So pro-world means "Mono" recording ? 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 January 21st, 2006, 06:41 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ankara, Turkey
Posts: 136
So pro-world means "Mono" recording ?

hi friends,
I am semi-pro videpgrapher.recently I got a considerable grant for my documentary project in Turkey.I m planning to purchase some equipment in following weeks; Canon XL2 with 3x wide lens, M-audio 24/96 and AT897 shutgun with pole...

I will shoot mainly nature, record sounds wild animals of remote areas including rivers, creeks, forests. also I record the local people and their music. I have read the forum topic and decided to buy AT897 shutgun, because I have limited budget and my priority is nature sounds.

here is what I want to learn: in past years I record home made stereo condenser mics with minidisc.and results were quite exciting especially when you listen in stereo system.. but as far as I learn at this forum and other sites everybody discuss mono shutgun mıcs and recording techs. in every how to films of featured films or docs there is sound-man holding a mono shutgun mic with recorder. so when and how this mono recording will be stereo during we watch fantastic stereo or multi channel sounds of animals, wind through forest, rivers etc. in movies.

I noticed that there are stereo shutguns in stores but why no body uses or discusses these.so we do mono recording in field then during post production we made stereo-may be copy and paste it to each channel? - or, we use two shutguns, or if we record mono then that sound stays mono forever including in the movie, so we say goodbye to "stereo" in pro world :) ?

As far as I can see the real shutguns are the ones above 1k and "you get what you pay for " rule is valid. but what the advanced-amateur mic brands for shutguns and voice mics,

thanks,
alkim.
Alkim Un is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 21st, 2006, 07:31 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Merhaba Alkim,

I just got back from Istanbul and Konya, we shot in HDV and a STEREO mic for music. This was a Neumann Mid-Side mic (RSM 191 S), my sound guy brought it and it is WONDERFUL. We recorded some ilahis (sufi devotional music) and it is just the coolest thing in post to be able to vary the width of the stereo field. Beautiful sound. Of course, as with mono, getting the mic in the right place can be a challenge depending on the physical layout of the space.

Do read up on Mid-Side, also known as M-S. My understanding is that BBC in the U.K. has specified that all field audio will be collected in M-S, and this has done a lot for stereo recording for video world wide. However... that Neumann is an expensive mic, over $2000 USD I think, and there are not a lot of choices for lower cost, just a few.

For interviews in Turkey we were using the same mic but only the cardoid element (this will make sense after you read up on M-S mics.)

There is a short shotgun M-S from Audio-Technica, the AT835ST, which is about $600 at discount. I'd like to listen to it, but haven't yet.

The technique I have been using is usually called stereo coincident pair or near-coincident pair. X-Y is popular, I use ORTF, which is 2 small-diaphram cardoid condensor mics at an angle of 110 degrees, about 7" between them. I like it a lot for acoustic music for video, but it isn't quick to set like an M-S mic is. If you're wandering in the woods I think an M-S mic is a lot easier to handle. It's not great for camera mount and panning with action.

When I go out to do an interview it will be a mono microphone. The stereo techniques come out for music and sfx.

Ty Ford frequents this forum and does quite a bit of mic testing, I hope he has some info to post...

I'll dig up some web links later and post them.

<edit>

Here are some:
http://home.sprintmail.com/~markgris...reo/stereo.htm
http://www.oade.com/Tapers_Section/faq-mic.html

There is a required technique to decoding M-S that can be done in hardware or in most edit systems in software. It's easy in Vegas, which I use.

Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; January 21st, 2006 at 08:13 PM.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2006, 07:40 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ankara, Turkey
Posts: 136
merhaba seth,

you were probably in konya middle of december, for "Şeb-i Arus" ceremony. I live in isparta city just west of konya.I would be at that ceremony too this year but my equipment purchase was delayed :( , if it wasn't so, we most probably met..

yes I read one of the page you post. MS mic seems to be more convenient for me. I noticed article in http://home.sprintmail.com/~markgris...reo/stereo.htm that we can use MS shutgun for mono by ignoring side element, so this is fantastic for me to use this for interviews with people. but one question again: I ll use MS mic with M-audio 24/96 or with XL2, so can I plug it to camera input and use headphone plugged into camera and monitor it. because that article says monitoring needs special technique.. is it because MS mic has 5 pin plug and/or plugging it to camera or recording device with one jack is impossible..

