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Binaural vs. DSM Mic Method

In a message dated 1/15/05 8:59:32 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

Hi Leonard,

I thought you'd like to know my site has a link

to your site in my initial intro to binaural recording. I'll have more binaural material in the next few months (there are a few synthetic tracks already, but no acoustic recordings yet).

Please let me know if you want me to refine or adjust anything, especially the few words I've said about you and your mic placement technique.


Allen Cobb

Hello Allen,

Appreciate the link to my site and the opportunity to help bringing better appreciation for this form of recording.

While the DSM mic/method is often referred to as 'quasi-binaural,' I suggest we rethink this use of the term for better understanding of why Binaural HRTF method is not more available as sound/music commercial recordings.

My primary concern is with using the term Binaural to describe all the types of psychoacoustic HRTF related methods, including my patented DSM mic/method. This is exactly like always describing all automobiles without some discriminating reference. Without additional description and knowledge, a Volkswagen Beetle is the same as a Hummer, is the same as a Lexus sedan 'automobile.'

The term 'automobile' is just like using the term 'Binaural' as a description that's supposed to convey what it is, and for what purposes something is good for. If this were the case, someone who really should specify a HUMMER for rugged off-road travel requirement, may instead end up with something else called an automobile. While correctly named an automobile, a Lexus sedan or Beetle 'automobile' is totally unsuitable for a needed purpose. Someone may have really needed a HUMMER, but got any automobile because this the only 'accepted' descriptive term for all 4 wheel drive off-road vehicles. Kinda dumb, but this is a good analogy nonetheless.

In this same way, Binaural or Dummy Head is a most non-descriptive term as applied to all HRTF, psychoacoustic, and patented DSM recording technology.

Yes, 'Binaural' is a HRTF, psychoacoustic recording method, but a subset or particular type of the general form. DSM method is also a HRTF, psychoacoustic recording method, but is NOT binaural in method as the term is understood, and playback ability as the 'binaural' term is now regarded to mean in-ear worn, or in-ear dummy head microphones where it counts the most.

What is happening by using the 'Binaural' term for all HRTF or psychoacoustic methods?

Does the term Binaural really describe what you need to know to understand what it is, its past, present, and application for today's playback systems?

In the '50s, 1-channel monaural expanded to 2-channel 'binaural' recordings and systems. Then some years later, someone coined the word stereophonic, soon shortened to 'Stereo' and the 'Binaural' term fell to disuse, and was mostly forgotten until person-worn in-the-ears, and synthetic-ear-dummy head recording was termed as 'Binaural' recording. This term for head-mic's recording has survived to this day. Yes, Binaural is (a type of) stereo, but a very special kind of stereo to say the least.

In today's professional audio world, Binaural is a mostly 'dirty word' as now recognized as a dead-end 'hobby grade' technology, NOT suitable for prime-time recording method. Reason is mostly 'binaural's' very limited, non-universal playback ability for general media products.

Many years ago some creative media professionals tried 'in-ear Binaural' for commercial projects and were mostly embarrassed, even chastised when only a short few seconds were tolerable as interesting on anything, but headphones. Even so, for a small percentage of listeners with radically different 'ear-shape' signature, even headphones listening was intolerable.

'Binaural mix to mono was 'discovered' to be generally awful, vinyl Binaural records were nearly impossible to cut for having too much the 'phase' information for the 'cutter (and playback stylus)' to mechanically follow, so professional (broadcast radio) usage was solely limited to (tape recorded, and later on CD) Binaural stereo headphone FM listening programs like the more recent 'Binaural Audition' hosted by John Sunier.

In other words, the need for universal playback ability, without problems, created very bad 'mojo' for using anything termed 'Binaural ' for pro-media requirements.

This was the case when I researched 'HRTF' or 'psychoacoustic' audio effects BEFORE the terms existed in the mid 80's.

Suggest it's best NOT to say Binaural when describing my DSM method in the same sentence unless containing the 'not' word, maybe with some explanation included for having some understanding that this is 'NOT your father's binaural' microphone and method! Recent 'quasi-binaural' term is only slightly more descriptive, but I never really liked the connotation or inference that this is again just another (nonprofessional) 'binaural' method.

Maybe DSM is 'New Binaural' as compared to 'Old Binaural'? ............. No, maybe not, as I feel this still carries the old stigmata.

Anyway, my '89 patent is at least good for technically understanding some real differences between 'true in-ear Binaural' mics, and the Dimensional Stereo-surround Microphone (DSM) method of sound pickup. For less dry reading to get the important points in hopefully entertaining language, go to page:

My MP3 DSM recordings page is there so anyone can experience real 'Stereo-surround' virtual reality with NO common 'binaural' playback constraints. Listen on headphones, stereo, surround systems; play it back in MONO.

Yes, DSM sounds just like 'binaural,' except when played in mono, stereo, or surround speaker systems. Binaural never sounded this good, how can it be Binaural?

Give a listen; Go to:

Final word is on Dummy Head technology.

Yes, most makers of 'dummy head' mics mostly get the shape/size correct, but little else that really matters. HRTF usually means 'head related transfer function' of air-born acoustical energy.

Our bony heads are surrounded by 'water saturated tissue' ABSORBING MOSTLY ALL frequencies of ACOUSTIC ENERGY, and this composition reflects virtually nothing, or very, very little sound over the entire acoustic spectrum of frequencies.

Kinda like a big black hole for acoustic energy. As such, the head (and to a lesser degree the upper body) create a truly unique signature to the mics positioned at or near the head's surface.

Sonic Studios, and NO other manufacturer of 'Dummy Head' baffles is even close in replicating this needed signature using proper acoustic materials and design. GUY and LiteGUY HRTF baffle faithfully replicate this needed absorption at virtually all acoustic frequencies, and with virtually no reflections.

Result of DSM recording system's advanced acoustical design is the consistent ability to record EXACTLY what a live sound actually sounded like everytime, anyplace, of anything, for playback for everyone on headphones, stereo/surround speaker systems with an uncommon virtual realism.

Calling DSM binaural is asking for the usual ridicule from the proaudio media creators we need most to get the 'lets get more real' message.

Until then, mostly amateur recordists using those 'binaural' methods will be making the most realistic recordings on Earth

So whatdoyouthink Allen? Can you use any of this on a Binaural interest web site?

I certainly hope so. It's about time we at least get 'more real' choices on how our consumer music/film/TV/radio audio is being recorded.

DSM is not 'your father's binaural' to say the least!

I will stop the drum beating at this point to return everyone to our regular schedule program of 'Multitrack Mix Recording Hell' (in Dolby 5.1 surround where broadcast)!

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard (& Debbie) Lombardo
Sonic Studios "18 Years of Stereo/Surround Audio History with DSM Microphones"
Patented HRTF Portable Ambient Systems for Multichannel Field/Studio/Event Recording
Informative Web Site:
DSM Microphones, MD/DAT/CF/HD/Laptop Portable Multichannel Recording Systems/reviews+tips+FAQ+mp3
USA FREE: 1-877-347-6642 TEL: 541-459-8839

<< Subj: mics
Date: 98-02-08 14:13:08 EST
From: WDen
To: GuySonic

So, you have to buy the glasses, mics and a power pack? Is the genral model OK for a newbie like me? I've reread the pages (very informative) but since i haven't done this before I am wondering how different the ATA 822 would be from these mounted mics. Is the advantage in that you actually are using two separate(d) mics? Hope these questions don't get to you but I am a real newbie. Thanks, Bill >>

I really don't mind your questions and appreciate your interest in sound recording; it's a very satisfying hobby if you can tolerate the snobs with more money to spend than real knowledge of recording technique.

While Mono sound recording uses just one mic perspective, stereo sound is the capturing of sound from two perspectives (like our vision with two spaced optic sensors). 

A single point microphone (AT-822 & similar) cannot actually get that perspective of the sound field because of too narrow a focus.  In addition, the effect of  our head causes a 'modulation' of the sound before we again modulate the sound with our ear shape.

Spaced microphone recordings without a head baffle have multiple problems and do not offer complete dimensional aspects of the ambient sound to be recorded.

Wearing the two miniature pickups with your head as the baffle offers the most natural and effective way to record sound that is virtually realistic.

Any other method of microphone technique tends to be difficult to learn for getting satisfactory results and the stereo never sounds as realistic.

Mounting the mics is variable and eyegear is just one way to comfortably get them in place.   The main idea is to have your head between and not be too close to the ears so that the recordings playback well over speakers.

If you are getting the D7/8/100 deck, you can operate the DSM without the powering adapter but may need one if Loud Bass Heavy Rock is your main goal.

I have mostly all 6S grades for doing the louder music but can offer a bit of a price break on the listed prices.  Let me know again what your deck is and the type(s) of music that is currently your main interest. 

Sometimes I have a good condition second-hand DSM (traded-in) set with the Sensitivity that may be suitable for you to start with.

PA-6LC3 Bass reduction powering adapter with the switch is maybe too much money, but there is a new PA-6LC model with no switch that's set at 65 cycles, the most used setting for loud Rock recording for $125

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo, Sonic Studios(tm)..."Making Audio History With DSM(tm) Microphones"

<< Subj:  Re[2]: mini-jack cables
Date: 98-02-20 11:58:43 EST
From: SHBR@

      Hi Leonard,
      Thanks for the advice - sort of. Re the use of the ST250, I think a
      key part of my query was the "borrow" part, I ain't spending $6K for a
      mic - and it might be worth adding that the person I'm borrowing it
      from is Jeff Silberman, so I think I'll be able to take advantage of
      his experience with this mic and its intricacies.
      I was wondering more about which XLR connector would be appropriate
      for the mic cable side of the connection. I was told it was a female
      XLR, just wanted to confirm that was correct. I'm not as familiar with
      balanced cable conventions as unbalanced. And I don't know whether a
      locking XLR on my cable side requires a special XLR on the mic cable
      side of things. I have been told that your mini-jack connector is the
      way to go, so that's why I'm checking with you.
      I'm scheduled to play with the ST250 tomorrow, so I'll be able to see
      for myself which connectors apply. I'll get back to you next week.
      Have a nice weekend.
      Steve Brown

Hello again Steve.,

IF anyone knows how to use the Soundfield, it's Jeff Silberman!

My main gripe about most of the other Stereo mic/methods is that they are not following what nature actually does within the acoustic reception area.  Thiese alternate methods that do not resemble our natural instincts at stereo field reception and listening to 3-dimensional ambient cues resulting in a far less versatile microphone for the trouble and expense than expected.   

These methods are very finicky to provide good results and take a master at a particular technique to get outstanding results 

The need for preprocessing and later decoding (other than simple Dolby pro-logic type) also limits the end uses for these recording even when excellent.

Keeping this in mind, you absolutely should get as much experience as possible with a wide variety of mics and methods.  Learning how to use the Soundfield from Jeff Silberman couldn't provide a better way to know about this technique; he is one of the admitted masters in using this mic method and always gets good and occasionally excellent results.

DSM mic/method is a most versatile/natural way to record 3-D stereo and can also be configured as a stand-alone mic at far less cost than the Soundfield.

The Sonic Studios web site listed below has very informative magazine reviews and the taping tips page will be at least helpful in a general way.  The Multitrack artical will elaborate on the DSM stereo mics/methods in detail. 

Let me know what you find out about the actual XLR configuration needed.  If it 's a single XLR but a stereo feed, it would help to know the pin's1,2,3 signal designations.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo, Sonic Studios(tm)..."Making Audio History With DSM(tm) Microphones"
TEL: 541-459-8839 /\ FAX: 541-459-8842 /\ USA Free: 1-877-347-6642


In a message dated 98-02-21 15:03:49 EST, you write:
<< ------------------------------
From: Len Moskowitz <>
Subject: Re: mic comparison
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 10:39:12 -0500 (EST)

I'm not certain why anyone who buys an MD or DAT machine that can record
90 dB of dynamic range would buy a set of mics made with unmodified $2
capsules that only have 70 dB of undistorted dynamic range and distort
at high sound pressures.  It would make a sort of sense if you only
record relatively quiet music with a restricted dynamic range, but
otherwise it's like reverting to an analog cassette recorder (minus the
tape hiss and saturation distortion).

We've worked hard to develop the capsule modifications that increase our
mics' dynamic range more than 20 dB and reduce distortion at high sound
pressure levels; that's part of what what makes Core Sound's mics

Our comparison files detail the rest of the differences -- feel free to
ask for them.

Also, if folks want a lower cost set of mics made with the unmodified
capsules, and a battery box that has a switchable low-cut filter, we'll
be glad to make it.  They'll sound like the mics from The Sound
Professionals and marcSounds but have a higher build quality and lower
price than anything else on the market.  Ask for 'em and we'll do it,
just keep in mind what the sound quality trade-offs will be.

  Len Moskowitz                   
Core Sound                      WWW site:
I'm sure that there are many who value the very accomodating way of doing business that Len displays here; 'The Customer is always right' may apply here as well.

This brings to mind the period when Sonic Studios got a rash of determined calls from customers and prospects to provide 'directional' DSM microphone that would help reject the side chatter that is often encountered at venues. 

As I recall, there was a very strong and determined group of future 'Cardioid type' mic buyers who commented that they would much rather by such a product from me than anywhere else if I could only supply it. 

This type of mic was going to be THE product that would sweep the stealth mic recording market and I was told that if I would only make it available, I would 'corner the market' for this type of mic.

As many here know, I balked at the opportunity because I knew this mic would work better than the Omni type DSM in rare cases and disappoint the recordist with a much thinner, off axis distorted,  and inferior stereo imaged recording ............. mostly. 

Although easy enough to provide, I just couldn't face making money off a directional microphone that would ultimately prove to be a poor value for general hi-quality recording requirements; also, complaints were certain to follow from the very same people who demanded this type of mic thinking that the gain in off-axis sound rejection would offset the loss of sound quality.  NOT!!!

All of us who have followed the somewhat sad saga of the Core Sound Cardioids know how vocal and confusing this dissatisfaction can be in this digest. 

I would suggest to Len that he use better judgement (this time) than his prospects for certain types of mic variations are currently showing.  Profiting from a customers lack of knowledge when requested seems OK at first, but there is always a price that's paid paid by the supplier of such gear even when the customer is warned.

So far, I have refused to supply several variations of the DSM formula mics regardless of what the customer was willing to spend because it would've  resulted at least one step backwards in recording quality even after all the gained benefits, in the best circumstances, were figured. 

I certainly do NOT laugh on the way to the bank as a result.  Thanks to a consistant quality product line, I also don't have much need to cry during bank trips either.

So, if knowing better...........(AND If money is no object)...............'Just Say NO!" 

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo, Sonic Studios(tm)..."Making Audio History With DSM(tm) Microphones"
TEL: 541-459-8839 /\ FAX: 541-459-8842 /\ USA Free: 1-877-347-6642


<< Subj:  Comparison files request
Date: 98-02-24 04:51:51 EST
From: trig@))
Reply-to: trig@

I'd like to have your product comparison files (DSM vs. Core).

Hello Mika,

Thank you for expressing interest in Sonic Studios products.

There are no comparison files available as such.  I've heard that CORE has something like these that are NOT public (like not available for viewing on his web page.... truth is not something that's often left hidden from view unless.....  it's prejudice(?) and not factual), but are privately sent upon request to prospects.  I refrained from offering such opinions as it's really best that DSM owners speak their own experience when asked by others directly or perhaps you've gained experience yourself from trading and hearing the results of different microphones from a good sampling of conditions and recording techniques.   The former is how many tapers get acquainted with Core Sound and DSM quality issues.

FACT:  DSM mics are warranted for 2 years and customers have a full 60 days to return purchases not meeting expectations.  I still have fingers left from a total of refund requests over the 13 years of suppling mics.

