STEREO RECORDING PROCEDURES
By Bruce Bartlett
In the article Stereo Microphone Techniques, I described stereo
miking techniques and how they work. This article is more practical.
It’s divided into three parts:
- On-location stereo recording of a classical-music ensemble.
- The basics of stereo miking for popular music.
- A troubleshooting guide to help you pinpoint and solve problems
in stereo reproduction.
Let's start by going over the equipment and procedures for recording
Before going on-location, you need to assemble a set of equipment such
- microphones (low-noise condenser or ribbon type, omni or directional,
free field or boundary, stereo or separate)
- MS matrix box (optional)
- recorder (open-reel, DAT, etc.)
- low-noise mic preamps (unless the mic preamp in your recorder is very
- phantom-power supply (unless your mic preamp or mixer has phantom
- mic stands and booms or fishing line
- stereo bar
- shock mount (optional)
- microphone extension cable
- Dolby noise reduction (optional)
- mixer (optional)
- headphones and/or speakers
- power amplifier for speakers (optional)
- blank tape
- stereo phase-monitor oscilloscope (optional)
- power strip, extension cords
- notebook and pen
- tool kit
First on the list are microphones. You'll need at least two or three
of the same model number or one or two stereo microphones. Good mics
are essential, because the mics--and their placement--determine the
sound of your recording. You should expect to spend at least $250 per
microphone for professional-quality sound.
For classical-music recording, the preferred microphones are condenser
or ribbon types with a wide, flat frequency response and very low self-noise.
A self-noise spec of less than 21 dB equivalent SPL, A-weighted, is
You'll need a power supply for condenser microphones: either an external
phantom-power supply, a mixer or mic preamp with phantom power, or internal
If you want to do spaced-pair recording, you can use either omnidirectional
or directional microphones. Omnis are preferred because they generally
have a flatter low-frequency response. If you want to do coincident
or near-coincident recording for sharper imaging, use directional microphones
(cardioid, supercardioid, hypercardioid, or bidirectional). The baffled-pair
technique uses omni mics.
You can mount the microphones on stands or hang them from the ceiling
with nylon fishing line. Stands are much easier to set up, but are more
visually distracting at live concerts. Stands are more suitable for
recording rehearsals or sessions with no audience present.
The mic stands should have a tripod folding base and should extend
at least 14 ft high. To extend the height of regular mic stands, you
can either use baby booms or use telescoping photographic stands (available
from camera stores). These are lightweight and compact.
A useful accessory is a stereo bar or stereo mic adapter. This device
mounts two microphones on a single stand for stereo recording. Another
needed accessory in most cases is a shock mount to prevent pickup of
In difficult mounting situations, boundary microphones may come in
handy. They can lie flat on the stage floor to pick up small ensembles
or can be mounted on the ceiling or on the front edge of a balcony.
They also can be attached to clear plexiglass panels that are hung or
mounted on mic stands.
For monitoring in the same room as the musicians, you need some closed-cup,
circumaural (around the ear) headphones to block out the sound of the
musicians. You want to hear only what's being recorded. Of course, the
headphones should be wide-range and smooth for accurate monitoring.
A better monitoring arrangement might be to set up an amplifier and
close-field loudspeakers in a separate room.
If you're in the same room as the musicians, you'll have to sit far
from the musicians to clearly monitor what you're recording. To do that,
you'll need a pair of 50-ft mic extension cables. Longer extensions
will be needed if the mics are hung from the ceiling or if you're monitoring
in a separate room.
If you use noise reduction, you'll also need a small stereo microphone
mixer to boost the mics’ signal level up to the line level required
by the noise-reduction system. A mixer is also necessary when you want
to record more than one source--for example, an orchestra and a choir,
or a band and a soloist. You might put a pair of microphones on the
orchestra and another pair on the choir. The mixer blends the signals
of all four mics into a composite stereo signal. It also lets you control
the balance (relative loudness) among microphones.
For monitoring a mid-side recording, bring an MS matrix box that converts
the MS signals to L-R signals, which you monitor.
Note: be sure to test all your equipment for correct operation before
going on the job.
Choosing the Recording Site
If possible, plan to record in a venue with good acoustics. There should
be adequate reverberation time for the music being performed (at least
2 seconds for orchestral recording).This is very important, because
it can make the difference between an amateur- sounding recording and
a commercial-sounding one. Try to record in an auditorium, concert hall,
or spacious church rather than in a band room or gymnasium. Avoid stage
shells because they lack a sense of space.
