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An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Equalization - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Why mono is better than stereo for recording vocals and dialogue

Audio demonstrations of distortion produced by compressor plug-ins

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How to double track easily and efficiently

What basic equipment do you need to make professional recordings?

A simple mixing tip that will improve (nearly) all of your mixes

The difference between minimum-phase and linear-phase EQ on transient signals such as snare drum

The professional way to make sure your mics are connected correctly

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Mercury Living Presence

Description and application of the Mercury Living Presence stereo microphone technique.


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.

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By David Mellor Thursday April 17, 2003
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