AN INTRODUCTION TO ENG Bernard Hesketh 8. Ivar Yorke



BASIC TV REI"''dRTING lvor Yorke




Bernard Wilkie


GRAMMAR OF THE eorr Roy Thompson

LIGHTING FOR VIDEO Gerald Miller-son

LOCAL RADIO JOURNALISM Paul Cnantler &. $im Harris


Davia W. Saml!lelsbn



David W_ Samuelson


Dominic Case




Robel't Musberger

16mm FILM CUTTING JGlhn Burder


Glyn Aikin



(jIlyn Aikin


vtoeo CAMERA TECHNIQUES Gerald Mlllerson


Alan Bermingham, Michael Talbot-Smith. Ken Angold-Stephens &. E:d 8Qyce


ROl;)ert, Simpson

YOUR FILM & THE LAB L. Bernard Happe


Use of Microphones

Fourth Edition

AleeN isbett


& A member 01 tl'le Reee Elsevier pic gmup OXFORD BOSTON ,JOHANW"ESIBJJR6 MElLBOl!lRNE NEW DI<Lf-ll SlN6APORE

INTF-f©DUGTION; ON QUAI.:ITY I,_l5T6NING TO S'mJND i'><1iCf0pfione malanee

First publlshad 1974 $ecpnd editkm 1986 THird ectiti0m1~gS Fouiih edition 1,99'3 F'leprll'1te~d ~~9a


rtileal 'BisplMra!i!m Size FRI=€JtlliiNCY

WANE'S AND PHASE Aiijfji'ng 50~nas tog_Hiler ENERG·V. INTE"N:SllrY AND RES<WNANCG

0.lV~f"IT®NES .AND 'HAPlMQNI€&l Mwslq-al l"ih;;1'1

l'V'It;J.t5IGAL. A'GOUSTICS: Sl'Rlll-JGS Attaok arroenvelnpe

Tar~e qualit);!

MUSICAL :AGOUSTIC$: WINB Slanging waves fA air column THE'HUMAN VOICE:"

Mic~6'pliones tor sJ'leeG:1l SOUN[) VOLUME ANQ THE; EAR Hearim~ Eliflerent fr,e(jjuenc:ies HEAR,It5l@. MGN@ AN[l $TERE@

® Alec NiSl:lieti 1993

Britisfl t;ibraiy Gatalagui'ng in Publication fYata WlsCietl, Alec

Use of Micmph0nes. - 4 Rev. e1;:I.. - (Media Manuals ~eries)

I. Title IL Ser-ies


ISBN a 240 51ilfs5 7

Library of CongresS' C-atal.ogillQ in PulJlicalij')D Da,ta Nisbett, Alee.

The use of mierophQtiJE;l-slAlec Nishlett. - 4thed. p. om, - (Media manual)

Jmcll!l€les fuilIllio[ljraphil1lal references allct il'ldexc ISBN @ 24Q 0136'ffi r

1. Micr0[llhone. 2. SOI,JIlCI - Recmr1:ling and rcep.r0€1ucing~ I. Title. II. Series; MellHa maml::ils.

TK!D98[9.N57 199-3 93--6236

621.382'84 - c!lc2Q ([;11"


M1GflEJl"H0N6 Q~Af'lAG'fEflr$l1'IC836


FR8:QUffiN[;¥ f'lBSPON$E 40


Av~lIdimg pHase R~ol;llems


lBi!lsS £:o.rre('l\lqn

W0rkil~1'l ~.jjstan6e



DOl;ll5le~i!liaphr'a!'lrn 6eodensers





Printed al'l.G b0und LA Great iOlritajn by Bi<5ldles Ltd, G'ibfilrlf0rd and fMngls bynm

I"'omlsem seuMt1 Phase (i;-<ll'leeliallon

7 8







1.2 14

l"erse(1al miGroph0nes BQ)WNGlAR¥ MICR©P'HClNES

1.6 "\':8.





Gable's @.@NNE'GT0H3 WINDSHIELDS 1"0p-sMields

70 72







line-up; @f m.alehed p:air &T~F'l~O FIELD PAT'i'ERNS



MSmieropli0nes Seundf.ield micFoj!lhone

SPEJI':CH EALAN@:EB2 Direcnonal (aspens_£!-

IAtervieV(ing., hand-19.ela

TWO CJIi'! MOI2IE IJ:©ICE'$ IN MONQ 84 Bi·SirectiQAal balane-e

B:ACK;@fI@iJl'oJQ NOIS!!: 86

$tl:loio. nOise prOBlems


U.s1 Ago sere ens

QRAMiI STlJEHQ AG:®USTIG£90 Studio s~ul[es


SIlJdl0 layouts




Wtfe'n a mi€((;)plione: may @e seen MlerORhfiJne Q()om in the studio


SOLI NO IN T6LEN18IQN Cable rl1Jwting 1"ishpoles:

BQQ)M~ ANt> LlGlI"lTIN® Al10lClfng shadows


B1\.LAN~E CHI£GKS FGf'I MtJSl(; Wlilar to Ji'sten f0r

'LI:V:E' AND 'OEAD' STlJDIQS ~nnanGed acoustics


GoTnOident pairs 8pl'iltling mICn'lP.l110I'leS

SPACED MICROPHONE'S Hole in the mitlidJe MiCf!i1phQne curtain

p'rRfii: QRGAN

!';;Iose balanee \JJ'lright piano

MQ~E !'llANO BALANCES "'ianG witt>! soleist

TINe p'lar10s

Baeking tracks


K~YBeAA'D{lJ P-Iuo;;"'e~ ifilstrumeRts Pian0 aGCc{j)r~i@n


T rat;] sients SaxepFiones



Brass bang P5RGUgSIGN. alHl:JMSi

IDrQm lsi!


Freqbi.em:y response








Singer and aC(f8mpanimeht POPULAR MIJSIC IN v{SlbN lllh0wbanti. danG.e band Film~ mu-sic;;



THE GONTRQb IJE$K MiCF@ph!i)me (:mannei Noise re€llJctio.n CONffiOL~ F-GR STER8G 114 " Panp-GI, spreader F'AcI!lIN@ AN"r:ll MfX'lN€l P0st·5alaRein[l







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GOM~f4l~8S0ffiS AND UMITEffiS j\RTIFICIA:L RfEV~REicRATlbN ElllnID Gliamtier, plate


Phasing, flangiil'g USING 'ECHO'

Simulating the oonoert, Piall • ~Ghe' on speeoh

VOlUM~ CONTROL: METERS VU meter. I"I"M. l'iargfap:lh PRGGPlAMN1~ VQlb\JrylE I"referce6 listenrn,g levels MANUAl V011JME @®NTRGJL MUSic, speecfi al'lB sffeets U!'JKS T® Tl'iE STUDIO CHA1N.

Awxiliary sef1ds liMe up
















160 162








SOUlfUB is a rnectiutr; tor comtnunicetteh.

'Hfg",,-ql!afi,'y sound serves eornmunicetton. it ;'$ not en end in l'tsef,f

Introduction: On quality

¥Qblr E:f'ld J1.Iteoow!:t is S011:rrd frQrrn a IQu@specaker - Q~, @ocasi0n'ally, !<le.adphQriles. 11'1 the listener's it may be high-quality sound (hi-fil; more often it is simply apifallin'g: ~y the stanfia'rds: 0f the sownd enthusfa-s't, The Lmrnetiiate SOUrcc8 may IDe radle, CQ or vinyl rec0nll-player:,. aas,sette or tJpaFl-reel tajtl8 GIeck; Qf it may a(;)CQm~any pie-turas 01'1 TV 0F film, IJl Bear, it Will com[pete with ehjjJine and tra'ftiG: norse. A Signal ort:ransmilJteiBI in stE,irl'!'@ may Be beavd with ina!.\lequate i.r;)w,dsp>eakHr se[ e r in mono. The r,ange of p.>Qssible Iiste.l7lil'1!iJ C0F1oditioRS is wiille - and We nnayassqme that excS'pt i.h your own horne it will gelleralllY De out of yowr cGntml.

B:llt what y@u can €.QntroI is the <'juality of sOJJnd that you m,ake·le to thfil lTS.tener_ Yaur firstroesp0nsi.bllhy will Qf1ien me towarEl's the '«8St r'A'ajorit:y whose needs are. simple:. iotelli§ioiU:ty ana ctarity of speech 0T a cGneentrat10n [J'n'tlie less demanding rl'iythmit or mel@'0ic qualiti'es (lff rflwsic,):'ouf ser.:(9ml respIDn-s:i~Jlity wi-II be t0wBn:is tM0se wbo enjoy th'l? wider ranges ef frequencv and dyrnamics, @I'ld tHe gre9ter comlllle~jt¥ of t@maJ struc1'l'.Ire that mal{ 0e arI'pre"Ci({ted on €I00d eq"'-Jipment. This aspect of ¥9ur w@r!n;:villgive the §f_BateSl?: s-ait'i'sf.a€:tiQ.fI !jut his Dot YGU _s0Ie-tas~_: never forget "'n0Se wlnose s.irnpler neep 1'5 elarl'P,l,

It is also weH to rememiDer tnat smrng q amy comes secomf:l to s0b1.nd c0nlent: tIlat what ls bEing s'aid is gerterally - tfioHgll not' always - morel irnp(cH"1!arlt than how you say It. The sGIIJmd blat-anGer. ShO~lrd nelp to ensurre that tf:j'€! message transgends the rnedfllrll'l.

Re.cent improvements in quality

In file late'1~8Qs, the advent of €Qmpaet dLSG's (CD) an€! promise of I1'llgital audiQ tapes (DAT) heralded a' @r'e:at improVement in t,h'e: qbJaHty of rfilG'orClin~"fs .. Digital te·Ghn@I.o~y sprea£j Tt'"4!'it:n sWdi0 to home. H@wev-er. this dGies n0tex~end10t.h@ointerfa.ces between sauna and electr@miesignal: irnpr-0vernents in 10U(ls.pgakers and h-ave been more fiTlcdes.t. In pattiGl.Jlar, a small IQudspe·al<er still cannGit wo,dlWcea 0'i9, balanee-cl bas~s .sokmtL The qua-Uty of ~mmrre miCr0pn0l'1eS wfth verv srnall .dLaphragms am;:j heaitl aFl'lplif.lers has irnDFQ'1ed. But mjr.:ro(ynon.8 te,ehniques have !;;hanged '1ery little and. tbe prinuiples. of mjerophon~ balance not at aIL.

I am f€l<I"I'una'te rn thE oaeJ<g:foumi that allows me i'l:Ioth to gesr.:riI'j"e all this and to !;.Ilia,clise let: the ffiri1!ish6,roadcastifl!!) Corporatklrl is th;e bi'!i!9'e'st ofits ~.ini1intl'i·e w€lrl€l wn@se contract is notwith gGv~rnrnent er advertisers bl!lt gire(;:tly with tl:\e audierree. 'fHe range ofaefivity tHat is pos'sfble In so vast an ('J;rgatilsatio;fiI, te.gether with the simpliG'ity of its respofilsili:lilities-, makes the SBe lInique I;;)ot!i as a place to le/arn aFla as Of place to SG the job, This book Feflepts tm'e fruits of my own ~"q;>erierJce togl?"ther with that .01' many colleag·ues who have I;je-en generGl.JS with 00th time' al'lG aavh:e.

Aestnetic aha eng/neer'-rlff eseects fit ike sound. oaya'NG.ers jab may :s@~netil'ffes f:(Jf'lfIlGt.

Listening to sound

The rmicfDpn0'ne lsthe 0.entFal and or-uoial iter'll ollsoundstuflie eG!wipm.~J1t_ It cQnverts 'tile tnethanjcal e:nergy of sound in air Into electrical e_[]erg¥. Tile Qriginal sound consists 0f a series 0f variarlerrs in air Iilress6Ire: tile rnicf"Qphone tur-ns theJillintD a simUar (.bW! net nel::essarilyidentical) SJ~-ri'~s of tluctuatious in volta1JB_ Tney l1I1ay then be fF€I~e-n irl the rnec:.:hafliGal form @f a recQro, prTn-teCi as a pattern In magnetic pa"rtiGle's on ta'pe, er !,)0Qed piggybackc 0A to elect'r0mal!fjrtetic wav'esar-nrl tralil.$mitte'dat the s[:'.Jeed Qf .light, And at HIe end ef .all this it must be ~0ss:ible to fe·e€l tt.Je el'eotfitaJ ~ignall:Q 10 Gl:;;pe.akers, whiqh Cl;rive tlie air inaseries of varlattorrs in pressure which cI.osely rnirrtles t'fie original sQumQ.

Mkr(JplhonS"s and loudspeakers ar-e, by their nature. <'lr'laIQglJle de'Viees. and t;;Ql'ltimuQusly fo[J0wing the soumdwavs, Intervenlmg stages may tJe' either -anaiogue Qr €li.gital, sam piing the wave at freql:lent intervals anGi enc@t!:lin'~ it as a series of numl;jers_

Rep~0duced sIDund may be similar t@ the Qrigin.a,1 .s@umif:! but it cannat Be jgenticaL In r-rwnQphonic sauna (mono) it comes tQ the listenertllro'ug'h a s1mgfe loudspeaker; in ·steffeEJ from 'twa; in quaaraphO'Mic I'"eprafluction [t eernes flT®f\Tl fQlIr~ il'l auditoria perlilaps fl'@f'!'l many more. NIDne of these can recreate the or'i.ginal sound field chat e-x,jsted If! the studi(J; tlile sounfl is n~ecessari!1y' m~ifi,ea in some way. The r8csw.lts of the Gfianfj8s that i.nevital9ly take place 1!:8n 08- j6lo§e_G1 aestn.etically:, by ear",

Tl<le !i!Xen"j·se of this judge:mel'lt is '8 craft or, ati:)est, it mJ§lRt even !ole suggested ran aft. It is not a s£TenG'e or an aspeet of enQinee,ring, ajtliot"€Ih the lob is often. forcoHvenien,ce, c0mbine:d wrth the efl![Jln-eerin'g side of s.:OUR:~ G.CJJ'IllrQI.

M.itr0phone balance

The s6Ibject (j);fthis book IS mierop"Ao,ne balarree: tlie placing Qf tne 11m€! Olr many mi8r0phonss Which s.Cj'l'Tlple 1;he sound fieLd in the studiQ, the oontrct of their Q,utPWll, and the 'a~H'"al evaluation 0f tHe rest, Its. Qwadra[3ho.l'lic techniquesenjoy,e:€l a brief vGgue, but are n®: longer w·idely wse'd_ .A ofief desQri[!Jtion is if1cluc;h~(tt in The Technique Of 'the Sound Stud7o. ( 'Further", (':)<1g8 177.)

The miewlCl.til0rl€ is, treated as [lJ8rt of a system whicrn inclwQ9S the seund field in tll's stwrlig, eharaet€·ri·sties of micro",hlDnes tJli'emselves ant!! the 8!\1uipment that is used to mix and corrtrol the re~ulting sign.als .. All 0f these are disQ6Is'sed: in the fQllowin![J pages.

An importarlt @IDjecNve of alJdib en@ineENn!'l IS tQ· minimise change. tiD avoid Giegra!!iatlgn elf quality below $,@r'l';je ehoser.! level; iA c0ntrast the S0Ufld ha.laneing milat 'I're d'escrib~d in trnls bOG:k,'all,y f~rorn0te change wlthi.n certain c;or.lven!jon$' .. The two f.Ut:lcti0flS Sh0uld net be confrjosed.



The sound source radiates SOH 1'1 €I as preSSVI:e v>'J'lves it~ the air.

Some .@i the SOl!JIili!! llravel.s .di:reeJ to the mlorewI'i0J1ie. S:ctme is refretSt.em a'nd arrives (ater as "evera-e,atiffJl1I_

Unwantetl S.0l!lI'l!:l, mot:~Fe, also ~ra\t.el's to th:e

Equah"SPcF$ m.ay be introo]uced at 'am{ sta~re te GoriJqpens<;lt~for deftcieneies

in p.Je1::ed i ng :ill r su DSe:~1 ue I'll 00 rnjZlOl'lents@f ~o crFea~ive.l\j( modHy thg_ signal.

ArtlfilS:ia"i t;ever.b~,atil')n '('ecrm') •. may bE!! add~ tel individ ua I G@[11.I'lOf1"ents 0F ~€i tlie mil<:e,tl output. This' process is usuallv digital.

Heat'Jph0l7es" are useo onlY when no sLiiral9le listening room is available (e,g. 0n film locations).

S.ttJaio @utPldt ma),1 g0 i@ a tap:e r"EG€Jl'der; to a tF8I,)Smrtre,r (r'adie on TV I i ID p tEl' "a ollilsed !rima il lin e.

electrical sl~nal

'echo' path

reC0rQ plaver

F--=--4 /' meter


The sounds that our ear - or a microphone - hears pre simply rapid fluctuations in air pres sune.

Wavelength: the size of sound

A vlbratlnq ol;jject such as a drum skin produces pressure variations: as it moves forward it compresses the air in front of tt. This increase in pressure is transmitted to the next layer of air. and S0 on, travelling at a rate of about 1120it (341m) per second in warm air. MeanWhile ti'le vibrating surface has IDegun to move backward, creating a region of low pressure in front of it. The natwral elasticity of the air is such that this in turn is transmitted outward at the sarne speed, to be followed by a further wave of pressure antl rarefactkmas the surface moves forward and Gaels. agaih. A regular series of waves radlates frorn the source.

These waves are a little different from the waves on the surface of a pond - but the similarities are greater than the differences. If you put a cork on the surface of the water It bobs \!.II'> and down as each Wave passes, but it stars more or less in the same place from one wave to the next. Similarly an air particle dances baekwerd anti forward as the pressure waves pass, oscillating about a median position,


A vibrating panel generates waves of !"rassure and r arefaction: sound. Air is disi'l,laOl1!d backward arid forward along the nne of travel,

Wavelen_gth and the ideal diaphragm

The distance from the crest of one wave to the crest of the next is called the wavelength. The sounds that we can hear have wavelen;gthsranging frorn ab@ut 1 irrch (2.5cm) to perhaps <lOft (12m), The orifice gnd €liaphragm of an ear is rather less than half an Inch (12mrm) across, about half the size of the shortest wavalanqth that we can hear. This is no coincidence. If it were laf!ller some parts of the diaphragm would be subject to pressure while other regions would be sucked outwards by tne rarefaction: the two would cancel out. If the diaphragm were smaller it would still register pressure and rarefaction in turn, but the area acted UPO'" would be smaller, the total pressure would be less: the ear wOl!lltJ be less sensitiVe.

By analogy with the ear we now have an ideal specification fer the size of diaphragm of a high-quality pressure microphone, It should be about half 08n inch (1211'1011) across er less. 8ecause efthe diffibl:llty of eliJt'aining enough sensitivity early microphones were very much bl'g!lJer, but modern microphones are often about this size. and some are smaller, allowing them to sample the- shortest audible wavelength with even greaterfidelhy.

In real life, rhe pressure at any point tluctuatas in a eernplex manner in response to sound of different wavelonqths and intensities and from many different directions. A microphone which measures only pressure he ars the total sound irrespective of the direction it Domes from. It behaves almost exactly like the human ear. But this ls not the only type of microphone, as we shall see.

LATERAL WA~E blia-grammatically, it IS (':onvenient to represent the pressure· waves of S'0und '1)S lateral waves, as though the 'air were displaced from sime to side as the wave passes. In filct, 1:his 1s a g.~aph in which displacement oil air from its median position (vertical axis) is plotted against -time (henizontal aX'is)..

11 t II 111 t11IIIIU1111111111111111t1lH 111 \ 1111l

THE SHORTE;:ST WAVELENGTH that young ears can hear defines the size of diaphnaqrn that is needed f(O),r a hi!1Jh-GJuality pressure microphone.



The tate -a7; whicR a nurtece - OF 8l'1 air partie;le - rrtoves iJa('fl(_areJ a~)(J forward ;s -eelled f.'be frequeff,ey:,

Frequency: the timing of sotmd

The f'reqwe:ncy of a sound rneasurad in f.l,e,rtz (Hz) is 1lhe r;tumoe-r of regular exeursiorts: rrsada by an air j3articl'eiA erne second.

The range of hearifil.g is s@me11rne-s ~wote;;;l as beln~from about 16Hz: to 1'6QQClHz, the uPRef limit depen€ling an 'ag,e andlllealth. Y@Wr.l@ ears terid to n,ear higher frequencies, but Hi OOOHz i~ often taken as ,8 reasona0'le upp:!e,r limit re'Gfuired ef engine@ring systems. E'ten so, the diaphraw-n of a full-rang.e high-quallty rflIieFQPi:l@ne must De capable 01 'respcmGlfn@ faIthfully to very rapiB chal'lges of pressure .. Tbrls rnearrs that it must be very tig.fu1!, or', mg·re· preGIS'ely, 1'11,'at it rrnrst nave a very low inertia. SUGh micmphOA€S may IDEl' both 8}i(pensive and delicate, so they al'e: use€! only wll,en'l absolutely necessary, e.g. for inGiivitilual instrt!Jments m"e cym.l.:laJs anti triang_les whioh have a strong big!i-frequ~nGY content. Fior mallY eornbll1latioHs incl:wding: the human Voice, a frequenoy resp0nse I.!Ip to 10@OOHz is satisfactory.

At the @tl'il,er ena of the· seale the !,0w.8stfreGluencies that oan be heaf0 as ,liI'Iusi! notes me;r,ge lnt0 thQs'e 1!hatare pe'rceived as sepm'"iin:e puffs of air pressure, We shflll see later that a perfe€t 10W-fre€J'w:em;y reSj9@nseig. riQt essential: even for "the fullest ranqe of rnusie a treqrue,fI'GY resPQnst! that is 1 e·'\)' e 1 to aeout 50i4z is all that is neeelea.

in D~aGtice, elec~fI.lIraic comp0nent5 can easily g'C) well tieyond these Jim.:its, while meGflani(;;,al com]3,onents mav be SU19JeBt to f1;li'iHcally increased eQst er radaceo duralJHit:y if they have till\! same full [@n@,B'. The avcailable audio ran@e may also be lim'ff!ed by eXternal faGtors such as the capaeity of el,ectnDmagnetrc or lin'e transmissions.

Fre€i1uency and wavelength

Fregueney and wavelength are closely r'el,ated. The sp.eed of sound in air c'an, for rougb ealculatltms, be tr.eateda-s a constant. A rajiliE.ily vilDratlng SClu~{)e (high fteqtlency) produces sGun€l of short wavel-engths; a aource vibrating n~latjve'ly slowly (and a hundred exoursions per secorrd is slElV\i enouqh to be calle€!- I@w fre:qllefle¥) prodh.'.lees long wavelengtbs.

LMge o,l2Ijects are necessaPf to radiate low-freq,uency sown€! effiei.entry.

The s€HY,ml-DOa'rd of a piano is suitable, but rtot so €I;·ftiiQient as the lar@er pipes iR tl'le: lower register @f an organ.

The effect of temperalUte'

A faotQr that does affect the s-peed 'Of sound is temperature. TAB sJileed rises' graduaHy as ternperatare gfyeS up. The strings of vrblirls can be tuneGj, blll the vibrating Golumn of air serne wind instalments oannot. So, wl:ien air tempe'rature goes up and wavel"€T'lgth remaims the: same, the freque'rn:::y tha:li"we near 8'150 rises. A flute, fur example, sharpens by a semitone as the. temp:lemture goes 11lj3 l:Jy 15Qf f8QC). This is a daily pmb,lem f!;Jr grohes'tral musicians: thev tune (fiO tli'e m0&e) whet) they start and again when the instruroneflts are warm.



---2A-- ....

..... -----4i\ ----- ..


4 I

FREfiUENCY AND WAV:ELEN6TIt ,AU 50UIil-'! ~Rves trave] at ~h13 sarmre' speed, c, thfo'wgA the same medium, so freque.ncy, f, IS IRversely proportIOnal to wa\;lelength", ~ ..

NOCe on Ftinaamental W""e1ength
pi.nll frequenq. Hz tt. LOS
A,v -- 17'5 40 e ("12.2mi

Aiii --. s~ 20 0 (5.1Qm)

Ai; 110 10 (1) (3..05m)

Ai __ 2.20 --- 5 I!) (1.,52m)

A - .40' --- 2 6 (760mm)

A' BBO --- 1 3 (380rnm)
A" -- 1'760 --- Tl12 (190mm',

~ii __ 35,20 - 33/4 (9Smm.) __ . 70"'0 2 (48mm)

Ab(;we plarro range [ ,

--'14080 .---. (24mm)

I\,\1U!iiLCAL NOTES:I"REQUENCY AND WAVELENGTH . S0;me examf2les. Frequency rnultiplied by wClvelePigth e<!1ua.!s the 5RI:lecl of S_OU,oB, whiah j:s 11 OOft/.se'~ (335mlsed in cola air. (The Sl'leed is a !inlEt faste,f In WaHl] alr.)


IntrfJduf'Jif'l!l terms w.hieb will help Ids dies CribB fffl}w SQund .betlaV,es arid neW micp@paones WorN

Waves and phase

PartkYe veJQcity is the rate of movement of individual 'air I') a rticles, 11 i~ ·!1lrop0i'tklli1.a'l to air pressure: where, ol"re has a peak in Tts waveform so hal!,> the @thel'.,

flress.u,re gradieHt is thE! rate at which preSSUI'e chC!n§E!s with distancs. al0n9 'the w.aVe. Where' ptess'ure is at a peak its rate of is aero and where, pressure is tltat @{the normal atmQsphe.te, its rate of c;;nange is rrraxirnum. 'The pressure gradient w3ve'f,@rm is simila.r to that f0!r pressure, but rags a Q'I4.atter of wavelength behirtd it.

Particle dISp;kiuz:emefilt tsthe dis:tanc;;e tfiat a of aIr flas moved fnDm its eql.lC!l1brium position. Drsp'I,<lOement is I'lwportional to p,r.essure gradienL

The mlede of oper.ath;wl of some microphones has been deszribeCil as cgnst:ant-I?€loeity, and others as c@f'1srant-amp'fitude. These confusin!lJ terms alI:tually meaA tha't the output v@itag,e Is eqwall'O a constant mwltfplied by d'iapnra"gm veicoGity or amplitu'de (i,e. dlsplaoement) respe€tIvaly, Of more 1Z'J;8&tio-al import.3rrce are the<t~erms pressure oper;ation and f).1'e'ssldre-gradiefilt operatitJfil, as these Glilaraeterlstics of a mkropncme.'s actipn will Jead to im(:JOrtant differerreas in the way that it can be u;sed.

Adding sounds together

Pbase is a terrn used in d~sct1lbing subdiv.isiofls ef one w.aveloo!~fth 0f a tone. Tile full cycle from any point on the wave to the epr.r-e-sf'}~ndLng pl3liot GnB waveJength further on "is a :B60GGlian,ge of phase, Here the two ~oiflt.s are ;fiI ph'ose; they are fuli;y ou"t ofphcrse (@r '1.8!:r out Qf phase') With tDe poirrt on thE! curve half way in beMa,en. The rmatI:Je.r.natie:al jargen j's riot impG(\fant to tn-e microphone user:, but the eorreept G1f waves wein§ in or out €IT phase is vital, Si£jnal.s that are in phase retrrtorce each other; those that are eut €If phacs,e; subsract kam OF tend tQ cam<:el each otlier.

CO'mpJe.x sourrds with 6QmpJex wavefQ,rms are made I1p By aadin!'j many simple' weveforrns t@~ether- - ac'fdit'lg,. that is, 'these parts 'tn.atare in p.hase, and subtracting those that are out €If phase.

Tf;ie ear is not as a rule interested in phase. Two sound-waves can he added to give, a whole rangB of differentc0mposJte waVeforms which all s@und'thli! s.ame·t@1he ear. 1'Mi's has imlilodant implicati()fls for mj,cmphone desig~n and use, It (!lees not matter whether a mtcrophorra rneaeures preseure (ril<ie the ear) or pfes~ure@(adient WAich is!'JO° out of wrnase with it. Arn:.d the output of the two tyJ'les can usuaUy lJ'e mi:xc.ea together wLttlout prubl.ems_





WAVE:FORM RELATION51HJPS 1. I"ressure wave, 2, Diswlacement elf air particles. 3, PressilFe €I:ral1lient. 4, Ai.r- particle velocity,.NJlJte that: ~) pr~sJ>lJre is prop!!!l'ti@fla,1 to particle velocity, (e) pressure 'g,rar;l:iem is p~0p:0rti"eRal to partlde displaeement, (c·) the pressure 'gra(;jient 'Wave' ftlll0ws a liIuarte,€lfa wao:.'elength llehirtd th_e ptessute wave. Rressure griHl,reRt is satd 'te be 90:' out 01 phase wiliA tff€: v;ressure WaVe; to I.a·g 90° l!Je'lii('1,d it,

PHAS6 This is the stage 1'hat a wa'ile has reaei'lei1l ir-l its cycle.· THe PQ'ints 5, 6. '7 are saitl t'0 be. in p,1!Ji'Jse With each 0tHeF.

Am::>lNG SOUND RRJES5UI1!ES At any poinr and at an¥ time the sound

pressure is the al·g.ebrai'c sum of all pressures due to all waves ]!lassing thrql!Jgh that I'lfil'int, i.e. everything above !'I orrna I pressure is acldeEJ; eve.rything below it:' is subtFacle,d. It does net matter what direction thee wave is.traveillng in. lfthe sir,rnple waves A anID B are summed the result is. Sh0WI:I in !Re c!!!mpll'!)~ wa-vefQrrm C.At 8 tHeFe' -is j;lartial' caneetlation as proosure i,n wave A coim.:ldes with rarefaGtiol1l in CUl'Ve B. At 9 the r~,re:f<;!ctil'lns ce\neid'e,; they reinfg·me eao.h other.

More 1Jerrn5' which hie/p us to descFibe hdfiV sourreJ '.behaves in the s7ru6l(.)·

Energy, intens·ity and resonanee

The energy of a 'sound ,,"ouree [.je~f'lencls on the amp,fit~0e of v:ibration: the !J,roaderthe' swtng the more ~ower (ener!!JYI!J,Uj:J'}ut per seo0nd) it i:;; ffi'apable of pq!lcju'Gif'lg.

The sorund intensity at any ~IDint is the acousti:c eriergy !!lassing through u-nit area per secor.l'c;j. As{wrdlll€l to the Inverse square law whi:cM app>lies 10 spli1erioal wa'ves, tAe Il'ltensity €If s"ouf!d ~adlated fnl)r.Tl a poim source liHmir;lishes as the square of tme distarroe.

In praclfee, h0wever, if the sourcs is a!;) flat area the waves are not at first s~he~ical: fmr a di'stea'n"ce eamparabl.e to the siz'e of the s@l!lrsethey, t@o, are flat or plane waves, and in this regfon there is li:rtle reduction in int.ensity with distance. As we shall see, the differeht conditl0ns that are met in iJ)Jarie alJG spn'erical waves sffeet tile o(Zieral.ion of presaure 9 raGi:jeRt mi(l)r@phoHes.

HoW a souna aouree 'works

TID convert the stored energ-;o: of the vtbratirrq serund source to a.eQus,tic energy in tehe air, the two must be efficiently.' ooupled. Objects that are small or slender compared with the wa. eletl'!2Ith a's·soci.a:ted with th:eir freqJu-ency of v.iera-fieri do nCDt ~adiate sow.Ad at all well. For e.x;amfille, the P~QI;]@ 0f a tunirrq fork and the strln:g of a viofin slir;~ thrpug.h the six withouct giVin!ij up much of theit'energl{i: the air Simply, slips murrd the slides. £0 in these casesthe s@ul'ld aource is :co:I1I~lea to a woQdel'l pa(;1el (01" box) WIlna I,arger surface.

1ft. heely susp.~nded panel has natural frequenGies at wbich it 'rings' if you tap ft. If it does ttits at the frequerrcv of the tuning fork or stl'tng, tile panel qu.ickly at9sorbs ene'rQY from the S'o'wre'e -anGi so can trernsrnlt it t@ the eir; The panel is said to "e,sQnat~.

Tbe violiin has palile·ls whicl';l must respond and reSQnate at many f~eqwen€ies. T0 aahl-eve th~s it 1'5 made very irregular in shape. Sw;h a pal'm,d does not ril1lg ef r:E}S0nate tm any iJ)<H' note: if you tap it it makes a dull, unmusical sound, But if ttiJe s:Wngs are eonrreeted "["0 it (throu@h the bridge of tDB instrurrfe'ht) the p'~'fne:1 oscillates in fmeed vlbratiorrs. Ener-gy is trarrsferred from string t.1D panel, <ll'ld from this te

the air. .

Cavity resonance

Another sort of resonance IS "f0und if! tf.e cavity or Helmrof)ftz resenetar. tf the pane-! l:laGo!il'l'eS of a qo"X with a rela'tively small openih:g, the air inside reson.ates at one speGial freqljenc,y (as when you blew across the m0uth of a 80'1tle). This is useefulfor the S0U1110 box :(If a twnilil§ fo~k" but IfiI" a Y·i0lin it causses a 'wolftl;;)l1Ie' whi:€:h tMe vloflnlst treats with particular

~ 16
] Distance In.tMlsit)'·





SOdUND !NTENSITY is the- energy passing-1'nn::ltlgh unit area per second. Fur a sphe.dc;al wav.e· (f.e. a wave fr0m a poini' source] the intensltv tHe:s' @fh .. ery rapidly Olt fir-st. The power of the source is the total energy radiated i:n all direottorrs.




TUN:ING FORK 1 and 2, )1:acA fork vibEates af a speoifl~ natural trequel'lC;Y, but neJd in free air radiatas little sound, 3, Plaoed -amaiJ]st a wQ{~I'l,en panel, th:e vibrations of the t>unin!!J fork are o®upJel'l to the <lfr mere eflieiently '8n.~ tbe fc:JEk. is neard clearly. 4, Wh§n the tuoin!lJ fW~ is pl;;toec;l 01'1 a box fu·a>;llng a oavity with a natura! Fe?on'aRce of the same freq]J81'1<;\I, the sound ~adjat~.s R0werfull'1.



When a single mole is played on a rnusicet itrstrurrtent, many trequencies are produced at thle seme time.

Overtones and harmonics

Any single not€! produced from a rnustcal instrument contains many separate pure tones or partials. The fundamental of a musical note is almost invariab lv the lowest tone oreserrt: all the ethers are overtones. For rnanv musical instruments the frequen€ies of tfte overtorres ar.~ exact multiples of the fundamental frequency. In this case the funtlamental and overtones are called harmonics. String and wind instruments and the human voice all produce notes that consist of hafmQnic series of related tones.

The pitch Qf a note is the subjective quality of a frequenov or oornbination of frequencies which determines its position in the musi€al seale. In a harmohic series it is the lowest tone of the series. i.e. the fundarnerrtal. Tlnis rerrrains true even ifthe fundamental is weak or completely missing: this affects tone quality, but not pitch.

Pitch and percussion ins'trumerits

Many percussion instruments produce notes of indefinite pitch: most of the overtones are not exact multif)les of the fundamental. In some, such as tympani, the fundamental is powerful enough' t0suggest a liJeflnite pitch even th.ough the overtones are without harmonic ~uaILty. Many percusion instruments are arranqed as a series of similar o~jeets of propreseiveiv decreaslnq size, so that the notes they produee when struck form a musical progression; but in others suoh as cymbals or the triangle, there is such a profusion of t(fmes present that the sound blends reesorrably well with 'C:llmost anything.

How we hear sounds as music

IHe ear (and br-; perceive the musical inte·rval between two not-es as the ratio of their two frequencies. The simplest ratio is 1 : 2, an octave. The musical scale proceeds by frequency jumps that get progressiv~ly large·r. The octaves CiJn a piano proqress in the ratios 1 : 2 : 4: 8:: 16: 3:2 :_ 64: 128 (see page 13). Arrother way of writIng this is in powers of two, 2° : 21 : 22 : 23: 24 : 25 : 26 : 27, Which leads to a simpler proqresstcn: Q,1 ,2, 3.4,5,6,7 - the musical scale 15 logarithmic.

The brain is aided in its judgemefft of relative pitch by: tile presence of harmonics in the notes being eormpared: where harmonies coincide, the brain hears a liarmonious musical irrterval. Notes in the ratio 1: 2 have all harmonics (except tlie lower fundarnerrtal) in common. Notes in the ratio 2. -: 3 (an interval €If a fifth) have many harmonics in oomrnon; as have those LIl the ratio 3: 4 (a fourth]: and so on, defining all the notes in the musical scale. But unfortunately these are not exactly the intervals you get if you divide an octave into twelve equal ratios. The equal or 'well-ternperc'd' scale that we USB, today IS a"com~romise: it is imparfe-ct rnusicallv but makes it easier to change key.

770 *" It *,~
~~ tl I

C#' 0
A 0
MO I ~~ , J
E w

330 0
AI A. AI E A C#' E'* p}
110 A. THE FIRST EIGHT HARMONICS OF THE MUSICAL NQTE. All (110Hz) The fundamental is the first harmonic, the first overtone is the second harmonic and so on. They: are all notes in the key of the fundamental except. for the seventh harmoffic which is not a rec::og·nised rnusteal note a,t a-If: it lies between G and G~.

VIBRATION OF A DRlJMSKlN The suffixes indicate the number of radial and oirculer lines (nodes) where there is no motion. The fi!rst circular node' is at the edge where the membrane is clamped, The 0,:,ertones are not h'a,rmonic::a11r related, If fOl = 100Hz t,he other modes of Vibration shown here are: f02 = 230,

f03 = 360; f11 =159; f12=292; f21 = 214Hz·.


M ush:all acousnties ': sui ng,s

If a '$;lrkl.Q ~f5 b.(lW~~1,.S1l:m:l;:kor- plye~efil Trnthe rlllidld~e'ith!li:! ftJlndallnanta'~ and: the,ollidl nUIFnll.erefl'h'<llwmolf1~c:g.· whi'yh 0)111 l'lJa'iVe maiil:irnulm OJIlICJI~lli~~!;Ifd~ in lihlJIl l;n ilfl lil,e olf E~'1e Is;~rr jing, llalr.a lU1'l1El h3Si:s~!;I,; whiUe ~'D eV€lJ'ilI hal!"i!l1'llcHlll::~. whi:ch hav9 a rFfod:Q iii'! 'the rn~,dl:!lle O'ftihe Sl1trirlfl'l], am hrokil]'9!_ Exc1tin~' ~ll'liIe strinlll afly~;AI~m lI'I.¢ar tba GGJlIt,(rIe pmdiuces sJ,rolflg IleweJF h'arm,ol1rl~cS'~ eiXoiHng it· ! the . end: p,~CidlJGJi)f>,·![tl"l;)!rrru IJrlpper: hElr:;mloni<t:5~ Th-e ~on:e' qUOl~lny' 0'r Jlhe

hIa rp. lis YBlrred i III tlhj.~ wa¥. .

A~~IDlin!i(rif!!lJ is I;!a,wed nQa'r - Il,Ut nOll too flIte<l!il' - pl,re EHUI, :519 t:ll~t <.II £I!ID()di r alf!l,ge ~f itl oil <Q;d and eVQ.I!il ~H!nl'llonics k. ~l><'Cijl~eI" aUI~ som e;. willil lae ¥!iI'oIiket d-ial'!! DdlQl"S. Fnr examll!~'e. if 8i stri I'Ilg is Iti Q.w@·d]'Gl,r st1rul>k(, .. ~ '<1'I~I~tQ:~~fII1 ~JtiI2lV ~1'Id'-5 9V'911"1;t 1'1 or~ts ~ ent!.itlh it de,b n O't. p ~(iI:u:ce the :.:s'evenlilh hll@fFllOnij,c", !!;lIn ·a·j];YJa ntiag e ll.eca~'se~h~,s nsa'i!il!lrtOlfffi '~htll ~ s '~u't !<II tLI'n e' w!tlb 'th:~'SIit IEl'h::dlil~r note:. tjl,'1.aI~· @~ pe,illIQ IIP!~a''iI'e;d"

~,fta~jj: _d ,eljilll!llellDpe"

T~ie' l'I'u;!th!:llt;! O,r -e>l~~·tatfnn he!llpa 1"0, .9~""e. a III i n'S~rbrfll!nrt its panilllu Io1irlr q,l)iIa'I~~M, l'h!l!' way rh~,t a !'ultra: starts. ~Sr'c.allle,d th'e_il'rtaci"Hnd ,an"ii,~rophc'ne, rnfIU~ liJe e~lpa brB ,o,t tImPe-not!:! ~Jl;Ig ~O' the rf!Jjid ~Hi'l,(I' elr"r,~Uc ~j"m'1si;e IFIls tI'ii<! l may be ilPHlSfllFll ~'rIthi:S. ",alift 0'~ a r'il!:ae,. ~~Ir-:lr\tkeybll!:a rd In$~fUlm e,lIllrs, Wrrnl(;ljt,e fih@ sn::r~m1'g iSl IIf! ~wlllki!l:d JiIIlrG Vlery il~iffe refit in d*t1ill1f,aemr fraim, ;tb,e p,!'a ue. w Illelr:e :the' st ri!FIt! Ii?' "5~riJrcJ:. hy '.Ijii~lt~~' ha'm mer,

PlnlfEnthfiH' f!&I'i:l1Iitry whi,clh ,deffrrIB's the ins:t~umCl!i'lt ~~Ule' walj!' in Whi'Gh the! !i'l9Jlil i;~il~1'I1ge,S ll'l '\fph,1 me asi,t I!IWIDt! re=9. ~ .I~. i'ts B.nv~laim- If,\erl:l lin!)! yj,oi i 0 8'OId: its'131111'!illy, in wl'1:mh ~he S'l'rlF'I~IS alee e)?€i'lI1e.;l.c..ontirnugu:1l~V. lull'! cin~,n;ili:· tEristiiCallly dilf'f:~rol'ltt: fro m thE p.iia no, ha1l"p a!"lld 1~la,rpsicho.fd.

'fliilll1l~ qpiI,aJitv

1fhe~one qU~l~'I:ty I]:f ~ha il1lrl1l~'vidu'B'11 illistrume:IlI,[ witllti'ihlrl a fam~l:v - Q_lgI_ \j!'ijalin" 'Vi ~hl, ~£j311hi.l 91' balss is ~eihne dl by the qual i tIes- Qij! the l~e5Jo\fliat~ r; ;'!InC! mo. p:alr1irIJl!.Ir~rly b'll. lt5,5iT,;;:;e,. A. "~a~g~ rlilJSOnatlOlr ,if~ponds lp and radl:liIte'S Ilewe:r n~te'S~'han a srlli'~11 one, wt'ili'le the .srou~d bD)l: Qf ~ V io'llll'I is till'll ,5 ma II~ to Iii\OiItlij'8'1ie thehml'!l:amel1t~11 GI r,ts IllEIwe'St' note" (the law GJ l3i~rQCtive~y" 'fhrer~ iJi ,:;rihi'o, :a mOl ,k~.d d ifiOOftr,tH;'! ee iI'n q)1d a li'ty b-ellween the loWest notes (""'O'F~ rl,Qi~l i!:rrl Ih.MI!i'f'llQl1uicsl. -~irrd trh,re h iglh es~ (5 tJr!!il'1'li ~ in I"i'~e;r eand m idd I~ h~,rmlolnlic~, l'i.ut (el,aliJrv\'l!ly thi n ~In tone Cl91 owr~.

/As, ,we have 5'i1l'e~. U'r,e p!"(1! ii1n~ alt wh lth tfh g "st~i'l'Ig is M(l~te d ei'mp,h asi~e S i1f'll]rn~hi~~~U~11tie:s;<lit Ulle ei!<:PlelflsE! o~f io,tilen. a'filld d'fe- ~~.iJP~ ~nd 'si~e (lof the rt'::S(;lilTfs:r,e r 1ll! ofJ+~'ie S lh is _:sII'j II~ flJ rtlber. Tlhis ehanrorter,~stil!:: of 'J!fr;eSOrlfa:tor 1'5 ~:arli~e'dl iits 1t}f'IV.'anl'" FiI.'ml'l~lfII~SllIFe obvi,oA:Jlsl,'It'411 !;rh1.ue lin nlUlSlrC, bu~ ~I"II aumo eqlllrpme;nt'l;hlaf,:-aJ~e &!;Ilmll~d 'JIlIlr:I unrE!Mien freq:iMIHC/y re:spo,nlse''1:i,rn] are l.hl'llaillv' lIOe~~ar:4e:d til'S a ,~rlc:e.


