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Old April 4th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #1
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Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

Greetings to all...I have a question to all of you 'Tapers' and 'Recordist' out there. What is you 'GOTO' microphone technique you use for 'live' recording of musical groups. I know in a perfect world 'M-S' or a 'Blumlein' would be the choice of most, but what's your favorite alternative? 'X/Y, DIN, ORTF, Faulkner Phased-Array' or you own favorite? Images of your favorite set-up is a plus.

Best regards,

J.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 01:33 PM   #2
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

My Sony ECM-MS5 (or Rode NT4) are the quick-n-easy one-stand solutions.
As the name implies, the ECM-MS5 is a single-piece M/S configuration (although implemented with three cardioid capsules not a figure-8). And, of course, the NT4 is a co-incident cardioid pair.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 02:30 PM   #3
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

Up to now ORTF was easiest for me using my pair of Rode NT1A mics. I have a stereo bar I made up for it and it's easier than doing X-Y with these mics which I find involves hanging one upside down over the other.
I have found consistent results with ORTF on a range of live performing situations, but have occasionally gone for A-B spaced instead.

Having said that, I recently invested in a Rode NT2A so that I could use the figure 8 setting for the Side mic in M/S using one of my NT1As for the Mid. I am trying hard to resist getting an NT4 so that I can do a quick X/Y. I have used the built in mics in my Zoom H4n for X/Y but the mics aren't up to the quality of the Rodes.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 03:26 PM   #4
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

Quick-n-easy: A Sony MS957 for M/S with built-in decode to stereo. Made a 5-pin XLR-F to 2 3-pin XLR-M cable for it, as it comes with a 5-pin to mini. I've run the XLRs out to 100' with good results. I believe it was Gary Natrass on this forum that introduced me to the 957, there should be some old threads.

Preferred: ORTF!

I'm using Oktava MC012 mics with cardoid caps in my ORTF, which are actually a sub-cardoid pattern, a little wider than most cards. But I've gotten some outstanding recordings. My use is not classic "tapers", but rather for unamplified acoustic music performances, so, I've never used this approach in front of a P.A. system.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 05:20 PM   #5
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

Rode NT4.... easy, simple, great results. NEVER had a failure or a problem using it in live to air broadcasting.
MS on the otherhand can be a pain in live to air broadcasting if the spread is made to wide, it can cause phase problems in the TX chain depending on the type of processing used.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #6
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

Rode NT4, a top seller for Rode around the world. Don't forget to register for its free 10yr warranty.

Too many problems using M/S ... indoors it's prone to too much out of phase component.

Cheers.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

To all...this is great! I enjoy hearing from others, especially those of you in the 'trenches'. It's one thing to discuss 'advantages' of a particular stereo microphone technique in a 'controlled' environment, e.g., Recording Studio, it's an entirely different discussion with folks who are 'running & gunning'. I know this is primarily an 'ENG/EFP' website, but I think there is a bit of 'over-flow' from our 'Recordist' brethren.

Thank you and keep those cards and letters coming.

Regards,

J.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 04:37 AM   #8
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

Yup sony ECM MS957 for me a great budget general purpose M/S mic at a bargain price: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-ECM-MS957-Microphone-Rotating-Capsule/dp/B00001WRI0
Its the only stereo mic I own now and I have used it on all sorts of projects over the past 15 years, I also have the smaller 907 that is easy to carry around with a mini disc when out and about.

Note these mic's are M/S capsule design but output an A/B signal, it is really important to matrix M/S correctly and I tend to find that using M/S designed mic's are far better than putting a rig together and trying to record or matrix M/S with a console or recorder.

