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Old September 18th, 2015, 12:49 PM   #121
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Craig,

That is a very impressive piece of work. I think your client will be quite happy. The audio guy certainly did his job.

In my not so humble opinion do think there is two lessons to be learned here. I hate the go pro shot. Not just because you are in it, I don't like the shot. If it were not for that shot I could easily believe that recording was done by a production company with multiple operators and broadcast equipment on set. Your images are tack sharp and the colors pop. Everything has a matched look of professional multi cam work. Then BAM, the go pro jumps in, it is soft, underexposed, and confirms to the viewer there is no audience present. I know you were excited to try that shot but it failed. With five stage lights in frame on an auto exposure camera underexposure was predictable. I suspect your original footage is under exposed and you did what you could to salvage a bad shot? Did you record a test shot from it in position and PLAY it back before they started? I confirm ALL cameras with a test recording. With time on the job some operators get lazy and skip this step, I don't. I am wondering if you looked at a test clip first?

Also, I am very good at listening to client direction. If they told me this was primarily about the conductor and not the choir that changes everything. I never would have left my "conductor" shot up to a $400.00 auto action cam. Conductors stay on their marks, I would have had a tight shot on her, with a real camera and lens.

Now, don't let my arm chair criticism take away from what you pulled off here. I look at that clip and it tells me volumes about the state of our industry. It was not so many years ago when I paid more for a single camera than your total kit investment. To get a recording like that the clients only option would have been to pay for someone like me AND my crew. With today's technology and your talent one man went in with a mis mash of gear and little experience and came away with a professional result. That is quite an achievement for anyone to pull off. Good for you! I believe it is easy to teach technology, it is science. On the other hand it is very difficult to teach talent. I have seen a high talent factor in each piece of your work. I think you are on your way to starting a gifted career. I would be quite proud of that piece of work!

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old September 18th, 2015, 02:10 PM   #122
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Beautifully done on all levels!

Given that the performers and conductor all had music stands, the mic stands were completely unobtrusive. Yes, we notice the mics as we're into the gear, but the general audience will not.

I agree with Steven's analysis of the GoPro, and give him props for offering truly constructive criticism. I could imagine multiple edits. One would be a performance view, without the GoPro. You could include the GoPro footage in a behind the scenes version, or in a conductor-focused version that the conductor could use for self-evaluation and to assist in job seeking. Of course, this depends on client needs, not my musings. :)

The audio really sounded great with just the right wet/dry mix. Earlier in the thread I had recommended a M+S setup in the focus of the semi-circle, and it was really rewarding for me to hear this exact setup. I'm curious to know how much/little of the distant mics were used in the mix.

FWIW, I play 2nd violin in a small community orchestra that performs in a church. I might just plan on replicating this recording technique for our Christmas concert. :) Any additional information on the mics is appreciated.
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Old September 19th, 2015, 09:41 AM   #123
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Thank you for all of the compliments everyone! I am hoping to edit the second film tomorrow, though I imagine this will be a much slower edit, as the song goes on for over 5 minutes, so I don't know how interesting I'll be able to make the camera work... we'll see!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
Very nice job - congratulations!

By the way, do you know what mics were used? Reverb works very very well - makes it feel natural for the surrounfings
The only mic information that I received were:

Ribbon and Ribbon and Fig 8 pair in MS and two Audix ADX51s (at either side).

Does that make any sense to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
Nicely done! Good on ya.

And you weren't kidding about the long trail in that hall. But I'm sorta doubting the 9 seconds. I'm thinking the T60 time is more like 5-6 seconds. Still very long, but more manageable.

You should be a happy guy, and your client should be equally happy. If they wanted a promo that shows what they can do, they surely got it.