~Ji.\i'l.i"tt)i~nl WI'izVEiFQI'!'M nEl,iir;s~ ~hii'Q'~~''''lrfl1ame,'S:,jfdd t_age.thcJi' ~Q plrodjlJl;f! iii! 'I(SI il;FJp:r'mi'iim'<i1(f,ol'1l toa ''S'aWw('!IU:i'I. the v.rOl""!;!'Jorm that liS IJlrtcdiJ:ltlld by dlrll(W:i~;gt .. 1lI~ ilB7U~& the.. S<I riin;]!fI off' ,3 vio,liIFn', nu,. :;;~ri!'Jg i,s d~a:@fnctlk.3ft1 ~Ihi(\n Ji!1~ PiS, l"'filU~<lfll@dl"t.




In wind instrU'fJlilt/,I'IJ;s 'the "res..onator is a columm ef eir:

Musical acoustics: wind

The airc0'lum n in-siGle·a wi no" i nstrurrrerrrrrrsv be e*.cited by the vibr>ationsin turbulerrt air at ~he edge of an orifice (as in the flute), by one or tWQ reeds in the fI'lQutnl)l,ieca {el'a~ih,et,@ID@eJ or bV the ptaver's lips (bras's). The n@t.e that IS' produced depends on the dimensi!i1l1s of the resona1l0F itself. and on the forrnatson of s,t'andiii€l wave'S within it.

The preglfessive- waves IDf ra0iatil'l~ '$0Lll'ld are C0nve~te:d il'll@ slat10nary Waves by nifleGtiorJat a boundary. At a solid, rigid sklrf"a-c,e there "G8n De no air moverrrertt perperli;iicular to it: the incident and reflected waves a€ld rog.ether in smen a way that air" iBispl.aeement at the wall is always zerID. This" is call;eiti a node in the staniilin~ wave: there will be furtl1ar nodes at the firs!, sesond, and eaeh successciVellX)['f}.ple'te w8\Xe:!.ell',@tn from the wall; while at the ir'!fervenin@ half wavelengths fbere wiiJ be 8 Illi:i 1'10 des. i>llac,;es where the·~e is maximum air displacem"ePit.

BehaViour of sta-nding waves

IJ~ pra'c1!ice, milt all 0~ the. wave isrefl'eG!eGl: the sur'faCfe absorbs some of the S6lblni1l, and trcHlsmits some. thrc:nl'@h to the @ti'ler: side, but in the air co.lumn of a wind ins1'r."urnent the standing wave· do"mil'lat~s th"1;':t pattesn, In fact, Q,ne 0r I::.toth ends o-fi the air coh:unn df a rnu'siost instl'ulTlent may se open. rout reflection-s still (f6€urt;iee'ause the pipe is narrow Gomparei!l wirth the wavelength of. mOst of the SOUl\lct j[iJ the column: the air ~iwe forms a pistGn whlch is simply not, big enough tID drIve 'tfle outside air effi0iently. 1.1'1 tl7lis" case the energ¥ has t@ go sQri1eillvhere: l't is refle(';tea re"p>eatedly maGI< al0n9 the oelumn. l;>w_ih;Hng Up.! iii pow8lfiful sil' wave, wh0se pitch is: deflned by the lenliJih of tJ;je €olUmfL

lfiI'armonics in an ~iJ' column

S'0rn~ instrurrrents haVe air G.0lklHHlS, tlolat'are ojUen at one end; some are effeQ:fively ogen al beth" A column 'that is open (!Dr closed) at both ends has a furrdamerrtal wav.elength whieh is tWi~e the length of t1w[pipe, ana produces a fu'll hlOlrm0nic series_ AI~ air oolumn that is open at one end and cl'osed at the other bnhaves diffemntly: the fun0.ameTl:tal ia f@~r tin1es fts lerl0th" and oItly the odd harrnonlcs are proaucetL

1:1'1 Qi"clriestral instrtrrnenrs tne- length of the column may be varied c,ontinU'otJsly (as 1,1'1 tme sHGIe tromborre). l;.iy acldifilg discrete" extra I'engths (trumpet and French morn) or by openin0 and elosing holes in the 0Qdy tit thee instrument (wooClwind). The formant of an insfrurnerrt depends on the sfrape ef 718 El@dy flf'I:d bell (the open enGl).



STATION:A:R'II WAVE f~rmed as two f!Jrogressive wavos m(W8 in bpP0site directions:; suec~ssiV'ely reil'if0lreing ana e:-an6eH·in,g eac!;] other. ~he 1;)0moined ";'ave has tWJe8 the am,,,lft:u,e.e of tHe i:l>ri!§liJ;]aJ waves.



(A 4!- pt~ A)


f2Pi ~


, ..

, ,


rsJ = Node

A. = Antinmie

13~ ~


, ,

, ,



-, , ,

VIBRATION OF AIR COLUMN Left: fer a plpe Dillen at Illoth ends the fund~!lnental freqWenQ):' fl is "appFoximatel.y twice its len§fh_ The ro\l:·e.r'tDnes are multiptes of the. fur~danlent<a.l: fa = liH:1; 1'3 = 3:fl and S0 on,

Right:f0l" 'i;l. lii(;le 'tinat is GIDs.eOat' {j)ine end the fundamental freqIJency fl is four times its leri·!!):tn. The even haxlTI0ni.8s are abseJ'lt: the firs't overtdna is" ~h the fle·X't Sf; and . so on.

Hz Hz

INSTRW,MIiONT·AL f"'®RMANTS 1_ @i'J@e" 2-. Horn" 3." Trembone. 4. Trurnpet. The fer-mantis. imp@see hiy h·estrtlGtural dimensions of parts of the i'hS'trtilments, Pf@vitrlce an essential "amJ ret':oQnisBIDle G0rilplm'ent oft1ieir musical tha.raoter.

The num;Jn voice is a great dleal more vef'sptife thaD f80y InNrs,i(JIal imstrament:

The human voice

TIl:e sJ?lecfal qUClliti_es of tile humah '(I0iGe lie - in I'lart - in the ~reGise control of pitch that is !,)ilJel'l my thl;1 vo~a'i corels, cQ.lmoim~d wli:tll tlexib"ility of the Ga),litie~ of me mouth, nose, and th_roal whicl~ are usecl te lrnpese variable. formaM onaraderistiGs on the s@unms already prudl>lced, .

Thesef'orrrrarru '€i'la rac_teristi€-s, @ased on cavity resocnanGe, are responsible f(9f vow-el sourrds and so make ';3r1 iTlflportamt 8ontritJutiol'l to the infelfigibill'ty ef sjEleech. M0S"t of tOis variatJilTty IS expressetl bet;ween 200 and 2700Hz, the range 9T t8·lephone transmtsstorrs.

Other 0h_araG-teristi0s of SpeeGR iJi)cluC3ie slbilafilts ancl stops (jJf. variDU'& Rinds whi£h, t0getn-er with the formarrt resonances, JDrDvide all that is nee:ded f0r- high inteHigifuility. The-se exteriGl the r<lrlge to about 8000Hz .. A whisper, in whiGIl ·l!, vg.c_al €C!lrcils are not I!lsed, ma'Y' be_ perfectly Glear and uraderstarrdable ..

-rl'le vlbrati'ens pfodiUGe'o by the vocal cords ada volurrre, further characte'f, arid the afumty [@ jilfGOU€'e SQI'I'!j. F@r mmnal sp,ee,€A the tum€latnental varie's over a range 0'1' abput tw,elv8 tones ,:md is i;)f,HlItFe<!i s@rnewhenil: near. 145Hz for -a man and 230Hz fo r a wornam. !ZI..s th£l· fertnarrt regions <differ little, the fem.ale v0i·(:le·-therefe~e has J:es's harfn('inics in 1h1:r re.gioFis of stronger reS0Aanee; SQ its €It;1~lit:y may be thinner (er purer) tfran a man's. For song the fundamental FaDge of most voices is about two 0.€t-ave:s - t'h@tJ§ln, -exce.ptiGlnallcy:, it' can 5e mUch greater.

Mierop:liones fer speech

For:a mi'cmphone 311Q other SQund equiprnsrit that can cope with orehas- 1; [a I music, the human voice pr@i!11l0es no problems IUf 'frequl'fncy range, nor 0f'volume exceet for th€)· pl,osfVe 'p' that can blesv a tHaphragm beyond its normaL workiriq range vvhen some people talk directlv into h.

As we s.h'all s-ee, thememanills of intell'igiDilifY reqtlire that there must be less indirect. (reverlileran1t) sound tman f@f muskal ih'Strumen.ts; a.nd ;this in turn may create further problems due ttl w.€Irklr1g GIGlse t19 a direetional micf(!IpliGlne. But apart Tr'Omt'tiis, the main ques~lon witl<1 micropJiI.€Ines for speech is wne~ther a very Wide freqweney rang;e is Cf.esir-aqle: this adds H@t only re tlile cost of the mierephone byt also to tne l1[Clise piGk:ea up at the exfmme eritls of the range.

$€lme·tirrres int!elllgibility is in-ereasea by using a mIcrophone with a Rea,k (a stfonge,r res1p@nsej in the €i.OOO-800'Oi"Iz frequenciy' rang'e. $ome 01·JJer or cheager rniGroRholiles have this Blilyway.- But this fI'lay als@ eJ:lhanee 'the ftatur-al sibilanee of some voices.


VOGAL CAv'I'flES 1, The Iuraqs, 2, The nose. 3, The A'loutlil (this is tl;]e mo'sf roeaclily flexible cavltv and is used teform vowel sourrdsl. 4, The pharvl'lx (aQQ;ve -the vIDeal q~FdS'). 5, Sinuses;, These cavitie,s [9l'0dUC8 the fg.rrma-Rts wlliet.! are charaliteri.sji€ Of the Ruman voi~e, 8'rrnplmsJsing certain freqlllemc'i' .sal'lds at the. expernse ef others.

1 4 2

~~J[lll11'1 •. ~~:!. I',

"~\I~[! iW 11:~I~[i [

II~~ 1111~~flll[ III II! I,


NUMAN5 gPIEI'CG;11 .analrsed to. shg.w forma-nt rarrges. 1, Resonance tiands.

2" Um?oiced s~eech, 3. \;(olSal -steip bef0re trarl!! '0'. There woule De similar hlreak sefore a pllQsive '1'1'. 4, Voiced speed!. These fGrmanl'!; are on-relatecl to the fun€larnentals end har-menics, which wou lEi be shewn @l'fly by, an analvsis Il'ltb n'H.I.GI~ finer f~eql!Jef'lc)y. tanges than have t5een (lS€€i Fiere. Tfris example is adapted from a v(i)iceplrint of tl1e, auth@r's volcee. Eac-h individual has (iUStinct char·acterisl'ics ..



The eat iui:JIJes there!ative volume of' $(J)uFlds 117 a specief wav

Sound volume and the ear

E'very time ¥0.W double. the imtensii1::y ([)~ the ene·r!'Pll @F a SOkJliiQ yowr. ear hears the 'Same inere.aae in loudness. Intensity is iii physic-a I Ghar-ac.teristic of sound in aJr.,Asintenslty goes up in progressively 'increasing Jumps, 1 :2:4:8:16:32: anti so on, the ear hears this as equal imlrem'ents of loudness, 1; 2 : 3: 4: .5 : 6. ,Be.G'Hlse at this special chamc't€lrisfk: of the human ear, it is not Very corrvaniant tQ think in t~rms sf or enet!jjy, so inste.a(jl a new rne.asl'lre of S-Ol.lnd volwme is Qie'finecL Thrs i& the de'eibel (dB).

In matl'l~l'flatj@a[ tefl'l'"ls: tkle I;IQlume in decjbeJs is ten tilifle$ the logafltAm of the .ratio of jrrrnns·iJ:ies. for non-matflematrcians it is enougb to k!n0w that a regular inere'a:S!i:! in v@'lum'e 1 : 2,': '3: 4: 5: 6 des:cribeo in meGiblels will sound lH~e a regula!' an€! e'O':en increase in volucme. Arrd 'a deciltlel. is a unit of a c"l;HJllenien1: size::· it is- about a'S' small 8Fol increase in volume as we can he·ar in the- mOstiavouralJl·e circumstances.

Sou 00 Intensity


T,Ht;; EAR be.f1: 1, '!9"0tmd errters via the. Quter e'a'!" alad the awdltory cal;ial. .2, 'Fhe s@uAd is transported mecha'nici;llIy frorn tlie earBrl;lm -acmS's the m;[Iclle ea.r 'Via ~htee srnaiJ ffiones, 2, lt IS then pl!lmped via the oval 'winckJVv irl't@ ·the inoei' ear {"cQc:;hle·al. 4,. The cochlea has two chanfrels alclOg it. hieC0n1ing narrower until they jOin at thre far end. ~lstributed alID'lig the Lipper channel are eloJl8al:ed celts, 'hairs', whi€m respond to ~artfcular freque-ncies= when one of these is llient, a nerve imf3Ldse Is fireed .. 5, A bundle of 4000 nerve fibres carries the jnf~rmat1ol1 to the bra!Tl, where it is de9!'lded. 6,Pressu(-es in the €ochlea are equalised at anottrer membrane 10 ihe: innen ~aJ~ the f0und winGiow. Right.: As sound intensity rises< eXj'iJ0I'1e·ntiaJly the correSIDOl'I.diR:g volume jill dedElels tas beara by:; the earl rises lifie-arb,.·

Intensity and volume

As it happens, 'fheratio of inte·lT)s[tje.s in 3dB is about 2: 1 .. Tfils is converrlerrr to remember, .l:lfeoause if we C!lot:l~le up a SQuni"l source We< d@ulQle the intensity (at a given di.stance). So if We hawe one sraprano mawliag her!ilffcmd another joinshe.r.simgin@ eqlrany IQudly the seund le\Zelwill @o U,J!l 3dlil (n@l all that' much more than 1i1le minitnwm detectable b;V the hum,al~ ear) .. B"blU to raise the level by another 1i!t.'"I.B twa 1il00fe S(JI[!.lra'fl;0s are needeCil. FGlLilF mOF8 are flIe,eQ8t.'"1 fQr the ne:xt 3dB - af!d $'Q ort, Wefore we g,e1 very far we are havmg :l!Q ad!i'J sopranos a1 a rate elf 64 Qr 12;8 a time to, get any cha!l§e OfIY01·ume.

EQUAl LQlJlDNl::S$ GONTOURS (R0binsefl amd Dadaon), I.ritensity (decibeJ~) equals' loutlflE~~S in phoms at 1kHz .. Ri!j/ttt. The [;U,mJ"6S take. age ililt!!) aGCOU ntand Sh0W moarlirel'f peaks and dips in Y0urrg hearing. The unbroken lines 8nder age 20; ~he 8r@kE!n fines sl'iow tYl"lEat loss 01 i;]i§h-freqll~n(;1i' at .age 6'0. The lowest LIne in eaen 6ase ttle thresn:ol·d of tie:arin§. The ~tHeshfllcl of feeUn@ lies somewhere between the tbp two curves.

I,juman hearing at differ.ent frequencies

The ear does no1: measure the v01ume of all sQ'unds fuy the same standara:s: the ear is mere sensitive to clilanges @fvelHrme in the middle 8Ra upper frequenGies tl:r!aA if! 'the bass. 5'0 louQ.rJ.ess (a subje·€:tivet!juality) and tlile objectively measuf.abl- volume of a sound eannot tie tbe same at all tre~wenoies. Loudness in p'hOtisis taRe:!) to tie ~he same as w)'lwme in deGil3eJs at 1000HIl. The expecte!li I€H:ltlness Qf: a sound can then ltie cajeu l'ated T'f0n'l tfu':e actua I sm.\lfld volume by usi ng a starreard set erf 6ur'ves represen1in§ 'avera·ge" human bearing.

The lower Jimitis calleC! th ". t!hresh0ld oT liearing. It is €@"nVerHent to re€lard. the average I,@wer limit of hwma'n hearing at 1aOQFI.z. as zero on the €I,ecibel scale. (Tlitere is no natural zero: the arbitrary zero chosen Gorresp0nds to an aeoustie press;uHl of 2 x 1@ !i newt@ns per square rnetre.)


Hearing, mono and stereo

HeARING $I:EH~O The. pesiti@l'l. of appa-ren~ SQwpt::es is ~e,n;:eived by tlme, amfillitud" arno phase !;llffer-anees between sigmCils received by the left ana right ears, aFu,!' (at; hi'@'h freql!lenGiBS~ By the effe:cls of shadowin€l due to ttre head,

At left Ear

At Right hr


li)our.ld enters the ear through an au€!rtoTY canal, a Ghamnel with a restmarlee (2}eak in the 2-6RHz range. The eardrum vibrates In aiF, and the airpr.e.ssure of 1;he inn'eF ear. is; intermitten1Jly. rhatGhed to that outside vi'a the Eustaeh],;1n tube. Ifthistube is blocked and p,ressiolre changes with weather or altjtuGle, tfte diap'nra'gm will be stiffened :,e51Jltin9 in Mearln'9 I@ss. A flasal deGon-gestant may De necessarv when sound while sufferil'lghol'l'1 a cold (amil alS0 to avoid f,lain when descending altitude).

lin tlie m iddle eflr, sou nd is c(ilrried by sfoT1pH bolites wtli,r;;h form a system 01' lever.s, In effect an impedanlte--matGhin,g device. The inner eaE, or cochlea, is ~ small spiral shell·sha@£t.l struetl!.!t'ec0ntainin~ 'U fluNj witli tiny 'hairs" along its leo,gth. Each 'hai~' (actually an eloli1~ateQ cen,) re· SPQflOS too a narrow 1'requene¥ !;land, aha in tbe middle arncl upper rangIe, tbey are s.p«celtl at eI!lWalmUSfG"CIJ intervals (i.e. at equal spacing on a lo~rarilhmrc range offrequency). At 10W frequ8F1oi(;!.$ ther.e '<ire 'l'ewe1c'hairs' and eur 'Capacity to disfin€)liIish pitch is cjiJH~>S'flIon.din.gR@orer.

Some' 6iirectioflal iFlflllrmati-on comes 1'rl'Jm mask'ltlg by th'e lieaa, aIded by sH§nt rnovernerrts which cnaAg.e the bi!lJh-fr.eque·n·cy r-esp!.'mse. There isthe:re'fo'[B some stereo effect eveh for a single"ufther in'f.onmation e(:li1n8S frornai!:0"mJ)arrsO; which (eKcept at lli'gh frequ!;lnGies) differifl phase ana for cl(!}se SOI.:lnGh, also differ in volume .. Transtents fronn the si'de wjll also re-ae'h CIne eaf betQ'fe the other. Althol!lgh the ears sample air press\' at omly tW0 pla'ces in a Q;ornplec.x ac@usticfiel,a, 'the Drain oan detect ana conoef.ltratj:1 on e.vents at a particular point, by, tunJng in 10 QITI8 G0nvers<lfion amohS many (tfie 'beck-raJ I patty effec·1'). It ean also de-eml1lti.asise ro'om resonarrce, which comes fF@f'!'i all d~rE!etions·.


Here the Sigl'l.als from A and B IGw:1!s'[!!ea]<er.s are aqua]; the B signal t'<lK<es longer to reachttie teft ear, l'md the fA signa,1 takes l.o'hg8rc to reach the rigJit. But the eom~i'necl signal (: Is exabtly in pJlase~ tfie irttame is in :t'he


Here signal A iCs inct·easel!l. rttee"'ffeet

is <[0 maRe the p8.ak 1r11he cornbirred signal e arrive at the left· ear a little e'arli'er, ana that at '~l1e n!!jhr e ar; later. Tfiere is therefere a slfght delay ttl between me i£WD signals C; thIS phase difference is per cerved a's a displacernerrt of the irnaqe to the left

of centre. In these diag narns it is assu'llled that the listener is' on the centre' liAe between A ai'll!! B, 8Ad

facing forwards .. It. however, be< rums his head this willicause tine phase ctIH'ferelil6e at his ears 1;0 di,mge ~ but in such .a way as to keel'! the il'Flj'lge rOlr!'lhlyat the same, po,il'1.t in .spaee. If the listener moves away fn;,m the

c'l'!ntre nn.e the irll.a§e will be: dist0r'led but tRe relative p0siti0n501 image elements wIn Fel1l<li.nundI5tl.,l~bed.

These ar\!iume.nts ailJply i.t:J th'eir

simplest fOl'm OT'llyto sound derived froPm 'a c0inddent pair @f

micfc;Jphones, and to freql.,len.£res

belew ai§0ut 70tlHz, a'1; wliid4 'the head its'"elf causes shado'wing effeets.

l,oudspeakel!'s and stereo

A sin@le, m@no loudspeaker offers little posi'triQl'lal Intortnation: !Dnly distance. This is §lvenlil,aftly by hQ'w rnueh reverberation tne;r;e is fmr each component: the more, the· farther away. In additibn, the brain will rtiake allmwanaes for eXpe€teG 10u.Oflless; an intfinsi'l1:all1y: quciet Source (sych as a whisl4l'erj tfrat is loud must be eel ose .. Contradietorv lnferrnatiorr such as tlilat in a loud, reverberarrt whlspor will change the apparent size of a s0urce.; in this c-as'f;! to make it sauRd bj,g .. BeQause Cliteet and reverberartt sound all comes from th,e Same dire~tron, the e,ar (and .b.rain) tolerates less reverliJeratiG'rfthan in a two- ortb~ee-dimen&ional sIDundfi€1ld, paflttc;ularl.¥ if il'1telltgihilllt'Y' or muslcat claritly' is diminished.

len two-loudsReaker. s.t~ref9h @nly a limited tW.@-(fimensi~na·1 effect is restored, Hut this proV'iCJ'8s muoh of the ililforfiT'latjt<;lA' required by gar and Qraifil t(') estatliish p@csitioh anti to sep'arate direot horn reverberant SOUI'l'€I. Clua(i"]raph(,'lnic s;Qwnd el'oes nos a!1h7.1!,igh flJlrther inf0~ma·tiori to have 3€hie-vet:J '€i:JmmerciaJ suecess,



Listening contlitions

The stJrTQu.ralidih€ls in wl'tieh s.(ilond is heard parl€lE! f,p@rn the' 8@ntroHe€l cQRditio[ls necessary. to mEl;nitorin@ at s04n~e; thnuugb lkicgJ'l-fidelity listening in the home, where eqniplneflt rn-av I)e of gdod quaHty, but tile position of listeners Gannet tie "y~edjGted; to include the effects of p.00rru 8<,!ui:pmentf, ac.o~stjl:)s or bagkgni)uncl m:;:dse.. r.lere_ arrarag,ernents for the first twa only will be desGrioed - tbough the sound balancer shouli:! tqke account of the liks'ly range of c0nditiQns' in wi;li,cn the FlfC)QUe-llOt'l will me heard.

FQr monitoriFlQ men0 sound, the loudspeaker rnev be placed ata distance of 3-6ft ·(O.!B-1.8mJ. GI'0ser than this, tne fiel,tiI may be dlstorted by tne standing Wa1V'8S near anv large caBinet; at mere than 6ft (1.8m), the aeoustlcs of the- I1stenin"!1l roo;m @egim to dominate. These aeoustics should be simital' to those in many hQmes.: a ratio n time of (:l,4seG: at ZeSOHz. fal.ling to 1].3seG at 8kHz has Deen found safisfact0-ry .. X'l.t ttlis relatively €Iese monit@rjng di'Stcance, it is' jD®ssib.le t® Qlsting~ish l!1etweerl faults In HIe f!.II,T@iRa'I sound and those of the listening room itself.

STl~ji{IE.O LOUDSPEAKERS:SPA'CING With the (>1058. 10udsJ!!eake-rs, {eft, the. sptea¢ mf the stereo image is feducj:!cl, but there is a bmad area over wfii'ieh ~easom,able stereols tleard. Wit!;, wi0_er s~acililg, right, the stereo imagee has more spread. but a relatively rra'H0W r.egi@D in whieh it can fue heard at its best. For ii'stenses off the eefiltFe 1[I'Je C, the §r.owing dllferenee in dlsranee r.a,piiilly "kills" the stare@, due to the Haas I'lffeet. P[O)siti!Jn 1 (with a narrow sl'1aci.fl€l of sf')eakerS') has the same h;;,ss of stereo effeq;t as ~Qsitiorl 2 (with the broaden 5paoil'lg) ..

Listening to stereo

The differefll€e liie-tween m0mitori'Ag in lhe stuQliQ and listanin£! at hem,e is; lits,ely to be greater hJfstereo. This is due. to th"e Haas effeG;t'whereo¥ a deLay of a few mill1seeonds (a lenger sound path of -some 3ft, O.9m) causes all tHe s0tmd te ap:p>e-ar·t0 €om,e from the nearer I:€)'ucispeaker. T€l laea~ sterso with anyd'ling like the :sf.)atial res.olutiQln of the orig.ina1, it is therefore necessary 1D be fairly erose to. tne medi'8n line bet.Ween the I@uds~ea~ers, t.ho,u\iJ1'i the £Ireater the €iistance U0fin lHe.l@u€isf?Jeakers, tFie !'Jreater the s!!,readwithin which the steree it'l'ra\'je is heard. Tlli.s is also affected b:y the distance be1!wee'l1 the I'Qudspeakers arrd here tfiere is a trade-off. line dloser tnew are, tlie greater the 'freed0m 0f rrrevertrent fo~ the Jisterrer; but -also the narrower' the' image tirl,at is heard. F"0r r-everl'ler.ati0R tR:e odgimal Wider oSr>a!iJflg is Qette,r. .

For mr,nitQri ng stereo tke sound baJ3:ricer will be on theme.dian line ane! if Ule l0-udsJleak'~rs are abgut Sf! (2.5m) apart he !!ir she CQuiti be at "th,a 8.jDe,xQf a tri~an!'Jle some 6ft (1.8m) from each, with lhe produl!:ef -sitting b,ehind - l'I@t the hest pnsifion fer close oormrnunlcatlo'n aFid quite unlike oelmpaniomahle s:eating in the home. To m0nitora wiuer range or Bw,die·l'lce c€mc;jitl@lls (espetially fertelevision S€lUFld}it slil:@uldbe p_Qssibl-s' to swit€:h to srnrall ('Flear-fieIC!l')I€'luds[ile<fke~s at: lower volume. These should be il'l line with. but €Ioser'l, the rnain I-ouchpeakers, perhaps set at the baek lin'e of the de-sck.





HAAS EFFECT (for a listener awav -frOTT1 the ueritre line G, the differerree in distances means that the sound <from the i'artlie-r Ie u-dsf;leaker -arri,ves later: The, delay is one miJlisecollld for every 1:1lA inches (3~tin) eifferencein pa·tll length, For ii::lerrti0alsigr.lals e.0min§ fr orn different dlreefions, a diffe~ence of only a few milllse.c,!Jnds miilkes the whfllie sound appe ar to corne from the direction of tile first t@ anr:ille. Tf.Je effect san Be reverser'! by inereasin['J tl~e volurne oft'li8 secorrd signaL the curve shows the increase in volurne required to reoentre the fm·age.

MONI:TClRINQ STEREO A. Hi@h-quality loul1ispeake.r;s. 8, Bal.anest. Q, PrrDc;Juoer, also euuldlsrarrt from lowGsp.eaker. Q., 'Mini-speake't's' 0ffeYin['J a dis.tlrT€:tiy.ely different lewer qualTt'l( .. E', Desk.



Studios: reverberatlon and coloration

Sounds in <;Lr:J Em;losed space are reflected many times, with S0me (great Elf small) part of the sou na .Being 'clbsorbed at 'e!f!0f.i refl'eGtion. The rate '0f decay of reve'J:"""e'~atj,Qn defines a charaetartstle foresG;h stuCJIio: its reverberatiQIll time. This is the -rime it takes for a SQU nt;l to die away to a rntlliorrth part of its original inte:msJty (i.e. through BOdB) . .Re'\le~berafion time varies with freql1ency, and a studi'Q's peffo~rnaAee m:;J¥ be shown on a @f8Ji!'h f®r all audio frequenr;ies. Or it may De si.mply given in round terms for., say, the biggest pea,kaetwee.A ~OO anti 2000Hz; bt at til particular frequ,en@y withYn that fiiln'ge.

Re.ver6eratiCin tiline del'lenms on the nl1mwer 0'f re~leGtrons in a given time, so laFge reems gel1lera:li¥ havelofi'~er mverb"eratfQn times than small en'es. This Is not only e~peGte~ But also. f@rtunately, preterredl'ly. l'isteners.


100 IK 10k

PERMISSIBLE BAC'k:GAOLfND NOESE IN STUDIOS 1, Tele:visi.QFI studi'@s (e.xC'ept d.r-ama and presen~a1Jj0n). 2, Tel~visi0n draraa and presenta!JQ}'1 st.wdi0S arrd all radio studios: e-x;.s.ept those for drama. 3-, Radie. dn'?ma sttrdios.


€oloration and ei,gentones

In some stwdiQS eotoration may tie heard, This is the sele€:\!ive 8rmp'hasis @f!.>ertain freq_uf}l1l¢i'es or bands G)f frequencies in the rBve_f"nerati(i)n, ~aused by sUIOGessive ab~ofpti0n o'f other freqtrertclas at eaenrefl'aefion. This is' most' notlGeal!'ile in smaller rooms.

Parallel Walls also give rise "to eig:ent0hes. resonance at fre~uer.JGies eorresponcling to the studio dimeflsjon.s. If the rrralrt dimensr!!)ns are in l'irnple rati@s tQ each €l.the'r these may. De r.einf0nte'd. Adequate dfffusfon 1s an Important qtlal'ity gf a gP€lt'I stui:.;li8. Tbre mere the wave fi;@flt is broke~n up, the more stiioQth the decay of the sound beo·o(.l;les, both iFf tirrra a neil in frequency CGnteAt.

A hand clap can be used as a guide tQ Dotfi rev,erlael'ation time anGi studi€! (;Jwal'itJr: forexam(.lile in a spee€h. studio, the s@lIn€! s'h0uld €fieaway q.ukl<.ly but enat so fast t1'lat the stud'io sounds muffled or c;leacl, And there must certainly hie no 'MAg' flutterin0 along behind it.

100QO, (eu.m)

f.lAWIO S'rUDIOS Typl.Ga.1 reverb.eralio n ~irRes: fat;

A, Pr.Ggramrn'es With an audiertce.

S, Talks :ana Ifli:slliussions. C. C;::lassiGal musI.G_ 0, Drama, p'opular rnustc.

1'ELEVIS·IQN STUDIOS Tvpieal revert:ierati{')n times fov gemeraJpurpose studios.

Rellerberatien times for rnuste stUdies

For a musje studio, listening testsehow that the preferred reVerneratiofil time depends on siee: the laf!~ler the stlldio, the lenger the time, DUt the f1wmoer of sound reflections remaiLls ebout, the same .. For rrtonophonie radio ana recording work the preferred ideal reverberation time seems to be' ab0l)t a tenth of a se8on'd less than fOT ml!lsic neard 'live'. Some aUt!horities suggest a slight rise iR the bass.

An aoauetfo control system ('wliicb does not 8'rnfJll.DY aceustie; fee-doB€;k in the nail itseH) can nQW be instalh~d in a re.lafi¥ely dead studio to giVE! 11: a wide ramge of simula1ed live- a.Gl.Dustics (:see J9a;ges 104-105).

100 I k Hz 10 I<,

FOUR TELEYISION S,];UDIO'g': ;f;Rf~QUENCY RESP©N5~ Varlatit')n iF! reve~fueratio.n time with frequency. BB,C;: Teievfsi.@n Gentne $tudit>s 6 anctl 5 are beeli n 16 OfJQft':l (3'28I:lm'a); $tu€li,Q's c; and 4 are 3~7 OOOft3 (101QQrn3.), Stu,ffio 4 was desighed prfmarily for musical prG€WctiQns.

200 '3150 KHz;


llLMES A, Median fc,Jf, ar1l1 J1)a,fti8ular !,y@~. '8'eIGw 20QH<! tile reverberation il;] talks studios amlrl thEir CIDf1trol

re orrrs mal{ rise; eo-ove 3-1.5QHz, fgf most stulllf0S it should la,li lily 10-15%. F@r a lar.g:e rmJskSllcJoi® the tEller-arlee is: alilout H)% 0n either side of th.eavera!ije; fQr Qtf.ier stl:111fi'0's and contre.1 r@;orttsit .may b~e a Jittle wic'ler.


l'l'ie use IlJf sound eosorbers ami difftlSsr-s tlI! tettor the iiI(;OuSt!ics .0/ a s~u&fo,

Acoustic treatment

A sound studio 1s .a room with designed - rfr €Iefln!!€! - acoustJcs. The reverberation t.ime and tn€ fretjuene'¥ response (1:he amounot of reved!!ery ation at dif.fererrt fp6)ql,Jenl!:ies) are varied by eIDnt~elling, tl1:e refle€'ti€f.n and ai:5sor",tion of sound. D'iffltSerSqre used to break up the wavefnmts.; plent:y @f IYar€l fl,lJjnjture does UHs quite as well asirre'gwlar wall surfaces. But the main means €rf €ontr@1 is abs@r",tion in variou'S fGrm.s.

AtJsqrptio17 coefificie'nt is the fracJioJ'l of sound that is aElsol1bed at a pafticl>!larfr:equem:y. It takes a value Between 0 and 1 ana u-nless otherwise stated is flM !;'1~Hz at normal inei-denes.

Types of absorbers

S·Qft alisorlgers are porous materials in' wn[ch s.Quntt energy is lost laV air fl'i'ctiQHL Fer rea,lly effk.:ie'nt abMflDtion it fuj 4ft (1.2m) thjc[{, wmidii tab;lS' up al,(;)tof spac~. $@ i=tis usu<al to l<lV! it in thicknesses tMat abs@rill well above 500Hz. EXGessiv.8 absorption at very nigH fceqlH;')rH;!8S may then be reduced by o1>.1erlayiiig the alDsorDer with perf0rateD narGlb€lal'd. Wi~h Q.5% j';}€!,rf(Jratiof1l rrrueh ofthe 't0f!J' is reflected; with 2~% 1'l8'JiOf@ration a hi@h Profllof1;ic:m is -abseriile'd.

[D'amped ~avity aijs0roers use, the: principle I1Jf the HelrnH01tz resonator, in :vvl9ich tMe IiliIBSS of air in th~e rJ1,0utn- of a bettie vibrates a~ainst tlile "sRring' @t the air il'1s,ide. Daf<l'l(iled c£lvity resO'na!@rs are sometime's used to cut down sharp peaks 1('1 studio reverberation - such as fiTlay be ca~lseQ bW dimensional resonances.

MemJnarie' absorbers are 0fie-!1 useGl 1:0 redwee I@W iirequ8fil,des: a panel witll '8 broad middles- te l@w-fre~uel'1C-Y response Is driven like a ",iston t;i):' the S'Duna press'urer 'ilnd as t e movement is damped the energy is lost. l,rI practice tney ao no't always work well.

An all-purpose eombimatitm abserber has been u$e:d by "ne sst with su(!;ces£. It cQnsists qf atarrdard 2ft WOcl1n) square unit!; tha1 are B.asy te 00nstruct ana simple to install WitHout supervision (see OPpj:oslt.e).

The best ana Gheapest - sound oss'erber Gn tile fl00r is a thlGk



Semens are free-stanr.{ing i1l1ffusers g,rdiffl:J-ser-'alttsorli!ler-s, ty,picaUy ai3dut 3ft (O.SIifl) wid.e x 6ft (1.8m) hi!'Jh. Thev are Rot ,,~ry efl'i€ient ahlsmhers. as the paading is uS.LI'ally too thin. ln the deac! pop-Iilusi:c studio, Perspex ecreerrs previd.elooal hig!i-freq8ency reinforcement. Tllis helps rh'8si0ians hear t!;,e-ir Qwn s'®L,lncl~ he,lps-t;g. separate irtstrumertts for easier c0n'trQI of levels, improve'S diffu$i01'1 allJQ may ats@ recluee IGw-fre€luem;y resunance ftn the sludio as a whole ..


son A:BgD~Bt'RS PaEldirlg ap[!lli@d clese; to 'a nefleGtil~0 sur;fac;e is efficient 0nfy f@r short

w3V'e.leJ1@tlils. Tlile thilcl(eF it i.s~h·e wioer tliice ratJg~ ID<f f'fequeneiecs that

it will aBsorB. Thin p,adl'Nnl2l (or, for ~)(ampl.e., lie-avy €Ir8l'1est is moore effecflve over a wide raRge 0'[ freGjuencies. I't it is away trom 'the reflentiA.g surface.

DAMPED CA\lITY AlfSORBER Tlfis employs a I':lelmheltz: re~onato'r resr;lQTldin!il to a ~atti~iul:a~ire€juency;, which is then abs0rl;le·o.


ol!ler a 00X. Unlike the eaVity respMat0r (whiQlilias a sin§le sM'arply- tuned re-sOriar:1r::et,. ~. tile pal~el wliiien is fixeo at the edges mas a verY' broael f<i}sf;j'onse. 2, If It is d,amfiled lliy weigi;i't:ing it witli a material StlGA .as roofing felt. it will absurD sQun!!l.


2ft x 2ft,0 Yin (600.x 600 );! 1S0Iil'lm]. The back arid sides· oft t.lil@ biox ar e of p'lyw8ad. The interier is par'tjti0n~d by harCioGard into G'avities of lft,x1ftJ><.6fn (300' 3·(!]Oii':1!!J[lrnm).

[fn thee fr01'lt (s· ~ in (15.rnm I of liea,vy density ~fJGkw001.covered by j;jerfb~ate.d hardboard. With 0.5% perforation the !'leak <.'>1' "fbserl;)!IQIl is at 90Hz. WI~h 20% perforatian ther-e

is wide band a,bsorlfftioll, with I'ess'

at 1c;J.w fre<l1'Uer~cies.

STUDIO $CRBEI'ilS A del!id mtlsit stuai@ has a supply offull and IIDW screens With alilout 4[1'1 ('10cmt thick are eaSily m~ov.ed an J!ollers t0j;jrovlde acbustic separallQIl :witl'iOtlt less of visual contact. VGcalist's screen may have a winCiew of stiff trarrsparerit plastic's.


The qqafities of microp/wnes may be assessed in many 'dIfferent ways:

Microphone characteristics

A microphone is 'a device f!'Jf Rl(Rlng th.€!' a£@usti€ energy of s061nd into electrioal energy_ The rnain are ccrrdertser (ele§;trostatk;), mov:ifilg· c0il and ~ibb;(lI1l, which have all IDeen uS-ed for hjgn-qualit;y wt'Jrk.A.n electret is a G@J1I€tenser micrl;)~hofile in whi€h an eleotr@slatie cJlarge is permanently implanted in one of the, plrorte.S'.

F0f' normal sQ)Ut'lQ levels a m'ierophqne silQuld produce an e)@.€tr,iGal sl@nal wFIi'ch is well a,tiGve its bwf;l electrkal n·ifrse· level, i .. e. if shouJa have a gooe signal-E0-noise ratro. :tiens~tivi'l:'yi'S efle vOlta'ge pFodweedlger unit ofS:Qund pressure: see table opr;)Qsite,:An '£(]'Jnivall;i!nt I')oise level' is (l lower li"mlt"t@ the SQuli(;l pressillre Ie!vel that can be dj.stinguish,ed from eleerrical F1sise in tli1e mi€roph@Fle.

DistQrtion and freQuenoy response

for'I'lQF'fflal scurrd levels the si!!(n'aJ rTll!Jst be sUBst-antially utldistorted, i.e. the elee;triCilI vvavefornn rn ust faitJ'l,fuJly follow tMe sound waveforrn, and it must aID this over a wide range of volumes:. Distortian cause,d QY Qverl(i)adIl'Ifil Eiepends on the use tg whi"t:h tlte micrGlpfi(me is ptrt: close to tlae bell of a trornbcree the $0)..11710 level may be 6Qd:I'l hi'gher rhart that met in use elsewhere. MOlling-Goil tVRe,S withstal7ld (;!@ad very well.

Hl"e rnicF@ph'(;)ne- taken 1'l9getl:1el" with irs asso0iated equiRm'fent ShOll,ld respolild '31m1ost equafly to all significant frequencies present. WHat is 'sngnifi6<lnt' depends on the S€llilnd s·Qu'"t!:'e: @iiffere:l1t micfIDph0'nes maw be blset;:i fer spe'eC:h an@ 'for various rnusieal instrurrrerrts. Sl,'lmel1ir¥les deviations · "",-,'Ven fre,queno{ response al'e deshab~e, ana ean be used c.omstructively.

Handling qualities, appear.anee, cost

R'ibustI'l8ss:and gOQ<!I han€lJing qualities are other essentials. Moving-coil typ-es in particular stand I,lP weill 1:0 the feratively rolOlgh tre,atmen"l a mi~.rDph0ne may. aC:G:ifienta:rlly SUffer ow tsida a stu.dio, t'G t.andling by ii'lter'Viewers or P@j{) -singers, er to rustle when attached to clothilil9. Condenser mieroJ;1h01' are alse use.d fGir all of tliese f]J\cIrpos<esand may be preferred fQr an extended, srnootl'lfrequency feSj:iJonse; anG! eJectrets also for their b1nVJbtr'wcsi'Veness in vTsiotl ..

Rfibbon miCfIDli}i'l@noes rate IQweS·t in sens~tivity"to wind noise. If,) wincdy eOfl0iticms all micropl'1qnes finay Islenefit fniHTl the US'{'l of a win0shie.lo. ~imple eleGtret microphones ean s@rnetimeS' ee cheap, an~ gada Ff'le@'V<ing·e@il micniJphm~es may be re'lalivelv. SID. ConriJer.Jser m·i€n;:>ph(Jlnes (Qther than electrets) are more ex:pensive.

£[:lhones are so.!'€! with a c!q·Q[Ge of imped'ance's. Nominally, t:he mier0~h@ne impeaanGe should tie matched with tile inl'lmt to the e\llwipl'A'ent fIDII@win.g it, out semetimes a mismatch - I€lwinto high, e.g. ZOO!] micro.phflHHO:! impemam~Ge int@ a mi.xer input rated a!h12QOQ - is permissitile or even requirei3.


1. eorrOgated li9ht allay teil. .

diaphragm. 2, Perrnanent m<tgnet wltA pote-pieces above. 3 .. Trans,f0:Dme~.

The (ilJtput voltage IS generated as- the rUf,D0n diaphr.agm vibrates in the rmagnE~tic fiel1:t.


01, Diaphragm. 2, C011 ti~ed to diaphragm. 3, P~rm~ne:nt magi1~t. " Movement 0,f tlie' Gall ever the fixed eentre-pmle p.romwc·es tHee output vCllt-~ge. A robust mf:creph0n:e·.

(JONDENSER (EbECTf.{O$TATIC) MJGROf"H@NE 1, Ught, flexible m.emfurane di,aplir'sgm, 2., Rigid backplate. 3, Gable. to head amplifier and polarising voltage'\l. Air pressure va:ries' the capaci~ance l:ietweeilll di-aphra.grn apd baekpiate, This is converted IQ an output vdltage in the amJillifief. Expensive, but can give very hi!!;l~h sourrd quali,t'j(, Ere-drat mi·crQP!i.ones are siliTililar;, but mquire rio pol.a.rising yglt'age.


Usua(,l¥ gil!ltm md:B relatiVe te 1 volt per l'iascal. This conespends toa (.linear) sB'ale @f miUiVoJts per pascal, :<is shown: tn cable. Other units ttHI't rna1,l be encountered are dB relative te 1 vott perc dyne1qn": this ~ives 'figures which are 20dB lewer. One mV/P~ is the same as lrnVtH:lut;)ar Dr 0.lmVl.f1bar.

o []

o 0

100 56 3~.6 17.8 HLO

5.6 3.16 1.7'8

.O,0 8.S"'.








