Spaced Pair – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Recording Techniques Glossary

What is a spaced pair microphone technique?

A spaced pair microphone technique is a stereo recording method that involves placing two microphones a distance apart from each other to capture a wide stereo image of a sound source. This technique is commonly used in recording studios, live sound reinforcement, and field recording to create a sense of space and depth in the audio.

How is a spaced pair setup typically arranged?

In a spaced pair setup, two identical microphones are placed at a distance from each other, typically between 3 to 10 feet apart. The microphones are positioned at an equal distance from the sound source, forming an angle of around 90 to 120 degrees between them. This arrangement allows the microphones to capture the sound source from different perspectives, resulting in a natural stereo image.

When is a spaced pair microphone technique commonly used?

A spaced pair microphone technique is commonly used in recording situations where a wide stereo image is desired. This technique is often employed in recording orchestras, choirs, acoustic ensembles, and ambient soundscapes. Spaced pair miking is also popular for capturing the natural reverberation of a room or space, as it creates a sense of depth and dimension in the audio.

What are the advantages of using a spaced pair technique?

One of the main advantages of using a spaced pair technique is the ability to capture a wide stereo image with a sense of depth and realism. This technique can create a spacious and immersive sound that enhances the listening experience for the audience. Spaced pair miking also allows for greater flexibility in post-production, as the two microphone signals can be mixed and panned to create a customized stereo image.

What are the disadvantages of using a spaced pair technique?

While spaced pair miking can produce a natural and immersive stereo image, it also has some disadvantages. One potential drawback is the risk of phase cancellation between the two microphones, which can result in a thin or hollow sound. Additionally, the wide stereo image created by spaced pair miking may not be suitable for all recording situations, as it can sometimes lack focus and clarity compared to other stereo techniques.

How can a spaced pair technique be optimized for different recording situations?

To optimize a spaced pair technique for different recording situations, there are several factors to consider. First, the distance between the microphones and the sound source should be adjusted based on the size of the sound source and the desired stereo image. Closer microphone spacing can result in a more focused stereo image, while wider spacing can create a more spacious sound.

Additionally, the angle between the microphones can be adjusted to alter the stereo width and perspective. A wider angle between the microphones will capture more room ambience and create a larger stereo image, while a narrower angle will focus the stereo image on the sound source. Experimenting with microphone placement and angle can help achieve the desired balance of depth, width, and clarity in the stereo image.