Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 18th, 2017, 12:40 PM   #31
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
...I run an output from the 722 into a digital wireless and have the receiver in the balcony feeding a sync track to each camera through a MOTU Audio Interface. The on-stage cameras are on their own! Again it's only a sync track...
I used to run an XLR cable to the balcony but getting it laid in place with covers where it crosses aisles etc is a horror show and takes forever. The digital system is clean enough for a sync track...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
This just made me smile - the sound of the event is controlled by the amount of work you have to do? Seriously?...
I'm sorry to be blunt here, but you have been told the best methods, and you are choosing the simplest and quickest solution, ignoring the sound, and accepting compromise...
I just do not understand the concept of compromise, unless the reasons are serious. Safety is one. Cost of course is another - but then the client has the call to make...
This is the real world. If a couple of XLR cables is too much work, I'm a bit sad...
How late were you up packing the van for the drive, and how stressed are you? You’ve misread Jim’s post.

I’ve quoted his plan with some bold emphasis added. He is recording an M/S pair direct to stereo on a Sound Devices 722. The radio link is only being used to provide a sync track to a distant camera.

I would not be sad about Jim’s setup! There’s certainly room for debate on best micing practices for orchestra, but the methods he is using are fully capable of the classic coincident / near-coincident technique at a high level of quality. His primary recording - Schoeps M/S array to Sound Devices 722, placed above and behind the conductor, at a sufficient height - well, I wish all my direct to stereo projects started with this gear and placement!
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.

Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; November 18th, 2017 at 06:11 PM.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2017, 01:08 PM   #32
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 956
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

Oh boy, a lively discussion! I write something up and get ready to post and someone beet me to it!
Seth - that’s how I understood it too.

Jim - Correct me if I’m wrong, but as I understand your post it appears you’re is using the Sound Devices SD 722 “High-resolution portable recorder” with the two mics cabled directly into it. The SD 722 is spec’ed out at 24-bit/192kHz for recording and does WAV, BWF, and MP3 formats. I assume the mics are the main ones being used to record the performance and not just for a safety track. Since the two mics are directly cabled to the recorder one would think the audio track would be just as good as if the recorder was back in the balcony a hundred cable-feet or more away. Is my rational correct?

Two mics, two comparatively (less than a hundred feet) short cable runs direct into the SD recorder … I’m not sure how the audio chain could be improved.

If this is correct, that’s exactly how I did it (my post #15 earlier in this thread). Had the whole rig set up the day before so just had to mount it on a tripod and aim the mic. Total on-site set-up a few minutes. Not only did the iPhone app + the WiFi control the recorder (Start, Stop, and Gain). No fuss, no muss.

Clarification Note: The Tascam DR-44WL field recorder is not a wireless recorder. Also, current Tascam street price is only $229, which is less than some wireless mics. I have a small suitcase full of cable with my favorites in another case but they weigh a ton!!! The Tascam is ohhh …. so nice! (Also lighter when having to fly somewhere)
John Nantz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2017, 11:52 AM   #33
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,682
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

First, Mic Placement: Sometimes when a venue or director get crusty about stands and mic placement you have to go outside of the mic stand box. I have the brass 1/4 20 thread adapters for all of my mic clips. That means for 2 bucks apiece I have a ton of options for placement. I can put a mic anywhere I can mount a camera. I can use low mount compact table top tripods (ie: on edge of stages), gorilla pods to wrap around bars and rails, clamps, suction cups, and all of my GoPro mounting kit. It also lets me use a lot of the stuff in my lighting grip kit to mount mics. Those adapters open up a plethora of creative options.

Second: Paul made laugh....again! Anyone who has ever laid 1,000s of feet of XLR on a single gig or rigged hundreds of feet of Socapex through truss understands where he is coming from. I think the point does apply to the small video pro that will never have enough gear to fill a van. For less than the price of a single wireless mic you can put together a very nice assortment of XLR cable that can run several mics properly. As said (very loudly), live event mics should be wired whenever possible. How and where you run the cable is a whole other story, but it is not rocket science. Lets just say it almost never goes in a straight line from point A to B. Stepping on it does not generally harm it. But we run it so bare cable does not get trampled anyway.