Directional response

The directional response or tiBld pattern of a miCTUr;'lI'l,on,e ~S iBustrate!!l 1"1'1 a pola« diagram,. in whrCh sens'it1vi1;y is plgtlea a,gains,t the angle fram the axis. The maiFl'tYIi)'eS are as foll€lws:

OrnnitlireGticmal mlGFOphomesffleasure the pressure af the air in the sown:m wave and, fdeaHl/, respond equaJly to soured c€lmil'lg fforn aU direetJol'ls. The simpler moving-Goil amI" Q:.ondenser (inC':lud'ing electret) rnicr0.phomes \i\!ork ff! this wav. The diaptiragm is 0pen to the; air on one slCIe only. microphones are bi-tlirectJortal. The iiliaprnr:agm is open te the air Gin both sides: it rrreasures gradi·er1t (the differeliee in preSS1JFe at twa SUQc![!'ss,ive p"@ll1ts' alon:g the path of the sQunt'i wave). If tlie rnlerophorre is (!)1.aGed sidew'ays to the path of the SOUr-Hit it com~a'res· tne pressures at twa points on tlie same wave front and, as the:se are the s.ame, there is no QutJ1lut. The mler@plione is UJ.8rej':gre 'dead' to S1;)I1neJ' coming from the side and 'live' t€l tHarappmachln:0 orre faee@r tAe other. The sirnplesthJlrril of rib.bon microphone works 1ft thi's way, respm'lt:ilimg to th-e t1tifferenoe iri ",ressure on< the twe faces Qf a strip of f011.

Ca.rdioid and switchable types

Cardioid anti sW!l)emaroioid microphones are unidirectional in the sense tna"t"theyare live on one side and r8ilatively dea€! Qn the Q1!lier, b'lat the liv.e side IS very broad and wl'ldlser,ir.ninatin[j. A heart-sHape€l p@iar fes'J2l(lns&can be obtaine.d. by addiflg the output of a Jilr:es:sure (EI'.g" simple mov.-img-cr;fil) m.ior@ph@flte to that oJ a pressure @radfent (e.g. simple rtbbnn) rniGPl,lIphGlne. Indeed, some (,}8:l' types @f cardioid did Just that, with a ribbon and a moving coil ir-l the sJng.le Gase. Today., many eardle'lds still have two €Iiaphragm's (most commo.nly in condenser micrephortes] ora single diaphragm with a (;;.omp"lex a@(')usti!;; nNwot'R be'hind.

The pardioid miGr0phl;me is a speoial case of1he.oQrnliination of !'lressure and pressure gradLent princi'l21les. By v'iJTyiA.@ the p.~0PGrti'on:s, a range of polar Jtiiagrams is possIBle, Where a cQm:bina:tion of micrQl'!fl@.flBS has beeP usad in a single case, it has been PQssible to add a :switoh so that one or'the other- Geuld b,e switcl'led €Iff. TWin-diaphra§1':n c!)0nQenSer miGr@ph@nes can be Ewe'n more veraatlle. as a whole ~ange offliff€lirl,mt res:pIDnses can be oIDtajned by "'aryin~ 'the Rolarising G:Hrrent OT the diaplilragTfl. The su perea rdio id resp@nse.disc'rirninates most strongly agiainst reVe~beration; belween this and thl,;) pure cardi@iEi fies the rrrost unidirectforral 'resp@nS'e (see pa!;"je 51). For an aven rnore hrghly clireoti(;}['1al response., one .at-lhese is wse·(l in combinati'bn wi,th a device to focus or otl'rerwise modify the SOWfiJt;! field (see- 1"8ge §=3').



The scale frem centre 0utwards '18, sensitiVity, measurei;l as a Pi~Q.j1I[ubtJn of H18 maximum [esponse (which is, taken as unity).


SCAU£ The .apparent distortion @f tile peff.ei';;t: ~e5pJ').rfse is dille to the use of a seale whICh does not redllfce to zero.

PERFECT CAlifDIOIQ RESPCiNSE This is the sum of omnidirectional and figuFe~eil1lht pjck-up When the maximum sensitivity of the two is e(;juaL The front 1008' of the 'eight' is in phase witn. the 'ernrtldirectlorral re·sp.Qn§e ancl to it,; the lobe is 01211; 0T phase and is .subtracted.


RESP-0NISE Thts IS a more

directional version bl the caroi0it!i;rol'lhone. It Is one (If a €0ntim'![')us range af .patterns that can be 0bt-aineel by G0mbin'rn.g orrml- and 'bi-direCtional response in various prop0l1ii'lDns.



In real I;fe, eon imfatDh vp el1fv apJ!lroxirn'ate7't· 'fo ffie Taeai "Nat fir'eqldemc·'I re-spf5rlse.

Frequency response in practice

Even when a mraopfjone has a resp~nse th'at IS almost flat OR its main a.xis there is usually seme degradation at the side,s or [jack.: the polar diagrar.n Ghangre.s wH:M frequency. The'se changes are most marked on ithe de'aGi sides af dir~ctignal, but th_e;y &1090 matter least in these tliTectiom; as the output is so low. ln the intermediate rqnges tie;p.I&eel'l I"iV€ anGi deas si€les a slight change of directi0n can maRe a sunstal'ltial differem:e in lihe heIilLler.u;:y resp0nse 1'0 direct s0wnd, as, a stua¥ @f the C1iagrams on the following R'ag·es will snaw. This can I9Jte.n seusedto help a balance b¥ angling the micrbphorta to I~educe qigh~freq:uency 0,I';l:l'ltlent wllere it i's ohtrwsive, 0Y pGlinting it direct!¥" at the' source when increased jnterligibility is re!,!uked il'l a n01sy bad!.;'ground.

Factors affecting frequ.ency response

I~h additi9rl 10, tne mode of gperatiom (jDr.e-ssure or pr'esSYre gradient), there are severa! faetors wl'Lich affect hequenc'y res!"ol'lse, These irrleude: j;f;ie snielding efieet'Glhl1le micf@i2lh@nebOdy,which reduoes h(gh~freqller'1€:Y re-spe!'1se'to S0UrlG rrmm that dlractlon: mfle'ction within the d'iapliragm housin.g. wbifi.lh te-mls tm. produce an gHati.c re'sp!!mse at h'iQ!l11. tre€juenGV; I'esenai'!ce£ of tile air w¥1ties betweet'L Gasing and diaphf;"?gf'n, whicA may p:ro.duce a hi!ilh-fr;e~ql!Jen€¥ peak;'oes in the cavity behlnd the draphra!ljm or iff pressure equalis'atimn channels; oanoe-Hatl@n o,~extreme Iligh ireqtJeCfilc;ies ave. the surfacE); ef adi~pllragm when waveleng1:!1s are camp.arable with its size; a tenden!cy to form stall.dimg waves il'1 tirotl!t €If the diaphr.agm, alse in Hie lii'rJhes,t frequenc~es; and tll'8 resonance of the dial'.lhragr;n itself (on a ribb@A'this is at a I'GlW fre~ueA€Y).

The eftect ofheque.f1c,v response

Many at these iaet0rs are ,"'sed Gonstr.I!u;;tively in the Gtesign of the microphone, often resultililg in a $[i01'1t In'efease in se'nsithtrW a'lengJ am! near the axis at high frequeHcy (at, say, 4QOO'Hz and abotte). Ar.Jtiquated mterop.nGrneswith large miaphr-agms, e.9, of 1%dn (3:8mm) diameter. show these lii'gh-frequem:;;y 'I'leaks to e!<1c:e:ss. Many rnicrophortes have a somewhat spiky response ih the 0ctali/e hom 5000 1@.1 0 OOOHz. M icrrophon'es v.vitl~ small dTaphra~rris. tYpically less than 'lzin (13mm) diarrieter, have a more eVen ,1i"8SpOnSe, AmOflI',J these, condenSer microphbtles ean be partlc" good, as the, dlaJllfiragm is so ligi'lL

The frequency response of one sample (jlf a particular hlgh-qua'!1ty microphone may vary by several Q.B 'from another, but (except for stereo pairs) this, m'<ly 00t matter very mUGho In tile comple~ity of s0und received by a microphone - im:lu6lil'lg reve'r:lller-atjo'n -s'uc;,h small variati@fls are barely perceptible·,







H1GI'rI-PREQUI::NGY ~FPEGTS Qh a liirge mict0.ph0ne d:ial'lhfagm. The f'eSl'l0nsE!' R at 0" (Le. @n axis) is tlie s-Um 6f several corrrporrerrts including: 1 Obstqcle effect (whililh sets uJil sranoing wave ill front of i'JiaJ'lHreagm).

2: R'esonance in cav:ity, in fn!)nt tiT €I]a·phral'lm. $, In'ertj'i3, of diaphra_g.m as its masS' becomes apJ2)reciable tomp<jr80. with lii@H"frequ8ntw driVing force. lIhese are improved by maJ:i.mQ. the tHaphra\JITl 'sn'raller and lighter, and by GcHeful design of the' case.

--- - --

- - - r.-'-


SNAEHi ORl!IM- r- - - - TIMP,,"NI _-+--~+--

_____ L __

s.o;§s aRUM


I DELL,€) Vic: .. LA,C·._-+-----'t--~+_ ~- - --- --I- _ --

SASS - = .:::: .::'- ::~ =-::~~,_:- _:- -- -=--


PI;>;N~~- r.-.---

0RGAI\I" -J- _,

_- --,- - - - r--- -- - -1:-- - - _'- - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - -- -I- - - - - 1-'





Fi§ure~elglh[' mie;r'Opmones cam be used tQ oonrro! i'1(fOl!istic-s, as well as t(J) liavo!!Jr p_artic'ula:r s:en:Jniff sources.

Bi-direGtionar microphones


Workir-ig areas. An arc . ,,"

Ximatefy 1000 on each IS of <:IpPrQ


ever the yeats the P'l,Q'l'lular~ty of bj-~ireGtie.l1'al Ink:rophones SUGh a's tHee single rlgbon f":ias G1imini:sl<led as the 0@,st af both 80ndenser and movingcoil micrGlf'l.hoIllEjs has corrre down; as the cQndensers have become more versatila and rT<H:He re:liahl,e~ and as mOre complex cORl,j,_}inations witl'iin a single .Ga:Sin.g have eorne into use. As a result of this-inc.reasing ff\i!Kibiflty in tm€! availaoifitya'hd u;se of cl,i~~£ti,enal miGrophones tftere has been a move away ff@J1l1 tille 0perational procedures that em.pl0yed bi-di rec1'l €Ina I microphones, and a tendefl:cy tQwargs OHe mi!:;ropA:0ne for eaeh source. In atltlifion, the qU<;IJity of respGnse df the ribbon miCF:0pliH'lA'e itself has i"§eeil overtake'n by tileimJi)r@vemel'lts in €:artiigitjs usihg other pril'lcilllles: the resp0l'lcs'e 0f tHe ribbon. is neither 50 srrreroth rror so eX1'emSi'll8. N~veFthel'es5 it remains valuable f@r iii liml'tedbut j<f:n.!flor;tant f:ange Qf uses such as the human volca al'ld 'Certain musical instrament.s (n®'tably strin§s) whoseftequenG)' characterristies liappen to fit in with those of the rlbbon microphone.


Mu(:m of the. casin@ is taken IJ~ ~Y the system, Which in early r~5l:Jon mierof!lfq~ones rrad to be sU8stantlB'1 In erder t9 provirle feaseDabl~

sensftlMiW. The stem conNnr,ls

a tra:nsf0rm·er.

Control at acoustics

In oi-direG:tional use the w0~king area' is wide - in€lut:l:ing about 1([l(!)O @n sillier sioe CIt the ml'emphone - which allows room for a nUl'l'loeJi of p.leQple (four sitting O'r six standing) at allol:lt 2ft ( from the rrrieropholile. The directional fesponse 'a1lows the WSH" of sIrudios mr roorns witli fairl'jf Lively a('l0l!1stits Without these becoming tO<';l dominant. To an omniaT.rectional m'ierop,h€me, feweroeratien oornes 'from all dr~eGtions; to the bi-clireGtjmnal micropbone it QOrfiles mnly fw-m the double cone at frorrt and rear. For the s'ame abDu~'t]e ti<1,e spE;lai<:ers must be rrrueh eloser to an 0mnidireeti0flal microphone tQ aGhieve a similar bal'anee Elf d.irect and indirect sOl!Jna; sli£lht mo\'ellRen:ts then liave a much greater e-ffecT on the- rati@ .. The bl-€1ir'e'ctlonal micropl-lGll'itl'J;tlierefore .ali@wS:mo re ~lexj'hlili1¥ and gF8Hter subtlety in the HS"e of aeoustics.

FRE®'UENCY RE$[i'ONSE OF HIBIB{J)N MICROPHONJ: , The response at 6{:)°G, the aXIs is ee(;! Quwn, as f'lredictecl By theory·, but be§jns f@ de]'lart from the CGrT'IIT'IOn curve at about 20001'12., where hrgl1- fvequ:ermy effects l;Jegin. Those fpr variation in the vertical plane (v) are more fjlfQnQURceei than those for va~ri;ltiun il'! the horizontal f'lla:ne (h).

A.vo.iding phase preblems

When twa bi-L'Urecth;)rlaf microphor:leS' gre used near eaon otfter tll,ey must me fa phase. IH:hey 'are not, there rs cancelia1:!iQr.J of €IireQt souno for sources which are at sim.i.far distances hom the ·two. To <9'V'Did ttrls tliiere' is usually s@me visual indicatiOfl of which sj,<i:lte is the 'front'. Wheh two bi-direGtional rnicroplisnesare used for separate SQuf'G'e'S they carr often be arrenq .. ed so that each is deifQ-sidfHjD to 'the Dth~r's source.

The polar reslJOl:1s€ of a rr.ti>bon micrsl'Jhone that Is set wl'tlil the rlbban upl'ig"mt approaches tll,e iaeali.n the h@rizQrital plane, but is more enClti.e in thft) verHcal pla'ne, tlwe to phase caneel.lahQit1. As with most SUdi ~ariaNons in res.p@nse this, If known, can hie used GO(;ls'tr-uotivehf.

I I 1 I I I




At -ail 6n!!lle to the len!llth of a fj,bI!JG)n ~here is parfial eancella:tlo-n of short waveJengths [hlgb ffequencie.s).


Tliere. is an inerease in bass response when a s(i)l1nd eooree is wi/lhinl abiJut:JUt ~O,6m) tFotn iiI 'direotionel mierpphOFle'.

Proximity effect in directional microphones

PBES$WRI'C Gi'lAm~NT OPERAl'I0N The sound wave travels fa-rther to reach the !J8ek of the iil:lhl6n, 1, rlian it dees to the front. The ,effective path difference d is reug,hly equivalemt to the shortest l!Iistante D mClnd

the pole-piece, 2._

Proximity effect (bass tip-up) is a direot result @f the prescsure€lr:-aaient mol!le 0,fw@rkln@, wnien in t0m is fundamefltaJ totAe lOIfresti@l1ra1msponse of bi-dJre-€tional, caralotd anti simil'ar microphones, It Js found in its most e;xtretfite form with the figu~e-eight r€Sf!:jldH'lse, less with Gotta§je-I@af, less still with cardioim and so on - in pmf,lerti0tr1 t@ the diminishin§ importance of th~e f1€lUre-eight component in comparison with the ornni(lire.€'tional coml1:tQaent (i)ji theelr 1=:fOlar diaeger-ams,

The- fOI[@wirig deseri titan is for a rib~oM microphone, whi~eh is pure p'~es.s'wre-!lwadlent in operation and 8;x;liiqits tbe effect in its, strong'estform_

TilP~iJl'l €)'ccurs when 'the FI·ressure @rad'fent mi'crop_h~one is in a field €If sph:erkal waves: and if It'is close e·i'!@ugn to the st'H;lrce for there to I;le a sutlst-antial red1!l8tion in intensity withiR thee tjistanee that the wave has to travel to §et frorn front to back €If the d.iaphragrn. This J@ss [If intensify €reates a J<lressure mifference which is a€ide-dto tne nQrn1at pressure gradient that is due to the phase difference, The effect is only appreCiable at 1'0\)1l freqlilencies WneFe the- phase dlffererree is small c1;iml'lar8d wi:J;h t-he fall In sQund intensi'tiy,

VARIATlGN (ill" PliIES$URG GR:ADIENT 'VVITH PREGU.ffiNGY In this exa m pie, the effeotiVe path differene:e· fnllmfront

to rear of r-il)b0n is

25cm - but in praetice the r::m1e-Ri,eces and flbben create a'srnadow and the principle switches teP.l're.ssure 01'!~ralio,n.

Uses of bass eo.rrection

The_ respolllse of some directigna:l microRhone;s' falls< 0ff belgw, ZOOH~_; in :l2fiese, bass tip-up m'av be used te rest@re a level respcmse. In ea-ses where the response is more n!:l.arly level, 'basS-CUI( (ac-{",sl!y, BasscorreGtiafll) is requir'ei'l. ThiS may be appfied either in th'€!: GQ-ntwl Channel f@liowing the mi€wphone er sometimes 0)/ switthin@ in a filter built int€) the microphone- i.tsel'f. GAe result ef bass-cat is a reQwctign In sfudio rev'eroeration at low frequenoies, wt.ticb may be U5ed1!o 6mmp'ensate for sm,all-~o@m resonances €:fr '!:lQominess'.

PROXIMITY EFFBCT: VAHLA:TJON WITH !DISTANCE Tl'iis increases as a dlrectimnal rrucrophone a,ppro'adfes a sourrd source; For a bii-directlonal rHflb.,h the eurves

1 -4 rna),' cormsp€lfld fa CI'iStances of 24 to 6in (60 to 15'cmj,

Wor.king distance

Witt.tou1: ,ha>ss C'orrecti'[:m the m,i_nimum liVo~Kin§ distance may IDe aSlinuuM as 2ft ( or-as nttle as1 ft (Q,:'Un) er less, dependi.Dg OJ] the- micrqphel'le, With corre!i;tJ'on the optjmum work.i-ng distance is reduBed, b'ut any movements oack:wa:rd and f0rward ofr.n0"fe Ulafl a fewinehes tHe,n j\Jroc!bIGe a ngtice,ahlle 8hafl,@'e in hass response even if the actual v!itlume'is c@ntmHe€l fo cornperrsats fer the clilange in in1el1lsity. There is also (tn tttis 0'85e) a variatkui. In the rat'iQ of dIrect to indirect sClund.

Bass ti[J-up is more trou.blesqme 0'Q sem-e voices than o.thers. WQmen, with ,<I I<lighe'r furn.\1Iameh1aI frequency, cam oftel'1 ~eak at less tM'a", the recornrnended wor~ing dJstance with®ut si:stonlgh I;,jeooming appcarent_ FQr whisl1lers it'is often pw_s~;ible to speak very Iit1UQ!i doser, OS('}(lIJSe tile maim fmqwenc:;y eontent of f8 w,hisRer is ,gICH'lerally much filigher tliia'n tFi'at

QT "'oioes ~

COMP.~NSATION FOR ClOSE WORKING $ome mk:ro[ilhones, have«a

rea:('!ce'cl bass restpense willen autom.aticaHy compensates for close work\lng~ with 1h,e micrGlph-one at a cer4ain (!list-ante fre·in the source, its ree'sponse for tlireet slilund IS level.



O,0 I L~_L----=-l~~.k-..!----"------'--"-:;'-_'_::" Ik


20 100





MiCF(fJpi1.OPIBS, that af'e five· am erie sJd.e only.



Cardioid microphones

WittiJ trtJe 'GardiOid rnlorbphoR€s the w@rk;ing area lies Within .a brQad cerrs inc1udimg about 160" 01"1 the live side. At the si!':ies the respOl1se fJiminis,hes vapia~y:, and atthe Wack, wAere the is low,the frequefley reSpl,H'fSe is erratiG..~ass ti.p-up occurs with close werking, though less than fbr1ii!ilure-ei@ht microphones. Some oan;.H@ids t-enid. ·to €iem:ra1!ie to ol'Jflnii!lil1eetlonal res~onse at Igw frequencies, and this oemSi!!l:erral!Jly retl,lUces the tend~nGy to b,ass tip-wJ.'l. HOWever, the degraa~fion may, itaetf 0epend 0n' iifistance <IS well as. fFe!'lU!i:ncy; 5@ it is neeessarv to stl'ldy the maml"fa£ture;r's' details first, ana then leam. the j!lJi)ssimifities and E'l'cC:emri,cities mf each nl€J'ae.l f.rOI'lil a:ot:lJa I U"se.

Combination .. n1.t11 pl'iase '~'liift mic.rophane'$

1m eartv €a:rdToid miBf"0pru:mesthe response was produeed by (!;@mbining a ml:)ving corl iiI' a rTbliJon in a single case, bl!lt most modern Gardioids are even more oomple,x,. The liI'l@st (mmmmnl:y ust!a method foday empJo:ys a oQnden-ser with two diaphr;agms - of whic::h mQrelatel".

Directklnal micr0jflb0nes may 'als@, in prin01ple', contain Cl pair cells bal'lk. to liJaok, .. or eVie'n tw@ ribbons, one behind the other .. By GQn.neating th'8m eleetrioally throl,Jgh networks wllieh eManfije tlie pMaSe of the si,gnal, a resp6nsethtermediate between amnidirectional a,nd figure-. eight can be achlieved. In these cases ~he sec(!)Illd diaphraqrn, behin'd 1Jlle first' on tn,e main axis, f;jas a sHghtly different response; anti th~ p01'a1' €Jiafijrarn must als@ depend onthe reiative sizes of the tW0 Signals. There is so mucla scope for variety of d€sj\)jn detail that it is ilTlpossilsil€ t@ fijeneralise;it is Iiletter t@ stlildy. the Ghara,cteristi~s of in.dividual tYI'1,85 as they are p'roQueed for particular spwiaUs.ed purposes.

A. 0ar(fjj@id reS:Jfl€lnse GanalSQ oe obtained in a sing I€} d'ial\lhragm mh>:ropho·me, s'uctJ as a o@ndenser or moving €oU, fly allowil'l!,] sGI"Ul'ld to reach the back Elf the miCf@[ilhof)El threugh an acow:stic laD¥rintl'i S!'J that it arriVes with a c~hange of phase.

The diapnragrm 0rdiaJi)hragnq.s may be mounted in the: rnicn.,)phone casin§ Il'ltWQ rnairt ways. Qn8:, 'end-fire', Has the main axis if) lil'le with 1:hat of the microphQ'ne itself; ill the other, m@re Gammonly empLoyed In swit.ri:'tfable microptrOnes', the axis is at right-ang.leS"te it,

i"ncmase in

I kHz

Boom opel'ation

Wrth therr l-ow se.nsitivitll' to rap:id mQvement, the Q@wbhsr moving-coil and the I'f"i@vlng-c@il. phase-shift rrticrophorres Mave both IDBBn used on'1e'levisten or' film boerns. TheV ate satisfaGtl.'J1Y for f0110wing speech out for muqic it is better 19 use a conclense,r miGro(i)hon~ on the boern, EXpEnie'nc'e wil'l shDw how vibratj'on-resi,stant the m(i)Unt1n€l needs to be; ant;! whether winCf:shlelds are required to Jblr0tect'th€ GJiaphragm rram the effe·&tS' of m@\:Iin0 the rniorophona througl>i. the air,

I I \ \

l~...... ~--~,,~!/

'-.,..-, _ _,;'-

70 H:L 90" 1'00 I k

A I\IIClVrN6'~G01LCAf.H!}IOIQ MICROPHONE that "'~'eh. used OR ~reh:wjsion boom. A complex system of at0ustic latlyTil'lths .\S IfIull.t In.t0 the, mlcrophorre .. ho~sill@. The air r8{>8fv0ir' R (shown ill the sirnpl.lfleo S8ctlof;lal €I ,I ag ram) provides tAe d",r1'lpillf:j fo~ one of three r8s,enant systems UcseG \Q 8l1gmB,sf tfle response.


Far ve'ry high,-quafi'ty WO#( cenaenser rnieT€Jpl'iones have beooriie. the most oon7n:Jb.nly usea type,

Condenser microphones

In their Simplest form" corrdemser (€If eleettos.tati.m:) microphones are ornnidireellliigrrai. They h>ave a Sin!9le ttrrn fle,x:ible diaRhra~rn c.I0Sg to 1'ne surfase @f a ri@id' backpfate., There are ehanges in Gapacitance between tile two, as the, ~iaphf7agl'l"l vIbrates in 'sl{mp,alhy WIth the sound l'rressuI'e. These are c0nvertea to' chahg-es in voltage in a smaJI <!'ffij;ll'ifie.r thal; is either within the same housing as the IJapsule Dr rrearbv, The di'C!phragnn itself may be 0T very tl<1in metal, perhaps in the form €If a gOld-sputtered plastk membrane, Toe b\=_lc,kp'late has smatleavitres In It; with0ut the;s'e tlhe thin layer @f air w6wlQ. be too 'stiff' and would prevent the membrane ffi@l1iiflg, ireely. 'fo make the micf@l'lhorle work a po larisin~ voltage has to be appLied between diaphragm an!il ba0kplate, or alternativeJy ni-ay be intr@duted permanentl¥, in rnanufaoture as in 'an i?Jectret (see page GO),

Doul;:de-diaj3h.r.agm condense,rs

Some condenser mjoFophQne,s in use tQclay are. mere eom~Heate\il. They have two aiaph ragms, one on eithe'r side 'Of tjTle' b.9ckpJate.,lf the polar,ising v0ltag:e l;;>,the Satirre IiI,A Botli itIiaphragms, the miof0plione eoritinues to be @mn'iOlree:tiooaJ in operation, With no JiI@Jarising 'Y@ltage app.llea 10 '(he see@iid (znaph~agm:, it can be arrall.ged that the mierQ{i1IiOfiJe has a car!::i:ioid feSj!)onSB. In this case .• the eavlfie,s 'in the ba'ckptates are designel;f '8S a phase shifting network: as the acowsti6 pressare travs,ls througH the 1'l,I'ale to the mack of the main di,ap,hragm it: cf,Janges rr:l phase sufficiently te gene~ate the cal'ei0·iid response.

Going a stage fl;, if tMe se~on'g €Iia, is p01arised in the. @jJpoSTte direotlon. .a figure"€igh.t ~espoms:e can be obitaineu. The- d@uble dia~hr'agrn then act's as a ~(essure' grad.em oapsura, FirnaJly, if the plG.llar-ising 'V'@lta!'Je is maae variable, a whol'e range of response patterns ean be 0btained. I'n t)flee1<'lle, any of nine !'l@laf diag~arns oan be seleoted at the turn of a switch. In thes.e micHl;phones. the axis of l"e'Sp~mse is act a right angle to tlie body of the. mi'cropliJone, in order to all;commodate the f~gure-ei@ht maGIs of @per81i@o.

Condenser microphones may include a variable filter for bass eut, and a filter to elim'in'ale the rad.i04requ.I'!ne:y signals wMi,eh are ",eery' easjly picked u!iI in the, s189:e from tl'ie Gapsule to the head amprifie~.

Phantom power

In a'€lilliti,ol1 to the PQlarising voltage, all eOrJdenser miereph0Aes requ'ire a Rower supply, Nomir;18l1yo this is often ra:teel at 48V~ but! in practi8e roaily microphones will accept 'a s,upply witi'iJII'1 the range of !§l-5QV: this allows :the l!Ise ofa 9V battery or the phant(9m ,[!lower slJppl.y available em r>FIi!!:'repho'r.l€- channels on rrrenv c@.ntrQI desks. Tlae term 'phant@m" origi'r;)'ateg f.1'l {elephan,?, wJilen a tw'e-waycircuit was adtted to a distrlbut,iQEl s¥,stem by a siFl§le exma Wire, witn the return balanCed within e;odsting wires,

CARDIOID ~El5P0NSE OF HIl'"H-Qt;J,A;UTY CQNDEN~ER IIYIICROP-i'lONE Thea:.:jaJ nesponse i.:;; s~bstanti:ally"to lq,00dHz and the fe;SpOI'lSe at 90~ almost so. TM~ 'rre§ldJafiti~s in the 180· curve are at low level,




Flexibility of ~GJlar response started with lDethg able to choose between ornnidirectranal amd blr-dir.e€tieHaJ types; then ttletween 'these and the G'arcrioicil ctHnbiRatian of. the tWQ, and so 110 the swftcl'iable corrdertser mi®;mpllones with a clloice of ninE! c:onditioHs. GiV8Fl tMe c'I'u]ice in this Wa"l/, users uapidly disc('}vef"ef.i tJ1e special val\;le of the range that lay bE;}tWeen (';ardi0.icl and figure-ei'gh1: the response Galles super("fardioid or hypefGardiCiid.

We have seen tbat a dlreGti 0 rra I micro.phGne ean favour one partiGul.8r.

S0I:ln;:e O~ §lrGlUP @·f.'SG!t'IF6es anti disGriminate against others. and also that it j9icks !J,I!} les's S'tU€!i0 revBrher@tion se thati~ cam 1ge used further f::ill8ll:, giving a more eveniy-,baiarllzed ooverage !;Jf a widely spFe'8:q sOl!lrce. The figure-eight has e'P<GelleFft directional properties, but unJ·ess the bad~ of tA6'lmil':r@pho.l'lE! is aotually bein!':) used 'j;er a seconm sourrd SOl'1[OE!, the s,iz.€ of the rear looe can t;>E! an a<r.nbar'Fqs.sf1~ent: h may l'IiGk uf'l an eXcess of .te'v'erlileration or sound from other; unwartted sources .. In these eireurmstanees; wham much 0f,the ftJrwara dif1eC1tivity 01' the fui-direc ional miorQp;honeis requiref!i. but tl(iJt hs flllil r'ear pick-wpl,tng SUl3erearai0i'd tes'~onse IS a €listinct improvement. It may be p:articularly valuable far· in(}Ji\l'ldl.!lal instrwmefl'ts in a hlw.lti-miGftJpHone music baJaillee_, or for sil'lgl.e sourcns illl :a Jiv!;,:!l:r 30@ustrc. Fo!' SU0h pu . .rJi) mien;ipli0nes with a flx;ed supercardioid have b,ee;r.l speQially desi§nB€l, seeking f@Feach [lse fu,e:st cornpr6m'ise llietween directivity, dlsG~irnina;ti€fn fI'!'t:laiAst: am IDler'lt sound, ami bass tiP.-lol~.

Bass tip-up turned t@ adVantage

It shouJd me not'ecd that bass tip-UR is to be exweded with cI@ss. w.0Kkin~, but this too ean be fumed ililte a virtue, If a $LJpereiar€iioid with a fall-off in the bass from 200Hfo is J,1llaealll €I@se te a SOUfGE', this I€lwer limit is e?Xiendee by perhaps half an octave, whne' f0r rrrere disfiant sources (aerd reverberation) the micro(3h!:'me Gontlnues to dlserlrnlnate i'I@ainstthe bass wf;1jeb is always the most difficult pan: ef the souna S!;H~ctn!lnl to control aG@l-Jstically. In tlii-sexample, the [;1ass fall-eff also. effeCtiv:eiy deals wiHi the problem of cle{lradat1on (Dr frequency re;sl':J!:ms-e whiQIrl 0ftel'l affec;;Es' the lewhectuem:ies of ~ii'ectiQnal·rnicr0phQnes.

SQme inexpensive, supercar.cliIDid, rmicro[1lh!Dnes ~i:ve fairly hign-€juality s0'uF1tJ in i3'Qverse EQndjlion.s, In particular in rQ€lrns'that are tID@ srnall 8;r.JQ too re'llertier.arit,

At the 0tl< en€! of thesoa Ie the superc;ardi·bid response is used in very .li_igh-qualllJ:~y stsn!@ mu sie balance - in tbe f€lrm of a 'c-msse,cl sl1[DeJ"Gar£lioid'. In this, two sWltGi'lable: microph0F1€-S are pJalOecl t@geHrer but with thBir axes pointing outWard at about 120".

I :ZS" Hz

SIr'\JGE'R'S MICRQlPHONEi T'he supef'oarilli0:jJiI'l€lnse wid;j unswlfch-able. mass r€lII-0f.f l'I'lakes thts suitable Ien I>IOse wor.~ing only. The !'f1 . .0vi"r!ijS".oil is rl,l.§·ged and will withstan6i hi!1jh s-,:;tul'ld pressure levels. The l!i@uble,;J1)eak is desi[!j'IiI,es tOl,l. g.I\18 strot1!,] plr,e's.enee GIn S01'11le 'Yl0ke-s.



For a Right" cJiree/iQna/.resp.en.8E! It is necessary ~a moe/f."f tme 50uf'Jd 'fie/"iJ a'r@'uru1 the micr@pfu!Jl'le.


Highly directional microphones

l:tJere are two ways that are c0rUmonly llSeO to aahieve a highly directlonal reSI;l0nSe~ IDne is to fOGWS the sound ~ 10 ([;t;lnL1leritrate the sound from the tlireetion of interest a1 the tiJoint wt:lere the micrepmOllf! is places. This results irt 1he,ampJifieati~n ofthe ~equir;ed sound, {;)ompared whJ~ UAW8f'l'l'ea no-rsefrom trtrrer d7reetlon·s, The second method is to cause sound filJm the side t.G GB ncel itself out allt0mati:cally i§ef0re it reaGhes the m icr0p)hone. TFiere fs ne amplifi€atl@n ed'the required s0urrs, but: I!HlWar:flled s®und is r.e9uced in vblurrre. Both degracl:e at wave;!engths greater t!laM the (,!hysi€al s'i""e of the miorophone's ti'eld-modffying attachme,flt.

Focused sound

Sound can be foc>usecl wi!1'! a parabolie reflectm" Thism.ay b_e of fibregl.ass, metal, or of transl9arent!lasti'cs (t~ see aGtien ttirQl;Jgn it); it may be sell)rnen1ed tQ be fol€le€l- like- a faR tor eas'Y' trc8nS~Orit or 'storage.

In practic~ a reJle,ctor can gi'1e a gain Elf abillut 20dB tor r;:ii.stant, I;-li9hfreql!lency sQundsal0ng itsa;-eis. For-faint snun€ls thIS reseLlts in a s·i0nificanf lrillpYovement In th18_ rati0 of .signal to mi€roph@ne and amplifier hiss. tlile angle of acce'man(!;e telr hi0h freque,ncies is very n arrow: no rnone than a few degrees. But the practical IimHati@f1s are. sevme: a r-eas@nably. mangeuVFa·ble refieG10r of 3~4ft' (@_!!l~L2rn) Gliametet loses mu(!:fi of its affect @elow 1 Q09Hz-. At low frequencies the res:I'lQnse €lege,ne·rates to those of tme- miGI'ophone its-elf ~ wlilich may be a ear-Gii0id p0iflting the wrohg way.. Al.s-otlie microphone I&still sl!Jbject to c.IQse unwanted nO'lsestn@u!ij11 where these are in the basS' they aan often 0@ Gl;Jt_

"Reflec1;ers have been wseEi very, sUGces-sftlllyf@.r wi Ifllif:e rer;:;'@rsimg (pa fticuJaPly birdsong), and, because they worlt as well indoors as (j)u~, tOf €Iista lit: S'QI'-trfd effects j. the film or te~-evision stl:lltiro (e.g _ the dancers' fG}Qtsteps and cJothil'1g ru:s~le. fA balle1J BI;J't, in gerneral, the sheer J5l>rlk of the ref-lectQr -has J;)FeV8t11ted its w[Eiespre:a.d use -for S:O-l,rhds- that can be captured tiy ather methods.

PH:ASE,cANCELLAnIJN 'Wave.A appreaeliing 8, !'lun rni!';,rophQne from a direction close to the axis r-eaches the front of diaphragm D by a rarrqe of patns whioi:J cljffe~ Qlnl1,' slightly in length_ There: is cancellation onl:y at very high frequencies. Wave III rea'GAeS -the Qial?hragrn ,@y a munh wider ran§e of pqth-Ier~g'ths. Cancellatlon is seve~e at fl11d!]Jle arrd hi!iJh ·f.requ:encies. Nprma:1 sound reaches the back of the di-aphr.agfil'1 via l1l;er.-t C. The ~ola:r. diaI'Jram of the capsule withoutl:lie acoustie delay f'lretwork is'cari;li:@I€l; with lhe irrterfenerrce tui)!e it @e'G<;lfl'les ni!1lhly iZlirectie;nal.

Ph 3secanceUat:ion

In e,ariy designs sf mi£FophonEls that Id.set1l phasf!; c<,!:n€ellati,QFI to t:lis0r.iminOtte amarnst unwanted sound there. were bundles of tU,bes of differ-er:f! lengths, samp)li-ng the' w<lvefr() rtf -at a series of pgints In the tiir-6ctiQn @f desifecl soumd S®I!lTCB_ NQis.e comil'lg at Sin amgletfayel'l, hi-ya rJ,umb:ef of paths of dfffefel'lt lefl§fhs. Wilen tABse si!'JAals are recombined in frorrt of the dlapliragm, some of them have peen cnan(;wd Ttl phase by tho€! extra distance travelled, Olilm will therefore tend it@ Gance'[ those wt.1leh Raile taken the shorter path.

Later it was discovered that a IOAg&:ir;Jgle tube INiitlti a slot (itJ p;!'fall'fiGe, a series 0r pafl'a rations ale'flgits length) Gault! be made to work as well: this is the rJl~in€lple r1:OW em.ployed in the gul'l miGf€lphul'l'E!.

SHORT INTERF£F.lENG-E MIC;:RGF'HONE @",erall le,l'lgtl'i aiJ0U1t 1 Gil'! [>l',5cm)_ At 2GO'OHz ami De-low, tile res~Dnse 'is eardlold. The minimum clista.n(3e f,r.0fJl ea:psule 1"'0 mQ.U1th is 00ntroIJe€I by the lengthef the fuee, S0 that the're is little pr0x-imity effeet (bass 'ti)D-up) even when h~lcl Close to the mouth. Gam;eHati0n tI.ue tc(l) the interf'ererice tUbe lilakies the micrO[ilnone frl§nly i1iireGti0na.1 only at;1 fr.eqt!8Rcies_ I'b has ex:oeJien1: separ-atie,m fmTn surrounding noise whell h-an€l-held b:jl s@10 siRgeFs 0P FeJ)!'Irters, or when used as a €ltJ.n ml0ropli0ne fQr film sound.



Si?(')tQUf;) (or- r:i'fle.)mtcrop/Ufmes are used on ('Jutdoor t(ltcai'if!Jns aroe. 'fi;JT speclaiise'ri jabs in the CS'tuf/io.

Gun microphones


The illteri"ereh'"ce tt,l8e, whlch dep~nds QIl f!lhase cance>lial'i'c;Jn of sourrds <l!Dproa€hi'flg from tt"re side, has two important llrrritatlons. Onlil is €01rrimQA to all l1igml1)': dir8cti!pt<lal mierophones: its response degenerates to that of the rY(lcroplibne capsule at wavelengths below its awn J)Jlys'k:al .size . .A gun miercOphoHe with an lnterference 1;ufue ab·QU"I! 161n (,400mm) 10fil'g has an an,@le Qf a€eej1ltance of a:hJ"0L1t s.o~6(Cr from ~$()OHz u[;2war,cis, bl;l>tat 25"o'[;1z it is' substantially 0arQ:ioid (trnis eeing the resporise of tfl8 caw"sule wililout the tubs). Itls therefore. sensitiv\3" 10 sueh f1Qises as h!jw-fFe~uenGy traffic rumble, a.lth@w§h Sl9me: dag'ree of bass cut may re€luce, this. When use€l foreffects- - e.g. a tal"! Q~anee - or the s0tands that ac~om",af1-¥ m'tls.t sports (to which itadGls great realism) it is O'f-te'li) best to LIse bass cut at, s:ay, 300Hz.

Sli10rter intetie·reru;:e are also used, and have higher swi,tc;:h-QIJ<€if frequencies.

Effeet of revel'i!lel'ation

The second limitafl~m I's that It is lil@tQiret;tiof;ial fOr reve'rberati0n. This is i3e'cause reverberant sound arriVes; a·l!. the micrmp-Hone by rnanv clifferent paths an['j !:fg the phase c'Snceliatlon effeet QGH'!S nGt wonk. tm live il'lter'iors a Gom!,)arable d'irectirll'lal respGlnse wilh better fjuqlity migh~ oe e'~pe€:ted from a !'load oardioid or, supen:arl1li'sicl micropll'cme,. A <tel.evlsian or f~lm $tudiQ may' be dead enaug.O for <l:1:1.i5' nut t@ fIilstte, too f'nl'lG<h, th.eugn e!.len m,ere it is' better to use it@nly where· the sl.:1bject always f.ii:H;l'es'iorw-ard _ e .. g.ln some discuss-ion prB§Fammes, bwt net uauallvIn drama.

When it is used in the open air a windshield is necessarv: t"is' is .bl!llky 't,;"o. e:a refu I oe-aperatlon bet'Ween sound .al:ld eamera @'[!JHratflr is necessary to ke.ep it out ofrfrerrre (th"ie best pflsition fGlr good SDuf'l.d i's often jus:t qUt of1ifame). No wit:ldshielLSI is neGessarywhen it is- ®n a stwt!i6 boom (If the mietophene is n0t mO\llt'H:l aroutJd too fa~t). This is, just as welt, b.eoal!lse sueh a large obje6t c@wL€I Gause shadows ev-en from soft-fill lighting.

GlclN MJGFlORHONf: 1,. H.ead amplifie,f of GonGiel"fssr micmph@ne. 2, Electr ostafle eapsule· icarrdield operatiEJI'l). 3, AejDustic interferen¢.e tube (with ~'h:try p>or-ts aJ~ng upper surfae,el. 4. Wim!dshieldfer open air use. Overall 1.l'l.ngt.1'1 e!f'microptl@lle. aAl'.! i:nte,rfere]1ce tube, 22ft; (S6Clmm) (win'Gishield, 26in x 4V .. in,

660 x q 1 Oml7J7l). For location reconiHn\lf, the user lIstens 1:0 pla1{back @n headphones.

Cel'ltre: 11m ~esp>'onse depenas €In (requene'Y, rout for higllfrequendi,es the como of acceptance em;loses' aa@u:t 50Q•

Below: The axial response is r.easonasl'l level, but within a narrow angle. The erratic resJ!)onse to the 5iGe i's uni,mpbrtant.

Pinpointing voices .in ~Il 'aud,ienc(t

One spe'€<ial use ls'for pinpointing a single voice in a large; gn:!Rlp sl!leh as a srunto audience, where there is already g'eneral 80verage with '8, carrdilDl€l micro'phone, to which high-1ire!ljueney, p're-senee is -adde0 sel'ectively by the§wn miGf0ftJhone. For this it is better that the studio sflould IDe faidy dead ('the audience itself heljD'S to achieve this) and not too l3ig.


.35 .






Noise-cancelling rnterophones

Microphones often have to me L1SI?[J in noisv 1M I <;!!>es: @t,sp'0rting events, f0r eka'mple, where (f0t" radio) the time of louelest noise R\li1V C'0il:'' with tne gl<eatesT Iile!?€! for eXJ9lanat-i0FI b¥ tHe QBmmentator. One way Clf dealin@ with this is to giv@ him an ol'Tolni<iJire:Glliemal mkmphen'e artd allow him to control tHe ratlo of vQiGe. to background himself, The resu'lts are !lIften satrsfa0tGlT-Y for shan: item'S - iii! p8rLicuiarfor news rej;l0rts - but fo r 10n!ij, eonti rrueus GGfllfRen'uary it is better to sepia ratE! v@iGe an<i:l 'effects and rrtix tl'lem later in the chatn.

One ~aycif doing this is to put tM'€! reporter irrte a ~owfldpro0i l3oX'; a cmmm;ent"ary b90th. But 'thfs also Has limitati0ils. Noise -even whisp.ers. - fmm othe·r pe@1'iJe· sl'I'eakil1!jj nearby fuecemes oDtrus·ive, and the sound quality due to the dir.fl81'1s.iOernai resnnences @f a small 60IDth €-anlD:e. ur1pleas'ant, go a useful a!terrLative is tine Cl@is.e~cant;ellif'lg rnieroJ21hone - and a goo.a ex-ample of this IS the lip-ribbQlfil mierepnone,

This has a ril:iB'IDFl very close till the moul-tM otthe speaker, antj is swlJfect to ex1'reme bas's tip-up (proxirmity effect). If the micreRhel'18 is given a fgaUGeGlltfass resFlonse tID tomJSleflsafe for thiS, Dac~groul'ld neise is heawily 2rt'e;f1"lated in the. bass, wnfle the voice has a l:eve! resporise - prGvided that the dtsrance fFOhIil mouth to dbbBfl is -G<1mtrollerl with preclsiorr. Thls Is achievecl Dl{ l7ia1v'il1@ a mouthguarr1l,. fixed to the mi(lfQpYMone, whi'eh I'll wst me teucn:eril a~ainstthe"!1 pf!:ier lip wHen the mrcroR'hone is in us.e .. The FnQclel described has a cljstal1€ie"of 21kjn (45"mm) bet'IM'een' mGullh ana ribbon. The low-'frequeru;;y diser.imina1iioM against backgro:wnd l'I®ise is ailieJitiGhal fro that '-3ohieved at all frequencies simfqly P¥ having ~he microphi@ne ties.e.t0 tj;re mouth.

