Understanding XY Miking
In an XY recording, two directional microphones are symmetrically angled, from the center
of the stereo field. The right-hand microphone is aimed at a point between the left side
and the center of the sound source. The left-hand microphone is aimed at a point between
the right side and the center of the sound source. This results in a 45° to 60° off-axis
recording on each channel (or 90° to 120° between channels).
XY recordings tend to be balanced in both channels, with good positional information
being encoded. It is commonly used for drum recording. XY recording is also suitable for
larger ensembles and many individual instruments.
Typically, XY recordings have a narrower sound field than AB recordings, so they can lack
a sense of perceived width when played back. XY recordings can be mixed down to mono.