Mid Side Recording with a KM86

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Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby rafu1210 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:59 pm

Hey everyone, I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion about using a Neumann KM86 as the figure 8 mic in an M/S setup?

The KM86 has 2 capsules mounted back to back with 1cm of space between them. Will this extra space mess with the phase enough to make the KM86 a bad choice of mic for this task?

Or perhaps it will actually create a wider image and therefore be one of the best options?

Any ideas on this one? I can't seem to find any discussions about this online...
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby mylesgm » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:02 pm

Do it then decide for yourself. I love ms and do it regularly with lots of different pairings, can't imagine the km86 would be a bad choice.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby rafu1210 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:59 pm

G'day Myles, yeah I actually did record my piano like this yesterday. First with my U87 in cardioid & KM86 in fig8 and then again with their positions/patterns reversed.

Setup A (U87 cardioid, Km86 fig 8) has better bottom end and sounds warmer overall but theres a bit of a lack of clarity when compared with Setup B (Km86 Cardioid, U87 Fig8) which doesn't have as nice low end but sound crisper and more focused.

Hence I'm a bit undecided about which is better. I ended up going with setup B although even now when I compare them I'm still not 100% which I like better.

I was hoping that maybe somebody on here might know of some specific reason for or against the use of a dual capsule mic like the km86 for this purpose....
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby rafu1210 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:05 pm

This is from recordinghacks.com

The increase in space between the two diaphragms, as compared to a dual-diaphragm capsule, results in greater phase differences for low-frequency signals striking the two capsules; this in turn leads to an improvement in low-frequency response when the mic is in Figure-of-8 mode.
Because the figure-8 performance of most dual-diaphragm capsules suffers in the low frequencies, the KM-86 and related microphones offer superior low-frequency reproduction.



I'm wondering if the phase differences might also result in less clarity in the mids/highs..?
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby mylesgm » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:12 pm

As far as I understand all fig 8 mics are dual capsule. Depending on construction the space between diaphragms is varies.
I doubt there is a 'best' option other than what you decide for each situation. If you like one over the other for different situations then that is the option to choose right? If you can't decide which you like best but they both sound good then that's a good position to be in...
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby jasound » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:23 pm

Try the Mid in Omni, it will be more even and go lower.
Last edited by jasound on Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby Chinagraf » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:26 pm

mylesgm wrote:As far as I understand all fig 8 mics are dual capsule.

Eyyyyyyy....waddabout ribbons.....? (just stirring Myles cause I'm jealous of ya piano)
PS what is oft?
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby seancook » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:04 pm

i regularly use an 86 as the side with c37a as the mid, never had any issue with that combo..... which doesn't mean much except that if there is a technical deficiency in that setup my ears aren't bothered by it
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby Chris H » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:27 am

Just a thought......As a general rule because of mono compatability i go for the mic that sounds best as the mid gets that job and the other as side.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby rick » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:35 pm

MS ??
I'll leave that to you guys ,
I have no idea why its a better option then finding the right
Microphones doing an standard spread .
For stereo i either use fritz or standard spreads

I havent used ms on a released record .
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby mylesgm » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:45 pm

Chinagraf wrote:
mylesgm wrote:As far as I understand all fig 8 mics are dual capsule.

Eyyyyyyy....waddabout ribbons.....? (just stirring Myles cause I'm jealous of ya piano)
PS what is oft?


Fair enough! Done a lot of MS with ribbons too... And it's definitely a piano to be jealous of. Feel free to drop in whenever. Oft is the abbreviation of often, usually in combination with another word like "oft-used expression".

And really Rick? never used MS in a released recording? Surprising.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby Ben M » Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:22 am

rick wrote:MS ??
I'll leave that to you guys ,
I have no idea why its a better option then finding the right
Microphones doing an standard spread .


MS is more flexible than stereo. I use MS with acoustic guitars only, but I like that ability in the mix to have the mono focused cardioid Mid for verse..then kick in the Side for chorus (omni or F8) to widen and give space. It's a nice change up with not too much bother.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby rick » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:34 am

# ms microphone tracks

i have used ms to spread a zillion things but with ms mic really no never i have tried and tried but i am pretty are i am not missing much .

great spot microphones in great spots makes far better sense of of image and placement in the mix for me .
I always try and imagine where the sound will be in the mix and record it so when i track stereo it pans itself at equal volume left and right for the place in the mix will sit , its nearly never equal spread , which rules out ms .
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby chrisp » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:58 pm

Hey Rafu

You get width in a MS recording by upping the volume of the side (fig.8) mic compared to the mid (omni/cardiod) mic pre-decoding. The mic itself just needs to capture the sound right in the first place.

Rick, I'll bite - what is 'fritz' jargon for? Blumlein? and what for you is 'standard''?

See also http://music.tutsplus.com/tutorials/6-stereo-miking-techniques-you-can-use-today--audio-204
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby zenelectro » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:38 am

rick wrote:MS ??
I'll leave that to you guys ,
I have no idea why its a better option then finding the right
Microphones doing an standard spread .
For stereo i either use fritz or standard spreads

I havent used ms on a released record .


Talking to a few of my classical recording engineer clients over the years, it is most useful when
recording in a/ a really live venue like a church or b/ venue that changes it's
'livenes' significantly after it's filled with people c/ when the engineer can only use cans for monitoring or
d/ all of the above.

I guess it's a bit of a safety net where the liveness can be manipulated after committing mic choices / locations etc. It definitely seems to be a love / hate thing with engineers.