Front of house cable runs are immaculate. Back of stage can get downright crazy and Murphy lives everywhere. After a crew of 20 of us spent twelve hours building a show we took a much deserved meal break before the technical rehearsals began. While we were gone one of the clients had complained big time to the venue because some of the rear stage house lights were burned out. The building engineers came in and ran over a 24 channel 300' XLR mic snake repeatedly and destroyed it. You talk about SHTF! The next few hours were tense and ugly as we punted to replace that snake with what the staging company had left in the truck. The irony of it all....those house lights were NOT burned out. We had unscrewed them so they could not go on!

Kind Regards,

Steve
__________________
www.CorporateShow.com
Been at this so long I'm rounding my years of experience down...not up!
Steven Digges is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2017, 02:25 PM   #34
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Posts: 677
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
First, Mic Placement: Sometimes when a venue or director get crusty about stands and mic placement you have to go outside of the mic stand box. I have the brass 1/4 20 thread adapters for all of my mic clips. That means for 2 bucks apiece I have a ton of options for placement. I can put a mic anywhere I can mount a camera.
But that is, of course, the problem. Where you can mount a camera is typically not where you need a mic. Ok, it's hardly ever where you need a mic.

If you can't put a stand on the stage where you need it, you can try flying the mics -- cables from above. This often means running a strong small cable from side to side, then dropping a mic pair from the middle. The variations are endless, and endlessly frustrating even when you've figured it out. But you can use this method (if you can get permission) to put mics out of the visual line yet still still in place for excellent audio.

Halls were they record practically every performance (e.g. Vienna Musikverein "golden hall") can have permanently installed "ceiling grids" of mic cables. All you have to do is pick the ones in the right position for what you need, attach your mics, and off you go. But that hardly ever happens for guys like us. Just sayin'.
Bruce Watson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2017, 02:43 PM   #35
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
...While we were gone one of the clients had complained big time to the venue because some of the rear stage house lights were burned out. The building engineers came in and ran over a 24 channel 300' XLR mic snake repeatedly and destroyed it. You talk about SHTF! The next few hours were tense and ugly as we punted to replace that snake with what the staging company had left in the truck. The irony of it all....those house lights were NOT burned out. We had unscrewed them so they could not go on!
Wow! That's a client who needs a meeting planner! And, a bit more common sense.

Back when I was doing more of this work, we were fortunate in (usually) working with great meeting planners. This meant two things - clients complained to the planner, not directly to the house, and he/she could appropriately filter requests and demands. Second, the staging producer would be invited to the setup meeting with house department heads, and could proclaim "everything back of the curtain line belongs to us! We will work with you on service paths etc., but here is my cell # if you need to do *anything* else backstage!"

That's an expensive snake! Not to mention the challenges of going live without it. I've often wished that house engineers & other staff had a bit more sense too, but, they just do what they're told.
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 19th, 2017, 11:35 PM   #36
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,207
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

Now, now, now. Never said the sound is controlled by the amount of work. Remember - the long XLR that was replaced with the AT wireless was just for sync track to the cameras. All the other audio parts and pieces are happily ensconsed up front close to the action. I prefer to keep the recorder in the balcony with me, but that turned out to just be impractical when I could only get access to the venue an hour or so before the concert and everything had to be out of there within an hour or so after. Ideally I would have set up the night before but that didn't work so I had to find a way to work within the available time. So I did. Without, IMHO, compromising either video or audio quality.

To confirm Seth's understanding, yes the Schoeps are the main mics and cabled directly to the SD722, which is getting a bit old, but certainly not a shabby piece of kit. I record at 96k/24bit.The 722 has a 1/8 inch stereo output that I merge to mono and run into the AT System 10 transmitter. The two mini XLR outputs run directly to a Tascam backup recorder. Everything runs on battery power and is stuffed under the first row of seats. I have on occasion put a pair of DPA mini's inside the piano adhered to the underside of the lid, but I'm more likely to do that for solo/small ensemble.

Because of the layout of the venue, the cables have to cross aisles and then run 75 feet or so down an aisle to the back of the house, and then be gaffer taped to the walls, cross the top of a doorway, then more wall climbing and then run along the front rail of the balcony. Just not worth it for sync track IMHO. I don't have a van, but I do have an SUV and it getss pretty damned full of gear.

