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    #21
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    You can get a really nice recording with a couple of SM57 mics on a tall stand, if the room sounds nice. We shouldn't get too excited about gear if the room is a bit iffy. Two SM57s can thrash a Decca Tree with STC vintage mics if the acoustics are wrong.


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    #22
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    Thanks again everyone. To answer previous questions so far they have not placed great requirements on audio quality.

    I did get some more kind advice I will share here:
    The 822 for your main pair - it may not sound "great" but it will establish the stereo image. It is a quasi-XY mic, with a tiny bit of distance between the capsules. I would set the musicians up how they normally rehearse & perform, so they are comfortable playing together and can hear each other. This usually means violin on the left, piano in the middle, and cello on the right. They may have some flexibility in terms of moving the string players a little more downstage from the piano - but not much - a couple of feet perhaps, before they start to feel that they can't hear as well.

    I would start with the 822 on a boom stand, maybe 6 ft. back from the group, pointed at the center of the group, and maybe head height for the performers (~5 ft off the deck). Listen to it and consider adjusting the position based on how it sounds. Higher will likely mean a brighter sound.

    Then, I'd probably use the 4053B for a piano spot mic - find the place where the piano is fairly well balanced, but close to the instrument. If you have to favor the higher strings, do that - the lower strings will carry better into the room anyway.

    I would use the MXL890 as the cello spot mic. I'd set it up on a short stand, directly in front of the cello, maybe 18" back. Find the spot where the sound of the instrument is focused.

    For the violin spot, I would use the Tascam. Here, you'll need to be careful not to have it be too bright a sound. You might even mic from behind the player, and having the mic face towards the violinist but away from the piano.

    Record all these on separate tracks then mix by bringing in the spot mics just enough to hear the "presence" of the instrument, but not so much that you lose the overall perspective. Pan them to match where the image of that instrument is in the main pair. Delay them to match the main pair.

    I generally do a "clap sync" at the start of each take, so that the mics can be aligned, and the sound track can be aligned with the video. Be sure to record audio on the cameras if that option is offered, using their internal mics, or camera mounted mics. You won't use that audio for anything but sync.

    If the room or hall is "dead" you may need to add a touch of reverb to the main pair.


    Also mentioned earlier was a suggestion to attempt to seperate the musicians as much as they are still comfortable in order to help reduce the other instruments bleeding as much on the spot mics. Is the generous consensus yes on that idea? It seems like a good idea to me, unless it introduces more phasing/delay or something I am not aware of.
    I am also listening to learn for any proper mic suggestions for things like this. SM57?


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    #23
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    Yep, I'd happily live with that. With these things the biggest problem is always balance. The three instruments blending. Pianos are so variable. In my region we have one popular piano hirer. I'm familiar with all the grands they have. One Yamaha is always quiet. One is always very bright and difficult to blend and the other is easy. Pianists of all levels try to make the quite one louder, and the better players fight to keep the beast under control. The string players play their own instrument and know them so well.

    The snag for the recordist is to get this balance sorted. It means for me Shure 215 in ears with mounds (the ones I use on stage, to be honest) or Beyer DT100s. Neither of these are wonderfully accurate, but they let me hear what balance I really have. I can sort the eq later, I can't fix a poor balance.


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    #24
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    Thanks again Paul

    Are these what you are talking about? Shure 215 https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ar_Stereo.html
    What are mounds?
    I have a couple sets of Sennheiser 280 Pro. Are those good enough?


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    #25
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    Mounds was a typos, it was moulds. I've got proper ones for my ears and these blot out pretty much everything, but the foam ones they come with are actually pretty good. You squidge them up pop them in and then the foam expands to seal, and it does ok. Those sennheisers are actually good to as long as you don't have big ears, like me, when I have to tuck my ear lobes inside and they hurt after a while. Smaller ears work fine, and as you have them already, you can decide if the sound reduction is sufficient. Just pull the plug out and see how quiet it gets. All the headphones that sit ON your ears are no good, and worse, if you turn them up the sound leaks out too! Walking near your distance mics with leaky headphones can be painful if they feed back while they're on!


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    #26
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    I love my Shure SE215s especially when doing one-man-band ENG work because they don't get in the way when pressing my head up against the camera while using the viewfinder. I'm satisfied with the standard foam sleeves, although they do need to be replaced every few weeks (spares are cheap and easy to come by). They also take up a lot less space in my go bag than standard headphones. But I also have the Sennheiser HD280 Pros, which are my choice for more critical monitoring (they have a better low end than the Shures). I must be blessed with smaller ears than Paul (even though my grandfather always used to joke about their size when I was a kid), and have no problem wearing the Sennys for hours.


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    #27
    Sound Ninja Noiz2's Avatar
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    I missed this thread... I used to do a small chamber group a lot. Classical musicians will naturally balance them selves and in a live space you are not going to get much in the way of isolation. So I would go with a stereo pair and not use any instrument mics. The bleed will phase all over the place and quite likely make for a muddy recording if you use them. My prefered set up is not something that is at all standard. What I did was place the stereo pair quite far apart, basically a bit wider than the group and as high as my stands allowed. They were a pair of cardioid condensers and I aimed them at the sound source that was most centered. So if the cello is centered then I would aim at the sound holes, at that distance it's not a tight target.

    I have other posts on the exact why's of this arrangement but the short version is that most stereo setups are designed for the best mono compatibility. Unless this is destined for AM radio nobody is going to listen in mono. Traditional set ups tend to create a very narrow feel, the wider setup really opens up the sound. It's maybe too wide on headphones for some, I like it but YMMV, but it really helps on most small consumer playback systems. These recordings were sent along with grant proposals as work samples and so we knew that most of the time they would be played on computers or boom boxes, etc. This started for practical reasons but we got such positive responses about the recordings that it became the way we always did it. You don't get a lot of push back when people are sending you checks with a note about how much they liked the recording.

    Anyway it might be worth thinking about.
    Cheers
    SK


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    #28
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    Did you miss the bit at the start where we were talking about his venue - its not got very good acoustics at all for a stereo recording - that's where all the spot mics came from. Long, thin with a strange domed ceiling.


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    #29
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    image.jpg
    here is a better pic showing it empty which is more like it will be


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    #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noiz2 View Post
    I used to do a small chamber group a lot.
    Noiz2; do you have anything on the net discussing the recordings? (gear used, mic placements etc )


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