this size of ensemble, and the brass and percussion will be too loud as usual anyway. :-)

I have one venue in mind where there are conveniently spaced pillars for a suspended tensioned wire tree, but that involves shifting the whole orchestra for fine adjustment, so that can wait. I'm a bit nervous about suspended rigs these days though I did it quite happily for years with X/Y and AB pairs.

Just a plan so far, but so was the live concert recording with video relayed live to a nearby overspill hall until it suddenly all happened. (Glad I worked if all out in advance).
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Old March 20th, 2014, 08:27 PM   #17
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Re: H6 and the MS mike question

Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
I can't comment specifically related to the H6, but I use MS for a lot of orchestral recordings and have had excellent results.
Mid-side is a terrific mic technique, and even better in the digital world where there is no penalty for its use. (Analog MS requires additional active stages or transformers that cause at least some degradation.)

But the Zoom implementation in the H6, not so good I'm afraid. Start with the fact that true bidirectional small diaphragm mics are apparently hard to do well, judging by the fact that there are so few of them available and their cost is so high. Zoom took a shortcut by placing two cardioids back to back and wiring them to emulate a true bidirectional mic, which is similar to the approach used in switchable large diaphragm mics. But for whatever reason the result is a rather obtrusive noise level from the side mics in the Zoom module. I thought my example might be faulty, but when I sent sample clips to the Zoom-North America support guys they told me that my results were normal.

With a digital workstation it's pretty simple to encode a conventional stereo signal into mid and side, adjust them as desired, then decode them back into stereo. This has become a fairly common technique and it brings one of the advantages of a mid-side array to any coincident mic arrangement.

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Old March 21st, 2014, 02:25 AM   #18
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Re: H6 and the MS mike question

Good point - there are several good plugins out there that let you go from stereo to M/S to "resized" stereo. Waves SI is good (but pricey) and there are others that are quite reasonable and work well.

Thanks for the info re the Zoom implementation. I think I'll stick with my old Schoeps/Sound Devices setup for a while longer even if it is a couple of ounces heavier:<))
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Old March 21st, 2014, 11:42 AM   #19
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Re: H6 and the MS mike question

You don't really need a plug-in at all. It's just a matter of some math.

NewLeft = (n)*OldLeft + (m)*OldRight
NewRight = (n)*OldRight + (m)*OldLeft
where (n) + (m) should = 100%

For example you can easily do this with the "Channel Mixer" function. Of course if n = m = 50% then the resulting signal becomes mono.

I would gladly calculate n and m for various amounts of reduced spread if that would be helpful to anyone. But I don't believe in "increased" spread because that just hurts the mono compatibility.
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