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Old February 8th, 2006, 05:46 PM   #1
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Ambient mics for a small room concert?

I'm doing a video and audio recording Saturday night in a small room (store front) 14' wide by about 50' deep. I'll be miking one or two singers and one or two guitarists , and recording them multi track through my motu taraveler to Nuendo.
I want to also get an ambient stereo mix a few feet in front of the stage(or farther back if I can), and need to get a couple of mics ( for this gig and future). The only additional mic that I won't already be using is my Oktava 012 with all three capsules. I really don't want to spend a lot of money on addl mics.
Here are some thoughts I had, and I'd appreciate any other ideas.
1-An engineer friend uses a couple of inexpensive Marshalls (2003's I think).He does some large venues and says he gets a good stereo ambient mix to compliment all the clos mic'd tracks.
2-Are the Oktavas usefull for this purpose ( I could get another)? Or should I stick with a couple of large diaphragm condensors?
3-What about the stereo mic from my XL2? I've got it packed away since I use an at897 on my camera. It seemed to have pretty good sound, but I never really ab'd it with anything else.
Ideas?
Thanks
Bruce Yarock
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Old February 9th, 2006, 07:20 AM   #2
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Rather than large diaphram condensers for your stereo mics, how about a pair of cardioid or hypercardioid small diaphram mics - say rent a pair of AT 3031 or a 2nd Octava to go with the one you own - in an X/Y coincident or an ORTF near-coicident array? That arrangement should give you an excellent stereo field in which to place you main instruments and vocals. Be alert to phasing issues though, as the your separately mic'ed vocals and instruments will also be picked up by your stereo pair with a signifigant delay from when their main mic's hear them.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 07:35 AM   #3
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"Be alert to phasing issues though, as the your separately mic'ed vocals and instruments will also be picked up by your stereo pair with a signifigant delay from when their main mic's hear them."

Steve,
The cheapest way out for me would be getting another Oktava.This gig is in a real small space. Would I really have "phasing issues"?
Thanks
Bruce Yarock
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Old February 9th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #4
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Even though the distances involved are small, if you have both signals up strongly in the mix, you can get significant phasing issues even though it's not a significant delay. For music and singing it doesn't take much time difference to be noticeable. You could shift your ambient tracks by a very small increment in post-production if needed.
The character of the room and where you can place the mics will be important in determining which mic sounds best in this role. If you can test it beforehand, take your Oktava, your friend's Marshalls and any other small diaphragm condenser you have access to and test record them in that venue. You really have to listen later on your editing system to know for sure what's working best.
It wouldn't hurt to have a second Oktava, the AT3031's have already been mentioned. Renting a pair of Earthworks mics would also work well in this situation. About the least expensive non-Chinese mics I would recommend for this would be a pair of ATM31a cardioids at $130 each. There are plenty of Asian made mics available for a lower cost but it's always hard to know for sure how they will perform, especially in a pair.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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One avantage of the ATs in this application is that their quality control is tight enough that any two random mics will be pretty well matched to each other. With Octava and other inexpensive mic's that might not be the case and the members of a stereo pair should be hand matched to each other either at the factory or by the importer.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #6
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Thanks, Steve and Jay. I was going to pick up a second oktava, but found a good deal on a pair of at 3031's. I paid for sat. am delivery, and hope they get here in time for the gig tonight.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #7
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I got my mics and will use them tonight. I spoke to my friend who engineers some large venue multitrack recordings (the guy that uses the marshalls for stereo of the band), and he told me I shouldn't have bought the at's. He said that they were good for getting audence ambience, but not for the band.Said that for the band, you need something with bottom, and that's why he uses those Marshalls.
There's a return period on the at's, but I'd like to get you guys feedback on what he said. Of course I'll be testing them tonight, but don't have anything to ab them against.
Thanks again
Bruce Yarock
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