(And I did like the ceiling shot ;-)
Yeah, it was the conductor who said 9 seconds... it seemed quite loud. We had a speaker in there, and the audio engineers were going through all of the frequencies of the human ear... and it was crazy to hear that... even crazier when a bird/creature at the top of the cathedral responded with some loud squeals back! :/ That was quite spooky at 11pm in an empty cathedral! :)

Thanks! I was trying to get the ceiling shot - but I actually made a huge glaring error here - I still had the spikes on my tripod feet and had very little grip on both of my tripods... I thought it was the feet on my Sachtler Ace tripods not gripping to the slippy floor, but later realised that I'd screwed them up for the spikes to become available at the wedding I shot back in August. Thankfully, I managed to get the shot(s).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Impressive on many fronts. In a way, a more tricky space with the very flat and open floor - so probably why the low mic position worked well as the audio guy also recognised the benefit of M/S by the looks of it, to give a bit of after recording adjustment. The piece was ideal for the space.

How did the actual recordings go? How many takes and problems?
We had a breakdown of the interface of Logic Pro X on the audio engineers' Mac. Therefore, we had a second engineer arrive with a spare MacBook. Following about 1-2 hours of rehearsals (the group were thrown together in some ways for the evening from many different places in England), we did about 4 takes of each song. So... the shoot that was supposed to take a short time, ended up taking about 4 hours! :)

We didn't have any technical issues apart from the choir practising and the conductor wanting more emotion and feeling from the group themselves... I think everyone was really pleased by the end of the evening, and if this next recording is good enough - visually - then I'll be really pleased with the project.

Bearing in mind all the work that's gone into this, how much do you think I should have charged? I didn't charge anything like minimum wage for myself! :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Craig,

That is a very impressive piece of work. I think your client will be quite happy. The audio guy certainly did his job.

In my not so humble opinion do think there is two lessons to be learned here. I hate the go pro shot. Not just because you are in it, I don't like the shot. If it were not for that shot I could easily believe that recording was done by a production company with multiple operators and broadcast equipment on set. Your images are tack sharp and the colors pop. Everything has a matched look of professional multi cam work. Then BAM, the go pro jumps in, it is soft, underexposed, and confirms to the viewer there is no audience present. I know you were excited to try that shot but it failed. With five stage lights in frame on an auto exposure camera underexposure was predictable. I suspect your original footage is under exposed and you did what you could to salvage a bad shot? Did you record a test shot from it in position and PLAY it back before they started? I confirm ALL cameras with a test recording. With time on the job some operators get lazy and skip this step, I don't. I am wondering if you looked at a test clip first?
Thanks Steve! Those are really valuable lessons to take from this, and had I have considered this, I would have definitely done as you have said above.

I don't think I punched the GoPro footage too much for fear of the image quality breaking down even more. The stage lights were off to begin with, which meant the shot itself was total darkness. Therefore, we finally were able to locate the switch for the lights that you can see just before the shoot began. I was considerably more pleased wtih the exposure given the completely black screen before it, but I said that it probably wouldn't be any good, but we'll just roll with it and see what we get... it wasn't necessarily going to make the edit in the end... I think if it wasn't meant for the conductor, I would have left it out too... but I think as she'll be judged on technique (I assume) I thought it would still be a worthy shot for the people she's trying to impress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Also, I am very good at listening to client direction. If they told me this was primarily about the conductor and not the choir that changes everything. I never would have left my "conductor" shot up to a $400.00 auto action cam. Conductors stay on their marks, I would have had a tight shot on her, with a real camera and lens.
Make sense, Steve! I was just trying to cover all angles with a lot of different advice that I received here. Though I feel that I am moving in generally the right direction, what I think I am best at is listening to constructive advice and criticism. Had I not received that here, I don't know if I would have had the high shot in the middle, for instance, and may have not seen how the stands were in the people's faces. I might have done, but by listening to the advice here, I already knew what to look for and avoid.

I have to admit to liking the look of the conductor shot in the video posted here... though it may not be pro quality... I'll definitely consider doing what you said if I have a chance to shoot a similar project in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Now, don't let my arm chair criticism take away from what you pulled off here. I look at that clip and it tells me volumes about the state of our industry. It was not so many years ago when I paid more for a single camera than your total kit investment. To get a recording like that the clients only option would have been to pay for someone like me AND my crew. With today's technology and your talent one man went in with a mis mash of gear and little experience and came away with a professional result. That is quite an achievement for anyone to pull off. Good for you! I believe it is easy to teach technology, it is science. On the other hand it is very difficult to teach talent. I have seen a high talent factor in each piece of your work. I think you are on your way to starting a gifted career. I would be quite proud of that piece of work!

