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Suggestions for Bi-directional microphone

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Ardroth, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Ardroth

    Ardroth Guest

    I've been interested in recording using the Stereo Mid-sides technique... However, no one I know owns a Bi-directional microphone, and nor do I. I tried it with 3 mics (all caridiod, one facing forward, the other 2 in a figure 8 pattern 180 degrees - as a bi-directional mic would pick up). It works well. But it creates a clutter of cords and stands. I'd like to reduce it to 2 mics if possible (these are live recordings by the way). I don't know where to begin searching for a BD Mic... They don't seem to be in very common practice. I have a pretty small budget... I don't need anything great. Really just something to experiment with. If anyone has a suggestion of a Bi-directional microphone that is close to the above description please let me know!

    Thank you.
  2. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Figure-8 is the key word to search for.
    I use AKG Blue Line for small diaphragm - Studio Projects C3 or Rode NT2000 for large diaphragm. Beyer makes some nice ribbons for mid-side - I don't own them so I don't have the numbers off the top of my head.

    The AKG's make a nice tidy package for MS recording.
    The wood bits are ho-made, but there are commercial clips available too.
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I can't speak to their quality, but I am hearing wonderful things about the Cascade FatHeads. You can get a matched pair for next to nothing.

    I would say M/S is far more common than you might assume. I personally use it on at least 20 to 30 recordings annually - sometimes more- way more.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Want to try something really small?? Iso-Max microphones make a flat shaped, bidirectional lavalier condenser microphone. It's about 1" x 0.25". They also make an equivalent cardioid I believe? Also, because they are super small capsule condenser microphones, they can handle the SPL of whatever you want to throw at it. Leave your pad at the door.

    You eat this mushroom to grow small.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Beyer M130 ribbon.

    Pair it with the M160 hypercardioid (or another M130) for glorious MS stereo.
  6. Ardroth

    Ardroth Guest

    Thank you guys. The Above mentioned Cascade Fat Head actually looks like what I'm seeking. Definitely the right price, and seems to be quite praised by engineers.

    Any other suggestions helpful as well! Thanks!
  7. taxman

    taxman Active Member

    What are you using to decode the M/S signal? Can an MBox2Pro do this, can it be done in ProTools? Or do you need a specialized preamp to decode?
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    taxman in the past, a transformer matrix or audio console were capable of decoding the MS signal. Today, almost all software has some kind of MS encode/decode function, generally under the amplitude functions.

    The specifics are the "M" stands for middle so that recorded track gets panned to Mono/middle, center.

    The "S", or side, is the tricky one to comprehend. This single mono track is also mono but is, like the mono/middle, stuck into both the left and right channels but, the right channel must be phase inverted. (Think a single output to a "Y" patch cord to allow two outputs from a single source, to be plugged into two inputs, one going to left Channel, one going to right Channel with phase inversion) Now, when combined with the non-phase inverted left Channel, phase inverted right channel and combined with the Middle/Mono Channel, beautiful stereo is created. And because of how this works, if the signal is collapsed to mono, the side channel, because it is 180° out of phase between left and right channels, completely cancels out. This makes this type of stereo 100% phase coherent. So unlike ORTF and XY, there is no phase shift between the left and right capsules, since half of your signal, the side figure 8, disappears completely, electronically. It's very cool! It also allows you to adjust the width of the stereo image from quite wide to Mono and everything in between.

    In between
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    PT LE does not have an MS decoder (that I have found). But it's pretty easy to do. I take the side track, copy it, and then paste two copies into a fresh stereo track. I then use the audiosuite to invert one side of the stereo track and mix with the mid track panned dead center. Other DAWs do this more elegantly, but it takes less than a minute to do it this way.

    BTW, you may want to get two figure 8s (or two multi-pattern which would give you even more options) and try Blumlein. It doesn't have the great mono compatibility of MS, but it's easy to set up, doesn't need any decoding (so there are no problems monitoring it) and I've really like the image on solo instruments like guitar and sax.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yeah, Bob is right. ProTools just doesn't do stereo track stuff very conveniently either. WTF? Didn't Disney make stereo practical with Fantasia a few years back? People still don't know how to get two channels of audio right in television. Pretty funny when you think we've had stereo television since the mid-1980s. A generation of backward channels, stereo synthesizers and clueless editors. Hopefully, TVpostsound won't get too mad at me after that one? At least Bob is a college professor.

    The dropout
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  11. Ardroth

    Ardroth Guest

  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    And Ardroth, is very smart!

    I just love people who know that ribbons are special kind of microphones.

    Fathead. Because of my ego.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  13. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest


    HUH???? :shock:
  14. Ardroth

    Ardroth Guest

    (Dead Link Removed)

    It's on "sale" at musiciansfriend... I can get 2 for $160... Anyone have experience with these? The reviews seem fairly positive... I'm not sure they include shockmounts though. But still a good deal.

    Also, anyone ever hear of KSM microphones? There's this guy selling them on Ebay (brand new), and there is absolutely no background info on this manufacturer anywhere on the web. It appears you can only get these mics on Ebay. But the price is right, and they look like Fat Head or Nady KSM clones. I'm just skeptical as to why there is no info anywhere about these instruments.

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