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Audio Engineering Society

Convention Paper 5342


Presented at the 110th Convention
2001 May 1215
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This convention paper has been reproduced from the authors advance manuscript, without editing, corrections, or consideration
by the Review Board. The AES takes no responsibility for the contents. Additional papers may be obtained by sending request
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Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.

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Proximity Effect of microphone
Milanov N. E. and Milanova B. E.

Proximity Effect of microphone


Milanov N. E. and Milanova B. E.

1.

Introduction

In this article we discuss the proximity effect of electro-dynamic microphones with two acoustical
entrances. The proximity effect is appearing when a directed microphone is getting closer to the sound
source. It is described as a alteration of the frequency response and more specifically as an increase of the
microphones sensitivity when the distance is decreasing. The reason for this change is the change of form
of the sound wave from a plane to a sphere when the distance to the sound source is decreasing. The goal
of this article is to determine the relationship of the proximity effect from the angle between the sound
wave and the acoustical axis of the microphone.
The article uses the following symbols:
Z1 - mechanical impedance of the membrane.
Z0, Z2 impedance of the phase correction circuit.
D - the distance between the two acoustical entrances.
r the distance between the sound source and the front surface of the microphone (the first acoustical
entrance).
B * l the relation coefficient between electrical and mechanical value.
w - circle frequency.
c sound speed in air.
A coefficient of the form.
d phase delay, defined by the distance between the two acoustical entrances.
f - phase delay defined from the phase correction circuit of the microphone.
r - phase delay, defined by of the distance between the sound source and the microphone.
2. Assumed conditions
In this article we are inspecting an electro- dynamic microphone with two acoustical entrances. The
distance between the two acoustical entrances is d. The distance to the sound source is r. The article
examines the low frequencies where the inequality Z2 < Z0 is valid and < 1 and we can assume:
ej = 1- j
On figure 1 are depicted the sound pressures applied on the first and the second acoustical entrances when
the sound wave is a plane or a sphere as a function of the angle.
On figure 2 is shown the typical electro-mechanical scheme of a electro-dynamic microphone with two
acoustical entrances. The typical electro-mechanical scheme of the examined microphone correspond to the
one shown in figure 2.

dcos

2nd Entr.

1st Entr.
f
r
Ppl = P1 e

d
Ppl = P1 e j(r + dcos)

-jr

r
d
Psf = (P1/ r) e-jr

Psf = (P1/ r + dcos) e

Fig 1.

2nd Entr.

1st Entr.
Z2

Z1

Ppl = P1 e

Ppl = P1 e j(r + dcos)

-jr

ZO

Psf = (P1/ r) e-jr

Psf = (P1/ (r + dcos)) e-j(r + d


cos)

Fig 2.

The frequency response in a spherical wave front (L1) is:


S()sf = [(P1 P2) / Zmech] = [K1.( 1- e (jd.cos + f ) / (1 + d cos / r)] / Zm =
[K1.( 1 + d.cos / r - 1 + j(d.cos + f ) / (1 + d cos / r)] / Zm =
[K1.( d.cos / r + j(d.cos + f ) / (1 + d cos / r)] / Zm

(1)

When r is much bigger than d the sphere wave front is approximated to a plane. The microphone sensibility
in a field of a plane wave front is:
S()pl = [K1.( j(d.cos + f ))] / Zm

(2)

By definition the proximity effect is the ratio of the sensibility of the microphone in a spherical and plane
sound wave.
In accordance with equation 1 and 2 we can write:
P()prox =
S()sp / S()pl =
[[K1.( d.cos / r + j(d.cos + f ) / (1 + d cos / r)] / Zm] / [[K1.( j(d.cos + f ))] / Zm] =
(3)
[(d.cos / r) / j(d.cos + f ) (1 + d cos / r)] + [1 / (1 + d cos / r)]
The module of the proximity effect as a function of the angle is:
| P()prox | 2= [(d.cos / r) / (d.cos + f ) (1 + d cos / r)] 2 + [1 / (1 + d cos / r)] 2

(4)

When the attach angle = 0 from 4 we can conclude that the proximity effect is:
| P()prox | 2= [(d / r) / (d + f ) (1 + d / r)] 2 + [1 / (1 + d / r)] 2 =
[(d / r) / (f (1 + A) (1 + d / r)] 2 + [1 / (1 + d / r)] 2

(5)

The equation 5 represent the proximity effect when the angle is equal to 0. When A is the form coefficient.
When A equals 1 the polar pattern is a cardioid A = 1,73 hyper-cardioid and A = 3 super-cardioid. The
proximity effect when = 0 degrees is a function of the relation d/r and the sum from the phase angle f
and form coefficient A.
From formula 5 we can determine the phase angle f:
| f | 2 = [(d / r) / [ (1 + A) (1 + d / r)2 (| P()prox | 2 (1 / (1 + d / r)2) )]

(6)

The proximity effect when = 90 degrees and in accordance with equation 4 is:
P(90)prox = 1

(7)

When = 90 there is no proximity effect. This is because there is no difference between the ways to the
first and the second acoustical entrances which leads to equal amplitudes on both acoustical entrances and
is independent from the form of the sound wave. From formulas 7 and 5 is clear that when equals 90
degrees there is no proximity effect and when decreasing of the angle the proximity effect is increasing. It
reaches its maximum when equals 0 degrees.

On figure 3 are shown the theoretical dependencies of the proximity effect in relation to the angle (in the
chart q = , d = 5.10-2, r = 1.10 -2).

On figure 4 are shown the theoretical characteristics of the proximity effect of the ratio of the sensitivity at
an arbitrary angle in a field of a spherical wave front to the sensitivity when the angle is 0 in a field of
a plane wave front.

Spectral dependencies of the proximity effect from the angle are shown at page 196 from the Anthology
of articles on microphone form the the pages of the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society Vol1.
Vol27.)
Conclusion
The proximity effect is dependent from the angle between the direction of the sound wave and the
acoustical axis of the microphone.

Literature:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Rimski Korsakov A.W. Electroacustica


Swiaz publishing Moscow 1979
Skuchich W. Osnowi acustici
Mir publishing Moscow 1976
Forduev W.W. Acusticheski osnowi weschania
MGU publishing Moscow 1960
Vulchev I. Electroacustica
Technica publishing, Sofia 1975
Milanov E. N. Relationship between cardioid, supercardioid and hypercardioid directional
characteristics of electrodynamic microphones with two acoustical entrances National Conference
with foreign participation W. Turnovo 1984

6.
7.
8.
9.

Milanov E. N. About the possibility for measurement of the parameters of membranes of


electrodynamic microphones National Conference with foreign participation W. Turnovo 1987
Milanov E.N. Patent 51997
Milanov E.N. Electro Dynamic Microphone with Extended Frequency Response presented at the
104th Convention 1998 May Amsterdam
Milanov E.N. Proximity Effect Frequency Characteristics of Directional Microphones presented at
107th Convention 2000 April Paris.