If you'd like to read the reviews that are available on the Sonic Studios Web site, this will give you unbiased experience from seasoned professionals.  This should be more valuable over what any owner has to say about their own product from files kept closed to general viewing.... or so it would seem.

After visiting the site, ask me direct questions that pertain to your own specific recording requirements and present or future portable recording deck

I will tell you that I've been doing acoustics and audio as an innovator and engineer for over 35 years and microphones for going on 13 years with very good acceptance in both product and customer service areas.  The partial listing of companies using the DSM microphones is real.  Very satisfied repeat and referral business is what has kept me more than fully employed doing just what's displayed on the site.   

You might note that when a few pro magazines did reviews of Sonic Studios and Core's mics, the DSM product was given fuller upstaged description to the Core offerings by the reviewers that had both our products on equal basis for evaluation... it does make you think.

Take some time and review the material and taping tips on my site and get back if there's further interest and questions I can answer.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo, Sonic Studios(tm)..."Making Audio History With DSM(tm) Microphones"
TEL: 541-459-8839 /\ FAX: 541-459-8842 /\ USA Free: 1-877-347-6642

<< Subj:  mic query
Date: 98-02-24 11:06:48 EST
From: howardc@)


You may have seen my name on the DAT-heads list recently enquiring about
buying my first set of mics to go with my new Sony D100 for live recording.

As budget is a prime concern I was looking at some of the Core Sound
Binaurals following many favourable comments and I have a copy of their
sampler tape which I like very much.

However, a significant number of people have emailed me to say they are not
as good as they seem and as an alternative I should consider either similar
mics made by Sound Professionals (which come with variable bass roll-off)
or your DSM-6 mics which I have only heard one bad comment about. Everyone
says they are far superior though they do cost somewhat more. I therefore
have a few questions I hope you will answer for me.

I was under the impression that your mics needed a mod to the recorder to
work properly (something I am reluctant to have done as I am in the UK and
don't really want the expense and worry of shipping the unit overseas plus
it would invalidate the extended warranty I have) but having looked more
closely at your web site I see they can also be powered by your PA-6 series
external adaptors.

Have I got this right? I would be particularly interested in the PA-6LC3
with the selectable bass roll-off though $200 seems a lot for this in
addition to the mics.

Anyway, I would be looking to record a variety of bands though mostly of
the very loud rock/metal sort (Metallica, Aerosmith etc) through to artists
like The Black Crowes and Sting in venues ranging in size from clubs to
large arenas. For various reasons I cannot always stand near the PA, but
like to be near the soundboard where it is usually still very loud.

From your listings, the DSM-6/EL or DSM-6/L models would seem to fit my
requirements, but with the PA-6LC3 this would be $550. Somewhat more than I
was looking to spend, but if they really are that much better, it may be
worth considering.

Which of your mics would you suggest I consider based on my intended use as
described above?

Does the PA-6LC3 allow you to have no bass roll-off or is it always on in
one way or another?

If you could forward any other information or comments from customers that
I may find useful I'd be very grateful. BTW, I live in England. I take it
there would be no problem in taking an order from me. I understand you
don't offer Visa facilities so i'd have to sort out some other method of
payment if i decide to buy from you.

PS: What are the dimensions of the PA-6LC3 external power adaptor?

Thanks for any help,
- Howard

Hello Howard,

Thank you for considering Sonic Studios DSM microphones.  Your interest is appreciated.

Yes, DSM do cost more but most customers find the value is more than doubled for the recording quality, reliability, and customer service provided in direct comparison to alternative products.

Your choice of DSM-6S/L or EL models coupled with the PA-6LC3 seems appropriate for your requirements.  If doing mostly the louder and bass heavy venues, then the NEW and less costly PA-6LC ($125) has the most selected and usable bass frequency rolloff of 65 cycles.  This may be all you'd need for most everything intended.  The 6LC(3) is similar in size to all the other adapters which is about the size of two BIC lighters side-by-side and use a single AA powering cell in an open frame holder. 

The D100 can also directly power the DSM mics but at reduced sensitivity and a bit less clarity due to the much lower available current from the stock deck.   Using the SBM-1 Sony Outboard Processor Accessory with powering the DSM will provide much better or almost optimum mic powering with direct SBM-1 mic input.  This would be only appropriate if getting all the bass available is desired.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo, Sonic Studios(tm)..."Making Audio History With DSM(tm) Microphones"
TEL: 541-459-8839 /\ FAX: 541-459-8842 /\ USA Free: 1-877-347-6642
"A bit of knowledge coupled to a great deal of wisdom serves us best"

You may already have seen this recent DAT-Heads post?  Here are also a few others.

From: powerpro
Subject: OASIS-Tokyo 2/20/98
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 23:09:50 +0900

I just taped Oasis at Budokan last night, and am offering it for trade.  It
turned out very nice.  It runs 100 minutes.  It was taped with a D100 and
Sonic Studios DSM-6S mics.  I'd like to say thanks to Leonard Lombardo at
Sonic Studios for making such great mics.  They worked a small miracle by
cutting out the excessively overdriven bass in the venue, and turning out a
very fine recording.  I seriously suggest anyone who is in the market for
new mics to take a look at these.  By the way, I'm in no way affiliated
with this company.

If interested in trades, please send your list via e-mail, and please
include the word OASIS in all caps in the subject line so I can run a
filter on Eudora.


From: (Bruce N)
Subject: Sonic Sense DSM-6S Initial Impressions
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 08:02:53 -0800 (PST)

Brothers & sisters,
                                        I finally got a chance to use my
DSM-6S mics on 3/20/97,
recording Clan Dyken at the Catalyst, in Santa
Cruz, CA. The band allowed me to tape them, so I didn't have to stealth;
just sat on a bench-like thing in front of the board & recorded away. I
did not have either the external battery pack or the D-8 modification, so
I was a little hesitant to use them; but I'm pleased, for the most part,
with what I got:

Recording Quality: I thought the resulting tapes were excellent -- clean
& clear, with decent bass presence & good high end. A little muddiness in
some places, but I think that was more due to the room acoustics, than my

Usability: I could have rigged them to a mic stand that was there, & all
things considered, that would have been the better choice. But, I also
wanted to see how they'd work as "binaurals", so I hung them on my glasses.
They were somewhat uncomfortable & a little distracting, I thought. I be-
lieve this is something that can be gotten used to, though, & I think it
won't be a problem for later shows.

Bottom Line: I thought they will do WONDERFUL for the my intended purpose:
stealthing small jazz outfits in small, smoky jazz clubs. I wouldn't use
them at any show I'm interested in dancing at, though. Overall, they were
excellent sounding tapes, & I'm QUITE pleased with my little $400 wonders.

goddess bless,



From: Barry>
Subject: Re: CSBs, D8 and "Snaps"
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 23:09:33 -0500

>>         Last night I recorded a show at a small club.  I was running
>> CSBs (battery box) into the line in of my D8 (as usual).  My tape
>> sound wonderful, one of the top 3 recordings I've made with CSBs.
>> However, occasionaly there are these "snap" sounds on the recording.
>> Not terribly loud and they didn't apper to affect my recording level.
>> My peaks were consistently between -12dB and -4dB depending on the
>> song.  This is the second show this has happened to me, and I've ruled
>> out the tape being the problem since I used two different brands for
>> the two shows.
>I've had the same problem on several recordings using the CSBs
>mounted to my eyeglasses.  With the mics mounted in this manner,
>you have to be *very* careful about touching your glasses while
>recording.  With mine, just touching them lightly is generally audible
>on the recording.  No surprise since many of us see the same problems
>using conventional microphones on mic stands (at least without

Same goes for the MarcSound mikes, ultra sensitive to touch or handling.
However my old Sonic's seemed to be immune to that, some how.  How do
you manage that Leonard?
Now if the lousy rat who lifted them from me July 16 in Austin (at a Jerry
birthday celebration no less), would just listen to his conscience and
return them.

BTW, I didn't see any mention of the Oade stealth mics in the mic review.
Anybody out there own these?  Satisfied?  Also didn't see any mention of
the MarcSounds.

Subj: Sonic STUDIOS, not Sonic Sense!
Date: 97-03-31 14:34:53 EST
From: (Bruce N)

Brothers & sisters,
     A couple weeks ago, I posted

a glowing testimony on the Sonic Sense DSM-6S Binaurals.
Today, to my horror & embarassment, I discovered that I had
posted about the wrong mics!!!!!
The mics in question are the SONIC STUDIOS DSM-6S Binaurals.
I am FOREVER getting Sonic Studios & Sonic Sense mixed up.....
My fervent apologies, to Leonard & Crew, for mistakenly giv-
ing someone else the credit.

But hey, all that aside... let me tell you all something, I
am absolutely STOKED about my little mics. These SONIC STUDIOS mics
are THE S**T. I used them to record Zero last Saturday night, stand-
ing about 6' from the stage, dead-center, & I must say:


Hate to blow my own horn, but I'm not... this mics ROCK. &
I'm not in any way affiliated with Sonic Studios or Leonard in any
way, except as a VERY satisfied customer. They've got EXCELLENT re-
sponse on the bass, very tight & clean, yet the high ends are clean
& clear, crisp & tight, & there's NO sense of flooding or bass sat-
uration -- & this was WITHOUT a roll-off switch. The 4 AA batteries
powering my D-8 were fine for the evening, no battery switching re-
quired; I'd heard they would draw power from my deck, if I didn't
use an external battery box, but such has not been the case so far,
at the two shows I've taped.
The only complaint I have about them is relatively minor,
& that is: when wearing them, you can't really dance. Dancing means
lots of head-swinging, & I doubt that would go over well on the re-
cording. But it CAN be worked around, although the fix might then
cause them to be not so FOB-able anymore. But, for what I bought 'em
for -- stealth taping in small jazz clubs -- I doubt I'll find any-
thing in the $400/pair price range that compares. I've heard both the
MarcSounds & the Core Sounds, & I think these are better-sounding. Of
course, they are more expensive, but for a DAT-taper, I doubt that's
much of a hassle; & they aren't THAT much more expensive.
Besides -- the results are WORTH IT. If you're a DAT-taper,
YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF to check these out, if you haven't already.

goddess bless, & THANX AGAIN, Leonard!!!!!

<< ------------------------------

From: Huntley <chuntley>
Subject: mic comparison
Reply-To: chuntley@  us
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 18:06:49 -0800

Leonard Lombardo wrote:
> I would suggest to Len that he use better judgement (this time) than his
> prospects for certain types of mic variations are currently showing.
> Profiting from a customers lack of knowledge when requested seems OK at first,
> but there is always a price that's paid paid by the supplier of such gear even
> when the customer is warned.

Okay, look.  For some people money IS a consideration.  People who have
it really seem to have a hard time comprehending the idea of NOT having
it.  I've asked many people for advice on mics, who keep telling me that
you really need to spend extra money for quality and you will be glad
you did.  I don't doubt that.  The problem is that not everyone can
spend the extra money.

I, for one, have been interested in ordering a pair of mics, and have
looked into both the SP's and Core Sounds.

I do believe that the CS mics are probably a very good quality mic, and
very much worth their price tag.  However, I DO NOT HAVE the necessary
$250.  Leonard, can you comprehend that?  I have a low-paying job, and
nearly every cent goes toward rent, food, and paying off loans.  I
recently purchased an MD recorder despite the fact that I could barely
pay for it.  I did so because music is my one true passion, and
therefore I consider this a sound buy.  I now need a microphone, and can
either spend $100 on a fairly good stealth one, or use this tie-clip mic
that will sound like shit.  I would like to spend $250 for the CS, but
literally CANNOT!  Therefore, I need to buy a cheaper version, and will
therefore go with the SP's.  (And by cheaper, that is not meant as a
slag on SP's.  I am referring to price alone, as I cannot know for sure
which brand is truly better without comparing both for myself)  This
does not mean I am an uninformed, unknowledgeable consumer.  I have
researched it as best I can.  I would be greatful if Mr. Moskowitz were
to offer a less expensive, unmodified version of his microphone for a
lower price.  I do not believe he would be "profiting from a customer's
lack of knowledge."  Spare me the condescension.

I started into this mic business with the same passion you're now expressing; I totally  am empathetic to your needs and limitations.  I appologize for the tone that really was meant for the attitude presented by Len; his intentions were ok but, I believe a bit misguided by gaining a customer at what cost.

I have a recently acquired set that is quite a bit 'old' and really was an attempt to supply a left channel to a right channel that is still operating well enough.  The left channel cord had gotten broken too near the pickup to repair so a match from old stock was researched and was possible for this customer as an option if a new mic set was unworkable.  He opted for a new mic as he had gotten a whole lot of recording done over many years with the original set.

As a result, I still have the repair solution to this older set and would be willing to offer it refurbished for $100 to you.  This mic set, even though quite used, will still give you much better recording quality than any of the options available at twice the cost. 

I will pro-rate warranty thisDSM set for a year and if it fails during this time, I will refund you the purchase price minus $10 for every month over 2 months of good use.  If it fails within two months, full refund or applied cost to a new model (or another more recent used set if available) will apply.

Your mini-disk if a Sony, will power this set but at somewhat reduced performance from using a PA-6 powering adapter ($75).  Results will still be quite satisfactory or I'll refund your purchase within 2 months if not quite pleased.

If this seems fair and affordable, then give this a go.  This is not one of those deals that makes good business sense for me to do on a regular basis (my risk/cost is way high for this reworked used product that has really no risk to yourself) but, I am also a taper and like to be at least as good to the tapers as they have been to me over the years of supporting me at this form of vocational income.

Let me know and I will finish the repair on this set.  You can later get a powering adapter (there might be a used one if I can dig one up from somewhere for $35).

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo, Sonic Studios(tm)..."Making Audio History With DSM(tm) Microphones"


Subj: Re: mic query
Date: 02/25/98
To: howardc@

In a message dated 98-02-25 07:16:09 EST, you write:

Thanks for the reply,

I'm getting such conflicting information from people I'm getting more
confused then ever. A lot of people are telling me your mics are the best,
while others say the Cores are better, even though they are cheaper.

I've included some comments from the Core Sound web page which reflect some
of the opinions I've received and while I don't want to encourage you to
just down a competitor, i'd appreciate any comments you have that address
the concerns reflected by these comments.

A lot of them seem to be from people using the D7. Was there any problem
with that machine that might cause the problems reported?

Also, Len at Core has said that they have a battery box with bass roll-off
switching available any day now so this puts all the manufacturers on a
fairly even footing. Aarrgggh. I seem no closer to being able to make a
decision. If only I could afford to put the money up to try them all.
Though even if i could, I don't go to enough shows to be able to try them
all out anyway in the time allowed.

Finally, will powering your mics from the PA-6LC3 give the same quality as
the mod-2 modification or is there some differences between the two?

REPLY: The only real difference would be that this powering adapter always provides some bass rolloff.  Going direct would have the advantage of full bass bandwidth.

Thanks again. Everyone is trying to be very helpful and informative, but it
seems the more I hear the more confused I get.

- Howard

I'd appreciate any comments on the following:


R.A., a DAT user from North Carolina, writes:

They sound great, I'm extremely pleased! Wish to hell I'd bought these
instead of the Sonic Studios in the first place. I've been fighting those
mikes since last June, recorded 15 or so shows with frustrating distortion
almost every time. Yours work better.

...I had the D7 in my pocket, and I'd take it out periodically to set the
levels, slip it back in my pocket... and then when the music seemed to be
getting louder, pull it out and gasp in horror as I saw themeters hitting
0db. With the Sonics I would have had a very poor tape, but with the CSB's
it is better sounding than the Sonics with good levels. ...

