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Mid-side (M/S) recording with Sennheiser ME66? Condenser Microphones
Old 5th October 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Mid-side (M/S) recording with Sennheiser ME66?

Hi!
I'm trying to figure out how to make my soundscape/field recordings of nature in stereo and am looking for tips.

For what I understand, M/S is the most versatile stereo recording since you can change the widht of the stereo in post. So I think that is what I would like to use. However if you have good ideas of how to construct a blimp for two Sennheiser me66 I gladly listen to them. This has been tricky to find on the internet.

My questions:

1. Which figure of 8 mic do you recommend to combine with the Sennheiser me66 I already have and how do I put them together?

2. How do I construct/build my own blimp or do you recommend a Rycote? I already have a Röde-blimp.

All the best to you!

Catarina
Old 5th October 2017
  #2
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tourtelot's Avatar
Hi Catrina. I don't want to sound too harsh but whatever money you are considering putting into a figure-of-eight mic to make an M/S pair with your ME66, you might consider putting into a better mid mic. Not knowing your budget, of course, but knowing that the mid mic is much, much more important than what is used for the side mic, I'd suggest selling the ME66 and taking all your money and looking for a used MKH416.

Then, when you get a bit more in your account, maybe buy an Ambient ATE 208 Emesser clip-on. You might be able to find one used for in the $6-700 range. This sort of mic pair should fit into your Rode blimp with no issues. A way better combination than any other side mic combined with the ME66.

My $.02 (that and five bucks will buy a Starbucks) of course.

D.
Old 5th October 2017
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Although MS certainly has it's applications, to me nature recording isn't one of them. For that I prefer A-B or ORTF. You'll get a wider stereo field with those techniques compared to MS, which can be less wide with a panner, or by simply realligning mics from A-B towards NOS, if needed. But I think you'll like the depth and spacious sound of AB on nature recordings..
Also, a shotgun -like your 66- and a Figure-8 mic aren't the best match for MS. A shotgun mic will cancel out the sides, just where the S mic is listening. The result sounds a bit strange. Your ideal MS combi would be (super-)Cardioid & Figure-8.

For A-B & NOS, just use 2 (Rode) blimps. For ORTF, shotguns are too long.
If you really want M-S: affordable Figure of 8's are hard to find. I have an Octava 'hammer' 8, but find it so-so.. I wrote something about it a while ago: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/post...t-shotgun.html
Old 2nd November 2017
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Hi Mr D.
Thank you for your reply!

I have done some surfing and found nice words about the combination Sennheiser MKH 50 P48 with Sennheiser MKH 30 P480. Some people refer to it as the most popular combination for M/S field recording. So now I have some questions I hope you would like to answer:

1. When I compare the technical data of MKH mics to ME66 I don't find BIG differences. Why is that? The pricing is not the same so I understand that there are big differences in the mics, but how do I know whats the difference? What technical data should I value the most?
2. It is also hard to find reviews of these products... I'm use to read about digital cameras where you find tons of information to compare the cameras...
3. The mics you suggested - how are they compared to the two Sennheisers I mentioned?

I also listened to an interesting lecture on youtube of Chris Watson. He talked about his pair of DPA 4060 as expensive equipment and they are cheeper than the MKH 50/30. So this rose another question:

4. What price range should you go for if you are filming nature films with a RED camera if you want the sound to match the film?

Sorry for these newbie questions but I find it very difficult to find those answers on the internet cause of the absence of reviews and comparisons.

Thank you again!
Kind regards Catarina
Old 2nd November 2017
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Hi Newmann!
Thank you for your reply.
I think I'll prefer the M/S recording since I'll capture sounds for nature documentaries and I will be able to carry my mics in one unit/blimp with only one tripod.

I've tried the XY stereo recording and find it nice and "easy"... but for what I understand you can change the width of the stereo image in post with M/S recording but not with the XY.

If you have more ideas or thoughts please let me know. Thanks again!

