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Thread: Simple kit for documeting live gigs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    25

    Default Simple kit for documeting live gigs

    Hi guys - as some of you know I live in a remote paradise called New Zealand - where it can a little bit of a chore to demo mics - so I value any and all suggestions.

    I need to document a series of live acoustic and PA driven worship events up and down the country and to keep travel light I was hoping to get away with the taper's approach of a feed from the FOH board (when there is one) and a stereo mic.

    I have previously owned an Avantone CK-40 and I liked the single gun theory and the Blumlien technique - for better or for worse you get what it sounds like in the room.

    This leads me to looking closely at the Peluso P-Stereo (derived from the Neumann SM-69). It purportedly has a little more of the magic I felt the Avantone did not quite have. (What a subjective 'lookin for a fight' remark that is eh?)

    An alternative to the Peluso is a pair of multipatterns (such as the Black Hole - waiting for some samples and a couple of reviews)

    My other line of thinking is a pair of BLUE OmniMouse mics - a copy of the Nuemann TLM 50 - but with transformers (it's the same circiut as the original Mouse mic). I have heard a lot of Decca Tree recordings over the years and always marveled at the rich bottem end the B4 / 50 style capsule gets you at a distance.

    I am looking for a pair of mics that create a musical experience, not a literal documentation, more a painting than a photograph.

    My experience so far is that a single point stereo mic should work in almost any situation, but I'm tempted by the idea of the spaciousness and rich lows one can get from the M50.

    I don't have any hands on experience with the OmniMouse to know if it's too dependant on the recording space or if it's kinda hit/miss with small ensembles.

    I would have to pull some pretty good favours to trial a pair of the Omnis - and I don't want to go off half informed

    I know a Decca Tree uses 3 mics, but I hear good reports of just using 2 omnis as a spaced pair.

    Thanks in advance for wrapping your thinking gear around these 2 divergent approaches.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Lexington, VA
    Posts
    27

    Default

    I use the spaced omni technique to record in a concert hall. The mics are mounted on a pole from a catwalk above the front lip of the stage. They are approximately 7 feet above and 2 feet behind the head of the conductor. The mics are spaced about 17cm apart. I have been very happy with this setup for over 2 years, having recorded a wide variety of sources almost exclusively with only these two mics.

    Here's something that you can experiment with: order two of the Behringer ECM8000 omni's and experimenting with placement. They are really inexpensive and have a similar response to much more expensive mics. Try out the spaced omni's (you may also need to purchase a stereo bar) in various locations closer and further away from the source. I think you'll be impressed with the depth and richness of the recordings with this setup.

    I use a pair of DPA 4006 in the concert hall. I'd love to try them against the Behringers just to hear the difference.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    West coast, USA
    Posts
    277

    Default

    When I can't check out the acoustics in advance, I tend toward ORTF. With spaced omni's, you need to work the placement more carefully. With Blumlein, there's the struggle with back wall reflections and out of phase stuff on the sides.

    When you get it right, the spaced pair sounds really good.

    W

  4. #4
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    Dec 2008
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    Thanks guys - that's really got me thinking - of course it would be nice to have both (then I can pick the best, post-event).

    I love the suggestion of the cheaper omni's - I think that's a good move -

    Both of your suggestions get me thinking there is a safer starting point in getting multi capsule SD mics to begin (back to my roots). They would be more versatile and use lighter stands, traveling lighter.

    I can do four of them for a lot less than a Peluso P-Stereo and a pair of BLUE's. Ah sweet reality

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Lexington, VA
    Posts
    27

    Icon2 Core Sound TetraMic

    I ordered a Jecklin disc to experiment with today from Core Sound. I'm excited to see what kind of differences there are between spaced omni's vs the Jecklin disc. Before I ordered, Len Moskowitz of Core Sound told me about their TetraMic.

    When I first read about the TetraMic in PAR a few years ago, I just assumed it was some kind of surround mic that used technology similar to a soundfield mic. What I didn't understand is that the TetraMic is all that and a bag of chips!

    According to Len (and their website), the TetraMic can generate every known pickup configuration. The other exciting thing about this is that you can choose and dynamically change your output format during or after the recording by using a VST decoder plugin which is included with the purchase of the mic.

    I may have not explained this very well. Check out their website to get it right:
    http://www.core-sound.com/TetraMic/1.php

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Lexington, VA
    Posts
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    I want to recommend the AEA Stereo Protractor. This 6" Mini Stereo Mounting Bar is by far the best deal in their product catalog at $20!

    http://www.wesdooley.com/aea/Microph...sitioners.html

    Other folks have other opinions:
    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/remot...tereo-bar.html

    Finally, if you haven't read the book called The New Stereo Soundscope, I highly recommend it. This book is for sale at the AEA site:
    http://www.wesdooley.com/aea/The_New...Soundbook.html

    _________________________________
    No, I'm not affiliated with anyone listed in my posts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    25

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    Thanks GSBE - of course that just opens a huge can of worms for me

    And it takes me right back to the OmniMouse as a Decca Tree.

