The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Boundary Microphones and footsteps?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by AVS, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. AVS

    AVS New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Hi,

    I am planning to buy 3 [PCC160 crown Mics ( AKG )] for live theatre recording.
    The main purpose is to have a good alternative to lavalier or headset Mics.

    I had many good reviews about this PCC160 but I would like to make sure that this mic doesn't make the footsteps "louder" than the dialogue itself ( as other reviews confirm for every boundary mic ).

    How is this Mic considered in thems of noise and phase issues?

    Is a number of 3 PCC160' s, at the bottom of the stage, enough ( or too much ) for a clear recording of the actors from left to right side of the stage?

    Is there any good alternative You can suggest?

    Thank You in advance
     
  2. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    I've used these mics a few times ... they're good mics ... but as you say, generally floor boundary mics are used for auxiliary pickup and not primary sound reinforcement. I personally would prefer to hang a few mics overhead, and would use the floor mics as a second choice.
     
  3. Lextech

    Lextech Active Member

    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Virginia
    Yes, PCCs pick up footsteps very well. First choice for recording would really depend on type of show, what kind of space, how wide a stage and why are you recording? A few more details will help us help you.
     
  4. AVS

    AVS New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Thank you all for your answers. I took in count all your advices.

    to answer to Lextech,
    the type of show is mainly theatre and most of the times the actors don't have any lavalier or clip mics.
    The theatre is usually big enough to have between 50 and 1000 people.
    The stages usually have up to 10 actors at the time.
    We are recording mainly theatre for live television ord for CD selling purpose.

    So are the PCC's mainly support mics?

    Thank you very much again for your answers.
     
  5. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,108
    Likes Received:
    189
    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Due to proximity to the floor they will tend to naturally pickup footfalls, there are of course things you can do to mitigate this effect.
    Ive actually mounted these mics on a prosc before to some effect etc. I suggest you take a close look at the data sheet for the mic, it tells you much about the pickup of the mic. Also I remember there being a PDF guide to using them around once around a time, not sure if I saved a copy.

    I often use these mics mounted directly onto the floor IN ORDER pickup foot noise from dance.

    Seen people take measures to isolate the mics from the floor surface.

    Experiment and see what works is often the best bet. Rent a few and find out how they will work in your situation.
     
  6. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,625
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    Hello!
    For alternatives you may want to look here:
    http://www.bartlettaudio.com/collections/stage-floor-mics
    Bruce Bartlett was the mic guru at Shure and Crown, and invented the venerable PCC-160 used as a boundary microphone for stage use. Bruce has improved the original PCC-160 design and sells it (and other microphones) from his web site.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
    TimMc likes this.
  7. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    1,871
    Likes Received:
    697
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Such efforts are probably misguided in most places. PZMs generally do not have a problem with mechanical conduction of the footsteps. They simply pick up the acoustic sound of the footsteps. Attempts at mechanical isolation may also raise the mic off the boundary surface, which can harm the performance of the mic. Footstep noise is a small price to pay for the absence of comb filtering of voices due to floor reflections, inherent in any other mic placement.
     
    Jay Ashworth and Ric like this.
  8. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,108
    Likes Received:
    189
    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    I agree completely. Still seen it done quite often enough.

    should of gone into talking into the specifics of "boundary" microphones, utilizing a boundary surface. Being sick is no fun, thankfully I am much less delirious now as when I made the previous comment. I found that I indeed do have a copy of one such PDF I talked about earlier (don't recall where I got it, published by Crown) I'll attempt to attach it here.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Joel - Studio 52

    Joel - Studio 52 Member

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    4
    Occupation:
    Audio Engineer/Business Owner
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I've used boundary mics on the stage floor, but have much better results from using hanging mics. I tried taping the boundary mics on the walls of the stage opening once, but wasn't able to pick up much from there. The best use I've found for my boundary mics is on the dance stage at an irish fest I do.
     
  10. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'll second the Bartlett TM-125 and other mics. They're nice, seem to be a little easier to EQ, and they play well with my older PCCs.

    I use between 3 - 5 depending on the show, and with student actors they are usually enough to reinforce without needing individual mics. Placement depends on your space, general acoustics and EQ of the room, and where your mains are located. In some theaters they can be a complete disaster.

    With boundary mics, you'll usually have to do a little artificial EQ work to avoid feedback. They work well to reinforce actors, but I'm not sure you'll like the raw sound from them for recording purposes. I would strongly recommend renting/borrowing a few to try first, if you can.
     
  11. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    382
    Location:
    Kilmarnock, VA
  12. Rod Reilly

    Rod Reilly Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    New Jersey
    For recording (only) my preference would always be a stereo pair of cardioid condensers hanging from something 15-20 forward of the stage apron - assuming everything in the performance is balanced in the seating area you will get a good natural recording. Any other placement will lead to too much of something, not enough of something else.

    Failing this you want mics on everyone! and a separate mix for the recording than for the house - the two are nothing a like. A clever body can mix both on one board - for the rest of us a separate mixer is advisable - or you a digital board and record all channels for post mix.
     
  13. Ric

    Ric Active Member

    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Werribee, Victoria, Australia
    This is always going to be a compromise. There are no good alternatives to close micing a performer.
    With area micing ( choir/overhead, or floor/boundary mics ) you may be able to hear the performers but it will never sound like a handheld/headset/lavalier or other close micing solution.
     
  14. Ancient Engineer

    Ancient Engineer Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Sandusky, Ohio
    I have had reasonable success in smaller venues with two or three ECM-44s hanging above and one or two PZMs on the floor.

    Ya hafta mix and place them cautiously because some phasing funkage can occur. EQ is the magic here. But, as stated above, this will be a compromise.

    We even went as far as having an alert uniformed attendant laying in the first AP manually aiming a Sennheiser 8070 shotgun at the meat. We got the voice... and a tremendous amount of costume rustle (victorian floophy costumes).

    Your mileage may vary.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice