Question: What stereo microphone techniques can be used with Audio-Technica microphones? (Part 4: Blumlein Pair)
Answer: Over the last few weeks we have looked at some of the popular stereo microphone techniques you can use with your Audio-Technica microphones. We will finish our series with the Blumlein Pair, which was created by Alan Blumlein while he was working on stereophonic sound in the early 1930s. The Blumlein stereo technique, like other stereo microphone techniques, uses a combination of microphones and, with correct phase alignment, can mix the different microphone signals to create a sonic third dimension.
The Blumlein Pair technique utilizes two microphones with a bidirectional (figure-of-eight) pickup pattern and positions them on top of – and 90 degrees off axis from – one another. Positioning the microphone elements as close together as possible will help phase coherence. Both microphones will face 45 degrees off axis from the sound source, but in opposite directions (with the rear pickups of the figure-of-eight patterns facing roughly 225 degrees off axis). This technique captures the direct sound from the source as well as the acoustic reflections in the rear pickup. The AT4080 ribbon microphones are often chosen for recording with the Blumlein Pair technique. Additionally, the AT4050, AT4047MP, AT4081, and AT2050 microphones all have a figure-of-eight pickup pattern and may be used for the Blumlein Pair technique. You may see the Blumlein Pair used in the video below for recording a string quartet.
Different stereo microphone techniques have different sonic signatures, and trying different ones will result in different sound timbres. Try some of these stereo recording techniques at your next recording session and see which best suits your sound source. If you have further questions on stereo microphone techniques with Audio-Technica microphones, feel free to contact our Audio Solutions Department.