HE~QPHGNI::/MI6'I'HDPH@f.:lJE GcOMBINATIG.N The om!'lioir-ectiQmal electret' h-:as a

frequen0Y TesJ;l0n5e" that' is engineered to SUlI, the diree!i0~ of th~ [;"l~gUlth. ..

DiscrimiPatfon is o·therwIse By distance, bwt loud nearl!iy votces Will 5t.lll tie audible an<tl'may be distraeti'n·'i!. Laud sowN€! effe£ts m~ay be satisfactory if "he slile·aker j!)rojects to balance them. 2.

QlIj:er deSign features

Tl'le eh0ioe @f'S s.l!Iitable high-freG!uem~y re~fpGn:se also helps: if rr bas a peak at ab0u1' 7000f'-lz -and the-iii tails off, !'twill t;over- speed'1 atlequatel:y but eut down on rroise a higher 1ireGfuencLe;s. The overall reSpH)nSe is ~enerally clesigned for the normal to loud speeoh which tni.xes well with baek~rountl neise. With quiet speech It may sound a little [:)assy; If so, it will rel;luif8 bass QUIt; for e*ample when it is used for \te.ry quiet speedi iii a p(,IvTic concert ball.

A l'IartiGular 0JiffiGUlty that always arises in €Iase working is a tendeney for breath n0fse& t@ ee i'toti.cea.tHe, and f0r 'p' an€! 'b' sounas to 'pop' tile microICJtlone (the ribbon is pam€ula~ly susceptible to ttiis). 1.1'1 ttle lip ribbon this is :aV<oidettl by a design that cups the ribbon bt;Ril<ld,the rnagnel, and by having a fine-mesh DreaHl screen ontbp ofthe rnrerophone to s.lriield i1 fror;n the mDse.

The appearance I3f thismiemphm'1e make's ft uns.uitalDle for use in VISIon,

Hz IQk



A I?fIwl'lJJpfio'f'Je Tn piCtldre must lYe treate'iff as em importent visual e1ement

Microphone;sfor use in vision

EveryH'rin@ Within atelel:lisjon orfilrn ji), as FIlwch as every·1'hllil@ 'in tFle s0ul'ld, contributes tnrthe totel effect. Aoc0rdihgly, some microphones have been designed specifica,lly for good appearance as well as hi911- qt.lalify performa~ce; 8tllers have simlfJ,lyev@lved il7l~to a sui·tabl~e shape. Incleed, one of the criteria forr a mitrropnon.e· is that it shall be ~easQnably small and neat, so that it does not unduly disturb the Iligll-frequency component of tl1,e sQ'ldnd field It is sctmpling. It showld normally be mider Iight-tor:leliJ, perltaij.5s· silver-grey, with a matt f,inish to d.iffuse reflectio;fl of studiQligh1is.

The 0Qndenser mi:€ropllone lentls ltself to suitoalMe vist:.lal assign.

Characte'ristically, a peneil. shape afuout !3j.!lIn (20mm) In diameter h·as room for a diaphragm about Vein (13'fiflm) across, usually al'ranged in the end-fire Gonfiguration, with '8 head amplifier Inside the tul:5e oeliintl it .. A mQvi ng con unit aan als'Q be fitted intd the seme shalBe; th:ougl1. with so small a dial!ll'wagrm: sensitivity "naY' be lower. An electre.t, small!e,r still, may be attached to clothing Q'elow the neck, or (for singe.rS') to a headset.

A microphone will usually look Detter projecting into hatifie from the bottom) .Fathe't than the top .

cONDENSER MICROPHONE KIT WIT!1 'SWAN-NECK' ffiXTENsI0NS F@f;I lJSE IN VISfON aAd alternauve capsules for earl\li0iti anD GI'Il nidi rectll;mal o'l:leraition. 1,

filead amprifier ana capsule [Sin, 13Gn1l 2, 3, EX1ension pi'eees whleh may befitted between hea~ amf:lHfierand espsule [1 ft, 35cm, and 2ft 3in, 68Brri). 4, 5, Wingshields. 6, Power supplY unit.

FLEXIBLE '@unS~Ni~GK' exlens'ion for floer 0.1' table stand. It is stiff enlllugh 10 allow precise p6sifiening of the mierophp,ne, with a line that makes. it slllita:ble f@r use- in vision,

. Floor andtabl.e n:tQuntings

The Rmblem of stands is more 'than that (lIf mier@pnones. The evolution of their aes·ig.n has not COl rried them S0 easily !@warGS urlolMr.u:siVEir)es·s. Aflo.0T stand must be s@ll€1, heavy a,mi wrth a siz..eabLe basearea tg ensure that the mic,rophone it earrles is not knOCKed o ver; i'l: must cushion me micrephone against sf\®1Jl:is ana may 'il'lso have to De teleseopic. The clssign p,reblem eMtends te courreeters and Gables, te the knolls' ig·f securi'"9 eMtensi@n tittiflg&~ and to the dip which attaehes microphone to mounting ( dip should be neat but e'a·sy forthe performer tm re:lease in vls:ion). But whatever else €"an l;ie acflieved in a long shot ,(;jere is nke:ly to be a ve rt.ica I line in the pleture ~ so the 'cleaner thls is the better,

'fa0'le miMoph0nes may sometimes be, partly G"().Ilcealea by des19n'tng the table to have a Sl·J!;lke.n we'll for the starn€l, but the eaj!lsule Itself showldlDe above trn:elevel of 1'me t.atlle top, and should be away from solid Sl!uiaces which will form a standing wave ati:.llig.h freql'.lencies. TIYe wel.1 shOUld net t:>e Tully boxed in Of it will generate its own resonance·s (see page 87). Alte~l'latively, a neat stand ana mierol'lhone ff1ay be 'acceptable ila full vtsien, Sometimes rnicmuphEJ'l'Ies have been cnncealed in .seit aresi;jng - e.,9 .. in flower arrangemenfs. In an ideal world tllis Will' lJe Clans en Iy if the flowers themselves serve an important visuaJ pU((Dose in a suitable plaGe for tlile mlG,~@phgne aem" the ff1i'0nl~hGne it-s.elf ,is defiMitely rrot wanted in VIsion. But on a heavily cluttered desk C!lr Mble it may be l:ietter t6 hi'(U;! the micropfione ii1eliifW one of t!fle obyects;, rather than ta. 8d.l'J an iru;Qnsistent elernerrt to the seerre.

MicrQRi;)oI'lJ;,!s with slender, 'swan-neck' extensions m.av also be useful.

TEI:.~MISION QESK AND MICRQPHGNE 1'0 avo+d !:;jumps, the mier0ph0ne is O.l'l a floor stand: lett, emerging thr0uQ,h hale; niFfht, behind false fran.

EASY RELEASE CLIP (lett-) on 'floor stand allows the microphone to be'tal<en fF@m th'e stand while i!r'l visiGn. Alte~natively (Fight), tbe performer may wear a lightweight headse,t (witboul headphorreel which is desi91'lf:ld i0r !1Ilinimal ClisturlElamee elf ha·irstyle. This hohrls- the mi!:lrephone' i'n a fL~ed j:!0sili,eA, and at this e:fi'stance it must be I'lositionecl beyoRd the cormar of the mnuth in order to avoid 'p·'.



Small eieetai/s may be aTt'E1G11ed to cla~frin'rfJ or ml'lsPcal i'J'StraFhems ..



I!:LECTRET ~IRCUlfRY C'QWlflIarem witn e@Piiel' GOI~,€Jenser mi!O:r@ghenes this is very s·iml'1le. 1. Int:egrate:d cirGfuit 2. Lew VQ,lragfl Jjlower S~llllDly an:d resistor. Phantom Iilower 1:f1ay als0 be u sad. 3-, OlJ(Wl!t ~¢-abll:~),

An electret is a vada nt of a €onde'hser miGrGlpt.)oHe il1J which the !illtapR"r1:l.g'm has an electroatatle diarg_e sealed witbin it during manufaoture, Ttris et1iTAinates ttcle l2'ower sI!lpply that w0uld othe"fiw.'lse b"e r.equire(j, to Gharge the 1';ond'ense:r. A small d.c, barter.y @r I-'lb.arltGJn power s'upply is still needed for all amplifi~r 010S's to the di,a~hragrn, either within the heaa itself (iH h,eaMl9y. Earl'y versi0ns have suffered s'i:Jme loss of hi'g:M-fEequency respemse as they 8sed, so this' rnav nead to 0e cnecKeo. bater variants have been designed to h@jd ~"'-€J,iT pola.rising char~e better, arrd iIlhe te(;;hholQQlY (of se·aliog the surface) eontiuuee to improve.

In this apI91i6ation 0f the el'ectrostatie princip.le, both size and cost can be reQll€:elll €I ram atic:a lIy, as the 'elect[(jlnks are simplified and th>e p01ar resporrse is limited t@ a sirlgle patterrl. :It is GElmm@nly used for tlre cheap micr0JOhbne:;; built tnto d!Dmesti'G r€JGonlers.

F0r the more (;}arefu'll¥ rnanufaetured 'and test'ed elettrets,. orre pro- 1'essi0nal lI_se ls in persorral rl'fieropn0"ne's,. where the sma-II size €If the capsuLe allows It to be b@iill i'l'Ic0F1s.(.")icU0US and e~tremelll light, A:nether isbn rnusicat instrlllme:flts" to which i't: may be c:lipped, llsua'lly (fln a small arm @.r 'gooseneck' arranged to angle in' t0wariIls tile s'ource; S@ close 'to it tbe ~~0:u£ed Sel"'lS~,tivity aAd therefore ni!!J.her Raise leveJ ass,ecia.tea With a smaller diaph~agm is -acc8Il'tabl€J ..

Personal microphones

At ORe time personal rmicf1@pl;n,me:s were hung on lanyards around the neek" and some examples may STiLI be en0ountete.<!l. In America this af~an§,ernentwas called a la1llalier,l'lresumatil'y after Madame ifle la ~aliere, whQ ware her pandant jewel.J'ery in tFiis manner. H0weller, tor mest putj:>oses tbe. suspe.mded movil'l0 coils. are nIDW replaced lDy tlAY e,leGtretS';' IIN,hich can be fL)(:ed to tlie clothing, in much the same pO's;itlo{l, below the rreck.

Lanyard and laf,lJili mier@!!)l'IoFl8s (as they are commoftiy. called) drscriminate to sorne extent agaihst noise. Thev also allow freedom of r:nove'mef'lt::, and giv@ a uniform Quality ef sound in close snots, 'They benefit frorn 90Qd re,flectetl s'ound, but are al50 'Satisfactory' Gwt Elf deors. Response is omnidirection'al because-the fifistanc.e helm the Ff1@'utl'l is not completely predk;ta ble, and there is- normally a smooth 8;x,te'Clded freq uenc¥, respOr.l~·e, perheps with serne top,-lift (2.B(JO-800Ql4z).

Tt~e s0bl.nd qwality is afifectecd by the ele'eU'el's positlon duse to thffi chest, the lack of high ul'Hllep (h'e chin ancl by tl'lefiltering effect of any thick GlothLng used to eonceal 1.1. Jn pf'8ctic:::e, it IS better tg allow the microphone to Del in Vision, a's this also reau@es the danger Q'f eJ0thirng rustles The etfeet Is neater if ttYe IDol,eur; or torre match-es c:IQth[ng.

If it must not be se.Cl,fl, an electret cam bB t81-'led to the S~'ifl uncler a shin, orto the clothing itself, f11erPral'lS witfi aOldole-sitled tape, in order to avoid Fl1fbbing on tiiun1j9inl'1 it.




VERSA,TlLE, TINY PERS0N;">;L RE'"Cl'RET Half an irrch 101'll!) (13 r,; 7 x lJAmm)', 1.l'iis issll.pp.lied with a moulded conrreetor and a!1le of holcle~s - !JliJ't tape-d0~n stri(;l, tie-mar and tie-pirn - i,n black, grey, tan and white, er with Ci smaH Windshield or pressure-zorre ad'apwf, The r.esponse is Jevslin 1lie, miEt-mnQe, with a smooth, eNteAclecl pr,eseflce-Reak. of 3-4dB in ,lie 5-1 !BkHz ra'flge. Its relatively .large pk>Vvoer supply oal'l be cliFlped to a waisH'l,and or g@ in a p"ocl(et.


Boundary microphones

GieneJ'ally, rmien;""'FI1::)f'~S are kSj;lf away 'frO'm re:fil'!ctiv€ !'H'Jltaces owing tG the interfe,renee fields these W€l{;.lI!JGJ~e, f=il!.lweve'r, as the diaphmgrrl is movetd closer to Hie sHrface, trrls effect 1'I10Ve;; up through the sound freqwency sp€€:trwm, until :at a diatartee 0flin (25""mm) it oooure onlV in twa t.lighest octave Qf AHrFlSn hearing, se that on sf'lee~h and $'on!\j the effect oecomes unimportant. As a result. if the surfac~ is s@li€i eno.wgI'J to reflect sauna we'll at all frequencies, a g.ood~qu:alito/ oalance can be obtained! b:y a rnicrophone placet] within all inch 0i it.

~or a soufuil \l\!gve'<'lppr®aehing a r'i€li€l solid re:flecting .swif'8l;)e at a riglh angl'8 to if, a rrlicrophone near the surface reglst,e,rs only pressure va~iatiorrs, net the pl'esS\,Jne Q!7aClient. On the otner h·snd a SOUl:H!.i wave traveHin!1J p'El'ualiel to tfi.B'surfaae ean be deteGtem eJtner bW its pressure 01' by its preSSl,.lre gradient_ A diredtIofl'a.1 micr0p'hone is effective the,ref0re, ]fi directIons parallel to the surface. A common arl' is to plaGt;!; an e;nd~fjre Ga"dio:itJ rnie-r@phone pa~aJlel to tl;je surface and cHrected towands aetion at a Iifi·sta.nGe_. It may rtt'l.erefor.e be well-s-l!Ifted to opera performed before an audience. Sightlines are r.l0l ohiS'frw.:ted 19y the small, neutrall,? celGured, and feli0itlollsly named 'rnl'ce",

Th@' fortnal name fer arran£lement is bQum4<31y miet:l!' (Q)ne IllrIC1prie1ary name is /pres.s(1r@z'one micrf!J:rfthone, or PZM - w~ljef1 sourrds better wi't:h 1:he American '·' prollunGiation.t The pressure ae.rre Itself has I,me 13 factit:a I aGlva~nt·a§&. Glrose rosny rigig b"Qunmary, ther·@ is a pressU~e-d0LJbling which results in a 6dB ifll':f.e,as@ in- tna si@filal.

A mic-rtlptiGnewhicn l's specia.Hy designed to op~r:ate in this regime oan I€)~k veflyl different frorn a norrrral microplionEL 30me have Been Sl'lgIne'£;lnei2J to be S0 flat that the §lreatest eOfltributi@n to ,heir thiCKness is the Ji?addjfltJ uS"ed t@ protect tMem from f:1@Qr vib~a.tfol". lfl 5'~ver-a1 des'igl'1s, stereo g.airs have been mOUJlted o n either sirl€' ofwedge~s:hapeo lIous·ings., rather like binaural pairs. The harGl, reflect'i~e . .s:urf{),&e snowld, if pflssible, b~ ctear f@r s'ev8fal feet arourtd,

Harne-made mice

An alternati"'e ar,r3fil[jjeme·J']t emp:10Ys a Cloliventional rnieraphone, vvhieh is inserted into a [,lIoly.urefhanecf@aA1 pa:d and j9laced Qfl t.lile fl(l)(o'L AfJ adwahtage of thi·s IS that microphones· can be GAOS.eM for frequency arrd direl:>ti@nalresponse 'to suit ea&n I,'lar'tioular s@urce - and ean !':ie r"etu.rned to their I'llDrmal use s after service as btikJl'ldiary Jayer 'miee'.

A. disadvi;lfrtt3§e of a ttoor-rnoumted miG,r@li1ho!~e;is ttlat hG'WEl,'<Ier weTI it is insulate·(J 'frw'n n015:e, this must ah1liavs remaif~ a danger. A sirnpte waY, of minimislt1@ directly c:;omCllu€teti S(,)Ul1i'.1 is to m"9unt the mi€rophone on a stand in tfne 0rGMest~a pi!, with the capsule on a tle)Gjbl.e 'swan-neck" b'ending over the ~dge,of the stage arrd angleell slightly d0.wn, iillm@st to t@l:lGfi the SLJnac8. As before, ~ne tlireGtiQnal re-spoose w.ill 1318 horizorrtal. lffie flPlal limitation will be rmise ~ad[a;ted frorrt the s·tage surface and travellil'lg. through the airto tine rrniefoph@nB.




PRES&Uel'RES Z@NE M1CR@~HONE ON PLATE Thiis iSl easily fixed to a sui'faEe b1{ tape (on topl or aoub'e~si(fje!1l aalie5'ilt'e (beI0w),lhe tiny oapsule, very c_10se t~ the surface, broaderrs 0Vt t(JI allew f0r a C0'nventr-onal C€HUleof0f. The l'iemlspbeneal R@lar response do'es not chan@e with distam;e, a beJ1efit When the distance of the sounm is unprediitalJle.

--- :;!OQ Hz

--·1 kHz


PRESSURE :lONE:: MIGHQjPHQNH WlTH FLANGES THese ma1;' be fi:<:·e0 to a stage surface by tape of a mal€hing colour. or by double-sHled aelheshre taJ'lEl? er adhesive purtv. In this case the respnnse is near-can!Htlil!t and the rel>ponse!

at low frequencies depends on tn,e di'st-an:ce of tlte source. Spal>ed act Intervals

,of 3-4m al£1Hg the apron of a stage, these have been used succ.essfl!lHy for- oper'a, The Illolar response (ter a source at 'an ang11e of 3G" above tne sl>agej ,IS UfllQireetion.aL There are controls to boost bass, B,Vom:d to €lut it, C,

/ "

sC 7:: ;; " ;;!~:J),

MICROPHONE. MOLJSf IN SECTION I"olyureth'ane fDam is r.rlQulded witi'i a whlular slet f'@,r the @f tna microphone, and a cavity fortfte cal'lswle_ It is place,g on tRe Hoer. Alternatively. tape the micr0phone loosely ove.r a foatn pad.

Picking up sauna {",em a salfa or Itquie:

Contact and underwater microphones

C6)N"f..;I.I;CT MJGROPHQ"NE €'j3n I&e attactred to the SIDl'lIlE1bQard 0Ji1a gUIMr or I!l'ther sc1.'ri'nge'd j.f1str.ume·R1>. The J'll\iliH'!'iple 1s eleetr9stat'i" 0Ut 1;5 .l,Iflusu<!1 1!'1 liavin!!l a (ublJer-G0'atec:;l irlraphragm, in on;ler to !!live i~ rel,atively iar.g,e reacnve Mas,s. Pe.iar respo.risB is frgl'lr.e-eight.

Many; solid-sand iiquiGis are e~cettent G:@,mlllH:.tors @1' sound ~ mushbetter than air. A deviee that is wsed to piqk up sound vioratl'QFlS frorrt a s.QLid material suc~h as. tile s0l;md-ooara I9f a .musinatinstru ment IS called a €@Ataetmic.rEl:ph@ne. 1[;1 addition to tlili:s, a varh~ty of scientifi@ instrw.ments originally deveJot;1ed fID.F ether li'u~fJoses ean be adaf!)tet;! t(ll pToduc>e a signal carrying sound information - tI'JoLlgh not alwavs with the 'filiielity reqlLired IDf a p:f@fe-ssi0nal mief€lphoflfr.

Cemtact J'lJICf(;)p'I<l@fleslS0Id f0f use with 'eleecric' instruments include a strtp ab(iJut 1 in (25mm' wide. ]--8in (75-20Drnml long and €Ii'll" O.04in ~1 mm) thiclis that is flexi.ble enongh to stlck onto a u:urved suffac·e. Made of i;),a;rlum titanate,. it p.wCiuees. a pie:zo-elebtric si,@nal when it 'fle:xe$. The fmquenc.y response emphasises the mid-range at the e:X:I'I'8nse of bass and top.

In another type. the whole microph0ne fiouS! ng moves WIth the vibration of the surface - al'l.d 50 must be very light, in Q)rtle.r to a1V@id dampina. Irrside, an 'active mass: remains S1;III by its own inertia, so eaA gel'lerate> a signal by a v,arfel:y of p.rincigtes. A fiigh-qualit;y 8J1(,ample Has a broader r-8sponse trran the stri@ Beserih>ed atJdvee, but still reqwires a sep;arate' 00n.venfioriel elle,Qtret 19 pick Up:! Milgh fre~ueFtcies (abQ1V84kHz) a€'Qustieally. (Typically tlie wUI be elose and directed towards stl'ings - @n an e'lectric guitar, fc€lr e~atnp'le, just underifieaNl th'em, in the ·air n0le, from wf.!iQh iet will rre€>eive an ad:di1;i@mal €omponent.)

Corrtact frIierc:J;l1!l1ofles e.aR be attsched vvHh adhesive pW.tty, or In S0IT<le cases with C:louble-sided adhesht€' tape: find a compromise bce.twe€n s'ecI.'Jrlty 0f ~tta€'b,rHen1; and the ne:ed to get the tratlsflucer off wltfiout aama@e af.ter !Use~

SQLiti:JD FHGM 60'=10S: ACTIVE MASS 1, Cbntaffi' microlilh@ne.

Z. 'IIibHlting surface. ;;l, The mass of .he s.u.s~e.J'lded !'1~ .. agnet n01ds it rei ativelv still. Fer '8 re\1e~berati0 n piate Dl"slrnlla·f source in a fixelll l1lesiti(;itl; ~he 1'l'1icFDIDI'lone assemblv Ci;1fl, b;e r.l1u!).umt;.E(d €In a rL§i€l arm, 4.

Sound from liquids

To pick up seunn under w'ater, a si.m:ple tech to seal a c0nvelltional mili:roph01'1,e- (when lifIovin@~GID·it) in a rubber sheath (condom), but thIS means tl'1at tbe. sound must cross the barrier from water to air, an 800tlstie impeGianGe which reduces sen:silfvfty and distorts tile frequency reSf')flnse (t@tally: apart "from ea.using em!, hi.larity, ort;,oth).

.11'1 pril'lcifllle, it is be,tter that the water is selllarate'd from the tra'filscil!:Jee'r ~Jnly By a m.ate,rLaJ such as chloroprerte fu.!:Jber, which is of matched i'f'flpeGleI'JOe. One miniatwre l:1yClm[!Jt:ione has a frequency range ef 0.1 Hz to TQ(J!kHz or r.T:I€l;re, which: may seem eXlfe.ssiVe Ii'! terms of Murnan heating, but not for that of whah;~s and cl0 lphi rrs, By reeGlrding and replay at changed speeds, or thrQugb a harrnoruser to c~hang~ h~qu,err.~yinclEtRen~ dently, ef time, ·the e,xtenQeti frequehey-range of Idna.erw'ater GQmmuflication and seund effects can be matcneCil to Glur pereeptj.QJA..

However, in practice, few re:tlordis1s will uS,ea true l<Iyfilmphon,e: the sfleathed micr0l"hone Will pieR up' a sJg.nal that is' aEleguate lor most pwrposeso After all, the human eardrum is rarely U'Sec0 tm r;tick up:! SQUlTld dite€Uy from water (and rraver fl'or;n s@fic:l'sI).



I K J:"iz.

10. k


ELEGli1'~IC GIJITAR In this. ec~a.mplL& a contact microph@ne ele}se to the bridge ls eombined with an'ar:ousti<::: rnicrop'hone cfippeQ 10 rth'e ed!'lB 01' the air-hole.



The iGsal ullflerwateF mic;repn(;me, CJ.;3:7in (9.5mm) diameteu, with 13 rubber compound IDonQee dir ectlv onto a plezoelectrjc cerernic. This allows all 'excellent soundtransrrrission !'lath from the water, and p,ermils. a frB€lUency r-esr;Jc-mse whir:/;J el'ttBrres far beY'0I71dth€; ramge '(;)f. ALl'man hearil'l.9. The response I's flat oV1lf the n' audio'fre['.luer:]C(:;'Y range" In €Iiregtioills 0\11' r,igl9t an~les to the a);lis;N'Ier.e is a ve'f.y sli!!Jht rem'lIcti0'h il'l 50rn8 0111181' elirectl@1ll5.

Radio microphones

A_ bat1ef,(-p@W8.f€n!l ra€li€>-trarlsmi1it:er and aerial is used with a personal mrCl'OJ!)h0ne (wlie,ther hand-he,11!l Of attaehsrd to cll.'lthin@1 wi'iJStil its user mLJst have freea'gfn of m@vehlent or where a cable €Duld drag, tangle or appear r;Jisl·r·8ctt.I'l'gl.y in visjQIn.

The' transmitter Ra~k aheuld be small 8F1Qtl§h to 9@ in a PGc~et, or llie hl!.lng at lhe vitaist l;Inaer a jasket. or possibly il1l a pouch at the small OF the Ie>;ae'k- The type of aerial dep'eru:ls 0n waveb:an()j. A VHF aerial. approximately a· qWl3rter-wa-:releflgth long, rna,!, Be alloWe€l to hang urrder outer clCltning; or the screen on the I'nioro&",l'1one le;ad rrrav serve, if It is made tht'! rignt' I.engthl. A VHF aerial is shQrter and On so me hand-held microphGlIil8.s rJilay' be, fittem as a flexible stl!lID, f1'lr.eje:Gtiflg frC9m its base.

The r'eGeiv.iElg '8ntef!l7I:ae (,otten tWQ) are us:,ually simfill'r~ dipoles placed where one @f bG'th wi'H always Ii@ve an unobstructed;1!n;)l'llagnetie path from the transrm'ftter-. "FelevisiCiln a 11£1 'film sIDdlo sets made of wood and rrem-conductioe ffii'irte,riHlssfi1ol!lld 0& l>1;al1ls:war.erat t@ the si@nal, 0Ut metals, wedi~tably, will Cause problems. S(;), when setting thecaerials, It may me aQvisal::Jle for a sound assist;cin1' to walk arrd taLk in all souhcJ,~Glurf:e kH<;ati'Gns, s'o' that the sillFlervlsDr ban ene€i<, rOT dead spots.

In a tetevision studio, €xis,tifil.g ('l'IOnitIDf drcwits Can C)·ften oe usea to Garry the signals fremtfie d'iJDoles t@ a radie receiver in th"e sournd g:al.lery. TAe rt~ansfl7ljtter centrols must Jjg jYreset, with a corrsequerit danger of overload or uFlti:li8;rrnodulati@fL This can be mini.mjcSeti b¥ a €omJ.1lander -. oornpressicrn at the transmitter comJ:'lensa,te1i'J by rnat"c:h'ed expans'ifHl at the receiver. (,Otherwis'e lUSe: a modest amount of autornatiegain tn SmOQtA Gllit variab,ill:t;y in the s,ignaJ, ti'wt with care. so as not to Gonfli€ with pei"formcCInce valuee.l

The: tran'smitt€-r should be free fr.orn frequeney drift, and it slil@udc;l not 'Ql!I~lbllY 'bwml'l' illtapP'ed:or je ltad, Barterv fjloWer generally drops $l!.Idaenly when Ute RBwer isexhauste:d. Watch for aut0mati@'n'@ signals if available; Qlherwise Jog hours of use- 'and replace the b@tte~ies early. The transmitter will ha\"8 a radio-frequeneYfloWer Qf 1IJ0rnW Of !'more - substantially: more, if distahce-s 'exteI'Id beYri)!rie those of a normal studio ..

Sctandby arra ng,ement.s

Wave'Ba'ndS' are alLecatea oyh;;ftien:al regulating authoritie·s;i·n p.articL,tiar, equipl'l\lemt carl'le€l aCT@SS the .4tl'antlc. will have to Qe reset. lnterference may come horn othefstudiID I?quipmer1't; to sat8§Juard a!'jain:s-t last-minute pr'C!lblems, have standby packs ready to operate on diffe.ret'lt ,JirequerH~ie,s, anql beklre live Dft'}adea'sts also run out a cable and' make it ready for use in case all elJ!.e fails.

Radf0 micrgphones are w~dely emRloy~d ilil (jh~I>:l'1F'F1e.nta~'Y filming anli:l Mews reJ!forts; by the roving hQsts of studio snows, and for InSflY @tAer purpos:e;:>. But althQw:gt~ the quality' ot '[he radiO link may IDe nigJ1i, it ma1;' be c(Mnpromiltem oy tfilj; l'.Infavoural3le gosit:i0n of a pe~sQna'l mic-I'QPI1G1ne. S@ alw;ays Qonsider uSln§1 a stl!.ldio boem, TishJ:llole Dr gun'!ho~le.


.A RADliZl MJGRQPHONE l'RAN3MllT~R Pti.IR Ihternallv, the appearance is simTlar,al.tR:0ugn the controls on tal!' are slighth{ different, ana the cenneGtor ping, or s'oeket reflgct'the 0:ir.e_0tiiofl of ine sigrIsL

RADIO MICROH'HGNE AND RECI":I\fiER DIPOLE The microph®rle ttOnt'arn.s' its

own UHf transrnitten anI:! has a Stu,0 aerial emerging from the b·ase>. &a([1sules,ape available ft'Jr eib"'er ~mfli,dj~e.c.tj40H1al er e·l'Id-fir.e cardioid oRerat1on, Toe base of the stiek has switches j;l'lcluEllrt€J Qflhrff, tone, and base roll-off ('for cilrei0i,d close weri<ir'lg) ancl LED (;on'dilr~Jn am€! waming n€lht$. Aerials ,He mourttad nearby.

b.QMMIdJNICATlON$ f'@UCH A radio mlG[IDJ1l.HIDf'le trcar'lsl'l'fltter or talknaek ~eceiver can 0e earried In a 'Spec'i"ally-maCle peuGh heli:! by.8 tal'le in ~He small €If the' back, For a lelevjsi0n [!Istf@rmer with 'tigli:t€l, matl!lhing o'r J.lleR€l:in€J RTlaterial is used, and ;tHe tape-s are ·tsWen 1:0 r.ougb spHts in tFfe siflfe seams.


Fixing g micf'ophoDf! in pl<u:e

Mountings and cables

In -8<ehliti.0r1 to the e!':luipment for televf;sion, €IestriDedeJsewhere. tlrleve aile fiT131iJ¥ standard w'@ys @f ial@unting mi8rophcJn@"s, iflelui:tling a'v,B,riet'Y of boo 111.5, In eorreert halls, most r:t~jGr0j!)h@nes fFl73Y il'! principrle De slbll'!g by thei r 0livn cable from the roof [Jf the hall. but for. a cl,diti0,flaI safety ma:rry halls insist o'n separate slings, and ih any case guyirn,g (lDy s·f.!J1)arate tiepcmd&) fl1lay be neeesS'ary fGH the,a€eUfatefinal c.Hmic'8 of position add an~le. A r@d'lo-operaJed djreGt~ol'l~CQntr01 ts also available.

Floor stands anti rable mlDuntings s:flDUM have j0rovisj,ofl fgr sh0~k iAsutation, to proteetthe InicrDJCI,h . .Qf1.ecfrom conducted sound. viBratl!Dri or Where appearance Q0eS not Wlatter, this m.ay be a era.dJe of elastic supports; in all cases tJle .mic·rophone must Oe held s.eGklfelv in its s,et 190siti@n and direction,

M~c.ropbQne ci!bles

Three wires (ana there'fore three I'!ins). one liJeing ear1:h~d, are suffE@ient ftlr most purpas,es, im;lwQ'ing both the Signal (mono or stereo) and ttle pow'el' plus i'!@lar'iz:ing voltage for eleetrostatiG m.iorophune.s, For 1'lhantom povver su pplies to o0lidenser miG:f0Pf,ioI1Ii1'S b0t1~ ro:Hl>ie live signal wi reS"are ratsed' to a nGminal 4-li!V al'love 9 rtrurrd. The diffe·tTence ttl 'V'9ltage lJetw8efl this p' and the (grounded} tLhii'd wire 01150 [.!lrbvides tile polarioz;ati@n for eleclrostatiG .IToIi(i):rop:hqne~ tnat Ifleacr it (<in¥ but electrets1,

M@re CQmplex systems have more wires - for e*am~le" f@r swrMh'in:@ J'lBta'r response or !Jass-Gut, and. als'(J f0r radio microghones. Old desigfils of electrostatic micf'@jJh0rl8S cQIil1!arning ,,'aIMes (veeuum tube-s) - CQII ectorS1' items or working r8Rlkas ."'at are-treasured by some Q@lamce'rs for: their tfist'i.Rctive sound quality - requjre af.! additional 1 '2. V sUlilply to thee Reate'r.

Trailimg or hard-wir>E;:a aHdi@ cables wia usually haMe substarrtial ljut flexrmle, colo:l:Jr~coded conductors, with braided er lapped shialdin:g to protect 8!!}ainst eleGtriGal inteiference, and witl1 a strong outer sheath, Tha mOre c0fT11ple-x 'srar-quarf' cables have hi!iJher n9ise. rejection: In a studiq it will SOOR become apparent if th-ese are fle;eded" F@r leDger dlstarrces. multkhannel cables (with additional codiflg COIOUfS) will termif1late in a jun:cti'@ti b([lX 'for tne individual microphone cables that lead tloi.FOM@h a !FIuJltipin c€)one:ctgf to the G@ntrol desk,

In oreel to minimiseinduG.tiOf\, S'OHI1J'Q wirirrg sAoula be kept away frQ:fl1I power cables Cl'o lightIng or oth~r egujpmend and stioufd cress them at ri9"Rt alilf,Jle's, This isneoess'ary alsQ fo(wfri'ng built into the stl!fc.!iiG structure,


STAN@S AND SLirlIIGS Methods, @1' m@urrtin§ m:.ipr.@[?home!S (use.G in nadio stui'li'osl. 1, Suspension by adjustable Wires, l'!te.2, Boom (aQJust<Jbl,e. an~le and len~th), 3, FI@or stano (With tejes€01'i€ c0.1umn), 4, T~ble 5;l,ta,nd. (681.1. 2 ar. 5 are better for table wGlrk if the're is any risk of table-tapl!lIl'lg l!iv !l'le~enen8elil speak:ers), 5, Fleer stan(j witA bent 'arm. 1\11051< r; of m.@lJl'l~ing fi"aV',!j! shock :a:bsorlolers 0" raps.

68 69

ThE ran!iie (JT' - and ntast ~(fJmmiSJr:I{.Y used - rnicroohone,




A .. /l " ... A.~ .. ~. '=I&l6Y

The moet oomrrton t¥pes' of cgnDectors for. microphones are XU'!" DiN, Tuchel, Lamo an'd simple jat:~plugs. A rniriirmarn of three conductors is requlred fGr a saIaAced si~nal: twa are tOJ" the signal drewlt ant31 a third, earthed (grounded), shietds tner;F] frorm hum. If ju:s~ two C;0r'lJ!jUG~Ors are [lsea, erre inside the Qth,er ('wnoalancea'), this may pid: LIP mains hum, &[1 can o'nly be tlSe0 where'e is ne m,ar:J!'re'r of this.

.x"R PLl{G@ lseit: ~LR :3 M Centre: X;LR :3 F R~'ght: XlcR 7.1" ;he. figure l'S~.~e Al!Jmrrer of pins; 'M' is 'male". with! pin's ¢0ltltln§l In the dlrecd.€Jl1 that the slg[1(al tr~)I.els, TAe output frorn a miEnJphone would norm'ally have 'M' 'pJIlS, the feea to con~rol desk would !)Jo into an 'F' connector

XLR c'onriee'tore

X.LR plugs are witdely wsed in studlos, aniiJ the n[,Jrnbe,f of pins IS indicared by a suf.fix;: X.LR 3, for example, has tl:iree, TY[, a €avity in tht{] base of a rnisruphone oontalrrs three pI'ejectil'lg [i.e. male.) 1'; they 130,int in the direction 8T sign'al flow. 'A' cable therefore has :a female S'(i)(!:keJ at the mier@l1> endanB an@ti'rer male plu@ 1'0 §.IO into the· wall socket. Other .arramgem8mt..s are available" im:lu.ding ril1Jht-an@led plug.s and bttier rilomioers of pirts., N.oh-stanclarcl grrange,meF'lis ro<e s@metime:-s eflGouritered (rnrrre often in G61'lr'leetors to rnenft(liring IOlYaspe'akerst. SQ fermale-t0-female cables may IDB required,

All XLR conrreetors have a .iocating gr@wve t,0 !?RSk:Jre the c~[ire.ct @r'i'entatiofil_ Sem~ are sel)urecil by a latch vv:hl€h €loSes a.utomaticalfy whell a pll.lg. 1'5' pushled in. The way in w/;;icl1 the pins are wire1'.l is alSQ ne'sl'ly always stanc1aF(:jis~d. If they are oPPlf'lectea in a clif.ferem order, this may I,ead 1'0 phase reversal, which should therefore be eh,eckecl whefl instaHiflg unfamW-ar aquiprtrent in a stwdio. Ph·aS'~ Ga[1 k1swa.lly be reversei!:lln the desk, but tID' <a ..... Qid ill nerr-standard layout there, phase-reversal ada.pttiFs (and other accessorles sush as sigJ! 1'1 a I splitrtws:) aliB al'$'o avallabl;e,

XLR 3 F WALL MOUNli with latoh to lonkJ9lug nrmI¥. in place.

DIN 7 F The German indus:t~¥ standard cl1mnect€fr is less robust than 'the XLR, ]j.ul'the pins cart be proteeted by a serevv C::0I1ar.

DIN., Tuchel,. Lemo, etc.

The XLR system is ro1;lus.t '<fnd wi'li witl:ist-and bumps o'r rOtlgh usee, but is also rati;]!'lf too rnaseive f0r app'lkstions where low Weight GIl'" small slze ore re·quired, In such cases, another cornrnon .standard is DIN (the German In€l'Hstry $tantla~d). The pins are mere deHea·te, and the plugs and sO\!j~e~s srma ller, F@r currrreeters that must De secure, a SGrew eollar may be provided.

Amon!!] @thers: Tuchel plugs liave three flat piossngled Qn ra'~1ii from the centre and are rather rnulky; Lem0 6onnectors (much smaller) overlap inside a sleeve; j-ack",lug.s l1lave ,€,t1:her 3.§imm e r ill.301m (mEJI'I@ 0r stereo) GeI1.1)ral pins - take care noQ0 RLug these into a headpJ.l@f.Je ~r loucctsp;eaker .SQI':Ket and replae:e them by XLR If pl9ssible.

A radio studio n.:Jay be haTd-wired t.0 effer a choioe @f two sockets for :eaen ohannel. one on ea~ side (j)f the studic, The GGmplioated lay.@wts for televi'sian reCilwire manv rrro re, m0stly di~tributeq arourrd the. walls in grol.Jl'lS, Ql:rt witch S0m.€! .in oIlhe st,UQI@ Geilin~L 80 that Gables can be 'flown', or mic({lph(lrl.e-s suspende€l f"OH'l above. In aGlt"JitiOfl, from a -mwltrway s· otrtput at the studiC) wall ~ cable. can be run @wt 1lG a terminatin'gJ bQJ': for, say, ten micmph(!)he,s on the Shldio ff'oor,

LEMO P>LlJ'GS Left: l'e:m0 3 M Lemo :3 F Hoare the irllne~ C0f'1nE!ctors overlap: tt'ie 3 M has tllVO pins arrd vhe 3 I" nas one.


An aGou-sftioally .tr:anspaKe.{'I' screen cem p,;otect the miCr(f)pnrfne wltl1 tittle effect OR its respopse.


The term windshield (Gf Windgag.) covers several dlstirrot funcrti€lHs. tor wl7iich different g;eVI(1)-e'5 are usem. TIl,e first US6l", as tJile name imp>fies, is to. reald€e nels'e due t(!l wind tI.!lTlJwle:nce· at sh'arp eog'es, Q:r even corners th"at are too sharply €urve<1f. To reihJce winl!'! effects pr@per, a smooth aiiilow round the mi'crophQRe is roe_quired.

The ideal sh:;l'pe, if tne direction of thee wind were aJways known Cllld the' same; WQ,ulti he a teardJop, but in the a13s'enee of 'this inf.QrmaHon pr-actioal wif'H!ishields are, usually maee either spherh!l:al or a mi:Xltillfe of spherical ana €ylindr1&al seGtions WPiq:IJJy of ilj n !5cm} Far outdoor use gl:1n mlcroJ'lhgnes ha've a shield of 'l'his size~ The framework is generaJly of, metal e.f l1'I:otJldec;:i plastic, with a fine· and: a€GH..lstlc<iIIV transparent mesh, o'ften @If wire and To,amed Ellastk, eoverin.g ,i1:_ Tbris should re~uce nGyise t:Jy more 'ttran :2@dEI.

Ref studio eperati.on5, th'B snie'Jd raaIl1cS is (lrfief'l less. !'Note that wllere tl'l,ere is; also a r:ea:l'-entl1)' I9mt, this too may reqwire a shield - blSU'CIUy a tul:Je of foam.

A ~ee0nd purpose is to regwce the effect of gus·ttng Breath or the puffs of al~ that aCCQmpafiy pl'osive 'p' or ',la' sounds. wnr€h maW displa:ee the rnlcrophone. illiaQhragm be)y'C::)'Illd its working range. This may eften b.e c(')unteretl bV a small, general-purpose windshield that is sup,plied with the mieF@'lllhon'e and .((€Insists, typi"cally, of two layers of acoustk mesh with a thin JClyer @f porous material betWeen. SI1PJiled o'V~er the tIP" this has-little effect '00 the frequency resp.Qf,1Se, c.han,giflg tITe curve mar§lnall¥ only at hig'Fi fre!;luencles. Where a shield i.s alrea,p», fully inte,gr<ated Int0 the,.mier@phaffB bQey, Its eft'eet @n hequeney response Sh(flUl,((j have been ca:lculated in the

Alternatlvely, sbi;elds made QffoCll'l1e.til pl.astiBs can be s:tretehed te fit over a variety of shapes .. The effect on frequen(£:¥ rospnnse wUI again IDe sm:aU; even S0, win'dshielms Sh0Wld be rem'01l7eQ when n'Ot reEjuired, in br«j'er to restore the optimum, ~'esired reS(3l0.rrse.

For a radio talk studio, foam·ed shields may be supplied in a variBty of laoIDlJfS, S:O that a slileaker can be directed to sit at a clearly identttied miGrQ~hQne, and wil'l De reminciletl b-y its G01Qur t@ w@rk· to that an,d no other.


.AA a,lternativ,e' is the pop-,shield, a gauz;e, sereer.\. on a slll'lporting ring, which I'lrp'tects oDly frofTJ breath effects and is ropen t@ the sides. 'P&pplng' may also 138 controlled by sUlta151e microlJhone technj'ques, witli0ljt the use of screerrs .. EX¥lerime:nt by pmjecting 'ra' sounds ·ift Y0ur own harrd: you will teel the blast af air which would push a rrtlcrophone eial'lhragm tleyoriJd i1:s' normal limits. Than move the hand a little to 'One :,?jde. This wW deffr@n;strate one solution: to speaR @a'stthe miCf8RnOna, rio'tdireG'tly iAlGli't.




WINID$HIELD!i> Tfl~~e come in a varietv of sba~es for differ~mt 'sh:s-of microp.hone5 and may' b.e rrrade of 1, f-'Iastic- t.0am; 2, fo arn-fffled wire mesll; or :3 mesh witl:l an outer Wrote€ti .... e cover and air space between the mesh and the ;;icrGi",honec•

POP-SHIEL0 A 'fr-ame\iI1Eirk 'e0verecl with ga.uze pml:eets a mieropl'iene from gl!lsts oT<air cal:lsed bly ploalves. etc., 11'1 Sjgeecn anti SGng.

vr .----$=;2.