    I found a great link:

    http://schoeps.de/showroom/

    that lets you hear different recording techniques on the same source and I am still happy with spaced pairs after hearing some really good co-incident techniques.

    But yes - the acoustic space is the determining factor in a good spaced pair recording

    Back to the original spec:

    A four channel setup that I can fly with - so probably an R44 recorder and 4 mics, 4 lightweight stands and cables. Right now I am leaning towards 4 multi capsule SD mics such as Shure KSM141 or Blue Bottle Rockets.

    The Bottles are CONSIDERABLY more expensive but give me a very versatile kit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Lexington, VA
    Posts
    27

    Icon14 ok, I guess I'll suggest some other schtuff then!

    Have you considered the Sound Devices 744T? I use a 702 a few times a month to record concerts remotely and have been very impressed with it. The thing is built like a tank, functions effortlessly, has amazing battery life and dumps simply via firewire. Their equipment is tres pricey but represents the best non-computer-based solution that I've found to the portable recording problem available today.

    http://www.sounddevices.com/products/744t.htm

    Choosing mics is much more complicated than picking the recorder. For stereo mics, I can recommend the SF series from Royer and the Neumann USM 69. Mojave Audio was showing a stereo version of their MA200 at the NAMM show which is likely to be less expensive than either of the first two I mentioned but it will not create recordings as transparent as the first two, either.

    Another solution I can personally recommend is the DPA 3521 stereo kit. I have been using this kit, generally in ORTF, along with the Sound Devices 702 to record live performances for two years and continue to be pleased with the results. The venue's acoustics and noise floor are generally much more of a problem than the recording setup!

    The 3521 kit comes with two of DPA's 4021 cardiod condenser mics. It's called a kit because of all the cool stuff that comes with it:
    • the supercool Compact XY/ORTF Stereo Holder
    • Suspension Mount
    • Shock Mounts
    • 2 Magnetic Bases for easy mounting to pianos that work with 2 Gooseneck Mounts

    If you want 2 more mics, perhaps a stereo kit of DPA 4006 omnis would be a good idea. The DPA 3506 stereo kit comes with a windscreens, nose cones and casing balls for slight alterations of the frequency response and pickup patterns, a nice stereo bar and other options.
    Last edited by gsbe; 01-30-2009 at 07:43 AM.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2008
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    25

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    Oh yes, I have considered the Sound Devices 4ch and 8ch - but since you more than double the price on everything in New Zealand it becomes as wistfull as a Telefunken USA Ela M 270 (my personal fixation) or the Brauner VM1S Stereo.

    Oade Brothers do an upgrade on the Edirol R44 that cleans it up nice.

    For the price of the B+K or Scheops or Sennheiser SD systems I can actually afford a lot more of the BLUE bottle caps and a set of Stage 1 Bottle Rocket bodies.

    That way I can have M-50 style capsules, a couple of SD or MD or even LD pressure omni.

    My only reticence is that the capsules sound great, but they sound SOOOO much better on the Big Bottle body than the Red Type B / Stage 1 body.

    I have gone on record before to say that you have to spend $1k or more on a BLUE mic to really hear the magic. From the Mouse upwards they stand out against all but the serious mics.

    While I'm peeing in the wind off a cliff, I will say the same of Neumann and Sennheiser too. Except with them you start at $2k and on.

    The cheaper bottle mics lacked that liquid character and refined personality that the Cactus, Kiwi and Bottle show.

    BUT, they are still excellent quality and at this point the most versatile solution that lets me play well beyond the fence of SD omni, cardiod, hypercardiod.

    I need to remind myself I want to have some fun.

    Last time I purchased 7 mics in one hit, I made a sensible and safe selection of affordable mics. I even had a stereo LD mic ZZZZZZZ.

    That made it all too easy to sell them when work was slow.

    Same thing happened with my Audio Technicas - great mics, but a bit in the Toyota Camry division.

    Got to save up for something with a bit more personality.

    So lets say I have decided to go with 4 BLUE Bottle Rocket Stage 1 mics with 2 M50 style capsules, 2 Figure 8 and you get a free LD cardioid with every body. (the capsule from the Bluebird, very clean and clear).

    Next question is what to plug them into. Laptop rig or dedicated hardware device.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
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    Think Alan Lomax with a round the world airfare.

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