Microphones and Recording Basics

Creative Commons image from Flickr by Roadside Guitars

Goal

  • Research and learn about microphone terms and concepts in a media production and audition numerous microphones for sound characteristics.

Terms and Concepts

Product

  • Create a blog post with embedded media from YouTube, SoundCloud, Slideshare, and/or Flickr

Examples

Steps

  • Day 1 – Learn about Microphone Audition, Create Blog Post and Define Terms
    • Review the microphone audition script (PDF)
    • Create blog post titled, Microphones and Recording Project
    • Create headings
      • Summary
      • Microphone Audition Podcast
      • My Favorite Microphone Specifications (PLACE MIC. NAME LATER)
      • Terms and Concepts
      • What I Learned
    • Copy and paste terms under the Terms and Concepts heading
      • Dynamic Mic.
      • Condenser Mic.
      • Omni pattern
      • Cardioid pattern
      • Bi-directional pattern
      • Transduction
      • Voltage
      • Phantom Power
      • Sensitivity Freq. Response
      • Transient
      • Placement
      • Proximity Effect
      • Output
      • Characteristics
      • Noise Rating
      • Mic. Clip
      • Mic. Stand
      • Windscreen/Pop Filter
      • Direct Box
    • Define terms
  • Day 2-4 – Refine Terms, Train for your team role Sound Safari Team Roles, and Record Audio
    • Finish definitions
    • Introduce the Microphone Auditions
    • Assign team roles and prepare for your role
      • Recorder/Technician: Learn how to use the field recording microphone and the digital camera for recording
      • Director/Producer: Learn the script and the steps, organize paperwork, guide team, check off tasks as you complete them
      • Sound File Manager: Download the sound files off the equipment and organize for team
    • Review the microphone audition script (PDF)
    • Record using the the Zoom H4n audio deck
    • Record using the Canon T3i and Rode VideoMicro shotgun mic
    • Record microphones with Mr. Le Duc in the Sound Room
      • Mr. Le Duc will place your mp3 recording in the class shared folder on the Newton server
    • Record the introduction and summary with your own device
    • Review Audacity or GarageBand tutorials
  • Day 5 – Test a Microphone and Cables with a Multimeter
  • Day 6 Through Second to Last Day of the Project
    • Edit the mp3 that Mr. Le Duc recorded of the microphones in the sound room with the recordings from your phone, the Zoom H4n, the Canon T3i DSLR, and/or Rode Shotgun Mic, and recordings you made for the introduction and summary on your own device
      • Record the intro and outro of the script on your phone
        • Intro: “Hi, I recorded my voice in front of a number of popular microphones to hear how each one colored or affected the sound of my voice.”
        • Outro: “Well, that concludes my recording exercise to see how each of these microphones sounds with my voice. What I found that the ADD MICROPHONE NAME HERE the microphone that made my voice sound the best. My introduction and closing statements were record with a … ADD WHICH ONE HERE: Apple / Droid / Cell Phone Microphone. It most likely has a MEMS microphone. Which is a condenser microphone.”
      • Set the volume levels for each recording so that one is not louder than the others, so they sound even
      • Edit out extra long “dead space” in between the separate recordings, but you should have a short gap of maybe a 1/2 second between microphone recordings
      • Remove the noise or hum in between the recordings
    • Under the Microphone Auditions Podcast heading
      • Include the embedded the finish microphone audition podcast from SoundCloud
    • Under the My Favorite Microphone Specifications: The (PLACE MIC NAME HERE) heading copy and paste the following list and write in the specifications for your favorite microphone
      • Sensitivity – sound pressure level (SPL)
      • Impedance (measured in ohms or Ω)
      • Voltage (measured in milli-volts or mV)
      • Pick up pattern (polar pattern)  —> Embed a picture from here
      • Self Noise level (measured in dB)
      • Frequency response (measured in hertz or Hz)
      • Transient response (either high or low or fast or slow)
        • Hint: is the mic a dynamic or condenser?
    • Review teachmeaudio.com and recordinghacks.com
      • You will need information from these sites for the microphone specifications
    • Create What I Learned heading
      • Explain what you learned and at least one problem you overcame
    • Publish the post
  • Last Day
    • Present project

Tools

  • Quizlet for the Microphone Basics terms
  • SoundCloud
  • Flickr
  • GarageBand
  • Audacity
  • Microphone Hardware
    • Clips
    • Stands
    • Windscreen / Pop filter

Resources

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