Hey, thanks for making these great mikes.

Bill, a DAT user from Massachussetts, writes:

I'm glad I finally ordered your mics. I've used them for the past month or
so, and have been very pleased with them. I wish I had discovered your mics
before I bought the Sonic Studios - yours cost less, and they are better. I
run the mics into your -12 dB attenuator cord and then into my Casio
DA-R100 with -20 dB. I have not heard any distortion at all - very unlike
the Sonic Studios.

Thanks for the mics - they are great! I will recommend them to people over
the Sonics!

W.S., a DAT user, writes:

You might be interested to know that I talked with a taper who's trying to
run Sonic Studios into a D7. After numerous pairs of mics, he still has
distortion problems. Of course I told him I use Core Sounds without any
problem! And they're 1/2 the price!

J.B., a DAT user, writes:

Hey! I'm loving the CSCs! That pickup pattern is really ideal in
less-than-ideal situations!

Just thought you might want to see what some other traders were saying
about my recordings with your mics. This guy uses Neumann KM184s on a
regular basis as well.

[Quoted from mail he received:] " your tape today. I think it sounds
great! At first i thought it was lacking bass but two minutes into it I
realized that it was just good clean sound! These are the Core Sound Cards?
How much are they?? I may rather stealth with these rather than sonics."

Hello Howard,

I'm very sorry to see that an intelligent market search for opinions and experience has created a great amount of confusion.   

This may be due to some sources being not limited to actual truthful comments.   I've seen many 'planted' CSB user raves that also offer a CSB tape made in 'trade for....' .   At first glance, this seems normal for the DAT-Heads digest but, after a regular half a dozen or more of these appearing nearly identical worded posts in succession of every other digest, it becomes apparent that these are a marketing formula tack that at least 'encouraged' by affiliates of CS; the mailing source of some of these are also somewhat suspect.   

NOTE: The DAT-Heads marketing list that shows most of the DAT related support businesses has stopped listing CORE as a mic supplier(!) and I think this has been at least because of the less than honest approach to marketing.  This has occured in the last few years or so after LEN at CORE has been given full listing as mic supplier for almost 5 years previous.   IT DOES MAKE YOU WONDER!!

There has been more than one person mentioning that Len at CORE creates at least some of his own user comments!!!   These same comments have been on his site for a very long time and the 'tone' and language of the ones that directly down Sonic Studios seem (at least to me) to be from the same person if looked with the perspective of a hand-writing analysis.   

I have been supplying DSM microphones since 1985 (far longer than any of the 'other' businesses that were inspired to follow) and have maybe 100 written comments on satisfaction with the DSM product and service.  While some are very enthusiastic, I don't have the kind of 'tone' that is represented in the CORE site and it's extremely rare to find any of them (some also CSB owners) really bad-mouthing CORE, they just don't go out of their way to say things like that.  About the only comments that mention CORE from recent customers are more in the form of liking the DSM product better and maybe a rare ' glad to not have to use those anymore' remark.   I do have these from REAL people but stopped supplying these comments unless permission was directly granted to use full names or if the comment was actually published for general viewing in a magazine. 

There are now enough tape traders using DSM microphones that private type user comments are now far less valuable to the researcher than the experience of an actual traded series of consistantly good sounding tapes from honest unbiased sources.  For
you and those just getting into the hobby, finding truthful information is more challenging and in this case, bound to be confusing. 

Professional users are another matter, a lot of them have taken the tack of 'best kept secret' so that their competition has less advantage!  Wyle Stateman of Soundelux (seen in many recent film credits) is just one of many who's taken this stance while also telling me that DSM are his favorite field mics;  takes them everywhere.

It may help to note that when ROCK venues started getting much louder (bigger speakers & amps in the PA market; users acquiring moree effective earplugs),  there were some DSM microphones with too high a sensitivity, presenting audible mic limited overloads and/or overloading the deck's limited input range with too much signal.  The solution was much lower gain mics and listening to the results from user tapes when problems occured.  These overload problems have been solved for over 5 years now and maybe that's why comments seemed to be from users of the older D7 decks which were much more easily overloaded than the previous D3 DAT model.

I hope this helps you in making the best descisions for your situation.  Let me know what more can be done to assist.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo, Sonic Studios(tm)..."Making Audio History With DSM(tm) Microphones"
TEL: 541-459-8839 /\ FAX: 541-459-8842 /\ USA Free: 1-877-347-6642

Subj: Re: mic query  "The continued.......!"
Date: 02/26/98
To: howardc@

Hello again Howard,

I'll address the issues & questions as best I can in the body of your mail.

In a message dated 98-02-26 07:00:34 EST, you write:

<< Subj:  Re: mic query
Date: 98-02-26 07:00:34 EST
From: howardc@

At 16:21 25/02/98 EST, you wrote:
> Finally, will powering your mics from the PA-6LC3 give the same quality as
> the mod-2 modification or is there some differences between the two?
>REPLY: The only real difference would be that this powering adapter always
>provides some bass rolloff.  Going direct would have the advantage of full
>bass bandwidth.

Isn't it possible to have no bass roll-off using this powering adaptor?

REPY:  Not with this adapter, only by direct DSM mic connection to the Sony deck Plug-in-Powering feature or with another model of PA- adapter.

>Hello Howard,
>I'm very sorry to see that an intellegent market search for opinions and
>experience has created a great amount of confusion.   

Me too.

>This may be due to some sources being not limited to actual truthful
>I've seen many 'planted' CSB user raves that also offer a CSB tape made in
>'trade for....'. At first glance, this seems normal for the DAT-Heads
>digest but, after a regular half a dozen or more of these appearing nearly
>identical worded posts in succession of every other digest, it becomes
>apparrent that these are a marketing formula tack that're at least
>'encouraged' by affiliates of CS; the mailing source of some of these are
>somewhat suspect.   
>NOTE: The DAT-Heads marketing list that shows most of the DAT related support
>businesses has stopped listing CORE as a mic supplier(!) and I think this has
>been at least because of the less than honest approach to marketing.  This
>occured in the last few years or so after LEN at CORE has been given full
>listing as mic supplier for almost 5 years previous.   IT DOES MAKE YOU

Yes it does, though I hadn't noticed the fact. They still appear on the
vendors links page.

COMMENT: Yes, CORE is still listed as a supplier of cables and 'other stuff', but no longer mentioned as a mic supplier in the last 2-3 versions of the market posting!

Though he may be using a "less than honest approach to marketing" it
doesn't imply that he is trying to push an inferior product on an
unsuspecting public.

COMMENT:  When honesty is not the best policy in marketing, it's suspect (to at least me) on where the line is going to be drawn with other customer important issues in the future; specially appropriate consideration for sole ownership company operators where the engineering, marketing, and customer service is really done by this same individual.

There are too many people using his mics (and presumably very happy with
them) for this to be the case. And i have to reiterate that I like the
sound of what I have heard on their sampler tape. Yes, I know these will be
carfully chosen recordings

REPLY: Even a generally bad sounding microphone can be made to sound very good under special circumstances.  Making a demo tape as being a 'representative' of as what mic generally sounds like is what the listener of these tapes 'thinks' he's hearing is misleading and seems typical of the CORE marketing approach.  I refuse to allow any misrepresentation of any of my products to prevail, even if it generates 'sales'. 

>There has been more than one person mentioning that Len at CORE creates at
>least some of his own user comments!!!   These same comments have been on his
>site for a very long time and the 'tone' and language of the ones that
>directly down Sonic Studios seem (at least to me) to be from the same person
>if looked with the perspective of a hand-writing analysis.   
hmmmm, wouldn't like to say. However, comments saying how good his mics are
is one thing, but those comments that pick on a particular competitor
(always you it seems) are a little unnecessary. Most people would comment
out the competitors name i would have thought.

>About the only comments that mention CORE from recent customers
>are more in the form of liking the DSM product better and maybe a rare ' glad
>to not have to use those anymore' remark.   

I've received emails from what I believe to be genuine people (unless you
are contacting satisfied customers to tell me how great our mics are) some
of whom have always used DSM's and some who have swapped from the Cores.
One guy said that making the change gave him back the excitement and
pleasure he had missed when using the Cores. It wasn't that the Cores were
particularly bad, he said they gave a good recording it was just they
sounded very safe and slightly dull, whereas yours make recordings sparkle.
(His words not mine).

However, only the opposite note, some people have said that your mics seems
to unnaturally boost the high frequencies which makes recordings sound
harsh and brittle!!!

You see my problem. If the last comment is true, it probably isn't what I

REPLY:  I have never heard that kind of remark and would not have a clue about the source if I had not received last year two recordings (one a DAT and the other a 'bootleg packaged'  CD supposedly both DSM recordings).   Both these recordings could easily be described as the above!  In addition, all the dimensional aspects of these recordings has vanished if they were there at all!!!.........How could this be?? 

After recovering from the shock, I thought about how could such a fine microphone produce (under any circumstance) such garbage.  There ARE things that can happen to a DSM microphone ....  during the recording .... and/or in............... 'post production'.....!!!

1) The user can position the mic or use them in a way that eliminates the dimensional sound cues with mounting in other ways than recommended.  This may explain some of the loss of spatial sound, but not the loss of tone.

2) With the advent of CD-R and computor software to manipulate the sound, many with no taste or ears use these tools to mangle the sound to their 'taste'  by eliminating the bass completely and boosting the high frequencies in multiple bands of a graphic type of equalization. 

This would also eliminate or greatly reduce coherent phase information resulting a recording with no dimensional sound and produce a recording with no natural tones. 

This is what has got to have happened to these recordings.  I know better after having used these mics for thousands of recordings under all circumstances.

BOTTOM LINE:  A recording may not tell the truth about the microphone used, ONLY the overall taste of the recordist who passes such to others.  A special circumstance recording can make a microphone sound exceptional or awful.  Post Manipulation of the recording can entirely change the tone character and spatial qualities (usually for the worse, especially when overdone).

>There are now enough tape traders using DSM microphones that private type
>comments are now far less valuable to the researcher than the experience
of an actual traded series of consistantly good sounding tapes from honest unbiased
>sources.  For you and those just getting into the hobby, finding truthful
>information is more challenging and in this case, bound to be confusing. 

Yes. A number of people admit that the Cores do produce good recordings,
just not as good i.e. they don't have the depth and presence that your mics
can produce. Though whether that difference is worth the extra $300 or so
is what I'm trying to find out.

REPLY: A sense of Quality seems mostly acquired with experience ................ "Life is too short not to purchase the best quality you can afford"
Starting with the best known afforded recording system value supports the development of an ear for sound quality and a more lasting appreciation for the resulting recordings.  This does seem to be exactly what this long discussion is about!

>It may help to note that when ROCK venues started getting much louder (bigger
>speakers & amps in the PA market; users acquiring more effective earplugs),
>there were some DSM microphones with too high a sensitivity, presenting
>audible mic limited overloads and/or overloading the deck's limited input
>range with too much signal.  The solution was much lower gain mics and
>listening to the results from user tapes when problems occured.  These
>overload problems have been solved for over 5 years now and maybe that's why
>comments seemed to be from users of the older D7 decks which were much more
>easily overloaded than the previous D3 DAT model.

This is what I was hoping you'd say and what I assumed. It's odd that the
Core comments that down your mics all refer to people using the older D7.
At the time they were maybe very valid problems, but I would have hoped
they were sorted out now.

Looking at the spec sheet for your mics there seem to be models handling
massive SPL's (I presume without distortion), way over the limit of
anything I've been aware of listening to.

In the Guiness Book of Records (I don't know if you get that in the USA)
the loudest concert on record (before they stopped measuring it) was Iron
Maiden at the Donington Festival here in the UK. I was at that show and the
sound was measured at 128db at the Soundboard and that was in the open air.
Your mics are rated well over this so the only problem I see is with them
overloading the input stage (can this happen going line-in or only mic-in)
on the recorder, which I presume prevents them from powered correctly.

REPLY: Most of the 'Loud' energy from such venues is 98% BASS and using the Bass reduction adapter will help prevent the deck's mic input from overload.  DSM mics are generally not high enough output or not suitable for Line input, but are designed to operate within the limits of the deck's mic input specifications when the proper microphone model is chosen for the application.

>I hope this helps you in making the best descisions for your situation.  Let
>me know what more can be done to assist.

Possibly. I've had a email from a guy who is recording the band Dream
Theater in Belgium who I like, with some DSM's tonight I believe, so I'm
hoping he might be willing to send me a copy so I can hear what the mics
are like. They are typical of the sort of band I will be recording i.e.
very very loud rock (though not pain threshold loud). If i can get to hear
this tape, it will probably help me a lot.

QUESTION: Could this be Anders?

I think the only thing I could ask is it would be nice if you offered a
sampler tape in the same way that Core do. I know it's not ideal, but I
have no DAT's to trade yet, so getting hold of recordings of bands I know
with the various mics is difficult. A sampler tape at least gives some idea
of how the mics sound.

I think I'd probably be happy with whatever I get and it really comes down
to money. The Cores may not be the best around, but whatever Len's
marketing ploys are, it seems difficult to deny that they are good mics to
go for if you really can't afford anything else.

Thanks for being so patient with my numerous questions. I really appreciate
- Howard

Please be assured, I have not contacted any of my customers to reply to you.

Perhaps this inquiry could be documented and put on my web site for others with your permission???  It would seem useful to others if presented in an honest way (might need some editing to reduce length?) and help reduce some of the confusion that has existed for
many years; seems to not be getting a whole lot better.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo, Sonic Studios(tm)..."Making Audio History With DSM(tm) Microphones"
TEL: 541-459-8839 /\ FAX: 541-459-8842 /\ USA Free: 1-877-347-6642


<< Subj:  DSM mics
Date: 98-04-03 01:57:01 EST
From:  (Roberto A)

Which capsule model do your mics use, do you use the same Panasonic caps that others use.  Thanks.

Hello Roberto,

Yes & NO.  I start with a type of Panasonic made capsule (usually special ordered) and that's where any similarity ends.  DSM mics use a formula of electrical/mechanical/acoustic techniques to make a very unique microphone that sounds and performs like no other mic available.  You're attempting an apples to oranges comparison that will not produce an understanding of what the DSM mic is really about !  ..........  it's a formula........ not at all a particular capsule.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

<< Subj:  Re: DSM mics
Date: 98-04-05 03:39:25 EDT
From: .ca (Roberto )
To: (GuySonic)

Thanks for the reply.  I've only heard one show with one of the Sonics
and the detail was unreal, the guy also ran it through a BBE 462
Maximizer to make it sparkle.  I thought it blew away the CSB's
especially in terms of treble and more crystalline detail.  CSB's really
lacked treble as well as airiness it seems, also too much mike
self-noise.  Len is a good marketer, constantly preying on newby tapers,
it's a shame people are wasting expensive DAT decks on low fidelity mics
like CSB's. 
Sounds like you don't modify the caps themeselves, Len's mod kinda sucks
the life out.
Headroom though could be better on all binaural mics.  Thanks again.  Why
don't you post more to the newsgroups and DAT, Len is a very smooth
marketer, what a shame people are wasting high fidelity recorders on low
fidelity mics with no treble.

Hello Roberto,

Everything is considered with the DSM formula, including the physical modification of the capsule itself.  I do post often if appropriate but don't use the baited post method to then respond with a marketing post as Len and others seem to too often do.

I rely on the tapes being traded and word-of-mouth from others to spread the good word.  Your participation with this is appreciated only when appropriate.

Downloadable MPEG-3 sound clips will soon be available at my site so check back and download the Windows decoder and some good DSM sound recordings.

I don't know what the maximizer does and haven't heard this 'effect' processing myself.  Is this a software processor or only a hardware type??

