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Introduction to Microphones

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Craig Manchester

on 29 January 2011

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Transcript of Introduction to Microphones

Microphones Introduction to Types of Microphones What is a Microphone? Recording Techniques Dynamic Microphone Condenser Microphone Ambient Recording Techniques Close Mic Recording Ambient Recording The Human Ear Co insident Pair Decca Tree Spaced Pair "Experiments have shown that a healthy young person hears all sound frequencies from approximately 20 to 20,000 hertz." "This means that the human ear can hear vibrations ranging from around 20 a second to 20,000 a second." Hearing or audition is the sense of sound perception and results from tiny hair fibres in the inner ear detecting the motion of atmospheric particles The Human ear is brilliant and the way that the brain interprets sound is even more amazing Generally speaking the human ear is far better than any microphone The human ear is capable of hearing many of the sounds produced in nature, but certainly not all. Some low frequencies like a heart beat of 1 or 2 Hz can not be heard, just like sonar sounds produced by dolphins which are too high. Any frequency that is below the human range is known as infrasound. It is so low that it may be detected by a creature with big ears, such as an Elephant. Ultrasound, on the other hand, is above the range of the human ear. Bats, whales, and dolphins use ultrasound for navigation. Most bats can detect frequencies as high as 100,000 Hz! Essentially a microphone is a acoustic-to-electric transducer A device for converting sound waves into electrical energy How did people record before microphones? Gramophone recordings Cylinder recordings All recordings before electricity were acoustic recordings Although Emile Berliner (1851-1929) may not be as well known as Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell, his contributions to modern technology are equally significant. Emile Berliner (May 20, 1851 – August 3, 1929) was a German inventor In 1876, Emile Berliner invented the first microphone used as a telephone voice transmitter. There are two main types of microphone - Dynamic Microphones and Condensor Microphones These two microphones are used for different kinds of recording Dynamic microphones are more robust Dynamic microphones are versatile and ideal for general-purpose use. They use a simple design with few moving parts. They are relatively sturdy and resilient to rough handling. They are better suited to handling high volume levels, from amplifiers or bass drums etc They have no internal amplifier and do not require batteries or external power. Condensor means capacitor, an electronic component which stores energy in the form of an electrostatic field. A condenser microphone uses a capacitor to convert acoustical energy into electrical energy. Condenser microphones require power from a battery or external source. The resulting audio signal is stronger signal than that from a dynamic. Condensors are more sensitive and responsive than dynamic microphones This makes them well suited for ambient recordings They are not ideal for high-volume work, as their sensitivity makes them prone to distort. Ambient recording try to capture the sound in the room There are many techniques used to try to capture ambient sound What is ambient noise? All the sounds from many sources associated with a given environment. Ambient noise encompasses all sound present in a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from many sources near and far. Room Noise What type of microphone is best suited to ambient recording? Close mic recording is when a microphone is placed in close proximity to the physical source of a sound What type of microphone is best suited to close mic recording?

Part One - Introduction to microphones

Part Two - Group Activity

Part Three - Listening Activity

Part Four - Conclusion and Feedback

All learners will be able to describe and differentiate between the ‘Dynamic Microphone’ and the ‘Compressor Microphone’.

All learners will be able to describe the differences between ‘Close-Mic recording’ and ‘Ambient Recording’.

Some learners will be able to apply this new knowledge to their own audio perception. Learning Objectives and Outcomes Todays Lesson In todays lesson we will...
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