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M-S mic technique--the lazy man's lazy way
Old 20th May 2010
  #61
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Yannick's Avatar
 

Damn, this is so old and still up to date !

MS = for lazy people. That is EXACTLY the reason why it has a bad name. No-one bothers to read more than two sentences about it or to try it for more than 15 minutes

Another lazy statement : MS with anything other than M=omni is worthless.
Yeah, right. What is Blumlein ? What is the difference with MS with two fig8 ? What happens if you sum Blumlein to mono ?

Think and try and listen for more than 10 seconds please and get on with it

We've been doing MS for 18 years now, so we've got the hang of it.

Some more food for thought for those lazy people:
1. what happens with the phase between the two capsules when MS matrixing XY recordings ?
2. what happens with the mono component when doing the same with a blumlein (making it broader or narrower)
3. what is the difference with MS with two fig8 ?
4. Why is pure Blumlein still better then, if you do NOT alter the width in post/mastering ?
5. what is the advantage of MS with a cardioid M, considering reverb, out-of-phase information, and stereo angle compared to an omni M ?
6. how can you make a stereo recording with just ONE MKH800 twin ?

etc etc

Old 20th May 2010
  #62
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amfortas2006's Avatar
 

I like M/S, I"ve been using ORTF, A/B and XY for a while, then tried M/S, and for single spot sources M/S rocks for me!

But one should be able to monitor M/S while recording it, and not all recorders have this option. Mine has it, so I decode trough software. Or buy a hardware decoder...
Old 20th May 2010
  #63
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joelpatterson's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
I wish that people would PLEASE stop bumping this thread!
Old 20th May 2010
  #64
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amfortas2006's Avatar
 

It"s ok Joel! We all have posts from the past we would like to forget! heh

You"re a good guy
Old 20th May 2010
  #65
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Phil Cibley's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis View Post
You think little 16 year old girls are running around with only one iPod earbud in their ears?

As a matter of fact, on the subway I see people "sharing" ipod earbuds
all the time. One person uses left and the other uses right. Whenever
I see this, I hope they are listening to a mono mix, but of course they
aren't. Makes you wonder sometimes.
Old 20th May 2010
  #66
pan
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pan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis View Post
Personally, I could care less if the latest Volkswagon commercial's soundtrack is "mono-compatible."
You will, if you mixed it, and the PM returns from his holidays to rip your ass for the **** sound he got in his cottage kitchen TV...
Old 20th May 2010
  #67
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tourtelot's Avatar
Man, it worked great for me a month ago on a live late with a solo vocalist backed by a large choir. Don't think anything would have been a better choice myself. Oh, and "lazy?" I don't get that part. There are lots of tools in the box and M/S is one of the good ones.

Just my $.02.

D.
Old 20th May 2010
  #69
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Yannick's Avatar
 

That's exactly my point

I applaud you, for:

a. the XY at least has the caps positioned correctly
b. taking the time and effort to listen/test/decide

BUT: in the paper you link to, it is clear that XY with two cardioids is NOT the same as MS with a cardioid mid mic, unless you use an unrealistically low volume for the fig8.
More commonly, the corresponding XY config goes towards two supercardioids !
One gets two cardioids (but at 180° - pretty useless by itself, due to off axis coloring in the opposed channel) when combining an omni with fig8 at equal levels.

Next question : how much samples do you compensate between the M and S signals if the source is hitting both capsules at the same time for the middle of the source, but the sides of the source (big ensemble) are hitting the M first (when the mics are 3m high) ?
Old 21st May 2010
  #70
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RobAnderson's Avatar
Don't confuse mathematical theoretical equivalents with sounding identical in real life.

Mid-side yields some benefits over 90-degree crossed cards:

- Your mid mic is directly on-axis to the sound source whereas in XY both mics are at least 45-degrees off-axis. This can be a bigger advantage than it is given credit for.

