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msimonson

Advice on Mid Mic in MS Configuration

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Hello,

Does anybody have, or know of, any MS recordings that compare the MKH40 to the MKH50 with that as the only variable in the comparison?  I'm trying to get a feel for how the different polar patterns will affect an MS recording, but I haven't found anything that directly shows this.  I'm trying to decide between the 40/50/8040 for a mid mic, and since I might get a stereo pair of 8040s and could use one of those for MS occasionally, it seems like it's coming down to this question of the 40 vs. 50.  I know the 40 is classic but some say it's boring, some say the 50 is "beefy" but perhaps I will lose a lot of the image going super-cardioid?

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

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Hi, M...

perhaps the only 'perfect' M mic in an MS setup in terms of phase would be another figure of 8 facing forward - which is 'Blumlein' in a 'forward-sideways' configuration (the basis of ambisonics by the way).

It depends to a great extent what you're recording: why choose a cardioid against a hyper - and why you want to record MS / MSM in the first place.

What are you intending to record and for what end (deliverable) purpose ?

For most here using MS (though that might change with VR) they will be shooting documentary where the central mono image is important and the S-side is candy, so catching the on-axis sound is the important thing. So you choose the preferable mic for the 'important' sound.

Music is different - but I assume you are talking film. Let us know.

Jez

My MSM by the way is two 8040s front and back and a Schoeps MK6 with a Cut 1 generally, but the front mic is the variable.

Your best bet might well be to rent and try out ... ?

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What is the side mic that you are using??  Mkh30???  The 40 is very popular. As well as the 8040. 

 

Your right there are not alot of recordings online that demonstrates the various options. 

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Sorry I should have mentioned, the side mic will be MKH30.

Jez, I'm still kinda finding my way in field recording. I don't work in film.  Sometimes I record interesting sounds around me for the purpose of transforming them in the computer for music, for which the mid being important and the sides being "candy" sounds right.  I would like to get great nature ambiances, and perhaps having a MS recording to compare/mix with an ORTF 8040 pair recording would be good.  I like weird animal sounds. I'm leaning toward the 50 because the better directionality might work for when I need it as a mid mic, for random sounds/sfx.  I don't think renting is an option in my city, but I might try to see if I can order the 40 and 50, do a test (for everyone's benefit), and then return one.

Edited by msimonson
clarifying that the mkh30 will be the SIDE mic, i accidentally wrote mid

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I have both the 40 and 50 and use both with my MKH30 for M/S depending on the sound I want. For ambiances and general sounds I like the 40/30 combination better as the image seems a bit better - there can sometimes feel like there's a hole in the sound with the 50/30 combo. 

That said, if I'm recording Foley type sounds or anything that is more focused straight in front of the mic I do like the 50/30 combo better because of the extra reach of the 50. 

Both are great and I'm happy to have the option for both. 

I'm out of town for another week or so but once I get back I'll do some comparison recordings and post them.  

For ambiances and such an ORTF pair of 8040s is another great option, and a pair of omnis can be great too. 

-Mike

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I use 8040 and 8050 with an mkh30 and prefer 8040 in terms of image. It feels more like a panorama, with the 8050 you can hear holes in the image (depending on the source). But it's more focused and great if you have a specific sound right infront of you. Also the 8040 sounds very neutral, the 8050 has a little bit more mid warmth. Overall if I had to choose, I would go for 8040. In terms of 8000 series vs old mkh: I have not tried the 40/50 myself, but listened to some recordings and there is some nice warmth, that the 8000 series is missing (it sounds super clinical and almost boring). On the other side the 8000 series picks up more details and in combination with an mkh 30 you have the best of both worlds. If you want to hear the difference between M/S and ORTF you can go on soundcloud and type "8040 ortf" or "8040 30", there is a couple of recordings. Also I can send you a comparison of 8040 and 8050 with some simple rain I recorded out of my window, it helps to understand the different imaging.

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If you understand how m/s works, you wouldn't ask this question..  there's plenty of literature out there, do a search and understand mic polar patterns. 

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On 8 June 2017 at 5:29 PM, msimonson said:

Sorry I should have mentioned, the mid mic will be MKH30.

Jez, I'm still kinda finding my way in field recording. I don't work in film.  Sometimes I record interesting sounds around me for the purpose of transforming them in the computer for music, for which the mid being important and the sides being "candy" sounds right.  I would like to get great nature ambiances, and perhaps having a MS recording to compare/mix with an ORTF 8040 pair recording would be good.  I like weird animal sounds. I'm leaning toward the 50 because the better directionality might work for when I need it as a mid mic, for random sounds/sfx.  I don't think renting is an option in my city, but I might try to see if I can order the 40 and 50, do a test (for everyone's benefit), and then return one.

In certain cases of recording ambiences or ambient musical setups in MS or MSM I might well decide to go the other way with the mid capsule and try a wide cardioid for the front. On the other hand, whilst lovely to have in the arsenal, it's probably less useful in a wide sense than a cardioid or hyper - I don't own one for instance. Sennheiser, Schoeps and DPA all do models. The 8040 cardioid can also be considered quite 'tight' in its cardioid pattern to bear in mind if going the Sennheiser path (which I also would be happy recommending for nature recording for their excellent performance in awful conditions).

So the long and short is I'd recommend any of the MKH 80 or the upgrade model, 40, 50, 8090, 8040 or 8050!? Sorry! The two variable models, whilst substantially pricier, gives you the choices to vary your setup. The others really are making up your own mind. If you were to be recording film dialogue on top I would recommend having the 50/8050 hyper as it's such a good mic to have, but I can't make the choice of 'narrow vs wide' for you!

Best, Jez

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Aloha, having lived in Denver for a number of years, my choice for serious matrix recording has been the Sennheiser MKH 30 and MKH 40 mics. I send the signals into my Audio Developments Preamplifier/Matrix AD066-11 system. I can record into the box with the ability to adjust the stereo spread by increasing or decreasing the channels. Another feature using this AD066-11 is the ability to individually adjust the gain on each channel. When I arrive at the final sonic configuration I simply feed the signals to my Nagra 4STC stereo recorder. The Sennheiser mics have a very high sensitivity perfect for Nature recording. The AD066-11 also functions as  post production. A return signal can have it's width controlled. All of this gear is easily used in the field for great recordings. Hope this helps. Thanks

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On 6/9/2017 at 6:16 AM, engaudio said:

If you understand how m/s works, you wouldn't ask this question..  there's plenty of literature out there, do a search and understand mic polar patterns. 

I did do a search and got this forum. Is snarking at someone seeking answers necessary?

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