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paulyd

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Jul 11 16 2:02 PM

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Does anyone here have firsthand experience with both of these mics? I know Zoom and Blue have gotten into the Lightning-connected mic market too, but I'm really looking at these two mics in particular. I'm interested to read any impressions in sound quality differences between the two mics. I'm also curious if there is any appreciable difference between the stereo image and mono compatiblity between them with the iXY being XY and the MV88 being M-S. 

Thanks for any replies. 
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mikerivers

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Jul 11 16 8:45 PM

In theory, X-Y and M-S are eqivalent. But an M-S mic made of one pair of capsules and an X-Y mic made from a different pair of capsules will be different. You're really fishing to find someone in this pond who would have compared those two mics. Why don't you do it? Buy them both and send back the one you like least. But be sure to try them together, in several different situations.

Some wise pundit, maybe me, once said "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they're different."



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John Eppstein

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Jul 11 16 9:31 PM

mikerivers wrote:
In theory, X-Y and M-S are eqivalent. But an M-S mic made of one pair of capsules and an X-Y mic made from a different pair of capsules will be different. You're really fishing to find someone in this pond who would have compared those two mics. Why don't you do it? Buy them both and send back the one you like least. But be sure to try them together, in several different situations.

Some wise pundit, maybe me, once said "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they're different."

Well, except that in m-s you can adjust the separation of the decoded signal and in x-y since the signal isn't encoded you can't. For that reason I don't see how a direct comparison is valid, or possible.

Great quote...

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mikerivers

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Jul 12 16 6:26 AM

John Eppstein wrote:
Well, except that in m-s you can adjust the separation of the decoded signal and in x-y since the signal isn't encoded you can't. For that reason I don't see how a direct comparison is valid, or possible.
 

Oh, but you can. In essence you pass the left and right singals through an M-S decoder backwards and you end up with a mid and side component. You can manipulate them in the same way that you can manipulate the cardioid (or omni) and bi-directional mic singals from an "M-S pair." Engineers have been doing this for years and years. Neumann even has (or used to have) an appliction note about the technique on their web site.

The reason why an X-Y and M-S mic setup can't, in practice, be made to sound the same is because, for a sound arriving from a given direction, a cardioid mic doesn't sound the same as a bi-directional mic.



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John Eppstein

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Jul 12 16 3:52 PM

mikerivers wrote:

John Eppstein wrote:
Well, except that in m-s you can adjust the separation of the decoded signal and in x-y since the signal isn't encoded you can't. For that reason I don't see how a direct comparison is valid, or possible.
 

Oh, but you can. In essence you pass the left and right singals through an M-S decoder backwards and you end up with a mid and side component. You can manipulate them in the same way that you can manipulate the cardioid (or omni) and bi-directional mic singals from an "M-S pair." Engineers have been doing this for years and years. Neumann even has (or used to have) an appliction note about the technique on their web site.

The reason why an X-Y and M-S mic setup can't, in practice, be made to sound the same is because, for a sound arriving from a given direction, a cardioid mic doesn't sound the same as a bi-directional mic.

Oh, right, I forgot about that.It's a technique used in mastering more than anything else, right?

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mikerivers

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Jul 12 16 8:22 PM

I guess that mastering was one of the earliest applications. That's what the Fairchild 670 (is that the stereo one?) is all about when _not_ used for cutting records. In essence, a stereo cutter works like M-S with the vertical vector sum of the stylus motion representing the difference betwen left and right and the horizontal sum is the mono sum of left and right. That's why you can play a stereo record with a mono cartridge and get proper mono. With the Fairchild 670, you could limit the groove width and depth independently. Now that "mastering" means something completely different, the same tools get applied for different purposes.

I would un-matrix and re-matrix X-Y stereo and do things like boost the side a couple of dB around 400 Hz to make the room sound warmer. And in pop level-panned stereo where the lead vocal is always in the center, you could, in a small way, take the mix apart, EQ the lead vocal, and then put it back together.



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paulyd

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Jul 13 16 3:45 PM

I spent a lot of time yesterday reading reviews and listening to recorded examples of both mics.

For all-around utility, the Shure wins. It can pivot 90 degrees and it's body can be rotated 90 degrees, making it an obvious choice for video production on iOS devices. The Shure app for the MOTIV mics also gets very high marks from reviewers. The only negative reviews I found of it were from users expecting it should be a full editing, mixing, and exporting app.

For pure fidelity, the Rode wins. Its midrange and high frequency detail and clarity are clearly superior. Like the MOTIV mics, it can be used with other apps but even the most generous reviews say the Rode recording app is just adequate. If you want to use an iOS device as a pure field recorder though, this is the one to get.

Yes, there are other, more elaborate setups to be had, but I'm looking at the compact, mobile, and easy-to-setup options. So I will indeed get both. And keep both.

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jesse decarlo

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Jul 15 16 6:17 PM

John Eppstein wrote:

mikerivers wrote:

John Eppstein wrote:
Well, except that in m-s you can adjust the separation of the decoded signal and in x-y since the signal isn't encoded you can't. For that reason I don't see how a direct comparison is valid, or possible.
 

