Single mic recording with pzm?

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I would like to record my dixieland band rehearsals as simply as possible. Currently I use the internal mics of my Fostex FR-2LE recorder, placing it in the center of the band, arranged roughly in a circle. This works fairly well in terms of balance, but the sound quality isn't so hot. I've tried better mics plugged into the recorder, but since they're directional, I can't get good balance that way, and I've tried several configurations. We rehearse in a large, carpeted room (an old dining hall, now used as a meeting room). The acoustics are pretty good, and the carpet creates a dry sound with relatively little room effect.

Would a single PZM work well for this purpose, placed on the floor in the center of the band (seven players)? Would any of the models, PZM-30D, PZM-6D, or PZM-185 do a good job? (Stereo recording isn't important to me for this application.) Cost isn't the primary issue, but if, say, the 185 would do as good a job as the others, I'd just as soon use the least expensive solution.

Thanks for any advice.

P.S. Why do I care about sound quality for rehearsal recordings? The answer is that when I get a good take, I like to add it to our demo and audition materials, after doing some basic editing in Audacity.

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A single PZM on the floor in the middle of the group should work fine. You can adjust the balance among instruments by moving players toward or away from the microphone. If the horn players play straight ahead rather than downward, the PZM will be off-axis to the horn bells, which will help to mellow out the tone.

The PZM-30D and PZM-6D sound the same, and both sound more hi-fi (they have a flatter frequency response) than the PZM-185. As shown in the PZM-185 datasheet, the PZM-185 has a high-frequency peak. But you might be able to remove with EQ. That way you could get a fairly flat response but with a lower-cost microphone. The PZM-185 might sound okay as is.

The PZM-30D and PZM-6D can handle 148 dB SPL without audible distortion, while the PZM-185 can handle 120 dB SPL. That's probably sufficient for a Dixieland band.

Good luck,


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