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo
From: willard >
Subject: Stealthing Larger mics/Am I crazy
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 11:40:16 -0500

What 'larger' mics do people stealth with aside from the
CoreSounds/Sonic Studios - basically I am wanting to upgrade from
my CoreSound Cardioids (which I have gotten some fantastic recordings from)
and am wondering if I should go to the B&K omnis that CS/SS are selling
($900-1400) or something else (if so what), I know it depends on usage
so I would like to be able to stealth these things in pretty tight
situations for primarily louder rock shows - and mostly smaller venues.

I would be very interested in what people have to say.



Hello Will,

The DSM-6S/L or EL models are far superior to the Core product and at excellent value for price.  The DSM-9M (based on DPA-4061) might be an improvement in smaller size and sound quality over the DSM-6S but, the much higher cost makes it not as good a value....... still worth the asking price .....

Only one customer with DSM-9M experience......... found it not sensitive enough (for pure acoustic instrument/vocal) but considered it to sound better to him than equally priced Sony MS-5 model.  For your requirement, it would be good choice for being able to handle very loud sources without strain........ + enough output for line level input.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

<< Subject: recording church organ
From: Jonesy
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 15:03:56 +0100

I am faced with the task of recording an old church pipe organ.

This is totally new to me (normally a spoken word man!)

From what i've read it comes down to two methods.

1. Use a crossed pair of cardiod mics

2. use a pair of omni mics spaced according to the posistion of the

I thought maybe a binaural arrangement in the best listening place?

Anyone have any ideas???


Hello Huw,

Ambient Stereo recordings (such as you are attempting) are most challenging unless the microphone AND method allows good assessment of by what you're actually hearing in any chosen mic'g position.  The binaural method allows this, but doesn't translate well to other than headphones only recordings....... speaker playback of binaral mostly causes abberrations of tone and image  ........ 
Another technique using the DSM mic/method has the highest probability of success over any other recording approach............  My site listing of professional users and magazine reviews helps greatly to verify this........  as well as recent St. James Cathedral sound clips (.MP3 Downloadable with player) where 5 pipe organs were played. 

Questions are always welcome.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

<< Subj:  Re: recording church organ
Date: 98-05-11 02:34:53 EDT
From: (EXCEL SM)
To: (GuySonic)

If you want to capture what you hear, I would recommend using the Earthworks TC
30Ks or TC 40Ks Omni mics, they are very accurate from about 9k to 30k or 40k
with clean impulse response and extraordinary bass response.

James McCloskey
Pro audio, video and computers
1 (810) 677-2799
Eric's mics are indeed excellent......... the problem is with the method of using them for stereo applications.....  he does offer a good matched set but spaced omni's are problematic in definition of ambient space....... . the only way to get coherent ambient recordings is to use a 'psycho-acoustical' method (the DSM approach has the most advantage here)....... the DSM microphones use the same starting capsule as the earthworks (but different acoustic/electrical treatments) in a more usable stereo form factor and offers better electrical match to the portable DAT decks currently available.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

<< Subj:  Re: room mics for drums?
Date: 98-05-19 09:48:42 EDT
From: chris
To: (GuySonic)

GuySonic wrote:
> In article <>,
> (ThiloF) writes:
> >Subject:       room mics for drums?
> >From: (ThiloF)
> >Date:  19 May 1998 10:48:34 GMT
> >
> >i'm looking to get a pair of mics specifically for room micing of drums
> >i hear pzm's are a good choice for that task
> >i know crown and AT make them (model #'s??)
> >what other choices are there?
> >where do i place them to get a good overall balance and a good stereo image
> >match to the overheads?
> >i've never really used room mics before so please enlighten me on all aspects
> >on it
> >
> >the room is about 25 x 15, 10ft ceiling ,carpeted, textured drywall and
> >removable absorptive panels
> >
> >thanks
> >>
> Jim Keltner has used Sonic Studios DSM mics as both headworn and placed
> 'PZM-like' against the studio wall (during a Bob Dylan LA studio session) with
> stated excellent performance for drums and room ambient stereo
> performance........ Bob briefly auditioned the 'wall' recording on Jim's car
> stereo system and liked the results enough to seriously suggest that Jim do the
> recording engineering for future sessions!
> More details on DSM mics on my web site listed below.
I listened to some of those recordings on the web site and wow! Very
nice!  I was wondering if by chance you've heard of anyone using the DSM
mics for micing guitar amps for more accurate recordings of what the
guitarist actually hears from the amp.  I can get pretty good sounds
with SM-57's, 421's, ect...but it would be very nice to get a good
detailed stereo sound without all the fuss moving around room mics and
dealing with phase problems ect....  I've gotten interesting results
using PZM mics on guitar cabinets but I'm still looking for something a
bit more accurate, and the DSM mics seem to be pretty damn accurate.
Oh, I'm recording mainly heavily distorted guitar sounds (death metal,
heavy metal, alternative, ect...)
Any thoughts on using the DSM mics for this purpose? 
Thanks for any info.
Chris G.


Hello Chris,

The DSM-6S/L (low sensitivity) might be an ideal fit for recording exactly this type of sound............  more like you're hearing it at any particular positioning....... but as a stereo 2-track.  Headworn or dummy head baffle (DSM-GUY and perhaps more practical .... the new Lite-GUY......  mounts on standard 5/8" stand or boom...... not shown on the site as yet) mounted DSM mics should prove effective and very versatile.

Using an upgraded portable D100 or M1 Sony DAT is a natural DSM powering and high quality mic preamp (with line outputs) that also serves to grab DSM stereo sound samples/live performances outside the studio environment.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

<< Subject: Room mics
From: Tim>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 07:37:38 -0700

Hi -

I'd like to record jazz combo rehearsals.  My goal is to set
up a single room/ambient mic someplace non-intrusive, attach
it to a Sony D8 portable DAT, and press record.  Of course,
the sound quality isn't as important as capturing the essence
of the music for later review - what was swinging, what wasn't,

Does anyone have suggestions for a budget mic ($200ish or
much, much less) that would work for this?  I've heard good
things about AKG C1000s.  I tested out the "new" Radio Shack
boundary mic.  The idea of just dropping a mic onto the floor
or taping it to a wall is very appealing.  Had it been a $20
mic, it would have been a done deal.  For $60, though, it's
a bit iffy...

Tim P

Although you're looking for cheap and not expressing interest in sound quality, you might consider a few more things if going through the trouble of setting up any quick and simple acoustic session recording.

First, listening to any session tape that doesn't sound like what you've already heard (with out straining at is mostly going to be a very 'dry' experience.......... not fun....... more like busy work ......... And after a while, interest in recording and listening to most session tapes will come to a quick halt........ what's going to be lost is a very valuable and (potentially) enjoyable after/before session activity.....

.... THE POINT:.......the recordings should sound as good as practical (without any time consuming fussing).......... Jim Keltner (Top 10 rated studio drummer) once related a Dylan session tape he recorded (as the drummer) by placing the two DSM mic pickups a few feet apart................ taped to the wall about midway up............

Later,........ when Dylan heard this recording.......... he was said to be most excited as actually hearing what was only attempted with the official SASS mic'd version.

Not only will those involved with any session be more likely to look forward to a bit of session recording listening,... and growing with knowing where you've been,  .......... it's quite possible to occasionally get a really good take that worth keeping'........!!

Details on my web site................. Questions always welcome.

From: jbf <>
Subject: mic stands?
Date: Sat, 27 Jun 1998 17:13:46 -0500 (EST)

i'll be going to eastern africa for nine months with dat gear in tow and
was wondering if anyone had info on a portable mic stand. i'll be using an
at825, taping in the field, probably with little time for setup and all
that. something collapsible would be great, and homemade is fine as well
(i'm trying to cut costs). i'll have a small photo tripod, so if i can
adapt it to hold a mic, that would be good. thanks, john

Hello John,

You're bound to be not using this system much if in the field....... at least after a short while ...... mic stands of any design are a drag to pack, unpack, setup, use, repack, and carry to the next location............... also, the 825 has been used by 100's of my customers (as their 1st mic) and is now either sold or sitting somewhere collecting dust!........................ I'd suggest a re-think of proper field gear for practical and performance issues................ over 80 of my DSM customers have trekked Africa (and just about every other jungle'd continent) with the DSM's and a portable Sony DAT deck............. check my web site for details listed below.............. this might be the only chance for a long time to get the fantastic and rich sounds available in most areas of Africa............ don't go shortsighted into this potentially rewarding recording excursion with outdated/not-practical equipment....... 

Sorry about the direct talk here, but you're in for a disappointing time with the way you're going.

Suggestions.......... Sony Portable D8 or D100 (or M1) DAT deck.............. external 25 hour BC-1 battery system (4 C Alkaline).................. DSM-6S/EH or DSM-1/M mics......................... WHB headband windscreen......................... you'll record everything you'd expect (and much more) but, with unexpected quality and ease.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

<< Subject: M-S mic suggestions
From: "Dave .net>
Date: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 14:31:03 -0700

Hi there,

I do audio for wildlife documentaries, and I've persuaded my current client
to do MS on their next piece.

I'm looking for a mid priced MS mic or Cardiod-Figure 8 pair for field
recording of ambiences.

I'm probably spoiled because I've been renting a Sanken C-MS7 and I dig it
(although it could be quieter)

I'd like to purchase the Sennhieser MKH 40 / MKH 30  M-S pair, as I used a
pair of MKH 50's recently and loved them, and the option of MKH 60 (short
shotgun) and MKH30 for use in wildlife sync situations would be cool.

However my current budget is about $1250.00 (I know I know)  and I don't
think I could live with the noise of a Shure VP-88.

Has anyone used the AKG Blue Line mics?  What did ya think?

Also does anyone know if a figure 8 capsule is available for the Octava
MC-012 ?

Thanks for any information

"Experience is what  you get when you don't get what you want."

Hello Dave,

Many doing these type of documentaries are using the DSM microphones with the WHB windscreen accessory............... and a Sony portable DAT...... best current model blows away any of the other portables (including HHB) in recording quality and reliability.

Reviews in Film & Video Magazine are on the Reviews page on the site listed below along with downloadable .MP3 sounds.

The DSM mic is a very precision set of matched omni's.......... I suggest the DSM-1S/M for one the quietest omni set available at any price........... no audible noise when recording distant birds and using the Sony TCD-D100 or PCM-M1 decks with the internal and excellently quiet preamplifiers (and dual 20 bit AKM A/D's)..........

Questions welcome anytime.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

Subject: Classical recording microphones
From: "AJR" <ajr@
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 22:38:58 +0300

Hi all !

I'm doing mostly recordings in studio but nowadays I've got more and more
"classical" stule recordings, orchestras, choirs etc... I'm planning to
renew my mike selection and happily pleased any advice on issue.

I'm having some suitable mics for classical rec: U89i's, Schoeps MTSC-6,
C414's and planning to get a pair or more B&K's some Schoeps cardioids and

What suggestions about brands and models, mostly I'm lack of small diaghpram
cardioids and omnis. My M300's and C451's and Calrecs are little out of game
I think.

Antti Rin---
- Finland

Hello Antti,

As you move out of the studio environment and into the real 'ambient' world of sound recording, your choice of microphone AND METHOD of using mics becomes quite different..........  a set of precision matched omni mics is a good starting point but, the need to use the omni set in a specific way is most critical to oveall satisfaction.

Placing the matched omni set on either side of an acoustical equivalent (read exact equivalent) of the human head (known as HRTF ..... head related transfer function) is the only way to record all the ambient information in a 'coherent' manner.   

Using this approach, mic positoning is identical to what you percieve.......... listen with both ears and attention to all the sounds at any desired postion.......... choose the postion where the 'acoustic mix' of all elements seems best....... record at that exact postion using the matched omni mics mounted on the 'head' baffle for a direct to two track recording of unequalled dimensional perspective.

The quality aspects are limited by choice of omni mics, the exact acoustical modeling of the baffle, and the position within the ambient chosen for mic placement.

Sonic Studios has specialized in producing the matched omni mics and has available the only totally accurate head baffle for mounting our DSM mics (or those of your choice).

Results with the DSM microphones has been compared with the best orchestral recordings currently produced at Skywalker Sound and is being used by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for occasional tour recording......... many others are using DSM for large choral groups with exceptional results.

Details on my web site listed below.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo
"A bit of knowledge coupled to a great deal of wisdom serves us best"

<< Subject: analyzing my bedroom. . .
From: Chris .com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 23:44:47 -0700

I have my personal "studio" (I'm using that term loosely here) in my
bedroom, and I'm wondering how to analyze the room, so I can set my EQ
accordingly.  I'm sick of not knowing what my mixes are really sounding
like until I make a tape!  :-)   Any hints would be greatly
appreciated.  Thanks!

Hello Chris,

You might consider a different mic and method that records sounds exactly lik
e you hear instead .......... the DSM mics are described on my web site and the review by Corey Greenberg (Audio Mag) is linked there for you and gives one of the best overviews of mic and method of using....... Questions welcome anytime.

There's no practical way to look at your room ....... conditons change every few inches of mic placement........ the DSM mics will record exactly what's heard at any particular positioning.... can't do better than that.......... or go out to a different location to expand your studio into anywhere you like with a portable DAT deck and DSM mics.......... cut a track or an entire album within a unique ambient setting.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

>Subject: Re: What is a good dummy head?
>From: John >
>Date:Wed, 15 Jul 1998 22:44:16 +0100

>Everyone has different-shaped heads, and oddly-shaped ears, so
>generalising is difficult. One person could have difficulty, whereas
>another may easily discern the difference between front and rear. I
>suppose this applies to simulations as well as in real-life.
>- - -
>John . email: drop the www., and modify to 'newsrep@' ...

The problem of including the ear shape to model a practical HRTF is indeed because of the personal 'fingerprint' character of individualize ear convolutions........ to me, no working generalization of directional cues can include the ear and canal successfully.

The head...... with its very unique effect on the sound field, can be much more generalized for HRTF modeling...........mostly due to the fact that head shape and size variations are much less than practically any other human feature. 

Head width size rarely varies more than .5 inch for the majority of the population.  And the ratio of head height to width is also very uniform in the population.

This gives us a much more useful approach to modeling ...... when the just head... minus the ears is considered for response modeling.  The patent granted me for a method of dimensional recording using just this mechanism has proven very successful in general for wide playback mode compatibility with this method, while retaining a high degree of desirable dimensional cues.

No method of modeling has proven totally realistic in all or most situations when recordings are done following each method. 

The problem is also with the selected method of playback.  It would seem that upon choosing a particular model for HRTF, doing a method of acoustic recording or synthesis of sound based on this model, the playback method would seem at least as critical as the method of producing the sound track........ if near absolute listening reality (with correct and convincing directional cues) during playback is to be achieved.

For me, modeling or using the acoustic HRTF of just the head without the ears gives a the most practical and realistic HRTF.......... and allows a practical microphone method that translates well for the most people under the widest playback conditions.

I've developed an exact acoustic of the head using Sorbothane (see their web site or mine for more info).  This special head (DSM-GUY) is currently being used by the BOSE Corporations acoustic lab to develop more advanced HRTF modeling and by some composers to record special acoustic performances in 3-D stereo.

Using this type of head as a baffle, with very high quality matched set of spaced miniature omni mics (use mine or some suitable other brand), will allow an eloquent method of acoustical 3-D stereo recording suitable for ambient field, performance,  or studio situations.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo
<< ------------------------------

From: Mayhew <
Subject: pcm-m1----comments
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 10:30:01 -0400

Does anyone have any comments on the pcm-m1 and ecm-957 combonation?


I have had many customers that have originally purchase this mic ......... the M1 DAT is an excellent deck and is limited only by the quality of the input.

