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-   -   Buying microphones in pairs (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/498917-buying-microphones-pairs.html)

Tom Morrow July 26th, 2011 11:59 PM

Buying microphones in pairs
 
Sound studios typically buy microphones in pairs rather than singly. I'm wondering if pairs are useful for field video work at all?

You don't have the same stereo or matching requirements as you would have in a studio, but one real nice feature about having a pair is the ability to check microphones against each other to discover damaged mikes before the recording.

Rick Reineke July 27th, 2011 10:08 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
"I'm wondering if pairs are useful for field video work at all? "
> Sometimes, but I've only used my SD condenser pair (matched set) a few times for S/FX and 'room' mics for music. For me, 99 percent of the time it's a single mic for dialog. Depends on what you usually record. A stereo pair is certainly nice to have when you need it, though a 'hand picked or calibrated' matched set is not necessary in many instances.

Robert Turchick July 27th, 2011 10:59 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
Coming from the audio side of the world, pairs were nice to have as lots of stuff get recorded in stereo. If you're doing ambient recording then yes, a matched pair would be useful. Having a backup can be handy but also expensive. If it's dialog, one mic will do and bring a less expensive backup. I always do audio for video with redundancy. My normal rig is my NTG-3 on a pole or stand, and a lav on the talent (as a backup) If I need ambient, I can run my pair of 414's to a second camera or zoom h4n. Or I can just use the zoom to keep it simple. Most of the times I've bothered with the 414's for video have been on classical music recordings where they are the main mics and I use the zoom for ambient.
I think having a variety for video is more important than a matched pair.

Allan Black July 27th, 2011 09:03 PM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
+1 Matched pairs for studio .. definately a variety for video field work.

Cheers.

Bill Davis July 28th, 2011 12:33 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
After a HORRIBLE experience early in my career where a stereo signal got summed to mono with one track slightly out of sync and the resulting phase cancelation made the entire dialog track sound awful - I've never recorded a single video project in stereo.

I record in mono - master in dual track mono - and deliver in mono. Period.

Strangely, all my audio playback compatibility issues magically disappeared from that point to today.

Stereo is for listening to music at home or on an iPod.

Mono is for delivering content to audiences in my book. Because you never know what god-awful system your stuff will be played back upon - nor who set it up - and stereo makes it WAY too easy for the unskilled to mess things up.

My 2 cents - YMMV.

Robert Turchick July 28th, 2011 01:19 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
Good advice Bill...and not isolated to the video side of the world, even in the music biz it can go very wrong...
Back in my days of producing and engineering music, I made a 1/4" dub of a band's latest single to give to a radio station. That night I tuned in to listen to the show and to my horror, there was no bass and no vocal...only reverb and TONS of it. I knew exactly what had happened and called the station. The intern who transferred the tape to a cart had hit the phase switch on the board screwing my beautiful stereo mix! The dj actually apologized on air and put the corrected mix into rotation long enough for an AR rep from Elektra to hear about it! They didn't sign the band but it got further up the ladder than any act I'd ever worked with!

Colin McDonald July 28th, 2011 01:24 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Davis (Post 1670676)
After a HORRIBLE experience early in my career where a stereo signal got summed to mono with one track slightly out of sync and the resulting phase cancelation made the entire dialog track sound awful - I've never recorded a single video project in stereo.

I record in mono - master in dual track mono - and deliver in mono. Period.

Strangely, all my audio playback compatibility issues magically disappeared from that point to today.

Stereo is for listening to music at home or on an iPod.

Mono is for delivering content to audiences in my book. Because you never know what god-awful system your stuff will be played back upon - nor who set it up - and stereo makes it WAY too easy for the unskilled to mess things up.

My 2 cents - YMMV.

That seems a little extreme. As others have pointed out, there are occasions when live stereo recording is appropriate, maybe not it the kind of work you do, but fairly frequently for me. An X Y coincident setting is quick and uncomplicated to set up and edit and in my experience unlikely to generate any issues when heard in mono. Recording Mid/Side is even safer going to mono if a bit more bother to use unless you have specialist gear.

Bur I have to agree that sometimes it it probably better to deliver in mono, and if anyone ever asked me to deliver in 5:1 surround sound you wouldn't see me for dust. I wouldn't know where to begin.