I checked RSM 191 S in BH, it is 4500 $, more expenisve than xl2 :)) I think it is the last ms mic you need to buy ? but I will try to push my budget to buy AT835ST and it is 600$ in BH.

another question is; except interviews why people prefer mono shutguns in field resording or is it wrong ?. I also hava look at ty ford video reviews and test, he also mostly use or test mono shutgun mics, what is the logic, is there any post production tech that we can use these mono field recording tracks for each stereo or 5.1 channels.. or is there any verbal principle in sound recording environment that field recordings should be done mono ?

I ask too many I know, because I am completely new in pro-sound recording enviro.

thanks a lot,
alkim.
Alkim Un is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2006, 10:47 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
You need to remember that whatever it is that you are recording, the original master recording is just the first step in the process. During post production the original sound will be edited and blended with music, SFX, Foley, narration, ambience, sometimes replacement dialog, etc etc to achieve the final mix of sound you hear. When you use a multichannel mixer, whether it is a hardware device that mics are plugged into or a software mixer such as is found in most good NLE's, each channel has a "pan" control if you're mixing down to 2 channel stereo or a "surround panner" if you're mixing for surround sound. With my single mono track of dialog recorded on the set, I can use the panner to place it on the left channel, the right channel, equally on both, double the volume of the left that I have on the right, start equally divided between both rear channels with nothing on the front and sweep forward and to the left to mimic an airplane flying over and dissappearing over the horizon to the left of my view, anything I want it to do. By the use of the panner(s) I can make that single mono track seem to come from anywhere from left to right on the stereo stage in front of me or anywhere in the 360 degree circle around me in surround.

Music and other stereo recordings, don't forget, are simply two mono tracks that have been recorded at the same time. You can use a stereo mic to do it or you can use two mono mics. In fact, an awgully lot of popular music CD are recorded with multiple tracks and mics - maybe 7 mics and tracks or more on the drum kit alone, plus a track for each instrument. Vocals may be recorded mono while a piano which needs to have "spread" gets recorded with two mics in stereo. All of these tracks are blended together and positioned on the apparent stereo stage using the mixer panner controls during the mixdown and mastering session later on - in fact, there is nothing written in granite that says all of the tracks in the song have to be recorded at the same time or in the same place and often they aren't.

When you record dialog, you'd usually use a mono mic because 1: while there are some notable exceptions, most of the highest quality mics are mono - if you need to record stereo you use two (or more) of them and there's a whole art to the various ways you can place a set of mics for best stereo recording depending on the situation - a stereo mic has two microphone elements inside the same casing and it's always going to be a compromise designed to best work with "average" recording situations, whatever that is; and 2: most dialog is coming from characters that are the centre of attention in the shot - the camera is looking at them. As such, their speech should usually appear to come from where the camera is looking, the centre of the screen. It's easy to do that with a mono track - you just set the track's panner so it goes equally to both the left and right channel when you do the final mix. Also, a lot of people will see the final video you're shooting in mono anyway and your sound track needs to sound good to them to and a stereo original recording is more difficult to mix down to a mono mix.

HTH
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2006, 11:33 AM   #5
Fred Retread
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Hartford, CT
Posts: 1,227
Your basic question of why mono instead of stereo is a very sensible one to ask. I think that the logic is that for a quality listening experience:

1. With or without video, the recorded audio must sound appropriate in the playback environment.

Our brains make allowances and adjustments for echos and room noise like air conditioner hum when we are in the space where the target sound is being produced. They sound natural and/or are "tuned out" and ignored to some extent. But if those sounds are recorded along with the target sound, particularly dialog, it is astonishing how bad they sound on playback, especially in a different space. Mics that focus only on the sound in front of them help isolate the target sound, and such mics must be mono.

