Single microphone recordings

September 25, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

11 comments on “Single microphone recordings”

  1. Single microphone? Wrong question, I think. Do we listen with a single ear? (I don't hope, for you).
    So were talking a single stereo microphone or "a single microphone, housing two pick up elements".

    1. Good afternoon Username!
      If you know what you're doing, a single stereo microphone can work sonic wonders for you.
      I know this because, I've made live recordings myself using those type of microphones.
      But also at the same time, I'm a crazy man.
      I yoost to put one up in the front of the room, and one in the back.
      I wanted to pick up both the musicians, and the sound of the room too.
      And that's how I done it.
      Play it back, and it sounds like, WOW man!
      Even on a cheep stereo system.
      Now, if you ask me, that is a vary grate feet to pull off!

    2. Why using a pair of microphones when the goal is to simply record a single voice or instrument? Playing it back in the listening room via a single loudspeaker (no problem with a matched pair of stereo loudspeakers and a “phantom” (!) center image) will give you the impression of “she/it is here” in my listening room.
      If you require to get the impression of “I am there” you would need a stereo setup and you could add in the mix some reverb - however you have to minimize the audible reverb of your listening room by huge investments in acoustic treatment of the first reflection points and choose a near.field setup. Thus what is the goal?

  2. As I was saying: a pair of single microphones or One stereo microphone... but not: a single (mono!)microphone.
    I agree with you, with two single microphones (each mono), one can make very good recordings.

  3. I'm so glad we made the change from mono to stereo (a pleasure for both of my ears), so even if I listen to just one instrument, I hear it with two ears (stereo). For me there is a great difference between one speaker (or one headphone shell) and two. Maybe it is a question of taste...

  4. Its just about an incontrovertible fact that the cross pair Blumlein technique is incomparable in capturing the true STEREO image and natural hall reverberance of the live performance!
    The only thing one might want to add is a microphone towards the rear of an orchestra in the style of the original DECCA TREE miking technique, which is also quite superb in its own right!!!

  5. A single omni mic does have one advantage. If the mic is well placed then the mic will "hear" the sound in a balanced way. A lot of people like the orchestral recordings from the mono era for this reason. Two omni mics well placed will produce great results. Nakamichi a number of years ago produced the Nak 550 Cassette deck with a right, left and center channel inputs. Nakamichi even produced a brief booklet explaining how to use the system and why it works well for live recordings. It is very similar to Blumien or Decca system. There is always an element of experience, trial and error and a awareness of what you are trying to achieve.

  6. What about just recording the instruments directly without trying to capture the room the musicians are in and let the rooms in our homes create the air around the instruments? Otherwise you have the effects of two rooms, the room the musician is in and our room in our homes. I think that is the way many recording studios like Abbey Road studios for example did it. I can see if it was a live event in a large music hall.

    1. In the case of a live event in a large music hall I can see trying to capture the room but in the case of a small recording studio where the room might not be any bigger than the room in our homes you're just dealing with the effects of two similar rooms instead of one.

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