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Why NOT To Use Cardioid Mics! - Mike Senior | Podcast

Expert Tracking & Mixing Tips By Mike Senior
Published June 2020

Cardioid mics are tremendously popular amongst recording musicians, but can also work against you. In this episode, Mike Senior explains some of the reasons why, and illustrates how omni and figure‑eight patterns can often give more useful results.

Show Notes


Mike Senior positioning microphones.Mike Senior00:00 - Introduction
01:39 - Proximity-effect bass boost
04:44 - Spotlighting
05:48 - Low-end response at a distance
06:40 - Off-axis tonal coloration
09:06 - Insufficient spill rejection
10:56 - Plosives and handling noise
12:33 - The hand-held LDC trick
14:11 - Summary


24-bit Podcast Download

If you'd like to listen more critically to the audio examples, you can download a high-resolution 24-bit/44.1kHz WAV of this whole podcast episode here:

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This month's episode features recordings from David Tyo's 'Long Way Home'. You can check out more of David's great music here:

If you'd like to try mixing 'Long Way Home' for yourself, you can download the full raw multitracks here:

To read more about the low-spill figure-eight guitar-recording method, check out Neil Rogers's January 2014 'Session Notes' column:

For general advice about microphone polar patterns, try this March 2007 article by Paul White:

Mike Senior headshot photo.Presenter: Mike Senior — Biog

Mike Senior is a professional audio engineer, regular SOS contributor, and author of the best-selling books Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio and Recording Secrets For The Small Studio. He runs the Cambridge-MT educational resources site (including the web's largest free multitrack download library) and hosts two monthly independent podcasts, Project Studio Tea Break and the Cambridge-MT Patrons Podcast.

About the Recording & Mixing podcast channel

On this channel you’ll find shows packed with hints & tips about getting the most out of the recording, mixing and mastering process.

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