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X/Y Mic Placement for Grand Piano

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October 12, 2004 5:12:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Would someone please explain what X/Y Placement means? – Perpendicular
to each other?
When using this placement: "X" points at what? "Y" points at what?
Can this placement be achieved on a "Stereo Bar" or should one be
further back to avoid phase?
Thanks,
Paul
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 9:58:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Paul <pgruodis@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Would someone please explain what X/Y Placement means? – Perpendicular
>to each other?

There is a really good tutorial on stereophony on http://www.josephson.com.
X-Y is another way of describing a coincident pair.

>When using this placement: "X" points at what? "Y" points at what?

They don't necessarily point anywhere. Spread them out until you get
the stereo imaging you want.

>Can this placement be achieved on a "Stereo Bar" or should one be
>further back to avoid phase?

With a coincident pair, both capsules are as close together as possible so
there is no phase difference between channels. This is both the advantage
and disadvantage of the method. Yes, a stereo bar will work with most mikes.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 12:10:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Paul" wrote:
> Would someone please explain what X/Y Placement means? - Perpendicular
> to each other?

It means the mics are angled at 90 deg from each other with the capsules as
close to touching each other as possible.

> When using this placement: "X" points at what? "Y" points at what?

The one points to the right and other points the left. I think it's probably
arbitrary which is X or Y, but the one which has the butt end sticking out
to the left (looking past the mics to the source you're recording) is the
right channel and vis versa.

> Can this placement be achieved on a "Stereo Bar" or should one be
> further back to avoid phase?

It can be achieved using a stereo bar (which just saves you having to use
two mic stands). The whole point of XY is that it uses the directionality of
the mics rather than time of arrival differences to create the stereo image,
so phase isn't an issue.

-jw
Related resources
October 13, 2004 1:05:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mix magazine put out a good overall book on microphones a while back.
I think Loren Aldren was the author. Good book on mic placement, mic
combinations, mic patterns, and overviews on many popular mic models.

It goes over XY, as well as ORTF, mid-side, Blumlein, spaced pair,
etc.

I'm sensing your original question is a "hydra"... one answered
question will spawn 5 more. This would be a good book for you.
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 9:07:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Loren Alldrin
Max Arwood

"xy" <genericaudioperson@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:6c38b64b.0410122005.2f0641d4@posting.google.com...
> Mix magazine put out a good overall book on microphones a while back.
> I think Loren Aldren was the author. Good book on mic placement, mic
> combinations, mic patterns, and overviews on many popular mic models.
>
> It goes over XY, as well as ORTF, mid-side, Blumlein, spaced pair,
> etc.
>
> I'm sensing your original question is a "hydra"... one answered
> question will spawn 5 more. This would be a good book for you.
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 7:03:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

i think you will find that ORTF or a spaced pair will generally give
you better results than XY. up close, or even directly over the
soundboard for a pop/rock sound - pull back some for a more classical
sound (just outside the curve of the case, or as far out as 8-10'
depending on the acoustic properties of the space where you are
recording.)
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 6:10:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <0TWad.162832$4h7.29591040@twister.nyc.rr.com>,
"John Washburn" <johnwashburn99@nyc.rr.com> wrote:

> "Paul" wrote:
> > Would someone please explain what X/Y Placement means? - Perpendicular
> > to each other?
>
> It means the mics are angled at 90 deg from each other with the capsules as
> close to touching each other as possible.

Having just taught this to my Introductory Recording Class, I
feel that I should jump in here and point out that in order to
really exploit the cardioid pickup pattern's directional
property, so that the two microphones -3dB point in their pickup
patterns align, then the two microphones need to be angled at 131
degrees to each other (65.5 degrees to the left of centre for the
left microphone, 65.5 degrees to the right for the right facing
microphone). Obviously, this means that centrally located sound
sources are going to be pretty well off axis for both
microphones. Angling the microphones in further will put central
sources more on-axis, but will also reduce the stereophonic
spread. Most of the time when I hear X-Y done at 90 degrees
offset, it sounds very mono-ish, which is why my hackles get
raised when I see it purported as the "only" or "best" stereo
recording microphone technique - but then again, I'm a hot head.

