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Which would you use for the Mid mic in MS setup Condenser Microphones
Old 6th August 2017
  #61
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
So you still have an audible roll off. This isn't a theoretical assessment by me, but rather a real world experience I had backed up by looking at the Schoeps spec to see why. Do it if you will, however, I don't recommend it as a good option. YMMV
I don't fully agree with that analysis. Let's take the example of an omni combined with a fig8 that has (natural) bass roloff. The omni will have most high response in the center, while the lows will be picked up from all directions. With a bit of luck the drop-off of the fig8 to the (now) sides will be perfectly compensated for by the relative add-up of the lows on the sides of the omni. This can result in a very even frequency response over the full stereo spread. Schoeps Mk2 with Mk8 sounds pretty even because of that.

To take the example a step further: when you use the Sennheiser MKH30 with the low linearizing EQ switch on, you will get a very boomy/blurry sound when combined in M/S with the MKH20. The entire stereo image becomes more clear and linear when you leave the linearizing on the MKH30 off (some would read this as turning the low-cut on, although the "low cut" is just the natural drop off of the lows of the MKH30). Much fewer phasing problems too with this approach. I personally only use the linearizing EQ switch for Blumlein and Blumlein M/S with the MKH30's.
Old 7th August 2017
  #62
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
I don't fully agree with that analysis. Let's take the example of an omni combined with a fig8 that has (natural) bass roloff. The omni will have most high response in the center, while the lows will be picked up from all directions. With a bit of luck the drop-off of the fig8 to the (now) sides will be perfectly compensated for by the relative add-up of the lows on the sides of the omni. This can result in a very even frequency response over the full stereo spread. Schoeps Mk2 with Mk8 sounds pretty even because of that.

To take the example a step further: when you use the Sennheiser MKH30 with the low linearizing EQ switch on, you will get a very boomy/blurry sound when combined in M/S with the MKH20. The entire stereo image becomes more clear and linear when you leave the linearizing on the MKH30 off (some would read this as turning the low-cut on, although the "low cut" is just the natural drop off of the lows of the MKH30). Much fewer phasing problems too with this approach. I personally only use the linearizing EQ switch for Blumlein and Blumlein M/S with the MKH30's.
Whilst you may surmise all this, as I think I made quite clear in my original post, it doesn't happen like that.

Remember, I wasn't thinking about bass roll off, but on reviewing the recording it was quite obvious that the recording lacked low end. I spoke to Mike about it and he said well that was one of the issues of the Schoeps mk8 in that it has a significant, early (200 hz) roll off, you can see this on their published spec sheet. I had to add significant eq to counter it. The end result was professionally acceptable, but in hindsight I would have used something else as I feel I could have improved on the result.

I understand that you might feel that having less bass gives more clarity or better imaging, this is your point of view and your personal choice, but more accurate it isn't, the bass response is a direct summation of the mic's according to their relative level.
Old 7th August 2017
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
I don't fully agree with that analysis. Let's take the example of an omni combined with a fig8 that has (natural) bass roloff. The omni will have most high response in the center, while the lows will be picked up from all directions. With a bit of luck the drop-off of the fig8 to the (now) sides will be perfectly compensated for by the relative add-up of the lows on the sides of the omni. This can result in a very even frequency response over the full stereo spread. Schoeps Mk2 with Mk8 sounds pretty even because of that.

To take the example a step further: when you use the Sennheiser MKH30 with the low linearizing EQ switch on, you will get a very boomy/blurry sound when combined in M/S with the MKH20. The entire stereo image becomes more clear and linear when you leave the linearizing on the MKH30 off (some would read this as turning the low-cut on, although the "low cut" is just the natural drop off of the lows of the MKH30). Much fewer phasing problems too with this approach. I personally only use the linearizing EQ switch for Blumlein and Blumlein M/S with the MKH30's.
Whilst you may surmise all this, as I think I made quite clear in my original post, it doesn't happen like that.

Remember, I wasn't thinking about bass roll off, but on reviewing the recording it was quite obvious that the recording lacked low end. I spoke to Mike about it and he said well that was one of the issues of the Schoeps mk8 in that it has a significant, early (200 hz) roll off, you can see this on their published spec sheet. I had to add significant eq to counter it. The end result was professionally acceptable, but in hindsight I would have used something else as I feel I could have improved on the result.

I understand that you might feel that having less bass gives more clarity or better imaging, this is your point of view and your personal choice, but more accurate it isn't, the bass response is a direct summation of the mic's according to their relative level.
Roland, we believe you that the mic array you used on one of your recordings was not ideal. What we are trying to establish, is first of all, no matter what kind of array or mics are used, each recording should be thought out individually in terms of what frequency response is ideal.

