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How do you really do stereo mic placement in the field?

So I've been reading about variations on ORTF stereo mic techniques and all of the spacing and angle measurements. I've played around with them in the studio and measured with a ruler and protractor. But when I've used them in the field, I've just eyeballed them. Seems to me the only real drawback of this is that it might no be as consistent. What do you do?


DavidSpearritt Fri, 12/29/2006 - 01:05
In practice, I never bother with the dimensions and angle of ORTF. Because I do not particularly like the sound of cardioids off axis, if my sound source is wider than cardioids at 110 degrees approx, I used spaced omnis. If the sound source is narrower, and I need to use pseudo ORTF, I position the angle usually down to 90 degrees or whatever points the axis of the two mics to the outside edge of the ensemble, because I want at least something captured on axis.

I find with these primitive and unscientific rules, I capture what I need the few times I use and need ORTF, ie in a really bad overly reverberant acoustic. If the acoustic is good, I always use a more natural technique, with better off axis capsule patterns (than cardioid) for the main pair, ie spaced omnis, blumlein, or 90 deg spaced MK21's.

Simmosonic Thu, 01/04/2007 - 22:25
ghellquist wrote: I used to have a cardboard template in the mic box. Nowadays I use a Schoeps MSTC 64:

We use a similar thing for ORTF with our Schoeps CCM4s. It's a bracket made by Schoeps that the mics fit into, the end result looks similar to the MSTC 64.

When using DPAs, we use the 4023s with the small 'hipbone' bracket.

Both systems provide fast, easy and accurate ORTF.

Schoeps also make a cool little stereo bar that has click indentations along with colour-coded markings and so on, allowing ORTF, NOS and XY to be set up with considerable accuracy.

DPA's stereo bar is also excellent, complete with markings and so on, but it doesn't have the indentations. Unfortunately, it also has an excellent price!