is a figure 8 a figure 8?

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joninc
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is a figure 8 a figure 8?

Post by joninc » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:05 pm

Sorry for the cryptic title... what I mean is: Is the null on a ribbon that's fig 8, the same (equally deep) as on a condenser mic that has fig 8 as one of it's switchable patterns? Or is the condenser doing some sort of trickery to achieve the pattern that's not exactly the same as a mic that can only record in this pattern?

Here's the context for my question: I'm doing a live recording with a acoustic band (in studio) and will be doing live vocals/acoustic and I want to get a usable vocal sound (and guitar). It's going to be lively and energetic strumming (not mellow soft finger picking)...

Ironically I was just given tracks to mix for a different artist who also recorded live vocals and acoustic and am finding it really challenging to get the
clarity I want on the vocal - or the upfront quality I think he would like his acoustic tracks to have.... (I have recently recorded other tracks recorded live where they got a much higher level of separation so I know it can be done very well)

I am planning to use 2 mics with fig 8 to put the voice and guitar as much in the null of the other mics as possible... but I've been wondering if a ribbon is any more effective than a condenser in achieving this separation.

Thoughts?
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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: is a figure 8 a figure 8?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:26 pm

A condenser uses two diaphragms to achieve multiple patterns. In my experience the null is deeper on a ribbon.
That's said, I've gotten surprisingly good result in situations like you described using condensers. Then again, the eq of of a ribbon might lessen the impact of that strummy guitar.
If time allows try both.

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Re: is a figure 8 a figure 8?

Post by I'm Painting Again » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:53 pm

equal - definitely not - similar maybe - sometimes - depends - same model of mic can null differently - especially old ones

put some headphones on and bring your mic close to your mouth and make some sound into it as you turn it around and then you'll know what that specific mic does

I'd guess the ribbons would be more likely to work best but you never know - take some time to test out setups before if you can as you can hear what actually works without the pressure of the actual session and when the time comes you'll have an easier time

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Re: is a figure 8 a figure 8?

Post by drumsound » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:27 pm

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:26 pm
A condenser uses two diaphragms to achieve multiple patterns. In my experience the null is deeper on a ribbon.
That's said, I've gotten surprisingly good result in situations like you described using condensers. Then again, the eq of of a ribbon might lessen the impact of that strummy guitar.
If time allows try both.
This is pretty much what I was going to say. I think some condensers are better than others.

I did 2 figure 8s on voice and acoustic today. I used sE T2 positioned like I've done with 4050s and a U87. I had to move the vocal mic to get better isolation that the others have in the same position.

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Re: is a figure 8 a figure 8?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:56 pm

It completely depends on the microphone, and in this, also whether all its copmonents
are performing within spec.

I've used vintage mics where the Fig 8 is radically different than a new model, or even a similar age one,
because the components are aged differently with different use.

With new mics there should be almost no difference.

The way to test any polar pattern easily, is to record a sine tone at EXACTLY the same distance,
and do so in a circle around the mics axis. That is how they do it in the lab. You can then use a mapping scheme,
to make your own polar map of your own mics. It helps to make some sort of metric circle around the mic
where you plan on placing the signal source (a tiny speaker is best).

Pretend you are doing a demon protection circle or something, have fun with it. Scare people. ;)
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Re: is a figure 8 a figure 8?

Post by Scodiddly » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:44 am

Any microphone is going to have some pattern issues because of the stuff that is needed around the ribbon/diaphragm to make the microphone actually work. A ribbon will have the magnets around it, a condensor might have two back-to-back diaphragms, etc. This should really only affect higher frequencies.

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Re: is a figure 8 a figure 8?

Post by joninc » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:11 pm

thanks for all the feedback.

I tried going with a 2 ribbons initially but was finding the vocal tone was too mushy on this singer.. swapped to a u87 in fig 8 and rejection seemed just as good but vocal tone was much more present and forward sounding. Used a ribbon on the acoustic and was pretty happy with that tone wise.
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Re: is a figure 8 a figure 8?

Post by drumsound » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:39 am

joninc wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:11 pm
thanks for all the feedback.

I tried going with a 2 ribbons initially but was finding the vocal tone was too mushy on this singer.. swapped to a u87 in fig 8 and rejection seemed just as good but vocal tone was much more present and forward sounding. Used a ribbon on the acoustic and was pretty happy with that tone wise.
I've noticed the U87 nulls are very deep and defined in figure 8 as well.

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