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M-S recording mics

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Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:37 pm
by MOF
It's not surprising given their quality, longevity, rarity on the S-H market, and new prices.

I bought my MKH 30 & 60 pairing in 1992@ and they’re still going strong.

Re the OP I bought a Neumann KM184 for work (small and lightweight) two can be had for £1k@, if you don’t need MS facilities.

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:16 am
by Arpangel
Bob Bickerton wrote:MKH30/MKH8040 user here - but you don’t state what model of C414 you’re using. There’s a considerable difference between models.

Also, you don’t have to have a matched pair for MS, so one possibility would be to use a C414 for figure of eight and then a pencil condenser for the ‘M’ mic. This will open up lots of possibilities for you and give you an easier to manage set up.

Bob

Also, you don't "have" to use a cardioid for the mid mic, an omni gives interesting results, if you have one laying about just experiment.

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:10 am
by solaris
Bob Bickerton wrote:Also, you don’t have to have a matched pair for MS, so one possibility would be to use a C414 for figure of eight and then a pencil condenser for the ‘M’ mic. This will open up lots of possibilities for you and give you an easier to manage set up.

Ok that is good to know. I have two AKG C414 XLII, which I very often use as an M-S pair. I will try to use my NT5 for the mid and see what happens. It is not that I am not happy with the AKG's it is just that I am expanding to a larger studio and I wanted two M-S pairs.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:As Sam suggests, your C414s could be used as an MS array very easily and effectively... been there, done that, very happy with the results!

I definitely agree with that. They are my main mics and I use them like that most of the time.
I thought that maybe if I get smaller mics it would be easier to position. And maybe the natural figure of eight pattern would offer an advantage but I am changing my mind now.

And that takes us to.....
John Willett wrote:IMHO, if you want AKG you buy Austrian Audio - that's where all the good AKG people are now.

What is the deal with those mics? I read the SOS article and they seem very interesting. The whole story of the 20 something original AKG people making their own mics sounds intriguing. I could extent my budget for those since they have more uses in the studio. Has anyone used them?

Arpangel wrote:Also, you don't "have" to use a cardioid for the mid mic, an omni gives interesting results, if you have one laying about just experiment.

Yes I agree with that and it is working very nice in my space (quite dead sounding). I was thinking that since the Austrian Audio OC808 can record both capsules... someone could do the Omni-Figure of 8 M-S with only one mic. Right?

Sounds almost too intriguing to resist :bouncy:

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:27 am
by Arpangel
solaris wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote:Also, you don’t have to have a matched pair for MS, so one possibility would be to use a C414 for figure of eight and then a pencil condenser for the ‘M’ mic. This will open up lots of possibilities for you and give you an easier to manage set up.

Ok that is good to know. I have two AKG C414 XLII, which I very often use as an M-S pair. I will try to use my NT5 for the mid and see what happens. It is not that I am not happy with the AKG's it is just that I am expanding to a larger studio and I wanted two M-S pairs.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:As Sam suggests, your C414s could be used as an MS array very easily and effectively... been there, done that, very happy with the results!

I definitely agree with that. They are my main mics and I use them like that most of the time.
I thought that maybe if I get smaller mics it would be easier to position. And maybe the natural figure of eight pattern would offer an advantage but I am changing my mind now.

And that takes us to.....
John Willett wrote:IMHO, if you want AKG you buy Austrian Audio - that's where all the good AKG people are now.

What is the deal with those mics? I read the SOS article and they seem very interesting. The whole story of the 20 something original AKG people making their own mics sounds intriguing. I could extent my budget for those since they have more uses in the studio. Has anyone used them?

Arpangel wrote:Also, you don't "have" to use a cardioid for the mid mic, an omni gives interesting results, if you have one laying about just experiment.

Yes I agree with that and it is working very nice in my space (quite dead sounding). I was thinking that since the Austrian Audio OC808 can record both capsules... someone could do the Omni-Figure of 8 M-S with only one mic. Right?

