Live Recording Theatre Microphones?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by AVS, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. AVS

    AVS New Member

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    United Kingdom
    Hi all,

    I need to buy 3 microphones for Live Recording, especially for Theatre.
    Until now, i used 3 shotgun mics ( L,C,R ) at the bottom of the stage with bad quality results.
    Which microphones have a better sound in a big theatre with several acoustics? I was thinking about Boundary Mics but I am concerned about picking footsteps on the stage.

    is there any better choice I can go for? ( other than clip or headset mics ).
  2. Henning

    Henning Member

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    I think I might have a solution for you! depending on if you have a catwalk or not.

    While the specific details are a bit foggy (its been a year since I took a good look at the setup) We recently setup a Stereo microphone attached to Telescoping PVC stand. The microphone/stand is attached to our catwalks and lowered when recording is necessary. While it might seem like an eyesore, its surprisingly not that noticeable. If your interested with this solution, let me know and I can gather some more details for you!
  3. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    Audio Engineer
    On Tour
    Henning is on to a more ideal setup. 2 mics will always be easier to work with than 3, and shotguns at the deck edge really kill your ability to pickup downstage audio, by nature of what a shotgun does.

    With 3 mics in the configuration you describe, you are probably either not getting what you need or phase cancelling your signals when you mix them down later on.

    Depending on what shotguns you have, you may be able to re-work those into a stereo pair (look up stereo mic techniques), but as Henning has done, get some distance from the stage with the mics, and get them up. A catwalk may be a little high up depending on what you want to hit, the further back and lower you go you'll get audience noise, and the higher you go you may get HVAC noise, but there is probably a good spot within the first 10 rows of seating depending on the layout of your venue that'll allow you to capture a good mix of the actual stage, some audience response, and little to no HVAC noise - you just have to experiment with positioning and stereo mic techniques.

    As for getting stuff from lavs - if your show is already mic'd, just make a new aux and shoot all of your lavs post-fade from the desk, or if you have a vocal mix that's a post-fade mix just pop a direct out on it (assuming you have a digital desk). When I do archival stuff on musicals I'll take a vocal mix and a band+sound effects mix and send it to the video guys for mix down, this tends to get cleaner results than a single mix of everything. I tend to also run a stereo pair for backup.
  4. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Tacoma, WA
    For every foot of distance between the sound source to the nearest mic, you want three feet of distance to the next closest mic. The 3 to 1 rule prevents comb filtering due to phase cancellation. This is making the assumption that both mics have about the same acoustical to electrical gain.

    Comb filtering also tends to be a problem with mics that are near the floor, but not on the floor. Reflections from the floor create multiple sound paths of differing length. Boundary mics avoid the problem of floor reflections entirely.

    Comb filltering does not happen if the two (or more) mics are not summed to to the same mix buss. For example stereo mics that are hard panned to don't have comb filtering when they violate the 3 to 1 rule.
  5. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    Have you considered Crown's SASS-P, Stereo Ambient Sampling System-Phantom powered? (I think I've got their acronym correct but I dug it out of the dusty crevasses of my memories) I used to install these on the front centre of theatre balconies and use them for monitoring systems. They'd provide a decent stereo source for any booths with stereo monitoring and also for stereo recording yet they'd sum nicely to mono for backstage dressing room and corridor feeds as well as for news and press feeds.
    Ron Hebbard

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