Music 306  Fall, 2003

Recording Techniques


Lab 1- Microphone characteristics, placement, and directionality

Due October 3, 2003


Use the remote recording apparatus in B008 (Mackie 1604 mixer and Panasonic SV3700 DAT machine) to make live recordings in room B016 (or other nearby room if available).  BE VERY CAREFUL MOVING THE RACK.  Use all the microphones provided (they are locked in cabinet):


AKG C1000S (just use one/mono)

Shure beta dynamic

Neumann condenser

Crown PZM (Pressure Zone Microphone/stereo).  This is a much larger mike in a case (bowling-ball size) that is NOT in the cabinet, but should be nearby.


Record the same excerpt of instrumental or vocal music with all the mikes, at different distances and orientations in the room.  I suggest three positions:  20 cm, 1 meter and 5 meters.  Remember that the room is part of the recording!  All recordings should be mono except for the Crown PZM recording.  (Don't forget to turn on phantom power for the condenser mikes).


Compare the audio quality of the various recordings and their characteristics.  Which mike is the quietest?  Which puts out the hottest signal?  Which seems the most accurate (flat frequency response)?*  Which is your favorite mike?  What are the peculiarities of the various microphones?


Turn in a DAT with ID numbers before each section, and a written report that is keyed to the DAT so that one can find each described selection quickly and easily.  NOTE:  You can add and remove ID numbers after you're done recording; see SV3700 manual.  However, you can't have ID numbers set within less than 9 seconds of each other.  If some of your examples are less than 9 seconds apart, it's OK, just label them 3a, 3b, etc.


NOTE:  You probably WILL need to change the levels when you record w/ different mikes in different places.  This is OK just document it.

Later we will experiment with various microphone techniques for stereo, like M/S, ORTF, etc.


NOTE:  You are encouraged to work in pairs, as long as both people do their own writeup.



* for more information about flat frequency response  see H&R pages 30 and 103.