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Uses of XY Miking

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Guitarfreak, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Just about how much distance are you supposed to put between the mics and the source using this technique? How about for a drum set and a guitar amp.
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    For someone who is frequently posting that "we need more information in order to answer" you might want to review your own question.

    I know,I know, how about three hundred feet at the Civic Center.

    Seriously, there is no answer to that, the mics should be placed where they sound best in the room, auditorium, etc. How do you determine that? By moving around until it sounds good to your ears. Don't be afraid to crouch down it may not be at ear level standing up.
    You might want to check this out

    The smaller the room, and/or the worse the acoustics are, IMO XY is the preferred method of these, though I think it yields a poorer stereo image than other methods. ORTF in small rooms seems to me to pick up more of the wall slapback. YMMV
  3. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Lol, I guess you are right, it was kind of general. I have been doing research on miking technique and XY and ORTF seemed interesting. It said ORTF could be placed farther from source than XY because less room is picked up or something, but it gave no inclination for how far/close to mic any of them. I guess I should have said, is there a minimum distance or something? Like in order to pick up the stereo effect you can't really close mic it I guess right?

    EDIT: just in case your link has the answer I am looking for, it's because I haven't read it yet. I'm out the door to work and will read it later, thanks!
  4. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    You can research as much as you want, but all advice is biased: biased towards some style, some personal preference, some specific equipment, some something... Just experiment and find what works and what doesn't work. How did I find out that subs and lows really don't have much of a place if any in electric guitars? By recording an electric guitar and then wondering why my mixes were pumping and I couldn't hear the bass. Live and learn. How's that for some non-advice? I find that the conventional methods work well enough, but my some of my favorite sounds have come as a result of my using methods that are more unconventional than conventional.
  5. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    This is true. One of the things I like to do is have my amp facing something that will absorb the sound and close miking it from the front, and then throwing another mic behind it a few feet to capture the warm bottom tones firing out of the rear of the amp as well as some room tone. Works great for clean guitar parts. Certainly not conventional, but it sounds good to me. Or who knows maybe it is conventional, I just figure it isn't because I figured out on my own.

    You are right about experimentation, but I don't have two identical mics right now so I'm just learning on a theory basis. You know, in case I need to use it someday. And jg I just read your link quickly, lots of good info.
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I got a great drum sound miking with XY almost directly over the toms.

    Someone will tut tut at that, I'm sure, but I think that despite both mics costing the equivalent of $60 in total, it was the single best drum sound I've ever recorded.
    (edit: I talked about it more in this thread)
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    That's actually a pretty common configuration for live sound during the summer festival season where you are trying to run bands on and off the stage in about 5 minutes. If you have time to mic the kick, great. But the XY above the toms picks up a good, realistic, sound.

    However, micing a kit is an exceptional case because there are so many radiating surfaces and some of them can be blocked by others.

    Of the stereo techniques that I have tried, XY is the most intimate. To me it's suppose to sound like you are sitting in a living room with the player. You want to be far enough away to get a good stereo effect, but close enough so that you are listening primarily to the instrument rather than the room. If I wanted more of the room, I'd use Blumlein or M/S.

    One basic rule of thumb that I think of as a starting point is to think of the long dimension of the radiating surface of the instrument and put the mic at the apex of a rough equilateral triangle with that line. Now that's a really rough rule. You can go nearer or farther and favor one end of the surface or another. But when stereo micing a single instrument I've never gotten good results close (sound might be fine, but it might as well be mono) and if I'm several dimensions of the instrument away I'm really just getting the room.
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Well part of it was, the mics weren't that high. In fact they were only about 12" above the cymbals (which are in turn 20" above the kick) so the stereo image was quite wide.

    Not something I've been able to try again, mainly due to more demand for mics.

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