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Old September 26th, 2013, 10:26 AM   #61
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

Well, then you have to fiddle with precise placement of the figure of eight.

How about an AT 4027?

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Old September 27th, 2013, 04:20 AM   #62
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

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Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
So what Figure-8 mic would be a good match for the NTG-1 and the application, given a fairly limited budget?
No contest - the Ambient ATE 208 EMESSER is the best small, single diaphragm, fig-8 at a reasonable price.

I think it's about £600 and a lot cheaper than the Sennheiser, Neumann MBHO and Schoeps (all of which are also single diaphragm genuine fig-8 mics and not made from back-to-back cardioid capsules). Quality is up with that of Schoeps at a much lower price.

There is nothing cheaper that I would consider at all - unfortunately, fig-8 mics are more expensive than other patterns due to the design required to get them right and the low numbers sold compared to other patterns - but the Ambient is definitely the best value.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 04:54 AM   #63
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

I had a bit of fun using the Beyer M201 and M130 dynamic/ribbon combo a few years ago but settled on the sony prosumer ECM-MS957 as I rarely use stereo mic's these days!

My main pro stereo mic used to be the soundfield ST250 but I sold it several years ago as it was just too big for practical use.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 09:25 AM   #64
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

If it's a true figure-8 (i.e. not two cardioid capsules) then the diaphragm (or ribbon) is completely open on both sides, with no baffling to reduce movement. That does make them very susceptible to wind noise.

Back when I was 16 yrs old and working in AM radio (remember AM radio?!) I used to sign off the transmitter by slowly swinging a regular broom past an RCA BK11 ribbon mic. The LF output pulse was so strong that it tripped the plate overload relay on the transmitter and put the station off the air! So yes, you need wind protection with a true figure-8 mic.

I'm rather surprised that you don't like your mono shotgun with a bit of stereo ambient mixed in.

Have you ever considered using your mono recording with a bit of stereo synthesis? If you do it right, you can preserve the LF in phase on both channels, give a bit of stereo spread to the upper freqs, and yet retain 100% mono compatibility. It wouldn't be real but OTOH you wouldn't have to deal with audio pan direction reversing when you cut to a reverse camera shot.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 10:55 AM   #65
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

Thanks everyone.

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I'm rather surprised that you don't like your mono shotgun with a bit of stereo ambient mixed in.
It's not that I don't like the result, just that it's quite a lot of extra work for a one-man-band, especially since one sometimes doesn't have much time to set up at a new location. I've also had trouble synchronising the ambient track (imported from minidisc) with the video track. A couple of times I ended up with a strange echo that sounded as though I was recording through a drainpipe! But I guess that's a topic for a different thread...

(BTW I use a Sony MS957, too. Must get an XLR-5 to 2xXLR-3 cable made up for it some time - does anyone know where I can find the pin assignments for it? Sony refused to tell me!)

The Emesser sounds like just the mic for the job, though it's almost the price of an AT BP4029.

I've also got to work out what I'd have to do in my NLE (Avid Liquid 7.2) to mix M/S on the time-line. It certainly doesn't have any pre-set for it, so I'd have to "roll my own". I'm not even sure if it can invert an audio track. If it can't, then choosing a mic is a bit academic. OTOH, it will be an interesting question to ask when choosing my next NLE (since AL is obsolete now).
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Old September 27th, 2013, 06:35 PM   #66
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

No two machines will stay perfectly in sync unless you have a fairly sophisticated setup. Usually you can get away with less than perfect.

Start both recorders at roughly the same time (just for the sake of convenience). Then, located where both mics will pick you up OK, say something like, "This is the head sync" and clap your hands once (or snap your fingers, if you're really close to the mics.

Let both recorders roll continuously until you've completely finished the shot. Then say something like, "This is the tail sync" and clap or snap again.

Use your video recording as the master, find the exact location of the two claps, and find out the exact duration of time between them. (And by exact, I'm talking about the actual number of audio samples.) Now, separately, open your minidisc recording (I'm always surprised that those still exist). Find the exact duration of time between the two claps. Then use your NLE to stretch of shrink the minidisc audio until the duration exactly matches the duration of the audio track from the video recording. Line up the two head claps, double check that the two tail claps are lined up, and you're hopefully good to go. (I say hopefully because one or both of the machines might not have a constant speed... it might be speeding up and slowing down during the length of the take. That means you'll never maintain absolutely perfect sync throughout the take. But try the above, and see how it sounds. Hopefully it will eliminate the phase filtering that you've heard in the past.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 07:06 PM   #67
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

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Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post

(BTW I use a Sony MS957, too. Must get an XLR-5 to 2xXLR-3 cable made up for it some time - does anyone know where I can find the pin assignments for it? Sony refused to tell me!)
The XLR -5 connections for stereo are..

