Mitra 3D Microphone vs. ???? 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 May 7th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 51
Mitra 3D Microphone vs. ????

(The last Mitra thread I could find, was over a year old.)

The Mitra 3D Microphone and subsequent test and example videos have been quite impressive to me.

The Mic: Mitra 3D Mic Pro : 3D Mic Pro
One video: Mitra 3D Mic Pro on Vimeo

However, I have yet to see it end up in any pro's bag. Is it just some flashy kit?

When I asked a sound guy I know about it, he suggested that the same thing can be accomplished with two X Y microphones. "If you knew what you were doing" he said, "you could mount them in such a way that you record the same '3D' sound. As if it is all around you, mixing the two mics in stereo."

So, I pose this question to the collective consciousness of DVInfo.

If you had to record in "3D" stereo, how would you do it?
Can you explain it in terms I would not have to go to collage to understand? :)
Have you tried out the Mitra 3D Mic, and if so, what did you think?

Thanks in advance.
Rob Knoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,177
Re: Mitra 3D Microphone vs. ????

Lets start with the basic question: What exactly is "3D sound"?
How is "3D" different from "stereo" or "binaural"?

If someone asked me to record in "3D", I would first insist that they define what that means.
Absent that definition, the question is undefined and cannot be answered.

What are you recording that you would need "3D"?
How are you presenting/performing the recording that would yield a "3D" experience?

That Mitra gadget appears to be simply a different design for a binaural microphone. One could make the argument that if you want a "real" binaural situation, you need something the size and shape of a head between the microphones to provide a more accurate simulation of what the ears are actually "hearing". And judging by the shape of the microphones, it suggests that they are trying for a binaural pattern. But the absence of the partially absorbing, egg-shape "separator" (simulating your head) would seem to restrict any true binaural performance.

Furthermore what would you DO with a "3D" or binaural recording? "Tapers" go to rock concerts with microphones in their ears (or on their glasses) in an attempt to capture the atmosphere of the concert experience, and the recordings are only really experienced properly using headphones (or earbuds, etc.) Binaural is a very "niche" subset of stereo because it can't really be properly appreciated through traditional playback scenarios (i.e. through speakers).

The kind of multi-channel sound you hear with a Hollywood movie is created synthetically during post-production. It is pretty rare for them to use anything more than 2-channel ("stereo") recording clips from which to construct very elaborate multi-channel surround audio tracks. Most of the elements are likely mono.

I suspect those are some of the reasons you don't see those kinds of specialty gadgets in your average production audio recordist's kit. To be sure, you might find more conventional single-point stereo microphones in more than a few kits. Mainly for capturing clean "atmosphere" or sound-effect samples for use in the mix-down. But a pair of microphones is always more flexible to use than any single-point stereo microphone.
Richard Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7th, 2012, 11:53 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,177
Re: Mitra 3D Microphone vs. ????

I just went and watched the demo on Vimeo. It was significantly underwhelming. Comparing a stereo mic (of ANY kind) to a (mono) shotgun? Come on, what kind of scam are they trying to pull on us? I strongly suspect that the (no extra cost) built-in stereo mics on the camcorder would have produced just as pleasing sound of the babbling brook. The sound from the Mitra did NOT make me think I was there wading in the stream. It sounded surprisingly artificial to me.

I have heard MUCH MUCH better stereo from black vinyl disks 50 years ago. "3D"? Hardly. I didn't even hear very good stereo. The shots inside the prison (Alcatraz?) were particularly disappointing. I would bet you could get a better sense of stereo with the built-in mics on a H4n.

I wasn't impressed enough to spend even $100 on that mic. $1000 seems like a scam to me. YMMV.
Richard Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2012, 09:29 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
Re: Mitra 3D Microphone vs. ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Knoll View Post
(The last Mitra thread I could find, was over a year old.)

The Mitra 3D Microphone and subsequent test and example videos have been quite impressive to me.

The Mic: Mitra 3D Mic Pro : 3D Mic Pro
One video: Mitra 3D Mic Pro on Vimeo

However, I have yet to see it end up in any pro's bag. Is it just some flashy kit?

When I asked a sound guy I know about it, he suggested that the same thing can be accomplished with two X Y microphones. "If you knew what you were doing" he said, "you could mount them in such a way that you record the same '3D' sound. As if it is all around you, mixing the two mics in stereo."

So, I pose this question to the collective consciousness of DVInfo.

