The signal-to-noise performances of the early multitrack recording gear (microphones, lines, preamps, consoles, and signal processors), combined with the perceived need for near-total isolation of individual instrument and voice tracks, led to reliance on close miking for most instruments. In the majority of popular music recordings the stereo imaging was, and continues to be, achieved through intensity panning and signal processing. Today's ultraquiet consoles, microphones, and recorders provide many opportunities to increase microphone distance, reintroducing natural room acoustics and sound localization. The author illustrates techniques to make recordings more realistic and "present" using near-coincident microphone techniques, now simplified and enhanced by use of a newly developed stereo microphone array.
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