Sounds almost too intriguing to resist :bouncy:

Isn't it the OC818? And I'm not sure you could do M+S with this mic alone, aren't the dual diaphragms designed to make ust one, flexible polar pattern, not two simultaneously?

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:45 am
by Hugh Robjohns
Arpangel wrote:Isn't it the OC818?]/quote]

Yes.... but it's not the only multi-pattern mic with dual outputs to access each side's capsule separately. The Lewitt 640TS and the Sennheiser MKH800 Twin are other examples.

And I'm not sure you could do M+S with this mic alone, aren't the dual diaphragms designed to make just one, flexible polar pattern, not two simultaneously?

You can get 'stereo' from the one mic, but the options are very limited.

The mic contains back-to-back cardioid capsules. If you access them separately you have a stereo output of sorts: XY cardioids with a 180-degree mutual angle... That will give two stereo recording angles (mirrored front and back) of around 110 degrees. But the mic obviously has to be placed side-on to the intended main source, so everything is going to be massively off-axis... which ain't gonna be good on a large diaphragm mic!

The Lewitt and Austrian Audio mics can be controlled to provide adjustable stereo width through Mid-Side processing, but exactly the same effect can be achieved with any stereo-width plugin.

There are some situations where back-to-back cardioids might deliver a useful stereo sound stage. Ambient effects recording is, arguably, one.... But it's not really a ,lot of practical use in more conventional music recording settings. A true multi-capsule stereo mic is a lot more versatile, and two separate mics better still...

H

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:03 pm
by Arpangel
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Isn't it the OC818?]/quote]

Yes.... but it's not the only multi-pattern mic with dual outputs to access each side's capsule separately. The Lewitt 640TS and the Sennheiser MKH800 Twin are other examples.

And I'm not sure you could do M+S with this mic alone, aren't the dual diaphragms designed to make just one, flexible polar pattern, not two simultaneously?

You can get 'stereo' from the one mic, but the options are very limited.

The mic contains back-to-back cardioid capsules. If you access them separately you have a stereo output of sorts: XY cardioids with a 180-degree mutual angle... That will give two stereo recording angles (mirrored front and back) of around 110 degrees. But the mic obviously has to be placed side-on to the intended main source, so everything is going to be massively off-axis... which ain't gonna be good on a large diaphragm mic!

The Lewitt and Austrian Audio mics can be controlled to provide adjustable stereo width through Mid-Side processing, but exactly the same effect can be achieved with any stereo-width plugin.

There are some situations where back-to-back cardioids might deliver a useful stereo sound stage. Ambient effects recording is, arguably, one.... But it's not really a ,lot of practical use in more conventional music recording settings. A true multi-capsule stereo mic is a lot more versatile, and two separate mics better still...

H

This is what I suspected, I couldn't work out how back to back would give useful stereo for music.

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:25 pm
by Bob Bickerton
solaris wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote:Also, you don’t have to have a matched pair for MS, so one possibility would be to use a C414 for figure of eight and then a pencil condenser for the ‘M’ mic. This will open up lots of possibilities for you and give you an easier to manage set up.

Ok that is good to know. I have two AKG C414 XLII, which I very often use as an M-S pair. I will try to use my NT5 for the mid and see what happens. It is not that I am not happy with the AKG's it is just that I am expanding to a larger studio and I wanted two M-S pairs

OK. I find the XLS to be more neutral for acoustic instruments. You could consider a Line Audio CM4 - nice flat mic.

Bob

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:53 pm
by solaris
Arpangel wrote:The mic contains back-to-back cardioid capsules. If you access them separately you have a stereo output of sorts: XY cardioids with a 180-degree mutual angle... That will give two stereo recording angles (mirrored front and back) of around 110 degrees. But the mic obviously has to be placed side-on to the intended main source, so everything is going to be massively off-axis... which ain't gonna be good on a large diaphragm mic!

