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smrp
11-15-1999, 11:39 AM
A friend has a finalizer. He tracked an acoustic guitar using the MS technique and used his finalizer to decode it. I tried the same using "S1 MS" and got completely different results. Iwas very impressed with the finalizer and terribly unimpressed with S1.

Did I incorrectly assume that "S1 MS" has something to do with this miking technique? Or did I just do something wrong? I might like to use this in the future if I can get it to do what I want it to.

Please help.

RMD
11-16-1999, 03:45 AM
you can also decode the recording yourself in protools. record the wide card/centre information on track one. record the figure 8 pattern on track two. duplicate track two onto track three and place it 180 degrees out of phase with track two. pan track one to centre, 3 & 4 hard left and right. lo and behold...rematrixed MS. season to taste.

cheers,
robert

TDunn
11-16-1999, 07:00 AM
What is the Blumlein technique? Could you describe that for me? Thanks!

smrp
11-16-1999, 09:03 AM
thanks for the tips! I think I'll try it again and see what happens.

fab
11-16-1999, 05:38 PM
Hi,
I'm interested in the MS thing too.
2 questions:

1- can I compress the signals right after the mike pres, (and before decoding) through a stereo only compressor ( That's what I have on my tracking path)?

2-If my pres have a decoder built in (CML) do I need S1 on playback?

Thanks,

fab.

Natural Sound
11-16-1999, 08:33 PM
Hi all,
Excuse my potential ignorance here, but I was having an MS discussion with a collegue.
My thought was that MS is fake stereo at best. (there can be no information that is on the left side that is not on the right side) But basically you cover your butt with the center mic should the product ever get put into mono. (in which case the fig8 mic dissapears)
His arugment was that there IS a left and right signal due to certain timing and phase relationships between the center and fig8 mic.
I don't get it though.
clue me in gang.

Rock_Artist
10-21-2005, 05:06 PM
It's based on the following data:

The Mono/Mid Microphone gets the "Center/Middle" so it should get a clear straight picture of the sound.

The Side Mic use figure of 8 (the mic is positioned to the sides so it gets the left & right into a single channel)

Now M is the same.
However

M+S = Left
M-S = Right

Because we change the phase we get 2 phase cancelations.
One for left & one for right.

So we actually encode stereo....

Don Geppert
10-22-2005, 06:00 AM
TDunn .....

Blumlein Technique is a stereo recording process using 2 coincident bi-directional mics (figure 8 pattern) angled at 90º and as close together as possible. Otherwise stated, it is an X-Y technique using bi-directional mics instead of cardioid mics.

Frank Kruse
10-22-2005, 07:03 AM
MS is an *equivalent* to XY stereo. It´s by no means "fake stereo". It offrers very precise localizations and you can control the stereo width *after* recording or during the recording.

XY and MS are directly convertible.

MS was used for ages to cut vinyl records. actually the grove on a record is MS stereo as well.

MS is the only 100% mono compatible mic setup. that´s why it´s very popular in film and tv audio.

the standard chennel setup is
channel 1: M
channel2: S

the figure of eight has to be facing left with the front to make the S1 work. otherwise you will reverse L/R as a result but the S1 offrers a channel flip on the inputs

frank.



Hi all,<BR>Excuse my potential ignorance here, but I was having an MS discussion with a collegue.<BR>My thought was that MS is fake stereo at best. (there can be no information that is on the left side that is not on the right side) But basically you cover your butt with the center mic should the product ever get put into mono. (in which case the fig8 mic dissapears)<BR>His arugment was that there IS a left and right signal due to certain timing and phase relationships between the center and fig8 mic. <BR>I don't get it though.<BR>clue me in gang.

Monte McGuire
10-29-2005, 12:51 AM
Yes, it's not "fake" stereo, but the two channels obtained have nothing but amplitude differences to clue the listener into panning. I personally like spaced mike setups, especially something like an ORTF array that spaces the mikes equivalent to the spacing between the human ears. To me, "intensity only" mikings, to which MS, XY and Ambiphonics fall into, sound boring.

Of course, YMMV, and if you absolutely need strict mono compatibility, then intensity stereo is an easy way to guarantee no problems. However, techniques like ORTF don't generally fail miserably when summed to mono either. I think they're quite viable when mono compatibility is an issue yet they don't sound so boring and sterile in stereo.

Sometimes, widely spaced miking setups also work well since the mikes are spaced so widely that cancellations aren't so simple and easy to hear.

