Now in Stereo

Label and sleeve from one of the first mass pr...

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I’ve been learning a little about mic placement and stereo panning.  The other day I recorded myself with my two condenser mics positioned in a near-coincident pairing.  They were very close to each other and angled out at about 90 degrees.  This is known as the DIN position.  I used this instead of ORTF because I was only recording myself doing some soft fingerpicking on my guitar, so I didn’t have to worry about accuracy of off-center instruments.

I recorded the piece, then I panned the stereo on the two tracks to hard left and hard right, and tentatively hit the playback button.  To be honest, stereo is a big hurdle for me, because there seems to be so much to learn about it.  It’s not just mic placement, you know, it’s about putting it in the right place in the mix.  Also, I’ve been reading about the Haas effect and I tried to do it but it didn’t seem to make any difference at all.  Damn you, phase inversion!

But it sounded nice.  Warm.  And with no muddiness at all, but that’s because the mic’s were so close together, I think.  What worked for me, is that I needed less gain, so there was less scratchiness of my fingers on the guitar, and more just the notes.  But is hard pan the way to go?  Should I just be panning slightly left and right?  There seems to be so much artistry in stereo panning.  I want to go on some sort of recording engineering retreat and just listen to sounds and meditate on them.

Doesn’t that sound nice?

P.S. When is good quality sound coming back?  I’m sick of MP3s.


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