You may be forced to record in a hall that is too dead: that is, the
reverberation time is too short. In this case, you may want to add artificial
reverberation from a digitial reverb unit or cover the seats with plywood
sheets or 4-mil polyethylene plastic sheeting. Strong echoes can be
controlled with carpets, RPG diffusors, or drapes. Dry climates tends
to shorten the reverb time and dull the sound.
If the orchestral sound from the stage is bad, you might want to move
the orchestra out onto the floor of the hall.
Take out your microphones and place them in the desired stereo miking
arrangement. As an example, suppose you're recording an orchestra rehearsal
with two crossed cardioids on a stereo bar (the near-coincident method).
Screw the stereo bar onto a mic stand and mount two cardioid microphones
on the stereo bar. For starters, angle them 110 degrees apart and space
them 7 inches apart horizontally (the ORTF method). Aim them downward
so that they'll point at the orchestra when raised. You may want to
mount the microphones in shock mounts or put the stands on sponges to
isolate the mics from floor vibration.
Basically, you place two or three mics several feet in front of the
group, raised up high (as in Figure 1). The microphone placement controls
the perspective or sense of distance to the ensemble, the balance
among instruments, and the stereo imaging.
Figure 1. Typical microphone placement for on-location recording of
a classical music ensemble.
As a starting position, place the mic stand behind the conductor's
podium, about 12 ft in front of the front-row musicians. Connect mic
cables and mic extension cords. Raise the microphones about 14 ft off
the floor. This prevents overly loud pickup of the front row relative
to the back row of the orchestra.
Leave some extra turns of mic cable at the base of each stand so you
can reposition the stands. This slack also allows for people accidentally
pulling on the cables. Try to route the mic cables where they won't
be stepped on, or cover them with mats.
Live, broadcast, or filmed concerts require an inconspicuous mic placement,
which may not be sonically ideal. In these cases, or for permanent installations,
you'll probably want to hang the microphones from the ceiling rather
than using stands. You can hang the mics by their cables or by nylon
fishing line of sufficient tensile strength to support the weight of
the microphones. Another inconspicuous placement is on mic-stand booms
projecting forward of a balcony in front of the stage. For drama or
musicals, directional boundary mics can be placed on the stage floor
near the footlights.
Now you're ready to make connections. There are several different ways
to do this:
*If you're using just two mics, you can plug them directly into a phantom
supply (if necessary), and from there into your tape deck. You might
prefer to use low-noise mic preamps, then connect cables from there
into your recorder line inputs.
*If you're using two mics and a noise-reduction unit, plug the mics
into a mixer or preamp to boost the mic signals up to line level. Then
run that line-level signal into the noise-reduction unit connected to
the recorder line inputs.
*If you're using multiple mics (either spot mics or two MS mics) and
a mixer, plug the mics into a snake box. Plug the mic connectors at
the other end of the snake into your mixer mic inputs. Finally, plug
the mixer outputs into the recorder line inputs.
*If you're also using noise reduction, plug the mixer outputs into
the inputs of the noise-reduction device and from there into the recorder.
*If you want to feed your mic signals to several mixers--for example,
one for recording, one for broadcast, and one for sound reinforcement--plug
your mic cables into a mic splitter or distribution amp. Connect the
splitter outputs to the snakes for each mixer. Supply phantom from one
mixer only, on the microphone side of the split. Each split will have
a ground-lift switch on the splitter. Set it to ground for only
one mixer (usually the recording mixer). Set it to lift or float for the other mixers. This prevents hum caused by ground loops between
the different mixers.
*If you're using directional microphones and want to make their response
flat at low frequencies, you can run them through a mixer with equalization
for bass boost. Boost the extreme low frequencies until the bass sounds
natural or until it matches the bass response of omni condenser mics.
Connect the mixer output either into an optional noise-reduction unit
or directly into your recorder. This equalization will be unnecessary
if the microphones have been pre-equalized by the manufacturer for flat
response at a distance.
Put on your headphones or listen over loudspeakers in a separate room.
Sit equidistant from the speakers--as far from them as they are spaced
apart. You'll probably need to use a close-field arrangement (speakers
about 3 ft apart and 3 ft from you) to reduce coloration of the speakers'
sound from the room acoustics.
Turn up the recording-level controls and monitor the signal. When the
orchestra starts to play, set the recording levels to peak roughly around
-10 VU so you have a clean signal to monitor. You'll set levels more
carefully later on.
Nothing has more effect on the production style of a classical-music
recording than microphone placement. Miking distance, polar patterns,
angling, spacing, and spot miking all influence the recorded sound character.
Let’s examine each aspect of mic placement.
The microphones must be placed closer to the musicians than a good
live listening position. If you place the mics out in the audience where
the live sound is good, the recording will probably sound muddy and
distant when played over speakers. That's because all the recorded reverberation
is reproduced up-front -- on a line between the playback speakers --
mixed with the direct sound of the orchestra. Close miking (5 to 20
ft from the front row) compensates for this effect by increasing the
ratio of direct sound to reverberant sound.
The closer the mics are to the orchestra, the closer it sounds in the
recording. If the instruments sound too close, too edgy, too detailed,
or if the recording lacks hall ambience, the mics are too close to the
ensemble. Move the mic stand a foot or two farther from the orchestra
and listen again.
If the orchestra sounds too distant, muddy, or reverberant, the mics
are too far from the ensemble. Move the mic stand a little closer to
the musicians and listen again.
Eventually you'll find a sweet spot where the direct sound of the orchestra
is in a pleasing balance with the ambience of the concert hall. Then
the reproduced orchestra will sound neither too close nor too far.
Here's why miking distance affects the perceived closeness (perspective)
of the musical ensemble: the level of reverberation is fairly constant
throughout a room, but the level of the direct sound from the ensemble
increases as you get closer to it. Close miking picks up a high ratio
of direct-to-reverberant sound; distant miking picks up a low ratio.
The higher the direct-to-reverb ratio, the closer the sound source is
perceived to be.
An alternative to finding the sweet spot is to place a stereo pair
close to the ensemble (for clarity) and another stereo pair distant
from the ensemble (for ambience). According to Delos Recording Director
John Eargle, the distant pair should be no more than 30 ft from the
main pair. If the distant pair is farther, its signal might simulate
an echo. You mix the two pairs with a mixer. The advantages of this
*It avoids pickup of bad-sounding early reflections.
*It allows remote control (via mixer faders) of the direct/reverb ratio
or the perceived distance to the ensemble.
*Comb filtering due to phase cancellations between the two pairs is
not severe because the delay between them is great, and their levels
and spectra are different.
Skip Pizzi recommends a "double MS" technique, which uses
a close MS microphone mixed with a distant MS microphone (as shown in
Figure 2). One MS microphone is close to the musical ensemble for clarity
and sharp imaging, and the other is out in the hall for ambience and
depth. The distant mic could be replaced by an XY pair for lower cost.
Also, the distant mic could be recorded on separate tracks for use as
Figure 2. Double MS technique using a close main pair and a distant
pair for ambience. Spot mics are also shown.
If the ensemble is being amplified through a sound-reinforcement system,
you might be forced to mike very close to avoid picking up amplified
sound and feedback from the reinforcement speakers.
For broadcast or communications, consider miking the conductor with
a wireless lavalier mic.
Now that you’ve settled on a miking distance, concentrate on the stereo
spread. If the monitored spread is too narrow, it means that the mics
are angled or spaced too close together. Increase the angle or spacing
between mics until localization is accurate.
Note: increasing the angle between mics will make the instruments sound
farther away; increasing the spacing will not.
If off-center instruments are heard far-left or far-right, that indicates
your mics are angled or spaced too far apart. Move them closer together
until localization is accurate.
If you record with a mid-side microphone, you can adjust the stereo
spread by remote control at the matrix box with the stereo spread control
(M/S ratio control). You can change the monitored stereo spread either
during the recording or after:
- To change the spread during the recording, connect the stereo-mic
output to the matrix box and connect the matrix-box output to the recorder.
Use the stereo-spread control (M/S ratio) in the matrix box to adjust
the stereo spread.
- To alter the spread after the recording, record the mid signal on
one track and the side signal on another track. Monitor the output of
the recorder with a matrix box. After the recording, run the mid and
side tracks through the matrix box, adjust the stereo spread as desired,
and record the result.
If you are set up before the musicians arrive, check the localization
by recording yourself speaking from various positions on stage while
announcing your position (e.g., "left side," "mid-left,"
"center"). Play back the recording to judge the localization
accuracy provided by your chosen stereo array. Recording this localization
test at the head of a tape is an excellent practice.
