Matching microphones for stereo

Discussion in 'Pro Audio' started by Doctor Phibes, Sep 20, 2003.

  1. How does one go about doing this within reason? Is there really much
    difference between serial number 6577 and 6789 of a mass produced
    microphone? The people who notice a difference are they very much
    alone in this world? Their ears have become over sensitive to the
    point they are their own worse critic or enemy? I know my ears hear
    differntly so "matched pair" , perfect stereo image" all bs? In other
    words if only you can appreciate it what a lonely life you lead? I'm
    looking at BLUE's baby bottle, thinking of buying 2. Anyone ever use
    them? Do they make a nice stereo field? On what uses? ie; tenor,
    baritone, soprano, guitar, bass etc

    Doctor Phibes, Sep 20, 2003
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  2. Doctor Phibes

    Hal Laurent Guest

    Let's hurl our brickbats in the appropriate direction, please. There's
    nothing Chinese about the Oktava mics.

    Hal Laurent
    Hal Laurent, Sep 20, 2003
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  3. Sorry, I had another microphone in mind, but then I thought of the Oktava.
    Chinese microphones and the popular Russian Oktava MK012 have poor quality
    control and therefore do not make matched pairs very well.

    There we go. All better.
    Thomas Bishop, Sep 20, 2003
  4. Love means never having to say you're ugly
    Doctor Phibes, Sep 20, 2003
  5. lol William,
    That one was just too amusing for a musician. Why he was a serial
    killing organist who developed an early form of midi with his clock
    work musicians and to top it off he invented direct line vocals thus
    freeing us forever from microphone use lol
    Doctor Phibes, Sep 20, 2003
  6. Doctor Phibes

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Depends on the manufacturer. With one brand, there may be hardly any
    variation between two mikes made ten years apart. With another brand,
    two mikes with consecutive serial numbers may not even be made with
    the same parts values.
    Well, it also depends on the work you're doing. If you're just using the
    mikes for drum overheads or something, you can get enormous variations and
    not even notice it let alone worry about it. For orchestral recording,
    even tiny variations can really screw imaging up, however.

    Why would you want to use that as a stereo mike? It's a fine microphone
    for a lot of things, but the pattern isn't the sort of pattern that you
    would ever want for stereo miking.
    Scott Dorsey, Sep 21, 2003
  7. Well That's why I asked Scott. I've never mic'd stereo before. I've
    set up more than one mic but both were differnt and not meant to
    create some kind of a balanced sound. I had wondered this myself so I
    really need a pair of mics with figure 8 or omni polar patterns?
    Maybe I'll have to stick to mono recording.
    Doctor Phibes, Sep 21, 2003
  8. Doctor Phibes

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    No, you just need mikes whose pattern is the same at all frequencies.
    Listen to your voice through the Baby Bottle and see how it changes in tone
    dramatically as you turn the mike around, and how there are two spots
    about 120' off-axis where the low end drops out completely? That is bad
    for stereo miking, where most of your sound is coming from the room
    (and therefore is coming off-axis), and it's the reason most large diaphragm
    condensers aren't much use for stereo miking.

    There is a nice tutorial on stereophony on somewhere.
    Scott Dorsey, Sep 22, 2003
  9. Doctor Phibes

    J. Joyce Guest

    I think matching is very important, especially for orchestra work and
    also when you are recording large sessions on different days.

    Why not pay Schoeps the extra $30 or so for a matched, consecutive

    Think resale value. A matched consecutive pair is easier to sell and
    says something about the owner (compulsive, dull on trains :) )..

    Although Neumann, Sennheiser would not necessarily agree, I have found
    that for several pairs of Mics that I went to the trouble of getting
    consecutive serial numbers for that they were better matched than a
    pair at random.

    In addition, there are different batches for the electronics which
    have small differences. You are less likely to encounter a batch
    change with consecutive numbers for most manufacturers.

    The manuf. change their specs as well, Schoeps for example has a at
    least three capsule freq. response curves for some of their capsules
    (in general, the newer cardiods are flatter, for example).

    I field match my mics and order them in large batches, returning the
    ones that are not pefectly matched. My Schoeps MK2H and Sennheiser MKH
    20 for example are all withing 2 dB to each other (across brands), and
    the two pairs of Sennheiser MKH20 & MKH 40 are all within a dB which
    is probably near the limit of the run.

    Does it make a difference? Yes. and if you use the left mic on the
    right by accident on the second day you are still OK.

    Does it make a big difference?


    J. Joyce, Sep 22, 2003
  10. For what its worth, earlier this summer, a friend and I made a
    low-tech, DIY attempt at matching our existing mic pairs, and the
    results were surprising (or meaningless, depending on whether we
    measured the right parameters). Utilizing a single preamp and
    switching back and forth between the two mics, we measured the mic's
    response to a variety of tones from an oscillator. (we used 80hz, 400,
    1k, 3k & 12k) I don't remember the results of any of his mics, but
    the three pairs of mine we're all remarkably close.

    (I only have 3 pairs of mics, KM184, MD421 and a pair of 57s - I wish
    that I had known that I was going to concentrate on live stereo
    recording back when I was buying most of my gear. Now I've got
    several great single mics that are of very little use until I can
    afford to purchase their siblings. D'oh!)

    *I was unable to register a full dB of difference anywhere on the
    KM184s (they were purchased as a pair, have consecutive serial #'s and
    have been treated very well)

    *The MD421s varied considerably more; they were typically a single dB
    off everywhere and 2 to 3dBs off at a couple of points. (one 421 was
    purchased new, one was bought used with several years of wear & tear)

    *the big surprise is the two SM57s, both purchased new but almost 12
    years apart. Nowhere were they a full 2dB off! Throughout the 5
    frequencies, they were always between 1 and 2 dBs apart, but never a
    steady 2 dB.

    Given how close these mics all appear, I'm curious what kind of
    tolerances you get when you pay a company to match a pair of mics? Do
    they guarantee within 1/2dB? Based on my experience with 3 pairs of
    mass produced, moderately priced mics, matching doesn't seem like
    something to get too concerned about.

    hollywood_steve, Sep 22, 2003
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