Microphone and Recording Project

Summary

In this project I was tasked with creating a mic audition podcast where I sampled eight different microphines to see how each sounds and to see which one I liked most.

Microphone Audition podcast

My Favorite microphone Specifications

Shure SM58

  • is a cardioid dynamic microphone
  • most widely know vocal mic in the world
  • celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016

Terms And Concepts

Dynamic Mic. – In a dynamic microphone a thin diaphragm is connected to a coil of wire called a voice coil which is precisely suspended over a powerful magnet.

Condenser Mic. -Instead of using a coil, ribbon microphones use a small strand of very thin 2 microns thick aluminum ribbon.

Omni pattern – Responsive in all directions, sometimes picking up unwanted sound.

Cardioid pattern – Condensers use two charged plates, one fixed and one which can move acting like a diaphragm.

Bi-directional pattern – Most sensitive to sounds coming front the front and the rear. Less sensitive to sounds at the sides.

Transduction – Converting sound energy into an electrical signal or an electrical signal into sound energy.

Voltage – The sensitivity.

Phantom Power – +48v of energy sent down the microphone cable to a condenser microphone from the audio recording or mixing board.

Sensitivity – Output level. Voltage of output signal when exposed to a certain sound level. Can be expressed as decibels below one volt. Most microphone signals are less than one volt so a negative number is used (-50dBV). Higher number means microphone is more sensitive (-30dBV) and a lower number means a less sensitive microphone (-70dBV). This number is meaningless unless you know what sound pressure level (SPL) it was tested with. Most are tested at 94dB/1 Pa. 

Frequency Response – The range of sound a microphone can reproduce and how sensitive the mic is at certain distance. Flat response, equally sensitive to all frequencies. Shaped response, more sensitive to some frequency ranges, adds clarity to vocals. When made less sensitive to low frequencies, picks up less background noise. Some microphones let you adjust frequency response.

Transient – An abrupt change in level. Like a cymbal’s crash or a singer’s T’s or CH’s.

Placement – If the sound source (mainly vocals) is farther away (3-4 ft), the voice is still clear but you get more room noise, which may be good if you want reverberation. Move the sound source even further to get more reverberation. About half a foot away from the mic, is the normal place for a vocalist. You get less room noise and the voice sounds even clearer. Picks up subtle changes in the voice. Moving the sound source to right in front of the microphone will increase the bass (proximity effect), as well as giving the voice a more intimate feel. A pop filter will be needed to prevent some words from “popping”. Like the singer’s P’s.

Proximity Effect – The increase in bass when a sound source is moved closer to the microphone.

Output – More sensitive mics have higher voltage than less sensitive mics. 

Characteristics – Sensitivity, Frequency Response, Output, Maximum sound pressure level.

Noise Rating – The signal (sound source) to noise ratio measured in decibels (dB). Noise is any sound in the background you don’t want. Electricity vibrates at 60dB so you want the ratio of the signal and noise to be higher than that. Preferably 90dB or higher.

Mic. Clip – Holds the microphone to the stand

Mic. Stand – Holds up the microphone so the speaker doesn’t have to hold it. Height can be adjusted.

Windscreen/Pop Filter – Reduces breathing and wind noises

Direct Box – Connected to the mixer. Balances various outputs an inputs from the microphone and the mixer.

What I Learned

the main thing that I learned in this project was how each microphone that I auditioned sounded and also which one that I liked the best. Along with this I also gained some sense of how each different microphone can be used for different task and that gave me some ideas for future projects.

 

ADR Project

Summary

I was given a video clip with audio that we recorded on the standard camera microphone and I was also given five audio clips that had been recorded after the video was made. Then I was told to match the audio up to the video clip as best as possible.

Film Before Visual ADR

Film After Visual ADR

ADR Practice Audio

ADR Process

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Audio ADR Preparation

Audio ADR is when an actor matches their lines to the sound of the original audio (AKA scratch track)

ADR Terms

ADR – Automated Dialogue Replacement

Looping – Having multiple takes and being able to choose the best take

Visual ADR – Actor visually matching lip sync

Audio ADR – Actor matches the sound of original audio

Audio Post-production Terms

Equalizer – Boosts or cuts the amplitude of specific frequencies

High Shelf – Raising a frequency

Low Shelf  – Lowering a frequency

Low pass filter – Completely cuts all high sound

High pass filter – Completely cuts all low sound

First order filter – Type of filter a car uses, able to boost or lower Treble, Mid, and Bass

Second order filter – AKA Peaking Filter or Parametric EQ, Can boost/ lower frequency, can boost/cut with gain, and can widen the value of the parabola with Q.

Notch Cut or Band Stop filter- Cuts an area of sound by using Q in a second order filter.

Graphic Equalizer – Behaves the same as Second order filters, but uses sliders for EQ values

Equalizers: Fix inadequacies in the recording, Mix audio, and to make a track sound better or different.

Dynamic Range – difference between the very soft and very loud

Compressor – makes the difference between the very soft and very loud noise smaller, by making higher values softer. Makes audio sound louder and more powerful.

Expander or Noise Gate – like a compressor, but makes lower values softer

Multiband Compressor – combines the bands of EQ with the ability of a compressor.

Noise Reduction with a Fast Fourier Transformer – Takes a snap shot of the noise, and removes the un-wanted noise from the track. By removing all the background noise, Chirping can occur.

Delay filter – creates Audio Combing, can add a unique value to a project

Reverb – sum of lots of varied echoes, simulates the appearance of space in sound

Phase Vocoders and Sinusoidal Spectral Modeling – stretches or squishes waveforms (EX: auto tune)

 Problem I solved  and the things I learned

Overall I didn’t have many problems  The only thing that came up  was that the exporting process was working correctly  but I eventually figured out that I had to change the file location. The main thing I learned  was how to use GarageBand.