choosing 2 mics for outdoor / ambient / detail work

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by iani, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. iani

    iani Guest


    I posted 5 days ago regarding choice of mikes in the 2000$ range per mike for outdoor as well as indoor work. For some reason my account "disappeared" in the middle of the thread. Advice had been to consider Sanken CSS-5 and also M-S configurations, including perhaps Sennheiser MKH 800. So to take this discussion up, I am now asking, given that Sanken CSS-5 has also a setting for mono, and Senn MKH 800 has a setting for figure-of-eight, could they not be combined inside a zeppelin for M-S recordings (for example outdoors)? Because if yes, we would have 2 high quality versatile mikes that can cover a lot of different cases like one-man recordings outdoors either in XY with the Sanken or in M-S with Sanken+Sennheiser, or detail closeup mono recordings with the Senn MKH 800, and many other possibilities. Since we cant buy a lot of mikes thiw time, would it not be recommendable to get 2 such good and versatile mike to give our studio some basic high quality parts (cheaper mikes like Sure SM58 we have already ordered).

    Iannis Zannos
    Dept. of Audiovisual Arts
    Ionian University
    Corfu, Greece
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Look Iannis, you got many recommendations from many people including myself. Let's not be ridiculous. Either buy yourself a dedicated MS microphone or buy yourself 2 microphones that will not give you the accuracy of a single, integrated stereo microphone. If you are building a studio you're going to spend some $$$, accept it, deal with it. There are no shortcuts in professional audio that save you any kind of money other than purchasing crap which really isn't worth the purchase. Try the Neumann MS stereo shotgun, the Shure MS stereo condenser microphone which is not a shotgun, the Shoeps MS stereo shotgun or any number of others. If you want to purchase 2 separate and different microphones, go have fun.

    Sensible is as sensible does
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. iani

    iani Guest

    Fair enough Remy Ann I do appreciate all your advice and I referred to it in detail in the previous thread. But I was also confused that for some reason that topic thread seemed to disappear just when I wanted to say thanks and close the topic. I guess the problem I have at this point is I dont know what the actual priorities will be in practice - and what profile mikes will be most suitable. That is, how much do we want to get a shotgun type M-S mike that's more for typical film work, and how much do we need to get mikes for more ambient work, or for clarity and high resolution of detail. In any case, also thanks for your last post here, my conclusion from it is not to try to do too many things at once at this stage. So my choice between those two types of systems mentioned above will depend on what is the best or most convincing mike (pair) available here for our budget now, quality wise, to give us a base which we can complement with other types of mikes at the next opportunity.

    The advice you and ben and the others gave me was extremely valuable and I am amazed at the level of the forums and the dedication of the people that promptly answer enquiries.
    Iannis Zannos
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Iannis, I'm sorry if my reply seemed a bit gruff. It really wasn't meant to be.

    I understand your dilemma regarding microphone choices. It is a difficult one on a highly restricted budget. However, I really think you would do well with the Shure VP88. I have heard these used in numerous churches and thought they sounded quite nice. I have actually been considering purchasing one myself since I am an MS kook.

    I think this unit is particularly versatile since it already has the matrix decoder built in. A handy, useful and uncomplicated feature, in comparison to other methods. Knowing how rugged their other microphones, both dynamic and condensers are within their product line, this one appears to be totally suitable for use as an ENG, boom mounted unit, in the studio or for live recording and sound reinforcement purposes. The price is right also and I believe well within your current budget?

    Much luck to you with this difficult endeavor. I hope the great Lord appreciates your concern?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. aracu

    aracu Active Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    I think it's smart for you to look for a mic or pair of mics to do
    far ranging things. If the stereo mic or mic pair is very high end
    and has switchable polar patterns, like the Senn800 or AKG c426b,
    then it can adapt to just about any situation and sound good. Just
    don't bring it out into the rain or a hurricane! And you can control
    the amount of ambient sound by switching to a hypercardiod
    polar pattern. It's not necessary to buy a shotgun mic.
  6. iani

    iani Guest

    Hello all,

    Thanks again for continuing with your advice. Here my research continues before the buy, one advantage to slow bureaucracy of public funding is it gives you time to mature your choice (We'll be able to make first purchases in September). All of your recent replies are still making a difference. Yes, RemyAnn it's a delicate question, and it is a genuine research and learning activity. Already all that I have learned will go into parts of the course I have to teach next semester. I wanted to report for the record the current status:

    (a) I am determined to get an MS solution. I'd prefer it to be undecoded as we can do this easily now in the digital world, and one can always use the original channels for adapting the mix to specific needs at any time. So I will still consider anything between a Neumann RSM191, a Schoeps MS-capsule pair, and RemyAnn's Shure VP88 suggestion. (b) aracu's post confirms my aims to get something that can be used for multiple needs. (c) Useability under various weather conditions, and practical use outdoors will also be a factor. For example, I am disinclined to get something that unconditionally requires its own external preamp box, because it will hamper outdoor recording use, we do not want to overcomplicate that. So before making the choice I'll be looking again at the factors in assessing each model and insisting on finding out about possible variants for each one (for example if it were to be the Neumann 191 or some variant) to get the optimum gear:

    • - MS - without built-in uncoding
      - Highest possible quality - for use also in experimental and classical acoustic recordings
      - Suitability for outdoor use (no additional external gear requirements, weather resistance, not too heavy, fits well into protective "zeppelin" encasement)
      - Versatility (switchable configurations? Exchangeable capsules?)
      - General robustness and reliability (Dont want a mike that needs repairs after every 5 uses or 6 months of being in its storage case)

    And this will be combined with a lower cost matched pair of cardioids for educational purposes, like condenser mikes from sontronics.

    Well the good news is that this studio endeavor is set to continue in the immediate future so this is only the beginning, we *will* be getting more gear to make this a good studio. And people (students, prospective staff and collaborators from postgrad course here) are enthusiastic about the prospects. Its a fun project to be in. I directed some postgrads for research in their final projects to, and I am going to consult these forums also for advice on designing the acoustic treatment of the studio and listening spaces. These forums are a boon if you keep your wits about you :). So I'll let people know when the choice is finalized - for the record.

    Iannis Zannos

Share This Page