As always, do this stuff by ear. If you only have one shot to get it right, then do several mikings at once and sort it out at mixdown. Tracking lots of channels is really cheap today, and there's no rule that says you have to use a track only because you printed it.


Best of luck,

-monte-

Frank Kruse
10-29-2005, 03:00 AM
I think they're quite viable when mono compatibility is an issue yet they don't sound so boring and sterile in stereo.





I never heard of a criteria called "serile stereo". Also what does "boring" mean in terms of stereo width, depth of field, localization capabilities.

please specify.

frank.

Monte McGuire
10-29-2005, 04:34 PM
I think they're quite viable when mono compatibility is an issue yet they don't sound so boring and sterile in stereo.





I never heard of a criteria called "serile stereo". Also what does "boring" mean in terms of stereo width, depth of field, localization capabilities.

please specify.

frank.



Where I live, "boring" means uninteresting, not exciting. "Sterile" I mean lifeless, lacking dimension and depth. It's sort of hard to use words to describe audio, but I'm surprised you've never heard the words "boring" or "sterile" used to describe audio!

Spaced mikes give you time differences as well as amplitude differences in each channel. Coincident techniques do not. ORTF gives you time differences that approximate what happens when you hear using two ears spaced about the width of the human head. For humans, this sort of makes sense - why not try to capture time differences between channels that the listener's ear would also hear? Dummy head recordings take this a step further and use the refractive properties of the ear's pinnae to color the signal going into the two mikes. I have heard some very realistic sounding recordings done with dummy heads.

Does anyone remember Holophonics? It was a particularly good dummy head that got used heavily on Pink Floyd's The Wall for a lot of the SFX and I thought it was very realistic sounding. At an AES long ago, they gave out a test disc of someone pretending to cut hair around the dummy head. It was possible to locate the shears as they pretended to cut not only left and right, but up and down and front and back due to the pinnae refraction. Cool demo...

-monte-

Howardk
10-29-2005, 05:03 PM
Anyone know of a company making a dual opposing element condenser that has a separate output for each diaphram? This would let us decide if we want Fiqure 8, omni or Cardiod later. . . as well as provide a version of stereo that mono sums to Omni. Anyone see a mic like this or try anything like this?

RobMacki
10-29-2005, 05:14 PM
ORTF (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/chris.burmajster/O.htm)
(for my own selfish purpose since I've saved this thread as a favorite)

RobMacki
10-29-2005, 05:23 PM
ORTF seems to make much more sense in terms of realism. However there are times when it just is not practical.
I am getting ready to mix location sound for a feature and my boom op will be using a M/S mic primarily to gather ambience for some EXT MOS scenes. The mic will have to be on a boom and there is no practical way to do ORTF. There are scenes where I will use ORTF technique.
Thanks Monte.

RobMacki
10-29-2005, 05:28 PM
wow I take back what I said after I found this (http://www.schoeps.de/E-2004/ortf-stereo.html#mstc64)

too bad I won't have one in time.

Frank Kruse
10-29-2005, 05:30 PM
Monte,
thanks for explaining the term sterile and boring to me. I learn every day.

I was simply wondering what you mean speciffically when you talk about sterile sounding stereo. What would be the oposite? Dirty organic stereo? Would that information would be any different from describing stereo as "silky" "fractal" "extremely LA" or "more spicy" ? Hm....not sure.



frank.

Howardk
10-30-2005, 12:07 AM
As always, do this stuff by ear. If you only have one shot to get it right, then do several mikings at once and sort it out at mixdown. Tracking lots of channels is really cheap today, and there's no rule that says you have to use a track only because you printed it.

There is a lot to be said to support this statement. It is often too hectic, and time consuming, to have a good listen and make the perfect mic position choices, when there are a bunch of people around chomping at the bit to get started recording. I have learnt a lot about mic placement later, when listening to tracks after everyone has left, or at mix time, especially these days when there is rarely an AE around to help out during setup.

Here is another post with more info on this topic: MS Techniques (http://duc.digidesign.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB2&Number=808148)

Monte McGuire
10-30-2005, 12:44 AM
Monte,
thanks for explaining the term sterile and boring to me. I learn every day.
{/quote}

I know you're from a different country and perhaps English isn't your native language, so I'm pleased that you stayed with me so long. I'm not trying to be cryptic, but it might happen now and then by accident....

[QUOTE]

I was simply wondering what you mean speciffically when you talk about sterile sounding stereo. What would be the oposite? Dirty organic stereo? Would that information would be any different from describing stereo as "silky" "fractal" "extremely LA" or "more spicy" ? Hm....not sure.