Kind Regards,

Steve
Thanks Steve! Really appreciate the comments!!! I agree that the industry has paved the way for people with a smaller budget to create a better product. I still lust for cameras like the C100s... but then I think, my back couldn't carry this around in the 'guerilla' style recordings that most wedding videographers are used to - especially not a one man band. So I'm really thankful that there are cameras out there like the GH4 and a range of fast prime lenses!

Hopefully I'll be able to continue to improve with each piece that I contribute and complete.

The next is a wedding in two weeks, followed by a fashion shoot for a department store and charity. If I can do a great job of both, then that is my work finished for this year, and I can begin focusing on breaking into the industry full time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Beautifully done on all levels!

Given that the performers and conductor all had music stands, the mic stands were completely unobtrusive. Yes, we notice the mics as we're into the gear, but the general audience will not.

I agree with Steven's analysis of the GoPro, and give him props for offering truly constructive criticism. I could imagine multiple edits. One would be a performance view, without the GoPro. You could include the GoPro footage in a behind the scenes version, or in a conductor-focused version that the conductor could use for self-evaluation and to assist in job seeking. Of course, this depends on client needs, not my musings. :)

The audio really sounded great with just the right wet/dry mix. Earlier in the thread I had recommended a M+S setup in the focus of the semi-circle, and it was really rewarding for me to hear this exact setup. I'm curious to know how much/little of the distant mics were used in the mix.

FWIW, I play 2nd violin in a small community orchestra that performs in a church. I might just plan on replicating this recording technique for our Christmas concert. :) Any additional information on the mics is appreciated.
Thanks Jon! Really appreciate your time and advice!

I would give all of those options if I hadn't already worked for about 2 an hour! :) Those are great options though... and I think they would have truly transformed my package as well.

I've asked the audio engineer, and hopefully I'll be able to inform you! :) The mics are listed above, but I'm just asking about the mix for you. If I can get any other information, I'll be sure to post it!

Thanks again for everyone's help with this piece, and I'll be back with the second one tomorrow if I can get it all finished!

Kind regards,

Craig
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Old September 19th, 2015, 12:40 PM   #124
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[iRe: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

"Ribbon and Fig 8 pair in MS"
Not sure what is meant but, many ribbon mics are figure-8, tworibbon mics are typically in a Bluimlein pair configuration, a MS config. is usually a cardioid, and a single figure-8, which is normally decoded (easy.. with a DAW or mixer).
Two channels/tracks for acquisition three channels decode/mix.
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Old September 19th, 2015, 02:28 PM   #125
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
"Ribbon and Fig 8 pair in MS"
Not sure what is meant but, many ribbon mics are figure-8, tworibbon mics are typically in a Bluimlein pair configuration, a MS config. is usually a cardioid, and a single figure-8, which is normally decoded (easy.. with a DAW or mixer).
Two channels/tracks for acquisition three channels decode/mix.
Thanks Rick!

Here's more information from the audio engineer:

"To mic the choir, I used an MS pair for the direct vocal and two Audix ADX51 small diaphragm condenser mics at the sides, pointed upwards at the walls to capture the extremely reverberant ambience. I had a Beyer M160 ribbon for the Mid signal of the pair, running through an external Art pre-amp, and an AKG Perception 420 in Fig8 config for the Side signal.

Since there was so much ambience to record, I didn't need to push it in the mix very much at all, rather it just sort of sat in the background to give the listener the feel of the space."

---

Hope this helps! I wish I knew more about audio. Does anyone know of any courses that relate to event recordings that I could purchase / watch / read online?

Thanks!
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Old September 19th, 2015, 05:32 PM   #126
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

the MS config. is nice and yeilds a substantial adjustment of the width after the fact , in post. It seams the tracking engineer gave you a lot of options. Kudos.
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Old September 19th, 2015, 05:46 PM   #127
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
the MS config. is nice and yeilds a substantial adjustment of the width after the fact , in post. It seams the tracking engineer gave you a lot of options. Kudos.
I am going to research everything you just said to see if I can make any sense of it! :)

I'll pass on your compliments to him though. Thanks Rick.
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Old September 19th, 2015, 06:20 PM   #128
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

M/S is a nice technique for a limited range of recordings. Location sound recordists quite like it, especially when they are recording wild tracks, or sound effects, and there's a mod to get the two mics into a Rycote housing, one above the other.