However, Sony single point stereo mics all have common problems of very poor stereo image, rolled off bass (not a bad thing if recording the typically bassy Rock/Blues venue), and loudness handling limitations for the louder or loudest type concerts ...... bass distortion is audible when this mics 118db-122 db max SPL's are exceeded.

Suggest you look at my web site listed below for the DSM-6S/x (x is the sensitivity rating and max SPL rating of various models of DSM-6) .......... the M1 is either needing a mic powering upgrade for directly powering the DSM ........ or........ use of a PA-6xxx powering adapter with or without bass rolloff switch feature.

Let me know your desired music for recording for exact suggestions on an appropriate system for your requirements.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

<< Subj: DSM - 9M (B&K 4061)
Date: 8/9/98 2:54:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: Snx
To: GuySonic


I saw your website...I am looking at picking up a pair of mics, I'm looking for something of high quality (A pair I will NEVER have to upgrade again).  I've heard a few shows taped with the standard DPA 4061s and was quite impressed...I stealth most of the shows I go to so I really can't lug around a phantom power source...

I saw your DSM-9Ms and was interested in finding out more about them...Do they use a battery box like the other DSMs...I would be using them to tape rock concerts (thru the PA) using a Sony PCM M1...Also what is the difference between yours and Core Sounds HEBs (Also uses DPA4061s)

Thank you

The DSM-9M model is quite suitable for PA'd sounds and has a battery module (it's not really a box at all) with 15 db attenuation and 45cycle bass rolloff switches........... powered by two 3.6 volt lithium cells for about 350 hours.   The differnences in the mic capsule is the modification of the basic mic to be neutral without the frequency dips and peaks of the stock capsule as Core sells this set.   Mounting is also different and most suitable for secure eyeglasses or hat sweatband type mounting........... as you can see in the image.   Sound quality will be much more natural with the modified set and easier reliable mounting with the Sonic Studios adjustable loops.  The cost indicates just a little of the extra care put into this special model.

If only recording PA'd type rock music, the quality aspect of the mic might be reduced to it's overall ability to handle loud sounds without strain.  The normalized smoother response of the modified DSM-9M capsules may not be such a great advantage to spending the extra money for these types of refinements or enhancements to the stock microphone.   There is a Jazz recording using this modified DSM-9M type set on my web site if you'd like to take a listen to a semi-acoustic venue (it's dixieland type jazz) that's not Rock.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

Subj: Re: [ProAud] Panasonic capsules
Date: 9/7/98

In a message dated 9/7/98 1:20:28 PM Pacific Daylight Time, david@ writes:

The WM-063 would usually go to 26 kHz, but it is no longer made. The only
physical difference seemed to be that the pc board was glass epoxy rather
than the phenolic of the WM-060; maybe they could crimp them better.
> I'm not sure of the response to the lower frequencies with the stock 63/60
> capsule, but when properly sealed as with my company's DSM mic products, the
> lower response seems consistent to below 5 cycles!  A true pressure mic for
> sure.

This also varies from lot to lot. Sometimes even with sealing the rolloff
starts around 30 Hz, due to variations in crimping (and the resultant air
leak toward the front).

The only word I could get (in 1990?) from the Japanese engineering manager of the 060 production line on differences between the discontinued 063 and the current 060 capsule, is that the 060 "is a more rational design" ........ whatever that means, but he said the 060 does use the same FET transistor as was in the 063. 

After testing many thousands of both models, the 060 does seem much more consistent in low end frequency response; probably due to a better diaphragm to inside case perimeter seal ....... and/or increased precision on the small pressure equalization mechanism on the diaphragm frame.

The 060 is also much more consistent in overall frequency response.  The wideband frequency matching necessary for an ultra-precision matched stereo pair has been made a lot easier to find with the newer capsules.  This would suggest better overall controls on mechanical tolerances.

On the other hand, the newest 061 capsule, with its lower tensioned diaphragm, currently has looser end tolerance or precision that is showing up in a much harder to wideband match capsule.  Making the precision match (the DSM-1) product more expensive to produce and is priced higher as a result of this (temporary?) lack of OEM capsule production control. 

I've noticed some of the 061 capsules have diaphragms that are so 'floppy,' that they are visually 'NOT  stretched flat on the diaphragm frame as would be normally expected; some of these capsules have diaphragm tensioning that visibly changes with ambient temperature!  Maybe this observation was on a few poor runs; time will tell for sure about this.

This lack of tolerance control is probably just normal for being a very new (and low cost) capsule product that's going through a quality control learning curve; seeking a stabile refinement? ....... or less likely, be a basic mechanical design flaw that will never have the excellent consistency I now find in the 060.

Lower noise capsule operation seems to be realized by greatly increasing the self-biased operating current of the internal FET buffer.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

Subj: Re: [ProAud] Panasonic capsules
Date: 9/4/98
CC: boyk@

When working as the component Engineering manager of the telecommunications department at Atari Corp in 1981,  I had a very complete Bruel & Kjaer acoustic acoustic test system for doing measurements on the older models of these capsules  (were the WM-63A, now replaced by WM-60A). 

The capsules of my (and not Atari's)  primary interest were the ones that had the 20-20,000 specifications; back-electrets with thinner diaphragms than the general purpose lower cost capsules.  Measured with this equipment, the Fr response looked like a strait ruler line right to 20,000 (matching the mfg. spec. & graphs), but really extended far beyond the range of the B & K test equipment.  Earthworks is using these basic capsules and produces mics tested to over 30,000 and 40,000 cycles of measurable bandwidth!   They are known to use spark-gap measurement methods for transient/hi-frequency measurements.

I'm not sure of the response to the lower frequencies with the stock 63/60 capsule, but when properly sealed as with my company's DSM mic products, the lower response seems consistent to below 5 cycles!  A true pressure mic for sure.

New Model WM-61 capsules seem excellent for very high output with low SPL inputs only; mostly good for under 108 db SPL uses only.  Special gain categories of X, Y, T allow designer considerations on native mic sensitivity.

Because of the multitude of known and proprietary modifications of acoustic, mechanical,  and electrical operating design variations,  I can understand where Panasonic cannot make the performance specifications very meaningful for the real applications these mics can be used for only mundane to exceptional quality instrumentation or recording service.

Suitability for any stock capsule product is generally determined by the OEM buyer within a particular design or formula of application. 

The bottom line with this is that these capsules are not to be considered a finished transducer product; meaningfully specifications are reduced to the bare minimum by Panasonic and is missing the needed applications information that's mostly proprietary and not made public.   

Panasonic doesn't assume much in performance specifications, leaving the assumptions of suitability to the end user who should know enough to apply enough art to make all the necessary technical decisions on suitability and method(s) of implementation.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

Date: 9/10/98 2:34:17 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: Michael_

I read your input on the DAT heads archive!  I need help!  I just bought a
Sony DT 100 and own a pair of binurial mics from core sound with a bass

I'll be recording LIVE concerts from anywhere between the 1st and 25th
rows!!!  The band will be loud.  I need to know what are the best settings
that I should use on the DT 100 and What line should I run the Mic into!  I
can't afford to blow any recordings!

Kindly advise,
Hello Mike,

Sonic Studios DSM mics work quite differently to the Core Mics and I can't give you the best suggestions from using these myself. 

I would think that Len Moskowitz of Core Sound would be giving the best advice as his personal experience should be better than almost anyone in respect to input procedure with his product.

There are so many variables with mics, seating,  and loudness of venues, experience with a particular product cannot be underestimated in value.

I've tried to make this much easier with producing a DSM microphone that's matched to work only with the Mic inputs and usually with the -20 db atten setting (or Low Sens for D7/8 decks); depending soley on what the recordist's main interests in recording are. 

However, Len's mics may be working so that output is much greater and depending on the CSB mic sensitivity, could use the Line input with loud venue recordings.  Look to my site for a general description of avoidng overload on Mini-Dat decks (although you may already have seen this):

I'm sorry not to be of greater help to you, but if not enough Signal with Line input, go to using Mic input and the -20db attenuation settings next.

Flip a coin to see which setting you want to try 1st, one of these two options is bound to be correct.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

Subj: Re: MIC and MIC Preamp for classical guitar recording

Date: 9/13/98 5:47:23 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From: (Fred )
To: (GuySonic)

I hope you don't my barging in.  I've been doing some recordings of string
quartets using a coincident pair of small cardioids (Neumann KM-184)  aimed
at the back of ensemble from about 6 feet off the floor and 6 feet from the
front of the ensemble.  I feel the results are a little laid back and
missing much of the punch of the live performance.  The Neumans are a little
colored but not soupy.  The mic pre is not soft sounding and the DAT
recorder is industry standard.  I've wondered if the problem was phase
cancellation.  Perhaps I'm just missing some of the room acoustic by using
cardioids in a situation for which you and others recommend omnis.  I'm
certainly far enough away to avoid proximity effect.  Is it not possible to
do good acoustic string recordings with a stereo pair of cardioid mics or am
I having a technique problem?   Thanks.


>To get the richest, most satisfying sound of any acoustic instrument, you
>really need to involve a stereo recording technique that replicates how we
>normally hear acoustic sounds.  This is only accomplished easily with using
>matched omni mics mounted with a properly designed acoustic HRTF baffle
>these matched mics.
>The matched omni Mics themselves must be fairly small in size as not to get
>their own way of capturing an accurate acoustic.
Hello Fred,

Your questions are welcome anytime.  My somewhat busy looking web site gives much information about this in general, some pages that might be of interest is at:   and the reviews on:   Sonic Studios Review Page  look especially at Corey's Audio review for good taping tips.

Directional mics generally don't have the low frequency response that I think your finding missing from your recordings.  Omni's response can extend to well below 10 cycles; cardioid's response can start to roll off around 100 cycles, but this varies with the directional mic used.

Your mic position seems OK (assuming a mic moderately close placement in front of the group), but you suspicion of cancellation is due to the directional cancellation mechanism at work with the type of mic you're now using.

With using the method and DSM mic outlined on my site, both the ambient and the low frequency aspects (the punch) now missing in your present setup will become available for recording; enhancement with using a HRTF baffle (a person's head, or well designed dummy head baffle) is highly suggested to get all the sounds in a coherent manner without danger of 'comb filter' type artifacts typical of all spaced omni mic non-baffled methods.

A quick note on proximity effect.  DSM omni mics have none of the frequency emphasis of most other mics so that much closer mic placement is possible and suggested to get the best 'sparkle' from all the instruments.  Distances of a few feet to about 8 feet is recommended and depends on the group stage size and mix of ambient to direct sound desired.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

<< Subj:  questions about mics
Date: 10/5/98 7:24:50 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: (Wes)

hey man. this is that dude you talked to on the phone about the dsm 6s/l mic.  ive been looking around, and ive stumbled upon the core sounds mics. i know that you probobly think that these mics are evil, but i was just wondering how your mics compare to these. you were a lot nicer than the len moskwits or whatever his name is, so that would probobly be the first reason for me to go with the sonics. but please tell me your opionon on the core sound mics.

"It seems like everyone has something deep to say at the end of their email's, and damn it, i wish i had one too."  - me, wes imel
Hello again Wes,

There are at least two more outfits that do stealthy type mics:  The Sound Professionals  The Sound Professionals Binaural Microphones  and  HiFiSales Oade Bros .

These mics are similar in that they most likely start with the very same type of OEM mic capsule from Panasonic and then do whatever electrical and mechanical considerations that make their product what it is.

The difference that sets Sonic Studios apart from the rest is a whole lot of proprietary invention, acoustic engineering, mechanical engineering, and rare craftsmanship that go into the DSM product.

If I charge actual money for the care, extra production steps, and the advantages of an eloquent mic design, the DSM would cost $800 - $1200 to show overall value as compared to these others in terms of performance and durability!

The most important aspect of this to your style of recording is and easier to use microphone with just using the Mic inputs, a smaller system with full performance using the direct Sony deck mic power feature, highly engineered accessories, more consistent recording results, and being very robust to everyday use with 2 year warranty just in case of a rare problem.

Just some areas to consider when looking around for reasonable comparisons.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

<< Subject: Small vs Large Diaphragm Condensers?
From: )
Date: 5 Dec 1998 12:58:00 GMT

I'm the guy who wants to buy a good, great sounding general-purpose mic for
recording acoustic instruments. I admit  I'm NOT a pro, just a hobbyist (and an
"audiophile"), but I can now afford a good mic. I'd hoped to spend about 1000
bucks, but could go as high as $1600 (I am considering the AT 4060, the AT
4050, the Neumann tlm193 and tlm103 among others ).Thanks for the helpful
suggestions, but now I'm not so sure I need a large-diaphragm mic. OK, I
understand that large-diaphragm condensers are usually preferred for vocal
recording, but don't they also sound good on acoustic instruments? What would
be the advantages of a small-diaphragm condenser for instrument recording vs a
large-diaphragm mic (assuming similar quality)? Two mics suggested by several
posters are the Shure SM-81 and the Neumann km184. Any advice on which would
work better for guitar, dulcimer and banjo? Alternatives? I might be worrying
about nothing, but I've noticed that the response plots for small-diaphragm
mics seem to "sag" in the bass region. Thanks,again! FP
Hello FP,

Smallest Condenser mics tend to be most 'high detail accurate'
(clean and crisp) and can have extended bass response to below 10 cycles (very full and warm).  Earthworks 30K model is reasonable and available in matched for stereo sets of two.

Sonic Studios (my own company) has one of the best choices for recording in direct stereo, the exact full sound of any acoustic instrument.  The dual matched AND head type baffled DSM omni mics have 7-23,000+ ruler-flat response.  Very similar in recording quality as the Earthworks but DSM is strictly an ambient 3-D stereo mic and method for most uses.

Samples of folk and acoustic instrument  sounds are downloadable from the site listed below in a high quality .mp3 file type.   Please give one or two of these a listen.......... the shorter FolkLife festival is a good example of instruments you mentioned.

The DSM method will allow you opportunity to record anywhere there's a performance (standing within the perimeter of any group or directly front-centered) and allow the fullest natural recorded sound of acoustic instruments because it uses a very natural 'what you hear is what your record' manner of capturing ambient sounds. 

I wish you the best success and am available for any questions (that's within my knowledge to answer) about the rewarding subject of acoustical recording.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard & Debbie Lombardo

<< Subj:  Panasonic cartridges
Date: 12/10/98 12:43:21 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: nad
To: GuySonic@AOL.COM

Hi there, wondering which model Panasonic capsules your DSM-6 series utilizes.  is this the same as the Core Sound binaurals.  I think they use the WM-60AT caps.

I and Earthworks use similar Panasonic OEM capsules 'to start with'.  A proprietary formula like that of 'Carroll Shelby'' using stock mustangs to make them Cobra mustangs is also applied to the DSM products making a totally different microphone product than was originally intended or suggested by the capsule OEM manufacturer.  Outstanding recording and user performance over what the stock capsules provide is the key to formula success.

I order specially from the OEM supplier many types of capsules to suite the different end user requirements. 

If you're into experimentation, go to DigiKey Corp for buying the stock Panasonic capsules. 

If you're into just getting the best recording and like the headworn mic method, then consider the DSM product unique, the Original and patented non-Binaural mic,  and the best value for money spent on this type of microphone system.

Best Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard & Debbie Lombardo
Subj: RAP 2/6/99 Rant/Rave
Date: 2/6/99

<< Subject: Re: How to stereo mic Grand Piano?