I also used to have an AMS Neve ST250 soundfield M/S mic but found it too heavy and cumbersome for most recording jobs.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 07:17 AM   #9
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

X/Y for audio work with music groups that have a proper musical balance and are not amplified. Although for orchestras, choirs and work in churches, I always use this single point stereo mic. Modelled along the lines of the old Neumann SM69, this Chinese mic does it for me. Two capsules, each one omni/cardioid/fig-8 on top of each other with the top capsule rotatable through 90 degrees. So you can place it, select a system that will work in the space, and then adjust the spread manually (or use M/S and do it later). Really handy - one mic, one stand, one cable back to the splitter/PSU.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 07:41 AM   #10
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
X/Y for audio work with music groups that have a proper musical balance and are not amplified. Although for orchestras, choirs and work in churches, I always use this single point stereo mic. Modelled along the lines of the old Neumann SM69, this Chinese mic does it for me. Two capsules, each one omni/cardioid/fig-8 on top of each other with the top capsule rotatable through 90 degrees. So you can place it, select a system that will work in the space, and then adjust the spread manually (or use M/S and do it later). Really handy - one mic, one stand, one cable back to the splitter/PSU.
That looks like a copy of a vintage AKG mic I think it was the C24, I had the mono version a C12 a few years ago but sold it for megabucks!
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Old April 5th, 2012, 10:57 AM   #11
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

Maybe some our UK 'cousins' can enlighten us, I read somewhere the BBC wants 'Mid-Side' on video submitted for broadcast? I don't believe this 'requirement' is a hard and fast rule, but is preferred. Is this correct?

Regards,

J.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #12
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

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Originally Posted by James Kuhn View Post
Maybe some our UK 'cousins' can enlighten us, I read somewhere the BBC wants 'Mid-Side' on video submitted for broadcast? I don't believe this 'requirement' is a hard and fast rule, but is preferred. Is this correct?

Regards,

J.
NO that is generally not a delivery requirement for the BBC, they use A/B like everyone else.

You can read the BBC delivery specs here if you wish: BBC - Commissioning TV - HD Production & Delivery

although it's already out of date as they accept 1/3" chip cameras such as the HPX371 these days.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 11:45 AM   #13
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian P. Reynolds View Post
Rode NT4...MS on the otherhand can be a pain in live to air broadcasting if the spread is made to wide, it can cause phase problems in the TX chain depending on the type of processing used.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Rode NT4...Too many problems using M/S ... indoors it's prone to too much out of phase component.
Apparently a whole continent with bad M/S experiences!

I'm not a denyer... but, I've never gone live with M/S to broadcast chain, and pushing the limits of the side capsule for audience coverage (?) could perhaps be avoided. I am warned, though. Back in my broadcast days, we had a way to monitor the TX processing right on the audio console. Of course we couldn't control the TX processing, but we could at least hear what it was doing to our signal. Tricky, though, because the send to cable system distribution was unprocessed. Had to sound good enough for two very different distributions.

Allan, as an M/S user I'd be interested to know what to watch out for when using M/S indoors, since in my situation I frequently use it for unmonitored recording whilst I'm doing something else (such as a mix of direct-sound mics).

OTOH, the Rode NT4 is an excellent X/Y mic and a very good value. My favorite ORTF method is quite exotic, by comparison, and I can't recommend ORTF for run and gun. Something like an NT4, or, for me, an M/S mic is quick, easy and reliable.

It was my understanding that BBC required M/S ambience recording when such was collected. Don't really know how good that info was, or if it still applies? One advantage of M/S for broadcasting is a seamless collapse to mono.

OT: do sound waves travel clockwise or counter-clockwise south of the equator?
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Old April 5th, 2012, 01:27 PM   #14
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

Thank you Mr. Nattrass for the clarification. You 'read' all sorts of things on the 'Inter-Web', the only 'source' I believe is 100% accurate, Wikipedia. Heh, heh! Only kidding.

Regards,

J.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 03:58 PM   #15
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Re: Your 'GOTO' stereophonic mic. technique

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Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
You can read the BBC delivery specs here if you wish: BBC - Commissioning TV - HD Production & Delivery
I was interested, had a few minutes, and followed a few links to come up with this document from Gary's link to the BBC.

As he says above, M/S isn't mentioned in the current requirements. Reviewing section 3.1, a clean collapse to mono is a requirement. M/S ambience recording is just one method for one type of source.

To clarify, M/S is not a delivery format. It is an acquisition format. It must be decoded to stereo for mixing and use.
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