side mic for m/s vocal recording
txgator
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#1
29th July 2007
Old 29th July 2007
  #1
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side mic for m/s vocal recording

I'm looking at the tele ak47 and the m-16 as my main vocal mics. Pop/r&b type vocals (see the sig). I plan on trying so m/s recording on the backing vocals. My plan was to use whichever mic I chose for leads as the "mid" mic for the bgv.

The obvious choice would be to just use the other one for the side mic. But I was also thinking about adding a m/s setup offset during the lead vocal tracking to add some natural ambience. Any thoughts on mics to try? Under 2k please.
#2
29th July 2007
Old 29th July 2007
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For M/S you should have 2 of the same mic. You want the frequency response between the 2 to be the same. Of course, this only works if your mic of choice is multipattern. For lead vocals I wouldn't fool with it. Put up an omni coincident with your vocal mic if you just have to have some room. Stereo micing a mono source is kind of pointless.
#3
29th July 2007
Old 29th July 2007
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dropblacksky's Avatar
 

While I agree that stereo micing a mono source isn't always necessary...I wouldn't say it's pointless. It's great for a special effect or so widen the stereo field. It all depends on the arrangement and instrumentation.

I've always been pleased with the Royer 121 as my side mic. It's a great mic that you'll use over and over again on a lot of sources, so it's a good one to own...
#4
29th July 2007
Old 29th July 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfreq33 View Post
For M/S you should have 2 of the same mic. You want the frequency response between the 2 to be the same. Stereo micing a mono source is kind of pointless.
I would respectfully, disagree with both of these points. Months back I took on "stereo" recording of mono sources as a way of sculptoring tone and dimension. I was referred to a multitude of books and the best in my humble opinion THE MICROPHONE BOOK, John Eargle, and THE NEW STEREO SOUNDBOOK, Ron Streicher & Alton Everest. I also picked up some matched condensor mics, some with multipattern and some without.

AEA, Wes Dooley makes a mic bar that will hold a pair of mics in various positions in including MS. This is really really nice because you can move the MS pair anyware you want it so the setup is a snap. The "S" mic needs to be a fig 8 and must be equal on the front and back. Some fig 8s have a different sound on the front and back. Ribbon or condensor will do. The "M" can actually be anything from fig 8, cardioid, to omni and will work with any kind of mic-- dynamic, condensor, or ribbon.

On the other hand to use XY, Blumlein technique, ORTF, etc requires matched mics. So that the frequency response of the right and left will be matched. With the MS technique the "S" mic provides the right and left information and is, of course frequency and directionally matched with itself perfectly (just out of phase front and back).

Refer to THE NEW STEREO SOUND BOOK chapter 7.14 for a great description of setting up and coding/decoding for MS technique which is beyond the scope of this thread.

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS-- If a tracking space has a good ambient sound the MS technique provides "S" information that will give a mono source stereo dimension. The "S" mic is for the most part only recording the room and not the source per se because the source as at the null point of the fig 8. If the track ends up mono and not stereo the "S" ends up totally canceled out. If the tracking space doesn't have a good ambient sound I have found it ain't worth the trouble. However, with Wes Dooley's handy dandy bar I always have a MS setup ready to move into action. I think of the MS as an approach to get a virtual stereo print of a mono source in a space just like one would hear a mono source with two ears in a space. Further, if the "stereo" image ends up mono, rather than having phase issues the sides just cancel out.

This is a great technique to play with has pushed me to understand that stereo recording technique isn't just panning right or left.
txgator
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#5
29th July 2007
Old 29th July 2007
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Thread Starter
thanks midnightsun. And yes...the reasoning is to create a more "natural" ambience and using less reverb, delays, etc.

Anyone have thoughts on mics yet?
#6
29th July 2007
Old 29th July 2007
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Oroz's Avatar
 

Funny. I'm just preparing a class about stereo miking techniques, I open Gearslutz and see this thread. Anyway, I agree with midnightsun, you don't need the same mics on the M/S technique, here's a photo that I'll be using in class:
side mic for m/s vocal recording-ms-1side.jpg
#7
29th July 2007
Old 29th July 2007
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I agree that putting up an S mic is relatively low effort way of experimenting with a stereo field and/or some ambience. And it is no doubt true that the quality of your results are directly tied to the quality of your space.

