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Old March 26th, 2007, 09:32 AM   #1
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double duty-stereo miking and also ambiance / interview?

Maybe you guys (/gals) can help with a suggestion (and I have read the posts) ..

I would like to pick up a matched pair of cardiods/hypers for stereo miking of show performances locally..mostly school stuff, so the music is typically recorded, but I may do some school band shows and also in some cases all mikes are not run through the sound board, and then there are the talent voices, sometimes mike'd sometimes not. (I will record from the sound board but don't want to necessarily get into that on this thread, and would like to be able to do stereo miking)

However, I would also like to have a hyper or cardiod for indoor use for two situations:
- on camera for ambiance, or also for
- interview type situations, e.g. a voice speaker where I'd either user a mic stand to pick up one or several speakers (or perhaps boomed)

My question is for these types of applications, can I get away with buying a pair of mikes for stereo and then use one of them for the other two situations, or do the requirements for ambiance and the interview type situation dictacte a different choice? Also, need to consider weight of the mike for on camera (canon A1).

I was looking at either the NT3 or AT3031. I see that the studio projects has a nice small pair of C4 and I'm not against them (or maybe there's a good shure that would work).

I could maybe push the $ to an AT4051A/4053A for on camera / interview / ambiance, if I spent less on a matched pair, and the AT's were head & shoulders above my other choices.

And, if I go with a NT3, I am a little concered about the weight if I used it on camera.

Don't have a fixed budget in mind, but you can see from the above roughly where I am.

Camera and my recorder have +48v phantom, so am ok there.

I'd certainly appreciate any suggestions on this..thanks......
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Old March 26th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #2
 
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Dave,
Cardioids/hypers aren't much good for distance stereo; omnis are best suited for this use. If you're doing separated A/B, coincident, or ORTF, you'll not want directional mics for robust sound.
This is one of those tough calls where budget makes it rough to get what you want and what you need.
One lower-cost way of getting a mixed setup is the AT 4053 with the 4049 omni head along side it. This way you can quickly switch from hyper to omni for stereo to interview.
A pair of 3031's are great for close-in recording if cost is your primary concern.
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Last edited by Douglas Spotted Eagle; March 26th, 2007 at 10:18 AM. Reason: fixed error
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Old March 26th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #3
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I think I would get a pair of AT3031's first, along with good shockmounts and some additional wind protection. They will make a better stereo pair than the NT3 and will suffice for your other uses even though the pattern is a little wide. Then keep looking for a bargain on an NT3, they've gone up in price considerably since I bought mine.
If you have sensitive mic preamps, the AT3031's have strong output but also have a built-in pad. The NT3 has moderate output, unlikely to need attenuation but if your camera preamps aren't good it will work better with a mixer when used at a distance.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #4
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Douglas, is there a typo in your line about XY and ORTF techniques not using directional mics? I know you can do ORTF with omni's and use phase info only, although the original intent was to use cardioids for intensity info too, but XY has to be done with directional mics.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 10:17 AM   #5
 
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Thanks for the catch. Dunno if it was a typo, or me just riffing stereo patterns off the top of my head. <blush> Haven't had my mornin' coffee?
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Old March 27th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #6
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thanks gentlemen... so I downloaded the shoeps stereo recording cheat sheet, and as best I can tell, it recommends cardiod for X/Y, M/S, and ORTF, and omni for the A/B and jecklin (which I don't forsee doing, would stick I think to X/Y and ORTF and see if I can get those right).

I don't think I could spend for 2 AT4053s although it would be nice to have the capsules, but would cost $1k, more than I want to spend on the mikes right now (could go for 1 maybe if it helped me but not sure it does?).

so, that leaves me with either:
- a pair of AT3031's and an NT3 (would that as a hyper make for a better interview mike than just using one of the 3031s? why else is is better?)
- maybe a pair of studio projects C4, which come with cardiod and omni capsules, which would help me with the stereo miking, but not sure on the interview situation, and also would need to read up to see if anyone likes them at all

any other suggestions? I have the PSC 3 channel mixer, while not as nice as the SD mixers, seemed to be an ok lower cost option, so I think I am ok on preamps and also have a few inline pads I could use...

in terms of closeness / distance, mikes would be up front in the auditorium (not on stage but on a stand level with the audience seats).

thanks again...
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Old March 27th, 2007, 11:27 PM   #7
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I've had good results in ORTF with a pair of Oktava MC-012 (aka MK-012). Your typical small diaphram condensor with interchangeable capsules.

The cardoid cap is really more of a sub-cardoid (not quite as directional). There is also a hypercardoid cap available. Many people don't like them for video use because they are very susceptible to handling noise and wind. I've used them for music recording indoors on a stand with shock mounts... so, those weren't issues.

