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Mercury Living Presence

A post by David Mellor
Thursday April 17, 2003
Description and application of the Mercury Living Presence stereo microphone technique.
Mercury Living Presence

Mercury Living Presence was one of the early stereo techniques of the 1950s, used for classical music recordings on the Mercury label. If you imagine trying to figure out how to make a stereo recording when there was no-one around to tell you how to do it, you might work out that one microphone pointing left, another pointing center and a third pointing right might be the way to do it.

Record each to its own track on 35mm magnetic film, as used in cinema audio, and there you have it! Nominally omnidirectional microphones were used, but of course the early omni mics did become directional at higher frequencies. Later recordings were made to two-track stereo. These recordings stand up remarkable well today. They may have a little noise and distortion, but the sound is wonderfully clear and alive.

A post by David Mellor
Thursday April 17, 2003 ARCHIVE
David Mellor has been creating music and recording in professional and home studios for more than 30 years. This website is all about learning how to improve and have more fun with music and recording. If you enjoy creating music and recording it, then you're definitely in the right place :-)