Eleven Shadows wrote:

> I think the ATM 31s are small diaphragm condensers that are similar to ATM 33Rs
> and ATM 33a mics, but someone correct me if I'm wrong.  If that is the case, you
> can record the Yamaha with the lid open.  There are a zillion ways to record a
> piano, but what I would do is try x-y over the piano, which usually works.  I
> don't know what kind of music you are doing, but as a general rule of thumb, for
> more New Agey sort of stuff, get them farther away from the hammers; for certain
> kinds of classical and rock, get 'em a little closer.  However, with a lot of
> classical, having those mics backed off and to the right of the piano player
> gives a more natural sound.  Use your ear.  A lot of people do spaced pairs,
> choosing to hover the mics over the strings that give it a more dynamic stereo
> spread.
> What I personally like doing is opening the lid, but having the mics backed off
> so that they are outside, and placing the mics at least three feet from the
> instrument.  To my ear, this allows the sound to blend and sound more natural.
> If you have a really great sounding room, try a spaced pair of omnis.  If you
> don't have access to that, you can try the two Audio Technicas.  I like to try
> both spaced and x-y and see which each result gets.
> If it's rock piano, it's often heavily compressed to blend in with the rest of
> the music.  In either case, the Audio Technicas are probably pretty bright mics,
> and I personally find that bright mics frequently help with the piano sound
> quite a bit.
> --
> Ken/Eleven Shadows, looking for a Super 8 camera and Super 8 projector
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Eleven Shadows * ES songs on Real Audio * Music Reviews * Travels:
> Peru-Ladakh-Kashmir-India-HK * Tibet * Real Audio Radio Shows
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Ken stated "there's a zillion ways to mic a piano"  for recording purposes.  But there are just a few less than a 'zillion' ways to get an acceptable 'piano sound'.  There are even fewer ways to mic for 'THE sound of a piano'.

Placing mics using the 'here and there' way, will reliable get that 'piano sound' we've grown accustomed to hearing in popular music tracks and there's almost a 'zillion' ways to approach this to get a unique 'piano sound' to fit the any occasion. 

However, If wanting to mic for a realistic 'sound of a piano', the 'here and there' way of mic placement is NOT the way to go, but ANY of the stereo microphone methods discussed so far IS A WAY for intention of recording a convincing 'real piano' sound.  To succeed with this however, presents far fewer ways (choices) of mics and 'using method' and presents a far greater 'skill level' challenge and/or being 'very lucky' to consistently get satisfactory results.  Far from being impossible, it's at least much more difficult for a number of good reasons.

The intention of recording piano realistically involves a stereo mic method as the output of these is two channels much like our own two channel hearing way of hearing sounds.  So stereo mics need to record two different perspective that will most satisfy our natural hearing sense.

For us to be convinced of hearing a real piano within a recording, the stereo mic must record sound in a 'unique' way that includes 'psycho-acoustical' information within the two tracks of recorded audio.    While the  'psych-acoustical' information necessary for us to hear a convincing sound of a piano is 'unique', the uniqueness of the stereo mic/method of using such, should not be TOO uniquely different from our own way of 'uniquely' hearing sounds. 

And here's the rub of the stereo mic methods discussed so far:  They can easily be far TOO unique and present only a 'partial set' of proper psycho-acoustical cues; often including (free of charge) a whole new unique set of strange (to our normal hearing) sound cues that are not 'coherent' or recognized (without doing 'mental' conversion type interpretation work) as part of a real sounding piano.

The stereo mics discussed so far are unique to each other (including us) in larger or smaller degree with mic placement rather critical to each new ambient situation.  Because critical placement is often different with each 'type' of stereo mic/method (assuming the same ambient working condition), being able to listen yourself for an acceptable 'heard acoustic mix' of instrument and ambient (room, hall, etc.) is ALL IMPORTANT. 

However, because of the degree of  'TOO much uniqueness' of each stereo method discussed, just listening will not reliably work unless you're (as mentioned earlier) very lucky.  What you hear is NOT OFTEN ENOUGH what you'll record with stereo microphones and you'll need a lot of experience, luck,  and/or time for the 'trial and error' record/playback procedure necessary to avoid disappointment from having assumed too much.

I would be much nicer to learn to quickly hear a microphone position (music + ambient mix), plunk the microphone right there, and roll tape (or spin hard drive) and be much more assured of getting what you heard because the stereo microphone is not so unique to our own perceptions of sound. 

There's only one stereo microphone 'way' that'll consistently allow the 'what you hear is what you record' assumption regardless of situation.  That microphone is a 'Head Related Transfer Function' (HRTF) type of stereo microphone that uses a unique baffle between two very small, precision matched omni mics.

This type of stereo microphone is rarely discussed or mentioned (at least here) perhaps because it's TOO much a 'no brain'R'?? 

Not being challenging, needing much skill, being lucky, or having the immense joy of doing multiple tests/retakes makes this type of stereo microphone hard to act expert about for sure, and may as such, be generally ignored by the standard knowledge base of available microphone experts. 

As far as I can tell from being around here for over 5 years, it might just be working too well(!)  dampening the joy of endless discussion of all the challenging ways 'uniqueness' in microphone 'perception' adds to our pursuit for convincingly real (ambient acoustic) recordings (if that's your aim). 

If mic/method solves a lot of previous problems,  what will the 'problem solvers' now do?   This remains a real 'bureaucratic type' challenge and seems worth much discussion of what to do next when 'favorite' discussed problems are threatened to be solved for good, making other options less accessible in appearing like good advice.

Fortunately, I'm here and again helping those who truly desire to make their recording more consistently real acoustically sounding with the experience, good advice, and the hardware to back up where my mouth is. As with many expert recordists, microphone companies refuse to adopt new microphone designs while the inventor still lives and breaths.  If you doubt this, look for finding the persons responsible for the classic stereo microphone methods discussed here,  (Blumlien, Soundfield, etc.) they've virtually all died years before any of these 'now highly discussed' methods were allowed real commercial production/availability or regarded as a mic technique worthy of discussion. 

Things being as they are, no need to wait till I'm 'dead and gone' to get THE stereo microphone right now (only lacking any discussion of such from those 'teaching' the old standards of recording art), as I'm one of those very rare inventors that is able to produce products without the 'recording industry acceptance' due or scheduled sometime after my passing.

My web site has the necessary details on THE stereo microphone that is very NON-assuming or in most ways non-unique to how we hear sounds; what your hear is exactly what you'll record; 'relearning' to trust normal hearing IS going to be tough on the 'old timers' used to sticking one finger in an ear between retakes.  But while there's still life, learning is possible!

Please, don't all thank me at once for my dedicated efforts! 

Just go out there and make it sound more real for the old GUY!



From: "Asher .net>
Subject: Stereo with different brand microphones
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 00:50:34 -0800

I was just wondering how much influence using two different brands of =
microphones would have upon a stereo recording, especially if they were =
of similar quality.  Would AKGs mix with Neumanns or B&K.  I know about =
waveform matching, but I still wonder.



Stereo recording is a special type of '2-track recording' that includes number of 'psycho-acoustic' parameters or a.k.a. sound cues specific to enhancing the illusion of hearing live spatial sound from a two track recording. 

If the microphones are very unrelated (not very closely matched in several characteristics) then it's very likely to have no more than a 2-channel approach (not stereo) to sound recording. 

The 2- (or more) microphone channel approach to recording is also called multitrack and is used extensively to produce vocals, drum kit, piano tracks where a multitude of different model microphones feed separate mix tracks that are usually mixed to some kind of processed 'stereo' product later in post production; these tracks lack any real spatial qualities and are Effects enhanced instead for better sounding 'stereo'.  However, these synthetically processed stereo recordings mostly still lack much convincing depth of image that's more possible with using a true Stereo microphone method. 

A true stereo microphone method of recording needs two (or sometimes more) of the exact same type of microphone for left and right channels.  While there's often a third slightly different capsule used in single point stereo microphones, this is the exception in the stereo microphone group (as far as I can remember) and is a kind of array stereo microphone.  The 'single point' is my least favorite stereo microphone as the capsules are far too close to each other for truly satisfying stereo. 

Most other stereo microphone methods use just two matched or same model microphones (cardioid, omni, ribbon, etc) positioned in a specific manner to replicate some or all the natural sound cues for spatial stereo realism.  For live studio instrument to concert performance, or event recording, stereo mic methods have very high satisfaction rating.

Like a few other senses (sight, balance) we tend to like similar pairs of sensing instruments for the sound reception.  Using a set of microphones positioned along a particular scheme like spaced, pointed at an angle, arrayed, stacked, and (my favorite) HRTF baffled allows the recording to more closely reflect our own natural mechanisms for sound reception.  The resulting recording is then considered stereo. 

Some stereo mic techniques work far better than others, at least in certain situations or with variations to distance and sound stage width.   In general, stage width and mic distance is more critical when using directional microphones for stereo than if non-directional (omni) mics are used. 

The HRTF baffled stereo mic traditionally uses two matched omni mics and is the most accurate to producing a recording that sounds almost identical to the live sound because it records an ambient stereo 360 degree surround sound.  This is my favorite stereo mic method and one I've been involved with refining for many years as is described on my web site.

Anyway, use matched mic models for recording in a form of stereo.  Use the-anything-handy & placed-anywhere-you-feel-like method when you want recorded 2- or more channel multitrack that has no relatable stereo content.

Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard (& Debbie) Lombardo
<< ----------------------------

From: "Brian net>
Subject: Importance of Matched Pair vs. better Frequency Response
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 13:08:41 -0500

I'm currently shopping for a pair of mics to be used primarily for stereo
recording.  Ideally I would like to get a matched pair but in my price
range ($800 or less for the pair) there doesn't seem to be many choices.
In the same price range I can find a non-matched pair of mics that have a
better frequency response than a matched pair of a different mic.  To make
matters worse, some manufacturers claim that their quality control is
consistent enough that 2 mics of the same model will get "good results"
when used as a stereo pair. 

Matched Pressure type omni type mics when used with a HRTF baffle records some of the most gorgeous and detailed stereo you'll have the pleasure to hear.

A full bandwidth and exact "mirror image" left/right channel precision match is something close to "state of the Art" for most mic manufacturers to offer and very difficult to near impossible to achieve with directional or cardioid types of the mics due to complex directional producing wave cancellation mechanisms within the capsule and the mic body that have normal tolerance variations.

Without the exact match, whatever stereo image is obtained is less than consistent and gives hard to predict imaging ability.

If quality stereo recording imaging and bandwidth is important to you, there are very few affordable and just a few more very expensive mic systems that satisfy most or most all of the time under a wide variation of live settings.

One of the best and most affordable of these is the Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF) baffled system that uses dual precision matched omni mics designed (& Patented) specially for this purpose by my company (Sonic Studios). 

The Dimensional Stereo Mic (DSM-tm) is a 360 degree full surround mic system that is also Dolby Pro Logic decoder compatible.  The stereo imaging of DSM-6S mics is very smooth (continuous) and frequency stable over a range of 5-25,000 cycles and have the most precision guaranteed match (<0.25 db @1K  <1db 20-21,000) ever offered for stereo recording.

Directional or Cardioid mics inherently to not have stable (stereo) image characteristics, impossible to get (effective) precision matched,  and are most difficult to position and aim for producing really satisfying (stereo) recordings.  The reasons for this would fill a chapter or two.  On the other hand, most of you are recording PA'd performances in less than suitable positions where there's little choice or have need for professional commercial release quality. 

Where and when the need arises for producing a professional sounding recordings of such events, very careful choosing of position and aiming of crudely matched directional
mics may work out quite well some of the time with a little luck. 

However, in my opinion and of professional/amateur DSM users, the HRTF stereo method using a wide-bandwidth matched pair like the DSM mics produces some of the most usable recordings even in the worst positions and the most satisfying when in or near the best recording positions.

I'd suggest looking at some of the mic & dat/MD equipment reviews, taping tips, and .mp3 downloadable recordings available at WWW.SONICSTUDIOS.COM  to learn more about HRTF stereo recording using matched mics, taping techniques, and dat/md portable recording systems.

BTW to attempt an answer to your second query, microphone sensitivity rating is the electrical output (in dB, 1v RMS = 0dB, .001v= -48 dB) of a certain microphone with a certain input or loudness of acoustic sound (usually stated at 85db SPL = 1 uBAR Sound Pressure Level equivalent) .  Knowing this allows to determine if a mic has enough or too much electrical signal output for a particular recorder mic/line or external preamplifier input. 

Sonic Studios DSM mics are available in 8 sensitivity ranges (see the chart @ ) to both avoid deck input overloads while also having adequate signal for any particular range of sound/music recording requirements.

Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard  Lombardo

In a message dated 11/22/99 1:41:17 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< ------------------------------

From: "Brian .net>
Subject: Importance of Matched Pair vs. better Frequency Response
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 13:08:41 -0500

I'm currently shopping for a pair of mics to be used primarily for stereo
recording.  Ideally I would like to get a matched pair but in my price
range ($800 or less for the pair) there doesn't seem to be many choices.
In the same price range I can find a non-matched pair of mics that have a
better frequency response than a matched pair of a different mic.  To make
matters worse, some manufacturers claim that their quality control is
consistent enough that 2 mics of the same model will get "good results"
when used as a stereo pair. 

Does anyone have any thoughts as to which is more important, a matched pair
or a pair with a better frequency response?

To be more specific, right now I am trying to compare Audio Technica's
4041's (available in matched pair) and AKG's 391's (Blue line series) which
have a better frequency response but are not available as a matched pair.
Both are small diaphragm cardioid condensers.

Thanks for any advice!

--- >>

Hello Brian,

Matched Pressure type omni type mics when used with a HRTF baffle records some of the most gorgeous and detailed stereo you'll have the pleasure to hear.

A full bandwidth and exact "mirror image" left/right channel precision match is something close to "state of the Art" for most mic manufacturers to offer and very difficult to near impossible to achieve with directional or cardioid types of the mics due to complex directional producing wave cancellation mechanisms within the capsule and the mic body that have normal tolerance variations.

Without the exact match, whatever stereo image is obtained is less than consistent and gives hard to predict imaging ability.

If quality stereo recording is important to you, there are just a few affordable and a few more very expensive mic systems that satisfy most or most all of the time under a wide variation of live settings.

One of the best and most affordable of these is the Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF) baffled system that uses dual precision matched omni mics designed specially for this purpose by my company (Sonic Studios). 

The Dimensional Stereo Mic (DSM) is a 360 degree full surround mic system that is also Dolby Pro Logic decoder compatible.  The stereo imaging of DSM-6S mics is very smooth (continuous) and frequency stable over a range of 5-25,000 cycles and have the most precision guaranteed match (<0.25 db @1K  <1db 20-21,000) ever offered for stereo recording.

I'd suggest looking at some of the mic & dat/MD equipment reviews, taping tips, and .mp3 downloadable recordings available at WWW.SONICSTUDIOS.COM  to learn more about HRTF stereo recording using matched mics, taping techniques, and dat/md portable recording systems.

BTW to attempt an answer to your second query, microphone sensitivity rating is the electrical output (in dB, 1v RMS = 0dB, .001v= -48 dB) of a certain microphone with a certain input or loudness of sound (usually stated at 85db SPL = 1 uBAR Sound Pressure Level equivalent) .  Knowing this allows to determine if a mic has enough or too much electrical signal output for a particular recorder mic/line or external preamplifier input. 

Sonic Studios DSM mics are available in 8 sensitivity ranges (see the chart @ ) to both avoid deck input overloads while also having adequate signal for any particular range of sound/music recording requirements.

Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard  Lombardo

<< Subj:  Question.
Date: 11/15/99 12:35:43 AM Pacific Standard Time

My name is Takashi, mail from Japan.

I am a tape trader using DAT,and also record rock concert.
I used core-sound microphone,
but I will change the microphone to make it's sound better.