If it turns out that an MS array is going to be used, the frequency response of a particular array is determined by the combination of mid and side mics.

As Earcatcher clearly described, a common esthetic dilemma in working with MS arrays is in percieving a trade off between bass response and imaging clarity.

There is no simple answer or formula.
Old 7th August 2017
  #64
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Whilst you may surmise all this, as I think I made quite clear in my original post, it doesn't happen like that.

Remember, I wasn't thinking about bass roll off, but on reviewing the recording it was quite obvious that the recording lacked low end. I spoke to Mike about it and he said well that was one of the issues of the Schoeps mk8 in that it has a significant, early (200 hz) roll off, you can see this on their published spec sheet. I had to add significant eq to counter it. The end result was professionally acceptable, but in hindsight I would have used something else as I feel I could have improved on the result.

I understand that you might feel that having less bass gives more clarity or better imaging, this is your point of view and your personal choice, but more accurate it isn't, the bass response is a direct summation of the mic's according to their relative level.
Maybe you do not want to understand what I am saying, but it may be helpful to know that I have been performing endless real life tests with M/S techniques on all types of Schoeps capsules, using the Mk8 as side mic. I have also performed such tests with many other microphones, using Mk8 and MKH30 as side mics. I do know what I am speaking about, not only from a theoretical point of view, but even more so from practical experience.

Twisting my words into the notion that I would have a taste for lesser bass is just plain stupid. The whole premise of my post is that we all want the most realistic representation of all frequencies. Should I have spelled that out?

Having said that I will try to explain again, but from a different point of view. Essentially, as you say it, "the bass response is a direct summation of the mic's according to their relative level" is exactly right! However, an omni does have a high frequency drop-off to the sides (check the plots). In reality this means that low frequencies coming from the off-axis area will be over-represented in the signal. As a frequent user of pressure omnis I have often gotten a bloated bass response (from the side areas) because of that. Some people like this bloated bass of omnis, some think it is not realistic. This could be a matter of aesthetics, but is irrelevant to the description of the theory behind the sound of M/S. If you expect, when using M/S, to get the bloated side bass response as you know it from the use of just omnis, then that is indeed a wrong expectation. In M/S the natural drop-off of lows of the fig8 may just fit very well in the natural increase of lows that omnis have to their sides. That's all I was saying.

Now what if you use a mid mic that does not have a relative increase of lows to its sides? Yes, then you will have a loss of total lows to the sides of the stereo image and using a fig8 with linearization EQ will be helpful. Most ideally one would be using mid and side mics that have no increase or drop-off of any frequencies in any direction. That's also why M/S made out of two MKH30's works so extremely well, as they are fully symmetrical in their responses and no image shift will happen at any frequency. Because that's the only caveat of the omni/fig8 M/S: the lows of the combo may be perfectly linear, but the directionality of the lows will be near non-existent.
Old 7th August 2017
  #65
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Yannick's Avatar
 

Earcatcher, while I fully agree with what you are writing, i feel I need to point out that using the mk8 with an omni mid, in the bass region the signal will be monoish towards mono.

Imo this is a big drawback.

But I agree with your point that a AB recording with true omnis result quite easily in a bass heavy recording ! This is made even worse by the introduction of a severe comb filter, which further sucks out high bass, mids and hf.

I almost always end up using either a SF1 or mostly MKH30 as the side mic, because they are linear, and I like their sound.

I never had trouble with too much or too thin bass, nothing that could not be solved by a very gentle bass shelf around +- 1 to 1.5 dB.

Something of that magnitude should never dictate the choice of the mic array IMO.
Old 7th August 2017
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
Earcatcher, while I fully agree with what you are writing, i feel I need to point out that using the mk8 with an omni mid, in the bass region the signal will be monoish towards mono.
Yes, one of the main problems with using omni mids in M/S.

Quote:
But I agree with your point that a AB recording with true omnis result quite easily in a bass heavy recording ! This is made even worse by the introduction of a severe comb filter, which further sucks out high bass, mids and hf.
No comb filter if A is pure left and B is pure right. M/S on the other hand ...

Ideally, one wants constant directivity with microphones as well as loudspeakers!
Old 7th August 2017
  #67
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If your concern with using Omni as M is that bass will be mono, you can always do a gentle low cut on the Omni M mic to match the bass response of the F8 mic before MS decoding.
Old 7th August 2017
  #68
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Yannick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
No comb filter if A is pure left and B is pure right.
If you listen on headphones, exlusively ?
Old 8th August 2017
  #69
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I think of MS w/ omni mid as sounding generally less coherent than spaced omnis or [MS w/ fig 8 or cardioid mid].