If you had to record in "3D" stereo, how would you do it?
Can you explain it in terms I would not have to go to collage to understand? :)
Have you tried out the Mitra 3D Mic, and if so, what did you think?

Thanks in advance.
It won't end up in any pro kit as it's not a pro mic.

It tries to make a dummy head mic. without the head - and in a dummy head, the size of the head is important.

Inexpensively, you could use two omni mics and a home-made Jecklin disk, which I would prefer to use myself.

If I had to record 3D stereo I would use the original Neumann KU100, or a Schneider disk (the Schneider is slightly better than the Jecklin foe 3D on headphones).
__________________
John Willett - Sound-Link ProAudio and Circle Sound Services
President: Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons
John Willett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 51
Re: Mitra 3D Microphone vs. ????

Very interesting replys already. Thank you for weiging in!

Richard,
I completely understand what you mean with "3D" sound. It sounds like a gimicky title. And because you have to take into consideration what your end playback medium will be, this is not a "go-to" mic for everyday use.
In my daily life, I rarely use stereo for anything. It is a mono shotgun/lav/etc and I have never shot anything that required a stereo mix, so I am not experienced in the subject. I will have to do more research into this binaural recording idea. To my untrained ears, the Mitra in the video did sound better (clearer, and more detailed) than the shotgun, but I also understand the variables in that kind of "test" are infinate.

I am asking less for my personal use, more just to get a professional's opinion on that type of recording device. If you were asked to record a binaural stereo recording, how would you do it?
Rob Knoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,840
Re: Mitra 3D Microphone vs. ????

There where and probably still are experiments with 2-channel 'spectral' recording which allegedly captured up/down information, however in this case, I suspect it's just a 'buzz-word' scam. They probably sell "Digital Batteries' too.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2012, 06:01 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,359
Re: Mitra 3D Microphone vs. ????

The product description says:
"The heart of 3D Mic Pro is a patent pending audio signal processing system SHEM..."

I wonder whether that's similar to "sham."

I also note that they have a special "3D mic boom pole." In fact, I would think that all boom poles are, in fact, three-dimensional, since it's impossible to construct a solid in less than three dimensions.

Be that as it may, they don't even bother to list any dimensions for the boom pole. It might be 6" long, or 60 feet long... who can tell?

You have to give these guys credit for audacity. Anyone who can mount two red plastic ears in a piece of plastic sewer pipe, and charge $999 for it, is headed for success. A division of the P. T. Barnum conglomerate.
Greg Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2012, 06:15 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,177
Re: Mitra 3D Microphone vs. ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Knoll View Post
To my untrained ears, the Mitra in the video did sound better (clearer, and more detailed) than the shotgun,
But that comparison on the video is SO OVERWHELMINGLY BOGUS! ANY stereo recording will sound "better, clearer, more detailed" than ANY monaural recording. That is why I said "what kind of scam are they trying to pull on us?" Are THEY really that stupid? Do they really think WE are that stupid? Either way I am very negatively impressed.

Now, if they compared their gadget to a Crown SASS or a Neumann KU 100 or even some taper gadget that you stick in your ears. Or even if they had compared it to the built-in stereo mics on the camcorder, we would have something to talk about. But the video was just completely bogus IMHO.

Quote:
If you were asked to record a binaural stereo recording, how would you do it?
Again, I would start back at the beginning and get answers for...
WHY do we need a binaural recording? (vs. conventional stereo)
HOW are we going to use this recording?
WHAT kind of post-production work do we expect to do here?
WHERE are we going to play this back that makes binaural even viable?

Because I don't believe there are legitimate, mainstream, real-world answers to those questions, I don't anticipate EVER needing to record binaural. But If I did need to record binaural, I would get a Crown SASS (no longer in production) or Neuman K 100 one of the few other binaural microphones. Or I would likely make my own using a pair of omnis from my locker and some appropriate mass or baffle in between. All the legitimate binaural recording schemes have some sort of mass between the microphones to simulate your head. The Mitra wouldn't even make my list of candidates for binaural recording. They seem like one of those products that are long on industrial design and marketing, and come up short on actual technology. I am very firmly in the camp of function over form. Perhaps because I am more of an engineer than an artist. YMMV
Richard Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2012, 04:02 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
Re: Mitra 3D Microphone vs. ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Knoll View Post
If you were asked to record a binaural stereo recording, how would you do it?
Best - hire a Neumann KU 100 dummy head mic.

Second best - use a Schneider Disk and a pair of diffuse-field omni mics.
__________________
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 10:10 PM.


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