My friend uses your DSM-6S/L and PA-6LC3B.
I used his microphone set once,it worked very well!!
He said "This is very strong against bass sounds".
How much is the microphone set ?

Me,I often go to rock concert,
for example Rolling stones,Aerosmith,Eric Clapton.....
I go to rock festival outside,too.

Which microphone do you recommend me ?
And which microphone do "rock fans" use ?
Please advise me.
Thank you.



Hello Takashi,

Thank you for expressing interest in the DSM microphone system and for including details of your Music interests and DAT equipment. 

The DSM-6S/L ($450) and PA-6LC3B ($200) combination has been very successful for recording current Rock concert venues in Japan.  This system would cost total of $675 US Dollars that includes the US Postal International Express Shipping.

If you would like to order this, simple way is to send Japan International Postal Money Order for $675 US payable to Sonic Studios via 1st Class International Air mail to:

Sonic Studios
1311 Sunny Court
Sutherlin, Oregon 97479 USA

Please include your Shipping Address and Telephone or Message Phone number.  I will send everything as a personal "gift" to allow for best process time and economy.

Mic models suited to your music or sound recording tastes are listed at:

Powering & bass filter considerations are discussed at:

General Ordering information is at:

Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard  Lombardo

<< Subject: Another $400 mike question
From: .com (ns)
Date: 06 Nov 1999 00:39:22 GMT

What is the best single-point stereo microphone less than $400.  It must NOT
require phantom power--or any strange, difficult to obtain battery.   

The best recommendation I've received so far is the Sony ECM-999.  If you have
an alternate choice, please let me know. 

Good bass performance is mandatory.  This mike will be used for pipe organ

Thanks a bunch,

Norm , Seattle WA


Hello Norm,

Your post for a reasonable way to record the full bandwidth of a pipe organ in stereo is best done with two full pressure type omni microphones. 

None of the single point microphones, ribbon microphones, or any of the other types posted as suggestions will work out for at least lack of pressure type bass response regardless of what the posts claim and for other just as important stereo imaging requirements. 

However, using these two (pressure type) omni microphones
spaced out in some manner is not enough for recording the spatial ambient sound in stereo that's also very important for making a satisfying large size acoustic instrument recording. 

A baffle needs be used placed between the two mics for the ambient stereo aspect to also be recorded faithfully.

Jecklin Disk type baffles are OK and far better than NO Baffling, but lack some important (HRTF) features for consistent results.

My site listed below has tips, reviews, mics, baffles, and sample sounds of pipe organ recorded with Sonic Studios (my own company) DSM designed mic systems.

Suggested mic model:  DSM-6S/H (headworn or using the LiteGUY HRTF Baffle)

Some URL's to view:  (see St. James Cathedral, Seattle recording)

Mic models suited to your music or sound recording tastes are listed at:

Powering & bass filter considerations are discussed at:

E-mail me with questions and about your current recording deck/preamplifier equipment for best system fit suggestions
Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard  Lombardo

<< Subject: Re: Microphones - Which is Best?
From: s)
Date: 07 Oct 1999 18:10:30 GMT

Since you've been so helpful, perhaps you cold answer a question for me:

To a large extent my recordings are of choral and pipe organ music. I'm trying
to assemble a one piece recording setup, consisting of a mike stand, a small
DAT recorder and an M-S mike that goes down to a very low frequency. 

Does anyone make an M-S mike with an omni capsule for the M part, in order to
reach lower in frequency while still having a decent stereo separation?  All
the ones I've found have cardioid M mikes and a strictly limited low end

, Seattle WA 98l


Bass is a tough call for most of the mics you're now considering.  The small omnis have the best chance at getting this, but they're not all equally good or excellent for deepest bass.

My company listed below has one of the best stereo microphone systems for recording full bandwidth stereo from 5 cycles to over 25,000 flat response full ambient surround.  If you demand directional or exclusion of 360 ambient stereo field, these mics are not for you.

Spaced omni, jecklin disk, and other 2 mic configurations just don't perform consistantly well for your application.

For large choral and organ, I suggest DSM-6S/EH or /H, a powering adapter suited for your deck or use of the PCM-M1 Sony portable with MOD-2, and the LiteGUY HRTF baffle mounted on a mic stand with or near the deck.

Spend a little time downloading and listening to the shorter St. James Cathedral. Mp3 clip done in your city in less than optimum conditions for a good idea of what's possible with this system.

Some of the other sound clip should also prove quite helpful.  This system is being used by many amatuers and professionals worldwide for over 10 years. 

See reviews:

Mic models suited to your music or sound recording tastes are listed at:

Powering & bass filter considerations are discussed at:

General Ordering information is at:

Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard  Lombardo

<< Subject: Question from a new poster
From: .com (Hat  62)
Date: 09 Sep 1999 23:33:10 GMT

Do you know what the big labels like Sony are doing when they record clarinet
with piano or with orchestra to 'sweeten' the sound of the performer. I am
mostly speaking in terms of microphone placement. If you have heard some of the
better known performers live and on records, you can hear that the engineers
have found a flattering way to record some of the clarinetists today.

I am asking because a friend of mine and I have been doing some experimental
recordings with some excellent equipment (neumann u89, millenia media pre,
apogee 24 bit converter). The sound we get is mostly accurate, but rather
clinical, definately not 'flattering' to the clarinet sound. I was wondering if
there was something we hadn't thought of.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


You might consider a completely different microphone method that records an ambient stereo more nearly to how you hear the sound at the recording position. 

This type of recording (download some of the .mp3 music samples on my site) consistently provide a very complimentary sound of all acoustic instruments at fairly close to further out distances. 

Distance or mic position is a variable that is best determined by actually normally listening for the better mic positions.  The mics and methods so far discussed will not allow you this convenience as they do not record like or what you're hearing. 

A mix of direct instrument to acceptable ambient sounds will be different for each room, instrument, and desired effects appropriate for the composition.  Listen for what's acceptable, then DSM record it at this chosen position with this stereo microphone.

DSM-6S/EH or /H models are suggested either headworn or with the HRTF GUY or LiteGUY mounting baffle.

Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard  Lombardo

<< Subject: Help!-Tips about recording pipe organ.
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 1999 09:56:07 GMT

I am supposed to record pipe organ at a small church next week.
But I am completely new to recording pipe organ.
I want some tips about it.

Pipe organ will be played solo with audience(about 200).
I am going to record it on video camera tape(DV foramt or Betacam
format) Mics availabe will be sm58, NT1, shotgun from sehnheiser for
video production and lavalier(this is not appropriate, is it?)
What I am most wondering is the recording position.
Close micing or away?

And what should I check before recording?
Reverb? kind of pipe organ? any thing else?

You could save me.

Kukchan Hwang from South Korea  ^>^

Sent via
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

An ambient stereo microphone method seems to be the most satisfying for Pipe Organ as the entire building is part of the sound and it's best to record this with a coherent spatial mic method such as the DSM featured on my site.

The DSM-6S/H microphone model is suggested.  The Lite-GUY baffle is also suggested.  The MD-MS722 miniDISC or PCM-M1 DAT portables are excellent for this purpose.

Download St. James Cathedral.mp3 (Short) clip for a unique recording music perspective in a very large ambient.

Questions are always welcome.

Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard  Lombardo

<< Subj:  [ProAud] Headphone Listening
Date: 9/6/99 11:48:35 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: (Stephen W)

Bauer cross feeding network, Headroom filters network, Dummy Head
Binaural recording -- all are only slightly noticeable improvements, for
the most part the sound is still inside your head.  Spatializer gives a
little forward/rearward emphasis over conventional stereo in headphones
and can make a sound source move around inside you head, but not
outside.  I have heard auralization demos, using complex algorithms
running on powerful computers that gave the out-of-head listening
experience -- used for the recreation of concert hall acoustic listening
of virtual halls, before construction begins, and very impressive.  Also
very expensive and confined to the lab when I heard it.

Other than the above, I have yet to hear anything that "made the
headphones disappear" when activated.  Has anyone ever heard any good
out-of-head headphone demos?     Steve Desper

==For info on Pro-Audio, send 'info pro-audio' to ===
My site has 'too high a quality for streaming' but file downloadable .mp3 encoded sound/music selections recorded with a HRTF baffled omni mic method I pioneered/patented in the mid 80's and now offer as product on my site via Mail Order.

These are stereo 'psychoacoustical' recordings that are NOT binaural, but are naturally 3-D Stereo encoded and Dolby 'pro logic' decodeable for full surround speaker playback.

Headphone listening with full 'outside the head perceived' ambient is only fully accomplished using headphones like Sony's MDR-F1 with drivers 'floating in space' forward of the ears and angled to firing back into the ears.  These are the only 'stock' phones that seem to give seamless surround sound with none of the hard left/right and weak middle sounds common with all other headphone designs.  Sony has a few other models with similar designs, but these are rather cheap and found to be not very good for critical listening of details.

While the MDR-F1 is not the ideal phone for binaural (where closed or in-ear inserted types might be far more suited, it now seems the perfect phone for recordings made with the DSM microphone method and perhaps those made with the Soundfield mic (although I haven't tried listening to any Soundfield recordings to check out the performance as yet). 

I have searched and am continually searching for very high quality headphones that meet professional monitoring requirements of ambient stereo recordings.  So far, the Jecklin 'Float-Phone' electrostatic and the even better imaging Sony MDR-F1 remain the only phones found suitable for this purpose.

I'm considering stocking this Sony phone as this particular model is not easy to find elsewhere.  Those interested please E-mail with "MDR-F1" in the subject line for news of availability.

Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo

<< Subject: need microphone info. Please help
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 02:32:12 GMT

    My wife is a court reporter and has to go take depositions daily.
She is having problems with her microphone not picking up speech that is
soft. I was wondering if anyone here knew of a site that could give me
information on what type of mic she should use. Her recorder is just a
small pocket cassette recorder.

       I was thinking of using two mics at once hooked to the single
recorder. Is this possible?

       Is there a source for more sensative mics that anyone knows of?
Thanks for any info you can give me.



Sent via
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

Yes, Mark it's very possible and practical. 

But the solution(s) of proper deck and microphone are still not well known or accepted in this discussion group mostly consisting of studio recordists using 40-60 year old mics designs and usage methods.  They mostly record in highly controlled (or contrived) ambients with very close-to-source(s) placed microphones feeding many multiple channel mixing boards.  The very thought of recording constantly intelligible and quality stereo within normal room ambients make most of these guys break into a cold sweat and start throwing all sorts of mics from their 'mic closets' into the 'mix'.

First consider a (2-channel) stereo microphone with the ability to pickup sound more like we actually hear it live as the ideal goal; if you can hear (and understand the conversation), then you must be able to easily mic it into a 2-channel 'stereo' recorder.  This is a common (and mostly unfulfilled) desire. 

Most 'stereo microphones' (like single point, spaced PZM or spaced dual omni mics) cannot do this (record sounds like we are hearing them) when it comes to picking up all sounds with equal clarity from all around or also called ambient 'stereo' recording.  The need to replicate our own ability to hear ambient stereo naturally is a very special case and requires a microphone with a coherent stereo reception ability that more closely models our own pyscho-acoustic Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF) mechanisms of sound reception.  Without the HRTF reception ability, the recorded sounds loose coherency and the our ability to hear them clearly upon playback as we did live.  The many sounds and reflections of those sounds within normal rooms makes the using of a coherent microphone method essential for getting consistently useful and 'natural listening' stereo recordings.

A very, very few ambient stereo microphones, while not replicating very much of the HRTF mechanism, do indeed accomplish ambient stereo in a more or less successful manner.  The Soundfield mic is an excellent quality microphone for recording a live sound in normally encountered ambient spaces, but it's quite large, not easy to use, and very, very expensive. 

The Crown SASS line of microphones are far more practical in being not quite as large (or effective), but a small fraction of the Soundfield cost and are generally far easier to use. 

Both these mentioned microphones do not replicate the needed HRTF reception mechanism and require a microphone stand with fairly good room placement or positioning.  The main drawback to these two choices (if cost, ease of use, size, and need to set up a mic stand in a good position is not discouraging) is they do not record ambient stereo in a "coherent enough" manner or exactly replicate in recordings as we would hear sound; also, their performance is not very consistent depending on many factors that're best left to the experienced amatuers-professionals to figure out a way to get the most from these type mics.

SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM:  My company's HRTF baffled or (in your case) 'personally headworn stereo microphone' solves all the HRTF reception, cost, need for a stand, and ease of use shortcomings found in any of the other choices for ambient stereo recording.  Low cost, personally worn, and most consistent performance are just some of the features many professionals and amateurs are now enjoying with DSM ambient stereo microphones.  It just couldn't be any easier or simpler to record exactly what you're hearing live.

See my web site for a most informative experience of this microphone, it's present uses and users, magazine reviews, model specifications, and EFX/Music/Nature DSM recorded .MP3 sound clip files.

NEXT is your choice of deck.  Portable DAT or MD are a natural choice as they are affordable (MD is downright cheap to buy) and they have the needed mic preamplifiers included; home AC powered decks now rarely have mic preamplifiers included since most people stopped doing their own recordings some time ago.

Two Suggested Models:

DAT .............. Sony PCM-M1 ..... records up to 6 hours (in low quality stereo, but good for speech) per tape/lithium battery (disposable type) ....... moderately expensive to buy ($700-$800), but tape media is the lowest.

MiniDisc ............ Sharp MD-MS722 ........ uncommon for having full 'real time' manual recording level set operation ..... Robust slot loading design ..... 74 minutes stereo per disc/ 11 hours recording per Lithium rechargeable + external (1) AA battery ........... cheap to buy, but medial cost is up to 5 times that of DAT tape for the same (speech) recording time

Call or E-Mail me with additional questions.

Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard  Lombardo

Subject: Concert Recording
From: Kirby xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 17:32:15 GMT

I have a concert recording job coming up in February. Although my previous jobs have obviously been well received since I'm getting repeat business, I am not personally satisfied with one aspect of them -- Audio. The concert will be filmed in a large, acoustically pleasant, church.

To get the best audio possible I have previously made arrangements to plug one of my cameras directly into the sound board. This gives me crystal clear sound along with a video image to aid in syncing with my other two cameras. The problem is that it doesn't give me much in the way of crowd noise (applause, laughs, etc..) and also doesn't impart the ambiance of the venue. In other words, it results in a sound that is almost studio like. I can handle adding some echo and such to the sound in post to give it more of a live feel, but have problem adding in crowd sounds.

I have the following equipment at my disposal:

A) 1 Canon XL1
B) 2 Sony TRV103 Digial8
C) 1 4 Channel Radio Shack Mixer
D) 1 Sharp Portable MiniDisc Recorder
E) DVRaptor w/ Media Studio Pro and Premiere w/ 60 GIG RAID

I have considered buying some of the Core Sound cardioid mics and mixing them in with the stage mics. They would have to be placed
near/in the crowd somewhere, but that probably wouldn't be a problem. I could also not plug into the sound board at all and just use the cardioid mics. I'm really not certain.

For the shoot I will have one of the TRVs on basically a static wide shot somewhere in the back center of the crowd. The XL1 will handle most of the concert close up work with the other TRV getting coverage shots of the crowd.

One of the thoughts I had is to make several independent recordings and figure out which is the best in post; or possibly try to mix to
recordings in post to get the best result. With MSP or Premiere I wouldn't have much trouble mixing different audio sources. This would mean maybe using the cardioids and the minidisc to make 1 recording and plugging one of the TRVs into the sound board for another. All of the mics on the cameras will be hot (unless one is plugged into the sound board), but only to aid syncing them in post. The camera mics, even with the sound isolator on the XL1 make for not so good recordings. I don't know about mixing the minidisc recording and the sound board recording though, and whether I can keep the two in sync. I also worry about the two recordings canceling each other out.