Great question. I used to use coincident techniques quite frequently to mike things like drum overheads and various area miked situations, but I found the results to be only sort of OK... not obviously wrong, but not totally satisfying either.

I experimented with spaced mike tchniques such as ORTF, and found that the resulting recordings had a lot more depth and detail than my previous recordings, so I decided to abandon coincident techniques.

Yes, I think mono compatibility is a worthwhile thing, but at the same time, spaced mikes can give such a larger sense of space and dimension, so I feel that they're worth using.

So, to answer your direct question, I think that coincident techniques rob the listener of information that could have been recorded by a spaced mike technique. I know that not every engineer will hear things the way I do or strive for results that I feel are worthwhile, so I don't want to say that my way is the only way.

But, having used all of these methods for some time, I find I'm most happy with spaced mike techniues and not coincident techniques.


Regards,

-monte-

Frank Kruse
10-30-2005, 01:47 AM
[QUOTE]
[QUOTE]
Monte,
thanks for explaining the term sterile and boring to me. I learn every day.
{/quote}

I know you're from a different country and perhaps English isn't your native language, so I'm pleased that you stayed with me so long. I'm not trying to be cryptic, but it might happen now and then by accident....

[QUOTE]



now this is funny...the world of text communication is full of misunderstandings

Frank Kruse
10-30-2005, 02:00 AM
Great question. I used to use coincident techniques quite frequently to mike things like drum overheads and various area miked situations, but I found the results to be only sort of OK... not obviously wrong, but not totally satisfying either.

I experimented with spaced mike tchniques such as ORTF, and found that the resulting recordings had a lot more depth and detail than my previous recordings, so I decided to abandon coincident techniques.

Yes, I think mono compatibility is a worthwhile thing, but at the same time, spaced mikes can give such a larger sense of space and dimension, so I feel that they're worth using.

So, to answer your direct question, I think that coincident techniques rob the listener of information that could have been recorded by a spaced mike technique. I know that not every engineer will hear things the way I do or strive for results that I feel are worthwhile, so I don't want to say that my way is the only way.




before this arguement gets totally rediculous, let me state that all I wanted to say in my first posting to this thread is how the MS technique works and what the advantages over the other stereo techniques are.
I just went through almost the exact same arguement over in the sound designer´s mailig list. I simply wanted to explain the theory behind MS and what is good in MS. I have used all sorts of recording setups depending on what I record so there is no need to convince me that MS is "sort of OK", "boring" or lacks depth. Especially the latter can be read in every book about micing techniques that MS offers great L,R localisation but offers less precise depth than micing setups that induce delay between the two mics like AB, ORTF, OSS, etc. etc. etc.

If you think MS is crap well so be it. But: referring to the original question of the first poster: MS is as "real" as AB, ORTF and all the others or as "unreal". You can chose. Because none of the stereo setups project reality by 100% the argument is rather useless.

TLmix
10-30-2005, 05:38 PM
check out this link. It explains in detail, but to sum it up.... the center cardiod mic is recored to 2 tracks... center. the figure 8 mic is recored to L in phase.. ( make sure the front of the mic faces left) the back of the mic (facing right) is phase reversed and recored to the right channel. This is how the immaging works. a center signal is disregarded by the figure 8 mic. If a signal is on the left (front side of the fig 8 mic) is sums with the center mic on the left side... and cancels with the out of phase fig 8 on the right.. thus panning the signal to the left. If a sound comes from the right ( the back of the fig 8 mic that has been phase inverted) Since the mic has been phase inverted, the back of the mic now outputs positive phase information on the right side, thus summing with the center mic on the right/ canceling on the left, and causing the sound to pan right.

I hope that makes sense... if not, check out the link

TL

http://www.paia.com/msmicwrk.htm

Andre Knecht
10-30-2005, 06:24 PM
before this arguement gets totally rediculous, […] If you think MS is crap well so be it. But: referring to the original question of the first poster: MS is as "real" as AB, ORTF and all the others or as "unreal". You can chose. Because none of the stereo setups project reality by 100% the argument is rather useless.



Frankie baby… it’s time for your chill pill.

Reading (and re-reading) the whole thread leaves me with the distinct impression that you actually might be looking for an argument. Moreover, you’re the only one having an argument. Monte is a big boy and doesn’t need others to come to his defense. Nonetheless, he never referred to MS - or anything else for that matter - as being crap, nor did he make any disparaging comments about the various solutions. He stated his personal findings in comparing stereo mic techniques. Your questions to Monte, on the other hand, struck me as being confrontational from the outset.

