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Stereo mic for ambient field recording Condenser Microphones
Old 22nd March 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Question Stereo mic for ambient field recording

I am researching stereo mics for field recording and am having trouble finding different options for some reason. I am looking at the rode NT4 but am wondering whether to aim higher. I need it to not be too fat so it will still fit in my rode windshield. Any suggestions?? thanks
Old 22nd March 2010
  #2
For stereo mics, I feel nothing beats a ribbon. Royer SF-12 might be out of your budget, but look into a Lundahl modified X-15 by Cascade. You just need a good preamp with lots of gain.

If this is for out door sound design also and not just music, AT or Rode are good options.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #3
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Shure VP88 is a workhorse, built strong as a hammer. Bit noisy but works also with internal battery. Pearl from Sweden makes some quite nice MS stereo mics for video work. They are 28mm in diameter, bit difficult to fit in normal windshields. At least the Rycote S-series do not have holders for them, the old zeppelin does, also there is a invision lyre holder available (no wind shielding).
Old 22nd March 2010
  #4
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Martin Kantola's Avatar
 

A ribbon would be VERY problematic in the field with regards to both noise and wind issues. Depending on what kind of sound sources you are looking for, microphone self noise quickly becomes an issue. Would recommend looking at the option of using two mono microphones too, even if you'll need a new windscreen to fit both.

Martin
Old 22nd March 2010
  #5
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avebr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Shure VP88 is a workhorse, built strong as a hammer. Bit noisy but works also with internal battery.
+1 thumbsup It will need lots of gain for quiet or distant sources as it's an electret with dynamic-like sensitivity... It can be usefull for many situatuions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Pearl from Sweden makes some quite nice MS stereo mics for video work. They are 28mm in diameter, bit difficult to fit in normal windshields. At least the Rycote S-series do not have holders for them, the old zeppelin does, also there is a invision lyre holder available (no wind shielding).
Those Pearls are great, but more expensive...


all the best,
ave.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #6
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The NT4 comes with a WS4 windshield, and you can put a furry over it if you like.

RØDE Microphones - WS4

Rycote | Mini Windjammer | 055320 | B&H Photo Video

That's what I did and it works well.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
A ribbon would be VERY problematic in the field with regards to both noise and wind issues. Depending on what kind of sound sources you are looking for, microphone self noise quickly becomes an issue. Would recommend looking at the option of using two mono microphones too, even if you'll need a new windscreen to fit both.

Martin
thumbsup

Ribbons and wind are not compatible. They can be ruined by a wind gust or rough handling.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #8
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In the Rode range there is also the "stereo video mic" which doesn't seem to have that nasty edgy sound of the NT4, while being around the same price. However its mounting and connection method may not suit your needs (though it's not too hard to make up electrical and physical adapters if required). Mine came with a very effective "dead kitten" windshield.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #9
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A reminder as well about Ozpeter's earlier observations:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remot...icrophone.html

The AT version will run on internal battery while the BP version only works on phantom. Both are improvements on my 9yo AT825 which has been and is still used for both outdoor recording and indoor music, where the use of my Schoeps or AKG gear may be inappropriate. In the case of the BP version there is a reduction in self noise by 10dB (14dBA) and a similar increase in sensitivity compared to the AT825.

They are specifically designed for outdoor use particularly on top of video cameras. Sounds as if it could work in your situation.
Old 23rd March 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 

Thanks, lots of stuff here to look into. Anyone know a mic of similar design to the NT4 with individual capsules that unlike the NT4 can be adjusted to a wider or narrower image?
Old 23rd March 2010
  #11
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As someone who has spent a lot of time doing field recording, I offer this piece of advice: Never underestimate the convenience of having to deal with only one microphone.

My main mic is a Neumann RSM 191s. It's an MS mic. I also have omnis that I like to use for ambience, but frankly I rarely use them because having to deal with an ORTF or XY config can be time consuming. Field recording involves a lot of trial and error in selecting locations…it's great to be able to find a good place, get comfy and just go handheld whenever possible.
Old 23rd March 2010
  #12
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If you want to go all the way. A large Rycote blimp + Sennheiser MKH30+ MKH40 will work in most climates. Will cost you and is heavy and large. I keep the mics mounted in the Rycote, a 5 pin XLR mounted, so it behaves more or less like a single mic.

