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Blumlein

Discussion in 'Audio Terms' started by audiokid, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    A stereo microphone technique in which two coincident bidirectional microphones are angled 90 degrees apart (45 degrees to the left and right of center).

    Blumlein Pair is the name for a stereo recording technique invented by Alan Blumlein for the creation of recordings that — upon replaying through headphones or loudspeakers — recreate the spatial characteristics of the recorded signal.
    The pair consists of an array of two matched microphones of bi-directional (figure 8) pickup pattern, positioned 90° from each other. Ideally, the transducers should occupy the same physical space; as this is impossible the microphone capsules are placed as close to each other as physically possible, generally with one centered directly above the other. The array is oriented so that the line bisecting the angle between the two microphones points towards the sound source to be recorded (see diagram). The pickup patterns of the pair, combined with their positioning, delivers a high degree of stereo separation in the source signal as well as the room ambiance.
    The Blumlein pair produces an exceptionally realistic stereo image, but the quality of recordings is highly dependent on the acoustics of the room and the size of the sound source.
    Both ribbon and condenser microphones can be used for Blumlein pair recording. A few types of stereo ribbon microphones (B & O, Royer, AEA) have even been purpose-built for just this type of recording. Several types of stereo condenser microphone (Neumann, AKG, Schoeps) have also offered a Blumlein arrangement as one of their possible configurations.
    In his experiments at EMI with what he called "binaural" sound, Blumlein did not actually use this technique since he had no figure-8 microphones available, but the theoretical possibility of such a recording method was one of the claims he made in his U.K. patent application in 1931 (granted as patent #394325). This recording technique was named in his honor many years after his death.
     
  2. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    maybe amend to: "bidirectional (figure-8) mics"...?
     

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