- 90-degree XY angle is optimized for the fig-8 pickup pattern. With crossed cardioids, it is actually too narrow an angle for most "ambient" recording situations - there is too much correlation between channels and the reproduced sound source is rather narrow - but a larger angle between the mic's makes the majority of your sound source even further off-axis.

- With M-S, your mid mic is usually mostly direct sound and your side mic is mostly diffuse so you have some control of direct to reverberant sound.

I rarely use M-S for a main pickup, but often use it for a spot mic'ing situation. I think the only time I ever really use XY is occasionally on drum overheads where I want the punch and feel of mono, but with a little bit of imaging and spread. Conversely, I have found M-S to not work as well for this purpose as drum overheads.

The only "proper" way to do a real M-S is with matched microphone capsule types, but unless you are using a stereo mic... It still works with unmatched types, but I have found that you do get a little weirdness in the image sometimes.

I'd hardly describe it as a lazy man's technique since for me it is always a pain in the a$$ to set up and matrix.
Old 21st May 2010
  #71
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RobAnderson's Avatar
If I remember corectly, mathematically a hypercard mid mixed with equal ratio to the side gives you the same stereo pickup pattern as two cardioids crossed at 90 degrees.

Don't confuse this with sounding identical in real life.

Mid-side yields some benefits over 90-degree crossed cards:

- Your mid mic is directly on-axis to the sound source whereas in XY both mics are at least 45-degrees off-axis. This can be a bigger advantage than it is given credit for.

- 90-degree XY angle is optimized for the fig-8 pickup pattern. With crossed cardioids, it is actually too narrow an angle for most "ambient" recording situations - there is too much correlation between channels and the reproduced sound source is rather narrow - but a larger angle between the mic's makes the majority of your sound source even further off-axis.

- With M-S, your mid mic is usually mostly direct sound and your side mic is mostly diffuse so you have some control of direct to reverberant sound.

I rarely use M-S for a main pickup, but often use it for a spot mic'ing situation. I think the only time I ever really use XY is occasionally on drum overheads where I want the punch and feel of mono, but with a little bit of imaging and spread. Conversely, I have found M-S to not work as well for this purpose as drum overheads.

The only "proper" way to do a real M-S is with matched microphone capsule types, but unless you are using a stereo mic... It still works with unmatched types, but I have found that you do get a little weirdness in the image sometimes.

I'd hardly describe it as a lazy man's technique since for me it is always a pain in the a$$ to set up and matrix.
Old 21st May 2010
  #72
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobAnderson View Post
If I remember corectly, mathematically a hypercard mid mixed with equal ratio to the side gives you the same stereo pickup pattern as two cardioids crossed at 90 degrees..
No, that's almost inside out :-): A cardioid mid with equal ratio of Fig-8 side equates to a hypercardioid pair angled at about 125 -130 deg.

This makes sense when you reflect on it: the Fig-8 side mic has a narrower (cosine) pattern than the cardioid, so it is only logical that any virtual mic resulting from mixing mid and side is always going to get a narrower pattern than the starting cardioid. The only way to generate a cardioid XY pair (side- facing, 180 deg angling) is by using an omni for mid.
Old 21st May 2010
  #73
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RobAnderson's Avatar
Ha!

I thought I edited my first post, but somehow the edited post got posted before the first one resulting in a weird double post!

That's in case you want to read it twice

Tom McC, you are absolutely right (of course)...

But I stand by the rest of it.
Old 22nd May 2010
  #74
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Matti's Avatar
If you do a search you´ll find this ( M/S ) is well covered around here,
argued even...
Well... - basics of recording is to know some of the theory

Matti
Old 22nd May 2010
  #75
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RobAnderson's Avatar
Sadly, I have probably forgotten more M-S theory than most people would ever really want to know. I was mostly interested in it when I was doing research on Ambisonics some years ago. I was really interested in higher-order ambisonics and 3-D audio, but it all starts with the basic M-S concept.