//Gunnar
Old 23rd March 2010
  #13
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I was just planning to add the same recommendation on my previous post. The Sennheiser combo in a dedicated Rycote Zeppelin is The Gold Standard of stereo field recording. Fairly compact, single unit, lowest noise, best humidity tolerance, great sound.

You could also replace the cardioid/hypercardioid with the new MKH8040 or 8060 which I think has even lower noise specs.
Old 23rd March 2010
  #14
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghellquist View Post
If you want to go all the way. A large Rycote blimp + Sennheiser MKH30+ MKH40 will work in most climates. Will cost you and is heavy and large. I keep the mics mounted in the Rycote, a 5 pin XLR mounted, so it behaves more or less like a single mic.
This is what I use, but I don't find it heavy.

And the two mics. are as easy to use a a single mic - and actually about the same weight as well.

I have now swapped over the metal loops and silicon O-rings to the new Lyre mount - it works perfectly.

The MS Lyre for this combo. was my design after experimenting with existing Rycote parts - it's lighter and better than the original stereo suspension and Rycote will now supply this suspension on request.
Old 23rd March 2010
  #15
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Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

sound devices lsd2 sounds great for little coin
Old 23rd March 2010
  #16
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
You could also replace the cardioid/hypercardioid with the new MKH8040 or 8060 which I think has even lower noise specs.
Yes, but the noise specs are not lower, they are the the same or 1dB higher.

The capsule diameter in the new 8000 series is the same as the earlier series -n 16mm in both cases.
Old 23rd March 2010
  #17
Gear Head
 

the sennheiser setup is quite a lot out of my price range unfortunately. Can I ask though, why would you not want a matched pair for a stereo image?
Old 23rd March 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max-walker View Post
the sennheiser setup is quite a lot out of my price range unfortunately. Can I ask though, why would you not want a matched pair for a stereo image?
The MKH 30 is a figure 8 pattern, while the 40 is cardiod...the ingredients for MS stereo recording.

I should have added to my previous post that having one stereo microphone or two mics in the same blimp is very convenient.
Old 23rd March 2010
  #19
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Two mics in one blimp: omni AB, about 30 cm wide. I have done that with DPA4060 pair in a normal Rycote Zeppelin. You can have them pointing the opposite ways if the mic bodies are long, slightly angled if short and using an angled XLR plug.

The hardest thing is to remember to hold the contraption sideways...

<--- Or maybe the method used in the picture to the left?
Old 23rd March 2010
  #20
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Quote:
Anyone know a mic of similar design to the NT4 with individual capsules that unlike the NT4 can be adjusted to a wider or narrower image?
I would venture to suggest that using an MS widening plugin in your DAW in postproduction (eg Voxengo MSED) would be just as good as using movable capsules, in practice. Not to say that there would be no measurable difference, just that nobody would find the difference sufficient to criticise the result. As memory serves me, I've used that technique that with others' NT4 recordings to good effect in the past (also tilted the frequency response to add some weight to the low frequencies and roll off the exaggerated high frequencies - my opinion, others might differ).

Note that you don't have to have an MS recording in the first place to use MS widening techniques. The plugin converts XY to MS, varies the proportion of M and S as desired, then reconverts to XY.
Old 24th March 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozpeter View Post
I would venture to suggest that using an MS widening plugin in your DAW in postproduction (eg Voxengo MSED) would be just as good as using movable capsules, in practice. Not to say that there would be no measurable difference, just that nobody would find the difference sufficient to criticise the result. As memory serves me, I've used that technique that with others' NT4 recordings to good effect in the past (also tilted the frequency response to add some weight to the low frequencies and roll off the exaggerated high frequencies - my opinion, others might differ).

Note that you don't have to have an MS recording in the first place to use MS widening techniques. The plugin converts XY to MS, varies the proportion of M and S as desired, then reconverts to XY.
Sanken CUW 180 great stereo mic. Dual capsule on single stem. No phase issues as with typical stereo mics. Only problem is changing the angle requires taking the mic out of the windjammer and adjusting. Best bottom end of any stereo mic out there.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
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jayfield's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by avalanche View Post
Sanken CUW 180 great stereo mic. Dual capsule on single stem. No phase issues as with typical stereo mics. Only problem is changing the angle requires taking the mic out of the windjammer and adjusting. Best bottom end of any stereo mic out there.
Do you know how the Sanken noise floor compares to the Sennheisers?
I'm assuming the Sound Devices mic pres will not be adding noise.
No likey "any" noise! And willing to pay the price for that feature.
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