I'm getting ready to go out and capture some sounds for a possible boutique library and would like to survey you all.

I have MK41 and MK5 capsules, a KMR81i, many dynamic mics etc. but no really good M/S mic or figure-8 mic to make a good M/S out of.

Is it worth the trouble to try and find an MK6 I could borrow, or get my hands on a Neumann 191 to record with?

I'm basically going to gain access to a state-of-the-art digital printing facility as well as a custom mill which has one of those super pressure water drills, computerized laser sculpting equipment, etc. etc. etc. and I'm wondering if just mono is going to be enough for this opportunity because I most likely won't have a second chance to record these things.

I plan on doing ORTF for the ambiences I find, but what configuration is your preference for great spot effects such as machinery and small servos and robots and things?

Thanks in advance for your answers.


ORTF will sound great for the ambiences, especially if you're going for a wide stereo image without a ton of center energy.

There are exceptions to the rule, but most fx editors would cut hard fx of the machines you describe (or sounds created from manipulated versions of your recordings) in mono, and the rerecording fx mixer would pan the machine on the dub stage to match the action on screen. I'd be more concerned with getting a nice focused mono recording of the machines, avoiding the HVAC, light hum, and reflections usually present in the facilities like the one you've described.

That being said, most hard fx like these are still recorded in stereo (I guess we've come to expect our fx libraries this way). MS would be perfect for this over any other stereo pattern, because you could master the recordings so they are focused mostly in the center, with a tad of the figure 8 to give it a sense of space. The MK6 or the cheaper MK8 would be a great match for your MK41. I've had an MK4 paired with an MK8 in my stereo zepplin for years and it's still my go to mic setup for almost anything.

Since it sounds like you already have an ortf pair, you might also consider recording the machines in LCR; which would also give you flexibility in the mastering process.


I always record everything in mono except Ambiences or Vehicle By's. Mostly because when doing predubs or a re-recording final mix it's a real pain and very impractical to pan 2 channel sounds.

For stereo recordings, different situations call for different mic'ing techniques. For Ambiences I would use X/Y if I'm in a rush but ideally ORTF (wider sounding, but weaker center image) and for Vehicle By's I'd use M/S (stronger and more flexible center image, but also decodes very well into mono). They both provide drastically different stereo images.


I bet you can make a good pseudo m-s rig with 3 matched mics arranged like a "T" with all capsules touching. In post just don't decode - leave center center, L to the left and R to the right. bounce to stereo and you're good.

Or you could just go XY. :)

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