Pin 1 = Ground / shield
Pin 2 = Left +
Pin 3 = Left -
Pin 4 = Right +
Pin 5 = Right -

There are the connections used by Shure VP88 stereo mic, Audio Technica stereo mics, Sony mstereo mics as well as any camera that uses a 5 pin XLR for inputs or outputs.

And if you need a breakway cable for mixer - camera connections use a 7 pin XLR and use (Pins 1-5 the same as a stereo cable) and Pin 6 = Left return, Pin 7 = Right return.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 03:00 AM   #68
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

On old analogue stereo mixers, a common solution for mixing M/S was to use a Y split. The mid signal goes to one fader, panned central. The side signal is split, and fed to two channels, one panned left, and the other right. If the DAW or real mixer has a polarity button (often labelled phase), then prod that on just one channel (I usually use the right). If your DAW or mixer doesn't have this facility, when you solder up the Y split, just swap pins 2 and 3 on one side of the split.

Shove the mid channel up and you have mono. Bring up the two side faders and you bring in the width. Works fine!
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Old September 28th, 2013, 09:22 AM   #69
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

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Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
If it's a true figure-8 (i.e. not two cardioid capsules) then the diaphragm (or ribbon) is completely open on both sides, with no baffling to reduce movement. That does make them very susceptible to wind noise.

Back when I was 16 yrs old and working in AM radio (remember AM radio?!) I used to sign off the transmitter by slowly swinging a regular broom past an RCA BK11 ribbon mic. The LF output pulse was so strong that it tripped the plate overload relay on the transmitter and put the station off the air! So yes, you need wind protection with a true figure-8 mic.

I'm rather surprised that you don't like your mono shotgun with a bit of stereo ambient mixed in.

Have you ever considered using your mono recording with a bit of stereo synthesis? If you do it right, you can preserve the LF in phase on both channels, give a bit of stereo spread to the upper freqs, and yet retain 100% mono compatibility. It wouldn't be real but OTOH you wouldn't have to deal with audio pan direction reversing when you cut to a reverse camera shot.
The Ambient EMESSER I mentioned above was specially designed to be less susceptible to wind noise than other mics.

It was designed after Ambient found that the Schoeps fig-8 suffered from wind too much.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 09:24 AM   #70
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
If the DAW or real mixer has a polarity button (often labelled phase), then prod that on just one channel (I usually use the right). If your DAW or mixer doesn't have this facility, when you solder up the Y split, just swap pins 2 and 3 on one side of the split.
You *have* to polarity-reverse the right, or your stereo image will be left/right reversed.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 06:42 PM   #71
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

Unless the Side mic is facing the wrong direction (i.e. with the front of the mic facing right, rather than left).

Indeed, there are a few potential problems for the inexperienced MS-er.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 12:37 AM   #72
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

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Indeed, there are a few potential problems for the inexperienced MS-er.
I can totally agree with that and for new users it is probably best to use a self contained M/S mic that outputs an A/B signal.

As said I now use the sony prosumer mic's and even the small ECM-MS907 can give good results and has been handy to carry with me all the time with a minidisc recorder for grabbing sound effects, or I use the ECM-MS957 with a rode PG1 pistol grip and suspension.

They have switches for 90 or 120 degree angle and can be great for use with cameras that have stereo 1/3" minijacks and no phantom power as they are both battery operated, I also use them with my canon HF11 AVCHD minicam for interviews or off camera sound.
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Old September 30th, 2013, 07:36 AM   #73
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

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...for new users it is probably best to use a self contained M/S mic that outputs an A/B signal.
No, I disagree - when I started using MS many years ago I bought a cardioid and fig.8, connected them up and used them.

No problem at all.
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Old September 30th, 2013, 12:07 PM   #74
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

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No, I disagree - when I started using MS many years ago I bought a cardioid and fig.8, connected them up and used them.

No problem at all.
With best respects John a great deal of the video camera and DSLR users are not full audio engineers and I would think they would struggle with a full M/S rig as a rode videomic or an NTG2 is their level of mic kit.
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Old September 30th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #75
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Re: M-S vs. X-Y for field use

I would agree with Gary on this. Sorry if I offend anyone but generally videographers are notorious for screwing up production and post production audio.
Keep it simple.
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