Is it possible to use a M/S microphone as a mono mic?


Is it a normal mono sound you get if you use a M/S stereo mic by only plugging in the left or center? Does it sound like a normal mono shotgun mic?


Posted 2016-06-21T18:54:28.610

Reputation: 11



SOME M/S microphones provide discrete access to the Mid and Side outputs, but most provide only the matrixed Left and Right derived signal outputs.

Your question cannot be definitively answered as a generic question. It depends on exactly WHICH M/S mic you are talking about and whether it provides Mid and Side outputs?

Specifically, the Sennheiser MKH 418S has separate line-gradient ("shotgun") MID microphone and a separate figure-8 "side" microphone. It seems quite reasonable to expect that the "MID" shotgun section can be used independently without powering the "side" microphone section.


Richard Crowley

Posted 2016-06-21T18:54:28.610

Reputation: 1 849

I will be using Sennheiser MKH 418S, from where I get 2 mono xlr inputs. Is it possible to record mono if only plugin the center? Does it sound like a normal mono shotgun mic? – Sailor – 2016-06-22T06:17:48.443

Answer edited to address specific microphone make/model. – Richard Crowley – 2016-06-22T13:33:56.597

Even if an M/S microphone outputs the signals matrixed to L/R, the mono signal you get by mixing these signals in phase (which basically inverts the matrix) should still be very good – much better than the mono mix from other stereo setups. – leftaroundabout – 2016-06-26T13:27:22.193


Yep you certainly can just use the centre on a 418! Its similar to a 416 if you so this.


Posted 2016-06-21T18:54:28.610

Reputation: 166


Yes. Absolutely. Mono-Compatibility is exactly what Mid/Side recording is designed to accomplish, in fact quite a lot of Mid/Side recording rigs actually consist of a standard mono shotgun condensor mic with a figure-8 microphone gaffered to the top. Works extremely well. Of course you could go for a 418s - type solution where you have a shotgun mono Mid mic integrated with a figure-8 side mic in the same tube, or you can go for the redneck repairs style of solution. Both work equally well.


Posted 2016-06-21T18:54:28.610

Reputation: 7 535