Thursday, July 3, 2014

InfoComm 2014 Attendees: Your Info is Being Sold

Earlier this week I received this heartwarming email message, offering me the complete contact information for everyone who attended InfoComm last month, for a price:


Would you like to have access to InfoComm 2014 Expo Attendees Email Contacts? If yes, we have 18,000 Attendee Contacts with full details including verified emails. Grab this offer at economical price.

Our list comes with information such as; Company Name, Web site, Contact Name, Title, Verified Email address, Mailing Address, Telephone Number, Fax number, Industry, Sic Code, Revenue, Number of employees etc. Samples are available on the request.

Let me know if you need any further information. Looking forward to hear from you.


James Carter | Business Development & Marketing Specialist|
101 Wood Avenue South, Suite 900. Metro Park 101, NJ 08830

I found it extraordinary that someone apparently unconnected with InfoComm is selling InfoComm's database. What makes it even more fishy is that the address at the bottom of the marketing email is actually that of Microsoft's New York district office in Iselin, NJ (

I've written to InfoComm to see if they can shed light on this apparent data breach, and will post their reply.

Monday, June 23, 2014

M-S Recording: A Useful Technique for Working in Stereo

M-S (mid-side) recording is a two-mic approach to recording orchestras, jazz combos and similar self-balancing ensembles. M-S goes a long way toward reducing the “hole-in-the-middle” that can result from other two-mic stereo techniques, while affording extensive control over the width of the ensemble.

In brief, the M (or mid) mic exhibits a bi-directional or cardioid pickup pattern and faces the front and center of the orchestra. The S (or side) mic exhibits a bi-directional pickup pattern and is oriented at 90 degrees to the M mic, facing the side walls.

By mixing the output of the S mic with positive polarity (“in phase”) with the M mic to derive the left channel, and mixing it with reversed polarity (“out of phase”) with the M mic to derive the right channel, the apparent width of the sound stage can be adjusted to be wider or narrower simply by varying the overall level of the S mic.

This technique provides results consistent with the X-Y technique (crossed cardioid or bi-directional mics) with two additional advantages:

1. instruments in the center of the stage are not picked up off-axis as they are with both X-Y mics (which are pointing away from the center); and

2. the recording is 100% mono-compatible (e.g., for FM radio transmission), since in mono the +S and -S signals are added together and cancel each other out, leaving just the M component.

I have used the M-S technique extensively with good results. The first example on this page illustrates the technique used to record Tafelmusik, a world-class Baroque orchestra:

Here's an excellent technical introduction to M-S.

The authors also provide a comprehensive and comparative review of various stereo miking techniques here.