When there is a nice wide sound field - like this with a choir and the building itself, it's great because back in the studio/edit suite you can adjust the balance of the two microphones to give mono, right through to quite massive left right differences, and the beauty is you can do it afterwards. Downside is simply the monitoring. using a pair of headphones plugged into the recorder it sounds really weird. Some field recorders have a matrix switch that does the decoding so headphones work, but without? Yuk!

While a Blumlein pair does function as a M/S pair, the rear pickup from the 'mid' mic can sound a bit strange in a reverberant space, when the reflections can be destructive. Cardioid works for me best, although fig-8 and even omni as a mid mic can work for certain spaces/sources.

I've personally never found the space mics very useful, as the time delays tend to muddy up the sound, but they must have been very low in the mix - I always found that when they were low enough to not mess the sound up, they were so low as to be a bit pointless.

This is a pretty decent topic - with a good outcome for you. I guess you're now quite happy a sound recordist got involved. Did you bother to listen to any of the camera audio by any chance. Well worth it to see how wrong it could have been?
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Old September 19th, 2015, 06:48 PM   #129
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Craig,

You own a Zoom H5. For $79.00 (US) you could pick up their mid side mic capsule if you want to play with this configuration. I am NOT suggesting in any way it will replicate what your audio guy did. It wont. Both the recorder and the mic are consumer products. But for a few bucks it would allow you to make some back up recordings at your events and start playing with the mix in post to help you start understanding how post mixing works. Other than Zoom trying to make a big deal out of their M/S mic, M/S recording is a great tool when appropriate. It is not needed on most jobs. And a mic mounted on the device will be useless unless you can get proper placement.

Your willingness to learn and experiment is exciting. Far too many guys at your stage and beyond do not place proper emphasis on the audio side of what we do. You are on the right track. I see a quality field mixer in your future budget.

I would also encourage you to keep your audio questions here in the audio forum instead of the wedding forum. There is some very knowledgeable people helping you out.

Also, I think you said you are mixing you own audio in post with headphones. That wont do. Recently there was at lest three threads where we discussed near field monitors. They do not have to be a huge expense. Many people made recommendations for their choice in the $150.00 to $300.00 range. I know, I know, the gear list of needs seems to never stop! But at some point you are going to need to hear what those expensive mics you buy are really recording ;-)

Steve

Edit: I must have been writing this at the same time as Paul.
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Old September 19th, 2015, 06:56 PM   #130
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

I use M/S almost all the time for orchestral stuff - I like the result and I like the flexibility alluded to above to play with the stereo spread in post.
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Old September 22nd, 2015, 05:29 PM   #131
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Before responding to the below posters, I'd like to thank everyone again for the success of this production (however limited or solid the production is as a piece of work). I am really thankful to you all.

I finished the project last night, and bar a few uploading issues to Vimeo (bit rate dropping below the recommended bit rate), I have finally managed to resolve the issues and have a high quality HD version below:


I took the advice of Steven Digges and co. and omitted the GoPro shot from the recording. Instead, I focused on using the AX100 to its full potential, as well as the GH4, which were both recorded in 4K. My slider work wasn't as solid in this piece, and so I was a bit disappointed and recalled everyone's advice here to always ask for another take. At the time however, I was reasonably pleased and didn't realise that the slight movement in either direction would really bother me - but it does. Therefore, I omitted a few slider shots that would have passed for a personal project, but not for a professional one. I think as a piece it works well, and the client is really pleased.

Here's to more shoots of this calibre in the future! :)

Thanks again, everyone. It's been a crazy couple of weeks! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
M/S is a nice technique for a limited range of recordings. Location sound recordists quite like it, especially when they are recording wild tracks, or sound effects, and there's a mod to get the two mics into a Rycote housing, one above the other.

