The Crown Model SASS-P MK II
stereo PZM condenser microphone
The Crown® SASS-P MK II Stereo Ambient Sampling System™ is a patented, stereo condenser microphone using PZM technology. It is a mono-compatible, near-coincident array designed for professional applications including:
- classical-music recording (acoustic ensembles)
- stereo electronic news gathering (E.N.G.)
- sports ambience and crowd reaction
- recording worship services
- televised theatre and dance
- film ambience
- stereo sampling for keyboards
- stereo sound effects
- recording studios and live sound
Compared to its predecessor the SASS-P, the SASS-P MK II provides a warmer, smoother sound with more high-frequency brilliance (“air”) and less midrange “hardness.” A patented design, the SASS® uses a premium-quality Pressure Zone Microphone® for each channel. The PZMs are mounted on boundaries (with a foam barrier between them) to make each microphone directional.
The carefully controlled polar patterns and human-head-sized spacing between capsules create extremely well-focused, natural stereo imaging with no “hole in the middle.” Overall, the reproduction of the sound field is precise and realistic.
The SASS can accurately convey the ambient environment for location recording film-wide sound, or synched audio ambience (movement of traffic) where movement heard must precisely match movements in the screen image.
A foam barrier/baffle between the capsules shapes the pickup angle of each capsule in the front, and limits overlap of the two sides at higher frequencies. Although the mic capsules are spaced a few centimeters apart, there is little phase cancellation when both channels are combined to mono because of the shadowing effect of the baffle.
The SASS can be powered in the field by two 9V batteries, as well as 12-48V phantom power. Separate left and right outputs are low-impedance balanced.
Using two 2-conductor shielded microphone cables, plug the microphone into two microphone inputs in your mixing console or recorder. The SASS can be powered with 12-to-48 volt phantom power from the console or 9V batteries. Crown makes an AC-powered phantom power supply (model PH-4B) for powering up to four microphones (or two stereo microphones).
To reduce wind noise from air currents or microphone movement, keep the included windscreen on the microphone. Pull the windscreen over the system from the front, stretching its edges to snap over each of the four rear corners of the boundary plates.
Wind noise and rumble from trucks and air conditioning can be reduced by switching in the low-cut filter on the rear panel of the microphone. After use, remember to set the rear panel switch to PHANTOM to conserve the batteries. To avoid a “hole in the middle” effect, mike no closer than 3 feet (0.915 m).
If the perceived stereo spread is too wide, locate the SASS left and right input channels on your mixer, and pan them slightly toward center. The SASS is designed to have flattest response in a diffuse, reverberant sound field such as in a concert hall. In outdoor or semi-anechoic environments, its response rises at high frequencies.In this case, you might want to cut a few dB at upper-mid and high frequencies with your mixer’s equalizers to make the tonal balance more natural.