----- -~-ClP='> 4


POPPING 1, $pealGng tirrectly into a micrGpbGne ma¥~ d£!flect di,aJilhra!ilfm beyc:>nd its normal raf;Jgs_ 2, Sp'/:!'akin['l on~axis 01!lt to the si,Gle of the- .nicraphi@[l1e may cure this witbpl!ft cilat.Jging fre.quenmy FespOfl'se. 3, $fileaking, aeross an0 !'last the _ rni.ef'lZIpbCllne may Bum J'10ppin'g arrd -alsG eliang,e 1'requenGY respDnse. 4, Sreeatln\!l acrose tm,e mlorephone but s-WI tewards it may .'51111 (:;aus~ pepJ'ling. 5. A sln1(1lle screen of nvlon mesh over a wire obrstructs- th.e. puff of air.



Microphone balance


THe most mode'st requirerrrertt of any mJcropl>ione im use is that it must cGlnvef sufficient information - w.hetllertn is be in terms of the intellig,ilJi1fty of sl1!eecliJ Qrt.Nre Co 1'11ent efrnusieal sound or effeCts. Wnen a miGTJi.iphone is used to Rick UJ:) speech in difficult 'Cl€ousticS'or noisy consitie't1"s, this fi:eed may 8v-err1de all others. But where more than one limiting position of ttJe rnleropherre is r;')Gssible, flit,e·re i's a ser;ies of ch:oiGes that woe ma':), make. Tlre e-xen;:isL;: o,fthesedlQiee]>, the sel@timn ana placing of each rnitmpnone In re·latlon to sound sources and studio aG!pustil::s,i-s QalJ.ed rnh;:r.@!,)-iloAe balance.

T.lle objectives of baJance

The first objective of micropHone Da.lance is gJorely technical: to plek up tlile requited sound at a leve,1 suited to thee mi0r@phone 'and recor(,;fin§ sstup, i~e. to convert the ac(-')usticerre:rgy of s(lun€l to a 8'0rresf.'}.an:ding electriG'aJ Signal with a rrilrtlrnurn at irreversible drsrortien. ""[he next dt>jeeti~e Is to illiscriminate a'£),alns;t unwarrtad n(li§es.

In prQtessional practice this means that we r<I1LJst deciclle. to w,se one micmph@liIe or' seve:r>at and select those with swH;a:bl'e direction'al and frequency Gharacteristi:cs .. For stereo we rTil'ust choose between different ways of picking up ~@sitional iMormatiol'l !8n{j alse seta sQ-ale of width. In mal'lY caSI1lS we may alserbe able to ,arml'l@e -rne JilositiGm of the S@kJflte or layout of several sources,

These t'Jecislons depend GIn the next and, some would s'ay, merst important aim, of a 90Ud balance, wt1Tch is to plase earth mict.rc;iphbne at a di.stam;:e and angle which. pro(tikJce an aesthetically satisfying €legree of reinfomement from the acousti.Gs of the s,tud'io. That entails contwlTi.l'lg the ratio of air;ect to indrf.ect Sound picked LJp by the micropfione, and making sure tnat'the irrdirect soHnt:il is of a s.ultal'l'I:El qua liW.

Acoustic reinforoement may, however, i,ae replaced by a r;tifi 1$ ia I re;\,Elrberalion wh'ich Is mixed into the ffnal sound electriMlly ... 1,1'1 thts Gase each il'ldividual sourrd source ean bleindivil:ll!ldl!y- treated. F0r this. mason, and because picki'ng UI'l a sourtd 01'1 a sec@ncl rnore- distant miel'IDphone reintrori:lU'ees fhe effect of tJ;le studio aGousti~s, an alternative ailTrl of miGroph0ne balance isto separate tHe signals from diffefentsound sources 50 that they 'can hl.e tre,ate'r!:! indivicil:lal[y. FGf [jJQ(;J mwsie th@ term oal'am:.e means a great deal rrrore t,"81"1 miQf0IDIlGIne [jJlacement. It imcludes treatment, mixing, and Gontrol, all intE:gral Rafts of the creation "Of a slflgle l!lomposite sound.

BAh.J'\NGE TI"'~T: G:ORlJ1la~e die S0Ul;)G trorn microphones A and B 0y switt':hTng Defweem ~he two, The micmphoJiles lie. in a 0omJ'llex sound fiel€! o0mprisin§ many indi.viduaJ oOrT1pements. For simplicity. tfue illust'r~lj[;m S;l'<lOWS menbpho·oic mWmphones. In sre~eo, the (!Irlr.1ciple·s are the same. but the sound paths are, rn0re c-ornplex,


4. 5.

S0U~Ges .. tnrect or If'fdirec;t.

and, in titeree:

6'. Seale ef width (the wi.ath ef image, G0m(!Ja~eo to dis:tamce betweem loudspeaker-s).

v. L0fraticull of il'ldividual components witnin ste're0 irrH'l§e.

The veriebtes: l:;mam,ge 0nly one of these, OT as few as possible, be'tweern su€cessive eom(;la~ison tests.

L Distance fr[,\lffi 1he ·s0u-reei.

ii, Hei@ht aRa lateral p0sitr01'l (at a given distance).

iiL An@le @f airac.jona,! rli1iero.~h@ne. . .. . _ "

iv. Direeti0naJ ClilaFal!,ter,ijit(os 0.1' micreptrorre (erlAer by mternal switchl nEl or by

ehaQ§lng t.he micr0p>hJ)!'Ie).. . .. ~

v . Freql,l!imcy re.sporise (by .c_i;iangim,g 1!hE; m.ICr0(!JA0ne or tts equalls'atlon). vl_ The use @fa'i;:lilliti@nal microl')h0nes.

If SJ,rf.ficierat rnieroptrones are <lvailablefGrm.le!!Juate hialance 1ests. trial re~ortfing;s' may 138 made" and r,8!(;llayer;! OfIE after the other, 20 seconds O~ S0 at a nrne,

Balance tests

G00d balance can IDnly be judger!:! subjeCtively, and the best way of achJe'Jing it is by macli;jing direc-t G0rnp.arative tests ingOQd li-stening oorrditlons between two. (or mGfe) mio;-opfl!3Jne-s artd mO'l/in@ tline at a

time until-the !)j'est· S9una IS aGt"lieved. -



To pl'event phase distlfutJon pIece both microphones o'{' a stere@ pfJir at the same eiistan'ce "from all sources.

The stere,o coincident pair

The most @bvieus way tn cbrive-y pGlsiti.Ol1al j"nf0rmation Is by means' of a sp8Ged j'Dair of mi,G'mphom~s, fe.el1il'lg the output fram left ·and right to the Gonesponding .IQ'udsReak~L This is drome (see page 10$), but creates a problem. For sources tflat alre not. equitlistant from them. there will Be a ffequefltf't'-thi!fDend'e"rlt ·!i:lifferenc;;-8 of phase, refsultIng in reinforcement at so·m'e frelOltJem:ie,s and cancellatiol'l at others.

Fortunately, there is another way of establis:hing the direction Q,'f a source. A matGh·ea pair of directional mirrr{!)phones is pl.aced close to ea€'M ather, but painting in different direi!:tiens: it is anangett that 0:1'1 tlie centre lirre be·tween them, direct sound is, piG ked up GIn eaGh at a level such the surn js mur:;h thElsa:m·e as that ootaimed aiDing tile malA aXis @f each inGfivieh!lal rntcrophorrs, A GQfn~ldEmt pair may consist of two m€lF'la rmlGfl:ilpl-HlYnes side by side, so phase G8filcelfatidn oecura only at very high frequencies. IRetteI' still, with the caasules orre above thoe 0',t.her in a f'1;jngl.e HQusing fliere wiJ De DO s,igbifLcal'1t caneellatlon.

The pair- s!cl@uld be rnatched, but tile malaneer oan enoose their polar diag~CtIil'l.s, 8r.1gl,e af se'j'Daration, and dis'1!al'lce from the source, Tt-Hs allows 00 I over the wi:dtb tit the in'lag.e sornpared with tFte ctista'nGie' hletween IOl!.llilspeaRsrs,anm al50 th reverllierat10n (alwa1/s full width): tIlis affeets the ap,[.ilarent si2i.e ami distance of the subject.

A coincident pair cl;]anges th.e app-qrent snape' of a spread ima:ge.: a source at ~he trent buttowards one side may be as far away frorm the rni€f01"mO!r.lB as thoSE! at 8entre-D8clc Within the stere0 ~mage, if will stay on the serne side h1ut further back tHall ;in the original I-ay@ut. ltrnav be posslole to corten this by chamging the la¥0ut~


3 'ru


STE-RE'GPI10NI(l;N1ICROPHQNE The meftfiod of picking up stere<?pbGlrli€ sound that w.ill be reoo1TImemled In this Ijir,:mk IS the Gofm:ident pair: mo €lirectit;mal rniGropl'lol'l6s very close to(l!ether, 1. or in a common lieusing,!Z. 'f:he second sVmbol (as 2) will generally be used. The miorophGne elements ~III !'lot necassadl\, be at 9'0° to, each ether. 3. 'dummy head' With dlrectl0l:lal , micr01Dli0l'1eS mouAte€l on either side. eta baffle, THis arrangement IS most sW'Gcessful whe,1'I the tW0' silllnais are heard on headphones.

STEREQ COIKiCIIDsNT PA:IRS Left: Sllspendem Within a single housing .. '!ig.trt: -';W0 menOj.'}-honic mieFophenes on a bar, :For nea,d"y SQUire-as' $u,,'h as vorce.s (partieularlv In drerna) this arranqernent avoids llIist'ert10n of, the 'due' to height.

G@NTHCYLLINGl: RINERffiERATIGlN WITH A GdINCIDEN'f PAIR Lett: st~dio la¥olll'~. Right: the resul~aT'l't ilTlp'§e,1, 'A edi,stant pail" pieks up ~troOg rsverbefauon. so that wnerl the" sign~1 is feel 10 rAe: loudspeakier::;; A and 6" rt S<:JIJiElds as th?ug_~ the -sld!ijec't is set back bellind them. 2, With less re'.te,roerat.iol'l, th"e subject IS set forwarel 0et:We-en ttre 1(),LoJi:::lspreaRers. Reverberation rronrnailv fills the' full Width [,iet'Vveen 10udspeakeFs..

_,_ -
I';___; ~


~ Lining up a coincident pair

Here Isa sim.ple way tQ ef.Je€k that the ou:lij.':ll!lt of Doth €'l·lements gf a coincident pair is me same':

1. Cbe(;k that the menitorin,g louds.peakers are balanced, If the sjgl'lal 'is fed to Ivoth t09'e,tne.r, it should appear 16 come ir0m the eentre,

2. Make sure the micr®].ill'lo:flceeJements have ide 11 tic-a I polar diagra,ms and visually set tliem at 90°.lclentify left .allg right i n turn.

3" Then 'lisually set the parr alan!!! the same 'axis (i.e. at: OQ, r;]ot back-toback) aAd iJs1el'l to the ,difiel"'Bl'1ce (sig.Il<31 A- 8). If this eanrrot I;)e {:'joR'e, reverse the lea¢s 01'1 omecilpsuJe and arid the eutput, whi€:h wilJ ha)v'e the same i:fffBct.

4. As one,S€f,n speaks in1bthe p.air, another adju'sts "the·ir re:lafive output fer mimmum v,olurne,

5. l'iestQre' to normal stereo Gutjill,.lt but still k.eepi.I'I'9 the capsule on '~he same axis. 1'1<108 speaker wa[J(,s and talks all tfj,e way rOlmG tbe [fl,ir:;f@ph.0ne: the Image should stay in the middle, whatever the voiwme. T1ils completes rhe cheGk,.

6, ~eslere tile direction of rhe eapsules to tlile, norrtnal wt;lrking angl~.




\.-""'--<"_;~'--'--'-"'=--~~ ,

\f?~.;:;~2iI;~~ B

A. ,

'\ ,

\ I

, r

\ l

\ {

'\ ,

, I

, , \. ,


The stereo 'Signal ffan <Jls@· i§e thOi:lgm( @Tas the Sid/IT! of mi'(1tjle and side to tnfiionenrs.

Stereo field patterns

z .

, \ \ I I


w )(
__ - ,
.,.. ,
. ,
; \
J \
t 1
, 1
I .
~ S/
, ~ The CoiAcid~nt jDelr should be matched, Qut the lJatancer ean cho0se their polar dTagrarns, arigle of separation and lifistanc,w from tFie source. These permit e'c>ntTol Qf'fhe scale of width (width of image compareGi witfh fFie dlstancs between lou0spe.akers) and a-Iso tMe railio aT direct souad to Fe1(lerbe~atiofl (wi:th;h is alweys full wi.dth): this affects the apparent sf,,€! and Ciistance of the subject.

For the figl!lre'"€l!'Iht mspbnse, the mlcroptrorre should be placed SID that the ;;lngle be,tween the aXleS of the two cGPswles includes tile wti'o.le jOmage. jjJutsi~ tliis angle, the two eleml,'!nts will 19'e atl! of phase and wiH be~iri to 6"ancel out.

8@ fur we haMe described stereo signals, microph0ne ereme.nts and louds~eakers enly as l.e,ft0r right. If we 00111 these the A ana B Signals an@ add tliem, A. -I- B = M whel1e M is middle <and als\lI efl'ectively mono. If we swbtrae:t thern, A - B ==8 for sj(jJ,e. oS also contain'S tHe stereo rll;f@rmation (but I'rf-lt~ ,tliat -fu" ster@0 requires both M amiJ S}. The M and SpoLar diagrams sn0WIiI opposite could aJsQ have been oh~airred. by Gomb,ining the outJ'lwt Of two different miGroRhon~s - one omnipireGtional and the other figure-e'lght.

:/ 1 (



\ \

.. ,~ ;..... _-----.;

Sterea and mono cempatibnitv

A. stereo 5igl'181 is descril're.d as €ompatible if it is transrnltted orrecorded in a form frorn wrnch normal manti) pr00essing au:tom·atically ellttraGts a 9000. rrrorro signal M, whi'Ch is the su m of.. A and B. On alilalogw,e ta pe, the 'A and B sign'als are re€ereed side by sidBo:. th!3 brGati!;1r mono reproducing head scans beth th·erel;)y adliliHg them. A vinyl di~G lias a V-shaped grp6ve with tbe A -and B signals eut in angle.d walls: a I'Tllc;mb needle, desi@n'eo td track ·a I,a:tefalgroove, picks u~ A. + Bt On 'Stereo r~dilp, M '·s br:oadcast on HIe nermal rrrotro ehannel and £ is. encoded s,epa ri3:teIV.

ArtistiG" cg'mpatioilit:y is anothe.rmatter: something is necessarily [:ost ff@fiTl a stere.o productiorr If It is f;)eard in rnono, Sometimes the stere.G. can be modified a little to ma.k'e sure them0no~ version i.s more satistVing, Here are some naz8Fds" witA I'loss·ibl'e GGwnter-measures:

1. L@6S of vblume from Goml'.l;!;!;fl.ents at the sides; the centre is fully re'l'luesented in the g- signa,l, while the sides are representElod partly in the M signal. There may also be phase- distortl@n at tile sides. A narrower SCale of width might he.ljD.

2~ TI\lNe is rTl@re reverberation in S, so the rernainil'lg M s· vvill file drier. If it w@ul,d orhervvise be too ary, more reverberation might be aCided to M at the eXW)m'se €If S.

3. SQumes that are spatialJy separated in stere.Q may hie less €listingt in mt;HTJQ: it may f.ielp to fielost them - one way bein@ to 6r'itiI!'l them close·r 'to cent~e stage. Hevvever, unwanted nofses which may be spatia.lly cfistil1l€t in ~e;re@' mall' 0e less 0Qvi@tisin m@nG.



MicFoph"fiJrJe.s I'lse(jj for ,sp.eoialiseli stereo lechfJit.i/ues.

Combination stereo microphones

Traijitkmally, rnosr stereo lias been oatail'le('i by the us'e of either a CQ-rr:ui:ide.nt p.air or a range of spaced ~ or a mixture of th€se tW€I teefl:Fli€Jues. gklt the stal'l(;jarU A artd B stereo signals eat;) ·-also: me rJroduced by €omtiining the fielal patte~AsfmrTil the d'ire€tionall1flieropfione -capsules in several other; specialised microphones. Her-a are tVVID examples.

MS microphones

When recor.tiin-@ sre;re:e. S0l:lUS fora series of jl)ietl,lteS that are t01 De etfited tC)gether, or fbr a continuous televislon scerre that is com:J!I@;~;,ed of sh@ts from different, the st'an(jal'd AB cotnoldarrt pair is often repiacad by a miG:r@pnons (')ontainirlg am ene-fire li¥perc.ard.iQ(jf M capsule with a bi-dtre.0tiol'lal £ capsule behil'ld it.

With me M$ pair, thefie is ifQab.soh~J.te: Reed fIDf a fil'le'ly mcatcnecl frequency respons.e (as required in an .Affi pair)' aJthougn it helf:!s if they do have the sanU,l character. This, forspee'cl'i, may inGlude q tiighfrequency presence, ps;al<,- TMef@l'Warm caps,wLre: is l1lesigne([l to 'ca",tl:l~e a mono signal., whi.le the bi-dLreclic:malelement spmads the sound I'lh;ture to mateh that on the te.levisieh sG'reen.

In prif>l[ciplJe" the s'ame res:ult c:ould "'e oliJ1JaineGlf'rePll fA and 13 signals; in practice, M$ is easier to handle in this '8pp'licati@H. A master striet' is oh0sen, alid:t;he M5 microphone pointed intQi!, much as a gun rni€L@ph4;'me would be'. To allow c@hereht prcture editrng, cutaway shots will not normally 'Gross the line' - a visual line whiah often G@l1rie.ets tW0 main eharacters - a-nd this helps the sound editing as we·11.

Ti'lis mi'€reph@ne is stolppned with a matrbClng unit whkh can be switched between various Ms cembinatlonsl;)·y c~mtFOlJjrrg the g eornponertt; between MS an AB (with reve'fse€i versJ,ons for when the mlGr@phone is suspended); and may also J:lrovlde for LF atie'muatlen.

Seunttfield microphone

This is file' propnietapy name·far an e)(@ti0'cembinati@n mi!>mpnQne whiGh has f.our 10entiC'al el,ectrost(1Nc.> capsules, set clpse t@ge1!i'lerin a tetrahedral array, tl'1erceb·y permTtting 2-D stereo to be cfenl;leti from a truly 3-D 8(lmbinat.icjIl c:ll sigtol.als. The four a:l<es are dtesi!jlnat.ed W, K, Y ana Z (different from the WXVE direlttio'f'ils within a ~Iane 'shGWI'l en page 79). af.ld these a'~e coml5ined 0'Y l!Ising arerrrore control box to sele€! azimut,h (h!' an!jl'le), eJ,evation arid 'dGmitlance' (directivity).

The response can oe altensd during a live event to favomt a source from some une'X'peG~ed dire cti Oft, or after recnrdin9 the f@ur separate signals may J»e r.emi'X'etl t/lrougn tile same control box to il'l"lll'f(.JV€ the coverage. The'srattc micropliane can be con~trolled to track a moving source. A.gai'fii, the.~e is, a eontrol to challg.e the 5i'9na15 appt0pri.ately when the miorophGine- IS inverted ..

Tkl·'s sj1IeGialised tiFliEmpbone re,qmires famili-aris-ation before use.


s 0'


~: Ed--+-I·::h ~~ ~dJ....-o--~'-±

I 00 I k 10k 100 I k 10k

Hz 1'-11 .

!VIS MIC§:RQI"HQNE:' This C(;)mbiMS eapsules empl0ying ~[1J, diff;er:en! pr<in€f~les 11'1

a single h0l'1sing. THe forward M or 'midt;lle' rnir:;1opf.ione rs en~flre ~I~~ S1i0j'it interference fl:lbe f0 narrow the higtrftequer.u;:y resJ;lOnse_ Behl!71d thiS IS a. .' bi<dire~tienal s er 'sideo' mierbI'lH0r:lB .. The M respense has a j;)res~c~ p~~~ Wrl1Chk Tl'iis is sultable- for speech or aGtI!laltty; S is ffaffer.,but matches the: e e,('). e , . e pea . eXaml'lle Mas an XLfil1 Gbnnectgr cable to ltS£0.ntral b0X (matrix unrt) wflleh

flas XL.R 5 output ----~


The t'hree !factors on WAlCh speech l3alance depends are the voice, the s-urroundffCIg ecouss«: conditions ar.M tne mit:rfflp'hone.

Speech balance

In.a go(,ds"!pee€h balance., the'v0ice is clear and natural-s{)!;, perhaps r,einfome.ei t@ some (;j-e~ree by the room acoustlc,

In l1'!@no, tAa two are- combined as though from a single point in space; in st;ereo, each voice Gomes from a single pO']nt but ttle reverl1ie,ratlofl is spre1Jd. Marry of the erlterta for good mono fu,alance a~ply equallY' to stere,Q. Mi.cr0pl'ioflle ty.p'e arid diS1'an&e are import-an'L A deep voioa is, over-emp;hasi:sed by €Iose wQrking on a mierophone that 'is EliTeGti0naI at iovv frequencies al'la therefline subject te i;)ass tip-up (prOXimity effe'et)'. Electronic CQrrecti0n (in the niicrdphorie cnannel) may be used to cornpen~sOlte fl2),r this, "BAd deBs AD,!, affect veiGa'S that are less bassy, but it does limit rnovernent backward and f@rware. Clarity @fs]lleec'l;i may be e'nIilBJili:5ed by a mede'St peak in tlie hig.h treguem:y (5000-8000.Hz) FBt'lg,€. but a sibil_al'lt voice is rrrade worse'llfly ft. In this· ease, a mierbcphone witI'! a smooth re·sj:lolilse is better, but it is mot essential that tfflis be extel'ldetl into the extreme hil¥lh-frequem:y range.

For .rna1iiy pHrposes, sorne scoustio reInforcement is gGlGlti. Snmafle·r studios af@;hl0weve"~, likely to intrQduc:e c@10ra'tion whiGh san hie redtlBed only by eleG::tronicfiltering or cl@se.r working. Film eornrnerrtarv uSJJlaH-y: reqwire's a r'airl'y dead laGoustiG, in 0rder to avoid c(lInHil.>t with picture, and to separate naHalive from aoti0Jl - bl:Jt'tltiscan make it lSIiffinilt to mateh the same voice rec0,~deC'l en location,

RADro STUDIQ LA:¥OU'f 1, Studio. 2, Lobbv, 3, Double"glazed wiridow fer a e0.l:Is1ii;,:: , se'!;:laration. 4, Centrol oonsole and m01'litoring loudspeakers.

5, J"roducer's pG!,;itiolil tbehind balaflc~r.). 0", Rec~rt!jiElg ana repla:y el!luipmen1!. 7, BqWI(?IifI8<l'It raeks,


Dlf.lEnlGNAL MICRQRf1.®NE (:e,·9·, sLlpercaridloi(l)

Positio/] 1;'

Mierophone at waist leve!: sou"nd qu-ality poor to fair. tn television, tti"is posit.ion may sometime.sbe used in order to clear the pictLlr>e, but onl,Y if backgr®UAd noises are; low, <Ins the aeaustl€: dead,




Using dire.ctional microphones

Directional microphones are used for .spee:eh. In mane a response whiGh is CJ:ardioid over most of its working range. but which 12ie§enerates tb mrr:midirectional in the extreme mass, can IDe used for a single voice at 121n (:BOcm) or less. Unless the studie is IJl'lusuall:y dead an omltli<directi0nal microphone would have to be placed rrruch closer, so that balance beMe,en vIDiGe and aeeustics is impracticable: SUGh a microphone is therefora more likely to be used til'lJy fOT very cl0se W0rking" to eliminate seousties and unwante:d noise as rnueh as ~0ssiIDle,

Bi-directional mic'f0phoI1e.s ,(rili.!iDons) have been wielely used in r;atdiQ stl!lQic0Js, even f0r single '\10 ices. Unless correctecifOf dlDse workinq, balam;e' is at a rnirrirnum .g.f l8in-2ft (O.5~Q.6m), depending on the bas'S sonterrt of the voice, This gives- a full account IDf :the studio acoustics anG thes'e therefore be of gooGi qwaJi~y,i.e, without l1Tl,arke,d .c@l€lfati.on. Small studies are not @'enerally suitable fQr tbis type of oal.ance,

1m stere@., an OIflA@uneer is 0TIten, By 0onven'ti0n, placed in the centre: tHIS allows: the balance 0etwe:el1 leit armj IQuGs[geaKers to be checkeGl.

Posttion 2~ MicrGphDrie at shoulder l€ivel. static' S(wnd qlllalit;Y is fait 10 geod, providffi;J that both sl'leafiers are ekrs13- tQgether - e.g. stanilling c.iese and at 9Q" to eaen otner., er sitti'!igj stde by si'de.


'How to e:l'ldose the besf tntcraphnne eov<erage for seveRal speakers.

Two or more voices in mono

$pe.eGh balance for two voiG:8s can be acc.@rnplishec:i hly usjn!l} separate mierGlphnnes!fer eaeh veice, @r a single static mJGrophone ftlFN.e two; or By a mO'i'ing rn.i-er.'OphQne which i5 €Iire'steG! to e<3Gh sRe:ake'f" in turn. Furtl1e·r volees m.ay IDe c0ver~0 by additil!Jn<a1 mic.f€lphones f@rlni'livit1luals or l11air'S; by balancing more voices to a s:il'l@le starlc rnicrophlDl'le; O~, 8@aifil, liiy directJlilg a m'iDvable mi&rophone to llildiv.id_\Jal speakers Qr grRU~$ ef speakel's i.n tUffl.

BI-DIR"EcCTIQN..A:L MJCIilOPHONE .(usually a ribl:Yon) in laV<CIuf fm studio tili!;cu-ssien wftt:J u~ to four s[:leak~r.s.

F'AN~L GAMIt BALANCED WITH TWO ElIIJDIf.'lEGTI0NJ,'(t. MIGROPHQNES each [Hi0.repl'iora.e i& arranged. 5"1'.1 that the other pair @f s<p~akel"'s is orr Its s~Ije. But any S" from· il'1 frorrt of the' desks (fflIm~ tlole audience" for eXlample) will be pkke:d up Elm both: the rnlcnophorres mu-st 1:herefore be in pliase to s~g~a'ls fl"t!lfTl Nila.t ·directit!lH. $blper.r:arGioid mier@phones are likely to be equaJ1)y satlsf.a0tory.

Using se!paI'ate misrophones

As more .a1'l8 more miCrOJ31ndnes tare l!Ised, the effect is to open up pmgressively rrrore €If the s;twl!:lie accrusttes, If many microphones are open al1!ne same time, Glaser. balence or a deaiiJer;tic is required. In j]lrin.ciple a more sharply directienal response from each micropAljl;f;l€ vveuld aJso do tbie triGk~ but a'S we have see:P1, there are funmamental lirriits to the dlreoflorral qy,alities of srn a,! I mi'Groph'On'E!'s. Tn€! alternativce is to hold ba'ck all ITI.1GFopl'10nest!y al)out OdS except tlaat tliXr, the main speaker at any OA,e time: this alsa tends to' improv.e intelligilClili1y when se'V'eral p~ople are speakllng together'. I n an In:fQ rrrsa I CJ.!isclission" tile sounEi mi~er neea.s to see all of the S"l'le.a:ke.r.s direoti¥ all of "the time, ill order to anticipate each 8ontrl.bl1tion. Where a wide area isto be. and there is n0 dir;-est line 0f sight I"llac:e a soun'd 'assistant a submmer Glose to the action,

WniGli:rer;tionoaJ micr@pnones may be used for pair.s· of speake:rs - e.g. in a jZI3nei game~ S'Glmetim,es, hoW€!tI€r, one speaker may sl'18nd rnu8h of his time, talking awayfni.lm the' r.nicroJ!llioR.e .. If this l\ap:[Dens, the sOlllna l:ilalanG:ef must make up his mind wh~ther that is: wets-e thafl having an extra mierophone to' cOhtroL

A.i:':Ivantagtes of bi-cli,re,otional m,icrOl1lhone

In taMio there is sulll mud'!. 'to be said for lisle bl"dire.e-tional mi.e-~€lph@ne which accl;5mm0(fateS up to ft'lUr sglimkc:rs (two siUing on either side 'at dlstancas @f about ~ft (0.61'11,) 0r six (three @Ius three) at a pinGn. Tille position of each speal-<er may sometimes ltIe aajusrea a lJtUe to COffirJ8Rs'ate for differences il'l volume an€! voice ~uality, S"(!J that minimal corrtrel may, b'e eX'Hrcis'eti by th:H sound .oa.iarfeer (who again slonvuld l:1e .able to sees th~ speakers).

A gloup discOssign with, say, six sf1!e'akers can b'e bal'ambed @n a C"<lrli'lj('jjd abeV·@l the oentre of the' fEjro\JP and difected dew!i1warfi!s - or hel0w, direc.le'd up, This is nGt an ideal arrange:ment because the v0JUm:e Wi II Bf;!' set for off-axis spe.ech and tile mierepnerie i.s theTefQre l'lart1cular.iy s:ensitive to noise and ~eflec.tec;i sourrd in the lime ef tfte- main axis. Another f1!Qs'sil-;Hli:t¥ ia to use an electret with a foam pad on a hardtopped table·, tJsin~J the 001.!11'1dary pressl!Jre"zone effect. In all of these C"8s'es, the acoustfe shQl,Ild be re.latiVely dead.




with six speakers WQ).rkirig to a; eardloid mi<;;rcipnone, 1. sLiSlIler.1Eiea -abovo ttil;!l1'I. or; 2, stlnli into a t-able-welL


What W de ebour f!iaet,!!jJ:f'JuniIf st?lun'f1s- fA tlhe s.'t~tifiie or on tooetion.

Background noise

MIGRGl"ldUNE POSLTION In -a g€lod micro)llhone p.ositi(')D for speech the f;lead is held welJ up and th~ sGript a lit"le to ~:Jne side. The sl?eaker shouts WOf~ to the miC!:fowhofle and not to the $Qrll'lt or dowra lowards the table, The seril"t must Rever be allowed tQ. driff between mou,:th and mic.ropl;ron;e.


~'\-. -------;:5~··

"',,"-, --__:::.__~

A;GOl.:lSTrC TABLE WITH WELL. The table top lTIas thr~e lavers. 1, -l"e:r1o-r:ate'd .steet sheet. P., Felt. ~, Wove.n ac(')usticaJi'0 transoarent GOvermg. '4, Wooe.en micropho'ne iplatfet(m, su~pel'lded at the corners by rubber. straps, 5.


IR an flatural loeations there is some norrnal I~vel of, b.ackground rioise or 'atmosphe~e·. It is §'eJ1efalfy a>ceeptallHe in f(.lms, radio' and television reporiin;g, etc., prov,i(jed that th'ere are no €)'btfl!.lsive, rnap~top6atl? or very lou€:! elements. ExamRles of tbe most im::o!lvenient types 01 noise eFU~6Unteret;l in filmin@ 'are passing aireraft er Ul'I'se,el'l trafjifg~ machinery'; hammerinlJ; 'ror peop,!le talking ilir whistling out of vision. It is' diffjQult to iillscrimina18 against these, eVe'!'! with direetidnaJ micr;f[>J'J9tiGmes; the best safegwar@ isa suitable cHoice of Jocatlon.

A~art frt(lrn sweh diffiGwltles, low le>uels of backgrQund s'OuFrGl in a l'o'Gation may help t@ estal;ilish or€onfirm the character 0.1 tAe plaGe. Whetl'H:1'r linl location or in the studiO antatmos: Of 'bwz.z:' track should tie l'ecoFdecct a;t the sa:me level and with the micrepl'lEHile in the s·ame p:osih@n as for the master sound tawes te l1'el.p the editor avoid unnatul:aIlyquiet gaps between edited r:la::;s;;19EZS.

AV@H9ING S.CRIPT NOISE :C-orflers' of script are tu rnel'l b1J'l to Fnake it easieT to lift J!lages nc;iiselessly to ens Sitli'!. Stiff paper IS used,

Studio no,ise problems

In a stu,dio, rrotreeable b.aCKg.rr'll,lfld Iil@ise has: nb rratural pl.ace-, e,~ept il'l @ play VilMere the atmos(?h\:lTe of a 'real' IOQ:atl@[iJ IS <€I be reere.atel'l, if! which cast: it IS the d·eJJ'beran~IY-GQmposed sound effect' and c€)I-taiFlly not stutiio rroise that is ref1luireiit.

VenNlator hum can sometil'Aies hie o0trusive, ~.artlcularly with quiet veiees. ([gmparatjve tests with varlQV~ volClfl~es of vlDit;;e·and with dIffeYent miQroph.(Ule· l<;lyaw1s will sh@wthe limitations of a atud!o apU!l how-to Itee-lil such noise to .<;l mifli.mul'l'l. Plainly, this (!Irablem can be mi'fJimised by wsin€l a dJ])se balance and a stroFlg veise, ID.lli~ this, in turn, IS a llrnitatlon on use I:;),@th of the natural (or designecct) aeouetlcs of thee studi0 afld of the quality of sp.eeG"h for type Iilf sjgeaker) 'that it is bein.g use~ for, Yow may rrot wisfi to have an uml"lractis..ea but natwrally q!olJet s'peaker change his wn01e stwl,e of delivery for pur-ely ·tecJoiniGal reasorrs (thotlgh Hiis would beqetter"ttian his not being heard).

~trudlJre-borne fH;)ise is aFl@ther: l'Iuis·anL.€, Some- stwdi[!)$' have oOl"lflJll!ex forms elf aOr.1strucfion IO avoid this te.g. the whole roem is floated on rubber blads). Steel"framea buildings transmtr sJjund 1'J'l.0re effieiently (I.e. worse) than Q!'der. mot'e massive· struritwres. Buflclir.1g works com be @btruS'lv8. Polite persuasion - @f payrneFlt - may oe necessary to get hamrneriflg or ether !auG noi'ses stqppecl.

OctOfos, uha[rs, fOotsteps and SOFipt's, all potel'lfia! @ffenders, are easily identIfied and ds;alt wi1h. N0ises €Jus to pe:rsomH habits Of idiesynorou;;]es may Be mere GJifficult to Sl!!ot: a persiste'nt GlAd erratiS elklt may tum out to we a retra:Gtabfe ball-point pen or a loose de nt-a I pJa1e. In raElia .such sounds are rrrere l'l@tkea@le than in real life.

Where'a rnorrophorrie "'alam:;8 is to be heard as a c-ompon€lnll: of ster.eG, diserimif1ate a\!lain'st bisek-ground sound (asw~i'II as re)Jerberatl'on) so that it dosrs f1C:lt all s'emn t0e.ome from the same peint.

~€R1PT RACK The angle of the sGrlpt pre"V;'s sound ref<l.ecti0ns fr0rYl readling tile. mkmph!i.!l'IH. The srmaker should avg~d ;:\Irtlpplng his head as he raads to ·the hiottotli of the page. The rack (a's: w.ell as "«ble slllrface) may be rrrade of acoustically transparent matedaL The slung microphone Wil'l discrIminate against tabte-borrie



Dead aeousticsfgr speech

DEAD F,H00rv.l AGOI,JSTlt . _ TREA"VMEJ'JT Wed~F~s !ill'. soft fe3maXl f'Jlasties cever sl'lhcl wal'l~, In a r0001 to hi.s used for aC.0I!1st[(:; riil'easureme,nts the floor miqht atS's be treateil similarly, with a false floor (an aeoHsticaJly transpaYe.f1t Fneslil abdve the we.G!ges.


Or::fen~a'ir s'ceAes 'Ore fre'jijIi!Emtl~ reql!JII'€I0 in s€I'un(iJ drama, but re0Glrdifl~S actually made out of-doors are' subj'eGt to. extraneous and o'ffen' unsuitabLe noise. It i&'thetTef@re necessary to simuJate epeJEl air - with i'ts charatsterlstic lack of reverberation - in the studio.

Dead acoustjcs in the studi'O

A truly c;jea~1 8eQusti0 - a's carr ee 0Qctained by the use of -alils@rbe,nt mate'rial a Y'8rd or mQre (1m) thick. - has certain adval)tag~$:

1, It pmvides the best p.ossibCe 00nl'r:as.:t to Glther aCGltlst'fc& in use, SQ rnakinfj a wiGler .~a:nge sf sound quality pm;sible.

2. Tf.JB Il'luffling €l'ftec! @f 1!he treatmen,t oaUSBS the per'f@Hr-rsr t@. 11jft and €lage \!Ioice as it really woulcll his in the ojren a'ir.

3 .. Effe€tsrecordea out-of-doors blend in easiiy.

4. Voices that are ma~e 16 appear more distant by I'lI.wirn9 them tow8ro the dead Side of the miGro[!ll'ione a@ not geneFate parasitic studk.l revefoeratlC!1n to ruin the effect.

5 .. There is more space tfian in:sige a tent of. screens.

94t there are al'5O disa0v,aIilMges:

1. A truly Gle'a'd acoustlcis ufil6ornforta@ly cla~lstr(;)phol:)ic to work in.

2. Completely (j.ead -seuna IS not so easy to balanee: the muffLed voices must etther IDe Iffted fir! whiCh case the peaks may OVflfF'fl0Quiatel. o:r allowetct to apDcear more dis:ttarft than interior sound. Alterncatjvely the level ef inl'eri0f sound !may be held mown.

3. It is n'01 so pl'easant to Ilsten to for '1oflg ri?eriods.

rAe first Oit these, is the main reason for find'il'lg ail alteF.m.ative.Qne tfiat has neen widely u'S'eCti is; a tent of screens In the deader end of the main stmdi0.

lJSE OF SCREENS D@.9qle reflefrtion 0f SOl!Jncil in a V of screens set at an acute an€lle. For any parfimular path dierce are S€l'm~ fr€!CjuenCles wliicha:r,e poml\, aDsorbeCil, but these are- (ij.1ffe~eflt for. the various p.ossilflle patns.

It there are

Wsirig screens f'O·[ drama ill'! mone

With a dOl'!ble~'V of screens fOUH(;J a bi-directienal miGl'opHone:

'1. Keep the soreens 'fairly elose to the mi010f"1hDfle, Tt.lis rE;!:striGts ffiQJV'€lmen<t a littl.e Btlt Reeps SGl[,H1:d patH~lengths between mfi,eeti@'flS short, and reverberatien low.

2. $et eaGn pair of screens tfll,'f0rm an 8cute-8R'!Illetl V. AetOFs should not

retreat fOQ tar ID<lck into this- angl~. '

3.. Kee].\l 'entrv' and 'exit' ~peeehes within the '1:1, but plaY$itteaJ1'y mcrve round towards tAe dead side 0f the micr!;>p'hon-e. Do not direct tl'ile' "'8IGBS out into tHe opelil stu('l'i@.

4. Off-miGfOph01ne !Le. distarrt) sp-e'eehes may b_e sp@kerl aerosa the angle of the V, givln§ ttle vol:ce less volurrte- but more €!:dge.

$uch tecnnjques are half~measl;lres, perhaps, but aCGeptatHe a's a convention. The rha'in thing is to set up a satisfaGt<'HiLy ,Gi'iJntr.asting ran@e of 8eQustics.

sr~AKINEi ©F'F~MIGRgPHON.E No aotQf should go hlrther tmah this, or turn further into tne screens. Tile effeot [i)f greater dlstance must be aenieveo 'i;)y a ch.mge of voice ql!l,ality, or lliy adjusting the microph0r1,e fader.



Speech satance can be ciElange(./ creatively by alte,ring the ecoastiti furnituFe sur:r;et!lnfiing speaker an'd micrOp/iioF/e.

Drama studio acoustics

Stt,ldib's with B range of-aeow.stics are still u:selil for raii:lio in c@untrias where this survives. These stuGlios have '"'wo or three sepa~ate areas with different qualitles of senmd r.einfoJ-l1)emen:t. These may be brigh· ('Uve'·), n@'fmal or dead; and, they Il'leay !tie vade€! furthe.r by tile use of heavy drapes and rnoveble screerrs. TrUly de-ad acoustjes ~ represent;irr@ :theQpern air ~ are difftclilt to simulate realisfica.if¥ within the studio.

One area ~ the deader end ef the main stwtlla ~ will, in fact, differ little, from a normal indoor acoustic, be:ing deader 'Only ay lim€lugh t@ penrrrlt normal w@rking distances of :\l€lin-4ft (0.75-1: J~m) with a bi-clire'Ctional miere'phnne; (ribbons remain satisfa€t(;)'ry fo·r rmonaphonic drarna), lihis layo{Jt gives a realistie simulati@n @fthe actual e0Naitions it is supposed to repres"ent, as does the live area (WIll'ie'h1 ~ould he al's@ :be" used for a sl'l'Iali musi:c§lH;)Up). Hut n@fe tnat a space with f.ively (,and tl'H~ref0re dominantF acoustlos h:as certain !;,uilt-in Iirnitatien's.lts s~ize may be re~fis~ te're·1iI auWbly by its dimensional resc}mances. A small~ mathro@m and a I·gr@:e haliwEilY may hav.e the same reverlberatlon times; but they aire reor:JgnisabJy dIffel"ent. 1:he Gha~a€teristjes gf the refl.ecting su-rtaces (e.g. wood panel'ling) may also. be recegnisatJ:le, and natioeal'>ly differertf from those- 0f, S'aY, a nail Ilned with marble.

The c0nfined spaee wJthin a carr can be simwlated by the· USI'l of padcled screens.

!dRAMA STUDIO $UITE This is> ~YRiC'al of the speci'aliseci StUl1110 l;aysl'lts .'

ad0I:H'ed fmr broadcast, dr-ama in ·the. cla.y.s when radio was at Its peo:k 01' P?PI1ISflt:y;. Man~ such stud"i;as"still exist (as at the SSC) and an; use~ for thei.r 0ngmal pl'lipose. The prinfll!iJles irrvodved i'n t~e laY::!l~t r,ern81n yaU,~ f~r ma~y ot~er . pl1rp@ses. The areas sh{:)wn are: 1, Malt'! aetln€! area - the Ii~e and ~,ead en!=,~ of we stu'di@C<lf! bellla.i<1ially i.solated from ea~"', ethel' [arid thell aC0usflqs modified) DY ,!d:rawin!!l 8@l'lljle euJ't:ain.s aerosa, ;;;:, 'Dead' ~00m" wit~ thick, absorbers 01'1 walls. :3 0.ontm,1 cubicle. 4, Maehine mom. In thi.s·exar.rr",le a VIft.Yfr has "'e,er! m:acle of the ':re.@l!llaCr shape 0f ti;,e: site, The non-[;)aralleJ wulls 'av·oid staodiR\lI wave l':elor-ati5n.


Actioo and narrativfr

If action is 1;9 be corrralrred w.fth narrative a separate rr'ficmphone will lJe provided, 11'1 the pa:St this has beeJ.l a r.i13ben, near a €@nfinihlg, sr refle.btln§ swrfaee, and often with i;)ass equaJis.ation for dose wlil,rking; or an ernmi· !1Iire€.tiQnaJ mier0p;l'lene used cl0'se. gette~, however, ma.y be· a cardigid o,r simiia.( rnierophorrs, Still used fairl.y ol@se: charadteristleally tne narrator shewlti appear to be closer than the <'I G'liir:Jn, arrd with 'less arcQl!Istl'c 'dress·in~'.

IdeaJly the narrater sho,uJcf be in a pa~L of the. studio that Is wel.1 BWiilY from the actlon - but if a fjlartidpant in it, it is more convenient to use a microphone dose to the maim mlcfophone, in which ease- the narraton will either neeo screens ar the mictopfione should have a Gharaeteristic.aIIV different fre,quenoy resp-onse·. As differe'nt k.inds of mlcroph0ne may faU short of the ideal of a level heqoeney response in a Variety of ways, that ·sh0ultl flat be t00 Ciinicwlt.

Ti<I.e.: layout deSeribe(;l' here is scl..litable for continuous rec;o'rding - a teehniqae that is still JDreferred oy mal"ly. But With st0!? ana start re,cordin@, the acousties Ban me rrrodified in thB'Q@7ps b.etween ta~kes.