2. With video, the recorded audio should sound appropriate for the images.

For nature footage, the spaciousness and left/right information of stereo might be good for wide shots, but I think the brain wants less right/left information when you zoom in on a subject. If you close your eyes during a closeup, a bird call from the left and a cricket sound from the right in addition to the subject's sounds may sound intereresting and pleasing, but with the eyes open they distract from the video information. Mono audio is much better for closeups, IMO. Of course, as with many recording situations, you will probably need more than one mic to get good audio for the whole program. Forced to use only one mic, a shotgun stereo M/S mic seems like a good choice with the flexibility it gives you in post.
__________________
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence..." - Calvin Coolidge
"My brain is wired to want to know how other things are wired." - Me
David Ennis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2006, 11:56 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alkim Un
merhaba seth,

you were probably in konya middle of december, for "Şeb-i Arus" ceremony.
...
I noticed article... that we can use MS shutgun for mono by ignoring side element, so this is fantastic for me to use this for interviews with people. but one question again: I ll use MS mic with M-audio 24/96 or with XL2, so can I plug it to camera input and use headphone plugged into camera and monitor it. because that article says monitoring needs special technique.. is it because MS mic has 5 pin plug and/or plugging it to camera or recording device with one jack is impossible..
Yes, we were there! With a group of 60 sufis from the U.S. I was flying out immediately, but there was a live TV interview on Dec. 18 or 19 in Konya, if you saw it, those were the people I was travelling with. We also had opportunities to shoot Sema in Istanbul, of course we were very warmly received by the Turkish people.

Monitoring - if you are shooting mono, the cardoid element only, it is like any other mono cardoid mic. This is one of the nice things about M-S, you always have an easy way to get mono, even in post.

If you are shooting stereo, you can (depending on the camera):
Monitor the cardoid channel only,
Monitor both channels, which is confusing,
Decode the signal to stereo L-R for monitoring,
Decode the signal to stereo L-R for recording and monitoring.

Decoding for monitor only is best, but you'd need an external device such as a pro mixer that has built-in decode, known as M-S Matrix. The Neumann comes with an external box that can be used to decode before recording, I *think* the AT835ST has a built-in matrix such that you can record (and monitor) in Left-Right or M-S.

For stereo L-R you have to choose your stereo spread at the time of recording, and you no longer have that mono signal from the cardoid element recorded on a separate channel.

OK, I've not tried it, but for environmental SFX I think that could be tested and you'd be happy with one spread setting in a L-R recording. When you had some experience with the mic, maybe music too. Probably just do a mono recording for most interview work. Steve's comments about mono dialog recording are well taken.

However, there is so much acoustic music in Turkey that the instruments are already balanced - stereo recording techniques are an ideal way to capture them. As above, I've had really good results with M-S and ORTF, M-S is just so much easier and quicker, and you can put it on the end of a boom.

On the AT835ST - I'd sure like to know how it behaves indoors before I bought it for a primary mic. Most shotguns are not so good with walls and ceilings, as they are not very directional at lower frequencies. Cardoid or hypercardoid is usually preferred. But I'd like to hear that mic.

BH also has the Shure VP88 for $689, it is a Cardoid/figure-8. I'd like to hear that mic too.

BTW, all these mics come with a 5-pin to two 3-pin XLR breakout cable. They all need phantom power. You can extend the cable with more 5-pin or with 3-pins of equal length.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2006, 06:11 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ankara, Turkey
Posts: 136
thanks steve, fred and seth again for your valuable infos,

so expect music (or as steve says with multi mics), recording mono is the logic and its quality. but I think I need to understand that I couldn't use only one type of mic for every situation. so I start to build my mics slowly and with my budget allows, but I ll try to start with MS probably AT835ST or Shure VP88. may be the most challenging audio work will be the interviews with a shutgun but I will do nearly all of them in old clay houses full of furnitures and highland-steppe tents..

thanks again a lot, now I can see sound recording picture easier than before.

alkim
Alkim Un is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23rd, 2006, 04:58 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alkim Un
thanks steve, fred and seth again for your valuable infos,

so expect music (or as steve says with multi mics), recording mono is the logic and its quality. but I think I need to understand that I couldn't use only one type of mic for every situation. so I start to build my mics slowly and with my budget allows, but I ll try to start with MS probably AT835ST or Shure VP88. may be the most challenging audio work will be the interviews with a shutgun but I will do nearly all of them in old clay houses full of furnitures and highland-steppe tents..

