Stereo Mic-ing Techniques

Here are the various names of different techniques.

> Spaced omni
> X/Y
> ORTF
> Decca tree
> Blumlein
> Mid-Side

I am not going to go into detail on each one of these techniques but rather talk about the different uses for them. If you want detailed info, enter the name into a search engine.

Spaced omni is good for medium to large ensembles, use them spaced about 15′ apart. Good stereo spaced sound, but lacks a defined center image and depth of field.

X/Y is great on solo instruments such as acoustic guitars, quartets, small vocal groups and over head on drum sets. Gives you good stereo separation with a nice center sound. Does not work well for larger ensembles.

ORTF works very well on medium to large ensembles such as string orchestras, concert band, symphony’s, 30+ choral groups. Great stereo image with very good center and depth of field.

Mid/Side is usually a “STEREO” microphone. Great for video work, not so great for music as the left and right side pickup can be a bit phasey. But it has a very strong center hence great mono compatibility for video/movie work. You can use this technique with non-stereo mics but it’s a bit clunky to set up.

The Blumlein style sounds very nice and gives you a great room sound but is ugly to look at and set-up is troublesome.

The Decca Tree is the primo set up used by just about every symphony orchestra that has recorded out there. Sounds great but is a bit tricky to set-up and is very expensive.

Use the right technique for the job and you’ll get great results.

. Record . Mix . Master . Music .
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