While I am familiar with the techniques being discussed here, and have formed my own opinions about each, I’m always intrigued to hear/read other fellow engineer’s take on the same. As such, I found all posts in this thread to be interesting and useful… until your last one.

Out of curiosity, how much love did you get “over in the sound designer´s mailing list?”

Frank Kruse
10-31-2005, 01:38 AM
Andre baby,

I don´t need a chill pill at all. I just think that we are talking about two different things.
In the beginning someone was having problems with an MS decoding. I chimed in and clarified some things about MS and how it works. Then all of a sudden other people chimed in stating that MS is actually not as good as other techniques. Fine.

When I said "rediculous" I meant that I felt that we were talking about two different things that had nothing to do with each other wihtout stating that either one was wrong or right and that we were about to get into a serious arguement about two different topics one about how MS works and one about wether it´s better or worse than other stereo techniques.

Maybe the line that ended with "..so be it" was a bit harsh, I admit.

Your last question I´ll feel free to ignore if you don´t mind. I don´t understand the word "love" maybe a side effect of the pills...

frank.

Bryan Cook
11-03-2005, 10:05 AM
for anyone who cares, M/S really is true stereo also because the figure 8 "S" mic gets positive and negative acoustic energy from the "front" and "back" of the mic, respectively. copying the figure 8 mic signal, and flipping one out of phase decodes this postive/negative acoustic energy from a once mixed signal. it was acoustic phase until the mic picked it up, its electrical polarity at this point.

"fake stereo" would be having a mono mid mic and a non-figure 8 mic as the S. then you would be flipping a mono signal out of phase and just getting a phasey signal around your mono mic.

a cool thing to try when doing M/S - try an omni mic as your mono/middle source!

Stan Cotey
11-04-2005, 11:35 AM
Hey Monte,

Out of curiosity, how do you feel about mono buttons and spaced pairs?

Regarding MS, one of the things I like best about it is that if the thing that you are recording is in front of the mic, it's mostly represented on-axis by the M mic. With crossed figure-of-8's, any source directly in front of the recording setup is actually a bit off-axis to either of the mics.

I think each technique (ORTF, M-S, Blumlein, Decca Trees, etc.) has its applications, plusses and minuses and I'd choose different techniques depending on what I was recording, the room I was in, how much ambience I was trying to capture, the availability of mics, etc.

Regarding decoding M-S in Pro Tools, I do what was described ealier (duplicating the S track, inverting the polarity of one and panning them hard left and right). I then make a mix group of the two S tracks to link the faders.

When working with M-S decoding, I'll start by setting the M level first, and then bringin up the linked S tracks until I hear the stereo width I'm looking for. I think it's pretty important to hit the mono button from time to time while doing this; you can create a greatly enhanced stereo image with an elevated S level but the price of it will be low volume in mono.

Regarding compression, I use stereo compressors with M-S signals with no problem, as long as the compressor has truly linked side chains. I don't like compressing the M and S signals independently, due the the size of the stereo image changing with varying levels of gain reduction.

Nice thread.

- Stan

dBgogogo
11-04-2005, 11:04 PM
Having a mono button in PT would be very helpful.

Andre Knecht
11-06-2005, 11:00 PM
Having a mono button in PT would be very helpful.



True.

As a workaround, I’ve been inserting a bypassed Waves S1* with the image control collapsed to mono. When I need to check mono, I simply defeat the plug’s bypass. All my stereo templates feature the above on my “monitoring out” master fader.

* But any stereo plug in featuring panning controls for its two channels will do just a swell. If you run out of DSP, deactivate the plug instead of bypassing it.

IHTH.

Monte McGuire
11-07-2005, 03:12 PM
Hey Monte,

Out of curiosity, how do you feel about mono buttons and spaced pairs?



With a spaced pair and sounds recorded in in the center of the image, there's little time difference between the two mikes, so summing to mono doesn't cause many problems. Of course, sounds to the sides of the image will get a slight time delay into the two mikes and will yield a comb filter effect when summed to mono, but hopefully, that isn't the bulk of the signal.

In practice, it doesn't seem to be a huge problem to sum a spaced pair like an ORTF array to mono.



Regarding MS, one of the things I like best about it is that if the thing that you are recording is in front of the mic, it's mostly represented on-axis by the M mic.



MS does give you this advantage over XY, and it means that you can use a mike with a less than ideal polar pattern and still end up with the center informattion sounding good. However, to do any of these array techniques well, you really need a mike that has a smooth polar pattern and an off axis response that's essentially flat, so it's not always easy to do in practice.

