Stereo microphones

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Stereo microphones

The deeper we get into the recording arts the more questions arise.

For example, how did the recording industry settle into the idea of using mono microphones to record solo voices and instruments?

For years at the beginning of the stereo revolution recordists relied upon stereo microphones to capture musical performances. Some even went so far as the use what's known in the industry as a Decca Tree: left, center, and right microphones clustered together. Or, remember the stereo head microphones?

Many classic microphones from years ago, like the AKG C24 and Telefunken's version of it, were single body stereo devices.

They were for a time, the standard.

And then they weren't.

My guess is that with the advent in the 1970s of multitrack recorders and control boards with pan pots (balance controls) it was just easier to use a single mono microphone to capture a singer or an instrument and then "place" them where they sounded right in the stereo mix.

The problem is it doesn't sound real.

It sounds recorded.

One of the advantages of a singer or musician being captured on a single-body stereo microphone is realism. Imagine standing in front of a microphone and singing. Because you're not a statue frozen in time, you move around as you sing. Your head and voice change ever so slightly. That movement in 6 dimensions (left, right, forward, backward, up, down) is perfectly captured by a stereo microphone.

It is completely lost with the industry-standard mono microphone technique.

Which is why going forward at Octave Records we will no longer be using mono microphones to capture solo artists.

One step at a time we are tearing down the standards by which the recording industry has been built.

I can't wait for you to hear the difference.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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