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jonathan chiles

Compact stereo mic options

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I am interested in having a very compact and quick to deploy stereo setup that I can throw up high on a stand on locations while dialogue is being recorded to grab background atmos for post. I am thinking about  a CCM41/CCM8 pair but am also quite interested in a compact ORTF pair of cardioids.. who is using what? And equally important, what suspensions and wind protection?  

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I used to use the CCM MS combo. It's probably the smallest setup and yet it sound great. For outdoors you can get a tiny windshield for it, and indoors (if needed) it's even smaller, of course.
Nonetheless I have switched to an ORTF setup, based on CCM4s. I got the Rycote ORTF windshield kit for it, which is still pretty small and compact. When you have stand for it, size is probably not the most pressing consideration.
I chose ORTF because I like the sound and it's easier to handle for whoever is doing post - especially for cutters who don't know sound.

However, make sure if you really need a live stereo recording. I did that for a while and have found that on one hand it's difficult to find a spot for it where the ambience sounds good, but where I also won't record other team members. There is always someone whispering, or simply walking around, which ruins my recording.
In addition, I have discussed this with post and they are not terribly keen on stereo ambiences. They said it created a lot of extra work for them, while they have a huge and organized archive which contains many ambiences already.
The exception would be something really unusual, but other than that they recommended to save the energy.... YMMV

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Generally working on documentaries, I use the CCM MS combo with the 41. It allow me to switch quickly from a mono interview to a stereo ambiance. I try to not record dialog in MS except when the action takes place in the middle of a very rich ambiance with sync sounds. I definitely prefer the spaced mikes for pure ambiance sound, but when versatility and efficiency are required, MS is the best system. It's also the most convenient.

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7 hours ago, jonathan chiles said:

I am interested in having a very compact and quick to deploy stereo setup that I can throw up high on a stand on locations while dialogue is being recorded to grab background atmos for post. I am thinking about  a CCM41/CCM8 pair but am also quite interested in a compact ORTF pair of cardioids.. who is using what? And equally important, what suspensions and wind protection?  

In the same price range there's also the MKH80xx series (8040 etc) which squeeze sideways into a big rycote (or you could simply give them supersofties or the like. And DPA make nice compact cardioids and hypers.

Plenty of cheaper options which could be tried, like the Line Audio (wide cardioid I think).

(As a post person) if you're not asked specifically for MS (for eg a tv docu workflow) it's often not welcome as it's not always useful (for theatrical). ORTF would be more welcome but it's not necessary to restrict yourself to this single 'recording angle' - I would rather rig up a stereo bar (from a K&M or maybe a hotshoe extension) so you could alter the angle. Two hypers could also be used if preferred ... unless you wanted cardioids rather than hypers as other (dialogue) mics in your kit (boom 2&3, plants etc). ORTF and other compatible recording angles are all explained in Michael Williams' 'The Stereophonic Zoom' available to download from rycote website.

Jez

1 hour ago, Constantin said:

However, make sure if you really need a live stereo recording. I did that for a while and have found that on one hand it's difficult to find a spot for it where the ambience sounds good, but where I also won't record other team members. There is always someone whispering, or simply walking around, which ruins my recording.
In addition, I have discussed this with post and they are not terribly keen on stereo ambiences. They said it created a lot of extra work for them, while they have a huge and organized archive which contains many ambiences already.
The exception would be something really unusual, but other than that they recommended to save the energy.... YMMV

They're certainly welcome (given editing time) if they are well recorded, free of unwanted crap (as Constantin describes) and especially if it is an unusual or heavily picture-specific environment. But watch out for the crap ... as Constantin points out - too much and indeed it'll be a waste of time.

 

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Like Constantin I am also a fan of ORTF stereo and have used this technique with pair of Schoeps CMC541 for classical music recording which is a very satisfying system especially with omni outriggers to fill the lower octaves. I find that what I really need is a compact stereo system that stays built and can be quickly deployed when needed.  Looks like ortf pairs of CCM4 or MKH8040 in a dedicated Cinela or Rycote suspension would do well. And Mike thanks for pointing to the Sanken CSS-50 which may also be nearly as good. I expect the noisefloor on the Sanken to be somewhat higher but probably not an issue in real world recording situations. Still something about the purity of two high quality cardioid condensors in ortf just feels right!

 

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I agree and it depends upon what you are recording and where.

I recorded a full orchestra with  pair or cardiode capsules and used my Sanken stereo

looking at the back of the hall

The result was amazing

Otherwise I use my SoundField SPS-200

Cheers

mike

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For most ambient recording, I have used either ORTF spacing with cardiods, and sometimes going wider than that, especially for theatrical releases, where the wider differential between the signals plays well in the surrounds.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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