Monitoring Stereo Spread
Full stereo spread on speakers is a spread of images from the left
speaker to the right speaker. Full stereo spread on headphones can be
defined as stereo spread from ear to ear. The stereo spread heard on
headphones may or may not match the stereo spread heard over speakers,
depending on the microphone technique used.
Due to psychoacoustic phenomena, coincident-pair recordings have less
stereo spread over headphones than over loudspeakers. Take this into
account when monitoring with headphones or use only loudspeakers for
If you are monitoring your recording over headphones or anticipate
headphone listening to the playback, you may want to use near-coincident
miking techniques, which have similar stereo spread on headphones and
Ideally, monitor speakers should be set up in a close-field arrangement
(say, 3 ft from you and 3 ft apart) to reduce the influence of room
acoustics and to improve stereo imaging.
If you want to use large monitor speakers placed farther away, deaden
the control-room acoustics with Sonex [tm] or thick fiberglass insulation
(covered with muslin). Place the acoustic treatment on the walls behind
and to the sides of the loudspeakers. This smooths the frequency response
and sharpens stereo imaging.
You'll probably want to include a stereo/mono switch in your monitoring
system, as well as an oscilloscope. The 'scope is used to check for
excessive phase shift between channels, which can degrade mono frequency
response or cause record-cutting problems. Connect the left-channel
signal to the 'scope's vertical input; connect the right-channel signal
to the horizontal input, and look for the lissajous patterns shown in
Figure 3. Oscilloscope lissajous patterns showing various phase relationships
between channels of a stereo program.
Soloist Pickup and Spot Microphones
Sometimes a soloist plays in front of the orchestra. You'll have to
capture a tasteful balance between the soloist and the ensemble. That
is, the main stereo pair should be placed so that the relative loudness
of the soloist and the accompaniment is musically appropriate. If the
soloist is too loud relative to the orchestra (as heard on headphones
or loudspeakers), raise the mics. If the soloist is too quiet, lower
the mics. You may want to add a spot mic (accent mic) about 3 ft from
the soloist and mix it with the other microphones. Take care that the
soloist appears at the proper depth relative to the orchestra.
Many record companies prefer to use multiple mics and multitrack recording
for classical music. This gives more control of balance and definition
and is necessary in difficult situations. Often you must add spot or
accent mics on some instruments or instrumental sections to improve
the balance or enhance clarity (as shown in Figure 2). In fact, John
Eargle contends that a single stereo pair of mics rarely works well.
A choir that sings with an orchestra can be placed behind the orchestra,
miked with two to four cardioids. Or the choir can stand in the audience
area facing the orchestra.
Pan each spot mic so that its image position coincides with that of
the main microphone pair. Using the mute switches on your mixing console,
alternately monitor the main pair and each spot to compare image positions.
You might want to use an MS microphone or stereo pair for each spot
mic, and adjust the stereo spread of each local sound source to match
that reproduced by the main pair. For example, suppose that a violin
section appears 20 degrees wide as picked up by the main pair. Adjust
the perceived stereo spread of the MS spot mic used on the violin section
to 20 degrees, then pan the center of the section image to the same
position that it appears with the main mic pair.
When you use spot mics, mix them at a low level relative to the main
pair--just loud enough to add definition, but not loud enough to destroy
depth. Operate the spot-mic faders subtly or leave them untouched. Otherwise
the close-miked instruments may seem to jump forward when the fader
is brought up, then fall back in when the fader is brought down. If
you bring up a spot-mic fader for a solo, drop it only 6 dB when the
solo is over -- not all the way off.
Often the timbre of the instrument(s) picked up by the spot mic is
excessively bright. You can fix it with a high-frequency rolloff, perhaps
by miking off-axis. Adding artificial reverb to the spot mic can help
To further integrate the sound of the spots with the main pair, you
might want to delay each spot's signal to coincide with those of the
main pair. That way, the main and spot signals are heard at the same
time. For each spot mic, the formula for the required delay is
T = D/C
T = delay time in seconds
D = distance between each spot mic and the main pair in feet
C = speed of sound, 1130 ft per second.
For example, if a spot mic is 20 ft in front of the main pair, the
required delay is 20/1130 or 17.7 msec. Some engineers add even more
delay (10-15 msec) to the spot mics to make them less noticeable.
