Aziz Berk Erten is an Istanbul based audio engineer who specializes in both live and studio work. He has recorded, mixed and toured with several top Turkish artists.
I was curious to use 3D audio recording techniques in a scenario which involved a loud PA system. Luckily I had the perfect opportunity to test this first hand. Turkish alt-rock band YOKS, whose new album I'd recorded during the summer, was having their album launch concert in one of the nicest venues in Istanbul. I got the opportunity to record the gig with all the close mics alongside with the dummy head. I also mixed FOH and monitors, so I could have total control over the technical and artistic aspects sound wise.
„The dummy head was a pleasure to work with, and during post production I could hear the difference in 3D depth.“
Having the whole day available for setup and soundcheck, I started by recording the band go through their setlist. I setup the dummy head at different distances from the stage, and did recordings with the PA system both on and off. The idea was to get as much variation as possible, so that I could clearly see what worked and what didn't later on. During the gig I opted to set up the KU100 at the FOH position in order to get a balanced sound from the PA system. The dummy head was a pleasure to work with, and during post production I could hear the difference in 3D depth and realism it brought to the mix, which was impossible to get from the spaced pair audience mics I also recorded for comparison.
Since the dummy head was at the FOH position, one mixing workflow decision was to blend in the KU100 signals over the close mics, rather than blending close mics into the KU100 recording, which is more appropriate when the dummy head is used to record acoustic instruments. I also concluded that this approach makes the use of any mono to binaural plug-in unnecessary for the close mics, since the inclusion of the dummy head signal over the panned mics complete the illusion of 3D perfectly. Having used and heard the dummy head in action, I can clearly say that it is still a very viable instrument in capturing and delivering performances with PA systems running.
About Aziz Berk Erten
Aziz Berk Erten is an Istanbul based audio engineer who specializes in both live and studio work. He has recorded, mixed and toured with several top Turkish artists. His studio work, which has seen Youtube view counts of tens of millions in total, includes Turkey's 2010 Eurovision entry which came second that year. He holds a BA degree in cinema and a diploma in audio engineering. He can be reached on his website at http://www.azizberk.com
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Image Credit: Nicolas Büchi / ZHdK Cast