Not the XY, but the Omni-Figure of 8 M-S.
The mic side-on to the source as an omni for the Mid, and as a figure of eight for the side.
It could work no?
Hmmm... now that I think of it maybe it wouldn't. But you see where I was coming from.
That an omni and figure of eight could make an M-S But the omni needs not to be facing sideways for it to work I guess.

Arpangel wrote:Isn't it the OC818? And I'm not sure you could do M+S with this mic alone, aren't the dual diaphragms designed to make ust one, flexible polar pattern, not two simultaneously?

In this mic there are two outputs for each cardioid side so the polar pattern can be changed after recording.

Bob Bickerton wrote:OK. I find the XLS to be more neutral for acoustic instruments. You could consider a Line Audio CM4 - nice flat mic.

That is a fascinating suggestion. I record mostly acoustic instruments with the 414's which we both have. How does a mic like CM4 compete with a mic that is 7 times more expensive for this application?

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:22 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
solaris wrote:The mic side-on to the source as an omni for the Mid, and as a figure of eight for the side.
It could work no?

Yes... but with limitations, as I mentioned above. The XY equivalent is -- and always will be -- a pair of back-to-back cardioids. The only control you have is over the resulting stereo width and there is also no front/back discrimination. Also, any central sources are as far off-axis as you can get, so their sound will be relatively coloured... which is rather ironic given that one of the main reasons for using the conventional MS technique is to ensure accuracy of tonality for central sources!

To be blunt, this stereo application is much more of a gimmick than a useful tool. The real benefit of these mics with individual capsule outputs is in allowing post-production control of the polar pattern.

H

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:18 pm
by solaris
Hugh Robjohns wrote:To be blunt, this stereo application is much more of a gimmick than a useful tool. The real benefit of these mics with individual capsule outputs is in allowing post-production control of the polar pattern.

Thank you for your bluntness. :D Always an honor to accept your help.
It would have been nice if it worked...

Never the less does anyone have any experience with those mics?

I need to buy 2 good quality multi pattern mics. Maybe it could be them.

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:58 pm
by John Willett
Sam Inglis wrote:MBHO in Germany make a nice figure-8 capsule for their modular series which is relatively affordable -- more so than Schoeps anyway. Unfortunately I've lost mine!

The Ambient EMESSER is AFAIAA the same as the MBHO in essence as MBHO make the EMESSER for Ambient.

And, I agree, that MBHO make excellent microphones for the money - I went over and visited their factory a few years ago and saw round the factory and had good discussions with the people there. :thumbup:

But, as has been said, you don't need matching mics for MS. But an EMESSER or MBHO Fig-8 and an MBHO cardioid would aso make a good MS rig at a reasonable price. :thumbup:

Though do remember that microphones are a mature technology and you should always get the very best you can afford as good mics will last you forever - my own MKH mics retailed at about £350 when I bought them almost 35 years ago - and they are all still going strong. :thumbup:

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:31 pm
by Arpangel
solaris wrote:
Arpangel wrote:The mic contains back-to-back cardioid capsules. If you access them separately you have a stereo output of sorts: XY cardioids with a 180-degree mutual angle... That will give two stereo recording angles (mirrored front and back) of around 110 degrees. But the mic obviously has to be placed side-on to the intended main source, so everything is going to be massively off-axis... which ain't gonna be good on a large diaphragm mic!

Not the XY, but the Omni-Figure of 8 M-S.
The mic side-on to the source as an omni for the Mid, and as a figure of eight for the side.
It could work no?
Hmmm... now that I think of it maybe it wouldn't. But you see where I was coming from.
That an omni and figure of eight could make an M-S But the omni needs not to be facing sideways for it to work I guess.

Arpangel wrote:Isn't it the OC818? And I'm not sure you could do M+S with this mic alone, aren't the dual diaphragms designed to make ust one, flexible polar pattern, not two simultaneously?

In this mic there are two outputs for each cardioid side so the polar pattern can be changed after recording.

