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Microphone theory
Tricks with mic's
Common Microphones used in Studio's
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Tricks with mic's

Basic tricks


Distant miking- Mic placed more than 3 feet away. Leakage may occur! 

Close Miking- Mic is generally within 2 feet. For drums a good rule of thumb to remember, 3 stacked fingers distance away. 

Distance picks up more room ambiance. This is used to record large ensembles within a minimum number of mic’s (less phase problems) 

Close minimizes leakage, room sound & may produce a more intimate, detailed performance (may also bring out unwanted details). close is almost always used in live sound reinforcement. 

*Sometimes both close and distant are used. 

When using 2 or more mics on a single source, at diffrent distances, phase cancellation will occur at some freqs. If cancellation is objectionable...use only 1 mic. Minimize cancellation by lowering 1 mic’s level (or lower level of monito channel). Delay all other tracks (or only close mic’s track) or, using a digital editor, advance distant mic track. Somtimes 2 different mics are used at approximately the same distance to blend their normal qualities. 

Stereo Miking- Stereo recording give us spatial info: where a sound source is in a room, the reflections of the room from the L & R, or with close miking, the differance in the sound of one part of the instrument from another part. Mono tracks contain no spatial info. Stereo recording is aslo quite different from doubling or double tracking (this is when we record a performer on a track, then record them again on other tracks). Condeser is most often used for stereo miking 

Coincident or XY: 2 cardioid mics placed one above the other with diaphrams as close as possibe. Mics axis are generally 100 to 110 degrees apart. Close proximity of diaphrams minimizes cancellation that occurs when recording is heard in mono. Stereo image is not as wide as with some other techniques. 

Near Coincident or AB: 2 cardioid or omni mics placed approx. 6-8” apart, at angle. Produces wider image, but with more cancellation than XY(in mono only). 

Spaced pair- Cardioid or omni mics placed several feet apart. Widest image, but more cancellation (mono only) 

Baffled pair: Spaced pair with absortive baffle between mics. Creates more isolation between L & R channels, some cancellation due to reflection from baffle (in stereo) 

Binaural: Mics placed in ears of dummy head, most closely simulates acoustic shadowing of human head. Seldom used. Most effective when listening over headphones. 

Blumiein: 2 bi-directional mics at 90 degree angle, one above the other. Minimal cancellation (like XY). Picks up more ambience. 

Decca-tree: Uses 3 mics in a triangle comfigutation. Center mic is placed in front of the other two. 

MS (mid-side): Uses a cardioid element or mic pointed at sound source & bi-directional mic at a 90 degree angle. A special MS matrix device is used to create stereo from the two mics. Creates the illusion of stereo width, but no differention between L & R in our side image. Used primarily when concerned that mono summing of a stereo signal produces cancelation. With this method, only the sides are cancelled but center remains unaffected. 

ORTF: System developed for broadcast by France. All stereo miking for government run broadcast must follow this standard- 2 cardioid mics 17cm apart at 110 degree angle.