As far as books on the subject are concerned, I would recommend
Bruce Bartlett's eminently readable "Stereo Microphone
Techniques" published by Focal Press, and/or Ron Streicher's "New
Stereo Soundbook" available through Audio Engineering Associates.
The AES still sells the compendium of Journal articles,
"Stereophonic Techniques: An Anthology" as well.

--
FL
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 9:17:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>From: Frank Lockwood lockwood1@sbcglobal.net
>Date: Thu, Oct 14, 2004 8:10 AM
>Message-id: <lockwood1-B0F6D4.09100714102004@newssvr14-ext.news.prodigy.com>
>
>In article <0TWad.162832$4h7.29591040@twister.nyc.rr.com>,
> "John Washburn" <johnwashburn99@nyc.rr.com> wrote:
>
>> "Paul" wrote:
>> > Would someone please explain what X/Y Placement means? - Perpendicular
>> > to each other?
>>
>> It means the mics are angled at 90 deg from each other with the capsules
>as
>> close to touching each other as possible.
>
>Having just taught this to my Introductory Recording Class, I
>feel that I should jump in here and point out that in order to
>really exploit the cardioid pickup pattern's directional
>property, so that the two microphones -3dB point in their pickup
>patterns align, then the two microphones need to be angled at 131
>degrees to each other (65.5 degrees to the left of centre for the
>left microphone, 65.5 degrees to the right for the right facing
>microphone). Obviously, this means that centrally located sound
>sources are going to be pretty well off axis for both
>microphones. Angling the microphones in further will put central
>sources more on-axis, but will also reduce the stereophonic
>spread. Most of the time when I hear X-Y done at 90 degrees
>offset, it sounds very mono-ish, which is why my hackles get
>raised when I see it purported as the "only" or "best" stereo
>recording microphone technique - but then again, I'm a hot head.
>
>As far as books on the subject are concerned, I would recommend
>Bruce Bartlett's eminently readable "Stereo Microphone
>Techniques" published by Focal Press, and/or Ron Streicher's "New
>Stereo Soundbook" available through Audio Engineering Associates.
>The AES still sells the compendium of Journal articles,
>"Stereophonic Techniques: An Anthology" as well.
>
>--
>FL
>
>

The 131 degree angle might just be ideal, but many microphones do not have off
axis response that is uniform enough for this.

I would experiment with the spacing until I found out what works best with the
microphones that I am using.

Sometimes I use XY at 90 degrees because I want to accentuate the signal from
the center of the soundfield.
Richard H. Kuschel
"I canna change the law of physics."-----Scotty
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 9:43:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Frank Lockwood wrote:

> Having just taught this to my Introductory Recording Class, I
> feel that I should jump in here and point out that in order to
> really exploit the cardioid pickup pattern's directional
> property, so that the two microphones -3dB point in their pickup
> patterns align, then the two microphones need to be angled at 131
> degrees to each other (65.5 degrees to the left of centre for the
> left microphone, 65.5 degrees to the right for the right facing
> microphone). Obviously, this means that centrally located sound
> sources are going to be pretty well off axis for both
> microphones. Angling the microphones in further will put central
> sources more on-axis, but will also reduce the stereophonic
> spread. Most of the time when I hear X-Y done at 90 degrees
> offset, it sounds very mono-ish, which is why my hackles get
> raised when I see it purported as the "only" or "best" stereo
> recording microphone technique - but then again, I'm a hot head.

I prefer to set the mic's relative positions according to what I hear.
Mic patterns differ sufficiently that tweaking for what I'm after both
on and off axis has always seemed necessary. It's not that I'd mind
being able to handle this with a protractor. <g>

--
ha
Anonymous
October 18, 2004 5:54:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Ron Streicher's "New
Stereo Soundbook" available through Audio Engineering Associates.
The AES still sells the compendium of Journal articles,
"Stereophonic Techniques: An Anthology" as well.
*********************************************************************

These two books are my top two recommendations for anyone interested
in recording, especially for folks who want to record real
instruments. A good way for me to judge a recording book is how much
time is spent on mic placement versus knob twiddling. Most books fail
that test badly, these two ace it.

steve
lex125@pacbell.net
!