The R88 can also be used on its own to capture a detailed performance of a full band. Early methods for capturing ensembles involved gathering several vocalists and instrumentalists around one mic for practical purposes. Mixing the volumes of individual performers required physically adjusting the formation of the ensemble around the microphone or asking instrumentalists to temper their playing volume.
In his OneMic series, John Cuniberti implements the R88 in that same spirit and the resulting recordings are testament to the organic energy of the captured moment. The major difference with the R88, of course, is that breathtaking, natural stereo is captured in a truly organic way.
In the following video, the incredible band San Geronimo performs,”Pay Day” using only an R88 to capture the full band. Yes, it really is just a single R88 capturing this performance.
Distant Miking String Quartets, Sections, and Orchestras
The versatile R88 excels at recording string sections, quartets, orchestras, and other ensembles from a distance. From as far as 20 feet away, the R88 captures detailed, balanced sound of an instrument section and supplements it with massive room tone. When arranged 6 to 10 feet from the source, the R88 creates a massive, detailed room image without the need for any support microphones.
When recording groups or ensembles, start by positioning the R88 from at least 5 feet away from the musicians with the white line aimed directly at the center of the ensemble. This will give you a balanced stereo spread in the two channels of the microphone. Because the two ribbon elements are perfectly in phase with one another you can pan the two channels however you wish. Most engineers start with channel 1 panned hard to the left and channel 2 panned hard to the right. This creates the largest and most realistic stereo width.
The image below shows where both elements of the R88 capture sound. The green area is the location that sound is captured in. When recording ensembles, make sure that the musicians are located within this green area. When both channels are hard-panned left and right, any source that is within this green area will sound like it is coming from that specific area.