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I am going to record a church choir and wanted to capture the ambiance of the room. I gathered from other posts that a Blumlein setup would work well for this, as I do not want a complicated setup with lots of mics placed all over the place. Does anybody have a recommendation for a good bi directional mic?

Some names that I have come across are

Neumann AK 20
Schoeps MK 8
Royer SF 12 and SF 24

How do these dedicated figure 8 mics compare to variable pattern mics such as the Neumann U 87 or KSM 44?


FifthCircle Mon, 04/04/2005 - 15:14

I think the SF-24 is a fantastic choir mic. I use blumlein for a lot of stuff, and I almost always do it with a single point stereo microphone. It is not necessarily for sound, but rather ease of setup. To put 2 individual mics on a stand for a proper blumlein setup requires a bit of creative thinking often. I use great stereo mics and they certainly do the job (the Royer is one and the AKG 426 is the other).


anonymous Mon, 04/04/2005 - 16:19

Thanks for the reply.

The SF-24 does have alot of advantages. However, it is fairly expensive. Unfortunately I suspect that if I went with an SF-12 I would end up spending the difference in price on a good preamp.

The Neumann and AKG seem to be the most economical options, as they would allow me to use a cheaper preamp, and their cost is on par with the SF-12.

I have heard that output from the SF-12 needs very little equalizing. Can the same be said for the Neumann and the AKG?

FifthCircle Mon, 04/04/2005 - 16:45

With any passive ribbon mic, you'll need to have a quality preamp with a lot of very clean gain. The pres are also a bit tougher to match to ribbons as well. With the active ribbon technology that Royer developed, you still need a lot of gain, but you end up with much smaller losses due to cable and you can get away with a somewhat lower quality preamp (although, you still need a fair amount of gain for these mics).

Comparing to the Neumann or AKG capsules, you'll have a *very* different sound. Each of those mics tends to have a very characteristic sound- especially depending on the body in which it is placed. The AKG capsules will sound better on a 480 body than a 460 body (460 is much brighter). The Neumann will be flatter than the AKG and the Schoeps will be the least color off all of them.

Decide on which sound you want and go that direction.