I must say that there are some interesting applications for dual M-S in the surround world, but it seems to me that, as with all things M-S: it looks pretty impressive on paper, but I have gotten results that I like better with other techniques. However, the ability to obtain 5-speaker surround sound from just three mic's is a truly fascinating concept, and Jerry Bruck's idea of M/S on the sides of the sphere mic is just brilliant.

I haven't used those neurons in a few years. heh

I guess it bears saying that, when it really comes down to it, coincident techniques have never really been my cup of tea as a main stereo pickup, but some pretty heavy cats are really into M-S, and it works for them, so...

I have found other uses for it here and there and am glad I know how to use it when necessary.

At the end of the day, it's just another tool in the toolbox.
Old 22nd May 2010
  #76
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Matti's Avatar
Not a Tonmeister myself, I just apply what I feel is needed from my kind of collection of situations succeeded or messed -no interest on books when already rigging a project , well - sometimes they contact me again

Matti
Old 1 week ago
  #77
Pao
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MS, Figure of 8 pointing at 270 degrees? Is the stereo image lost?

Hello everyboy, i need some help and hope you can help me out.

I used the MS Technique to record a soundscape. I used omni (for MID) and figure of 8 (forSIDES).

The problem is i didin't realize i had set the figure of 8 at 270 degrees.. the on axis of the figure of 8 was pointing at 270 degrees instead of 90 degrees which should be. So when i do the encoding the paning is wrong, what is supposed to sound at the right sounds at the left monitor.. and what is supposed to be at the left comes out from the Right monitor.

So are all the recordings are lost? Can it be fixed? I tried phase reversing the original figure of 8, insted of the copy and the panning sounds right. I also tried doing phase reverse at the copy o the figure of 8, and panned the copy to the L and the original fig of 8 to the Right. I think it also sound ok but i'm not really sure what happens with phase cancellation, the positive , negatives? Will i lost information? Is the stereo image lost?

Thank you
Old 1 week ago
  #78
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pao View Post
Hello everyboy, i need some help and hope you can help me out.

I used the MS Technique to record a soundscape. I used omni (for MID) and figure of 8 (forSIDES).

The problem is i didin't realize i had set the figure of 8 at 270 degrees.. the on axis of the figure of 8 was pointing at 270 degrees instead of 90 degrees which should be. So when i do the encoding the paning is wrong, what is supposed to sound at the right sounds at the left monitor.. and what is supposed to be at the left comes out from the Right monitor.

So are all the recordings are lost? Can it be fixed? I tried phase reversing the original figure of 8, insted of the copy and the panning sounds right. I also tried doing phase reverse at the copy o the figure of 8, and panned the copy to the L and the original fig of 8 to the Right. I think it also sound ok but i'm not really sure what happens with phase cancellation, the positive , negatives? Will i lost information? Is the stereo image lost?

Thank you
The convention for MS is to point the side figure 8 such that the + side faces left (when viewed from behind), but if mic is reversed (+ faces right) simply invert the polarity of the left track instead of the right. So, in this case, L=S-M and R=S+M.

Rest assured that no stereo information has been lost. Just to make sure, use a goniometer or stereo meter plug in your DAW and check the stereo image. Set the ratio of mid to side for optimum stereo and phasing.

I personally find it easier to decode MS 'manually' in my DAW (copying the figure 8 Side track, inverting the appropriate Side - usually the right - and panning the two sides left and right, then balancing Mid and Side for best stereo) rather than using an MS plug-in. This way my small but orderly brain understands what is going on and how to correct problems, if there are any. YMMV
Old 1 week ago
  #79
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tourtelot's Avatar
Poor Joel. The post that never dies.

We'll just call it the White Walker post, eh?

D.
Old 1 week ago
  #80
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Poor Joel. The post that never dies.

We'll just call it the White Walker post, eh?

D.
A good reminder to all of us of the immortality of posting on the internet. The posts will still be there after we're gone (already sadly true in some instances).
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