Brian P. Reynolds July 28th, 2011 03:23 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Davis (Post 1670676)
After a HORRIBLE experience early in my career where a stereo signal got summed to mono with one track slightly out of sync and the resulting phase cancelation made the entire dialog track sound awful - I've never recorded a single video project in stereo.

I record in mono - master in dual track mono - and deliver in mono. Period.

Strangely, all my audio playback compatibility issues magically disappeared from that point to today.

Stereo is for listening to music at home or on an iPod.

Mono is for delivering content to audiences in my book. Because you never know what god-awful system your stuff will be played back upon - nor who set it up - and stereo makes it WAY too easy for the unskilled to mess things up.

My 2 cents - YMMV.


ABSOLUTLEY AGREE !!!!!!! Either dual track mono or split tracks.... with stereo you would need to be mindful of the process it will further undergo, a lot of video edit guys struggle with audio let alone stereo.
Sending in raw MS stereo unmatrixed is just asking for trouble.... the looks they give you are priceless, they don't know what it is, how its structured or even know how to use it.

Colin McDonald July 28th, 2011 07:41 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
Quote:

Sending in raw MS stereo unmatrixed is just asking for trouble....
I suggested <recording> M/S, not submitting it to some one else unmatrixed. Where did that come from?

Anyway, we are getting off topic for matched pairs. I record orchestral/chamber performances in stereo. Static setup, coincident X/Y matched pair, I edit it myself - no problems or with mono compatability.
But that's just me - many other folks may never do that sort of work and may have no desire to do stereo.

Christian Brown July 28th, 2011 08:33 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
Work with people who know what they are doing, and it won't be a problem.

Recording in mono and not getting things wrong is an OK approach. But working in stereo and getting things right is much better.

Stereo isn't always critical (talking heads, voiceovers), but if want to create any sort of environment, space, or aural "image", stereo is a huge asset.

All my microphones are pairs or stereo, but I do classical recording, so it's absolutely essential for 99% of my work.

Karl Winkler July 28th, 2011 09:49 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
The only other thing I can think to add is about redundancy. If for whatever reason one of your mics dies/gets wet/gets dropped, etc, you've got a nearly identical copy on hand to continue working in a seamless manner. Can't do that any other way. Sure - this may be a rare situation, but you know Murphy.

Sacha Rosen July 28th, 2011 09:37 PM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
matching mics is nice if you are in a two boom situation where you have to transfer the actor from one mic to another. like through a door way or cause you can't cross a light or whatever.

Steve House July 29th, 2011 04:47 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
Most of the professional-grade manufacturers have tight enough QC that a random pair of the same model of mic will match closely enough for all ordinary purposes, including stereo recording. Matched pairs, where the individual mics have been hand selected to match, is only needed for the ne plus ultra level of reference recordings.

Here's what Schoeps has to say about it ... "The two amplifiers in a stereo pair of microphones should be of the same type. On request, we can select ”matched pairs” of capsules with equal sensitivity and frequency response for critical applications, at slight additional cost."

Tom Morrow July 31st, 2011 10:13 PM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
Here's why I originally posted about this.

I'm thinking of getting a second G3 wireless setup, and I'm deciding whether to go with the cardioid lav version for variety, or the omni lav version for consistency and redundancy. It's actually somewhat of an academic question as I will probably use Rode lav microphone(s) instead of the Sennheiser lav mics that come with the G3.

I'm thinking the cardioid mic might come in handy in odd cases, but if I end up miking say two people doing an interview and for some reason only have the Senn lav mics, I might want them to all the be the same for consistency.

I'm leaning towards getting the cardioid for variety even though I may never use it.

John Willett August 1st, 2011 06:49 AM

Re: Buying microphones in pairs
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Morrow (Post 1671545)
Here's why I originally posted about this.

I'm thinking of getting a second G3 wireless setup, and I'm deciding whether to go with the cardioid lav version for variety, or the omni lav version for consistency and redundancy. It's actually somewhat of an academic question as I will probably use Rode lav microphone(s) instead of the Sennheiser lav mics that come with the G3.

I'm thinking the cardioid mic might come in handy in odd cases, but if I end up miking say two people doing an interview and for some reason only have the Senn lav mics, I might want them to all the be the same for consistency.

I'm leaning towards getting the cardioid for variety even though I may never use it.

Personally I would only use an omni tie mic.

The cardioid tie mic. would be more for instrument pick-up in a live situation were the sound is going through a PA system.

Personally I would never never use a cardioid tie mic.


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