A mike like the KM-84 has a really nice polar pattern in this respect. The front half hemisphere has pretty much the same frequency response, making it work really well for all of these sorts of array techniques. Most small capsule mikes are only a little worse, especially at high frequencies, but many large capsule mikes have very significant colorations at 90 degrees, making them less useful for arrays.



With crossed figure-of-8's, any source directly in front of the recording setup is actually a bit off-axis to either of the mics.



Yes, but the nice thing is that many true figure eight mikes (like quality ribbons) have very good off axis response, so it's not a huge problem. A figure eight made with a pair of back to back large capsule cardioids (like the AKG C414 or Neumann U87 style capsules) won't have this advantage, since you still have the inherent "slop" in the polar pattern. A mike like the KM-86 that uses back to back cardioids that actually have a nice polar pattern and uniform response seems to solve this problem.



I think each technique (ORTF, M-S, Blumlein, Decca Trees, etc.) has its applications, plusses and minuses and I'd choose different techniques depending on what I was recording, the room I was in, how much ambience I was trying to capture, the availability of mics, etc.



Right... as always, your tastes, the room in question, the music being recorded and your available equipment always do matter. For example, if you don't have two of the same kind of mikes, then MS can solve that problem pretty well whereas XY is going to work pretty poorly using a different mike for each channel.


When working with M-S decoding, I'll start by setting the M level first, and then bringin up the linked S tracks until I hear the stereo width I'm looking for. I think it's pretty important to hit the mono button from time to time while doing this; you can create a greatly enhanced stereo image with an elevated S level but the price of it will be low volume in mono.



If you're stuck without a mono button, you can just mute the S channels and as long as your decoding gains are accurate, you'll end up with a pretty true picture of what mono sounds like.



Regarding compression, I use stereo compressors with M-S signals with no problem, as long as the compressor has truly linked side chains. I don't like compressing the M and S signals independently, due the the size of the stereo image changing with varying levels of gain reduction.



It's important to use a linked compressor, if you don't want any image shiift, but then again, the image shift you get from an unlinked compressor working on the M and S signals separately is an interesting sound too. Usually, there's more dynamics in the M channel, so compressing them separately causes the image to widen and the relative amount of "room" to increase during signal peaks, so that might be useful in some situations. It really depends whether accuracy or just "good sound" is important. If the latter, than you don't have to worry about the rules if what you get sounds good...


Nice thread.




Indeed!

-monte-

punk
11-08-2005, 07:49 PM
I built a MS matrix using the schematic at the jensen xformer site as a guide:

http://www.jensen-transformers.com/as/as065.pdf

I put the mics through the decoder before the preamp.

One advantage of MS is that you can use different mics. So, if you're on a small budget and your best mics happen to be your matched pair, you don't have to commit them both to overheads.

just my 2 cents. YMMV.

byron

SchoepsMS
11-10-2005, 04:06 PM
A friend has a finalizer. He tracked an acoustic guitar using the MS technique and used his finalizer to decode it. I tried the same using "S1 MS" and got completely different results. Iwas very impressed with the finalizer and terribly unimpressed with S1.<P>Did I incorrectly assume that "S1 MS" has something to do with this miking technique? Or did I just do something wrong? I might like to use this in the future if I can get it to do what I want it to.<P>Please help.



IMHO, the S1 isn't a very good M/S Decoder. The S1 shuffler is better due to the width control it offers. It wouldn't surpirse me if the finalizer sounds better. As already posted in the thread, duplicating and inverting one of the side tracks in your editor offers the most control and sounds best.

One nice thing about the shuffler is that you can enhance the width of certain frequencies, but you can also do that with an EQ on the side channel before decoding to AB stereo. Be careful of phase issues due to the eq however.

I prefer MS for most things stereo (albeit I'm mostly recording sound effects) but have found that ORTF is better suited for many ambience recordings. Primarily where there isn't a lot of dynamic intensity differences for MS to pickup. The MS option would be to use an omni or hyercardioid for the mid channel.

A real beauty of MS is that you can easily record in surround with just an additional cadioid (pointed opposite of the first) and a record track.

My deflated 2¢

Gravy
05-12-2012, 12:31 AM
How do you record the right & left of the bi directional mic channel onto one track?

