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Old February 18th, 2004, 09:19 AM   #16
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<<<I still can't fully wrap my head around how this is stereo though>>>

It's NOT stereo, but a 'faux' stereo. You are "wrapping"
the center hypercardioid signal with ambience.

<<How DO you mix M/S in post?>>

Read my previous post ;)

PS I have NEVER known an audio engineer (that had it together) to
use ANYTHING but a hypercardioid mic and another mic with
a figure 8 pattern for M/S. Usually the same kind of mic, like a AKG414
that has switchable patterns.

Experiments are always welcome.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 09:56 AM   #17
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Bryan, I emailed them really late in the night...probably about 4am or so, I have no time during my day. Either sleep, work or squeeze this in for a few mins late at night or right before class.

I guess what i'll do is get the two oktavas and test both X/Y and faux m/s

I know I keep asking...but are cardoid's really not comparable to having hypers? A few sites recommend them with X/Y and a few with m/s...and if they are (as it stands right now) the cheapest form, am I shooting myself in the foot if I go ahead with the cardoids?

Thanks Jacques, Bryan, Douglas, Patrick, and Ralf
Rob
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Old February 18th, 2004, 01:19 PM   #18
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First of all, there are plenty of mult-pattern mics with figure 8 for dirt cheap. Hooray for Chinese sweatshops! ;\ Here's one for $150, and I think there are cheaper ones, too. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/sid=040218110858066208214068921825/g=rec/search/detail/base_pid/270491/

Secondly, I wouldn't use M/S while shooting a film. You have to decode it in post to get the stereo sound. Plus, the setup is bulky. Too much of a pain in the a--, and too many places for something to go horribly wrong. To be honest, I wouldn't use stereo at all, since you can always pan stuff later on in post. I guess I'm just not clear on why you think you need to shoot in stereo.

As far as the hyper vs. cardiod, there's not a massively huge difference, but it's still worth having the hyper. For another $64, why not just buy one? The great thing about the Oktava is that if you don't like the way one capsule is sounding in any given situation, you just unscrew it and try another one. Hell, I'd get the omni capsule, too, in case you just want to stick the mic in a plant and record a round-table discussion or something.

Good luck,
Ryan
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Old February 18th, 2004, 04:08 PM   #19
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"It's NOT stereo, but a 'faux' stereo. You are "wrapping"
the center hypercardioid signal with ambience."

In a way, all stereo techniques are "faux". The only genuine "stereo" is to record with a dummy head, and listen with headphones.

M/S is no more "faux" than XY. In fact, for any given M/S arrangment, you can produce an identical stereo field using an XY pair. For the maths behind this see

http://www.wesdooley.com/pdf/technique.pdf

Using my NLE (Vegas) it is very easy to do the stereo matrix in post production. Copy the mid channel to one audio track. Copy the side channel to another 2 audio tracks. Invert the phase of one of these tracks. Play all 3 tracks together.

The only practical problem is actually monitoring the stereo sound live, while recording M/S, unless you have a matrix decoder. I use a Mackie mixer to do this, but it's a bit complicated, and needs a few jumper cables.

Patrick



http://www.wesdooley.com/pdf/technique.pdf
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Old September 28th, 2009, 10:16 AM   #20
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I've been looking at this, too, but I'm not sure if a true M/S arrangement is worth the trouble.

Meanwhile, I've taken to putting a Zoom H4 on the floor or gaffer-taped to the back of my camera, to capture a stereo ambience track. Mixes pretty well with the mono shotgun/lav dialog track.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 06:59 PM   #21
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Rob... not sure if you've found this link already, but it explains a great deal about understanding MS. mid-side (M-S) stereo recording technique
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Old September 28th, 2009, 07:16 PM   #22
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Quote:

PS I have NEVER known an audio engineer (that had it together) to
use ANYTHING but a hypercardioid mic and another mic with
a figure 8 pattern for M/S. Usually the same kind of mic, like a AKG414
that has switchable patterns.