I'm willing to spend another $400 or so filling out my equipment, and the Core mics were just an idea. Anyone have any ideas on how to get the best recording possible that can be edited into the video?

------- Kirby Axxxxxxx >>

Cardioids are inherently wrong for getting ambiance for obvious technical reasons, they're directional with awful sounding side rejection. Matched Dual omnis are the type of mics to have, but just spacing these out on a t-bar raised to some height is not enough to capture surround ambients in a coherent manner and the spaced pickups will have audible comb-filter effects that most often get in the way big--time.

The need to record a natural sounding ambient that will hold up in post leads to the use of the HRTF baffled omni microphone method that uses the dual matched omni mics mounted on a special acoustic baffle that's modeled to our own head's acoustic responses to the acoustic surround ambient. This is really the kind of mic system you want to capture all of the live feel of any scene.

There's a discussion of this type of microphone and method on my web site along with many models of very precision matched omni and the mic stand/boom mountable LiteGUY HRTF baffle.


Many small record labels are using the LiteGUY baffle mounted DSM mics to easily produce very high quality CD releases from DAT tape of live performances.

Your application for this type of stereo mic extends beyond just this one live music event to anytime you want to document a clear surround-sound ambient to go along with any video or film production.

Core sound mics can work well for some Rock concert type work but not as well for non-PA'd acoustic (mic noise) scenes. Also, they do not work well with the decks mic power and mostly require the use of external 'battery box' and occasional use of line level inputs to keep from mic amplifier overloads to get acceptable results.

Your Sharp MD is perfect for use with any suitable DSM model (likely DSM-6S/M) and will be directly powered to full performance by the "plug-in-power" feature provided by Sharp on ALL their MD portables.

Experience is often the best teacher (with a little help from your friends here) and every job presents the opportunity for challenge to expand your knowledge, required equipment inventory, and the overall ability for meeting each job's minimum professional requirements.

Regards in Sound & Music Recording,
Leonard Lombardo Specializing in Patented HRTF Surround Sound Recording Gear

<<Subject: Re: Concert Recording From: "Richard> Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 21:03:23 -0600

What "obvious" technical reasons make cardiods wrong? Seems to me that if you mostly want sound from the stage speakers, and *some* crowd ambience, a cardiod would be a perfect choice. Aren't our ears somewhat directional like cardiods? Richard<<

Directional mechanism in mics is side-rear wave cancellation with front wave at the diaphragm front-back surfaces.

Ears use pressure omni type sensing coupled to wave reflecting AND fractionation surfaces (convoluted ears) mounted on an absorptive baffle device (our head). This creates an interference acoustic pressure field pattern (analogy like shadow, moire, and rainbow effects all at the same time) that our brain translates into directional and dimensional information.

This is the workings of psycho-acoustics where extremely complex holographical type information is 1st sensed and then processed by our genetically trained brain. A little more about this at:

We don't as yet have computational ability and skills to do this kind of processing in real time and our HRTF working models are mostly too simplified for consistent synthesis in making or decoding this kind of information especially for multiple sources common in real ambient environments.

Because we hear sounds in a general manner because of genetics, we actually want to hear recorded sounds mic'd in a similar 'pre-processed manner.' Unfortunately, we now automatically make big concessions with hearing any kind of recorded material because of the way the industry has NOT progressed to better understanding of recording methods for virtual reality purposes. Can't really blame them, keeping everybody beating around the techno 'proverbial' bush sells lots of shoes and cold drinks.

Anyway, now you got me going! Let me know if I actually answered your question Richard.

Cardioids are really useful for MONO multi-track with side -rear rejection ability that reduces vocal to PA & stage monitor feedback and reduces interferring adjacent multitracked instrument sounds when close mic'ing methods are used on stage and for studio session work. They are mostly problem solving microphones that greatly sacrifice acoustic fidelity to avoid potential off
axis problems. Using them for stereo purposes has never worked very well; mostly very inconsistant in how schemes using such mics record a situation in stereo.

For recording live events where acoustic quality or fidelity and a true feeling of 'being there' is important, you really don't want to use anything but a HRTF baffled omni microphone type system.

Regards in Sound & Music Recording, Leonard Lombardo

Subject: Re: Concert Recording >From: Kirby> >Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 02:25:09 GMT
> >I have no doubt that everything you say is true, but the mics and baffle you suggest would be way too expensive. I may have to go with a different mic (non-cardioid), but can't afford the omnis. > >Kirby

The most costly element for baffled omni mic system is the HRTF baffle. Replicating the acoustic response of water saturated tissue is no easy accomplishment and the raw material costs for the LiteGUY are impressive.

However, there is a far less costly way that may be suitable for this your present project. Usually, using a baffle is a must when working close proximity to noisy and talkative crowds common at popular music venues these days. You need to get at least 8- 10 feet up and away from this crowd noise to get a good overall ambient mix.

In your situation, the audience may be more respectful and allow someone seated (or standing) to record just as good an ambient sound from somewhere within the close stage to half back into the hall. This person would know how use the Sharp MD deck and personally headwear the mics (this is a real HRTF baffle).

Head position should be facing stage forward with no looking left-right head turns, at least while recording; up-down head-mic motions to check the deck's VU are not usually noticeable. Quiet clothing (cotton is best) and wearing no loose, noisy jewelry is highly recommended. Keeping people directly adjacent from audibly talking, rustling paper programs, making squeaky chair noises, and jingling jewelry items is a matter of luck and timing, or planning on having a buffer of people 'in the know' around the mic position to keep the peace.

Getting some buffer distance from close-up audience noise is your best friend in most these situations.

Obviously, using a HRTF baffle on a tripod stand up 8-15 feet in the air makes the most sense in the long run. This where mic position for best ambient mix while not being in the way of anything important are the only considerations for getting a good ambient sound. Regards in Sound & Music Recording, Leonard Lombardo

Subject: Re: Concert Recording "Martian Wxx" <> writes: Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2001 13:50:13 GMT

He he he ............ I tell ya what if i have to tape another concert with his darn Tree mic stand in the middle of the screen sticking out like a sore thumb, i am gonna SCREAM!!!

GuySonic Reply: Views of any microphone has always been a logistical problem when dealing with live audience, Video/live TV broadcast, and Film productions where the line of site is best kept unobstructed. The live line-of-site audience situation may allow a little more flexibility in that ambient microphone position well above most seated views is usually not difficult to implement and moderate distances from even a head-sized all pitch-black colored HRTF mic baffle make this blend well from spectator views that might partially include it.
A little known fact is the HRTF baffled mic need NOT be directly positioned stage center to get excellent results because of the way it works with the entire ambient and not just a portion. Acceptable mic positions that work well are those within one-third (total span of hall width distance) from the side walls. Best to keep the stage front-to-hall-back (or balcony) distance within the 50% to one-third from the actual edge of the sound stage. Closer to the stage is also OK, but you start to need to bring the mic position much closer to being centered with being close-in to the stage; best position is often a mix of hall acoustics and PA speaker (if any are used) dependent and what (if any) views-of-the-mic are deemed acceptable to the audience and certain video angles that may include it.

truly there are two types of concerts and two types of recordings

that which is a concert (101 piece instrument) and that which is a noisy rock band so that wasn't to well defined in this thread, as somebody's mics would crumble in the latter situation somehow i don't think you have to worry about somones jewlery being audible at a stones concert or for that matter even someone yelling for a medic :-)

GuySonic Reply: The 'sensitivity' rating (sound pressure to electrical output factor) of a suitable microphone and maximum SPL (sound pressure handling ability before the Mic's electrical signal distorts) are two definite considerations when choosing a suitable microphone. Sensitivity rating is an especially important factor when using most battery powered DAT/MD portables and Camcorder mic inputs as these are the first to overload; usually well before the mic itself reaches its maximum SPL.
This is one of the main reasons there's DSM mic models spanning 8 sensitivity ranges. This is important for having optimum mic-deck SYSTEM performance that's guaranteed for particular 'ranges' of recording requirements. Having the most versatile 'single' DSM or any microphone model is often a choice of knowing the likely loudest requirement and choosing this model appropriate to work with a particular recording SYSTEM.

That 'mic system' MAY ALSO include having at least one bass rolloff filter frequency (a.k.a., Hi-Pass and LoCut) at your disposal for gracefully handling that 'Stones' type job or an On-the-street-Interview session where all that motor vehicle rumble captured is (especially if using a pressure type omni like DSM), competing with the intelligibility of softly spoken conversation.
The bass filter becomes a good friend in situations like this by enhancing any deck's voltage input headroom and digitization 'resolution' of higher frequency signals when working with very bassy music sounds AND ALSO very useful for reducing industrial rumbling sounds present in all urban ambiance these days. It's good to realize that All directional microphones available have inherently poor low frequency bass response, typically start the rolloff from 125 -175 cycles; (how would you like headphones like this!?!) but the directional mic manufacturers always claim operation 'bandwidth' to much lower like 40-70 cycles .......... maybe, but most can sound quite thin specially with acoustic orchestra, but this same directional mics that lack real-low frequency ability is somewhat a benefit for keeping ROCK/POP venue recording more manageable, at least from the mic preamp's perspective, if not also for end-product's overall tonal balance on normal playback systems.
One of the unrealized advantages to using Cardioid and Shotgun mic for urban close range and on-on-the-spot interview work is not only the attenuation characteristic for 'off-axis' sounds at all frequencies, it's also for the 'ON-AXIS' reduction of very low frequency sounds that happens with-or-without additional Lo-Cut in place.

Choosing mic sensitivity and a table of mic models for any particular range of applications are at: Tips on 'Avoiding mic/line input overload distortion' on DAT/MD portables is discussed at:

and the two types of recordings that which is precisely recorded to be played back on dat or cd with headphones and represents the actual highs and lows of the volume of a real concert and has apropriate stereo seperation for ONE THING, a pair of headphones.

and that which plays back on 3" stereo speakers on the average home television requires compression to sound ANYTHING like it did in the building and so the poor consumer doesnt go from not being able to hear it above the fan in thier heater, to having it so LOUD that they cant hear themselves think. and having an Excess of stereo seperation so we can hear any seperation at all, when it comes out of the average telvision speakers 2 feet away from each other.


You know i was hired to do this stuff for classic concerts videotape and of course i was told to NOT ADJUST THE AUDIO ok well that may be fine for the CD which we made but it does not work for the video

Does anybody know WHY because be they omni or uni or short shotgun MICS do not pick up the same way as the human ear I dont care if you payed $7000 for them it is not the same.

in the seat at the concert i can hear the slightest tink of the Triangle i am oblivious to the sounds of the people coughing and gasping around me when the cymbals Clash in thier thunderous roar i dont run out of the theatre holding my ears screaming in pain but an unadjusted mic and 5-100w of amplification just doesnt work that way the low volume times are way too low and you cant hear enough
and the high volume times are much louder than they sounded there it does NOT sound like it did when your there in a seat in the audience and unless you wish to mic every instrument and spend the next 50 years mixing them perfectally it isnt ever going to.

I will gladly admit that this $7000 mics system on the tree in the center 9 miles in the air was the most perfect cleanest beautifull sound that i have ever heard reproduced, as long as you had the $500 headphones on, and it stayed in perfect uncompressed digital format. but it is not the majority that would ever listen to it that way. and it has little to Nothing to do with VIDEO

GuySonic Reply: There are two issues I can see raised here. One is the notable 'different-from-what-we-actually-heard' microphone recording characteristic, and the live recording dynamic (soft to loud) range that may be inappropriate for the final product's non-audiophile purpose.

Appropriate choice of microphone and methodology is at the heart of making recordings of EXACTLY WHAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY HEAR, or conversely, RECORDING ONLY WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR at any chosen place and to sound like you intended when reproduced on whatever range of playback equipment deemed likely for the final product.
DSM HRTF made recordings have more proven ability, more than any other microphone/method, of doing the latter most consistently. These recordings are now used extensively for live sound recordings in media products meant for on all the types of commonly used headphone/loudspeaker playback systems without inherent need of any special 'make-it-compatible-for-playback' decoding or post processing.

Mastering done in post-production is responsible for making any recording's dynamics more "accessible" for the target audience that's known to have a certain range of playback equipment limitations and soft, loud, directly seated, or for wallpaper only listening type preferences.

I have to admit that in my younger (and most naive) days, I considered the use of audio compression in HiFi media an evil thing. But back then I had no close neighbors to disturb and my speaker systems got to be 4500 watt RMS horsepower rated Tri-Amp'd systems to cleanly produce 125 dB SPL down to 25 cycles and 115 dB SPL at 15 cycles! I live in more humble (and hopefully wiser) times now within a small city neighborhood and find myself mostly listening to mastered recordings on a variety of the very same low power/small speaker systems in common use by the majority. This being the case now, I have a lot to say in favor of tasteful employment of dynamic compression techniques (like those featured in Syntrillium's Cool Edit Pro) to make the mastered audio much more "accessible" to a wider audience under those same real-world situations mentioned.

The heaviest compression personally used here was recently of an impromptu acoustic campfire seated group of vocal, ukulele, and tabula version "How'd you like to spend Christmas on Christmas island?" The performance was actually quite OK, but the HRTF mic positioning was impossible; the ensemble's instruments were way too distantly spread for having close to a half-good dynamic mix. Everything was way off, but I resisted throwing this in the garbage (because I very much liked the whimsical nature of the tune's lyrics+ ukellele+ tabla) and tried a very radical amount of finely tuned compression that made every musical element take about 4 steps forward and stand together in a most unexpected natural sounding way. This worked out so well that I've made two short sample clips of before and after the dynamic compression; mostly to share my amazement of what is possible with a good performance that has a terrible loud-soft mix of elements. This "merit of using compression example" will be on the site within a month as there'll be more storage and bandwidth about then.


>Subject: Re: Concert Recording From: "Martian W Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 11:05:49 GMT
>so what your saying is its kind of a duel piazio with a dampened base how about a flat plate that mounted on a mic stand then a layer of silicoln that is minature eggcrated about 3/8 of an inch of silicoln to get that wet dampening and to finish it press a tight eggcrate pattern into the top 1/4 let it dry, place two elements on and you have a stereo dampened piazio which could be 1/5th as wide as the head pattern yet would still be side to side stereo seperated like the head pattern but require 1/5 the visual existance and would pack in a goody bag ............. ahh always finding a "different" way >
>ok i am patenting this right now :-)
>by the way what do you NAME your head ??? ............. is it bubba ?

Any baffle is better than no baffle with dual omni.

Now with that said, if you make it different from what's needed for true HRTF response, then the mic will operate differently, and the recording will always sound differently and have unpredictable variations with different types of playback systems.

The experience with the Jecklin disc and derivatives (which seems very similar to yours BTW), is proven not consistent and throws all sorts of unexpected curves on how the recording will actually come out sounding like; sometimes it can work out sounding quite nicely, but mostly not like you actually heard it and it can often be too far off from reality to be easily usable for prime-time.

That's the problem with different mics and methods, we already have a lot of 'different,' but there's always room for more to keep all but the most experienced recordist successful, at least most of the time even if it takes the additional advantage of post tools and the time and experience to make 'different' sound at least OK.
In contrast, using 'different' by the non-expert with minimum post tools and time means that LUCK is THE prime factor in getting good sounding recordings.

QUESTION IS: 'Do You Feel Real Lucky? .... DO YA? ..... had enough 'different yet?! ... have ya? ......

Anyway, the point is, if not really sure or really lucky, then I know you'd do far better with a proven true HRTF mic for at least recording consistently what you are naturally hearing at any particular location when that's your goal.

Bottom Line: Different from what's heard live is too often times NOT BETTER by most people's sensible measure of hearing


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