My "go to" S mics when I don't know quite what I'm looking for, but want to try it anyway, are (pretty much in order) the RCA BK-11, the Royer SF-1 and an Audio-Upgrades modded 414BULS. All three of them have good nulls and are, in the scheme of things, reasonably extended and flat. The order basically goes from "richness" towards "clarity." When the BK11 works, it's simply awesome. A truly beautiful sounding mic. The SF-1 is a little more extended and less rich in the midrange, and the 414 is even more extended in bandwidth, has greater "reach" as you would expect from a condensor, but is even less rich and more clinical.

That's sort of the experimentation continuum for me, and it depends on what kind of effect you are looking for, almost like a Neve at one end and a Gordon at the other. Comparable mics could be a Coles or RCA 44 instead of BK-11, a Beyer M130 instead of the SF-1, or a Sennheiser MKH30 instead of the 414. There are obviously many others.

I personally find that the S mic is an independent function from the M mic, and that the critical issue is that it be the same front to back, not that it match the M mic's freq response. This may be just plain wrong, but it seems to be what works in my experience.

Hope that's helpful and best of luck with your experiments. I think that you're onto something interesting.
#8
29th July 2007
Old 29th July 2007
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peat's Avatar
get some DPA mic's

they are the kings of stereo recording
perfect omni's

a bit pricey though
#9
30th July 2007
Old 30th July 2007
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oroz View Post
Funny. I'm just preparing a class about stereo miking techniques, I open Gearslutz and see this thread. Anyway, I agree with midnightsun, you don't need the same mics on the M/S technique, here's a photo that I'll be using in class:
Attachment 38589
I agree too.

I've recorded a John Lennon Gibson that had a pickup.

I wanted it in stereo so I used a figure-8 plus the D.I. from the pickup to make m/s stereo.

worked great.
#10
30th July 2007
Old 30th July 2007
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Tom VDH's Avatar
 

To add to what's been said, I think you can go pretty creative with M/S.
Besides the normal M/S technique, I often add some distance to the S mic to create depth, as well as Eq it, compress it, you name it, to get what I'm after.

Mic wise, I second the R-121, but I guess any fig 8 mic could do the trick as long you know what you want from it.

Cheers,
#11
30th July 2007
Old 30th July 2007
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfreq33 View Post
For M/S you should have 2 of the same mic. You want the frequency response between the 2 to be the same. Of course, this only works if your mic of choice is multipattern. For lead vocals I wouldn't fool with it. Put up an omni coincident with your vocal mic if you just have to have some room. Stereo micing a mono source is kind of pointless.
In my experience it does improve the "realism" of the stereo field if the two mics are closely matched. Also there are no hard rules, so IMHO both sides are correct.
#12
30th July 2007
Old 30th July 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrox247 View Post
In my experience it does improve the "realism" of the stereo field if the two mics are closely matched. Also there are no hard rules, so IMHO both sides are correct.
Agree with any stereo recording technique other than MS. With MS the two sides are matched, i.e. they are actually coming from the same mic "S."
#13
30th July 2007
Old 30th July 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightsun View Post
Agree with any stereo recording technique other than MS. With MS the two sides are matched, i.e. they are actually coming from the same mic "S."
Yes, I understand this. I've been using M/S technique for over 10 years now going back to my days of field recording and film.
#14
30th July 2007
Old 30th July 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrox247 View Post
Yes, I understand this. I've been using M/S technique for over 10 years now going back to my days of field recording and film.
Your experience with this approach exceeds mine. I guess my only point was to encourage those who don't have a matched pair to give this approach a whirl. In actuality, I usually end up using a matched pair of Korby KAT67s or KAT 12s. Matched pairs does open up bunches of possibilities. I have had a great time with matched fig 8s using the Blumlein technique.
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