Bob Bickerton wrote:OK. I find the XLS to be more neutral for acoustic instruments. You could consider a Line Audio CM4 - nice flat mic.

That is a fascinating suggestion. I record mostly acoustic instruments with the 414's which we both have. How does a mic like CM4 compete with a mic that is 7 times more expensive for this application?

Solaris, please don't take offence, but you keep misquoting Hugh's text as being by me, just a point of order!

:thumbup: :)

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:30 pm
by solaris
Arpangel wrote:Solaris, please don't take offence, but you keep misquoting Hugh's text as being by me, just a point of order!

I am very sorry. I have absolutely no idea how did this happen. :beamup:

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:38 pm
by solaris
John Willett wrote:Though do remember that microphones are a mature technology and you should always get the very best you can afford as good mics will last you forever - my own MKH mics retailed at about £350 when I bought them almost 35 years ago - and they are all still going strong.

This is good advise for sure.

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:03 am
by Bob Bickerton
solaris wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote:OK. I find the XLS to be more neutral for acoustic instruments. You could consider a Line Audio CM4 - nice flat mic.

That is a fascinating suggestion. I record mostly acoustic instruments with the 414's which we both have. How does a mic like CM4 compete with a mic that is 7 times more expensive for this application?

The CM4 is the newer version on the CM3 which is actually wide cardioid and punches way above it's weight. Apparently it's polar pattern is a little tighter than the CM3.

I haven't tried it myself in an M/S array, but it should give you a different flavour to the XLII/NT5 or XLKII/XLII combinations, if that's what you're looking for.

Bob

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:36 am
by Arpangel
solaris wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Solaris, please don't take offence, but you keep misquoting Hugh's text as being by me, just a point of order!

I am very sorry. I have absolutely no idea how did this happen. :beamup:

Ha Ha! Don't worry, in fact, it was a compliment...

:D

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:20 am
by Humble Bee
Another option for a figure8 (side-) mic that I think haven’t been mentioned here would be the Shure Beta 181/BI.

I have only experience with its cardioid sibling tho...

:thumbup:

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:35 pm
by John Willett
I would never use an omni as a mid mic - its usefulness is very restricted.

Also, I would use a dual-diaphragm (switchable-pattern) mic. for the side mic. only as a last resort - the polar-pattern is so much better with a single-diaphragm fig-8. :thumbup:

With a dual-diaphragm the two diaphragms are apart from each other and this can be a large distance at high frequencies which affects the polar-pattern at these frequencioes.

Read THIS PAPER by Dooley and Streicher - it explains MS very well and includes all the resultant stereo patterns you get with each choice of mid mic. :thumbup:

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:48 pm
by Sam Inglis
Omni M-S is fantastic in one particular use case -- when you have a band arranged in a circle and you want the mic in the middle.

Re: M-S recording mics

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:02 pm
by solaris
Bob Bickerton wrote:The CM4 is the newer version on the CM3 which is actually wide cardioid and punches way above it's weight. Apparently it's polar pattern is a little tighter than the CM3.

Ok thank you very much for the info. Maybe I will buy one (or two, they are cheap) just so I have some extra mics and check them out.

John Willett wrote:Also, I would use a dual-diaphragm (switchable-pattern) mic. for the side mic. only as a last resort - the polar-pattern is so much better with a single-diaphragm fig-8.

What can I say, I hope that the difference is not big (dual-diaphragm fig-8 VS single-diaphragm fig-8) because as it seems I will not be able to get a single diaphragm figure of 8 mic. I have been using two 414s for MS, and they sound really nice to my ears, I hope I am not missing out.

Anyway thank you all for your help. I think I will buy some multi pattern mics and combine them together.

By the way, I tried the combination Rode NT-5 (MID) and 414 (SIDE) as suggested.It sounded really nice, on guitar at least. Definitely another tool in the shed. I recommend it for those that haven't tried it.

Thanx again.