All the video is color balanced/corrected in Resolve, all the audio is cleaned up with Izotope RX 5.
Jim Andrada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2017, 08:39 AM   #37
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,682
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

Bruce, "anywhere I can put a camera" was a poor choice of words. I am saying I can put a mic anywhere I can use one of those alternative mounts. It works.

Seth, In those days it was not "my show". I was the video playback operator. Yes, the days of frame accurate Beta decks stacked up in front of you. After the snake was crushed the finger pointing was intense. Luckily for me I did not have a dog in that fight. I kept my head down and learned from it for future experience. Even backstage cabling should not be pure spaghetti. How can you troubleshoot if you can't track cable....

Since then I have eaten more than my fair share of free cookies as the Hospitality Managers put on the dog and pony show at pre-con meetings.

Kind Regards,
Steve
__________________
www.CorporateShow.com
Been at this so long I'm rounding my years of experience down...not up!
Steven Digges is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2017, 02:31 PM   #38
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,207
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

I'd love to be able to fly the mics, but it's a no-no since there's no over stage cabling and I'm not about to try to improvise something hanging from the chandeliers over people's heads. Having the mic stand in the aisle isn't my first best choice either because of the foot traffic but as I said I tape the stand to the floor and also to the rail in front of the seats.
Jim Andrada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2017, 02:11 PM   #39
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,124
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

Sorry Jim - I misread that, my fault totally. Just a thought. Is there actually any need for the sync feed, as the camera audio would do the same thing to align the recording with the images? \

I just had that thought in my mind of the balcony recording we were investigating earlier, and missed the new important update. Sorry again.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2017, 02:51 PM   #40
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

In large venues there is a delay for the sound reaching a camera in the back. Syncing based on the audio will make the video out of sync. This is most noticeable when filming someone speaking.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2017, 06:09 PM   #41
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,298
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

Quote:
In large venues there is a delay for the sound reaching a camera in the back.
Video travels at the speed of light, audio at roughly 1000 feet per second. So if the camcorder is 100 feet from the stage, the audio lags video by 3 frames.

The human brain understands this if the image conveys the distance to the sound source.. However, if the audio leads the video it will seem unnatural.
__________________
dpalomaki@dspalomaki.com
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2017, 06:34 PM   #42
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Video travels at the speed of light, audio at roughly 1000 feet per second. So if the camcorder is 100 feet from the stage, the audio lags video by 3 frames.

The human brain understands this if the image conveys the distance to the sound source.. However, if the audio leads the video it will seem unnatural.
It is noticeable otherwise he wouldn’t be going to the trouble of sending the audio to the rear cameras.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2017, 11:14 PM   #43
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,207
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

Yes, the lag is noticeable. Particularly when you're showing a tight close-up of a pianist's fingers on the keys. Without the perception of distance in a tight shot 3 - 4 frames is a problem. At least it's a problem for me!

And by the way, Paul, no problem I know you were well motivated. I'm too old to take anything personally.
Jim Andrada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2017, 11:21 AM   #44
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

The other problem I’ve run into occasionally is that in a noisy or reverberant environment, sometimes the post sync softward can’t resolve the two audio sources. Ouch! If your nice direct sound recording is too different from the camera sound recording there can be trouble.

I wouldn’t think that a problem in a concert hall... but it is worth bearing in mind. For our automatic sync digital magic to happen there needs to be some substantial similarity between the two recordings.

Risking bad sync can have big consequences. For long-form performances in a single take it’s not so bad to manually do a sync or two, though it is yet another skill to develop. If you have to do 10 or more it can get bad!

Another potential gotcha’: Always always all devices should be recording at a standard 48KHz sample rate. If you have an audio recorder capable of 96KHz such as Jim’s that works too. Some cameras and many recorders allow 44.1 or even 32KHz sample rates - using them (even for reference tracks) can greatly complicate post-sync, depending on the software.
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2017, 05:33 PM   #45
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,124
Re: Recomended Mic Placement for Orchestra Recording

The point I made badly is that if you have to sync the camera to the real audio, then even if you feed a cable, you still have to slip the video against the record sound, so the room sound gets you to roughly the right place, and then moving them into sync has to be done whatever, so the few frames is surely irrelevant? I don't use any clever software to sync my theatre stuff, ever. There are always visual clues. The delay from the house PA to the audiences ears is so short in a theatre, up to the balcony that it can be ignored. In a stadium it's significant, but a recording that far away would sound terrible anyway.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:54 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network