Recommendations for Mid Side Shotgun mic Setup?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Joe Meyer, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Ahh! So you’re using a cardioid for your Middle, and then two discreet shotgun models for your sides, instead of a mic with a bidirectional pattern? That sounds like it could be just as effective...
    But I say that as someone who has very limited experience with field recording, and, I can count -on less than one hand- -LOL - the number of times in 36 years of working the craft that I’ve used shotgun mics; so I’m definitely not the guy to ask advice from on this subject.
    Though, from what you mentioned, that setup, with quality mics, doesn’t sound cheap. I think you’d really need to be serious about the craft of field/location recording to invest in the mics.
    Then, there’s the cost of the preamps, the conversion...
    Would perhaps a better place to start, for someone just getting their feet wet in that craft, be to start with something like a Zoom recorder; perhaps a model with varying degrees of X-Y arrays?
    I realize that it wouldn’t be as focused as a shotgun..
    I’m just curious. :)
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    This guy knew how to record nature :
    a1057d464a124d41cdac5738f3719e45.jpg

    But just as a side note : foley and field recordings are to very different things. Got to pick on up to start with ! ;)
     
  3. ronmac

    ronmac Active Member

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    Sorry, I may not have been clear in my descriptions...

    I use a single Mid mic (can be a shotgun, hyper or cardioid) and a single Side mic (a true figure of 8) in various combinations depending on the location, reach needed and sound being captured.

    MS can have a role in Foley, especially for Ambiances (street noise, crowd scenes, wide nature shots, drive by, percussion elements, etc.), or to use as a "canvas" to layer more focused, single elements on (like a gunshot in a street scene or some footsteps on a wind swept prairie). It's another tool on the box.

    I am aware that the mics I mentioned are way beyond the OP's budget (he purchased a pair of M5s (good choice) to get started), but I thought I would mention some possible scenarios where MS can be the perfect technique to employ.
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    i always thought that for true M/S you need two mics of the same type.
     
  5. ronmac

    ronmac Active Member

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    Kurt, MS (Mid - Side) technique most often uses a single bi-directional (figure of 8) mic paired with a single uni-directional mic. There is also a technique known as Double MS that can employ two uni-directional mics (oriented back to back) and a single bidirectional mic. Some folks utilize two uni-directional mics facing left and right as a substitute for a bi-directional mic. So, three identical cardioids could be used, but you need to be very careful in positioning all mics so that the capsules are oriented correctly and as coincident as possible.

    These techniques are not as common in a recording studio (although they can be used to great effect if you understand the theory and math to make them work) as they are in the choir/orchestra and film worlds.


    https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/7-stereo-miking-techniques-you-should-try/
     
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Yes in the sense of the same transducer operating principle (either both pressure-sensitive or both pressure-gradient). As long as you obey that rule, you can experiment with pick-up pattern types to suit the job in hand.

    I think a shotgun M and a fig-8 S pattern for capturing a distant wild animal with wide foreground noises is stretching a point for M-S usage. On several occasions I have added a wide stereo background to a previously-recorded mono main sound just to give it some apparent width, but that's not M-S.
     
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    i used to own an older AKG C24. it was perfect for M/S. i never tried using anything else.
     
  8. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    I suspect the real success comes from the fact that the 416, while always being described as shotgun, is really a short shotgun and more of a tight hyper-cardioid than a real lobar pattern. If you mix one of those, like an 816 with side facing figure 8 it doesn't work properly because the forward facing mic has virtually no pickup at 90 degrees, while a 416 does - quite a bit, actually. TV folk have been using a strapped on side mic in the housings for quite a while. It's just pointless for some things. An M/S on the side of a football field has coverage across the pitch, but the side mics get touchline sound. That's not really stereo, but two different sources from one location doing different things.

    I have never heard of anyone using cardioid for the M and two shotguns for the side? The lobes must wreck the stereo image. It's I think, rather like people calling a Blumlein array M/S when they rotate it 45 degrees, or thinking they've created a Decca Tree - when they've missed the point of how it works, and what they have is just a random collection of disparate mics in roughly the right position.

    Some techniques, like X/Y are very forgiving on acceptance angles, and as long as the two mics are the same, they work pretty well. Getting M/S wrong just sounds odd!
     
  9. ronmac

    ronmac Active Member

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    Paul, I agree with all of your points.

    For clarity, I never use two mics for the side information, always a single mic for Mid and another for Side. I do use different combinations of the mics in my kit in an MS configuration, dependent on the desired outcome.

    Sometimes ORTF or XY are the ways to go, and I don't foolishly stick to one technique for every scenario.
     
  10. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    I'm actually not sure you couldn't, after all - many mics derive their fig-8 and other patterns from two back to back diaphragms so experiments could produce an entirely new technique = usually named after their creator ........ I'd certainly have plenty of bad ones names after me. Using a cardioid pointing upwards to get an omni response, for example. It actually worked too! Ceiling 10m up, and loads of hanging drapes and softs above - leaving a chord grouped around it. I never knock weirdness if it works!
     
  11. ronmac

    ronmac Active Member

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    Many innovative ideas come from "I didn't know you can't do that" moments. Some also come from "hold my beer and watch this". lol
     

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