Chapter 9

Ancillary microphones

9.1 What do we mean by ‘ancillary’?

It is usually insufficient to rely solely on an overall orchestral microphone main pickup even though this will form the bedrock of the sound, giving the overall tone colour and sense of space and depth. To this end, additional ‘ancillary’ microphones are used, usually with the purpose of adding detail to sources that are furthest from the main pickup. These are commonly called spot microphones (UK), or accent microphones (US), but the use of the word ‘spot’ should not be taken to mean that the microphone is placed very close to the source with the intention of picking up a single instrument in isolation. Classical ‘spot’ or ancillary microphones are placed much further away ...

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