One thing is for sure, Blumlein was a pretty smart fella to be able to think up that concept.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby Chinagraf » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:18 pm

chrisp wrote:Rick, I'll bite - what is 'fritz' jargon for? Blumlein? and what for you is 'standard''?
http://music.tutsplus.com/tutorials/6-stereo-miking-techniques-you-can-use-today--audio-204


Fritz is the head with the mics in the earholes. Omin's are they Rick?
Not to be confused with Fritz the cat.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby rick » Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:05 pm

Yeah sorry fritz the binual neumann dummy head mic
Two omnis stuck in silicon modeled ears and a heavy as a real one
Head.

Ms probably works wonders for live classical recordings
I dont do that stuff ..

but i have recorded ALOT of records over the last 30 years
Ms is not really a common thing so i am always surprised
When i read it like its the norm .
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby walding » Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:27 am

I must admit, I've only ever used mid/side on sparse Acoustic style stuff and then Very rarely...

Mainly, I guess out of laziness ..
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby Chris H » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:45 am

I recorded M/S a lot when as i was exploring options but don't use it often now. I'm finding ORTF more reliable. Getting the angle right so you have a solid centre image, and using the mics that give the best results. Some mics have better reach than others and they are the ones to go for.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby The Tasmanian » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:51 pm

I'm not a big fan of MS micing either - tried it in the past, and not really liked it much, only on the odd acoustic guitar track.
Also mixed plenty of albums with MS recording - and it still has never really changed my mind.
Like you Rick - I envisage/build my own stereo soundstage, but MS is never really a thought.
But then I track 98% of the projects that I mix, so I'm building a visual soundstage picture.

Like Chris H - ORTF is more to my liking - better centre image

Interesting set of views on the matter from the TRock brains trust
- I thought I was very alone in not vibing on it.

I would like my own Fritz though - someone around to ask if the mix sounds ok, and a nice quiet assistant who can do nice stereo recording for me.
I would like a female version though..... Fritzine?
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby rowmat » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:05 am

We have a 100 year old pump organ in the studio which I nearly always mic in M/S using a Cascade X15 stereo ribbon mic fitted with Lundahl transformers.

This is the best use I have found for M/S.

Solo acoustic instruments sometimes work well in M/S but often I find acoustic guitars can end up a sounding a bit too weak in the 'neck channel' as the 'body channel' carries most of the weight.

For the most realistic M/S playback the centerline distance between the speakers should match the width of the guitar say around 1 meter and the listening position should be the same distance the mics were from the guitar.
Then adjust the side channel until the guitar seems a meter wide.

Turns off the lights and play the recording and it will sound like the guitar is in front of you.

As you increase the spacing between the speakers you need to reduce the amount of side channel info or the guitar will just get too unrealistically wide.

Speaking of KM86's I'm looking for one if somebody has one for sale!
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby jasound » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:29 pm

I'm gonna stand up the MS.
I was taught that it should have the best mono compatability of any stereo signal, if you don't get silly with adding to much side info.
It doesn't work with all sources, especially up close on instruments that can move like acoustic gtrs, brass ect, because the image shift can be distracting.
But in the mid field in a good room it can really give a great sence of the space but with focus,
that you can control after the fact, and what engineer doesn't want that?

Rafu I'd use the best mic in the centre.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby AlCraig » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:04 am

Rather than orienting two mics to create MS, have any of you guys tried a dedicated MS mic?
My favourite would have to be a Neumann SM69 (which is not really a DEDICATED MS, but allows for one cap to be figure 8 and the other to be cardioide).
Then there's things like the AT 4050ST, or the Schoeps double MS, or Sanken, or...

In broadcast, we use MS all the time. Its damn near impossible to mount a stereo pair on a portable camera. The AT BP4029 (and its predecessor - 835ST) predominate. Then there's the Shure VP88.

And from the archives, check this out. Don't know when it was published, but good solid info and science.
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/master/mbrs/recor ... niques.pdf
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby Chris H » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:03 am

Yes, dedicated M/S mics are a great option to have. When i was regularly doing outdoor gigs with bigbands in the lineup there was nothing better in my gearbag for the job than the venerable Shure VP88 in MS with the rycote windjammer. Put it six feet behind the conductor and bring up the faders. This with a few spot mics and job done, and the desk recording was always worth a listen. Also used it M/S as drum overhead from time to time.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby Linear » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:56 pm

don't forget it has the ULTIMATE mono compatibility - summing L&R effectively nulls the side mike because of the way it's decoded to stereo (flipping phase of one channel)

So in mono, you ONLY get the mid mic.

I don't use it much though, fritz is a much better stereo mic. Jecklin disks do a similar thing i believe, particularly if you space them about the width of your head...
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby waitup » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:06 pm

An MS pair made from a U67 (m) and a U87 (s) about 3 meters in front of the drum kit at about shoulder height has been my go too room sound at Linear for about a year now. I really like it for some reason.
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby mylesgm » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:19 pm

There are a few mics that will do M/S natively and I love my AKG C34 for it (and for blumlein and XY stuff).
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Re: Mid Side Recording with a KM86

Postby walding » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:59 pm

waitup wrote:An MS pair made from a U67 (m) and a U87 (s) about 3 meters in front of the drum kit at about shoulder height has been my go too room sound at Linear for about a year now. I really like it for some reason.


A 67 and 87 together would prolly sound just about great on anything...

Lucky man having the 67 ^:)^
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