Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

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Devlars
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Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by Devlars » Fri Sep 17, 2004 10:53 am

Favourite use of a stereo mic placement, any of them, would be...

Me, I've just fallen in love with M/S on almost anything especially drum overheads & combo amps. It's fascinating to me still aside from all of the understanding about how things work I still allow for the sense of awe come through when getting sounds.

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by cgarges » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:12 am

MS rocks! I'm a big Blumlien fan, as well.

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by xonlocust » Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:11 pm

yeah, MS really gives you that "magician" feeling. every time i'm amazed by it. makes you feel like you've somehow earned it.

at the same time i'm usually too lazy to do it.

:)

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by Family Hoof » Fri Sep 17, 2004 4:17 pm

ORTF is my all time favorite for anything but drum overheads. The coincident stuff (MS and XY) sounds too boring for me most of the time. I like spaced and near coincident for the exaggerated excitment.

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by Professor » Fri Sep 17, 2004 5:51 pm

I'm going to have to side with Hoof here and go with ORTF - even for as much as I might dislike the French. For my tastes, conincident pairs just don't get enough stereo action since they rely purely on volume differences, and spaced omni can be a little distant sounding if not done just right, and can really catch too much room in a studio recording. ORTF is a nice middle ground.

But I'll admit that recently I've been using XY pairs a lot more often on stuff like piano and other instruments that need a close mic, but are too large of a source to remain phase coherent with ORTF.

For some real fun with MS, try using different patterns on your 'mid' microphone. A cardioid mid with a figure-8 side yields an XY cardioid pair with adjustable angle in mixdown. An omni mid will yield a 'wide-cardioid' XY pair. And my personal favorite is that a figure-8 mid mic will yield a figure-8 XY pair (a Blumlein pair) with adjustable angle in mix down. I used this on a location recording that had an orchestra spread across the stage for the 1st half of the show and then split the stage with orchestra on one side and jazz big band on the other for the second half of the show. I placed a Blumlein pair at the center of the first row. For the first half of the show it was a simple Blumlein pair and sounded very nice. For the second half, I set up an MS decoding matrix on the console and fed my "right" channel in as the mid mic for the orchestra pieces, and then swapped to the "left" mic as the mid for the big band pieces. The concert had the orchestra and bigband alternating, and it was simply a matter of swapping the two channels feeding into the matrix and both groups had the sound of the same Blumlein pair. The whole concert was recorded with two mics and I didn't have to rotate the stand a single time.

-Jeremy

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by EletrikGutar182 » Fri Sep 17, 2004 8:21 pm

My personal favorite...

Two Shure SM-57's in the far back corners of a room (opposite a full band) running stereo...very realistic sounding...as if you were in the room...

On a side note, I heard playback thru headphones, and turned to tell my drummer to stop playing because it sounded so realistic thru the headphones...

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by Devlars » Mon Sep 20, 2004 6:20 am

I've done that with two AKG C535s. The room we were in didn't sound all that great though nor did the kit so I never tried it again. I'm in a different space now, a big church auditorium which sounds fantastic, so I should give a spaced pair another try. This weekend however I recorded a bunch of percussion tracks for my friends new album and we used the same XY set-up all day.

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by peabs » Mon Sep 20, 2004 8:17 am

Just in case I'm not the only one who was wondering:

http://www.josephson.com/mic-faq1.html

Cheers.

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by Devlars » Mon Sep 20, 2004 8:45 am

Since you were curious Peabs perhaps pictures would help solidify what we're going on about. This informative site on stereo mic techniques with illustrations was submitted by another TapeOper (many thank's Rythmn Ranch) in response to another post.

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by jajjguy » Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:26 am

i've been using AB (space omnis) a lot because my best mics are a pair of omnis. the trick with these is to get the spacing right. i try to err on the side of too close, so i don't get the dreaded "hole in the middle". i find that even if the mics are too close to give good localization ("the guitar is over THERE") it still gives a big sense of space. i usually put them a litte more than a head's width apart. pay close attention to whatever you may want to be in the center (vocal, snare...), and make sure the mics are exactly equidistant from this source. as always with omnis, putting them very close to the source is fine and will reduce the room sound (and also increase the stereo spread).

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by twitchmonitor » Mon Sep 20, 2004 10:01 am

Thanks for those links, guys, I've wondered about all those setups for a while. But from the reading, it seems like certain configurations (ORTF, NOS) need to have the mics spaced at very specific distances. Do you guys measure, or approximate? Or do you just space them however you feel like for the particular source?

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by analogcat » Mon Sep 20, 2004 10:36 am

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Last edited by analogcat on Fri Oct 22, 2004 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Favourite Stereo Mic Placement

Post by Devlars » Mon Sep 20, 2004 11:48 am

To answer your question Twitchmonitor, yes...All of the ways that you mentioned I have done and I would imagine that the same for the others. Many times I have placed mics in a stereo configuration and let me ears decide when it was in the right spot. Other times I have literally got a measuring tape out to make sure that mic A is so many inches from mic B and then adjusted them from there after listening to the signal its picking up. However as is said a ridiculous ammount of times all over any recording forum, magazine, class and certainly TapeOp itself YOU MUST USE YOUR EARS and train them. You have to listen critically when you place mics for any recording application if you want them to transmit the sound you are trying to caputure accurately. From there you will learn and remember certain things that you know you can do to get a good sound in a relatively short ammount of time. So use your ears, experiment and learn from your mistakes.
I could tell you of many times that I've recorded something and thought it was absolutely brilliant then as months and/or years passed...ugh! So be willing to constantly improve your methods and continually train your ears. Use the resources available to you like this forum and it's magazine to continually grow and expand your experience and knowledge.

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