Once the microphones are positioned properly, you're ready to set recording
levels. Ask the orchestra to play the loudest part of the composition,
and set the recording levels for the desired meter reading. A typical
recording level is +3 VU maximum on a VU meter or -3dB maximum on a
peak-reading meter for a digital recorder. The digital unit can go up
to 0 dB maximum without distortion, but aiming for -3 dB allows for
When recording a live concert, you'll have to set the record-level
knobs to a nearly correct position ahead of time. Do this during a pre-concert
trial recording, or just go by experience: set the knobs where you did
at previous sessions (assuming you're using the same mics at this session).
British Decca has developed an effective recording method using an
- record the main pair on two tracks
- record the distant pair on two tracks
- record panned accent mics on two tracks
- mix down the three pairs of tracks to two stereo tracks
Stereo Miking for Pop Music
Most current pop music recordings are made using multiple close-up
mics (one or more on each instrument). These multiple mono sources are
panned into position and balanced with faders. Such an approach is convenient
but often sounds artificial. The size of each instrument is reduced
to a point, and each instrument might sound isolated in its own acoustic
To enhance the realism, mike parts of the ensemble in stereo. Overdub
several of these stereo pickups. Such a technique can provide the feeling
of a musical ensemble playing together in a common ambient space. Realism
is improved for several reasons:
- The more-distant miking provides more natural reproduction of timbre.
- The size of each instrument is reproduced.
- Time cues for localization are included (with near-coincident and
- The sound of natural room acoustics is included.
True-stereo recording works especially well for these sound sources:
- acoustic jazz combos and small folk groups (sometimes)
- soloist or singer/guitarist
- drum kit (overhead)
- piano (out front and in line with the lid, or over the strings)
- background vocals
- horn and string sections
- vibraphone and xylophone
- other percussion instruments and ensembles
If you record several performers with a stereo pair, this method has
some disadvantages. You must adjust their balance by moving the performers
toward and away from the mics during the session. This takes longer
and costs more than moving faders of individual tracks after the session.
In addition, the performances are not acoustically isolated. So if someone
makes a mistake, you must re-record the whole ensemble rather than just
the flawed performance.
The general procedures for true-stereo recordings are below:
- Adjust the acoustics around the instruments. Add padding or reflective
surfaces if necessary. You might prefer the sound obtained by putting
the musicians near the center of a large, live room. This setup reduces
early reflections but includes ambient reverberation.
- Place the musicians around the stereo mic pair where you want them
to appear in the final mix. For example, you might overdub strings spread
between center and far right and horns spread between center and far
left. Try to keep the acoustic bass and lead instruments/singers in
- Experiment with different microphone heights (to vary the tonal
balance) and miking distance (to vary the amount of ambience). Three
to six feet distance is typical.
- If some instruments or vocalists are too quiet, move them closer
to the mics until the balance is good.
- If an instrument lacks definition, consider giving it a spot mic.
Mix it in at a low level.
Figure 4 shows a jazz group miked in stereo.
Figure 4. Stereo-miking a jazz group.
Troubleshooting Stereo Sound
Suppose that you're monitoring a recording. Something doesn't sound
right. How can you pinpoint what's wrong and how can you fix it?
This section lists several procedures to solve audio-related problems.
Read down the list of bad sound descriptions until you find one matching
what you hear, then try the solutions until your problem disappears.
Before you start, check for faulty cables and connectors. Also check
all control positions; rotate knobs and flip switches to clean the contacts.
Distortion in the Microphone Signal
- Use pads or input attenuators in your mixer.
- Switch in the pad in the condenser micr, if any.
- Use a mic with a higher "Maximum SPL" specification.
Too Dead (Insufficient Ambience, Hall Reverberation, or Room Acoustics)
- Place mics farther from performers.
- Use omnidirectional mics.
- Record in a concert hall with better acoustics (longer reverberation
- Add artificial reverberation.
- Add plywood or plastic sheeting over the audience seats.
Too Detailed, too Close, too Edgy
- Place mics farther from performers.
- Place mics lower or on the floor (as with a boundary microphone).
- Using an equalizer in your mixing console, roll off the high frequencies.
- Use duller-sounding mics.
- If using both a close-up pair and a distant ambience pair, turn up
the ambience pair.
- If using spot mics, add artificial reverb or delay the signal to coincide
with that of the main pair.
Too Distant (too much Reverberation)
- Place mics closer to the sound source.
- Use directional mics (such as cardioids).
- Record in a concert hall that is less "live" (reverberant).
