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Description and application the MS stereo microphone technique.

The MS system, as explained previously, uses a cardioid microphone to pick up an all-round mono signal, and a figure-of-eight mic to pick up the difference between left and right in the sound field. The M and S signals can be combined without too much difficulty to provide conventional left and right signals. This is of practical benefit when it is necessary to record a single performer in stereo. With a coincident crossed pair, one microphone would be pointing to the left of the performer, the other would be pointing to the right. It just seems wrong not to point a microphone directly at the performer, and with the MS system you do, getting the best possible sound quality from the mic. It is sometimes proposed as an advantage of MS than it is possible to control the width of the stereo image by adjusting the level of the S signal. This is exactly the same as adjusting the width by turning the mixing console’s panpots for the left and right signals closer to the centre. Therefore it is in reality no advantage at all.

By David Mellor Monday April 28, 2003