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Quality of Beaulieu boom microphones?


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#1 Scot McPhie

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 04:20 AM

Does anyone here have any experience of Beaulieu boom microphones - I'm considering buying one and would like to know how it might compare to a Sennheiser.

I've got a Sennheiser but often would like to record atmos in stereo and thought this could be alright for this if the quality was reasonably similar.

thanks

Scot
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#2 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 06:06 AM

Does anyone here have any experience of Beaulieu boom microphones - I'm considering buying one and would like to know how it might compare to a Sennheiser.


It's a prepolarised electret, there are reports that electrets are losing quality over the years since polarity is fading. I never used one of these, I don't think it'll match a Sennheiser. They were designed to put on S8 soundcameras, regarding the S8 soundtrack the quality of the mic wasn't to critical.

I've got a Sennheiser but often would like to record atmos in stereo and thought this could be alright for this if the quality was reasonably similar.

The Beaulieu is Super Cardioid. For stereo ambient-sound two matched cardios or omnis are normaly used. Two different shotguns are not very suitable for the job.

You could do stereo with your sennheiser by adding an 8 and doing MS. But an 8 can't hardly be used elsewhere, and I don't like MS, and if your sennheiser is too directional it won't feel much like an ambient sound.
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#3 Scot McPhie

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 04:43 PM

Thanks for the info Bernhard - I'm obvioulsy not too much of a sound expert, but your post confirms what I suspected.

One thing though - do you think you could explain

You could do stereo with your sennheiser by adding an 8 and doing MS. But an 8 can't hardly be used elsewhere, and I don't like MS, and if your sennheiser is too directional it won't feel much like an ambient sound.


- What is an 8 and MS?

thanks

Scot
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#4 Hal Smith

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 12:29 PM

What is an 8 and MS?

MS stands for Mid-Side. The "8" he's referring to is a mike with a bidirectional figure 8 pickup pattern. MS is a stereo technique where a cardiod directional mike points forward and a figure 8 pattern mike is located close above or below the cardiod and oriented so its pickup pattern is side to side.

The two mike signals are added and subtracted into a left and right signal either by a matrix processor working in real time or later in post. The bidirectional mike's phase is that anything on the left side it records positive phase and anything to the right of it records negative phase (both relative to the phase of the sound being picked up by the cardiod mike). The math is:

Mid signal + Side signal sums to Left channel, Mid signal - Side signal sums to Right channel.

The advantage of MS recording is that you get a stereo image with mikes located at one position in space and there's no space interference between them which in the worse case can make recorded sound somewhat harsh (If you had Optical Physics in school the interference of the sound is the same principle as Newton's Rings, 1/4 wave plates, fringes, etc.). The disadvantage is since the mikes are co-located you get less ambiant sound in the recording and therefore MS recording sounds a bit lifeless and "dead". MS sound is often sweetened in post by adding artificial reverberation to brighten it up somewhat.
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