- If using both a close-up pair and a distant ambience pair, turn down
the ambience pair.
Narrow Stereo Spread (Fig. 5C)
- Angle or space the main mic pair farther apart.
- If doing mid-side stereo recording, turn up the side output of the
- Place the main mic pair closer to the ensemble.
- If monitoring with headphones, narrow stereo spread is normal when
you use coincident techniques. Try monitoring with loudspeakers, or
use near-coincident or spaced techniques.
Figure 5. Stereo localization effects.
(a) Orchestra instrument locations (top view).
(b) Images accurately localized between speakers (the listener's perception).
(c) Narrow stage-width effect.
(d) Exaggerated separation effect.
Excessive Separation or Hole-in-the-Middle (Figure 5D)
- Angle or space the main microphone pair closer together.
- If doing mid-side stereo recording, turn down the side output of the
stereo microphone or use a cardioid mid instead of an omni mid.
- In spaced-pair recording, add a microphone midway between the outer
pair and pan its signal to the center.
- Place the mics farther from the performers.
- Place the loudspeaker pair closer together. Ideally, they should be
as far apart as you are sitting from them, to form a listening angle
of 60 degrees.
Poorly Focused Images
- Avoid spaced-mic techniques.
- Use a spatial equalizer.
- Use a microphone pair that is better-matched in frequency response
and phase response.
- If the sound source is out of the in-phase region of microphone pickup,
move the source or the microphone. For example, the in-phase region
of a Blumlein pair of crossed figure eights is l45 degrees relative
- Be sure that each spot mic is panned so that its image location coincides
with that of the main pair.
- Use loudspeakers designed for sharp imaging. Usually these are signal-aligned,
have vertically aligned drivers, have curved edges to reduce diffraction,
and are sold in matched pairs.
- Place the loudspeakers several feet from the wall behind them and
from side walls to delay and weaken the early reflections that can degrade
Images Shifted to One Side (Left-Right Balance Is Faulty)
- Adjust the right-or-left recording level so that center images are
- Use a mic pair that is better-matched in sensitivity.
- Aim the center of the mic array exactly at the center of the ensemble.
- Sit exactly between your stereo speakers, equidistant from them. Adjust
the balance control or level controls on your monitor amplifier to center
a mono signal.
Lacks Depth (Lacks a Sense of Nearness and Farness of Various Instruments)
- Use only a single pair of mics out front. Avoid multi-miking.
- If you must use spot mics, keep their level low in the mix, and delay
their signals to coincide with those of the main pair.
- Use a spatial equalizer.
- Space the microphones apart.
- Place the microphones farther from the ensemble.
Early Reflections too Loud
- Place mics closer to the ensemble and add a distant microphone for
reverberation (or use artificial reverberation).
- Place the musical ensemble in an area with weaker early reflections.
- If the early reflections come from the side, try aiming bidirectionals
at the ensemble. Their nulls will reduce pickup of side-wall reflections.
Bad Balance (Some Instruments too Loud or too Soft)
- Place the mics higher or farther from the performers.
- Move quiet instruments closer to the stereo mic pair, and vice versa.
- Ask the conductor or performers to change the instruments' written
- Add spot mics close to instruments or sections needing reinforcement.
Mix them in subtly with the main mics' signals.
- Increase the angle between mics to reduce the volume of center instruments,
and vice versa.
- If the center images of a mid-side recording are weak, use a cardioid
mid instead of an omni mid.
- Aim the bass-drum head at the microphones.
- Put the microphone stands and bass-drum stand on resilient isolation
mounts, or place the mics in shock-mount stand adapters.
- Roll off the low frequencies or use a highpass filter set around 40
to 80 Hz.
- Record in a concert hall with less low-frequency reverberation.
Rumble from Air Conditioning, Trucks, and so on
- Temporarily shut off air conditioning. Record in a quieter location.
- Use a high-pass filter set around 40 to 80 Hz. Use microphones with
limited low-frequency response.
Bad Tonal Balance (too Dull, too Bright, Colored)
- Change the microphones.
- If a mic must be placed near a hard reflective surface, use a boundary
mic to prevent phase cancellations between direct and reflected sounds.
- Adjust equalization. Compared to omni condenser mics, directional
mics usually have a rolled-off low-frequency response and may need some
- If strings sound strident, move mics farther away or lower.
- If the tone quality is colored in mono monitoring, use coincident-pair
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