yeah, we all love senn30/40 or shoeps rigs, or anything that's a bit expensive...so what would be cheaper and not so noisy M/S rigs, excluding oktava rig(fig-8 from oktava is not so good, and overal oktava M/S rig is a bit noisy)?

also how essential is to pair mid and side mics from the same manufacturer?

  • 1
    Check out the akg blueline series Jan 25, 2012 at 12:18

5 Answers 5


You're going to have a hard time finding a field M/S rig option cheaper than the MKH 30/40 pair...which are less expensive than a Schoeps pair. I have some of the AKG Blue Line bodies (SE300B) with cardioid and hypercardioid capsules, but I've never tried out the figure-8 capsule. I do know that it is noisier than the capsules that I do have. While in no way terrible, the cardioids and hypercardioids do have a noticeable noise floor. I wouldn't suggest them for quiet environments...meaning, I wouldn't suggest an M/S pair of this line for quiet situations/sounds either.

If you're going to be working indoors, I'd say there's nothing to keep you from using some large diaphragm condensers instead of smaller pencil mics. A pair of Audio Technica AT-4050's would produce some nice results (gotta love selectable patterns).

It's not necessary to use microphones from the same manufacturer, but be sure to audition any pairing before laying out the cash. Also, keep in mind that there are other stereo recording techniques that might suit your needs just as well: ORTF, spaced omnis, etc.


Hi Linas,

Although i think the price of a good m/s pair is pretty high, it is worth it.
Let me start by answering your last question. Mics from the same manufacturer are designed to work together. In the case of the Sennheiser MKH series, the sensitivity of the mics is matched so your preamp can use almost the same gainstage for both mics whilst recording. Easy in the field and very handy in the studio, because you always know that the gain of both channels is the same. This makes adapting the stereo width a lot more intuitive.

Furthermore, your mics will probably have a low signal to noise ratio if they are from a higher price-range, like you already said about oktava mics.

But I am curious if there are others out here who have experience with cheaper ms sets.



thank you for your answers, after googling abit more on this subeject, i found that basicaly there is no cheaper alternatives :/


Im using a 416 with an Ambient ate208 on top. This works quite well i think. http://www.ambient.de/en/produkte/ambient-recording/mikrofone/emesser.html

  • Hi, Mikke I've just heard some stuff you've recorded with those at Sonicsalute and it sounds great! How do you attach it to your rig with the 416? The rycote (that I already own alongside with the 416) mount and this additional rig bhphotovideo.com/c/product/629674-REG/… would be all I need? What about handling noise?
    – Rodrigo
    Aug 20, 2013 at 0:23
  • Hi Rodrigo. Thanks for the kind words. YEs thats all you need. My rig looks like this download.ambient.de/Newstest/Emesser_IBC2009_e.html Handling noise is a problem sometimes. I make sure everything is in place when I start each new recording. My main problem with the Emesser, is the self noise. I cant really use it for quiet stuff. But for everything else its very usefull. Aug 27, 2013 at 10:15

Pearl microphones are about half or less the price of a MKH30/40 set and they're integrated designs.


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