Completing a Schoeps M/S Rig: CMBI + CCM or CMC (and wind protection?)



I'm looking to run a Schoeps M/S rig into a Sound Devices 702. I know the preferred way is to go full CCM, but I already have one CMBI + MK2 and want to pick up an MK8 or CCM8 and run M/S. My application is field recordings, nature, SFX and acoustic music. I want to achieve a wide, ambient stereo field.

Can I run a CMBI/MK2 with a CCM8 in a Rycote Mono Extended Ballgag with the special stereo suspension clips? The diameters of the CMBI and CCM are the same, so I figure the stereo suspension option should work. The CMBI is a bit shorter than the CMC, so I'm thinking that pairing it with the CCM will further limit handling noise in the smaller blimp.

I know this is a weird setup. But I already own the CMBI/MK2 and would prefer to extend by it adding one mic (figure 8) rather than starting from starch. This, unless you think that there are good reasons to unload my CMBI/MK2 and build a full CCM rig.

The other option, of course, is the go with a CMC/MK8 to run with the CMBI/MK2. This is a slightly cheaper option and does give me the modular flexibility of the MK line.


Posted 2012-05-29T06:10:04.713

Reputation: 51



A Schoeps MS pair (MK capsules with bodies) won't fit inside a mono extended ballgag unless you buy the super expensive active cables ($557 US each last I checked). There are custom Rycote solutions, but the recommended Rycote kit is the AE stereo one, which is about the size of a small watermelon. I was able to jam my MK41/8 pair into a mono size 2, but that took some custom parts and a bit of jerry-rigging.

An MK 41, MK4, or even the MK21 wide cardiod would work well in MS. I doubt you'd get very good localization with an MK2 Omni in the center.

Justin P

Posted 2012-05-29T06:10:04.713

Reputation: 5 344

I just heard back from Redding Audio, the Schoeps and Rycote distributer, and this information is correct. (It's not that I trusted the reply, I had emailed them before I read it.) Interestingly, if I run two CMBI bodies, which are a little shorter than the regular CMCs, they say I can go with the Rycote Stereo AD kit, which seems a bit smaller than some of the other options. Now, I need to figure out cables to get the stereo 3.5mm CMBI end to a dual mono XLR for a SD 702. And then I'm good to go. – sans-un – 2012-05-31T02:21:57.860


Well, you could...but you're not going to get the results you want with a MK2 capsule (omni). If you sum an omni pattern and a figure-8 pattern mic, you're result is going to be a cardioid pattern on-axis with one of the lobes of the figure-8. In the very least, you're going to need to buy a cardiod (MK4) capsule.

I did a post not too long ago on why trying to derive stereo signals from an omni/figure-8 M/S combo isn't a good idea. You may want to take a look at it.

Shaun Farley

Posted 2012-05-29T06:10:04.713

Reputation: 14 704

Thanks for the response. You're test was very telling, and the stereo image of he M/S with an omni didn't work for me. I figure this is that you mean by the resultant cardio patter on axis, no?

I've read that others have had very good luck running an M/S with an omni at M. The way they describe it sounds exactly what I'm after, hence my inquiry into this setup. Is this a question of tweaking the ratio between M and S to widen or narrow the field?

I love my Schoeps omni! I also love the fact that I can switch out the capsule and, perhaps, go for an MK4 along with the MK8. – sans-un – 2012-05-29T16:07:14.530

@sans-un - summing the M/S produces a narrower pattern, regardless of pattern choice. using an omni, you'll get cardioid, on-axis with the figure-8, at its narrowest. using cardioid, you'll get something closer to hypercardioid around 35-40 degrees off-axis (from the figure-8), at its narrowest. you can derive stereo from either combination, but you need to both sum (M+S) and difference (M-S) the two signals. That's what give you your left and right channels. I don't like the coloration and less predictability that omni tends to add in M/S. Cardioid is a better choice in my opinion. – Shaun Farley – 2012-05-29T17:08:15.030

I'm looking into mk options. I'm going to pick up the mk8 and another CMBI body to run into a Rycote Stereo kit. Have you or anyone else had any experience or luck with the mk41v? Schoeps calls it a "short shot gun." I like the idea of having the option of widening the image with the mk2 and narrowing it with the mk41v. It would seem that the mk41v would give me a nice mono semi-shotgun option for effects. Or, would having the mk2 and the mk41v merely give me extremes, while leaving me without a sweet spot in the middle? – sans-un – 2012-06-02T18:21:40.820

@sans-un - i know a few people who have used hypercardioids (i.e. the mk41) as the mid in an M/S rig. since it picks up a bit on the 180 degree axis, you need to watch out for sounds behind you suddenly popping into and disappearing from the center of your decoded signal. you can definitely do it, it just requires you to pay more attention. is there a reason you want the mk41v over the mk41? you're aware that it's a side-address capsule, yes? – Shaun Farley – 2012-06-02T23:37:50.453

@Shaun Farley - very helpful once again, thanks! i am (now) aware that the mk41v is side addressed and will look into the mk41 or mk4. there's also the possibility of trading up the mk2 to the mk5. that would give me an omni and card option. i've read good things about this card, that some tend to favor it above the mk4. i wonder if the slight HF tilt on the omni would give me slightly better direction and image when/if used in MS. (i do take your point about the omni in MS configuration. i'd like to retain an omni anyway and figured i would test it out to see/hear for myself). – sans-un – 2012-06-03T01:20:51.580