thanks again a lot, now I can see sound recording picture easier than before.

alkim
You're right about needing a number of mics in a variety of types to be able to cover the various situations you'll encounter. One note of clarification - you may be mic'ing with several mono mics but you're recording in stereo. In a very common example, perhaps you want to record a group of singers. They'd be lined up across the stage. One way to record them would be to put a tall mic stand in the middle of the first row of seats, elevated high enough the put the mic slightly above the level of their mouths, and put two mono mics with directional pickup patterns on the stand - one is pointed to the middle left of the group and the other is pointed middle right. These two mics are MONO mics and each feeds its own separate MONO track in the recorder or in your camera but the resulting recording is a STEREO recording.

The Shure company has some good educational booklets in pdf format on this page ... http://www.shure.com/booklets/default.asp ... talking about selecting and placing mics for a number of different situations. Well worth reading and free!
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23rd, 2006, 04:46 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 104
There's a lot of good advice in the previous posts, but I want to add one or two things...

Recording with two mics is not "recording in stereo"... and stereo is not just "two mono tracks". Stereo micing techniques involve placing mics in a very specific configuration relative to each other, in order to record certain sound cues that the human brain interprets as spatial information. So it's much more about the RELATION between the two mics or two tracks than about the number. This can be done with two separate mics or two mic elements inside one housing (a "stereo mic").

Most pop recordings are indeed made with large numbers of mics... and their engineers will tell you they were not recorded in stereo. Pop music is all about SYNTHESIZED stereo, overdubs, and effects which don't represent a real experience. Most pop music that you hear was NEVER played live in the same way. So they're MIXED in stereo, from a bunch of mono sources. Classical music, on the other hand, is more often recorded in stereo, because the goal is to capture as performance as realistically as possible.

Similarly, in films, on the set the goal is often to capture dialog as cleanly as possible, so sound mixers can later synthesize a stereo/surround image. However, you can be sure, in the process stereo sources often come into play for background sound and such.

However, for what you're doing, it sounds like capturing natural stereo sound would be far and away the best thing.

MS is indeed one of the stereo configurations, and MS mics have the benefits described earlier as well as some others.... what you want to do is get an MS mic that outputs the M and S signals seperately, rather than a decoded Left-Right signal. With the separate signals, you have the ability to vary the width of your stereo signal in post, in order to match your shot exactly to your image... you can have much more flexibility that way than just switching between "mono" and "stereo" on a mic with only those two options. The M signal is a straight, clean mono signal that you'll always have, while the S signal is "side" information that is pretty useless on it's own, but when blended with the M signal in a very specific (L=M+S, R=M-S) way provides stereo. Varying the ratio of M to S varies the width of the stereo field.

Now, MS (or any other easily portable mic setup) won't give you the spaciousness of a widely spaced pair, but will be very good for what you're doing, and give you a lot of flexibility in post. Recording separate M and S signals, you never have to decide between mono and stereo... you'll always have both, in infinite variety to match your image.
Barry Werger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2006, 04:53 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Werger
There's a lot of good advice in the previous posts, but I want to add one or two things...

Recording with two mics is not "recording in stereo"... and stereo is not just "two mono tracks". Stereo micing techniques involve placing mics in a very specific configuration relative to each other ...
You're correct, of course. I was referring strictly to the mechanics of getting from sound to recording.

Quote:
...
Now, MS (or any other easily portable mic setup) won't give you the spaciousness of a widely spaced pair, but will be very good for what you're doing, and give you a lot of flexibility in post. Recording separate M and S signals, you never have to decide between mono and stereo... you'll always have both, in infinite variety to match your image.
But spaced pairs or A/B placement can give rise to unstable stereo imaging or phase artifacts in the mix, especially for video where a lot stereo tracks end up downmixed to mono when actually viewed due the limitations of the viewers playback equipment or broadcast chain.

You're right though that M/S is not the only way to capture stereo - I've heard very good results with X/Y and ORTF mic'ing and the very best imaging I've personally ever heard was a symphonic recording done with a Blumlein pair.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2006, 07:20 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ankara, Turkey
Posts: 136
thanks steve and barry.

