NEED help understanding mic types: high directivity planar, high directivity planar 3d, cardiod...Hey Guys, I'm trying to really understand the generic mics, especially for strings and choir. I've mixed and matched the mic settings from hyper cardiod to high directivity etc. My MAIN question is everyone says USE the cardiod ones, but the high directivity 3d seems to provide MUCH clearer definition through the reverb that other mics can't provide, however is that NOT a natural sound? The reason I ask is because ALL the other mics besides the high directivity ones seem MUCH more drenched in reverb. When would one use high directivity mics and when not? Because IMHO they seem to provide a lot of clarity the other mics don't, however I also want a very realistic approach to this. So all help is appreciated!!
Always use your ears. The people listening will never know whether you used a hypercardioid vs high directivity microphone profile. Words and labels become meaningless in a world where tiny micro-sample fragments are getting glued together to create music, so the sound you hear is only as "natural" sounding as you think it is. There are plenty of occasions where you do something the "natural" way and then realize, no, that doesn't sound right, doing things in a way that looks less natural on paper yields a more realistic and well-sounding result.
That being said, I have no reliable answer regarding which microphone should be the best one for your strings or choir. Keep in mind, in real life, bodies do swallow a bit of sound, so players toward the back should have a bit less definition by nature (for example a choir behind an orchestra) but in real life a sound engineer may very well put microphones in front of the choir to get some of that definition back anyway, so again, just worry about the sound you're going for!
Beside mixing music with samples I'm also doing recordings with real orchestras. This means that I also read a lot of literature about this theme.
There are as much answers to the the question which microphones as we have mixers or recording engineers. And even if we had a final answer it would be followed by the next question: Which microphon is the right one. I can't imagine that all the thousends of IRs are recorded with all the microphones types in the mean time. So I assume that we get a microphone-simulationwith MIR.
So as mentioned above by Casiquire, Use your ears and don't see the cardiod as cardiod. If it sounds good then it's OK even if nobody would use it in reality.
I like the "Blümlein-Microphon-Procedure". Could be that this is to your taste as well. Nevertheless: I wouldn't use the Blümlein for recording a classical orchestra - more for a small ensemble which can sit around the mics.
You also could change the wet/dry ratio a bit more to dry. This would reduce your "drenched" situation as well.
All the best
- Tips & Tricks while using Samples of VSL.. see at: https://www.beat-kaufmann.com/vitutorials/ - Tutorial "Mixing an Orchestra": https://www.beat-kaufmann.com/mixing-an-orchestra/
I appreciate all the answers and insight, thanks guys! I guess part of my problem also is a lot of times I'm mixing with my Grado headphones which sound superb but maybe I'll be able to tell what I like more if I buy some speakers and give the audio a little distance from my ears. Anyways thanks again everyone!
sorry for the late reply, I've been out of town for a few days.
Florian pointed out already that the Directivity Profiles for the MIR Icon have little to do with microphones. I would rather describe them as the dispersion patterns of different signal sources. (BTW - the link to MIR Pro's Preliminary Manual is the proper one now 😉 ...).
If a signal is emanated evenly into all directions the source can be regarded to be a monopole, i.e. an omni-directional source. If the signal is directed into on single direction only, we call it a high-directivity source. If the signal is directed into one direction mainly, but also a bit to the sides and the Z-axis, we can look at it as a cardioid-shaped signal source. ... and so on. (BTW: The High Directivity 3D-profile combines the emanation of the signal to the front with some additional portions sent to the ceiling.)
In reality, the dispersion patterns of an instrument is of course much more complex than that. I've supplied a bit of background information on this topic in the addendum to MIR Pro's Manual, called "Think MIR!" (... you can get it from here). On p. 13 ff. you'll find some examples for the very specific frequency profiles which different instruments will exhibit when measured from different angles.
... this is what MIR Pro is able to supply for Vienna Instruments only, becase only in these cases we know _exactly_ how an instrument has been recorded, and consequently how the measured directivity data has to be applied. For all other sources, the General Purpose Profiles should be used, to avoid unwanted side-effects.
@hzambrana said:[...] My MAIN question is everyone says USE the cardiod ones, but the high directivity 3d seems to provide MUCH clearer definition through the reverb that other mics can't provide, however is that NOT a natural sound? The reason I ask is because ALL the other mics besides the high directivity ones seem MUCH more drenched in reverb. When would one use high directivity mics and when not? Because IMHO they seem to provide a lot of clarity the other mics don't, however I also want a very realistic approach to this. So all help is appreciated!!
There are two possibilities: Either you simply want to lower the Wet-signal amount (which is what I always do for less "natural"-sounding mixes in the pop/rock/jazz-domain), or you want to hear less low-frequency content picked up by MIR's virtual Main Microphone for "more clarity". In the latter case, I would use a broad Low Shelf EQ in MIR's Room EQ, e.g. -6 dB @ 300 Hz with a Q of 0.2 and see if this helps. - Personally I think that would you lose a bit of MIR Pro's "magic" when using only High Directivity Profiles.
/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
I like the "Blümlein-Microphon-Procedure". Could be that this is to your tase as well. Nevertheless: I wouldn't use the Blümlein for recording a classical orchestra - more for a small ensemble which can sit around the mics.
although it sounds strange for us German-speaking people, the man was indeed called Alan Blumlein (without the Umlaut-ü 😉 ...)
And variants of his ingenious setup of two crossed-figure-8 microphones are used for large orchestral recordings all over the world, especially when working with spot microphones (... which MIR does by definitions). - The BP-Triple is a nice example of a modern implementation of the Blumlein setup uses a third fig-8 mic in the center, aimed directly at the signal source, mixed in considerably lower than the L/Rs. You can do this within MIR Pro, too. 😊
BTW - personally I wouldn't position an ensemble _around_ a plain Blumlein setup (neither inside MIR nor in reality), because all signals positioned significantly outside the 90°-main area will seemingly come from the opposite direction. 😊
/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
I agree, I love the sound of the Blumlein for orchestral use, espeially with a secondary microphone setup. Sounds really nice. And Dietz, I think that Beat meant more of an arc rather than a literal 360 degree setup around the mic. At least that's how I've used it, and it sounds so good, completely lifelike with a secondary mic.
I love the sound of the secondary microphones so much that I have started wondering if a third microphone would work. Once I get a full license for the software I might play around with mixing down between the first, secondary, and a fake third mic, because the different mic setups pick up so many different characteristics of the orchestra.
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