Coincident Pair – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Recording Techniques Glossary

What is a Coincident Pair?

A coincident pair is a stereo recording technique in which two microphones are placed as close together as possible, typically with their capsules aligned vertically or horizontally. The goal of a coincident pair is to capture a realistic stereo image by picking up sound from different directions simultaneously.

How is a Coincident Pair set up?

To set up a coincident pair, two microphones are placed next to each other with their capsules aligned. The most common configuration is the X-Y technique, where the microphones are angled at 90 degrees to each other. Another popular configuration is the Blumlein technique, where the microphones are placed at a 45-degree angle to each other.

What are the benefits of using a Coincident Pair?

One of the main benefits of using a coincident pair is the ability to capture a natural stereo image with a strong center focus. This technique is ideal for recording instruments or ensembles where precise localization and phase coherence are important. Coincident pairs also offer good mono compatibility, as the two microphones are picking up sound from the same point in space.

What are the drawbacks of using a Coincident Pair?

One drawback of using a coincident pair is the potential for phase cancellation when the microphones are placed too close together. This can result in a thin or hollow sound in the recording. Additionally, coincident pairs may not capture as much depth or spaciousness in the stereo image compared to other techniques like spaced pairs or binaural recording.

When is a Coincident Pair typically used in recording?

Coincident pairs are commonly used in recording situations where precise stereo imaging is desired, such as capturing the sound of a single instrument or a small ensemble. This technique is often used in classical music recordings, as well as in live sound reinforcement for acoustic performances.

How does a Coincident Pair differ from other stereo recording techniques?

Unlike spaced pairs or binaural recording, which use two separate microphones placed at a distance from each other, a coincident pair captures sound from a single point in space. This results in a more focused stereo image with strong center imaging. Coincident pairs are also less susceptible to phase issues compared to spaced pairs, making them a popular choice for recording in challenging acoustic environments.