The Crown SASS-P MKII stereo microphone (Stereo Ambient Sampling System) does a great job
providing ambience and audience sounds for the rear channels in surround recordings. Let's look
at three surround miking techniques that use the SASS.
Five-Channel Microphone Array with Binaural Head
This method was developed by John Klepko of McGill University. It combines an array of three
directional mics with a 2-channel dummy head (Figure 1). Although Klepko did not mention the
SASS, it probably could replace the dummy head because of their similarity.
Front left and right channels: identical supercardioid mics
Center channel: a cardioid mic
Surround channels: a dummy head with two pressure-type omni mics fitted into the ear
molds, or a SASS mic.
Figure 1. The Klepko surround-sound miking method.
The mics have equal sensitivity and equal gains. Supercardioids are used for the front left/right
pair to reduce center-channel buildup.
According to Klepko:
"The walkaround tests form an image of a complete circle of points surrounding the listening
position. Of particular interest is the imaging between ±30 degrees and ±90 degrees. The array
produces continuous, clear images here where other (surround) techniques fail."
Stereo Pair Plus Surround SASS
In this method, the center-channel mic is omitted. You use a standard stereo pair of your choice
to pick up the musical ensemble, plus another stereo pair of your choice (such as the SASS) to
pick up the hall ambience (Figure 2). The hall mics feed the left-surround and right-surround