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New???? Near Coincident Omni Stereo Technique
Author: Bob Bickerton
Date: 02/08/2009
At the risk of sounding ignorant or immodest, I've been experimenting with a near-coincident stereo omni technique which I haven't come across before.

I've been recording a professional chamber music festival here over the last few weeks, largely for archival purposes, which gives me the opportunity to explore a few ideas with excellent musicians in rather nice acoustic venues.

I'd usually use an ORTF pair (M300s or TLM193s) and add some extra room with some spaced omnis (NT45s or KM183s). But, I've often preferred the open sound of the omnis, even though they lack definition in terms of the stereo landscape.

A friend uses a Jecklin disc, which I have never tried, largely because it's indiscreet and receives variable reviews. But I thought I'd pursue a variation on this technique.

Some of the concerts in the festival were recorded by Radio New Zealand and I put up this new technique alongside their standard rigs. What got me more interested was that they hadn't heard of this technique either and were impressed with the results I was achieving.

So I'd be really interested in any opinions and feedback, especially from those involved in the chamber music field.

The technique uses omni mics, in this case KM183s only 120mm to 170mm apart! Rather than have a disk in between, I've made masking 'ears' that clip onto the mics. The ears consist on 10mm dense neoprene foam, covered with fluff. They clip onto the mics using terry clips. Total costs around 50c each!

http://www.bickerton.co.nz/Bin/NCO_Tests /DSC_3644.jpg

In both these sample recordings the mics were positioned about 1.5 metres above the performers:

http://www.bickerton.co.nz/Bin/NCO_Tests /DSC_3639.jpg

These samples were recorded using Focusrite ISA428 preamps/converters, they have no processing or reverb added, though I would probably add a little reverb later.

Here's a string quartet recorded in a nice wooden church:

http://www.bickerton.co.nz/Bin/NCO_Tests /Quartet.mp3

and here's a string quartet plus guitar recorded in a stone cathedral:

http://www.bickerton.co.nz/Bin/NCO_Tests /Quintet.mp3

I've sought permission from the performers to upload these samples, but please respect that they're for technical appraisal only.

Please let me know what you think. I suspect this is a technique that is well known and has been discarded on the scrap-heap of failed recording ideas long ago!!!!

Cheers

Bob

(Also posted on SOS Forum - Miking Techniques)  
 
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