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Basic Stereo Microphone Perspectives: A Review

This presentation to the conference is a review of the "how" of creating illusions in stereo. This paper describes the common stereo configurations which utilize two, three, and four microphones. It presents the placement and type of microphones used for each configuration, and discusses their basic characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. All of the techniques discussed here have produced satisfying results. The use of a particular technique will depend on circumstances: the sound source, the recording environment, the desired effect, and the release format. Some formats such as stereo cinema and broadcast impose constraints, such as the need for a predictable mono/stereo relationship. Other formats have their own particular demands. The important thing is that the perspective be appropriate to the format, whether it be track building on a record album, or the transience of a live broadcast. Creative use of the appropriate technique is the hallmark of the master of a craft.

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