X-Y interchangeable capsule heads


SKU: X-YH Category:
Product summary

The X-Y system supports interchangeable capsule heads in configurations from two to four capsules:

  • stereo: 120º
  • three-channel:  90º
  • four-channel 2D surround:  90º
  • four-channel 3D surround (ambisonic):  120º

X-R capsules with male RCA plug output may be directly attached to the heads, or extended via RCA adaptor accessories or extension cables.  A complete range of stereo and surround recording techniques are thereby enabled; including coincident, near-coincident, and spaced stereo, as well as combination of coincident and spaced microphone pairs, binaural, Blumlein, 2D, and 3D (ambisonic) surround.


Custom features
Stereo recording

Various stereo recording angles may be achieved by using RCA adaptor accessories between the capsules and capsule heads.  The capsule spacings and stereo recording angles with each adaptor are as follows (click on spacing for image):

Stereo Recording angle
Capsule on head Coincident with
RA adaptor
with Y adaptor
With Y adaptor With male &
female adaptors

90º, standard capsule


card: 147º
hyper: 92º
card: 177º
hyper: 103º
card: 180º
hyper: 109º
card: 124º
hyper: 83º
omni*: 180º
card: 117º
hyper: 80º
omni*: 165º

120º, standard capsule


card: 114º
hyper: 67º
N/A N/A 16cm
card: 93º
hyper: 59º
omni*: 127º
card: 86º
hyper: 57º
omni*: 114º

180º, standard capsule


card: 73º
hyper: 27º
omni*: 123º
N/A N/A 19cm
card: 62º
hyper: 25º
omni*: 91º
card: 58º
hyper: 25º
omni*: 84º

90º, short capsule


card: 158º
card: 180º
card: 180º
card: 128º
card: 120º

120º, short capsule


card: 122º
N/A N/A 14cm
card: 98º
card: 91º

180º, short capsule


card: 77º
N/A N/A 17cm
card: 64º
card: 61º


* omnidirectional capsules do not resolve a stereo recording angle of less than 180 º at less than 55cm spacing.  However, when used with the equalization disc, the resulting polar response becomes subcardioid at frequencies above 2kHz.  Thus, the recording angles shown for the omnidirectional capsule with equalization disc are derived for a subcardioid polar pattern.

Capsule mixing using RCA Y adaptor

Two X-R capsules may be connected to a single input with the RCA Y adaptor, which will mix the two signals from the capsules.  When used with an RCA extension cable, the Y adaptor mixes two discrete sources into a single microphone channel.  Also, the Y adaptor may be used to blend an omnidirectional capsule with a directional capsule.  This technique is especially useful with the acoustic low-pass filter, yielding a hybrid pattern with a directional high-frequency response and an omnidirectional low-frequency response.

Ambisonic decoding

When used on the four-channel 3D head, the short cardioid capsules have 4cm radius from the center of the head.  The capsule head output given above is “A” format.  This output must be mixed to “B” format (bidirectional response on three axes, plus omnidirectional) for further processing, using the matrix:

W (omnidirectional) = FLU + FRD + BLD + BRU
X (front to back) = FLU + FRD – BLD – BRU
Y (left to right) = FLU – FRD + BLD – BRU
Z (up to down) = FLU – FRD – BLD + BRU

The resulting ambisonic frequency response requires correction.  The recommended filters (low-frequency shelving, notch, and high-frequency shelving) to decode to B format are as follows:

W filters: +9dB shelf @ 120Hz; -7dB notch (Q=1) @ 5kHz, +9dB shelf @ 11kHz.

XYZ filters: +9dB shelf @ 120Hz; -11dB notch (Q=1) @ 4.5kHz.

Note that the low frequency shelving boost is not recommended for recording distances of less than 1m.

Output configuration

The X-Y capsule amplifier may be supplied with a TB4M input connector, which allows connection to the interchangeable capsule heads.  The interchangeable capsule head output uses a TA4F connector with the following pin configuration (3D surround):

pin 1:  white RCA jack, left (front left up),
pin 2:  red RCA jack, right (front right down)
pin 3:  black RCA jack, front (back left down)
pin 4:  yellow RCA jack, back (back right up)
chassis: ground

The TA4F output pins on the capsule head are routed to the XLR output pins on the X-R or X-Y capsule amplifiers with XLR-5-M (-3-M) output, as follows:

pin 1(1):  ground
pin 2:  black
pin 3(3):  white
pin 4:  yellow
pin 5(2):  red

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