When there is a nice wide sound field - like this with a choir and the building itself, it's great because back in the studio/edit suite you can adjust the balance of the two microphones to give mono, right through to quite massive left right differences, and the beauty is you can do it afterwards. Downside is simply the monitoring. using a pair of headphones plugged into the recorder it sounds really weird. Some field recorders have a matrix switch that does the decoding so headphones work, but without? Yuk!

While a Blumlein pair does function as a M/S pair, the rear pickup from the 'mid' mic can sound a bit strange in a reverberant space, when the reflections can be destructive. Cardioid works for me best, although fig-8 and even omni as a mid mic can work for certain spaces/sources.

I've personally never found the space mics very useful, as the time delays tend to muddy up the sound, but they must have been very low in the mix - I always found that when they were low enough to not mess the sound up, they were so low as to be a bit pointless.

This is a pretty decent topic - with a good outcome for you. I guess you're now quite happy a sound recordist got involved. Did you bother to listen to any of the camera audio by any chance. Well worth it to see how wrong it could have been?
Thanks for the in depth response, Paul. I'll certainly try to understand all of this thread as soon as I get the time to sit down and digest more.

I did have time to listen to the on-camera audio, which was fairly OK from the AX100, as it sat above the conductor and gained reasonably surprising audio. That said, it is nothing like the mix - which is insanely good to me as a videographer. I would have gotten reasonable sound with the SANKEN COS11D above the AX100 had I opted for that route I think, but again... totally not as good as the sound engineer was able to attain.

Ultimately, this is definitely an area of videography that I hope to improve in... and if anyone has any places where they have learned from tutorials, I would be greatly interested to hear about them...

Thanks again, Paul!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Craig,

You own a Zoom H5. For $79.00 (US) you could pick up their mid side mic capsule if you want to play with this configuration. I am NOT suggesting in any way it will replicate what your audio guy did. It wont. Both the recorder and the mic are consumer products. But for a few bucks it would allow you to make some back up recordings at your events and start playing with the mix in post to help you start understanding how post mixing works. Other than Zoom trying to make a big deal out of their M/S mic, M/S recording is a great tool when appropriate. It is not needed on most jobs. And a mic mounted on the device will be useless unless you can get proper placement.
Thanks Steve - I might just try that - even though it's hard pressed to find the spare time at a wedding to make it happen. I had an offer to record a 2 hour celebration at a church in a few week's time, but I am swamped at work and have two jobs approaching, so I had to turn it down. It's the first time I have done so, and I am glad that I did given that I will be able to make the most of the time I have with the next two projects; one of which is a commercial project for a department store to advertise their clothing lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Your willingness to learn and experiment is exciting. Far too many guys at your stage and beyond do not place proper emphasis on the audio side of what we do. You are on the right track. I see a quality field mixer in your future budget.

I would also encourage you to keep your audio questions here in the audio forum instead of the wedding forum. There is some very knowledgeable people helping you out.

Also, I think you said you are mixing you own audio in post with headphones. That wont do. Recently there was at lest three threads where we discussed near field monitors. They do not have to be a huge expense. Many people made recommendations for their choice in the $150.00 to $300.00 range. I know, I know, the gear list of needs seems to never stop! But at some point you are going to need to hear what those expensive mics you buy are really recording ;-)

Steve

Edit: I must have been writing this at the same time as Paul.
Thanks Steve! Videography is exciting! New projects, new ways of recording and capturing moments that can be played over and over again... I love what we are able to achieve on our own as videographers.

If you were to recommend a field mixer, which one would you say to go for, Steve?

I agree, not to the detriment of the talented wedding videographers that we have on the board, but the audio guys seem other worldly where knowledge of audio is concerned.

