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2 sides + 1 mid/center microphone setup??


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Hey everyone.


I need some advice.

I want to record sfx, both hard fx and foley, not to much ambience stuff but i still want to have a decent sound for that aswell. But mostly close proximity, focused sounds that i can process in post, and experiment. Especially pitch shifting and slowing down samples.

I want to find a good microphone setup.

I currently own 1 sennheiser 8040 and i was thinking about getting another one, and also 1 sennheiser mkh 8050.

Would it be a good idea to have the 8040s as stereo sides, and then have the 8050 as mid/center microphone for the extra detail and focus.

So 2x cardioid as sides, 1 super cardioid as center. 

Or will this cause to much phase issues for me? Am i better going for a M/S setup with my current 8040 + for example a mkh30??


Anyone with some insight?

Could i go XY with center, ORTF with Center?


Thankful for all replies.

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  • 1 month later...

SFX and Foley are mostly recorded in mono, because that's the "point sound source" you are going to move around either in Surround or in Atmos. 

Ambience should be at least in surround these days in my opinion. I record my ambience in ambisonic. 


For non-standard experimental sounds, It's very depends on what kind of sounds you are going to record, but the microphone array is always connected to the output format, the standard ORTF or AB or XY etc... are based on the standard stereo 60 degree loudspeaker setup as output format. 


I'm not really getting the question about phasing issue, if you are going to downmix to mono, then why with array? If in stereo or surround, phasing is normally not a problem.



This might help you to get some more information about microphone arrays. 


If you have other choice, avoid MS and Double MS, they are more like a compromise solution for location recording in my opinion.

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12 hours ago, Tong0615 said:

if you are going to downmix to mono, then why with array?

I won't take that as the starting point, but rather if a stereo or other kind of omni sound will be played back mono (Phone speaker, or 1 ch BT speaker, which is, frankly, done most of the times anyways nowadays), then mono compatibility is quite of the essence. And there indeed lies the beauty of mid side. 

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Well, with the title,

"2 sides 1 mid ..."

I completely got the wrong end of the stick ... I thought you were talking about the (multi) M/S method (which is the basis of ambisonic M/S) ... but you weren't!


From what you ask, I would concur to focus on mono for the most part to hone your craft recording "mostly close proximity, focused sounds that I can process in post and experiment."


So your single 8040 will do you nicely for what you currently 'mostly' want to do. For the future ... under controlled close recording conditions you shouldn't get any real difference using a cardioid or hypercardioid (nor, beyond intentional proximity effect, from the two outer extremes of omni and on-axis figure 8...) - such mic choice is far more necessary when dealing with 'less controlled' recording conditions .... more distant FX out in the field, more unwanted ambient spill, or indeed capturing dialogue on a shitty drama set.


Personally my next purchase would be a second 8040 - so you can start recording 2 channel 'spread soundstage' FX, music, ambiences etc with a nice cardioid pair.


The most useful reading to understand relationships of 2 channel recording (coincident to spaced, including properly explaining the 'regulars' like ORTF, and across the spread of microphone pattern) is Michael Williams' The Stereophonic Zoom, available from Rycote 'support'



(If you can't get the link to work, follow rycote support through its archived documentation until you find the pdf download).


Williams also wrote another very useful article expanding this to multichannel setups, although confined to cardioid mic pattern, although this doesn't seem to be available from rycote. If I find a current link I'll post it. It basically 'groups' the 360 degree recording area into interconnected sets of stereo pairs (so, 5 x 72 degree pairs; or 4 x 90 degree pairs etc) ... which would be a fine introduction/explanation of much of your original question of using a 3 channel LCR recording rig (which I've done a fair amount of, often specific to picture/scene) ... the maths works perfectly well for multichannel recording areas (or 'angles') of less than 360 degrees.


Jez Adamson


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