Kind regards Catarina
Old 2nd November 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
Mid Side is the most obvious pragmatic answer to demanding wildlife and field recording
A MKH 30/50 pair in a Rycote basket with a jammer is a very sensible and portable array and will not suffer from humidity and precipitation
As Chris Watson suggests a pair of DPA 4060 is also bullet proof and portable
My friends use ECM 88s because they are exceptional in the rather dubious weather we experience in an Atlantic climate
All are sensible solutions
Roger
Old 2nd November 2017
  #7
Gear Head
 

Hi Catarina,

An MKH MS pair would be excellent, as has already been said. The DPA 4060s are, of course, very different being omnis. Rather than price, you would be better off working out what microphone set-up suits your planned use first.

Personally, I like AB omni and something with a lot less self-noise than the DPA lav mics: I either use omni mics in Rycote Baby Ball gags on a Manfrotto 154b bar (easy enough to move around on a single stand) or for a more compact arrangement, I sometimes put omni mics end-to-end in a single Rode blimp (see post 14 in this discussion for a photo: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remo...ni-stereo.html).

One of the most useful sites for you - if you haven't found it already - may be that of Magnús Bergsson, who records in Iceland with a whole range of mics, including MKH MS, and MKH omnis, through shotgun mics, and uses much more inexpensive mics too (such as the low-noise Rode NT1A LDC cardioid): see https://fieldrecording.net/english/

There's no substitute for testing/experimenting for your specific type of usage though.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 2nd November 2017
  #8
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Hi Catrina. I don't want to sound too harsh but whatever money you are considering putting into a figure-of-eight mic to make an M/S pair with your ME66, you might consider putting into a better mid mic. Not knowing your budget, of course, but knowing that the mid mic is much, much more important than what is used for the side mic, I'd suggest selling the ME66 and taking all your money and looking for a used MKH416.

Then, when you get a bit more in your account, maybe buy an Ambient ATE 208 Emesser clip-on. You might be able to find one used for in the $6-700 range. This sort of mic pair should fit into your Rode blimp with no issues. A way better combination than any other side mic combined with the ME66.

My $.02 (that and five bucks will buy a Starbucks) of course.

D.
Agreed - the Ambient ATE 208 Emesser clip-on would be the best solution - though better wuld be to get an MKH 40/30 or 50/30 in the new Rycote stereo Cyclone (that's what I would do).
Old 2nd November 2017
  #9
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catarina View Post
Hi Mr D.
Thank you for your reply!

I have done some surfing and found nice words about the combination Sennheiser MKH 50 P48 with Sennheiser MKH 30 P480. Some people refer to it as the most popular combination for M/S field recording. So now I have some questions I hope you would like to answer:

1. When I compare the technical data of MKH mics to ME66 I don't find BIG differences. Why is that? The pricing is not the same so I understand that there are big differences in the mics, but how do I know whats the difference? What technical data should I value the most?
2. It is also hard to find reviews of these products... I'm use to read about digital cameras where you find tons of information to compare the cameras...
3. The mics you suggested - how are they compared to the two Sennheisers I mentioned?

I also listened to an interesting lecture on youtube of Chris Watson. He talked about his pair of DPA 4060 as expensive equipment and they are cheeper than the MKH 50/30. So this rose another question:

4. What price range should you go for if you are filming nature films with a RED camera if you want the sound to match the film?

Sorry for these newbie questions but I find it very difficult to find those answers on the internet cause of the absence of reviews and comparisons.

Thank you again!
Kind regards Catarina
The MKH 20/30/40 series are vastly better than the K6 series and ME 600.

The MKH are RF condensers with extremely low noise and distortion.

The K6 series are electret condensers.

There is a magazine article about the MKH range HERE.

Manfred Hibbing's "The MKH Story" is HERE - Manfred Hibbing designed the MKH mics.

A bit about the differences between RF and AF condensers is HERE.

ANd the first part of a magazine artivle about the new MKH series is HERE - unfortunately, I never found the 2nd part in English.

I hope this helps.
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