There used to be a sticky at the top of this forum regarding telling the difference between the more desireable russian Oktavas and the lesser chinese versions... moderators? Guitar Center was rumored to be selling the chinese version.

Some web searching will turn up the info, if you're interested.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 04:24 AM   #8
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I was going to suggest exactly the same as Seth. I have a pair of the Oktavas - they sound very natural and came with three capsules (Cardioid, Omni & Hyper C) making them extremely flexible. I've used them for school stage shows as well as in the recording studio on many different instruments and voices (with a pop shield).

I haven't yet tried them on camera as I haven't felt the need and like Seth says, there may be concerns about handling and sensitivity over a distance - you may want to read up on that. But they are very light and compact pencil mics.

If you can still get hold of them they're definitely worth checking out.

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Old March 28th, 2007, 07:17 AM   #9
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Seth, Colin, thank you.

two questions (for everyone):

- do these mikes sound 'nice' with voices? Most of the reviews and writeups I can find discuss their use miking instruments and how they sound with various instruments (overhead miking of drums, piano, etc.). I don't offhand know the typical frequency range of voice vs. the instruments, but most are rated 20-40hz - 20khz. Do these types of mike, in general, give a nice sound to voice recordings? Voices would be either talent in the shows, or again, only voice, mostly in an interview type of situation (rather than voice over).

- will mikes like these (oktava, AT, or even the studio projects), with a decent pre-amp, be usable when the voice source is say 2'-3' (maybe 4' - pushing it?) vs. with talent up close to the mike?

There's a 'presentation'/discussion (like a reading, I suppose) I have to tape mid-april where I can't mike the speakers (probably 6-8 people, all speaking individually, in chairs in a single line or semi-circle). If I place one (or both, however I don't want stereo necessarily) mikes on a stand centered to the speakers, might it (they) do a decent job at the voice? There may be a mike there at the venue that I might be able to take a feed from, or I may have to clip my mike(s) to the same stand if I can't get a feed - won't know untill I get there so I'd like to be prepared. The setting is rather informal, so I am not as concerned in this situation with how the mikes will look on camera as I am with getting a decent audio recording (doesn't have to be stellar, but not garbage either).

Thanks again for the time and help on this, it's greatly appreciated.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 08:08 AM   #10
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I have an Oktava from the Sound Room with the cardioid and hypercardioid heads. It is a very good sounding mic that is prone to the problems with handling and air movement noises that have been mentioned. It's also not as high output as my AT3031's and it's not as quiet in self-noise either, which can make it more difficult to use at a distance.
If you buy a tested pair from a trusted source, with multiple capsules, that will certainly add up in cost although it would be less than the AT 40 series. The other factor is their very small size. They are small enough that when adding wind protection and a shockmount, generic models may be too large to fit on this small, short mic. It does sound rich and full-bodied though.
All of the mics discussed in detail here sound good with voices, although I have no experience with the Studio Projects mics.
They can be used at a distance and still sound good, but as you move further away all the other factors (ambient noise, room acoustics, preamp quality, proper level setting) become much more important. The 3031, 4053 and NT3 all have very low self-noise. If used in the right environment with the right support equipment, these mics will give you good sound in the situations you've described.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 11:36 AM   #11
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My opinions:

Technique-
M/S Pair (Mid Side) sounds like it might be the best fit for the applications you are describing. You want more directionality and you want a cardoid for flexibility. Also, if you are shooting the video then you might not have the time to worry about proper phasing and stereo imaging with a spaced pair.

Microphones-
In a perfect world I would go with AKG C414's (ULS) because they are a great all around microphone to have and multi-pattern, adjustable rolloff, and adjustable pad make it very flexible. They are a little more expensive but you can always look at craigslist or ebay. I've got the Octava's and they are good. I agree with the previous poster's reservations. I have a Studio Projects C1 and I like it as far as "budget gear" goes.

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Old March 30th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #12
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well, thanks guys!

so far, the NT3 is ordered since I need that first ($179 from B&H, free shipping) as well as a pair of MDR 7506's, and I'm really looking foward to it.

next will be 'pair' of mikes ... at this point I am leaning towards the AT3031s, which would give me a little flexibility to use them as a pair, or just one if I need. I'd love the 4051 or 4053 where I could swap the capsules, but the base price of the mike is more than I want to spend right now for two.

The oktava's might be more sensitive than I am looking for (not to mention trying to figure out the russian vs. chineese version), and I do have some studio project B1 which have not given me any trouble but I did see a few reviews of some quality issues with the C4's (maybe they are past that now..).

I'm not sure if I need shockmounts for the 30301s for indoor use for something calm like a school performance.. any suggestions would be appreciated (not to mention that it would make setting up the ORTF harder?).

anyway, thanks again!!
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