[ 11 A
= .:::;:;:I
°1 2 3
L- ~~ r~~rn~.==~=, .. ~, .. ,.~ .. = .... '~ .... ~" .. ~

~IMPLE LP...YQUT POI'! DRAMA A simple sptcup usilil9 a hyperc·ardiC?id

miereph@n!i\, 1-, f0-f narrator. rrear th:e wil'ldow, and two ribbons In t.he 0pem stl10i.0 for tn:e al<t\jlrs, MiI!Jrl0pln0ne 2 is. 'opgn' for· !'lermal irHil00r acoustics and rniGr:0pl'h!lf'le 3 ~s e,nflJ0seci if! a ''1,eo't' ef sG~eens t@ represent QutGG0f ~ua.IilY, a less ver.s-atile layout then is pl0s£fble in'! a studie thcat has a buill-lnramgB of aC1"l'Us.~iES. but It may be '@d:eq!'la.te for loW 0U!d§:~t @r0t1uetl@l'ls wilD sfflslf Gasts, GP where th'e; I;iFoaQr.;<3st is Ijkely to bE;! meard in poor listening com1Hi8Rs.


In stereo rhe $ttJdio It;Jy(!)ut' an?i tfia stereo ima!1e may be diffel'ent iiFqm eeoh otihfir.

Sterlro drama


The aGtin!jJ <area for ste-reID €Ir<!I'FICl takes up mluQh more spaGe than that fOE ITHilnO, so If there are to be tilile and dead 'areas, a mueti laf!jJer .srudlo will me r.efll2lired. AHer'natiwely:, reeord aU the scenes whiolil t-ake place In @[]e acouetic first and then m-ove' t:ircap-€s, s0ree:ns, etc., to suggest the next, The 'deacl' acoustic is likely to be Jess saHsfact01')? thaT;) that ef a spedally designed dead area, so it may hel", if the iilcb:;)r pr@jects m<(lIr-e (Bl:Jt with low vlDluR'I'e) ah€l also if some b@sSGut is apRl'iea to the microp.h@ne output.

Again, the best rmlcr0.~hone arrangement is Hkely to me a c@i.nddent pair, ana the polar diagram may be Gr:Qsse,d figu~e-eights, sup.ef0arafiQidsor c.ardloids;. These :gIve aifferent ratIos of aire€t to indirect sound and wiU r:equi're different layouts. of the aeting area,. wflich must 8ur'i:le round 120 til,e sides - m6vern,ent .in a· stra,i,ght IiI'HI~ aeraes the sound sta§8 Will tJe simulated by an arc in the studio. In mono, a IQ'f;J@ apprID'aem c:an be sirnuJa1'!;d ,oy a slow·, strort m0~e from dead to live side of the; in stereo a reafistic move must Be [i),[.8tIilAeQ within the space availafu·le-. A simplilieast:bldio layol!Jl using sUf.1ercardi!;lids is sA0wn 0f9pesrte. The areas will be phys1cally mark'ecl out lliy tapes On the s.tu.cliQ floor, In practice, to fellow the po'lar diagram m0re al;eurately the limits will Pl!Ilge eut further at fhe cer:itre and p,!,!11 iTil r<ather more' at the stde.

I"ot intimate snenes, performers should not work tGlID !ilio:se or aAY l.ater<iJ1 [1nG\(emel'lt Will be exaggerateg - but rn any case t(;JiS may alsq [listor! the stereo effa€t if the stereo pair is fi10uMted w.11h €Jne 8apsule aEl6Ve the other,. For a taU aQtor working GJ0ser to the upper capsule; the Tr.rrage: will 'puJJ' ene Way; f@r a short aoto'~, the ether,

Very lively, 8~0ustrcs ~ay be sirnuleted byaddi g'ecno', perhaps by means of a spaeed pair- 0171 tlYe aead side @fthe warkll'J'!jJ pair ance directed towanll the de,ad errd of the studio. Alternatively,. as for mono 105ee jiJ80e 16§), the effect may hleimprovef:l .oy 'adding a second !i;'OihCident pair with the s'ame; Jil@[sr res~onse and a strOHI'} echo feed about 3-4ft (L9~1.2m) above the m-ain pair, Thf!A as performers <AGleve out, rev'ertleratlon increases, but as they move ekrse to the fiflail7l mil>r<9phone, it dimiflishes in a natura'i manner.

STAlIiiiE' F@R STEREO $P13ECH 1, If crossed sHpereardi.oicl5 are used, 'VIDiees In theae tW0 (1)osl~iol7ls, mu;ghly oppIDsite {'0 ea~fj etl1ef' fA th~ 'st~dil;), <lpp~ar t~ e0J'l"fe fr0m the l.oudspeaKers. 2, Mlllst of ttie 2IGtion takes place In thiS area, at a dllStane'e. of ab0ut il-3omfrom the micro·phomes. s, More iratimate speeeh may me- eIQs;el'.


1.6m Ol.1m


Stereo drarna pro.blems

Note that in stere-o drama there is DO dead side of tlie micmR:h@ne. Also, with a more distant balance of 'loices.,c'nannel s:ettil"lgs are higheT, and eleetronic noise from the: fRiero(lllhone itself- will be I'i.iglner. Also, unwanted' offstage noises whlch are spatia:ily sel'!'GIratedfr.@'1ifl the actQ;f wiil be more Gl'otrusive,

It may also liIe necessary to 0nesk whe~her an effect re.GQrClea in stereo has: the same meaAir'l§ wlnen heand in m00;0.

STE'I'l:E0 DRAMA IN PRA.G'rICE This laYGut em",hasises extreme side positions and allows lof'J@ approactres ffGm teft (1) and right (2). In manv slw.di@s (as heni) there may be as:-,.'mmetf,), in the acousttc treatment, tflSt0rtl~g tile S0j,J~~-stage, and rminlrnurn workinfj distance around the microphone pair. The p@sltl~ns n;aV hl6 juclged by ear and marked on rhe tlooracoordlng'lv, 3, Dral"es sereerung live slucii0 area !JeyOri'd .. 4, i'\rUl0uncsr. centred.



In teIe'1isiO/ii ana film the '!'I@urfal cr:lterfa f@r gO(!)(j spee€li baJa/ref! f{til/ apf!, but the 1i7'l.eliMoOs usetd must be v;s'y,alty ticc'e;ptable.

Microphone and picture

There are several eonventions whiei'l fliIay be, G@nsultedan the use of mict@pJhenes in vis·km. Accdrdil'lg to o fie, close !il[C'tures shoul€! have elose sO!j,nd, while a wl'de:r f,licture may have rather more open (more revers_erarlt) sound, This ean IDfien me s,atls'fied. D¥ lilaN'ing a movable mkrephone just out' of frame. But for many f)rGg rarmrnes. in the oase of a subjeet who always remains in N'ie same place le.g. in a seated discussion, or quiz) such vartations ir;]. s(l)una ql!l.'.3Jity ada little or n0thing to the effect. whlle making lighting more diffi:cuJt (roecaus€' of m!G:'H)phone shadews). Also, in Viery wide snots in'te[ligil::HJity may be reliuGecl - and 'tNe need f.€ir acl8!1jUate inte.lligioi(ity usuall:y o~erride5 the matehtng of sOL!mil to J!>icture_ For .many purl'l0S\.es it is simpler to a®cept that microphones may be plar::eQ where the earnara sees them.

Where cQIQur~.separi11'ion Qverlay (enromake:y) is used to provide a s,etting, it is the back[,lround of the com'j:1JGlsits pittture that governs the desIred acou:stie,. Even when tlhe setting is Iilhys~ooHy present~ it may soun€! different 'from how ['t looks, requiring sQA'le C0fflfl!eflsati0H.

STUDIO BOOM TRe mtcrophcne

may be rotated aAd tilt;_ed; the radial arlWl Rivoted and ext.eRtie,d, and the whole €!onytr.a£kl'lod by a s~00n6 Op1eFator.. A liTl0nito~ 01'1 t!;1iIi: studlo

1'hlJor eJr· (!Yere) !1H1 "the boom arm is use.!:l to ches:k sil!!e 'Glf frame, S8J, tha t the @J1ltimuliT'! rmicroJ;lhqne PQ!;'itiom Qffil bA;\ seleeted.

When microphones may be seen

This is tfie sulzlje€t of another convention: they s.h@,wld .I'l@t be seen in dram@tlc pr.esentatiIDns (irl.clwding sitwation I1lQm:edyJ wh~r.g they would speil fhe anemptefi:l r;ealisrh, or @et in tHe way Clf the aetiorr, but may' aRpear irl rml.Ost Qtmer pwgrammes" SlICi;J as fGi" ex"ample news, discussiQns, qujzoz:es or musieal errterteinmants, T!;,is 1-5 net 1'0 ,s'ay tfiat microf)hGlne's s.Iil(lluld be in visPen in all Of the,se, Tioleir very ubi'llluity is a j31@in't against them: there is visuat relief in .ge:tting rTd of them when 'the @pportunity allows,

A fwrther G@nvention requires that 4n'le:s$ the Fnlr:::mpliol'le is carrieGi oy orse €If tt.le perrormers., it shoul(j, not be S8(?rI to move. If it did, it w@uld be dist.ractlFlg_ Th.e breakin'!l! at- any of these €onv'entions must 08 irrtenrlonaj, and fq.r a purfDose that is Gl'e-ar'to the aW€HenC8_

[A films, inclwding televislon film,s, the same conve.ntioms 8l1lply. But here the' Use ofmiQmj3nones in visiQn naeas to 5e more f;lecause most films are sfrot in f')la€e:s where mferoplion85@r'e Jess a part of the furnitur@than they are in television stuclhj)s: s'eeing the mic:;ropliofii:e may remind the vie:wer gf the presenee @f other technical, to@ether \(\firm th€ dire€:t@r and The Gamer."a Grew. Also, in film there ma1f me gre-ater variety of picture and fa'StaF cu1lt:in@; in thes:e eircumsltanGes '3 hliC:F!Jli'hone that is er:ratre.:aIlV in and out of vision can bemOIFe intruslve.

The lise of t,.able, stoma" hand and neck hlfcrophofies 11'1 visiQn has been discussed (see pages 58-6)1), also tile use 6f gun mlGrophones (pages 52-55) ~nd the MS micropml'me (SO-Wi k 1111 1'he stuGlio tnere are otJw<j" techniql:lBs: n{l)tably the "Studio 'iiJoQliI, which serves to WISm€ iii microphone ju;st out of hame (.j:lJ3€18S 9'3-99),


MIt::ROPf-'l.oNE f]lQOM On studio plan (a.ctual size" u~in1.'l 1: 50 rrretrtc gridi:

A. ffi00m, indicat'iFi~ shortest and fully s)<)ten0ecl, length'S of arf'f.l: 1" Srrrall rnotarise'" earner-a crane, 2. PedestaJ eamera, MON. i'VIoAi:t0r. L~,_, Louds(ile;aker. M, Slung llijicrowHone t8 cover sjjleech' in a cP~ne:il' ;(;)'a'eGessible t@ the 800m when tlne aetpfS' are separated.



FrlF,-"stwdi@ woFk where the. mi£:{;oplirerre must nut bessee», I!h.e sf'ulHo Doom iSi!he mo'$'( .rmp'&:ttant nreeris of pic}<Jng up SQ(1l'}iL

Boom operation

P.\ fuoom uS'edin both film 'arilt'J t@l€1vis.ion has a typi,cal reach, raflginl'l telesc€llil.ically from '<\lbQut 7 to 1Yff (2_1J-5,2m). It can swing through 360:0 [thQugh the shap~ of the operat@r's pla'tform Q@BS not make tlilis eas¥) anillliilt to angles of 4!1iD ~J[2lwa'fdl or dQwnwcard, The rniorop!oione at the eR:d of the 'arm can B~ rotated to favour SQUAt! from one dlrectlon or dis®Arninate against another, AlJ of'thEfse movements can tie cnntrbll'ed contlrurouslv. In attaition, the' heiIJht (of, tfie peint about WhiGfl the arm piV:0tS) can bea'€ijusted over a range @1 2ft (O.~mn - in a typical case lzietW€.eA 6ft !3'if'l (1.9'Sm) aAd 9ft 5in r~.9m) - toe operBtm's platform gpjng Up and down witF1 it. It is normal pfe'C'tiee, However, to preset a working hel§lht of about 7ft (,2.1 m).

The b@om can llletracke;0 (em inflated wheels) bly' a seeQI'ld ope'rfqor dwrimg a shOl. Them me tf.uee wheels and the tloll;y is reiaaily ste:eratDle - tlqougm it i's a elurnsler obje€eto n10Ve arounfl than rt'!'QS;t s,t"J<dio !£:B fiFJ eras.· must be pJanned i'rl aei'\lSf-lIDe so :th'at :the lif'Hl) LS)f,the dolly arid its erne steBra:l:!ile wheeJ are s,un~blyali§ned.

The o[:lerat[)v stan~f:s' em the RlaJTQrm to the right of the b®Oill, with rthe nght nand holding th:e €ramk :toextenG or retract the arm (this (i;'~afl'k is near' the point of balsMel, With il:neleft hand the oJl!emtsr heJds a handle wvhi€:b is pulled [(;>und the b00}ll'to rotate the miQrophane; this arm arso €orrtrols:tbe angl8'oftbe b00m - whiGt'1 [jan ee 18ckea 'off in any p0.sltioH.

BOOM OPESRATOI!i· IN DIFR'C\JLT[~S If the 0pemt0tof a j:iQDhl p0sHIohed for in area 'A is irfune,(;iiately asked to swing to area B, he or she is IiJlin(;J to all aoti€Jn' which is ",bscureti!l;)y the waJJ, and S8 cannot Jucl@etl1€ angle and dis,tance;of the miGJ', If the 8:Qticm GO!'llinul'!s to area C" again wfth0ut rTfo\.'ement Qf"the deily, the €Jl'leratoYis sl!l,pport(ed en l.y by the boom and a toe-hold' on 'tfie platform, Bett,er pnwision IU)Lfslttheref0re be made fop G01Je,rage 0'f.B and G befone the posit10n for. A is deci.ciled.




Mlcropl'iolile pasiti'on

The rmiGf0phGFle is often a cardioid or st:I]:;>eru:ar-GliGlid fer rnono vor an MS microphone t: T stereo. The it3e'al mi0r0]3h@r:le [tllOtsiti0r:1 for rTiI€HlY ,se&:fnes is as close ta ttre ed§e of frame as I"Qsslble. F\i>f maximum sej.'Jaratig;n betv:veerl si:grlal (voiG~) aAd noise, the oJDerator It>~ihg the boom in fnJnt of eaoh in turn ana directs the mio~oph!=in.e tlDw,ard the speilker's mOIJth, During: ~ehe'aFs:a1 the @perati@f repe·atedl.:y dr0PJstliie boom lnto tlie e'd:@e of frame, cnee'kin!!l on a motili't@r what the limit is fot eaclil sho;t. The of'lerat!j)(s onierophorre is' d0ser for some shots than others, but the 'I1arlatio:nis consistent with piGtufeo: the fi!j].htet pieture is accomfJanie~ !by more intimate &0und anti the pers'[.tteetivB·s are rl'0ht. The S@tJflQ fGlr exterior sceliles has to be as el@5e as the p!ic;;ture permits; inten,or.s rfray t\Ren b.e 'aIIGw~d .a slightly loos:er Balance for b'ontr:ast', SOlmetimes Ute microRhofie 'splits' between ·two speali:e,rs: In this ease eaeh v(lIice is §liven' equal val:we ..

For talll: shows requi~ing @Feate'f fll;1.((i@ility of o:peratfon and to a'lIow 'for unrel;re:arsed wide shots, a QU'n rnlcropn(me rnev Be mounted on the boom: Its high diF8GtivFty means that it Gain be hB11ft a little further liiaek tIlan '8' 8arCiioi1!:l, but the inetti'a @1' the' Icmg interf.ere'r.1ae tube makes it clumsy to lilTl@ve ra(;litJIy fr@'m o ne @Fl§le t@ another.

61'001'1/1 CG>I/ERA'GlE of a large televis-wn drs0IOlssi@.h !e.!]!. a SCer.l8 stu.?!vI7ir:lg a b0aFB meejin!ij in a plav),



In te/ YOI!1 need good S0unii Ciover,age -(fiat ooes not get in [.he way 'Of 9&0(/ pi,!:tI!1{i:es_

Sound in the television studio

WbHi1n a bQ@Fn i-s cJ'lQsen 'OlS the_ main instrument of eoveraoe it requires preGise- co-operation De-tween its o'perator and the sound supervis0L The boom Qperator IYas J-Yeadpli0nes with p:lr@@ramme S'0lmm on orre f'lflone and d.irector's talkhloHdl: on th'e ether.

ln the talkbaek eireult to s;o~nd s;taff on the floor, the sound Sllpel'l1isqr can cverflde the director's line (in Else practice therre is a tone-pip as the superviso« euts in (lin the line) ana can Warn the operator ef chan§es f0resee:n li)fI the preV-i'ew mot:1itGlr Qlr tl;learthe @I'lerator ta '3 flew po sition at the end of a seene: the SOUJ;LO supervisor can follow a soriliJt. while the Ol)lerat0r h;-as only a €ard li5tin.g the 5(;).QtS and his or her @VV'fI notes on f.raroihgo 11'1 cases Wh,E}ra .he ape-rator camrQt- easil~ see 'a flo(llr m@flit'0T (wh~l€'h s.1i1@wld b,e' as. rare as p@ssible) the supervisor will have to Talk thE: oparator throu0n 'the feaming of the s'h@ts .. l3etter than a fl@er monit6.r, howe:ver., is fGlr eaen s@una DO@rl1 to nave a miniature f'I'l:enit@f'eiipped on to the b"(!Jom arm jwst iM front @f 'the ojserater.

If 'at a La-te stage the dlrector asks for wider s.hots tlian have been rehearsea the·re. is a risk of the Q80m Intrudin@ in vis·ion. The alternative is to allow S@:l1ma t@ swfh~T by ad@p:lting a IOQser balarrca, G0@Q sGl,lnd Giemamds €o-oper:atiion and self~djs'cij1).line all round.


The sountl cat-He i-s multic@~re(j, t_@ cany the micmphOl:ie eutput and- the var.i@US€0tl'lr;n_uniaathlJl~ cimuits. T"'e hent of tine boom pra,tl'l is a g(jled plaee from which to point aloutl~e-aKer i'nto tile set; SO this t00 may be fec!J l'5y the s-amernute_ The sound €-BGle may ge dr,@ppe€l 'fr01T1 the lightin§ @ri€i (wAe~e several mi8f@phon'e points will be a\Y-ailalDle) at a pla6e where it does not get in the way of lights or .08J'TleraS_ The cameras must me a'IDle to rrrove rHpidly from one set to another withQu~ running over SOLInG €al;Hes, and the eables should not be visil'lI'S in sh@!_

A.dditional rnicropho-oes

Micf0phones 0thE;lr than mat on the boorrt may also be used: these mao/ be. s:luflg in awkwarG:! 80me·i"S, suspended from hand-held 'frslij'o)@le'S'., hidden ifil the set or pLal'l€!s a'S ~efsQf1al micH}l3hgnes in the dothin@ of or near to actors. WFiere "c:I voioa is he-aLd on two or more miCfOpnGnes in Mf:)itlsticcession, the €Iuallty Gf iDther rrrlerophonee sh@ul·[j be matched te that on the, 0Q0m. In c@nlwlex preductions several IDOGff]S are used.

Tll:e sound team tries t8 aeeonsrrrerdete all of the' movements t.Fiat' In,€! director requ[re-s of a pe'rTormeL- gut both direGtQr and performer should be aware ef s@und pJfrafljlem,s and 5'0 GOl'lsider what may masGflabJy be acconl[lllisAed: 3J@sif'il, e@m[llrornls,e may be r-e€lui'J;'ecL




SMALL $crUDI,@ BQOM fallOUt 51t, 1.5m, i'righl tIT! Viinich 'the arm can be sWI'Hilg '<1m! the mi'crepfione angl.ed 0y @rippiR@the hanoLeat the, back of the buorn With one h_a'nm ana the body of the trip~a stand Wltm the otner; Tme 8,xteasron of tlife arm is pi~eset, but ,he wholE!' staIT!rJ can be "0I1e0 h:io-dHy't,owar,t:! or away from the action,

Fl$HF!GLE This. provides a A.ighly mobile rnierophone. bert !'i·eld urtderarrn the rqd mav Cr'QSS too low and @8t lato the pi.etuF8 of a second camera, or cal:lse a shadow .. 1'>< second position in which the operateI' balances the boom overhead is even- moire tj_~Ir;,g,

LAST f.'tESORT Short gun mil1lropHone on ha[ia-nelo camera ptcks up Icum -effeGts ln the fiela 0f vi-ew_ Por speech. tlill'& s'hould if posstble be suppl-elllente:d By a rnlerophone givirr!'l a closer balance.

CJg'htin.ganr!i 'soutrd, If) a televlsil'lT7 or- film s/,ui1io r:m~/cst be pla-nr:rea' tagel>lrie,r_

Booms and lig hting

A key li9M'" tkir~ws .a hand-e-elge-a sr..adow. If it 'foils on file boom the S'hadCJvV rrroves as the boom moves, Other lighting irtcludes th~ fill (a (liiffu'sea light fifom the to fill in the sha@oWs) ant'i rim @f ba€k li§h1'inf) that Sh'i'fl€S from above ana behind a sub;jiect 1'0 e_e_parateit 'fn;Jrm the backgF0und. T'heee 8~use less trlSlub]e withfhe- Doom.

AVl7lidi'ng DOOm shad'ow

IT the key and l:i!OQfli1 c@rne int€! the set fm:m ,a Similar angle, there is dar:l!,]ef of a shadow beiag thrown Down on to' fhe main subject. se the boom sh'Qultl enter a set frorn the op]9osite side to the key (the "wG fbrmin!\j an angle of SBl1, 90-120P). The sh'adow is tf.Jen 'tArQwn to the side of the subj-ect .. But it may still be visible in any wide 5+)0t traken from tHe same side of the set as the ke'Y' li.ght. Wlde-ar;Jgle sh@ts sh:owld there-fore be taken fmm an 8Rgle we'll away from the key Light; the camera taking them wHi be dose to ~he QQ@I1'i.

1'111 order to-allow for boom sJiadows to fall OR to fhe flo(i;lr ratHer1in.af1 a wall, It "is hiest to allew at' least 5ft (1.5m) between -any impo~tant action 8.n:d the l!.Iar:;l<:~ng (in faet, Hils mak;es back 1igHtir.J1'J, easier t@:(1). If'! aoditiGHI, the bOOfifl arrn stiit;;ll'lltl not be: taleen close to any wall or vertical feature that 16 .likely to appear in vision at hat time". Take it t00 eicse. a-nd e)"ie-n soft-fill lig11t1ng frGm a wiEle sQH[ceforms a shadow.

Shadows frorn staticc micfophenes

Sluhg miaoph·ones can al50 cause Sha00WS ~ anGi es~e(i;ial]¥ if tme,y are clase to' a wall; 011t such a shadow ('nay be €'8sier 1;@ com,;ea'l (provided that tlrle SUFfaGB is not ]j)lain arld €\'l'elilly lit)]j€Gaus~ it does net rrrove, It fo Ilows tn'at if a boom shadow is u,oEvQidaole, it may simll.arly De corrceared in some fe;ature 0f the ba:ckgroun~ proviae<1i ttiat it dees- fJlot move While im shtlrt.

Where li'§htin.g am8 SOUl>18 are at 6J8qs:, this shoulQ be disGevere(J .Iong before a prODuction reaches tile studio .. The direetCir will arbTh.ate or may lind a sO('l]utien by charlgingrhe aelimn or asking for a cliange of set l.ayoH! or ciesign. In practice" boorn-shad0w pro;I!lJems mral,? re_s.ult fr0m had planning. They a-re such a headache thateveryone rriakas au efiort:to avoid them. BUt they can arise from a S'llceessi6f1 of miJi@r ahan§f!-S and 8@mpromises whi(;:]i fi'hally snowball into a Jijigger probfem.


LIGHTING, CAMERAS AND MICROPHONE Tb,~ idelal sltuation, T~le 0jOS8-Si90t: camera ma~rne-ar.frQnh~1 ke,! lig.h~il'lg ((rom Kl. The m[Q[fi)Ii!I:l_Qrfe. shattlow is'thrIDwn 0J'l tl',1 the bawk~g 8: poJI'l~ .. A Wh,e~re. jttj~,~~ .

ap(J~ars In' Fleltt(erc J1llcture. ~ ....::::".:;;;;...~....i;;;;_"j;;;;;.,,-!f';,..,,;o&;;"""'V

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MI'G:RGPHONg The act0r lias now '\,

1l1oveCl 13rn (1'J..5tn) closer t® the !Sacking, -and tMe mierephorte, to get: good S(llund, has followed. Witll the key I,ight and long-s];)ot camera in the scam€' posifrolls lhe~e is I%)W a sha0mw Visible at B in the long shot.




to a lon'9 wall there is a of a /I

shadow altrng it (el itC! wide "Sliit'lts. If II' toe 008m is very close, alie,n s0ft~~illl

lightin§ Gasts a slaad.0w. "

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1, Gives 'a tight, mrillijl.JilL sound, cli9Griminating agaicnst aeoustlcs that may sec overJbrigl'it. but may drstort tme bajanc'e in favour of the Aearer instr,lJ'ments, 2, With a b.i-I!liri:!ctiomri r:F1,icr0phone ge,t Back 01'l a c;SiagoHal §ives>a wecll-blencled and evenly balm'lcec;! S;OUA.0 im which the ecoustles pial{ a geJi1.erol'Js part, Colmratlon due to i;iimeAsronal ~es0JilaAGe:s is mln~imis@.d bY.' havin@ th~ miCf011lhone eft centre ILRe.

€:OMPRES5IGN OF SCAL~ 0F WIDTH A s(i)urH:I source tnat might be spreairl IDver 90" or rnore in real life (lef.t) may Iile c0m'presse€! on the audiQst'ag~Hi!) 6(ilD ~'r I.ess. A€lding re",eTBe,a'tfoon rnav rmake it, seE'!,m further back,

Balance checks for music

The slmglest 'natural' balance uses the 'aG;ousfics of tlie studio. blending these with direct sound ElY the.jw:lkiows plaGin§ @fe,itlie·r a stereo pair or a sln\'jle rrrorrepttonie miE:wpI'i0ne. Ad0ition'al mier@pliloJ'les are 'ad,ded only to r'ermetiy faults of internal e:a.lar:lee, to cope witl'i pifficulties in the iilGoustiGS or to tJringfC21rward inmv'iQual instnJments, voices cr groups (~articularly so I ofstsl which are felt t@ require a fli@her pro!,>QrtiID.m ef direct to indirect SOlHl!;!. Cha~aQteri.stica.IIY'1"hiS type €If Balance is used flil'r classical mus'l&.

The alternative is ele8tr€>ni~ or rrtultl-mlcrepttene balanoe. Each Irrstrument er srnatl :grmup has its imJ;ji'V'idwaJ m-ic;;TGJItI'iOf1€, Many of the ins;trl!Jments ane acoustlcallv separated frorneech other, and the studio is' dead, 56 that little of the refleGted s0undfrdm one lnstrumerrt is pick'ed up e n the .rniCi'0ph@nes set fer the: QtJaers:, The rnicrofllhQlne's own f,re:Ejuency resJ'}'0ns:e tGgett;Jgr wiflfl equalisat>iotil (Le,rilteringl 81'ld dynamic 6@iT;1- pre·ssfoh - all forms of distortion - are Li§ed as positive elements of t'he finisllei1l sGund. Aniflcj:al re\i'eroeratior\ is, adde"€! indivhdually to eacH chartrrel, Thiis tYP18 ef balance Is gener,ally llIseCi:l f0r pg,P mwsit;,

Thre drfferenees between these twe" approadTl€s are at their greatest wh'en tne're is a large rr8r'nlt:fer of i'nstrl\lmen1i.s. FQf smaller growps. imfll single instrUlf'fle,nts, the 'tecnn,ilijwes ",verlap: here the elilara0t€fisties 01' indivisuali1'l\stljurnel'lt~ dID.nclinate the chQ?i.ce of balance', In the follGwing pages the techniques tor musk balance are consraered first fl1H the' fu.11 0rehestta, lhen lnstrwnent by Instrl!lm"en:t!, building WJSl to sJ,lccessiVely lar!':rer ccmbitratlerrs or microphones,.

Cheeks for musiC' balance

in music .0alam:e (of all types) listen for:

1. Wante~ dire!')'!! S0ll1ntl, i.e. sound ~adia;t1.l'rg from part of the ins;trumer;ft wheFe th€! viqratil'l!jJ eLement is. G'!il\,J[!lled t&1 the air. It sheutd ~ompri~e a full ran'ge of tones' frr:>m bass to treBle', inclulIlfng Ii~rrnonics. plus any transtenrs which help tID €har'ac1Jeris'e anm define the inslrumerrt, f'F0f each irH,lividwal instrum~ellt or gn3wp, tl'iese onrnponents .should all be in the same perspe8tiv€c'

)2, Unwanted direct sourtds: e,g, !i'ammer (aGtion) noises 6'1'1 l<.eyD0Brd instruments, ped,,!;1 operation rroises: !'lianG-stool s~ueaks, fl00rthuITll'ls, p'age turns. etc:"

3. Wanted indirect sound: reverberatiorr. In mqno thLs should Be rloh, but sh@tlld not obseure direct sotln-d. In stereo there tan be a little more than in I1n0nO, as it is spreCcild acn11SS the entirre audi0 fielGL If SQ deslFeGi, ~ifferent irrslrllmeAts may me in djff.erent persl'le&tive·s,

4. Unwanted indirect sound: severe l£Qloration,

5. Unwanted e)(t~am~~Diws n0i'ses,

til. Stereo I'ay@u:t: adeGJua:re pLa6:il1l!'j and. spreaQ, a:Il'0wing for any cornpressioR ef trre sc<;!I'e of widttL



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A ,r.II!'CJsi£ swefJe ma.y neve matur:ally' live aGol)sr7os; if it is dead they 'may be e.nhaneed.

"Live' anti "dead' music studios


A. sc-.qt:tere.d ar0;}l.AGi the wails·; B. at Jigl'ltlFil!!J grid Qf gantry level. C. The 0roh:~stra below, Tlre l~u8Speakel's (0-4) feed delayed sound back inta a s1'utliE) wh'ieh WQwh;:I R~ilFlnaUy bE!: 1.QI1I (feat;! fer tf;je;.acQwstie' balance €If musil>, TAe 0al-ance.r treats the result as a n!!);rl'l1al live musie shu,lio. but keei~s tris or he!' mit,;r'Qph€l.Res well away fr01l'i im€livici!;Jal lo.l!ldsFreak~,rs_

In B rrrustc balance Ys-iHg normal live, aCQHstics we af!~ repr@dl,;l©ng the ohamc:terlstks @f tITe stwdiu just as mUBh q~ ~,hose crf the p'layers. With a s'fl'ing'el1l Inatrurnerrt we hear the sourrd as modified by the so,wnding board, The studIO fs a further 'stage in this same pl':oC'ess: it is the sounding b0aro t@ the wHGte orctrestra ant\! its sn'i;fpe and size give cf.ia'~a(')tef to the A1l.!1s1c. But wMgr.eas the character-s of ·aJJLns'trum.emts of @AY particular type conform to a Gammon i'iJe'al, those ef niusi:(;; studi os amer widely.

A studib that rs too !:ive requires. a rtlarww,. close balanee. In a studiQ that is liie,a@er than the ideal, a wider (esRonse is employed. or the mierophone·1;s plac'ea af a greater distano'e from the source, M@st nf)tfsiG LS balan(~e0 in s.tereo. Ste-ceo ('}wMest;t..a1 lEialanc'es ere SM0wn GIn th~ foliowiliY§ pages .

.Air humicjity'tY'_affeets .ClG0uStics, There is I.Isually Ilttlle atten uatidln In air below 2000Hz. I3wt 'B"t 8000Hz, air at !!.iQ% relatIve I'IClmidit"y' has an ai9smpti'On @"T 0.028 Rer foot" t'eswlting In a loss IOf 30dB at 100ft (30m) (or rather less if the air is very d?,lmp). fn ver.v dry ail', hOWS\:l8r, absorption is greater stiJI and extends down to I€lwer harmenics (40@Hz:) as well. l"eiiorma:rK~es in the aarrre f;jall an sUGces'sive davs rna)£ s@und very drffe,rent; and close-balaneed sound in a dead studio will have differenf instrumental glJality as wen as diffe'rent aCQU5'ti!;)S.

ACQbJ'S'fICAL e:&JNTffiOL $¥$1'(51\11 (ACe) gignal f~om mr'cropho:ne.s aOQve'the peITermeFS is tecl t9" a Bomplecx d:i'@ifal s'{stem whic:fl mixes, clelays and feeds the recombined s'ig.nals to loudspeakers [mere than shown here) artrund tlite hall. Feedbad,~: hetween 10ucls~~a,kers -and micr0,Rhon~ is ke"pt as ·10W as l'lI!JssiJDI'e. The aim is to simulate. the, soundfield of a g@oa musts S:tU€li0, [·rut WIth variable reverberatlon time.

EnhanCing llhe aeou-sties of tbe dead studio

An a·ssern'liily hall, or a gener';:I'I-l'>ur~e television Of film studio is the dead studio on tfre gran,d sGale: its size :may, be similaT t@ ttiat of a Iive music sf mio or €Qln.oert hall, but if it' is to oe klSedfor !'lur.p0ses other than music it IS mueh I1llg~e dead. T'ypi€ally it has a ~everbef'8tign time of a.7seG' as agajnst, say, tme 1.Sse€: I3r more r-equhed Tor music. SkJen a studio would liIe unpl'easafltfor or€hestral mtJsieiansfojdlayin and may a'ffem the internal balance ·of the musie, because the JDla'lers can no lon§er evalu.ate: their own e9P1trf.bl4ti0n lDy ear,

ha such a stu cliO the acoustics may be enhanced. ln a. rfietl1o€l saliM am5iophony. the souna wa'sDlcked up 6n micwph€)[les I))-Bft {1.8-2,4mJ from '<ne S0l!1ree, aela:yeCl, and fed baek throlll~h 10",.u~lsl,re,qke~s en :Ese walls and Il'ghting gr;i!i.l ®ihe studio to simu~ate reHeeted sourrds, In a variation on this> el'ecrrcmi,c feedback Ras been !!Ised,

In a third, more recent systemi feedl3aGl{ is ClM01dettl: an arr8¥ of microphones over 1ihe musicial'ls Teetls the- s'i§nal via CGlmplcex digital mix-a tld!!.Ielay eireults t@ a stri,liIg of IO,I,JQspeakers arourrd the haiL. l'hiS recreates a field which sounds su.rprlsingJy like a good musical 'a8@ustie, liJut wHicH can DB chan!!)ed at th--e t0uGh of a .switGn.

All these enhanGea a8oustr8sdrcl~i-ts are kept c0mpl:etely separate from ~h0S.e usetl fCi)orany re.cGre'iing or b roa(ilea$'t.

· ... KCOUSTIC HOL06Rfo:pHv' In this e1<smple, tlae origin'll walls, 1. Garry sweect-! r.apidly to the back of the f;anshaped C!wditodum, se that pE:l0ple at rtt:le tear €an'i;md.ividl;lal speech Syllable'S de,arlV, "2" 1€I'eal music au€litIDriurm .s'imulatee roy the a:(l;Qustioal €ontr.£;ll syster:rL

3, Simul.ate€l seund path using thr.e.e' <!if the m'any 16uospeaRers lining the walls at· sides and rear,






3 i!.

3. 2

3 Q 3

2 1



o 3

2 3

Stereo orchestral balance

Here we' b:e.gin with a live concert-ball 'CIOIDustjG (whether 1:'1 atuna I or eriharrced) in which we eanoaHmee the orchestra usr-ng a Goin!Si,dent P>air.

The mail'! pair may be (!,:r'ossed Gard1Qiiils or similar an'Gl will be eentraJly placed alilave and bebind the cond~.GtQr at a distance that ;:5 €Iesigned mainly to Gover the ful:[ wieJtfl. In 0' studio performam;e, the lay@ut of players rFliay be, rearral'l§etl to fit the pJQlar response: tnis may entail pul:ling the fQrward s~Gti0l'ls cl€lser FOUnt!i the sides.

To 'Clad (and sepa-rateiV cantrall reveriber.atiql'l, 'fuFthe,r microJD,AiGl'lesal'e set, aAm for this tliere are several ",gssig,ilitles. ®ne is to plaue a secqnd coin€ident'll'aif on the median line But set bad" in t9 the hall and diFe~te<!J away from the ordleslr03. Another eml$ll@¥s a spaced pail' l'll'fintiP1'9 Bask al@ng the sides of the fiall, In both cases, the two components (i)f the revE;lrt)eration ffiwst be 'St€M~re(jj te tI'lerr CQrrect sides, as some direct aJ'1d short-p~tti reverberatioer will r.eac::l1. them_ 1fliies.e tJal.ances have also o'een used to feed the four channels of !:l.,ueacira.phc;miG ~@und,

AmilthBr tw@-channel la¥Gutemph:rys tWG coiflcTdent pairs dire0te:d forward. The rear> pai'r is sette figure-eigHt res'p0ns'es witll the elements a-ngleti to just c@l1er the fu II wi stM of the@rcliestra: this pair will give a strong account of the acoustics .. TRe forwarfJ pair' has broad p01ar ~esponseS'and is set fairly: el,05e, again c0verin£llhe full Width so that all s,emions of the orchestra f@ughly, 00il1CiGt:e., Tne output is cornbirted to give more or lesS' reverberatlon78s reC1[:!Jired, Ol1to handle ex·trerne chan.ges of volume_ The e,xM'a pair also p.roviCle:s redundanc;y in oase gf fauJts @f fuilur;e du,riJl1g a live transmission .. .All 0f these balances give suffiGiemt t;:o:l'Itrol to allow fQr ehanges rfl tne. aC0ustics w:lhiGh OC0U.r wilen .an aUdience -arrives foY a performance vvhieh h'as Izleefl rehearsed in the e;mpty hall,

OR~£HESTRAl BALANCE IN STEREO 1 and 2, "Fw0 stereo l'Iair.s witb different ['l0lar di:agnams> but @iving the same sta:g.e width te the erchestra, 3. MifFOph.0ne 1 is oouble SURerGardieicl!; rniomphGne 2 is dout)l.e €artiieid: a m}xtllif8 of tlt~ two can Be used to Gontr.el and 'ohange re:\ferhie~a~ion where there 1:~ such a wise (lynan;rili: r,amge thai 'a §reat deal of volume' o0mpressi0.f.l is' n>ece.ssary.


STEREO QR'Cl'lESTRAL LAYQt)TS 1, With a space!!! pair to '~in down'fihe conners oftRe orchestra (e~§. har[1l '(;)1'1 left and basses PI'! right). 2, Witm 'a sRatmd palrr used tOlnBFI;:ase reverberaticn. This layout ,ca',1'l be req(ifil;y ,a,iilal'lted fGf u's.e in fQu,rchamnel stereo .. ·

'Sp0tting' microp,hones

Mono mior@fiJ,ho'nes are offen airlded, FOor at concert, hall. where O'fche'stl'03I la),ocut is €IililtBted by the slilape (i)f 1:ht'! stage, i~ rna" he,lp to place rnicr of')hone,s near rheouter €cO;fn\1!fS t@ b~in@ t:hes'€! f@rw03rd in lhe stere'Q' image. $imilar 'spotting' rnierophones placed des€' ~@iRs·trumen'ts er ;;eGtions: (Ji)8ii'tie.ularii)' wG@dwind) c~h be faded up just enough to add p.resel]tts -as requir9JU; t!hese rnttst be pa'l'lned to their f;lf@per places in ttle stereo irnag'9,

Th~se pTine.ip;ies fGr the use of a coin,oid_ent palr can alsa be agptied !lID small grQops, with the proVisiGfl that the width may be con1ialJed fO be less rh>an that; of11'te full audio stage. Ini':!'ivil1.ll!lal Instrumen~s 0ther tll,an the piana are, however, rnore easily balanced anm are usu'ally controltsd using morro miGroph.@nes.

Where spotting rnicrephorras are mush cleserthao the main sr,ereo Plair, their signal should in principle be dela;yed .by an amount eGlkJiv.alen't to the difference in distarrce - 'typil;lally, by. aJ;)owt 1 G--16ffisec.

t a

i e


REVEF.IBERATION IN STE.REO GlHCHISS,TML LAYOUTS 1,. A secnnd 0oindcter;rt pai~ with reversed ouraut usetd to 00mlrol reverberetion separ-ately: can also be used fer-tour-ehal'llnel sti;eJ'Bl'\. 2, Wr.:eng: 'A forward-faej'Jj.@ spa.'Qei;! pair set I:laek Int0 the' Iii.all may give false' inf0,~fI1,atjon from the Brass, which, djre€t~d 'it0warcls the microl'lhone on the epposite side, may stJf:ldeml;y appear to be il'1 the wrong place,



Alterf'la~ives ti:!J caineideel'll pairs.

S'paGed microphones for orchestra

The sim:w,lest rnulti-rnicroprrcrne eaJanmi1 still uses a egjncident pair, but with reinforcement €If lRe forward left arrd rl§li;]t c'€lrmeors; and prQbably alslD t6e wOlDdwihd Clnd SUGh other ·se!':tipns--a.5 requir;e additiQnal J!lFeSenG8_ If all sectiens have their own m-iorophones, the main pair can be moved back to p'ick; up rmore f"e,;"erbe'ratI0n" @r atternatlvel¥ this can ue aElge€! via echo feeds frol'n the·il'uIli'Jidual €I'lannels 0r thermrx:ed signal.

The argwment in favour of u~sing a colncldent pail' is that it avoids ",:hase cancell.ation,but it 80&S distQ·ii the s·haf?>e of the au(jfiQl sta-ge, at the forward Gerr'H'}TS;. $o'me balarrcsrs prefer to use sJ!l.a«:;em tl~ic;rop:hofles thfOUl\J];]out, ert the g.roundsfhat :this givlils gKeate,r Gl2!ntr.ol of posltid'nal information ana internal ba.lance. They potrtt out that wnen addr:tj0n·al microfllhones are used fgr indivicilUlal lristrwtnents we ttl0 not n,ear S.I-J@S1lantial phase distortten (becal!lse this occurrs ·gnly Where Gutl9ut is picked up on two miG:ropnones at !;:omJ')araI;JJe Il8vlills), so aurelv spaee:d mkriDjilngnes- can be kJ'setl for the whole balance ..

Tlre "Sim",~esit b>alanee €In a [:lose sp.a®e€l pair was, newever, fo.wno to have a illis-aavantage.: tlile regi.01:;) at'ttme- centre 0fthefron~., int>lu6.lil'l@ the:

JeC!di~rs of the string sections, was more di_.pt8fJt. This 'Hol£-in-the-ll'liddle' may be GOI'Nilcted D¥ -an additrtmal cehtral mieropnonefmhl whioh the out]iltlt is .divideill equally :to the tWG ste-rem chanlil:els. A s.p.la0ee paire8r.(, I'l.oweve.f, still be used whem set back aJ;l0ve and behind 1!i'le po,nduetor's hecaEi. TWQ emnldlrectional micfopti'ones on a bar 16tn (40cm) 'ap>art g·jves a ri~ch'i spaelGlhls sound, Their axes are eRgle-a sligHtly ol.lltwaras tQ al!.gw for hig.h-fre"lue.nGY relnffD,r.(}ememt normal t@ the €Iia(llhrcagm. The faders rnust Jjgloc~ed rigidly to@e:ther, as an)" s.light difference ir.l level will. swing the 1'<'I:yout to erre SIde. Greater control is olDtained if the 'spm;;e-I;1'8'P' is corn bi ned: with a €Ioser. curtain of l'fiici'0pIlGmes.

5<PACEGi P>Allil: WOLE IN 1:hlE !'"UDDLE 'Left. For sufujects- along the centre llme tne apl"areAt disrance imITl the .front of, ttre audio stage is [Ireat:er than for subjects in line wrtlh thg micro(!lhOliles-; and the 1'1:Jrt:h'er forwarql fhe subject is, the more pn;)n0uncee tile ht;; I e.. Plight. T);,e; intr0duGti01'l 01' a tiMt.fd microptrone in tAe cefltrB mueh -ro Gur.·E:\ this.


