Has anyone ever tried using one of the stereo PZM microphones? at DVinfo.net

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Old March 8th, 2007, 08:33 AM   #1
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Has anyone ever tried using one of the stereo PZM microphones?

While looking around for a boundary mics, I found that Crown now has a stereo version, the Crown SASS-P MK II. It's one weird-looking microphone.

I'm curious if anyone has tried this sort of mic for ambience or dialog recording.

Thanks much.

Stephen
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Old March 8th, 2007, 12:33 PM   #2
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My 2 cents, though probably not much help...

The Crown mic is a bit out of my present price range, however I do have an A-T 849 stereo boundary mic. While I don't consider myself a "sound engineer", and I have only used it a handful of times, I've been more than satisfied with the results thus far. My major concerns when using it are: 1) remembering that it uses 2 XLR plugs, thus reducing the number of available jacks on whichever mixer I'm plugging-in to, and 2) I've read that PZM mics need a base/sounding board of at least 1 square meter (preferably round) in order to do their best job. While seldom a problem on a stage, that can be a lot of real estate on a desk or tabletop.

I've used it for a few interviews. Biggest problem I've noticed is that of "table noise", i.e. when the mic is on a desk or table and the interviewee is in contact with the desk or table. It will often pick up all the "friction noice" so I try to keep the interviewee away from all furniture except their chair, though that's not always comfortable/practical for them.

While it's not the best for every situation, I like the 849's low profile, pickup, and sensitivity. (But, to reiterate, I consider myself less than a novice when it comes to audio and sound). Hope for someone more knowledgeable than me to weigh in with their experience.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 01:41 PM   #3
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Thanks much, Denis. . . I considered your input very helpful!
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Old March 8th, 2007, 05:24 PM   #4
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There are Crown mic and RS boundary mic samples we took at a conference last year which you can find at http://10squaredcorp.com/microphones/microphones.html. They include L-R stereo comparisons with lavs. May not be the same quality as you are currently considering, but may give you a feel for what to expect.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #5
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I have used the Crown SASS-P MK II, though it's been about 14 years. My college was in the same county as Crown's headquarters and thus got a lot of donated equipment. I found that the stereo image was extremely realistic. When listening on headphones I could practically place where things were coming from. So it would be great for ambient recording, not so good for dialogue since it captures a lot of the room tone and ambient noise.

Size would be an issue for me with this mic. I'd rather have a small portable M-S microphone like the Shure VP88 for ambient recording.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 02:40 PM   #6
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The Crown SASS does create a great stereo image. I have found
that when recording a small orchestra the front center section was
a little weak such that I would add a center fill.

At the beach it is far less sensitive to wind than traditional mics.
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