Chorus director suddenly too loud

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hedera
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Chorus director suddenly too loud

Post by hedera » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:05 pm

I need some advice about how the Zoom H4 (yes, we still use it!) would record a fairly loud audio source that is slightly behind and to one side of it, several feet away. I record and podcast rehearsals for a local chorus.

We've been recording with the H4 for 10 years, but in our new rehearsal space our director is using a wireless mic with its own amp. In the new commissioned piece we're rehearsing, the rhythms are very challenging, and she's been counting the rhythm out loud; and the singers are complaining that they can't hear themselves sing on the recording because she's so loud. I need to record the director but I need to reduce her volume.

I know the H4 records a 45 degree fan in front of itself. Right now the H4 is placed on the director's right, slightly behind her and her mic, about the level of her head, and between her and the amp for her mic. If I move the H4 to her left and slightly in front of her, away from her amp, should the H4 still pick up what she says? I'm hoping so because her voice using the mic is quite loud.
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Wulfraed
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Re: Chorus director suddenly too loud

Post by Wulfraed » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:05 pm

hedera wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:05 pm
I know the H4 records a 45 degree fan in front of itself. Right now the H4 is placed on the director's right, slightly behind her and her mic, about the level of her head, and between her and the amp for her mic. If I move the H4 to her left and slightly in front of her, away from her amp, should the H4 still pick up what she says? I'm hoping so because her voice using the mic is quite loud.
The H4 pattern is a 90deg X/Y arrangement. However, EACH microphone element is a cardioid (cf: http://www.akglife.com/polar-patterns-- ... technology ). If the sound source is in the null (direct back side, 180deg from element front) of one element, that sound source will be in the 90deg aspect of the other element. (Unfortunately the diagram on the URL doesn't have the dB rings labeled, so I don't know if they are 3dB, 6dB, or even 10dB per ring). The pattern line crosses just before the 90deg aspect. If the ring is 3dB, it indicates that what would be 0dB off the front would be half as strong (-3dB) if the microphone were rotated to put the same source on the side.

Due to the stereo X/Y, there is no true null behind the unit. From directly behind the H4, you would be coming in at the 135/225 deg aspects which (assuming 3dB rings) is about -7dB.

I presume it is the amplifier output which is being picked up, and not the director herself. Possible solutions: use an amp/speaker that itself has a defined null on its back side, and place this close to the chorus so that the speaker dead zone points at the H4; put the speaker/amp far behind the chorus so that they are the strongest signal source at the H4 location; turn down the volume of the speaker/amp so it is just loud enough for the chorus to hear the directions (this last applies to any location).

Most complex solution: Don't use the built-in microphones, feed the amp signal to a special box with a form of anti-vox (noise cancelling -- anti-vox is used in amateur radio gear to prevent the transmitter engaging from sounds coming out of the speaker; it subtracts the speaker signal from the microphone and only toggles transmit if there is a strong signal left, presumed to be the operator voice) so that the box subtracts out director from whatever comes in via external microphones before the signal gets recorded (no I don't have a source for such a box)
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