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semion
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#1
25th January 2012
Old 25th January 2012
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Talking Uses of stereo microphone

Hi fellow slutz,

As I am new to the other side of the microphone, Im still learning, so please
have patience if the question seems a bit dumb.

My questions concerns the usage of a stereo microphone /eg SM2/.

What are the differences ,or advantages/disadvantages over a pair of microphones , when recording stereo ?


Thank you
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25th January 2012
Old 25th January 2012
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Full disclosure: as I descend further into the mists of old age, I tend to see whatever particular piece of gear is plugged in and functioning as less and less and less "mission critical" compared to the things that are critical: showing up on time, having a rapport with the signal chain, bearing witness to a stunning display of musical virtuosoism-- being the court reporter to that display-- and so I'd say the differences between a single stereo mic and a pair of mics are sorta esoteric if not inconsequential and trifling-- thank you, thesaurus.com.

Ease of use and reliably realistic capture would be one advantage, though... and if the situation gets tense and you need a weapon, they're usually heftier than a single mono mic.
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25th January 2012
Old 25th January 2012
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What Joel said... plus, no one solution ever is the "best" solution in all situations. Just like you cannot effectively remove a small Philips head screw with a large flat screwdriver, different solutions require different tools. I use my NT4 when I need a quick, or small/tidy setup, or the situation requires what a XY pattern will give me. If there's time, space and a large group/orchestra/chorus... while the NT4 will certainly give me "a" result, it likely won't be the "best" result possible. So... it's about having choices, and tools, and knowledge, and talent.

If it was easy, everybody could do it. Ergo... the Zoom.

As to detailed discussion of when to use what technique... a week on GS and/or a trip to here: http://www.dpamicrophones.com/en/Mic-University.aspx will put your feet on the path to glory.

HB

PS: Joel might be referring to "virtuosity"... :-)
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25th January 2012
Old 25th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semion View Post
Hi fellow slutz,

As I am new to the other side of the microphone, Im still learning, so please
have patience if the question seems a bit dumb.

My questions concerns the usage of a stereo microphone /eg SM2/.

What are the differences ,or advantages/disadvantages over a pair of microphones , when recording stereo ?


Thank you
i use the royer sf24 regularly. to me, the main difference is ease of setup. my stereo mic is a perfect blumlein all the time no matter what. no one is gonna accidentally bump it and mess up the stereo image and i only need one mic stand without any additional hardware.
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25th January 2012
Old 25th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
... might be referring ...
I probably am, but if spell-check isn't flagging at least one word with its charming little "this does not compute" underlining... then I feel like I'm not doing my job.
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25th January 2012
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Isnt one disadvantage of having a stereo mic, the width of stereo you can get with placing the mikes as far apart as you desire ?
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25th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semion View Post
Isnt one disadvantage of having a stereo mic, the width of stereo you can get with placing the mikes as far apart as you desire ?
well, if you want a spaced pair, obviously a stereo mic is not the tool for the job. if, however you are looking for a coincident pair, a stereo mic can be fantastic.
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25th January 2012
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From my perspective, the two main advantages with stereo mics are a quick setup, and the fact that most stereo mics are more compact and have a lower visual profile compared to separate mics in coincident position. That can be important for live performances where you might want Blumlein or M/S pair, but it can't be too visually obtrusive for the audience.

My one good stereo mic is a (discontinued) AKG C426b,and it's very compact considering the diaphragm size. The single stereo cable also helps with unobtrusive rigging, although it's a major PITA if anything goes wrong with the specialized cable.

One other consideration for large diaphragm mics like this, or ribbon mics, is that with a stereo mic you're getting a matched pair of capsules from the factory. It's relatively easy to find matched separate stereo pairs in small condensers, but for large diaphraghm mics and ribbon mics it can mean a special order from the factory, or matched pairs might not be available at all.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post
From my perspective, the two main advantages with stereo mics are a quick setup, and the fact that most stereo mics are more compact and have a lower visual profile compared to separate mics in coincident position. That can be important for live performances where you might want Blumlein or M/S pair, but it can't be too visually obtrusive for the audience.

My one good stereo mic is a (discontinued) AKG C426b,and it's very compact considering the diaphragm size. The single stereo cable also helps with unobtrusive rigging, although it's a major PITA if anything goes wrong with the specialized cable.

One other consideration for large diaphragm mics like this, or ribbon mics, is that with a stereo mic you're getting a matched pair of capsules from the factory. It's relatively easy to find matched separate stereo pairs in small condensers, but for large diaphraghm mics and ribbon mics it can mean a special order from the factory, or matched pairs might not be available at all.
And the switchable polar patterns of this type of stereo mic help to make
it adaptable to a variety of situations.
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25th January 2012
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+1 on the C426B, now officially irreplaceable. It and the Nagra V have been first choice for the past 9 years. Remote control of patterns (even while on air) is great. Unfortunately, a successor has yet to appear. For the price, the Studio Projects LSD-2 was useful, especially as a defensive weapon ... (o:

Disadvantage is that you can't use house lines (eg., from suspensions) if running the connector cable is not possible. Which is why I would suggest my other stereo kit - more compact and almost as versatile. Two Schoeps bodies, 2 off MK4, 1 off MK8 and the AMS22 mount. You can do M-S stereo or ORTF, the M-S rig is smaller than the AKG and you can use house lines. However, beware covetousness of the rest of the capsule collection ... it is insidious.
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26th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope View Post
+1 on the C426B, now officially irreplaceable. It and the Nagra V have been first choice for the past 9 years. Remote control of patterns (even while on air) is great. Unfortunately, a successor has yet to appear. For the price, the Studio Projects LSD-2 was useful, especially as a defensive weapon ... (o:

Disadvantage is that you can't use house lines (eg., from suspensions) if running the connector cable is not possible. Which is why I would suggest my other stereo kit - more compact and almost as versatile. Two Schoeps bodies, 2 off MK4, 1 off MK8 and the AMS22 mount. You can do M-S stereo or ORTF, the M-S rig is smaller than the AKG and you can use house lines. However, beware covetousness of the rest of the capsule collection ... it is insidious.
I like very much a ccm21/8 combo... the stereo image sounds clearer to me
than the 426, especially noticable on a narrow stereo image.
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26th January 2012
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If you want ORTF spaced pair recording but with a single stereo mic, you could do worse than try this microphone: http://www.superlux.com.tw/upload/fu...502_web_en.pdf
The price is low, but the quality control at source might be also, so you'd be advised to buy 2 in the hope of getting a reliably working one. Check out the Superlux s502 thread in this forum
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The main advantage of micing a soloist or spotting an instrument in stereo is that you can integrate that sound easily in to the main stereo picture.

Spotting the person in stereo allows you to "steer" the image with panning so that even if you want the soloist, for example, to be on left side, you have some tricks to integrate that sound in to the overall stereo image. You can avoid a pasted on solo sound.

One way to do the above is to pan one of the soloist channels hard LFT. and the other soloist channel at 9 or 10 o'clock. Now the soloist appears on the LFT where you want her, but is "floating" on the left side and not obviously sticking out as can happen sometimes with a mono spot mic.
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26th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post
From my perspective, the two main advantages with stereo mics are a quick setup, and the fact that most stereo mics are more compact and have a lower visual profile compared to separate mics in coincident position. That can be important for live performances where you might want Blumlein or M/S pair, but it can't be too visually obtrusive for the audience.
"Stereo mic" is not the same as "XY pair"

You can have both M/S pair AND a stereo mic, as there are several M/S stereo mics available. Either with built in matrix or separate M and S feeds.

Sanken, Pearl and Shure come to mind right away. Pearl MS series are no bigger/longer than a normal DPA/Schoeps/Senn MKH, just 8 mm thicker.

Also crossed fig-8s from many companies, built in a single body. Some of them can be used XY, MS, "Bluemlein" depending on how you mix the signals from the 4 capsules.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
"Stereo mic" is not the same as "XY pair"

You can have both M/S pair AND a stereo mic, as there are several M/S stereo mics available. Either with built in matrix or separate M and S feeds.

Sanken, Pearl and Shure come to mind right away. Pearl MS series are no bigger/longer than a normal DPA/Schoeps/Senn MKH, just 8 mm thicker.

Also crossed fig-8s from many companies, built in a single body. Some of them can be used XY, MS, "Bluemlein" depending on how you mix the signals from the 4 capsules.
I use a Pearl MS8 and love it for the very reasons you said. Sonically it is definitely better than my Rode NT4 and far better than a Shure VP88. Because it's MS you can widen or narrow the image ITB and this is nice when you're not exactly sure what's going to show up in front of it when the record light is ON.
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26th January 2012
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What I was mainly concerned with, were the stereo width limitations.
Great informations, so far.
If anybody has anything ,please keep it coming.
Thank you, I appreciate this very much.
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26th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semion View Post
What I was mainly concerned with, were the stereo width limitations.
Great informations, so far.
If anybody has anything ,please keep it coming.
Thank you, I appreciate this very much.
If it is a coincident array stereo mic the stereo image can be adjusted
after the recording is made to make it as wide or narrow as you want.

A nice example of a recording of an orchestra made with just a stereo/
surround mic is downloadable on the internet, Chesky's Concerto for
Bassoon, recorded with a Soundfield mic. The spacial effect is in a way
the opposite of an archetypal Hollywood movie orchestra recording made
with a spaced two or three main mic array and spot mics.
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27th January 2012
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[QUOTE=semion;7490094]What I was mainly concerned with, were the stereo width limitations.
QUOTE]
From experience: there are a lot things to consider when recording an acoustic performance. Placement of the mics can be very sensitive, sometimes half a foot lower or higher makes a great difference in the sound.

This is one place where a fixed stereo mic may actually help a lot -- I tend to focus on placing the mic exactly right instead of fumbling around with different setups. Placing the mic will influence the stereo width, but this seldom is an issue in my experience. If really needed it is often possible to narrow the stereo field a little in post production.

My choice of stereo mic is the Schoeps MSTC64 which is fixed in ORTF setup. I combine it with a Sound Device 722 as my quick setup -- always reliable combination.
ORTF Stereo Microphone MSTC*64*U - Overview - SCHOEPS.de
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