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4 MICROpHoNE TF-Ua" - OR nUMMV i"IEAD 1.-3, A spaced pal.r of onmloii'ecti0'hal mic"rop'liIones, with a thlrd to fill i.o the middle, has been Ids-em for many years

by one .{:;Qlllf'lal'l¥~ AtternativeLy, 4, a dl:Jfi~my head la:yout, with ormnidir"ecti'i:milI microph;ones 0111 ~t:th-e[ side 0f <I dise. Mas been favoured for

1't5 sj!laeed /eJfee.t - b_wt tl1e space-bar (10, he/owl ma:y be J!lref"l;

A 'curt-arn' of micro'phones

In -a further shift 't@wards a multimi.€rO:phone, spaeed baiance, we Gao use a curtain or mi'cr.0,p'hone·S' aJc;mg the froRt. If these are all Glmnlt1l[reGltiGH~·al .rniG~opmones, rhts will add rsruch more revel'b~ratiQI'l than if tt~ey we're OireGtional. It will, however, €Ihze a poor aGGou.fot of tlie centre-rear, which will sObln(( dispro!'!@rtionate'ly distant. This may not matter for mostbrass ~nl;j jgercusslon, b\,lt the Wl%lt;lwinm and horns (at least) will r€Qj(:)irE! rrricrophones. The I.lIse of QmR idireetitrnal naicr0ph@.nes for the main tralanoe >3voias any po·sslBilhy of oancellation by out'-of-l'1h.ase lobes ef adj"cac€lJflt microphClfles.

I~ the spaces fnl€.ropA(9l'le b-alam€;e truly r.iQh(;!r just nauddy? D@B'S the 8ofn,ciGlent pair sound clean. or eQuid it be called 'dinieal? Plainl:y it ts a matter of taste ~ and vi\'Jom"Us dehate.

Where sf'lGlTIin-g mienllphol1esare much Gltu;.er than the main s:t.ereo pai r;, th€i r sigHa I flilay be delayed. Eiy an afflQlIn1! 8'€IcU!waJent to ;[Ae di·fferemGe il'1 lifistaflce. Typj,0'ally, this may b'e an~ulJd iO-16r;F1see.





Baiarw,e· fer; a wi&eJy 'Sf!Jread sound: source.

Pipe organ

The pipe o~gan, n"'e Hie on;;hest!ra~ mas a lar0e numoer of IndIvidual sound sources. llIuteach can be treatecl as a sin@le c0mp@site instrument, and as such they,have similar problems. Be.1h l1ave a ver'Y wioe range 0"f frequency arid vQlume arrd 50 demanCl a lii'gh-quaJit;y m1crop.hone.

The Glrg,an, too, is spread iii space, -so the micr(l)ph0rie - or rrrioroghofles ~ must be placed so that the interrsal IDa-lance' is not -unduly distorted. But this need not be taken to extremes: AD member of an .autlien0e r.>'Ould be eq.wiGi.istant from all of the individwal sources

A:g·ain likEl thg QrGhestrai its sQundi,ng board is HiEf liaU itself, s@ tli"'Bt the rhain problem af tniotQphonE! pl'aGi'Mg is to balanee aired whh reflecteCl seund. But this ma¥ be I11Qre acute in the case of the o~r§ali1, as I11SIJ¥ are ~lJiltintQ1.i're.vas:t storre vaults of oothegrats or €hureHes with reverberafldn times OT 3--@sec, where it may really help to rrave aCDustiG treatment In the form 'of an <lIJCiience. They, too, can be treated as part of theinstrurnsmt: their mrrnbar an1iiJ plaeing can so-metlmes' be <arranged with tne balance in "nina. A r.eeQrdjrlg that is t® be i~sus1:l CH1'ta!4e or i).tis'G would @e rrrarred t3y CQugHit(g, but for a broadeast peEiormanee a live audleAcH is @@od.

i1.Jsfori'eally, beth orChestfe -and Qr!iJan nave been fashioned by th~ v':"ery rrature of the su~roumjifl0s ir:l which tfl.ey are Irks,ly to be heartt but differ in that the GOI'nbil'lafion of orgam and the dominant eharacteri,sitics of Its aC0us1:ic envin;>nment is "fi~'ed, unlike tfte orcnestFa, which can be vari(?d in layout and siZe<; <ant::! even ph:ysic-ally mQved ~ LQ the fim;I,1 resort t@ another hall.

A furthe.r possi"'le difference is that the- aeoustlcs sUHoUl'lcling the organ m-ay be mare sulJ'je,ct to eehoas, In these circumstancesthe aCQl1§ttc e;ffects of the absenee of an audience and even of the hwmid_ity 01' dryne'sS'uf the air is mows rtoticeable trran in tile 'concert hall.

In searcliing tor a s'aJisfactor.y rnlcreptrone pasi:tien loRe balancer n.eeos nut only teehFfical sklll Dwt al'so an attitude of rrrlrtd, Test for ways, rrot of bea.ting: the acoustics, but 'Of making them work fer you as e:ffectivedy, a's possible.






HEAD'PHQI'llli:5 Neither the; orehesrrat conductor, left, nor er-~anist, dgfit, isil!leaJl'Y'l'llace€l. The, C'0nduat0 r is tIDe e10s8, and the. 0:fganist. may be in am awkward corner. or owt of Ilm~ of sigloJ~ p1f S01i1Ul of the sectrons o,f, pipes. Whe.n tb~y al'e proclul':ing sQuncl specif1ca:llyfor 1;l;]e mjcro~h!i)Cne. headph~ne-s may ~QSSLbly help thetn to modify tHeir !,)erT@rm.ance fer the bette~'

Organ witb orcbe.Stra

Wl:ie:re a pipB-'erga'R is, mea:rd with omhestra, a ceineident-pair balance can make its stereo ima~e too narsowr additi,0nal microphones may b'e required to giv.e serne s-epal'atiQf1 tQ tHe various voices. OR the o.ther hand, in some laYQuts It can sound far tlllQ Dros-d: tile sound should always bh;md rather than .l;le completely 0ro~el'1 up into o@vieu-s settior.Js_ In this ease, a ~olncideFlt pair may help to G@unter' excessive width.



~LQgE BA:L;iS.NCEfODH THREE DE~KS Qj;: VIOLINS l'he rnicF@pf;iol11e- is above

an1!l 8 UntIe beJ1rncJ the, fi· desk. FOf Very clean separati0r' lfietween violins ami other in'strllrnerits i~ may be rrecessarv -to vvo"R Gieser-, with 11 separate mier6pndne Tor e8en aesR, but this fDmaU~es. a verv stron§ Iilgh fre'C!!uenc:y resj;Jonse' whiGh =~="= must fhen l5e eor'ractad.

EXTREMEk¥ClOSE BALANC~ IN ROP MYSI£ The plaVer nas f:!'mcirdep'1he rnicrophElne s.tar:tel With hi~ bowi.f.lg arm. A di[ecbienal mic.roj1Jh€)l'le is ffl0,t st<],b}ect to mucl'i !'lass t~p-uP. as the lowe:st freque,i'tcy present is '8 wea:k , HI6If1z., In f.8'et, a filter at 2"2I))F.I", H.a,y tie t1sed tlll dfscnminate ag,ai'nst Flois;e 8rfm rurrible frorri other sources.

Willi stringelff ins-trl!lm'6Mts we relate, rne micrep'heme fa tHe,soundlng board, nat to llhe sIdngs

The string family: the violin

\(IGUN BALANOE 1, Low freCluef16,y nadlation. 2. Hi§h frellluenqies, 3, Move_ alom@! IfHs <;IrE ter rrrore or less fli@lh fre!!luevll::ies", 4,. Meve &loser for clarity: more' distant, tOf' !'Jreate~ bl1:!I"!djng,

Vibratih'9 ~trmgsElo net radi:ate>S€lul'ltol dfreetly: thejl slice thr-01U§fl the a'ir w1tfi,Qut moving it much. Tliey are oouple,d through. a bridge to 'a wooden j:!l8neJ - a F8sonator or sGl!ln6:fing boara - wl'ii'ti:1i radiate·s tne sOliocl.,

The Fear panel of tme irregularl)l shaped aQX tl~at ccmstitates the resonator of instrUl'fle'nts of the violln family is' shieldeGi a"H.~j s-ometimes also r.LampeQ by contact with the bod\{ of the performer; and the sides of thl$ be!( are £ai,r-Iy stiff. nte ti.ig,h-frequent:y ratfiati,[Cjn is tl'ieret@re emitted most s>treng;Jy neanly at FigleR angles te the frorrt panel, a little @ff-aX'is towards, the c strLng, Only the lower freguel'leles, whos'~ waveleflgth is tGml'Ja~aIoHe tG tfh3 size of trie Qoay ef The, inSTn!lment, are- radiated in a'nythin'g appmachiflg an omFliclireG.tional pattern, and eve.n -for these the more dir.ectional Ujjl,!;)el' h'arlil'lo·niC$ are impertant.

Mierophone positiaFl

Tkle ~lJdIetrlce dlDe's ,"0t normally sit im tl'le' line ef 1!hi's streng'est highfrequenGY raaiatiun: from the violin,. it travels uwward: and Qutward over thelr heads to resorrate in 'the beay of the naJJ ifself:, al'l;d to sotted'l :and blenEl with the sourrd of tts fellows and with bther instrum.ents, "Ihe 9,ound ofa solo violin ~ in(>lu£fiAg much of the origi.filal harshl1ess, squeak arrd scrape ttJal, even a good' p>1a.¥e~ ernits - is: sl,Ibstanti'ally m.@djflem l.:iefarr6! it is he:ard I.:iy an au ate-nce.

In p08(tlonil'l'9 a' micli'0ph0ne fer the viCl'lin, 'the s0,ul71d balancer may prefei' tl~e extra briHianpe' sf a 1;)'1gh, q!OS'1i! balal'tce - ·t"'oug,h not usually less than 2ft (1 m) - butfhis is not how the Violin is SYIClp:oseul to sound. A!n 8Xt'remeJy £Iose balance WGuid be used o'f'lIy for <J spe,ci'al effect er within a pep-rrruaic c"0nventioJ'l.

For a concert violin b<l,la~ce 1;he mi'!;:mphol'le is set well aw.ay from the tnstrurrremt an'd usuall'Y off rts line of ma""imum high-frequency radiation, lEx-perime,tlts wrth balan€e GaR IDe made bIY the usuat teellnique Qf di reGt cornpartson tests, 1getween tw.o (or more) similar miOf'0plitol' set in trial positiOI7lS, itrhe. bette·r balaAl-;g being retaineq and tFiB Qtt.l_er chanped fer further GompariS0n tests. F0r stereo, a mono microphorfs is, used for direet SGUlfla, enGi spreaa reve'rIDeratiGn 15'<atl:des,

MicrapJl0ne frequency respOICIse'

line I@wes! stri ri~ of a "'ioli nis G, of wh1cli tHefu ndarrrerrtal at 196Hz is weak be'Il:Oicuse tl1re body or the instrl!Jme'mt is telO small to r'Sdlate this effiCientlY (.cllth0ugh t\1e overterres are stmn~:Jl. V:ery higlel fre(;)ue.l'l.eies< (s'a'')I, ali.iove 1 (1) OClOHz) are also nat so trnportant. So a microwhone shou Id have a smG@'th r.espense ('nier this ("ange, arH'j iC2leally it shOkJld flave a '9lightly greBter r;-an€le tham the lmstnrrnent, but rf it is very muct.i '@~eater it aJso Rit;ks up unwanted sound either fmm orner. instruments of,simply a'S noise, A nbbQh miGropflOne can be satIsfactory Tor strings .. In a dose.. balan.ce, the e.xoessiV'e high-'freGjuency response must ,be Gt;)rrecteGi,



Baja/we to' other strililged in~'tl'uments ead small groups.

Violin, viola,' cello, ba'Ss

Violas cam we tr.'eated in the same way as> vielins, e-xcept tnat in a very el,ose balarrea on a directional microf).lhoi1e (.e.9 .. vv.hen llSff0 as a novehy inStrumen~ in perpu].ar, music) there i·~' bass til!l-u~ tRa! requires eorreetion.

The larger instruments are progressively snore Gfnnit:.fireGt1onal in their patterns €If radiation, but stiJl have iii f.orwar([j-ra€l.i-ating 1@_0_€l of uppermiddle frequencY8omponent.s. For deeper-tone:d body fr0.m a m:ass of st~ingeQ lrtstrurnerrts. a s,[aeway~s oalanga IS S'atisfaotor:y:; fIJr riehness olf rorre a p0sition closer llQ the m!1ls is_ r8fjuirea. Fer a gr0up in wniGh all Q.f 1he striA~are pre-sent tlile .mir;;r-Q:phane positlrrn is largely cOliHrliNo"necl IDY violin balance, alth@w'!:1lH the mrcrophone should be aole to 'see' all ofthe instrrur.l1enil:s: With the 'Gena in the se·cbrHJ f0W of a string €Il:1artet the body 0f tAe illst'rurnent s>heuld Rot I;:;e s~hielded fH)n;J the microphone. Usten to each instrum.e.ot in turn as though it were a setoist. Aim t@ rr;ortlIDine €Iarity and brllllanee @1 i'ntHvidua.1 ifrstrurflents with a resbn,a:m, welJ-t!jlenteled son@rity f@r the @rou[;) as a whole.

In a iiainly close batanee fOF a 'Gella or lc!oa'$s the micror'lf.\@ne is in fro"r!; iDf th~e b'o.dy of the instrument, perhaps sH1gl\tly f'a.vOl:Hing the upper strinigs:. For the 'cello the respense of the mlcrbph-Qfie shoufd be Sl!.ilJstanti'aliy levef tQ below 100Hz at. the werkfn-Ill €Iistanee - or e_q_ualisem tor this - and lower stili for the nasa. In -an orcbestral ba'i<mee, masses ll'Iay freeQ an ati€iiti@nal e1m;e rrliCPol'lligne, set at atJot:Jt 3ft (1 rn) from tHe frGl'lt (,tesK.

SiffltlNlE QUARTET Typi€al rriorio liialanee for the twovlelirrs, Vi@la and 'oe]l@ on ~. sin§le microphone whicln for th'is fre€l'l,Ieney ~a,nge rnav be a I;)i-ciire-Gtion-al rililbon. l'he rich upper harrtromies of the 'cell@ I,ack'tn-e ha·rshfless of tho.Se' of tile "iolin, so. the rnieroJ'lhone should be in 1ihe 'Cello's ra![iiau-ng 10De.


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The douHle bass in F''r music

When the 00wbiB bass is use€! in tfle rhythm .sectien' of a jazz, dance, moveltv or pop mueie IllrDUP, a ver.y close balance discflminates ag'ains't ottlJer instrume'nts of the group. Be- aware til at tlie muscie stand may act as a fefl'8ctGlr, The foli@wing postttons are all possIble:

1. A oardtold, s.uperc3rdioid or- fi,gur.e-e'ight- mier.e'f<jliene set 3 few inemes

in 'front of tl5'e bridge and lo@kimg <.down at tne- strings,

Z. A similar microphone near the f-hole by t_he upper slrings;,

3. An efectret suspende.a frern the 0ridge.

4. A contact micropJi<lGn'e near the brlQge.

!ii. E:Xcepfioiially, an eJ:eetreJr wraJ!lpe.d in foam aad sus!'>ended b:y its Cable inside the upP'er if-hole.

Balance nurnben orre, pr@0al::il1y' the best, piok'-S the percussiveattaGk quality as th,e string is plucked, anct the r'81:'[o attbis·t@ the body'nCe can Mslly be contr0l'leo. BalQn~e number fi\;le §ives rrtaxirnurn separation, but a tie,avy hanging qwality whieh has to be held to a I€lwer level when it is mIxed wIth the· other instruments_

Some s,up'ereardioids have '8 respon;:;e whiletJ taUs away in the bass, so that correction for cl@se worKing fs aUtcimatic, bur other c10se direetiorial micropho-nes r:equire 10IN-frequency el!jualisatign,

XlI QWARTET IN S;J;lHlEQ Left, Tj;je qlJ'<Iirte.t usos emly ~ tbifrd of the audlo stage, but re'l:erJ;jef'l3tlol'l fills 'the wHole widt;h .. Rigflt, T!lie qlfarte'D o.crnupies tme wnole of the space ljetweel'l ttte- L®urdsp.8_akers. Here the ~everbefati@ll must tie_ h1!w im 0fdi_er t@ avotd the players ali'pearing gr0s5: suet! reverbeuatlon as ther::e r~ appeans frlilm 5ehiRd them.

OBCtrESTBAL lPI:YOUT The most eermmon I·a-yout for the strTrrgs of an Q)rchestra is ba.sed 00 current ideas on irrterrral balance. Tine seeond violins ('il2J were formerly >at the front of the orchestra 01'1 the fight - but radiated their 111'911- frequeAe¥ soumd away from the audierroa, Here-, the "ceilos and basses have more !;>oay and RfeSe!!lC8. IS; fuf'ther JDossibili1!.y is to have-the 'G811.os be'hlrrd the viotas;



The concert grand piano

The radiation pattern from the sourtdboard of a piano allows thEil l;)"alaneer cmntrol oVer the prop'@fti'lVns of treble and bass. The tiass is strange,st jf the 1'l'lieraphe:fne ii-> placed at a tight-angle ~Q Ule length of the p1eanb; and fr0rn:J this sqrme pos·ition the extreme to[;) is cI~arest if Hre aX'is 0;1: the micreph0ne is directetllowards the t0P end of tne soundboard.

Frern tttis 130sitio," we may imagine an are exterfding from top to fail of the pianeD.· As the miorophene is' rFI0Vee aloi9g. thts a:re, tHe bass is pnJgressivel¥ rec!:Lucecl until it reilches a rnirrirnunvat tbe tail. I"Q,(, 'ilery p<Dwerl'ul cont!.:eft piallQS this tail (1)ositjen may be ;:ne best, but with a 'slight disadvanta@e in tfl'at with redueea volume thete is als(') a l(;)ss of clefiniti~JI'I in the bas's. For rntrst purposes; a point 'So mewh ere in the middle of tl1is arc is likely to give a gooa IJ-alancfi. 1,il'lis is a good starrting Pl0intfl.'ir €ompariSQn tests. For stereo a G(')inciClerit pair rnav be use.(I, or a s@'aced pair at two points al01'l9 tme arc 'an€l~ bre:acler sp ... eaCl of reverberatien may I:;)e acideel.



Microphone placing

Tl'le t~e'jght o,f Hie miem!1.I'IMone should allow it to '58,e' lhe s1'tiri~s (Qr ratner, the, greater [Daft ef the soundboard), which me'ans :that ti;le further away it is, the higher ft slioillid be. However, if this is inmmven1ent, ether bal·aoces a're Jilo'Ssibl,e; for exampl,e, by refle€il:iofl from the lid, as in the balamee WlTliGA an Bufli!;!:l'l:€e bears at a CO Iflcei1:. Fer the very lowest tone.s·, the pattern of radiation trorn 'the sQull'dtiGiard 1!~nds to be orFIl'lidirectiGH1:al: but for the rtliddle ariel tippeT reg i.$te r, ;:mi;:l tne higher harmonics in l'lartiEuiar, the lid 'ensures elartty or sew-nct.

In twantleth-cerrurrv classleat rrrusie the piano is: s@meJill'le's uses as a p>ereu'$si0n instrument. In thie case, It is' set well oack ln ihe orchestra, ahem. with the lid removed. lJni'ess perc'ussi:bn transients: need 10 be enhaf'l8.ed, no miGT@:I"1A@ne is flBcessary for the Pliano, eveR WA'en otlier sections o+ the orchestra are. picked out,

PIAN€) B:4tLANCE The filest balartce for a grand piano is usually 16 be fewnd s0,mewhere <l1011g the arc frorn the ~op strif1!']s to tbe tajL A close b,alamce gfl1es grea;ter ela~ity; -a' distant balance -!'Jives b~eF blendifl!;l. Of the 1'l0sitlons sm@wl'1: 1, Glftsn g.ives ageoa balance, 2, Discrirnirrares against the R0wedul l;l<fSS of cerfaih cID'fleeM piarm~. 3, Bieks l'Jp' strong Gri'~m bass (·a mix ef 2 ami 3 oaR be very effective) .. 4, CJ0se balance for ll'Ii;)<;ing int€! Iifllilti-mterol'[In'IDne dance; b:and IDalan'Ges (witb piaao lid off arrd mier€?i3hene p0intin~l OIDloMn towarcd upper stFil'lgs-).

5., Discriminates against piane. fQr pianistisin!,].er. 6, (a.ngled down l0Warasl'lianist) as 5.7, Qne of. a variety .o'f other positiOns wt.lic.Ft are also p0sslole. 8', W0m€ert balance '.seein_g'the stITi[lgs. 9, By refleEtiel'1 trom lid. 10, Illy reflection frIDmflo~r: re;mem.fueJ' that llli"":!!1!'JhG!n:es set for otfuer instr,ul'l'lE!im~s- 1'Ii1'il)/ inadvertently picK I!.Ip the pial'lID like this ..

Action noise

The closer YOll get to an open !Di·ano, the more.apparent BITe the trartsiesrts ass@ci"a:ted with strike tone; at ttieir strong'est and clcsest tmev rnav De difficult to {')ontrof without reClllcing the Q'v:er.all level Of risking moment'ary disi@rtion GIn rt:in'e peaks, A.ct1.on noise- - tl:ie tiny Glick and thud as the K:80YS 'are lifted and fall bac.k - may '0150 be au€iible, a:filG in balance tests this and1:ne noises from pedal aetiori, et~ .. , sheuld be listened tor.

The 'fretf.Juericy range ef a pratf'o is sl>iG'n tlla1:., f0r mono, a rlltrbon micro~h.Qne has given satisfactory Goverage: tl'Ye 1;j,I-clir-e·etlQnal response gives fine control oJ the ratio ef dLre€t te indirect seune. FiG-wever" beeaU$e Gil' its 51;>:!:!', the pranG often benefits trqrrJ stereo cOXleragt;, eve,o. wnen part of a larger §rotJji!. Exeep.t for \H~pf clese ba1ances, a co,incldenf palr may be used.

PIANO AND SOLOIST ON ON!i MICRdpI10NE I';lalanr;e for the piCll;}O first~ and itMen balanlDe'the -soloise txr the same mj6r.ol'lI1Qne .. The pjaml;} fJd rn-:ay I::ii'jlve to 0e set in its lower- I1l0'Si'tjer:L Pm' sfeF~m, a r;;oil'lcide!;lt !!lair is tJ'se.e.



Clese pierro bcalaf'lces f(fJI use in f!l@f!i~/lar music.

The piano as rhythm

A I'mytRFll gmuj9 GQ,f1siS'ts of piaflQ, bass and Qfum.s,. each l1reifl§ b·alal'1(~ed s.ewar-ately. The piano lid is removed, and a directional microphone suspended over the· top strll1!'lS - perhaps as Glo'se as mn (15€m). A carWIllid or su~ercafl2ijl.ThiGl. will usually b,e pfef€~red B"U.t, suq'lriSiR.§jIy:, e:vena lDi-dLrectlonal ribbQI'I mJr:rowl;JQR8Can be m;e_d, 0,8€,&u,se the basstiJ'}-ull at this dfstance adl-lally helps to rebalance the sound. The position (!)hosen will mep:enli1 orl1ihe meJEHtiic @tmterlt of the music: one crite~rioPJ is that the noteS'played should all sou Rd in tbe same perspec.ti-ve. Listen fer dlst0rtion (particularly 0[,"1 percussive tFansientl') due fa overli<:)adir.lg. A memo balance i's often wsed T(9r direot sound even in stereo.

GLGSE< PIANO BALANfi:E DiJre€tional niicto~h!D'n'e suspended over tile top. stfmgs - but not td€l close ttl the action.

Ol(l!s'e balance

ror a percussive effecttbe ml~ropl'ione could b@ sju-ng f-airiy close to the hEmmers .. If 8GtiCln m!lise is bbtrwsiVe, us'e- directional respDnse t® discriminate against it. A s.eG.GRd mk'rIDf')hGne may be adde.m over the mass st!rin~s; can have its own sel',l'a~ate equallsation and echo. Another possiBility {in wlliel:i. 8G"tion rtolse oan be (')'omp,letely avoidetl) is laplace @n'e or tw@ micropMones a few ir;fcl1es ab®ve holes In the trame .. The €jualit'Y@f se:un:d from jrtdi'.ZiduaJt.u;5les can me sampled by ear. It has been knewn for;c1 baffle - perhaas a pi'eee ef ha.l'cibGlard - 'to be fastened t@ -rtf.€): upper side of a rHjbQn micrognone in Qrder to further emp'fHl"sise am;! harden trre higher frequenc.ies and transients.

Upright p:ia-)Jes

Lift the lio. and try the m'icrophone S'omewt'iere Qn Yci line di-agdnally up fr0flTi1 the fD~anlsl's ri~lht sh0l!llder - .a !!lo,ad batar.H')e €ah §iener;aJly be found in this pcsitlorr. But rememberiR§ that it is the SQUj;Jd:b.!l)a1rd that is r-adtat1n,g, ari alternativ-e is 'to move 'the piano well away from any waU anti stand the mi€rophorfe €In ast€):eJ or oe" at the laaek (f,@r a CI@5B b;;rlaReel, or l1Iiag€lnq:lly up from the' sQul'ldb@ars (h!H a more distant CD:ne.). At ,he back, the sou nd will have 1!J@dy but will lack ~e(cussive ttansiehts.

AI.ternaf!ively, lint tW@ very €Iose miefop>hones, wl"th one for the bas'S clamped to the ff8me at the' top of G2 ar:l,o the 0ther S0i'fli,ewflere oetween ahe and two octavesaeGl'I.l€" mi1Q12He C. ExpefLment f0r the best PQsilion. Where separation is a problem, "try ~ Eontact mj1(~rophone for the baas, Use equal1sati0n to emphasise n.T. pen;:ussive tratlsOients anti perhaps' alse till ad€l weight to the Gass.

ODe of arrangeme'l'lts may also be suitable fo~ a 'jan§J.e-q!1JK, a piano which has leaves of mefal 0etween hammer and strings (to give a tinr.lY strike actlol'l) and im which the tw0 or th-re.e strings f0r each note of tOE;!' mit'-lo[e Clliltl top are slightly out ef tune wii'h each (j},th'er.

PIANG HOLES $@I'fle pifllilOS brave· hel:es like this in the irClf:l frame, arrd th.eir carl be used fef a pop rrnrstc balance. 'A [lil.ic~!',lJ'lhQne 2 or 311'1 (5-7cl11) 0,ve( 1'i01e: 2 plre.bably ghre:s the, bestoverall balanee, but thes:e on elt!;,eF s.ide ma)y also be u"S.e€l, 'as also can mixtures of the soQnltl at ·hCille 1 ....,im 4, 5 or 6.


'UPRIGhiT PIANO 11'0sitiem 1, rniorophone above ami behind i'l,iariist's rr~h:t shm:ilder_ Positien 2., to rig!;,t of pianist below Ke:ybesrd. Position a, at fear of s0~nl1lb0·afd.



Pia-filO ,and "a/gist. .. giar:l(j} and sirfger ... tWCl/ Riati1{!)s.

More piano balances

The pi.ana is intrinsic-ally very rT),I:wh more powertu.1 than the Murnan V~H0e, so i;t is part of an aecorripaniets je'm tt<> see that a sin.ger tor any sol'!Di5t) lS, not swampem by tms llIiana s£Iwif.ld.

Balance 00 a sLogle microptrone 0, oeincident mair can ~ften haA,dls this 3i'lequately - simply loy -a1!.l,Ju,sting tile relative dfstance oe'hween tl:m second peiiQrrne'r an€! the m.icr0Ji)ho:n€. F@r a con.cert given bef&re an audience til,s SQI0,Lst san st"an.d il'l the CUfV'e .01' tllle ,piano, fa'ein§ outwan;l: this has the piano and sololst on the same axis of the mit),Fophone, But in this p@'sitien ttie S0ldistb-ahnGlt s'se anC':l reaGt to ouees from "the pianist. In a st:udi@ perforrnance it m~ay be better for :the 'tvv@ players to fue on oppjos.ite sides of a lJi-m'irectiQn,al mieropM.ene.

Two miorophones

A balance LJSiAg tw·€) mieorophonesglves the b.alaneer se~arate scrrtrol of the two souroesc their relati\;-.e lev~ls €an be adjl1ste.dJ7lre:dsely w:itl5l€lut repeatea requ"8sts to the n>JlJsician,s or rnovemerrts of the micropl:ipne. 1n ¢arryinID @utthe fualance tests" first get Ci !)Juod balance eftlre -solois1 anti theA f:ade i.1l the second miGr-oJi.lhone until it I:!irir.tgs the J!I-iano iPlt@ th'e same perspectrve. This minimum setting wilL off~n be guile loud eFlougJh.

A peJ"'fermer wh.o is Singing or talking at tile pi.an0 needs a dose mi{;;I'opAefle for il!Fle w@i€e. A superGardioid l"IiliG:mpti1:me with its di:m(;j siCle foward the piano often piG:k!s UIfJ ~uite enouqh vQlume f~Qm the I rrstrurrrerst for OIri ae6om;paniment. This requires '8 micropl1one with smooth polar anC!J f~equeneyG:hara€teristics. Withol:lt tnat, the sound quality will l;)e better If a 5e90lilB microphorre ean be u'seg f@rtltie piano,. It may be worth cofnparirtq this wiih an o.lder :tYpe of oalance-: a ribbten a1' about 20in (§0€.m) wifll its dead 8i11e towards the piano sourrdboard.

Tw@ pianoe rna'),' be balan€ed on one or two microj!)nories in a vari:ety of wavs, depemding ID,n the studio layout' and the ef the players (see opposite).

Ba,'Cking tr.a:ck

A teChnl~ue that is sometimes useclin 1il9j1l-music re.l1Jordingis to make a l1JaG,iQin0 traek. The aec0mf21animent is pre-recHrded am1i l'he sing'ers (or ®:tl;ier pei"ibl'mers) fisten Qn heaQpbenes to replay. addin:g their Gontrlbution as tMe co:mbined sourrd is'r.e-rec@Tde.G1. This teehnlque can .O-e used to objain speeial effeets: tor examp'le, to combine very ,loud and very soft sownds· or wnere the replay 01 the pre-reeordlnq is to be at a different spe,ed. Note the:!! a~l-Fh~ial reverberetion should oe aoded to any speededup sound. if it is to 1'1'l8tch tAe !uiginal.


r I

f.!IANO AND £OLQI5T ON l'W0 MICRGPHONE$ - I 1., Covers o0tn instrL;Jments and pl0ViCle;s the studiEl reveroer.ation. ~, Adds presence to the s!)loist's sound: .here a bl."Hr,ee1liblilal rni(:r0phenE'f lias its deaili 'Si"a8 tG the piano. s, Fm stet;e~, a e;~liiGidefift !pair is used together wI6h mtGn:JJ!1hone. 2. fQr presence on -sololst,

I?l:t>INfiI AND SOLOIST - II IX. saeond vei'Slon 6f'tWo-l11Ii'croph'0ne la'Y0ut. l'fe,re N'ie pial'list arrd sul(!)ist ean see eath other well.

TWO PIA.:NQS - I MONO H.ere a s:in!_;lte rni'crop1'ione is used, giVIng an adeq:uat.e· if not perfe'Gt balane.e. The !lliayers can see €lad'i other's faees.

TW0 PI.AN0S. - II Balal'1ce is rnri a Single mci·c.x0phane ar ster80 p.air, 1, or ihdtvial!lal mic1'ophones, 2 and 3. The Il'la'tBrs Gaft sEffi eae;n other's liamjils.

~.1a 3


?'he ,ftIriflOipleS alrealJ:y deseribep csm he ~?'tended to ether siliiNged lnstrurrreras.



More ,strings and keyboards

The ela.ssi!:;,al guHar r-adiates s'Qldnd i(i) mUG'_h th'e saliNe way as'tf'le mi't,I.Qle l'l'I.ernbe~s of tJme violln familv, so a mi(1;rophone forward of and above th~ player achieves a reasonable balance. NQises arising frorn the firrgerin!;l - rapid Slide-s alon!:) the striin§s and S0 @n - are ch.m;l.cterlstl€ gf the instrument at'lt)' Reed !'Iocr be elimil'lated entirely, \Jut in a more distant fualanc.e tliey are less pronounced. For the ele0toric gu"itar see PS!lI8S 66 and HQ-l,

The f(\)l[( gui-rar., ban]o a",d ukulele 'are all used as aCI!)@ml'l?lniment to llh~ pl.ayer'~ own ,sing.jng" In tbese cases the first -step is -to balarrce the voice: offen. with little adjustment. this wHI giv.e aaeqkleate eovet8§e: of tile instrument as'wen. If all adiilitiQn:a:l 'I'I1i:crol'lh@l'le is. required It rnay be :[fllaee'd erthe,r dose to the @ody oftne lnetrurnent (if] which vase the sarne stand may be used). or further back to §iv'e a 50JTw'what more 0Lsta'(1t €Qver-ageto inC.lude tloth sin§er a'ntl Irtstrurnerrt,

QtliHM instvuments (l)f the sarne gefileral elass are the vi@l. lute, etE,; the ;mar-p; arrd al'sQ the balalaika <me the mandolin. The mandolin often benefits Trom aa(,-jeei perspect1ve;' in a grm,Jp of ins-truments its penetrating tlilne an€! G!'Ontlml@us SQufli1l overla)y' the Fever0:er'atiof] and make' it seem rrrore f'0rwan;l tt<l8nil atliualJy is.


HARI" Th:esGlJndb'(i}x is cradled by the player. Parts of the acti6A - tne for selactingtine key of the. iWsyu,mel'lt - are at the foot, f'. A balance from miQrof!)hol'm j!Jositi@n 1 mi'J"es adequate c_overame frorn a distartoe, IjjtJt for G·loser work the tess ob.viotJ~ p(;)sitiG'1'I 2·, amove and sifghtl:y belli Ad the f!'la:yer's head, may be a€lopted . In i3 ver;yel'€!se ba!oI'UlE! !e,ll, when the harp is' used as a l)(we1ty instrument it,- a IIgl1it;.,r;n-wsi€ 9F@UR) the Ti1~ICfel"h0~ne ('T'lay be dlractad toward the SOI-JnrnI!i0XC; 3,

Qfther k&vboard ilistrunTents

For a el@se balance @n ke¥.t;).o.ard instrurreerrts SIJ(fi0 as tt.le Marpsichord. d-aviG@lrm or virginals, first identify tl>!e sound board (@f b0X) 81'1:d balance the micf0ph@flf! to Urat,'G,rin~inating. wic1Brt;!- neGe;ss'ary,a:gajns~ mechanical noise. In a wi' er balance' tHat Inell'.lde'S' other instruments the har-ps.icnord may be 180 loue anGl I)l.i:metratit'lg. Its positl@n sh@ul·cl be 8n:@se·n ;S0 that if necessary a Gllrec;ti@nal .microphorre88(;J be <!i:lgJed to m@ld the other lnstrumente, while disGrimin;ating a little agait:lsl tj'le harp., sfehord. The eeleste presents the of"JJ!-I0"Sit.e- pr@blem: it is rather quiet, alild wnless the rnusieis written to f.aV€JLUf this, an a(jj'ditj,onal cIQsemicr'0pf.1i01'18 rrrav be ~equired t(9 rejnf0ro.e. it's s@une.

A €IQod stattin,@ point for ally unknown instrument is to put 1:1 mi:cToph0rie aoove the (2Iosit10n of trre 8l'Jdiente In the ae@lJsucs for whi,(1;h the lnstrumen! is de'si!llned (sIDrtre ETe rlesi,gned for 1!he 0!-')el'l air) and then empl,oy the usual G,;:rar.ison test!;", F{)r a clos-sr balance sitar! from first prlnci[,'lles, wotking to tha sound radiator, avoidin'g harsh a~ial -S0UraGS wf\iGh the a.udle·r1ee wouJd net liea~ and disoriminati(;l(g a',ga;lflst instruslve aeti@Fl noise.

Pi'ana 'o.ecaltuon

In a close hal.anGe the pi'atf@ accordlrrn may re.\!Ioire two mi,cr@pl1e,,,,es, orre directed ti!lw-ards ttle tr.eble (tt.:ie kBryboard end) and tne otber to tbe bass. 1'0 allow £rrea~ter mobUitry, stand m7efophone,s may be replacea by electrets c;jn flexible g@()senecks that are atnui::hed te the instrument itself.




Far waQdwIAd, with fing,ered er keyed MI9I'es, the bel! radiates relatively little 0f tlie sound - ami very much less than in tlie brass .. W00Clw1nd sound is ernitted.larg,e,ly throwgh the firSl1 few @JJl~ noles'. It fIDllGWS that unless we fleed to 9.0 very close we have. cOI'I·sid'erable <fireed@f'Iil of position is' b.aLanoing woodwind: a b1ic[oplione placed. sqmewMere In front of and above the players :snould prove s'atlsfaBttlty.'_I"Gl'r a speeial effect in FlOP mwsl'Gc, an atitlitio'FIaJ mfGf(1)~horie €8fl be Gli~ped '1'0 the bell €!f, say, a q;Ja ri.n~t_

Distance the transients that are pnDabl€ed by the inItial excitation of th-Ii) SQUAd by, edge 1'Bl'le ar reed. ~hese tt<ansients are chal'acterisu'c gf i I'Istrumental qua J:ity, and. their e;;><i:a'"Qgerati0m in a €Iose balarrce is flO great disadvantage - with the e~0epti~'n, pernaps, of the fl ute aeid p~€c010 wl1Lcli can sound like win a instruments with a venge,ance at ci0se I!juarters. BHt in balam;iHQ these, the playef?'s nJead can be Hses t@ siliel(l the >mlcrl!lphl'Hle from the edt~le t.,me.

'E~Lectric' version:? of some wina instn:.tl1'l.ents' bave been pr6ducedby fixing a transducer to 'the Ijottly ef the lnstrurrrent. An 'eIEretrie~ fillite. !!las ,IDeem used fOF 'l't:le sl'r1@@;tn, mellow il:0ne of the 'Pink Panther' therl'ie.


WOG0WlNlJ Left: Or8hestra l.ay0b1t. F, Flare, 1", Piceolo. 0, Oboe. C, Glarif'let.

S', Bass{:fon. If the main <;irchEJcstra,1 m.iCr.op'h0f'le is set fIDr.a p,l0se balance. an aCiditfonal rllicrophone may 0e r.eqwired, 1:l1i's ean be .t;ii-@ireotim'l,al, !)I.oiht'ing down at about 45~, with it·s dEUrd side t0ward ·tlle irrstruments in fi;ol'1t. Altemarh:tely, s!'!t twosuper(;;la[QiolBs aDOllt Sit [1 m) \!l,P fr0m the- '~l\!ltes and oqoes. Right; Flute. Placing the mrCf0pnQnff behind the player's heatil sliieldS: it·from the: win'dy ed0_e terre from the mouth hule,

• •

Saxophone characteristics

W€H9Q.wino in papular musil~ - particularly ifl a Q'ane8 0'1' show baml - often takres' the f0r;rn of a s8'Xapn@l'I:8 s:e€Hon. (N'ote that the definiRg chatacfe.fistic of 'w00dwind' ~ tAEl' method ef playln;!jJ :and nert, d~spite tre name, tn,e material of the 'instrl2lment.) Up to five sax0phones rna,!, oe emfJlroyedl,. some ·oftne players iloubJjng orr 0l-.atinet, flute 0r even vi@lin_

On a stage these W01,UIJi be laid \1',ut iJ'l a HAre @r arc with a mi\1Of0,pho.A€ to each desk of ptayen,', with an additional roni.orophol'le for Cloy solotst, In fhestudio this mi'!ilHt l)feCOme a tight s'emi-cirGlerOl'lilda ilIewnwardafl@led cardf@it::J_ An al~el'Rative is to .group them three and two m'fl eitl\tfilf side afa mmtral bi-dirceeti'@rJal mkmwhQne. A ribbon has a suitable freg'uency response, but its live angles profect horlzan1'aHy and sa are in manger 0'1' pie:l<ilng ul'l QPsn studio reverberatl@rJ ana the sguna gf other ins,trurl'Ients - partteularlv fr@1'll the brass. A. pair of dewnward-arrqled supercaedio I'd micl'aJ,')hal'l€s a1if.(j)iei!s th is, and atso pilCks up more .racliati:on from the bell.

1'0 eXaQ!'lerate tlie d'iaracterist;l'c quality of the w@.o€lwinain a popular lfAusic balartce, ami tv allow its '}Yre:s.enGe' te be he,ard throld.1ll1iJ other instruments, rnidlift may be employed. A. Il?~~ark of 5~8d6, centred on 25'OO~3QO:eHz, isintre·!!!uced electro·nicalJiy.

WOQQW1ND IN DAWCe BAND (3AKQPI'IQI"JES] FiVE? sax@t;>i1lQr.les§Pouped for

a 'GIGse baHH:]I;:e amunC:! a e;entr~l'l mlem1'lhof'le .. ' a bi'-direetion""al m.iecf@pJiTol'le s'et at the h:eiW:ht> of the beUs: 0f the in·s;trl!lrnel'lts. Riglit: C, Two supemardloHj miGrophollesset al5o\"e bell lev;el an'i:l an€lJ~d 4!§O d~wRwaTd'~_ This reciUJleS picbup from outsiae :tNe woo11wit11:1 'a,rea_ S. S{?lo mi,w!),I".fiol'i'e t@o~ pJlayer d'iill!fl1Jl'lng on a second i'nstrurnent.

l?0.l'l" MLJSl~ WO©nWlNQ Centre: '1[le,G<tri8' fl.l!.lte, dis8rimina1!ing strongly ag:ai'f'l§i breath noise and Jilr>6du0ing.a distlnoti.vely p<'l:P3 tome .. Left: 'Eleotric' penny whistl.e. RifJt.1t: G:"tarinet with ~W0 microphones, in'cll'J'Cllinog rn:i[;).ia~ure grG}@sener,;k f&r the hielL



The main ebanacterisbics (;J·t brase ene poWer at7d ax/iM hig!? frequenCies ..


In a brass> irestrurnerrt the bell em]"ts '1'he maim st~eafn of. t.ii"gh harmonics, bqt the auaiene.a wJlI ne'l usually h\18f these 0i rectlv unless the musi(lJ speGiallv requjres ,that tfwmpets at tromoones are direGteiii tow<trd them_ M(:jst of the time thes'eihstrwments are angled Clown tciward the ffi<l!.Islt staFIGls or fl4Dor. The tUBa is dimGtem uJi}"war<il to the P@G1:f, and the h0Fn baekw8nl away from the audience. Orchestra! horns bartefit tram the acoustic relnfot€ement uy reflec.fing screens 1!.hat are set b'ehind them. A gQ0(j balance hears' the s'ound ffiuGh as the audience does - with a. mircr0P1h~ime forward of the brass ar1dMo1: to@ In 'the orchestr.a, with the br-ass set OaGk and mfsea Debind the woodWinCl, tHis is uSloIaHy aCGompli$hed s'atjs:factori~y en the main mieT@liIllone.

Sportting rnicropftones may, h,oweveF, be required for an Ufi1usl!'a1 reaSQI'I: to inerease (';IFesenee en a secfh;:H;] that. bEl'CClUSe it! is t(i.lD loud, may be held back Of disoriminated against in the main balance, 5"0 making it appeal' rather distant. U'se drelay te n'f.syncJil'onize a'1iI¥ signal from a Gl:oser'lQ.1il8.

For a solo in popular music, a mjnjat1.'.Ir!~ gooseneck. may ID8 cliRped to the bell, with tHe rtrIef0phmtfe Gal,llsule off-axis.

The balancer should milt rely an rehear;sal leveJs. '@T 'hig fuanld' brass players Ae or-she does l'Iot know, but sbrould allow for:' as rnueh as a 10c;lB rise. in voturne on the 'take'. Fainnre to d@ thfs could preclude an ad'e'quate work]f:'ftl nal'l,geGHl the faders, and fae)'e the 1:ia.lan€8'r w1th new an,€! urureliI.earsed Jiln;Jblems 01' separatiQn.

A close balarrce on trumpets and trombones is eas'ier to Control if the r;Jlayers are IiIrepared 1.a CQ~aper.ate. bv leanin!!) in tothe m1crophone in the muted [Dassag,es" al'l0 stttfn@ baci'1 for louder passages,.

For the ti'elmbones the CllDpmpr"i.ateheigrht fer .a mi,cropliol'le confliets with that of the mush;: sta"f)ds:. the leaaer of the s8!Dtion can be oortsulted on whetl'1er the mi€;rophoFleo slli.!;)uld be abo\t€! or' below the stends .. !""(i)r a close oalance, one mlcrophorre l.1e:l'ween two will suffice.

