Guitarking wrote:I also wanted to dive into Blumlein. I hear good stories about it (very natural sound/image), that's why.
You'll probably find as many disparaging comments about it as positive ones -- as you will for any mic technique. It is a classic coincident array, so the imaging is clinically precise (with well-matched mics
), but it inherently lacks the kind of 'spaciousness' that is associated with spaced arrays like ORTF or AB. Horses and courses...
The Blumlein array has a particular set of qualities that can be useful and effective in certain applications, and wholly inappropriate in others. The rear pickup lobes can be highly problematic in poor-sounding rooms, as can the out-of phase side pickup zones, while the relatively narrow stereo acceptance angle requires a more distant placement than some alternative arrays which imposes a more open perspective which is, again, highly room dependent.
So yes, in the right situation the Blumlein array can be a wonderful sounding thing. In others it just doesn't deliver anything useful.
Consulted a mic tech. He suspects one of the mics has had a diafragm change
Replaced diaphragm or capsule does seem a strong possibility...
If he/I can find another diafragm, it's quite expensive to change, around 300 euro's.
That's a lot of cash to pile on top of the cost of the second mic, and there's still no guarantee of precise matching. And which mic's diaphragm/capsule would you change anyway? How do you know that your original mic isn't out-of-spec dull rather than the new one being out-of-spec bright?
All things considered, if precise XY recording techniques are that important to you, I think I'd flog one or both B-ULS mics separately, and buy a matched pair of C414-XLS mics or some other decent brand of multi-pattern mic. The se4400 would be a reasonable alternative at about half the price.
Regarding Blumlein, maybe I should let go of blumlein with the 2 B-ULS and find another mic that can do that?
The Blumlein array requires two mics with fig-8 polar patterns, so you'd have to invest in another mic whatever you decide to do!
Last question: I keep on talking about Blumlein (as if I know what I'm talking about lol), but is Blumlein a useful technique for me? I'm in a homestudio or recording piano in my living room most of the time...
See my comments above. The sound of the room will be the most critical factor in deciding whether the technique is appropriate for your situation. Having said that, I wouldn't personally choose to record a piano with the Blumlein array given other options. I'd be far more likely to choose spaced AB omnis or maybe ORTF for classical pieces, and probably use closer internal mics for more percussive pop-oriented stuff.
But experimentation is the key to learning and gaining experience, so I'd certainly encourage you to try out all manner of different stereo arrays to form an impression of what each offers in terms of strengths and weaknesses. That's where (matched) multi-pattern mics become so versatile and useful, as it's a matter of moments to compare XY cardioids, hyper-cardioids and fig-8s, or AB omnis or fig-8s, or ORTF versus NOS versus DIN ... and so on.