MS Micing Technique?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by K Gretlein, Oct 9, 2001.

  1. K Gretlein

    K Gretlein Guest

    What is and how exactly do you use this technique? A friend of mine told me it has to do with two mics one in a cardiod and the other in a figure eight. Any comments GREATLY APPRECIATED. Or any other techniques to get a very lush 3D vocal sound.

    Thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate this!
  2. Clint Stuart

    Clint Stuart Guest

    I've never tried it on vocals but I have used it on acoustic guitars, and as drum overheads. Here is how you do it. You place the cardiod mic in a center position, where the source instrument sounds the best. You then put the figure of eight mic's capsule as close to the cardiod's as possible, pointing towards the left and the right.. ouu then take the output of the figure of eight mic and mult it. You then have two signals from the mic. On your console route one side of the figure of eight on the left, the cardiod in the center and the other figure of eight on the right. Now in order to make it work, you must keep the two sides at least 6 db lower than the cardiod, and you must switch the polarity of one of the sides. The only problem with this technique is that if the song is summned to mono, you lose the two side mics. So make sure that yiou are getting a good sound out of the cardiod.
  3. gie

    gie Guest

    Could you also do it with 3 cardiods?
  4. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Yes, it can be done with 3 cardioids, but you have to be very careful with the placement and levels, and the resulting image will not be as "big" as with a figure 8.
  5. recordista

    recordista Active Member

    Sep 7, 2001
    Silver City, NM
    Home Page:
    "Losing the side mics" when summing to mono is actually one of the primary reasons M-S is used: With other stereo mic techniques, summing to mono will often produce comb filtering and phasing effects due to different arrival times for the two capsules. With M-S, the figure eight mic (the S or Side channel) cancels itself out since its signals were originally created by inverting the same feed. What you have is equivalent to the sum and difference signals in an FM broadcast. Very popular in television sound for this reason, and if you record the mic feeds directly (monitor through the matrix rather than record through it) you can decide how much stereo width you want later by varying the ratios fed to the final mix.
  6. K Gretlein

    K Gretlein Guest

    Thanks Clint, Ang1970, and Recordista.

    It turned out great thanks to you guys.
    The client was happy and it sounds great. I'm a happy man!

    Thanks again

    Proxy Music Productions
  7. Keith

    Keith Guest

    TO: Clint Stuart

    I'm interested in trying this technique out front of a drum kit (recording session).

    My question is; you mentioned multing the figure 8 mic so that you now have two channels of the figure 8 mic-a panned left & right signal. You mentioned changing the polarity of one of those signals.

    I am using a mackie 32x8 console, which does not offer polarity/phase switching. I do have external mic pres which will switch polarity. Would you suggest that I go figure 8 mic to one of the pre channels, then from the channels of the mic pre out (which has multiple outs)-I could feed one out to tape, and the other out to the seconnd channel of the mic pre, and then from the out of the second mic pre channel to tape? And just choose either of the pre channels to invert phase (which ever sounds best)?

    Or could I go from a mackie channel-the first chaeenl of the figure 8 (mackie) direct out to the mic pre-change the mic pre polarity, then from the pre to direct to tape?

    Did any of that make sense?

  8. Aaron-Carey

    Aaron-Carey Active Member

    Dec 25, 2000
    Keith I am an M/S fanatic for room/ overhead drum mics....

    If I have to work some place that has say a Mackie or a soundcraft, where the phase switches arent available on the tape retturns, I'll just carry a few phase reverse cables with me.
    If the tape return input is unbalanced, you might be kinda screwed though.
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