.
SOmetimes it is done with an omni in the middle. Some feel an Omni gives a truer sounding recording of say a piano for classical music.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 08:07 PM   #23
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I'm not a fan of M/S at all. Recording an orchestra in a concert hall, there's likely to be way to much out of phase component from the walls, resulting in a boomy final result when you try and raise a soloists level. In my experience, most musicians hate it.

Handing an M/S job in to the sound editors and mixers won't get you any thanks, they're all on tight schedules with no time for messing with it. And you have to send along comprehensive sound charts for every scene.

Try mixing M/S and XY SFX together in a show, IMO it can disorientate you and the listeners.

M/S only gives you 3 axis, left/centre/right .. at various levels. There's no sound at the 45 degree points.

M/S is a 1950s radio technique at the introduction of 'stereo' Its main attribute was, early producers could collapse it to mono by just using the centre mic for broadcast by stations with mono transmitters.

Cheers.
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Last edited by Allan Black; September 28th, 2009 at 08:16 PM. Reason: musos opinions.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 08:50 PM   #24
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Jimmy

I did am M/S recording of a brass band concert Friday and I tried an omni in place of the cardioid or wide cardioid I usually use - I think it sounded pretty good - quite natural indeed. I'm thinking of doing our next concert with both an omni and a cardioid as well as the figure 8 and then I can compare them directly.

Allan

I'd have to say that I haven't noticed an issue with a hole at 45 degrees. All in all I've been quite happy with M/S.

By the way, any more on your coming back to Tucson for the aircraft renovation? Weather is starting to get quite nice as we enter Autumn - it was only 102F or so today!
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Old September 28th, 2009, 09:25 PM   #25
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Hi Jim, IMO M/S requires much experimenting to get a your result, you have more to consider and move about for the sweet spot, than with XY. Repeated recordings in a good hall with the same group would be necessary.

And I think you mainly balance it in post to fill in the 45d holes. I don't see any mainstream M/S classical releases these days.

The Convair has reached a good stage in rebuilding now, we should be along after Xmas. We're doing a DC4 to get it out of Brisbane first.

HARS

Cheers.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #26
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Give me a bit of notice before you show up and we can organize dinner and drinks.

I'll put a snippet of Friday's concert on my web site and post a link. The omni really sounded pretty good. Biggest problem we face is that we perform in some pretty poor halls.

Well, maybe that's the second biggest problem - biggest would be US!!!
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Old October 1st, 2009, 12:01 AM   #27
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Just a couple of links to a couple of pieces we recorded last week. Recording was M/S with Figure 8 and Omni

Nothing done in post, M/S -> Stereo in the mixer.

Performance could have been better (a lot better!) but for what it's worth.

(I'm "guilty" of the BBb Tuba part.)

www.j-e-andrada.com/Colonel_Bogey.mp3

www.j-e-andrada.com/Walk.mp3

Last edited by Jim Andrada; October 1st, 2009 at 12:50 AM.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 02:57 AM   #28
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I find m/s is a very useful technique to have available for certain things - but not all. For me, the disadvantage when recording on location is that monitoring is difficult - you can't hear what it really sounds like. Having the side mic on one ear and the mid on the other sounds very strange. I keep meaning to build a little matrix box, but never get around to it. If you are recording material with clearly defined and possible moving sound fields - think motocross, horse and motor racing - aircraft, that kind of thing, then using x/y or even a/b presents big level changes that go from very loud one channel, almost nothing in the other as gains are linked, then a fast channel swap as they pass the camera. This is very difficult to sort out in post, and frequently summing l and right produces a hole in the middle, it goes up, down, up down as the sources goes past. M/S works well in these examples, with a wide-ish cardioid, or an omni. A hyper-cardioid gets you a similar effect from further away.

The use of x/y pairs for recording orchestras and choirs is pretty common, but the angles need carefully adjusting to make sure the people centrally placed get included - but often, as you move the angle to get decent centre coverage, you start to lose the outer edges. Obviously moving the mics in or out can sort this one, but you also get the ratio of direct to reflected sound messed up. In a building like a stone built church or cathedral, the reverb can start to dominate, robbing the clarity. An m/s configured pair can be tweaked afterwards to give you the best results.

