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  #16  
Old 07-15-2019, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
The first time I heard about the 3:1 rule, it was in Lou Burroughs' microphone book, although he credits others with coming up with it. It has to do with using mics on individual instruments in a section. There's an illustration showing a horn player blowing straight into a mic from 2 feet away. There's another mic 6 feet to the right of the first one. Hence the 3:1.

FWIW, in my edition it's Fig. 10 on page 117.

Absolutely great reference, btw.
So the idea is that you have a spot mic on one player, and another mic for the whole horn section? Or for other players in a section with a soloist standing off to the side?
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  #17  
Old 07-16-2019, 05:01 AM
pieterh pieterh is offline
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Default Do you follow the 3 to 1 rule for a spaced pair?

The principle with the 3-1 rule is for miking up a choir or an orchestra for example. In my job (FOH sound engineer) we often get choirs of Middle Eastern origin where the choir leader will insist on 4-5 mics or more for a choir of around 15-20 people in the (mistaken) belief that more is better.

The trouble is that choir mics need to have a relatively wide pickup pattern in order to take in a group of voices. So one mic picking up the left side of the choir will also pick up the centre and right though slightly delayed; similarly a mic picking up the right will also pick up centre and left slightly delayed. Phase differences between these mics will result in a degree of comb filtering where some frequencies are boosted and some are dampened.

The result for our choirs and song groups when using more than two or at the most three front mics is that the sound is worse, not better. Having a couple of mics placed and directed towards the singers at the back instead is one way of compensating for this.

Of course, close miking where there are several more directional mics close to each vocal range (tenor, soprano etc) gives good results but one still should be aware of placement.

When it comes to recording guitars it’s a different matter - the frequencies and sounds from different parts of the guitar are already mixed and interacting with each other by the time they reach our ears. By recording with directional mics that pick up the characteristics of the different parts of the guitar as mentioned above should produce a result close to what we hear when listening un-amplified. Because we normally use directional mics the risk of leakage that can affect the recorded sound is relatively minimal. What’s more, as we almost always listen in stereo the risk for phase cancellation/amplification is also minimal. It can be useful though to check recordings in mono to see what comb filtering there is when summed to mono...
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Last edited by pieterh; 07-16-2019 at 05:22 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-16-2019, 10:44 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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So the idea is that you have a spot mic on one player, and another mic for the whole horn section? Or for other players in a section with a soloist standing off to the side?
No, it's more like you have a big-band woodwind or brass section, mic each player from 2 feet away, and have 6 feet between players. Which in real life never actually happens, btw -- I woulda gotten fired for setting up a session that way.
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  #19  
Old 07-16-2019, 12:27 PM
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An issue with recording with several mikes (three or more) and the 3:1 is that in the final stereo recording there is either R or L. Some mikes will be blended to the same side.
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  #20  
Old 07-17-2019, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
I put on a really good set of headphones, and then point the mics until I like the sound.

If my ears don't like the results I don't care what the "rules" say.

Howard Emerson
Glad to see there is someone else that shares my method
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  #21  
Old 07-23-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by TBman View Post
How do you avoid getting too much "room" with the mics back that far? I get more room with more gain, so I keep the mics in close. I'm probably answering my own question, but I guess I don't have the greatest room and my mics are low level hobby mics.
Hi Barry

I sit in the middle of the room (avoiding corners) and often choose a room with hard floors and more space.

I often do casual recordings in our living room/dining room area which has curtains, a couple area rugs, hard floors and textured ceilings. It's nearly 600 sq feet.

If I'm in the studio in the basement, it's sound treated to knock out the reflections. It has a hard floor, and I record in the middle of the room avoiding corners and add 'room' in post.


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