Stereo Microphone Techniques

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When it comes to recording an instrument in stereo, there are a couple things you have to take consideration in like phase problems. You have to make sure that both microphones are receiving the signal at the same time so the phase won’t cause a big problem in the sound. There are a couple of different ways you can place microphones so that you won’t have this problem.

Microphone stereo techniques micing cardioid XY phase cancellation

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One recording technique would be the X-Y system, which happens to be one of the most common. You use two cardioid microphones and you want to place both diaphragms close to each to each other at around 90˚ to 120˚ but crossing making an x. This technique tends to provide a narrow stereo spread but be sure to pan each track and make sure you use the same microphone make and model.

MS audio mono stereo microphones instuments recording

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The second technique would be MS (Mid-Side). You use two microphones, one cardioid and the other bi-directional. The cardioid will be placed facing the source while the bi-directional will be sideways on top of the cardioid picking up the sides. This technique is really good to pick up a whole sound. You would get the sound source directly as well as the room to fullness to the sound. You have to create three tracks and for the bi-directional, you have to treat it like two individual tracks and then reverse the phase on one of them to get the full effect.

The third would be the NOS, which is two cardioid microphones angled and spaced apart 6-10 inches at a 90˚ forming an “L”. This technique tends to provide accurate image localization.

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Juan García

Critical Recording Studio



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