I searched the site and couldn't find a topic, hope I'm not repeating a question.

For a M/S recording, I don't have a fig 8 mic, but I do have an omni.

Could I use a cardioid for the mid, and an omni for the sides?

4 Answers 4


I don't believe that will work...not for the typical "stereo" effect anyways. The purpose of the figure-8 is to provide opposing polarities in one signal, allowing there to be a difference when each it is summed and inverse summed with the center channel. You'd also run into an imaging issue in the front/rear plane, as the omni would not provide rejection to the rear as a figure-8 does.

The viable methods of M/S always involve a figure-8. A cardioid/figure-8 pair is the optimum in combination, in my opinion. Hyper-carioid can work, but there's a small bit of rear pickup that can affect imaging. Shotguns can create strange null points, depending on the fall off patterns of the supercardioid and figure-8 patterns, and has a more pronounced rear pickup than a hyper does (there's that imaging issue again). I personally don't like using omnis in an M/S setup. Coloration tends to be an issue, and nasty phase issues can happen if the decoded M/S signal is summed down to mono. That's not to say that none of those combinations can work. They just take careful testing and mic matching. Cardioid is safe, predictable and gives very nice imaging.

But I guess the actual point is that you need a figure-8; otherwise, it's not M/S.


doesn't work. tried it. :)

the end result is a stereo image that tilts hard to one side, and that can't track from left to right.

now, if you swap the cardiod for the omni and leave the fig 8 intact, that'll do interesting things...


Thanks team! My omni is an AKG SE300B, so looks like time to search for a fig 8 cap!

  • i have two of those bodies with the cardioid and hypercardioid capsules, been meaning to pick up a pair of omnis for them. the figure-8 (ck94) ain't cheap for that line...$500 on B&H. not horrible, but more than twice the price of any of the other non-shotgun capsules. Feb 7, 2013 at 13:32
  • yeah, about £300, which seem excessive. Might make more sense to buy a deidcated fig8 mic, especially as the idea of m/s with an omni mid sounds interesting, so probably worth keeping it Feb 7, 2013 at 14:48

That won't work, of course... but you could try this: use the omni (but a carioid would probably be safer) as the M-mic, then use TWO cardioids instead of the figure of eight side-mic. One pointing left, one pointing right. When decoding it to stereo, you pan the L-side left and the R-side right, instead of the usual S left + polarity inversed S right.

I've never tried this, but read about it somewhere, and it sounds like it should work, because you still record the phase information in this setup. Although it would of course sound different than using a figure of eight as your side-mic. Not to mention the setup isn't exactly handy... ;)

  • the problem with that setup, is that you're still going to have imaging and phase issues. if you've got three cardioids, you'd do better setting up a decca tree or just a pair in a simple ortf configuration. Feb 11, 2013 at 18:39

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