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M/S recording
Old 7th September 2011
Gear Maniac
Ngr's Avatar

M/S recording

I guess you choose an M/S type stereo recording to get a nice stereo image and capture room sound with the figure of 8 mic of choice. But when you listen to the recording in mono the side part completely nulls as if you recorded with the cardioid mic only.
So, what's the point of recording in M/S if switching to mono completely eliminate a substantial part of your recording?
Isn't it much better to make stereo recording using other techniques that in mono will still inevitably undergo a phase cancellation but will still retain the info captured by both mics used?
Old 7th September 2011
Lives for gear
lectric's Avatar

Blumein: two figure of 8???
Old 7th September 2011
Gear Maniac
Reiner's Avatar

As's a matter of taste.
With all that equivalent stereofield-stuff based on level- and phasedifferences you´ll always become a "new" sound when switching into mono and summing both channels (tonechanging, cancelation). Either way it´s with stuff like XY, only dependent on soundintensity-levels . With M/S you got your main source recorded in mono and this will never change in any way if it comes down to mono. So if you need your source to be a hundred percentage compatible with mono, you'll know what you get with this setup.
For me there is an other case of using M/S for recording individual instruments e.g. like a acoustic guitar. If I can not or don't want to decide right now how much space it should have, I like M/S a lot. When it comes down to mixing I can choose wheather to use the sidesignal or not, and even how much of it.
Old 7th September 2011
IN M-S only the sides cancel. In any other stereo format, especially omnis, and still possible in XY since the capsules can't occupy exactly the same space, there will be cancellation, part of which may be the direct, or centered element. M-S is ideal for an application where many people will be listening in mono (like TV, though with bigger TV/cheaper electronics, this has changed mostly) now the people who happen to be listening in stereo are happy, while the mono is perfect. Yes other techniques will retain info from both mics, you can't be 100%positive of what's retained vs. lost.

And as said it's sometimes nice to have 2 faders and be able to control width that way, though I suppose you can always MS process another stereo source. But it is the only stereo technique which if summed to mono will resort to the same as an on-axis mono microphone.

A 3rd reason to use MS is the ability to use different/non matched mics. The S will always be a bi, but the M can be anything, cardioid, hyper, sub, the S could be a ribbon, while the M is a condenser, or vice versa. This allows for more tone combinations, especially with a limited mic locker.

A 4th reason, again, very TV friendly, MS with a card/bi will have a null on both mics at 180 from front, which means if there's a possibly noise inducing background directly behind it such as a camera/cameramen it will be minimized.
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