I've got a recording in the diary at a church - quite a large one with difficult acoustics. I'm going to record it with a variety of microphones at the same time, as an experiment. I'm planning x/y cardioid, a/b omnis and m/s - I'll then be able to produce different versions. That's at least the plan at the moment.

A couple of comments on selecting mics. If you have them, a couple of figure-8 microphones in an x/y pair work really well in a building with good acoustics. If you do use cardioid microphones, remember that if the ones you have are designed for multi-purpose use, then the design may well cope with close in speech or singing by rolling off the bass end, to try to prevent the boominess and bass extension cardioids have. Using them at a distance can often produce quite thin sounding recordings. Omnis tend to have a rounder sound.

To be honest, though, all these clever techniques require a sound op, because a good set of ears are required. They're not suitable for unattended automatic recording on a video camera. If you need to record quality sound on a video camera, then an dedicated stereo one piece mic is so much simpler, and less prone to messing up.

One of the best stereo mics I ever used I bought in 1996 or so. A Sony side-fire mic. Great sound. One small dial on the front with degrees indicated for how wide you wanted. I discovered later it was an m/s mic, hence the adjustment knob, but with a dedicated l/r output with de-matrixing inside. If they still made it, I'd buy another straight away.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 10:29 AM   #29
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I used to have similar little sony mic that was really quite inexpensive - also M/S with a little switch to select the angle.


My SD302 mixer has an M/S option which decodes the M/S into regular stereo so that is what you hear in the earphones
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 11:48 AM   #30
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I use M/S all the time and it is an ideal technique for video and film work as the mic is single point.

it has to be said though that it is most useful as a matrix within the mic that then outputs an A/B signal. Many a sound recordist has tried to record M/S but because it works on phase differential between the cardioid and fig 8 mic you need absolute phase cohereance all the way through the process and this is hard to do with analogue devices and mixers.

You also run the danger of an editor just taking the M signal as this will be the loudest and it all ends up being mono.

As said an M/S matrix mic that then outputs to A/B (or left and right) is the ideal stereo mic for video and boom work as it will be single point and can be panned with the camera without any change in stereo imaging, try do this with an A/B mic and the stereo image will be all over the place once each shot is edited together.

I use the prosumer sony M/S mics and have done for sound FX on major drama productions over the years, the main dialogue is usually recorded on a sennheiser 416 here in the Uk so adding stereo fx from an M/S mic works really well in post.
I have also been lucky to use an AMS Neve digital console for most of my dubbing career and it actually has an M/S control on it for stereo A/B signals so that you can adjust the width of any stereo source in post.

As for mics I used to have an AMS Neve (calrec) soundfield mic that had four capsules matrixed into M/S http://www.soundfield.com/company/company.php

This was a seriously expensive mic in its day and you could also do quad matrixing from it, the BBC still use them in the Albert Hall and for FX on Wimbledon.
I personally used the ST250 and there are more details of the advanced matrixing here:http://www.nada.kth.se/kurser/kth/2D...NDED%20III.pdf

For the past 15 years I have mainly used two cheap sony prosumer mics the ECM-MS957:ECM-MS957 | One-Point Stereo Microphone | Sony | SonyStyle USA
And the ECM-MS907:ECM-MS907 | One-Point Stereo Microphone | Sony | SonyStyle USA
They can both be changed from 90 to 120 degrees angle and they both output A/B to my recorder either a minidisk or laterly a sony D50.

They are also cheap as chips so it can be a good way of trying out M/S mics without too much outlay. There are also more expensive M/S mics on the market and the single design route is far easier than trying to fit two different mics into a blimp.
Edirol also make a good M/S mic:Edirol CS50 Stereo Shotgun Mic - For Edirol R4 series
But for me I find the sony prosumer mic does the job.
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