In some situations it is usefull as a problem solver.
Old 8th August 2017
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post

I almost always end up using either a SF1 or mostly MKH30 as the side mic, because they are linear, and I like their sound.
I love the SF1 as a mid mic for some music. It has a beautiful, refined, ethereal character sound. Technically, it does not have a linear frequency response. It is rolled off on the top and bottom, with an emphasis in the lower mids.

Last edited by aracu; 8th August 2017 at 01:02 PM..
Old 8th August 2017
  #71
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
Earcatcher, while I fully agree with what you are writing, i feel I need to point out that using the mk8 with an omni mid, in the bass region the signal will be monoish towards mono.

Imo this is a big drawback.
I think I wrote exactly this in the last sentence, phrased a little differently: "Because that's the only caveat of the omni/fig8 M/S: the lows of the combo may be perfectly linear, but the directionality of the lows will be near non-existent."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
I almost always end up using either a SF1 or mostly MKH30 as the side mic, because they are linear, and I like their sound.
Ribbons are great for M/S. I like to use SF24 for that purpose and even AT4081's work well in that role, albeit a bit noisy.
Old 8th August 2017
  #72
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Maybe you do not want to understand what I am saying, but it may be helpful to know that I have been performing endless real life tests with M/S techniques on all types of Schoeps capsules, using the Mk8 as side mic. I have also performed such tests with many other microphones, using Mk8 and MKH30 as side mics. I do know what I am speaking about, not only from a theoretical point of view, but even more so from practical experience.

Twisting my words into the notion that I would have a taste for lesser bass is just plain stupid. The whole premise of my post is that we all want the most realistic representation of all frequencies. Should I have spelled that out?

Having said that I will try to explain again, but from a different point of view. Essentially, as you say it, "the bass response is a direct summation of the mic's according to their relative level" is exactly right! However, an omni does have a high frequency drop-off to the sides (check the plots). In reality this means that low frequencies coming from the off-axis area will be over-represented in the signal. As a frequent user of pressure omnis I have often gotten a bloated bass response (from the side areas) because of that. Some people like this bloated bass of omnis, some think it is not realistic. This could be a matter of aesthetics, but is irrelevant to the description of the theory behind the sound of M/S. If you expect, when using M/S, to get the bloated side bass response as you know it from the use of just omnis, then that is indeed a wrong expectation. In M/S the natural drop-off of lows of the fig8 may just fit very well in the natural increase of lows that omnis have to their sides. That's all I was saying.

Now what if you use a mid mic that does not have a relative increase of lows to its sides? Yes, then you will have a loss of total lows to the sides of the stereo image and using a fig8 with linearization EQ will be helpful. Most ideally one would be using mid and side mics that have no increase or drop-off of any frequencies in any direction. That's also why M/S made out of two MKH30's works so extremely well, as they are fully symmetrical in their responses and no image shift will happen at any frequency. Because that's the only caveat of the omni/fig8 M/S: the lows of the combo may be perfectly linear, but the directionality of the lows will be near non-existent.
But then you have the issues of pattern flip and things getting weird near the edges of your 90 deg field of view. There was a thread a couple years back where the recording demonstrated this problem.

I'm all for ms recordings, however, like all things sound wise they are not without issues. MS with fig. 8 centre mic's are very restrictive, one of the reasons that the most successful people in our trade don't use them. Yet there are people still suggesting this as a suitable mid setup with outriggers for an orchestra.

I don't particularly have a horse in this race, but, my advise to those thinking about ms techniques is that the best side mic's I've ever used are the mkh30, various dual capsule microphones, AKG, Pearl, Neumann or even Coles 4038. For centre microphones cardioid and omni's work well, the DPA 4006 with a nose cone is a good example.
Old 8th August 2017
  #73
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MKH 30s are a perfect pair for MS and Blumlein imho
If proximity is an issue then you are sited too close , there is a LF rolloff on the mic and this can be implemented
I have only done this once when a choir soloist was situated on the rear of the mid to give her more prominence
Her voice was weak but mellifluous and need some help but not proximity
I have never had image flip problems for the rear lobe in all varieties of locale
All the classic MKH patterns work well in MS
This was a design brief in the 80s when Euro TV was going stereo.
Large dynamics in MS are unsuitable for public performance, they weigh too much .
Schoeps CCMs are lovely for detail , not quite so good for musical weight and the resonance of a performing stage and 6 string basses
Roger
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