Buying microphones in pairs at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 27th, 2011, 12:59 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 416
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.
Tom Morrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 27th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,844
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.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 27th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 1,384
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.
__________________
A7RII, C100, 1Dx, 5Dmk3, 70D, Kessler goodies, Adobe, Pro Tools and more!
Robert Turchick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 27th, 2011, 10:03 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Re: Buying microphones in pairs

+1 Matched pairs for studio .. definately a variety for video field work.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 01:33 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
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.
__________________
Classroom editing instructor? Check out www.starteditingnow.com
Turnkey editor training content including licensed training footage for classroom use.
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 02:19 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 1,384
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!
__________________
A7RII, C100, 1Dx, 5Dmk3, 70D, Kessler goodies, Adobe, Pro Tools and more!
Robert Turchick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 02:24 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 1,521
Re: Buying microphones in pairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
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.
Colin McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 04:23 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 463
Re: Buying microphones in pairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
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.
Brian P. Reynolds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 08:41 AM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 1,521
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.
Colin McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 09:33 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 190
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.
Christian Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 10:49 AM   #11
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Rio Rancho, NM
Posts: 20
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.
Karl Winkler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 10:37 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
Posts: 86
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.
Sacha Rosen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2011, 05:47 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
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."
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 31st, 2011, 11:13 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 416
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.
Tom Morrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 1st, 2011, 07:49 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
Re: Buying microphones in pairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Morrow View Post
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.
__________________
John Willett - Sound-Link ProAudio and Circle Sound Services
President: Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons
John Willett is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:19 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network