When i go to set up a a stereo mic channel, there is only a signal in the left. I'm recording on an AKG p420 set to figure 8, connected by one balanced XLR to a saffire pro 40. When i go to the I/O setup, i have to use input 1 & input 2 for the L&R. There is no option to pick up L&R signal in one channel??!

albee1952
05-13-2012, 07:32 AM
How do you record the right & left of the bi directional mic channel onto one track?

When i go to set up a a stereo mic channel, there is only a signal in the left. I'm recording on an AKG p420 set to figure 8, connected by one balanced XLR to a saffire pro 40. When i go to the I/O setup, i have to use input 1 & input 2 for the L&R. There is no option to pick up L&R signal in one channel??!
You're going about it wrong. Here's how I do M/S. 1 Cardioid mic to a mono track(this is MID). 1 figure of 8 mic to a mono track(this is the SIDE...or more accurately, it will become the side thru decoding-read on). Bus the SIDE track to a stereo AUX track. Insert any EQ plugin that allows you to process L&R separately, select polarity reverse for the right half. Put all faders at nominal and you're there. By adjusting the MID track level(in relation to the SIDE), you will adjust the width of the stereo spread. I suggest a google search for lots more info(and some much clearer explanation of how/why it works). when you record, you are actually recording 2 MONO signals. Its the decoding that makes it all work. One side is MID + SIDE, while the other is MID-SIDE(because of the polarity reverse). Also known as SUM & DIFFERENCE.

Craig F
05-13-2012, 04:41 PM
talking M/S:
anyone try these plug-ins:
http://www.schoeps.de/en/products/polarflex
http://www.schoeps.de/en/products/dms_plugin/application

Roland Clarke
05-16-2012, 08:37 AM
Anyone know of a company making a dual opposing element condenser that has a separate output for each diaphram? This would let us decide if we want Fiqure 8, omni or Cardiod later. . . as well as provide a version of stereo that mono sums to Omni. Anyone see a mic like this or try anything like this?

Pearl microphones from Sweden, possibly Milab and Sennheiser has a microphone with dual capsule and two seperate outputs.

janmuths
06-14-2012, 05:10 PM
Interesting discussion.

Don't bother buying any MS decoder plugins. With very basic signal routing you can achieve the same in the PT mixer. In tracking (with delay-compensation off) I usually put a TDM trim or TDM time-adjuster plugin across M, S+ and S- channel. Only the S- is flipped in phase, the other two just sit there to keep my signals aligned.
In mixing I remove these plug-ins and use audiosuite invert on the S- signal. The most accurate way to turn the phase.

IMHO, MS is one of the most underrated stereo techniques around. Although it sounds quite similar to XY, it has two big advantages:
1. You can make it sound wider by bringing the S+/S- signals up
2. Signal from the centre sits on the M microphone's 0-degree angle. This is where most microphones have the most linear response. An XY in contrast is set up in an angle of 90-110 degree (depending on the polar pattern), which means signal for the centre arrives at 45-55degree. Especially with mid-range cardioid microphones you can hear a coloration from that angle.

MS works really well with different polar patterns for the M signal. Many engineers use cardioids, but omnis work really well too for a roomier tone. Even hyper-cardiods can do the job if you prefer less room.

All the coincident techniques offer very accurate stereo imaging. Once recorded a metal drummer with 2 hats, ride, 2 splash, 5 crashs and a couple of chinas. Used MS for OHs. The drummer was super impressed, as he could hear the location of each cymbal accurately - we could even hear whether he played the left or right side of individual cymbal.

To my ears, spaced pairs don't offer the same accurate localisation, but have a more impressive sense of space. Love spaced pairs for room tone and ambiences.

Near coincident techniques are a great compromise. ORTF sounds superb if you want a bit of both worlds. Its very natural. Love NOS too. If you're after a very natural sounding stereo technique try OSS with a jecklin disk. Another stereo-technique that highly underrated in my opinion. The imaging is just absolutely gorgeous. Depending on the absorbent material used for the Jecklin disk, one may lose some high frequencies.

I am so glad to have many choices at hand. There are so many different uses that require different stereo techniques. Would never limit myself to one. Its about finding the right one for the purpose.

I sometimes set up a stereo technique, record to a stereo track and move the musician around between the microphones until the instrument sits well in the stereo field of the song. That's often not right in-between the microphones, but off-centre. This kind of imaging and stereo width cannot be created with a mono mic and pan. Just sounds different, often better.

A general tip: I always pan my stereo techniques hard left / right and use identical gain structure for both microphones (even for MS!). If the stereo image is not quite right I move the microphones, or the musician, or choose a different stereo technique until the signal sits right.

Hope this helps.

Jan