Hmmmm... I have no idea what near field monitors will do that my AKGs can't, but I am sure that you're right... so I will just nod and research the project until I can offer a better response to this! :D

In my most recent wedding, I realised that there's a bit of distortion present at times - even though I never peaked beyond 0db in FCPX. Therefore, I was able to ask the audio engineer present at this recording, and he told me the following:

"Speakers are 'more powerful' if all of it's energy is focused on one particular frequency. So, even if you've got a sound which on a meter looks fine, if all of the sound is just one frequency then the speaker will probably rattle/distort more than if you have a broad range of frequencies, which collectively added up to the same level on the meter. As with the broadband signal, the power is distributed over all of the frequencies that doesn't necessarily explain why the speech is a problem yet...
Basically, the problem is that somewhere a long the physical line, whether it's the design of the microphone, or how the audio is being recorded, some frequencies are recorded louder than others, which if you use an EQ effect with an analyser on it, can be displayed graphically; and if a particular frequency is really emphaised (quite often happens with cheap mics), then this is similar to what I described above where the energy is NOT distributed over a range of frequencies, and hence the speaker resonates at that frequency and rattles, or 'clips'.
In conclusion, although the overall average output level may not be exceeding 0dbFS, the problem lies in the actual content, not the overall volume. To fix this, the easiest tool/effect is a parametric EQ:
so, you find the frequency (or many frequencies) which are resonating, and turn them down, compared to the rest of the frequencies. This way, you counteract the issue, and 'even-out' the audio spectrum, so no single frequency resonates exceedingly more than any other, solving your issue."

Genius. This information blew my mind... though I'm sure that it's basic...

I'll look into getting some near field recorders in the near future! I'll try to find those threads, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
I use M/S almost all the time for orchestral stuff - I like the result and I like the flexibility alluded to above to play with the stereo spread in post.
Thanks Jim! Definitely worked on this project!!!
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 02:16 AM   #132
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Headphones work fine for many things but where they fall down is in the stereo field area. In the studio, we use two speakers, like most people listen on at home, and both ears hear both speakers. The left speaker gets heard by both ears, but your right ear hears it slightly quieter and slightly after your left. Your brain does a bit of maths and with your eyes closed, you can point at the speaker. Let's assume you have a single microphone, and with the pan knob, you move it left to right. Your ears let you follow it. On headphones, it sort of moves from left to right THROUGH your head, not in front of it. Your brain, unused to this, rejects it as weird and shunts it forwards a bit. You've lost the accuracy, and it can make some people feel a bit queasy.

Once you are fiddling with stereo recordings, this headphone mangling impacts on your choice of mic position. It's not quality or anything really obvious, but if you put the mics where it sounds good in headphones, it's less good in speakers. Oddly, with modern music, especially music that is made from non-real instruments, it often sounds better, because there is no realism to mangle. So club/dance music producers rarely have issues with headphone mixing. For real music, especially music recorded in big spaces, it can sound just wrong.

We argue and worry about X/Y, M/S, A/B, ORTF, Blumlein and other clever mic techniques, all using combinations of space and angles, levels, distance and time to produce an accurate and appropriate stereo image, for loudspeakers. If you use headphones, it messes with it, so your result that sounds nice on headphones won't be as good or accurate on speakers. This is why acoustic recording is sooooooo different and hard to do properly than other types of recording, especially odd when you mainly only have two mics!
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 01:04 PM   #133
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Headphones work fine for many things but where they fall down is in the stereo field area. In the studio, we use two speakers, like most people listen on at home, and both ears hear both speakers. The left speaker gets heard by both ears, but your right ear hears it slightly quieter and slightly after your left. Your brain does a bit of maths and with your eyes closed, you can point at the speaker. Let's assume you have a single microphone, and with the pan knob, you move it left to right. Your ears let you follow it. On headphones, it sort of moves from left to right THROUGH your head, not in front of it. Your brain, unused to this, rejects it as weird and shunts it forwards a bit. You've lost the accuracy, and it can make some people feel a bit queasy.

Once you are fiddling with stereo recordings, this headphone mangling impacts on your choice of mic position. It's not quality or anything really obvious, but if you put the mics where it sounds good in headphones, it's less good in speakers. Oddly, with modern music, especially music that is made from non-real instruments, it often sounds better, because there is no realism to mangle. So club/dance music producers rarely have issues with headphone mixing. For real music, especially music recorded in big spaces, it can sound just wrong.