Oh, but you can. In essence you pass the left and right singals through an M-S decoder backwards and you end up with a mid and side component. You can manipulate them in the same way that you can manipulate the cardioid (or omni) and bi-directional mic singals from an "M-S pair." Engineers have been doing this for years and years. Neumann even has (or used to have) an appliction note about the technique on their web site.

The reason why an X-Y and M-S mic setup can't, in practice, be made to sound the same is because, for a sound arriving from a given direction, a cardioid mic doesn't sound the same as a bi-directional mic.

Oh, right, I forgot about that.It's a technique used in mastering more than anything else, right?

It's also useful in mixing, if you've got a stereo track that you want to focus or dry out a little.
 

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kafkindom

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Aug 24 16 9:54 AM

Great thanks!

I do not speak English only :-( You explained: "The Shure app for the MOTIV mics also gets very high marks from reviewers." It's very important for me Even the official consultant Rode does not know!I am now on you know!Great thanks! I do not speak English only :-( You explained: "The Shure app for the MOTIV mics also gets very high marks from reviewers." It's very important for me Even the official consultant Rode does not know!I am now on you know!

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maarvold

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Aug 25 16 8:43 AM

One thing that nobody has mentioned is thar XY--at least implemented in 'textbook fashion'--distorts the stereo perspective.  I can't look for John Eargle's "The Microphone Book" right at the moment, but I seem to remember that XY 'bunches' mid-left info further to the left than it actually is in the source... same with mid-right and right.  I used to use M+S all the time; now I use Blumlein all the time.  When the mic is heard in 'engineer's perspective' with both of these techniques, and someone walks from left to right and claps, it is uncanny how the control room glass seems to disappear.  Purposely distorting (widening) the stereo perspective with M+S by adding more S than M is a choice, but not ever a technique I was interested in doing: it gets really 'out-of-phasey-sounding' to my ear with just small amounts of change from when it's perfectly balanced.  

Last Edited By: maarvold Sep 4 16 8:29 AM. Edited 1 time.

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blairl

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Sep 2 16 5:23 PM

John Eargle's book analyzes the localization properties of different stereo microphone techniques.  He describes Blumlein, ORTF, and 2 hypercardiods crossed at 120 degrees as the stereo techniques with the most accurate localization.

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maarvold

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Sep 4 16 9:14 AM

blairl wrote:
John Eargle's book analyzes the localization properties of different stereo microphone techniques.  He describes Blumlein, ORTF, and 2 hypercardiods crossed at 120 degrees as the stereo techniques with the most accurate localization.

According to Eargle's book, XY with 90 degree cardioids creates an equally-scaled (across the soundstage) recording that is maybe 20-25% narrower than the actual image; XY with 120 degree hypercardioids creates an equally-scaled image that is roughly 90% as wide as reality. ORTF creates an image that is not scaled and full width (portrays left-to-right accurately); NOS is full width, but pulls the mid elements further to the outside than they actually are.  Personally, with ORTF, I am bothered by the sonic effects of the microphones being spaced (comb filtering & slight phasey aspect, if memory serves).  I really wanted ORTF to work and even made an ORTF 'ruler' out of aluminum bar stock with 110 degree angles and capsule center marks.  But ultimately, it didn't 'ring my bell'.  

Taking into account the following negatives, I prefer Blumlein, followed closely by M+S.  The caveats with Blumlein are that: 1. it is tricky to get the direct to reflected sound balanced correctly; 2. if the source is wide--like an orchestra--you can't get too close to the ensemble because the back of the Fig. 8's start to pick up too much imformation from the front, which messes with the imaging.  To my ear, M+S--when properly implemented (Jensen Transformer M+S box, for example)--does the undistorted left-right perspective thing almost as convincingly as Blumlein and is easier to place because the back of the mic is down in level. much like a cardioid.  The caveat with M+S is that there are around 5 ways to get it hooked up incorrectly and it can be tricky to figure out where the problem is.  With both Blumlein and well-implemented M+S though, it is uncanny when the assistant claps every second or so and walks from left to right in a semicircle around 10-15 feet out from the mic(s) how your brain 'marrys' the sound you are hearing with the visual image and it's as if the control room glass has disappeared.  

Mono compatibility shouldn't be a problem with any correctly-implemented coincident pair as far as I could see; this would not be true of ORTF.  Surprisingly, there are still plenty of mono playback devices out there: iPads and theme park rides or parades are just a couple of examples.  

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mikerivers

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Sep 4 16 1:18 PM

A couple of friends of mine, Neil Muncy (who you might have heard of) and Curt Wittig, did a fair amount of direct-to-stereo recording using what they called a "Double M-S" setup. One M-S pair was positioned so they could get the proper coverage and left/right perspective, without regard to the front/rear balance. They put another M-S pair well back in the hall beyond the critical distance (where direct and reverb levels are equal) and mixed that in to get what you'd get by pulling the main M-S pair back, but you don't want to do because that changes the left/right coverage. Their technique never got much attention outside of local circles.but they got good results with it.



For a good time, call mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com

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