A big thanks to everyone who has replied. It is valuable to have other
opinions on this test. Myself, I prefer Rig 2 for the garden location
which has a wide field of nearly 180 deg. Rig 1 pulls in distant birds
better with a good "fetch". These birds tend to get lost by Rig 2.
I hope I haven't missed anyone out.
> For me the rig one is better. Some mic self noise, but the sounds
> were more acuteate and the stereo better.
The major background noise was from more distant spruce trees which
hiss in the slightest wind. These and the birds at that distance
didn't pick up so much on rig 2.
> I prefer the sound from rig 2. I listened really hard for monkeys
> but didn't hear any despite you shaking the peanuts.
I did the peanut test as I realised that the stereo images were very
different. The centre image on Rig 1 moves much faster l-r or r-l.
> In my opinion the rig 2 is more accurate. The rig 1 is extremely
In this situation I think I agree, but Rig 1 pulls in the birds which
are in range much better.
> I would like a rig that is between no.1 and no.2... no.1 is a bit
> too narrow and no.2 is a bit too wide, but that's just my taste. :)
> Also a beer to the peanuts would be nice ;)
I pinched the peanuts from the bird table supplies. No beer. :-) There
isn't an intermediate rig. (see below)
> Both sound like pan-pot stereo. There's no sense of space anywhere
> but between the speakers.
In this setup most of the other sounds were the distant farming sounds
which both rigs tended to add to mix in an unfocussed way. I've got
rig 1 down in the woods now where it is picking up a good reverbeation
from the trees. Pan-pot stereo is the way most studio mixes are done
because it give a cleaner stereo image. I'm aiming at 9 "sonel" stereo
> Listening to the tracks with headphones and with a "nature-like"
> volume, I prefer the track 2. It sound bigger and softer.
I think it sounds more natural. I've moved Rig 2 to the side of the
garden where it does well with close birds like my embarrassing robin
recording on 1 June.
> rig 1 for me - it seems more natural (which may just mean it is more
> like what I get :) )
These comments are all very valuable especially as they are different.
> Is rig no.1 a pair of MKH-416 mics?
> Is rig no.2 a M+S recording?
Yes and no respectively.
> Rig #1 sounds more natural to me, with a good center image and
> somewhat narrow R and L separation.
> Rig #2 sound has less presence for me, with reduced center image and
> wide R/L separation. I could like the wide spacing if the center
> was stronger.
Rig 1 does have a clarity which Rig 2 lacks.
> To me, Rig 1 sounds better. More detailed, sharper & clearer. Sounds
> like good HF response. An expensive mic??
> Rig 2 sounds good, no complaints. Almost sounds like the recordings
> I usually make with my lower-end, <$200 equipment(I'm on a low
> I can't wait for you to disclose the equipment details! : )
I've left you to last as you have hit the nail on the head along with
Rig 1 is my crossed MKH 416's at 60 degrees. Since the peanut test
I've closed this in to 50 degrees which gave a more gradual movement
on a second peanut test.
Rig 2 is two =A310 lapel mics similar to to those sold by Radio Shack
mounted in a cut down carboard box and lots of gaffer tape. The mics a
sealed in with Blu-tack. The cardboard is a bit resonant so there's
foam damping and yet more gaffer tape on the back. I've measuere a 14
dB lift from the boxes which helps with the hissy mics.
Both rigs are now each in their own tents which reduced the rear
pickup and I'm planning to make a wooden prototype and do more
testing and I'm working on the theory behind it. I'm amazed that Rig 2
gave such good results, but I'm not throwing away my 416's. :-)
Thanks again to all who replied and to those who listened to this
North Devon, UK
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - Ambrose Bierce