Stereo Micing

Stereo Microphone Positions

Recording instruments in stereo is a great way of making them sound bigger and it also ads a sense of space and realism.  We have two ears and we here things from two different sides of our head and stereo micing is an attempt to replicate this in someway.  Each technique can have its place in a mix , and it’s really up to you to decide which is best for that particular recording.

Below is a guide to the most commonly used and highly regarded techniques for stereo micing.


X-Y  (two Cardioid mics)


This Technique uses two cardioid mics, normally small diaphragm condensors.

Spaced pair ( Two Cardioids)

The spaced pair is probably the simplest set up and normally uses a ‘T-Bar’ mic clip for consistant spacing.

ORTF  (Two Cardioid

Developed by a French TV company this appears to be a mix between the X-Y and spaced pair giving a broader field of pick up.

Mid Side (One Cardioid and one figure of eight (figure of eight duplicated and phase flipped)

This set up require a cardioid mic and a mic that has a figure of eight pick up pattern.  The Figure of Eight mic is the facing at 90 degrees to the sources (in the above picture it is the small diaphragm condensor).  When you have recorded this set up, you then duplicate the track hat has the mic at 90 degrees and then reverse the phase.  You can then pan these tracks opposite left and right to give a nice sense of space.

Blumlein Pair (Two Figure of eights at 90 degrees)



This set up requires two mics set as figure of eight with one 90 degrees from the other.