I really believe original sound recording in the field is as important as recording good footage, and thats why I want to search balanced pro recording.and I always made exceptional sound recording design in the field to make effective the video I shoot: let me explain one of my recording experinces;

The documenytary I work on now is about the sustainabla usage of environmental resources at the trans-caucasian part of Turkey. and animal husbandry and pasture feeding is the main income at that area. to capture and make the effective visualisation of pasture feeding I need to get the video of walking hundred of cows on the wast steppe. but if you get close to walking cows you start to hear their feet beating teh steppe. in front of them from every direction you hear sounds of beating the ground at low frequency. then I though how can I effectively record this low frquency beating sound to the audiences when they watch this video they should to hear this sound from tha subwoofer booming and sound coming as wide and stereo as it can. then I buy two 1cm diameter condenser mics and connect them to 1/8 inch stereo mini plug with 7 m cable. I dig 30cm deep pit 5m apart and put left and right mics into each pits and buried with soil.I plug it to minidisc recorder and gave sign to the sheppered. hundreds of cows had walked on my "wide field stereo system under the ground" and I monitor and adjust the mic. vol. I got fantastic wide stereo low frequency record. Then I can edit this sound with wideo in the film, please try to imagine this sequence:

video: hundreds of cows fill the frame walking at dawn.
sound: low frequency wide stereo feet sounds recorded under the ground.
narration:" for the past thousands of years the cows beating wast plateau of trans-caucasia.."

but the this record is unbalanced and mic and cables cost me 2 US dolars ! so how can I design this wtih pro balanced mics and recorders. It should be with two or more mono mics (lavalier ?) and then to mix them in studio.. ?

I think I stay with unbalanced systems :)

alkim.
Alkim Un is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2006, 08:53 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alkim Un
....
video: hundreds of cows fill the frame walking at dawn.
sound: low frequency wide stereo feet sounds recorded under the ground.
narration:" for the past thousands of years the cows beating wast plateau of trans-caucasia.."

but the this record is unbalanced and mic and cables cost me 2 US dolars ! so how can I design this wtih pro balanced mics and recorders. It should be with two or more mono mics (lavalier ?) and then to mix them in studio.. ?
LOL I think I'd stick yith cheaper mics for this - I shudder ('scuse the pun) to think of hundeds of cows walking over a pair of $1600 USD Schoeps mics!

I wonder if a boundary or PZM mic might work for the LFE channel pickup?

You could probably use a single elevated omindirectional mic on a high stand and have the herd driven around it, then pan the track from one side to the middle as the herd surrounds the camera to the other side as the herd passes by, simulating the stereo effect in the NLE.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2006, 09:00 AM   #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
Were it my project, I'd forget trying to field record this, and do it in post. Until recently I owned a small herd of cattle, and I know the sound you're looking to record, and it's not easy to capture and have correct. It also wouldn't translate well as field audio. But as others mentioned, I surely wouldn't want to do this around cattle to get the right sound if I was using my better mics.
__________________
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
http://www.vasst.com
Douglas Spotted Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2006, 12:46 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 104
Well, for a more "natural" recording, I'd go with omnis at about 2-3 meters distance. If you're worrid about an unstable stereo image, just add a third center mic and mix it evenly into the other two tracks. Panning one mic won't give you some essential time-difference cues that the pair will give you.

Also, re: Steve: mix artifacts aren't really likely to be an issue in a situation like this; they tend to be a problem when recording something closer to a point source. When recording large sources (like an orchestra or a herd of cows walking by), the mics aren't really competing for the same signal in the same way.

And, hey, I'm not knocking MS, I'm touting it! For orchestras, though... I vote Decca Tree...

I should say for the record, though, I've never recorded cows. I'm just guessing.
Barry Werger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2006, 02:00 PM   #15
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bath, UK
Posts: 19
Pro gear sales

look at this url http://www.bblist.co.uk/ for quality audio gear, UK based but does sell worldwide. They have a couple of highly rated M-S systems.
Rob Dunford 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 05:41 AM.


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