We argue and worry about X/Y, M/S, A/B, ORTF, Blumlein and other clever mic techniques, all using combinations of space and angles, levels, distance and time to produce an accurate and appropriate stereo image, for loudspeakers. If you use headphones, it messes with it, so your result that sounds nice on headphones won't be as good or accurate on speakers. This is why acoustic recording is sooooooo different and hard to do properly than other types of recording, especially odd when you mainly only have two mics!
That makes a lot of sense, Paul, thank you! That also explains why the audio engineer brought a speaker with him, rather than headphones. Thanks for taking the time to share this and helping me to understand!

I'll definitely buy some speakers at some point in the near future! Thanks again Paul!

The new film is also uploaded at the top of my previous post! :)
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 01:57 PM   #134
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

Craig,

That is a beautiful piece of work! Regardless of experience level or gear limitations it can stand on its own as a portfolio piece for just about any videographer. You should be quite proud of it.

As a demo for the choir it fully hits its mark. No criticism at all.

The audio mix is outstanding. The occasional pauses in voice allowed him to use the reverberance to his advantage in the mix as it trails through the pause.

As a demo for the conductor it falls a little short because of the lack of a tight shot to emphasize her conducting. I only say that because you told me she was a high priority. Again, if I was a potential client and you showed it to me as a choir sample I would have no criticism at all.

Craig, when I set up multi-cam shoots I think in terms of "insurance and art". The insurance shots are first priority. That means I have everything covered in a way that positively WILL work no matter what. The go pro and possibly the slider would fall under art. The art shots are my bonus material I may be taking high risk with. If I nail them great, they add super things to the production value. If I blow them there is no great loss because they are backed up. That is just how I think and work on a set up. Not to beat a dead horse but the GoPro was high risk. You were counting on a camera to get that shot, not your skill. If it worked you got a "hero" shot (pun intended). If it would have been backed up you would still have your tight shot, but it wasn't. Tough lesson learned.

As a new shooter you have obviously put a lot of time and effort into learning all of the so called cinematic fad shots of today's DSLR shooter. Keep in mind fads change. When you get a chance to breath I suggest you step back and look at all of your work and make sure your skills are solid in the good old basic shots that always have and always will be the foundation of videography or cinema. For example the camera does not have to be moving at all times. I am not saying yours does. I am saying a proper mix of shot styles is as important as good audio mixing. In other words, don't overlook the obvious.

Thank you for taking us trough this project with you from start to finish. This thread has been one of the more interesting threads I have been a part of in a long time. It was great to listen to everyone's take on this. I am always trying to learn. You had a learning experience AND pulled off a great product......congratulations!

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old September 23rd, 2015, 02:05 PM   #135
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Re: Urgent Help: Advice Recording a Choir (16 Members) in a Cathedral 9 Second Echo

I've spent my life doing bits of everything - my work attention span is quite short, so I've ended up not being expert in any one field, but ok to hold my head above the water in many. In fact, most of my wisdom comes from messing it up badly once, and having decent advice on what I did wrong.

Earlier up the topic, we briefly mentioned about having some space/ambience mics, and you'd be amazed how many people see an engineer do this, and copy it, getting it badly wrong. Sometimes, the engineer goes for a dryer and closer mic placement because he has to - maybe cameras, or people dictate the perfect mic position just can't happen. If the space sounds great - like this one, then you can take some of the ambience and 'cheat' it into the soundfield - if, and only if, you really know what you are doing. I've never had success - it always sounds like a cheat and artificial. Some software gives you a phase meter - so you see the soloist central as a straight line, but when the others play they are off to one side or the other, and when they all play, the sound field can be seen as a splodge that opens and closes from the centre, as they play. Things arriving with phase errors mess this controlled 'splodge' up pretty badly - expanding to the edges, so you can see what you are hearing, and many people swear by them because they often show you what is wrong - your ears just saying it's not right. Spaced mics are huge culprits at messing things up - removing directional information with conflicting sources that just don't sit well.

It's a really interesting thing to get into. I used to do a few organ concert recordings, and finding a single place for the mics in some churches/cathedrals is almost impossible. Some of the pipes are so far away from the others that the notes appear as two separate ones, even when played together. Try aligning those! Acoustic recording is magic, really!
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