mic overheads in a challenging environment

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mic overheads in a challenging environment

Postby mfdu » Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:34 pm

just recorded (wait for it) a childrens storytime at st kilda library. we're moving towards podcasting them, along heaps of other council content. all to end up as MP3, so tracked just as 16/44.1.

had to deal with a room full of 2year olds and their parents crashing and thumping around.
but that wasn't the worst of it - damn industrial strength air conditioning blasting through the entire area - no-where i could find that was out of the air flow. was an exercise in harm minimisation.

brought in a couple of different options -

the large diaphragm condensor (tried fig 8 omni and cardiod patterns) - boomed like a fighter jet on afterburn. even with popshield AND foam windscreen AND low cut.

fixed stereo back-electret - although the pickup was oriented to exclude the air blast, the diaphragm warbled and crashed. tried low cut from 160hz but low-end energy was too massive.

rode NT5 small diaphragm condensors - haven't played with these for YONKS. with foam windshields on, low-cut at 100hz, and pop shield b/w the rear of the mics and the air-con outflow, seems clean enough to use.

next week, might try a crown PZM, but not sure it'll be an improvement . . .

just thought you might like to know . . .

chris.
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Postby chris p » Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:37 pm

Hi there chris

I was in a pizza restaurant last night where there was an incredible airconditioning rumble, right down in the 60Hz-100Hz sort of range. It cycled for about 30 secs on, then off for 30 sec, and so on throught the night, got me wondering whether it was some weird resonance effect going on with the room dimensions. And you really felt it, too! Thank goodness I didn't have to record there!

Query - can you close mic the speaker(s) either with headset or (gasp) lapel mics? Sounds like you something way less sensitive than the good gear you've got! Keep us posted - being a mobile recordist too, I'm grateful for all vicarious learning.
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Postby Steve » Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:07 pm

Would shotguns work? I recall for stage productions these picked up cast vocals without picking up the footsteps on stage.
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Postby mfdu » Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:21 am

you're right, i think less sensitive mics might work better.

a point of interest - i was in the far far end of the library, and could still clearly hear books being beeped at the front counte, as well as the vaccuum when it fired up in the staff room. all i can really do is commando it, and worst case scenario i can comp together usable stories from a couple of sessions.

biggest concernm is i don't want to intrude in any way, or the kids wont act naturally. they're too young to pretend i'm not there.

when i'm after ambient micing, my first reflex is to stick the mic up high. but i realised that putting it up high placed it directly in the worst area of turbulance. . .
i licked the back of my hand and waved it around for a while so i could get a sense of any areas of 'dead air'. found the spot, locked the mic into place, and a kid promptly backed into the stand. BOOM!

dont work with children - they're animals.

seriously tho - will try lapel mic and PZM (or a single NT5 at the rear with foam AND windsock) next time.

next time is tuesday. if all goes well, i'll be loading the podcasts soon after, and will let you'se all know.

cheers,

chris.
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