In popular musk, !Jfass is am)ther group that may, benefit tram midUfi samewhete in the region Glf6000-~OQ0Hz. TrUmpet f@rmants are at 80GUt 1 -l.SkPlz: and 2-3kHz; trormo@ne f.Q rm-ants arce at ab'Qtlt half those ..

Sl"ass bai'Jd

A brass OJ' mlljtary band maVDB la1'd out either in an arc €If along three sides of a hQllowsquarec. with the comets 8r,.d trombones: 1iacin:g€l.ali:;h other at the sides anti the deeRte'r-tonedinstrl!Jments at the back Balance can oe aehieveaon a sin@le miaroplione or stereo coinl"li'deNt paTr plaGea a. rittle way baek fram tne band arrd @tithe Centre line (If the studio. A(Ojr:lii~i@Flai mierophones may be placetil to add preserrce to :;lGlqists BAd also ela~if.y tlii'e torte of the bass tubas.



QRGHE$TRAL LAY0UT GF BR;L\-$,$ H, The horns nE1B8 a r-ej'lec.tlng surfaee t;ieh'ind them. 1"" The trumpets need to b.e raIsed high e1'leugh t@ see ever tAe heads (!l·f the Wo(!)~win€l. 1'21 The tremi:>0nes, at ai:Jrnut the same le~·el.

;fRI.:JMPET WITH GtJOSENE€,K MICRo'PHONEAI'l electret with a oardiold respens€ ea n be dllDpedfo the' t'j!llrn mf a brass iti1s:~rvmeli1t fer !;)@pular rrursie balances.

~ .. __ iIiI'l» ~Ci:Jt~~




BRASS .IB-AND Possible lay0u~ 'and liilicro1'lhones. 1, Main microphone; c-ardioiel. IS, Cornets. S·, Sopranos jrlpien'fj. The rear tanl< is set0n a f(j)·strufn R asthev tend tC:l" play downward into the backs of the line in Trent'; thereh>:y losing ee:i<loin€l figures. So, Solo corrret playing to microphone ~. T, Tr0fnlDonEis ... P, PerolJssibJ1. E, iEuph£lFliums: sotoisf eorries forward ita play to miGropnone 3', which p0irlts d0wnwilrd to separate the musician hom othar instrutments of similar soune quality. Euphom4'ums ami bassmnas, ST, radjj-ate direetly upward: on the main mier0p'.I'i@ne me quality sounds wOdl'l;y unless the~e is' a g_-ood reflecting sl!I'rface above them. If, not, use rnicrqpJtrone 4 abeve the bass tubas, This can be a ribben; the otliers, c@.ndensBfs,

All (!JmlilBst1'al section th';it really needs hiyh-pedof'ma.FlQe micrapnenes - altlfiJ ate fflGst li:e.r:mandiNg part of a 'f,JO,/il fJFUUf!J.

Percussion, drums

It: is ffils depa rtrnent more 'than any othG!r t'l1at €lema n€ls aaj;jil'l equipment with a fwll freql2lem:y range anG:! a r.eally: gOG€! ttaf<u;,(ent ~e,sp~or:1se. Tl'le bass dnwA'l prot;:luee;s high ac@u;stiC' PQw.€r at ,low frequencies, while the triang .. le, oymoals, gong and snare arum all radiate str@ngly in tile e*'treme hf@h trequeneies, i.e. in the (,'lctave aJjQve 10 (lQQHz ralth01u§h 15 QO{)·IT{~ is

a reasoJilableo limit fGr hroadcas:ting). .

As the mliqro.phQne m€Jves closer tg the percussion. it becomes necessary to €heck: tl:l.8 balarrce. of each element in turn as It is I,fsed, ,a(€lCHng flJlrtner mierophones as reql!liretL A. vibraphome m,ay l'eflu1re .a 01IDse fll1Iicr.ophone beneath the hra~s, anglecl tQw:a.nds th€ Q.l'Jen tmps ef the tirbutar ,,(?sQ1natB,fs.

At the back €If an orchestra, per€l!lssiOJi i'S uSlcJally ~et UID on rostl'a.

These nee,Q tQ be su[ialy blllilt, 01' r'einfQf0€!,d, in e n;j,!'}r tmavoiGi jS01@rat.i@n.

TYPICAl DRUM K.IT fm dance band or iJ@,i!' @r0Up .. 1, Bass .€IHIIin. 2, Qym!;Jals,

3, Tom-toms.. 4, SrJ8r>e drum, 5, Hl-hat, @, M'[l!lfl!lpn,0_fles WIth goe{j hlgh4reliju8'f.l(;1! fesRonse used in two-n~iGropl,)oneo balan-ce. 7, A9li1.iti@flal mi'br@J'lmorae (rnevin'9~ ,l:lll'iI) fer more l<le,~GlJss·ive baas drum effem hl·seoif'l S·Qme P@12 rnuslo]. Ftuther rnier0j;1li0nes may include two a'lll@ve far tIT8'cVrn,l;ials: and G'!i'.erall stereo. The' sonata i!I.rblm ma')! 0Bmefit frorn midHft:: at 2.S00HIl"plus additi@nal bass and extreme ·toJil~

Balam:e for ~oppereOssjon

In pepul-ar musio, FJercussion Sh'0WS itself mainly in the f0nm rM the €I:rwm kit: this inelu€les snare !i:lrourn, 19ass drum (operated by a ro@t-pedal), fi:yr.naats, hi-hilt (aroot-IDp)€fateGi dO!:lble eymeall. and tGm-torns; (fi1edJumsized drums).

In the' simplest \3alan€e fmt these;; iI siRgie m.i~rbphQHe ~€Iints down at the srrare Girum .. gut any; attempt to rrrcve in for a ellll's'e' balaJil€8 fr(;,)m the same angJe increases the dorninanoa-ef the nBi;ll'er iFICstrumemts o\/"er the baas-drum and fhe nr-I\at. (Tne hi-hat radiatJ3smll!ststfG'figly in a tierizOI'rljal glane, in €Dmparis€Hl with the I!lp~and~down' jiigure~eight pattern: of the €ymhaIs ,,)

F@r an @'Ve'PaII ~alal1ce try alii electrosta1L€ c8rdi0id 'at the front Qf ttl8 kit and at the level of the hi-hat. For a tighter souDa till,s can be [T1Qved in Gl0ser tel tile Iii-hat, also, 'favouring the left:~Man0 LOp c;yrnbal. or 'eymbal,s and, to a lesser extel\l't, thesnar.e drum anti! srriall tel'n-t@n:l, lQ~reth,er inevitaIDI'{ with SOIilllS· !;licli<-up ffOm~he, bass drum; a second oardioid miGr.ophoneis then I'I,1c0ved in over toe other side of the ttass arum to finm the remainlt1,g c;ymbal or C¥rYl!;jals, theo;1t;1 tgffi-tem,. an€! again, perhaps, The srrare dr-urn. Further' cl0S€' miC:rG'lSIrn@nes fil1;;i'f' Jl>ea<;laed f@r ~ach C0r.nponent ~t the kit. ChangEils of pesi1i0n, afl~I!a', polar diagram, @r relative level give cODsiderable corrtrol over nearly BVery el'erflent - except fGlrtnEr clarity ef SOI,Hldfrem the bass drum.

For title bass dru.m, sel a miC'fCI.~Aone QIQse to the ecl@e of Ure skl!ll1 where there is a wider: and Fm'ID~e baianeed r'ange of overtones than at the centre: of the sKin. Thts is one ins'trfi;lment for whicn Sf! ola Mieavy movingc@il miGfQl3lhone with '8 limited t!i.l:p-r.espm;tSe is as gOi(i)('l as a mmBeffi hl!!lh-f'llrality mi£:r0l! - wflieh l'filigl1t in arry case be ovetltbaded, For a thV thutlding qlcJaLi'ty, remove the front- skil'L (tightening up thelUcgs to preve'f1t rattling) an€! put a blanket insrat;'!.

MINIATLJIR~ MICFfqPHONE FOR USE INnr!'! DRUMS An elg~tr05tatie: sU]!jen::ardiqi0, 1, clamped to tOP hl1lQf!l (ll,!'te,n.sip·r.reF arrd, 2-,ins'ii0e shell @F O;3SS I!lrllm, fairly Glose 10 "lie. SKin.



In popular musk a /oldds,peaker may be pe,r!: of the InstrUtr:1el:Jt.

S:rWDlO SAFETY The power Sl'lIllpJi!;;ls tQ el~Gtl'iG inStruments sf.JQI:JLd l;ie ted

-tl;irol1§11 is@latifllg transformers. -

Pop music with electric instruments

Most modern pop inwSl€ is 0reate'CI by tne treatment and mbHng of cl0se 1@<rlan0eCl segundo A eornmon e-0mJll@I'l@!nt rof this is the 'ele€;cPle' instrwn'lent wi'th a lou.Qs,peake'r. Thts also al!lp_ea~s as i3 eornposlte Irrstru,

ment, 'as in 1!n,e case of tbe electriciaGGfustic guitar; ,

In the electffic guitar eaIDh metal stnin@ vibretesin tJ-ie fieJcl of a eoll, The v:ibratlen induces an alternatil'l,§ si;gnal w:Aic,h is smplified within the hedy oUMe i'RstI'Umel"lt. Sorr'1I3tirne:s there are several rGWS of slgna·10eneratbrs. 1'0 obtain a signal from a converrtionat 9:Hit1'l,r br from a vioJln €Ir mas's, a cantaGt miG'rephone (tr<an:sdl1Jeer) is fi*ed, perhaps loy Q0t1ble-5ide~d ad.heshre tape, te the Ia-ody of the Irrsmurnent fs,ee fjlclge 65).

Loudspea.ker oharacteris:tics

Thef'J'e-rtormer's 1@I.!le!sJ1leak:eris uS.\Jally Ga,p-able ofManGlling higM power (in ord-er tl)) [ilrovide strOng bass) but ne'etJ Dot necessarily be of high qu'8"lity: the ohar"aiC12er0fthe ins~rl.olment as a wfiole inci.IlIQes'rthlat of'trte 10uds~eaker. Par the rilQst fle*i"ble rtal.anee, the feed from the§Ju~tar is split, wttJ-i! one line @oing ~firectly 'to itJreffiiX(er anp the other to a IQutfspeakpr from wfclicm the sound is picked UR by mierophone and al50 fe~d tQ the mi*er. Tile tWQ €Qmponent& ha),te separate. equalisation and reverberatiDfl.

Tbe I@"-!dspea'ker of an 'e"leetric' j-nstrumemt may be balarrced like anv other instrument": tor fullest nigh-fi'eQuerolcy respc:mse the mleYopnone should be on tile axi.softfie high-fr.eql'J8ncy oo rre; for less., lt fRay be offaxis. A supe,r08Hfioid mic.rQphon·,e mayo: b.e used for a cl0'5e halanr>:.e, or, a l:li~di~!;!JrtieFlal l'Ilicr0pho_ne wi;Jer-e the leudspeaKe,r is to be baiancsti with the acoustic output of the same instrument on opposite sj:ijes of a single micn;)phone.

The pop grol.olJjI of the 'si*ties €:Qns.isted of Qn~ drum ki,!., three electrie guitars plus the voice of one of the guitarists. 'A studio liI;y:ou:t that achie;!Ves reas@nal:)lre sea-ration hasl!i1.e loudspea~ers in llne on a cemmon 8!)ds each with a elosei1Hre¢tI0nal or s·[,Jlien:afcdi@icd mic~€1J1lhlone. The guitarists are e.n orre side of this lil'le am] the drummer is' on tbe other, on the dead side @f the louds]."1eaJ':er microphones and with as rrrueh screenjng a-s I'l,rewes rie·eessary.


E~ualisat'ion ~ncl cempre-s~ion for singer

The microphone for the vocal line may be eqwaliseCi for very'Glose working, wi1!h presence ailde€l my rmidJift at 2QQQ-3Q.OQl'h and pernaJ1l's cemJ1lression as we,ll if fAe voice is s-upposes t@ blend intD the sackihg. If the vocal is cornl9ressed tmi's means that the liia<5ldn.g can be brotl0ht uf') higner behirrd it. "Fhe bael,ing may in turn be l'imited <1'0 hold IDack -anv e;\«cessi\lejYeaks: this will tm'srefore resulr in a mf@Jll eO!mr.n0n l'evel fo~ all of tme sounel.

POP, GROUP wi,th 'three elelE>trle IDuiters, drums an\!! sir-fIDer. ll/IaxJmlltf'FI sepi-wactiem has l1leet] aeliiev:etd ,BY sereelTtingJ thH~ Qr1!.lmmer heavily: there are tWQ lew screens in fmnt, high sc"reens at the sides, -Hnlt! a further BeY-e'en Ilrioged BeFOgS the top, The two main m,icmpffQheS for the d'rHl'T'ls are-at the roe,at, and tl'1e bass 0,ruffi micrephone is separatea from "the skin only @y a of fQam IDlastte Ilir Staf;l!!ls inside it. Qther micwpl'i(!lnes may be IlCilCl'ec'J tor and are sr~ereo:;l to suitable p@Slti@ns on the <l>wEiliQ s:t,a0e. Blended anm. s'preal1 <:irt~fiffiial reverberati(lJflI i~ also added.


B/;/!lding up i!;l mCllti-instfiuwrant l2'I!Jpular rnueic balance.

Rhythm group and small band

We have already seen h€lw p>ial'lo, I:_)ass anGl drums are Fralan.eed in~iclvi,Q!;J-aI,ly (pages, 11 ':f, 118 and 128'). We may now put therll to@eUter, a ild adel further iilstrwments::' a gwitar (acows6tleil'!Gtric,), or';3'S's" woodwind Ip~iruaFily sax@pnQ,$l:e's), a vocalist, and so @Iil. lI'fstrl1me'nts useE! fer particular effects might ilitclude celeste, viQlin" R:om, harp, eleGtrir> p:riafil@ er anytnin€lelse that ii'fterests the .arrarrqer. A low screen helps to separate the sound of bass an('.i tlI'mms. Fwrt!1er: scr'eens are Tequired, e.§: between piano and brass', an'd @1'@WiIQ W:articola{'l¥ Quiet Inslruments0r sin§)ers,.

Rorgooa sourid separation a dead studio is 6hosel'l whenever pGssible.

III the dead a:coustics of a bi.g rec:'or(ijin@ stUd]0, tlie various components are often placed in scr.e,ened DQeths around the walls. LeaGl and l3ass gUittar foudsj;leakers fiTl'<;ly b~ GiimcteGiir.Jt1\) half'.scree,ne,d Iolays and taken till oardiaid Glrsupercardloid rnieropfiones .. An iil:Ooostic g~uitar may reswire a separate roern. GonsiaeratHe. use IS ma£le OitrackLrg (sequenti<:il recmrdir.lgl. I'liill'tio,ul,arly f0,r vocals. 6@@d separatl0n all0ws censJderable freeDomin Gon,strUGting a stereo iR'lag~, to wl<!ich Sf) read a rti:tic;i al reve'~beratiOf1 is adaed.

Wheel'! orl911t surr0wndiogs are all thaf is available sorme spIll R1@Y I;)e inevitabie.Tn Hils G'ase We A~ay have 'to l'fU;ldlfv the I€leal fl!lll~ separated D'atanee .. For exampLe,- if the brass is goil'l.9 to spill Ofl to the siAger's microphoo'e come what may, it lswoeth oGllJs'idering wliefher to Blake it gQ@I1!-tiluality splll by using the same micr0phone': trie \H)«alist sings at 3il'l (7crm) and the brass 'blows at 15ft (abew1 2m).

FactorS'<afleeting layout

TAe; laYQut !D·f instreurnents, micrepl1[loes anm screens livithin the studio is affected by the nature ana purpose of the ~Torrp itse;lf:

1. The group maV aLready have a set Ic!'¥out uSji!d for sta'ge shows. Jihe balarreer rna¥, Wish to chan§e this to improve separation. Discuss'this in aiilvance with the @rc;lup's leader or musical dire~t0r.

2. The gmuJq may haW8 made: previous FeJ>@rdings or hir@iiI'8oa'sts in thesame studios. The balancer fi,"ds out wh<Jt .Iayout was used, 'Sr.lfl if it worked well ma:y adopt that: the grouJ:' will not 10 be ill a·iffeF(imt p€lS'~tio:ns every time they 6ol1rie 10 tile stucli@~ However, the balaneer may mak.s l'Ail'lo~ IJ:haF1£j1'ffi tor the j:lH,HP:0S'eS @f e.xp:eriment, or to include fdeas tl11at might work .l:Jett.e,r than those"already usad. Cerrsuit the inoivhllHal lnstn.:J.men1;-alis1f:, section leader or rnusleal direct0r, asvJJPropriate. Majer e.hang,es may: be dietarted blV theuse ef adaiti'@T'Ial ifistruriTlents (of whic!;, tAB balancer .sho(Jld have been infC!JnnEH!I), or partiGular new problerns created by tlll.e music itself (which may, omly become apparent In rehearsal).

3. lIlne, gr0wp may be created fQr the session (lHly, anG! the @al,am;er - having found 0,u1 the, GOPl'lp@sitionfrom produt~r8T rnusieal dlrector - ean start fF[i)·m seratch, but with due rellardf.or the needs of the mwsldans,


030 ~20

"q ~ 4()

SMALL BAND ~@ the Ehythl'll g(Ou~ [witH miHophElOesin amy of "Me. p(')siti0115 aJreaGty descrieed] are '<Id,t;led: 1. GUitar (-acemsticielectricj. '2, Trcbl~pet (W!th, a full screen to s€l:l?<lrat~ this fmfiTl the drums'). 3, lircomDone.''h V:VooQwmd- (ThIS IS one ef many P.Jossible instrumemtal groups . .)


/nstr&mim1'a1 layout must help the players a5 wetles: t!he balancer'.

M.any microphones for the big band

Whe're tlie stuGiio layel:!'!. is ctedded or rnflwenbed try ttie balancer he or she is @l:Ii€le@l by PFinc'iples whh;;h are de'signed to rmlp the musicians ana mL!;st aehiev:e. the balance WitHin their limits.

1. The O·rummer: bass player and pTanist form a baSIC group (the rtiy~hr.n @rbup) wlhloh eXl1'eG.ts to be t€lg~ether.

2. The bass pl'ayer may need t((jJ see Hre ptantsr's lett' h:ani21,. to Which nis music directly relates - and e'speciaJ[y when they impf0vis8.

3. When the gass player Has fast rhythmie'!ffes he ne'eds to Iiea,r the drurns, 1D8r1Ji0CJlarly the snare dnarn and hl-trat: these can 08 heard well OR the (,Jrurnr'tler's side.

4. In a pian'o quartet th'e fQurtli pla1y'er can faGa lne other three fr@m beyantil the plano: every.body· ean see evetybody' else, But a 9k1i'tar player may have to. work el@sel¥' witl<! the l§:Iass: f11'a£e'!!i at the tQfI errd of the piano keyboard, fie can 58!'; b~Ii1Jlnd tile pLanjst 'to the D:ass player.

B. Any other twclLll.a¥ers wh@ are Iike,lv'to be working il:ogether on a rmelo(i'ji'o fine or other 'figure.s need to be close t09'ethe~.

€L Where players double, e.g. the pianist a15'0 pla¥ing a celeste, the two f!iCIIsiti0oS are. t:o~ether.

7. All plavers; ineludiA,g a $a~ophene (ialild woodwin€lJ grQup '"VAle'" m:ay be split with pla¥ers facTn§: each etHer, must' be aIDls 1:0 see th"e musiGal l:liif'eCI(;)r0r 0QndtlctQf.

S. The rrrustcal !!IlreGtof' m-ay also be a [:l)er'fofom€.r p'la;o;.:im.g a p;artickltar insnumeot. But if it h-as' be.en 'arranged that all J3layers< 9'i3n see e.aoh Qther, condition 7 should s'till be satisfied,

The aJllPlication of these cond1tJ00S may apfiJ;e'ar to cOlilfliet wilPi tne· idea of bl,lilding UD a Jay@ut ac€ording 1'0 g·EHild Wril'lI}:iples mf s-eparatlon. But the careful use of dir§lctiooaJ rnlerophonos and screens sht2lI:l.ld make !,'loeQ soum!1 pesslbfe.

The balanee can,not be heard in the stupie

The only satisfactory Studio Is o ne. that nas been speci'ally Built with aggwstic treatmen,~ to redwce reflecti:ens to much less t[;HiIn wGlw.I'a gfitefl be used In a studle €iesigned fgr sl'leech. It 15 ufil€'@Fflfor.ra~le to w0rkin for musi0ians who are not useGl to it, 'and no clear idea of the result is heard'! iiJy a leader or cQnGluG.tor who {'tees net wear neaal'll4ones. Intieei;l, even with lieadpflone:s tbe final result may hot t!J,@ heard 1f the individual c0rmp@nents arc.a beil'lg fed to 'a ffiklftitrack recorder: Be~a!Js'e the >fiRal mix is matlelater, follow'ing furtbe·r exp'e'rlrvrent with equaliscrtipn, artificial ecnQ aoe mi,xin~ (although, d~l'l(;'main@ em rhe desk ana tracks a:vailable, there may be a t~lal mix at the same time as tl~e rec.ort;.limg),

A session rmi0ht start by fel'),('Jrain€l ~hy:thm ~flJiS guide vocal, fmllQwa8 by aco\!lstlc gtJ7tar and plane, and next the lead vocars and backing. The'n €t1Hne soie !jJuitar allCil r;ins; an extrCcl irrstrurne'ntal fine may be a€l€feti by aA earlier (ilJ~rfQrmer 81'1C!l ;5.0. err.



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~ 04



SHOW BAND WI"rH STRINGS 1, f!'ihythFl'l QmL1p. 2, EleGtriokacousti6 guitar. 3, Trurnpets; 4, Trornborres; 5, W00dwind. 6, First vioHns .. 7, §econd Violins.

8, V,·iolas. ~., 'Celltrs r 10, Slinger. 11, Musi0al dlreetor, Variations must, IDe made for aC.@u:Sfie diffieultt{}s; if7l' 011e l'aY('jl!lt lt; was fbuJild Jilec~ssary to bring tbe b,8SS f.orward to the tail ef the piano and separate film l1iy' aeoustle screens from sca$S, BrUinS aliio w@00wind (the trumpet,s Aavlf'lg been ffi0ved turther away). A wide range @f differ.el'lt rn'ieKfil!'llionEfG is blS"em: se:€! the netes on iEurlividual iRst~ument,s fiilr 0:etaiI5.

PhI clarity of '(jJict:ion, singe -s are [!J1?1'IeT'acfly ealane·e(J closE,

Sing.ers~ solo and chorus

What counts as a dose rnalal'lce f@r a sini@eF defDends em the' type of ml,J'S'lE', F@r a pop s6ng it may be 2tn (!ijcm); fj!).ran operatic 8Fi·a it maV be $-~tt (fm),ln eiither ease this is·a very tfll!lllh blGser perspective than you WQl,uJ~ hear in the cor:fc;;.e;m hall @r theatre~ In a l'1!:lblic peIT0rmarrGe with no mjGrophone, the derrrands of intenilal balane'e reliluire that the singer IDe leud 0r the ac;;cGmpcmiment08 stlft, Bur where a elo se fT:licmRhorH~ is used, mere is full rmeG@m to create brilliant Qrchest:rcrt backings wliic;:h ean We il'lterwovefl aad eontrasted wit!;; iii sU0tle a-Ad \i'ari€fd v@6al l,in8,

Frellluem:y response

A mh;]ml'lhone witn a :sujlller'"(;:anai@ld (@F fitiJute-eight) resPQnse is s'atisfa:ctpry, with efjualisatiQI'l f(i1f liJass t!ip~uf!l if necessarv, With a- mierbphaf'le wtiich has mass ro-ll-oft tQ GOrr.lpensate for elose-w0rkil'lg, bass !may have to be added if; the" sir.tger md!..'es IDack. A¥ range limited to that mf the ",·ok:e helps to avoid spil.1 €In to this ml.€nDph@ne at the upper and lower erlds of tf.le orchestral heqlClenc::y f.<;lflge. fA p@f'lular musk, presence may llIe aaded somecwtiere in the 1500--~OO@Hz range. Sibil.anGe cam be reducc~d Iffy salect16 of OJ microphone \iVjth a sruooth mitldle,-t0~ ~es",anse, with high-he-quetTcy roll-off If necesserv, and perhaps by si'nging at an al'llgl.e across tt1l,e mit;:rop.itJ@ne ..

Artificial rev?,[beraliQn may be added to a €Jose balal'lce.. but clarity of th:e w.ords (if tJarity is requIted) limits tnls to less than thaI ofttie lrrstrurnerrtal hiaclEil'l@. for a baokIn!il. ch@ws se·veral sln0€Jts group ti'QhtlY round a directinnal fliIicre.phQne:. For a larg.ereli'f0rILlS; thte gmup gathers rauna a cardioid mH:;'rophc:me', wbicb ~afl stir.1 be positiol'lt:!d to give good seJ!)aratioll hom the Isoder instruments. The singe'rs ~t 1ihe sides of the group c-an corne cleser m tHI'l microphone thaA 1:h,@se at tl'ie centre, their line f@HoliVlng rl'mt of the curve @f the .rniq.r(j)(1lhor.Je's plSJlal' diagr.arn,

Balancing a chorus

11'1 I:lalalleing -a I-ar-ger ehorws: for serious nnusic - e_pera, or<a~tQri0 or @1l:ler choral musiG - aim fi~s.t fOF6;_larity ef diotlon (ex,cetil! in tl1@'Se cases where a more' distant balance is specially eaJl.ed for), The microphone .must he far e:naugh l"Dao'k and liigh enou§n to ge.1 a weU-lillended ~r0lJmd but tl'l€ limit is ,§er1erall:>,t the !c;niver lilillit@f intelllgibHity, Qnt') Of several c-artfioid, sUQarcardioid or figure-eigjbt micrephol'les are useu, del'lending on the I'ayoklt of the singe,s, Thase may have to be too high up for s010].st5 to work t@; for them, seraarate rnierophotaes may Be placed in frorrt o·f. th'8 eh'Orbls.

libere is mo I_)aftlcula.r virtue in separation into reg'iste~s - except whe're fQ'rees- ar"e weaKer in @OB than another, in whi€h case se'paratlQlH may ffelp the-balancer ro ct:J.fllpensate f@f la€k Cl-f inter-Flal baJal'l'ee, In gefleral,. a,u'@w tlile gn;rup to f!.idlGlw its e.stabJli:s.hBd pr@!l;£!dur.e;,


SIN(;ER'S HEA.DSET This cflps over the ears and has a banI!! r-ourid the bad" of the head for minimal dlsturbarree of h.airstyle (see page 59}, The electret r:ni6:~ophene is In afi%eQ positi'0n, a,nd at this disf;pncH must be pel/@nd the corrien '<!If the m@l!Ith in o'rtier ~0 a>;lGie I!>~ppil'lg.

SGR.EENED AREA FOR SilN@ER Whe-n the vorce level is' IllI!lGh lewer thian' the volume of surrounding insftrUlinent-s the mie-rophoITe is screeneidfrpm therri, The live siEle of the micr0pl:iene is toWarms 'the screens, the de'ad sii!le t0warCiJs the open studio,


'Fii)l"ifJ cortaerto aA a'Cf;difilJmal fflicr@phrme - or several - will 'be recqlJireG.

Orchestra with sotoists or chorus

In a t'cmcert layout a single soloist is usuaUy placed at theeondl.'fct@r's left hand (eiXcept in tlie case of tlie j.'JianQ.-, which will usually qe pl:allled at the eeflt~e'). A eoiI'H,,:ident~pair gteree c:yr.chestral balance may §ive satis'f.aGtorv results for' the oornbined seund:1'main, thi is- how the a:u:dienoe heal's It. Irlowever, it is wsea to set in a spottjng mjotoplion.e to give tlge -::;c;)IQ,ist more preS'eri€e - eXC'el'lt in the case gf the pil'lng (see Iflelow).

The close l"FIi€rophorJe 1'5 f:a,Gie.d in until tne sol'oIst is just apl:ll'eeiably in Gio'ser perspeetive, but beware of other jnstruments which may Ollso be in its fi.eld. In an alternafivestudiC'l layowt, the soloist is separated by qelf'lg brouqht @wt tg the front arrd side of the ClIrGMes,tra, aaC!: fo'[' ste.reo is 'fmlded' hack, Of steered te the deairad p@'l?ition. Where direetiorral rrricr.opn0fiJes are used, eaeh may then be placed ~ith Its dead side to t:hJ~ other souree; this gives the greatecst sepaf'ate t;:onlrol of the Gompenght s@U1nds.

Wh!::!n a second Qf tl;riFd mior@pAEI:rJe is ad'Gled at much tlile same leMel as the first. the apparent reverberation (1)f the half i·sinrGr~ased. Any main mkr€Jpllone or pair therefOre l1'as to Be rneved a OttJ'e closer, OJ' Its direetiQl'lal charaeteristles changTeo.

The piano concerto

l.n",ial1@' (f;Once.rt.0$ them shOllld noot be any prablem w1th the leNel of the piamo ~ u nless it is to@ loud, in whidi ease pilYsieal S'e.paration (Of, altetna'fivel'l, moving the piano back into the omh:estfla) mja~ ~e necessary ii;) 017clel'to r.egress tile lJal.anee in favour of the -aceompanime[lt. If the rnairt mi'eFopl'lone is m.ovem hack away fn1)rm the 0rcliestra (a-ndlts fJi'Gkc up na'rrowed) a second f'I'lay bill placed hi@h amove the condue 1m, and s.nieldeGl from the full bl.ast of a centra.lly placed J;)iane ElY its liel. This' rnicropnerre faVOloJrs tfle o rdlE!stra , ana in particl-Jlar "the wooClwind, tA€! seetlon that is generally I'IiIO;st in need of su€1ci benefit,

Where a curtain (jjf tniG~o'l'lh@t:Jes is used fe·r the erchestra thcey may be set or their outJ1llit a.cljusted to e~clutle' the !"Iano, and the mi'ci"ophe-nes over th~ wf,jlodwind br@.l:Ight up to c;(l)ri1l§len~a"te.

Further soloists ~ and oborus

Acd:diti@nal solo il'1struments' or singers may' be treated sirnila.tiy to the first, :Olli: for -a cl'l®rus the t.racli'liiorJal layQHr is behind the 0fchesitfa. A line of bi-directiorral m'iGroph.ones <!IBcllVe and l;Ieatl~slr;je-0n to Hie ofch'estra acilds missin@ j;.ltBsence anti intelligibility. For a ffinnophemiE b1:'llance an altemative is to bril1l~ tlie Oh@fUS t@ tlie fmmt and '!e GmE! side of the orchestra arrd to balance it separately.








0RGHffSTR.Al'XND SOLQI.5n 1, M@R0 l!ialan<;:e with the mni.<;:m(l!jiefTIe slig.ntili. faveuring the solejst, S. 2" $tefE'jO eoin.daent pa'ir with 3. additii1ifla,1 mi'GT"Q(;)htlnfi!.< f<ilr soloists.




$Ql.O]'~:"( OR CHQRUS WJTl"l ORCHESTRA {MONQ) The main mi€i'0I'1h@ne,1, whj('li'i w0ulcl hold the ot!l:n'flstra .011 Its OWf'I is ref;ila:ce€l bli 'a closer mierophIDI7I€. 2, and a so.Je (or chorus) mi~r<ilp'll€m<e" 3.. !S. S610ist.

G, Ghorlis.





CHDRUS 8EHIN9 O~CH:EETHA (Suitable for mono 01' stereo). l3i-clirectional mic'r6photles, set hi£Th ph stands. or suspe;nde'd from ameve, loak dowri on the chorus at an angle of aIilo.ut 45~ ..


Bala.Fldng OReF8 for radhiJ or records.

Opera - without pictures

Qpe·ra may bJe reGof;ded or broad€8st in concert form, l.e, with@ut moverne!;)t abous the stage 0')1 the singers; or it may be take:m dlre'(i;t from a stage perfor-marrc8.

In' a studio (lIerfg~rmal'1_ce the ,simpil.est tayaut has the en@fus T€HiWard of and to orre s:ide 0f the orcltestra, Th.ert;! is a row of micf@pi:lOnes im fr.@nt of thern, to which the s0101sts 'alse work. Thls layo,-"t works In stereo, the sction beirn:g laterally re.ver:s·eQ. Sill ,tha'!; the earners of on:hestra and the diorusthat are closest are on the same side Qf. trre stereo sound Th"e left-hand side of the orehestra and the sid"t of the chorus and 'saloi'sts nearest to it wi.IL be pic'l('e(j up on eaGh Qthers' micmphones and must therefor-a be arranged to Goin1!:i€le in the au@io sta'ge.

For the singers, e-xar;nples of f:)0$n:iofling fOF particular scenes are as folltJws,:

1. Paft @T chorus' leTt; prir.n::ipal.s cel'rl're; off-st'age, ng'ht. 2.. Duet at centre s0I@ r:nier0phenes;; haF(J. 'figures, right.

3 .. Quartet at four centr.e soto mjGF0pf:lOAe.s;


; @1 f P;z

! 81:

,l-~ J

"1l2 ~2 42 ,):.s.'2


Sepafatlngchofus, orchestra 'and soloists

In a more ceraverrtiorsal stuilliQ arraJilge{Jl1!ent the ch@rus is ",la'ceQ in a bl@ck Itletlintl th-e smhestr-a. Bu't wlile·reas for a GQncett pefforn~ance tl'le:r will [te spread tigfltly around the IJeriphery in an arc, in a studio they can oftelif be gr0uped iR a samarate bl,@clii. Th.e¥ €.afl usually be on the sarne centre. llne but will !naVe a narrower st~re.0 i.mage @m any main € microph0ne, so extra rnlcrophorres vvlll fue set in at the sides in orcler to spt'eat!i them t19 the same scale C'lf width. VIIhh sufficient sepatatlon tJ'ieir seIJn€! 6i'!1iI also be stee.-ed t@ orre sideor the 0ther If a scene So re€(llires.

Soloists, can be brought TciJfWard to cem:ert-style fix~ Jj:!0siti0rfS or to a '51'a,g,e' ar.ea which allows for movement in 'front oftlJ·e orchestra. Wprking to a e.ginGident p"air, tney would sing (and per;il')rm)in an are rathe'r like thqt s(;HJ)wn for ~rar.FIa lim r,rage 93, bl:ilt~w'fl:her bask, On this pair, the o[(;;I'iestra is likely to na'V'e a narrower sc.ale of wiGlth and s@und mt;)r.~ reverIDera·ntthan flM a cl0ser balanee, whrch may be an adya:ntage wneo tMeir mle is to aCGl:lmraany the singers. If not, additignal FniCrophone.s may be set tl2l extend the Image arrd add preserree; It is €o.",venierit "to k!eep the maio o6dy ef the chorus fixed im the studio and simulate 'any mON'Elment by pamlin.g them -pnthe control desk.

OPERA LAYGW'F in which Hie ehorus ar.n<i soloists are reversed left to right and superimp€lsed an the orcnestral st3!le. A CQfFlveflted t~eatre is us~€! im t~js . example. 1, Pr0seenium arch. The stage isexlef'lcie<!iI I~t{'] t~e rrratn audjtorlurn, 2, S011IJ·ists. 3, Gh·@ms. 4, €.0Ii1iiuct@~. 5', Announeer. Thrs f'l1Il.oqDJ;lhl'Jpe eafl also Qe use€! for spettihg effeots (e,g .. castanets, wliieh can sesteere:d to replfE'lsent the movement of a danec). 6, An o'ff·,sta,ge I':t>tows c:::an b~ plal':e0 l!Indern,eath 1;he ball>QI'I1{ with@ut a mi(2f1IJ1l'hol'le. 7, Audillnce atibve·. QrGl1esDral laymf:: Vl, 1St . viallns. V2, 2nJ;l viq:lins.VA, Vrolas. C, 'Cellos. 0, Basses. H, Ho:~ns (WIth reflectmg screens belttif'T~H. F. FlutEls. 0, Oboes, C, Clarinets, B, BassQohs. Tl, Trumpets. T2, Tnilmhiones .. Pl, Tirnprani. P~., Other percussfon. Hp, Harp. N01:B t!hat in thIS la:y<0ut the harp ls 'im' 0f near the right-Balld loudspeake;s. Other ort,hestml layq;uts', 1ift:l,r.tlcl\latly "'Q'r harp, honrrs, basses a:ncl percussron -are p0sslole.



M<DI'JOPHOf'\J.IE OPfRA IMMNCE FROM .SlIA.G'E' PE.RFORMAI"lCE$ 5'il'lg:er~ A and B, we) I B0Wr:l stage, are batameed QF'1

mierop:h0I'le: ~ or 4, but 1'10t e n ";2, ~

whi!i'his 31 05BI'. Fer stereo sucli a

balance would also t:re bet:te,F, but

entails ree0nstru,ctinn sf their Q.A n fl.. n.

Jl)0sittoFls Qfl" the sQul'ld-stage. ---T+----7'.,.----...,.;;-,.IIf----ooJ ... f- ..... -

Opera f:rom the stage


THE STAGE (e..g, Ior opera) 30

1 and 2" A j;latr 0fcarcfiola

Iniii:mpi:J.one5 In: tll'e feetlights"

Tlie-l'Jgh very Glose to th@o~chest'ra

theTr reSliiQnse flisenmiriates

agafnsl: it.

'3, For mono, a si.MQle cardi01i!l micflilli1hone placed hitgh but w~lI

fOr'l/\/ard in the euditorlum: on, for s.tereo, a coirrcldemr pair ..

For sta{ije Qper.a go@d balance is fie! ~asy. In rrrervc it is' customary te use a high mi(WDghone to g:et a good bakance on the orchestra -together with a row €If eard~oids just over the f@.rwarcl eCl:ge of the sta!l}e (dea€! side t0w8rds the orchestra) 'to I:IP the sin~ers. An alterrliati'18 tl<iqt @ives greater separatron is the use of boundarv .l1Ili'G'ropliones (suehas P:ZMs or 'mice') on the frlilnt of the stage itself. If me Singers are well Back tnere is no JDfObJem of tialan.€:'e be;~we.en several V0icgs (:th0.lJIgh thBl{ may appear too €Iistant). ~I;lt if a sirtger oereras €IQwm stage \i'er.y Blose to a micrqpholil,e the fOQlstel1'S ean become g.argantuan: the srnger is fherefore balanced Gn the fie~t mioropn@ne al.@fI@iri tJie cliiret:tior1 that he or she is fac;il1§. Ad€!iti0nal m'iefOphones ma:y [je rreaessarv.

For strar€,q, a similar balarrce should work: a coincldent !'lair high in the auQ.litorlum, with boltlndary Iflye'r micr'Gphones or mQunt'ed c~rdioias OI,E1S€ OVe·f :t.li1e front st-age and also acting! IOn effe.!':t as 0IDundary microphIDmes.

If tW0 singers are w0.rking :t€l§,etloier and erie is well clown stage 0f the either, the best microphone to bala~nce them may me on the op!!,osite side Qf'the stage: this will tile' roug.nly eeJ'wldistant from !loth, caned sti@l!lltl stlH see the faee of th:e dewnstage slliIge:r even when turne€! partly away fr<om the audience. In steFew, this- maygjve a false positiof'l. If this matters, steer the imege as n3qldired.,

One of the main p'PIDbl'ems .m~e,re is the e}ol~essive dis'tam:e of voices in most positlons 01'1 the s;tage. It is therefore best to avoid hallling a long mw @f open micT@pfi,@nes: they make coveraqe easv. But only at the expense of addiNg e>ren more reverllieratign. Fade down 1fidse not in use.

A similar arraf'l§ernent is to djs~ense witti the 'footliSlht' rnh:;;rol2lllf0nes (amI. of Gou.rse, til.e presence the;y @ffer) <!rtd 11ely stHely on directional miGmj1Jhone(s} above. tile orchestra, I;Mt angle(l. re favQurthe ,sfr:lget!L If there is a ~rayimg au<!liem:e tllies·e mi€rophmnes may, have to dear the sight line~ to the highest part @f tne auditorium.

Saulldand the stage play

lihe'techl'l"iques tor mono opera frem the stage may als@ :be sultabte f@,f pJays televised from the s1:age, The eonverrtion of stage voit>,e RFojecti.Gn is th8T@l:lghly l!ll1satisfactoryfor televisiorr, but audiences will aGcept i1 am;! especia.lly fJFl €:omei!lles where the theatre auaience is more OBviously reacting. But it is Al'lt suifable fgr plavs ~ee€ilrded or broa€.l0ast il'l sQ'l;md on.l'l7, -as 'theatre aCDustl~s are far too [iV·ely. A. recordil'lg may be made as a matter Gf historical record, but there is no mettiod of Govel-ag'e from ficx:ed mi'cmpnene p0sitlgns that is botfi satisfactgry and totally urrobtrusive.

In some oases il may be possible to use personal radio mJcrophones, Q:!!Jt with these the problem is that c@vera€le is uniformly closet. lacRin'g the .pel1speetive of tAe~ pictures" unless subth:::! artificial' rg'\le~berati{i)n is added.

STAGE STEREO "'AIR S£1T IN PIl: with oapsule:;; QFl g.oosemecRs aFl~Je,d sli.@'htly d0WI'l, almost t01d0l11ng tl~e stage'. These ae,t as bel!lndary layer microphQI'18S.. withi:l1reODiIDnal mspol'lses that ane p;al7al.lel 'to -tihe stage suFt:a'ce, which sh(l)ul.d l5e cLea'f of a bs 6lrb'ers fe r -at. I e:ast 1l-~ft (11111. AdCiJ.iti0nal space€l mierol3h·ones will 0E' requ'Tre~ tel' eover acl!ien to the slaes,





In a produepionempl&y,i'fFtg 'X;;st music;;1 rescusrees, t.he main probtems are SfJl!J.f.1d/ communioaf'iQ-n and so&nd spilL

Televised opera

I C~ ~
'tp. f

Opera In the television studio may be presented witH actors miming to music pre-ree0rGi.ed or performed in another stl:.loi@; with the singe·rs in a telev:i:si@1il studto and orchestra in iii seu:mtl studio; or with sjngers a,Ma en;;he-str-a both in the same ha'll or stuCli@.

Miming is probal"lly tn'e- least sat:i-sfactoiY method, Hlthough it has meer! employed successfu.lly (more SOiA the ffior,eCE!@ntf;QlIea c@nditi@r1.s tiffi'lrn er s,in(ijle-camera vid'e.o fe.G@'r€ling). Its main ad\1al'l'J'ag:e is t~at ft pe~mits the camera to fi:oncentrate om plot -arid aetion without being III"I1ite0 @y tne anfflcial convent1on0f opera. PrefeGGrdect soun'l1 is fed by IOI<lQspeak:er to the per.torll'rers_ P-rQvi'siofl must ee made for picl«ing up sound effectS' and Spl;:)kEHl passa!!]es.

The use @f separate studios Tor or(:;Jj~str<.l and sllilgers generall¥, carries more' GGnVi0ti·elil and SJ9®ntaneit'1. THe s'ingers are cove:H~'(.1 !by Dooms, e-10., as fer a JJl.ay, gut there ane neW preblems ef cortrrnarrlcatlen Met.we,en the tw<;l studios. Tille inter,ehange of pictuFe - il'lcludin!lJ that of the con{Juc:;t(:,)r, wno needs to De visible to the singers or repe-tite\!Jr -is tecrmic'aJly straightforwar€l, but the j3rovisiGm €If sound links is €Glmplic-ated by tlie need to avoiGl sJ2l1i1.

CQMMUNICATION setwee,n .~Gl'u"d ancl; tE!)ll"vlsion studio!; that are useclloge't'her pres-ents ob!li0US @ossa'iilities. for. the, !'l,egrada'tiol'l' !'If seuna quality. Pre_cautiQns taKen :to a\l0iti Sign.i·f(;;:ant spill iflclHde the use of l:me 10udspe:akers which are I?lalilem s(!) that the~l QO nglf mcli'ate str01T1!l1ly in the dire€ti0n o,f the microphone.

Sofllld lfuks between sing.ets and Qrcl'iestra

Ordies~ral sound is relayetl to the aC1JiQ.fl studi0 fl·Qor' by me-arts of a vertica'lty fl'lolJ'nied line--5@urce louds.p>:eaker on the frQ'flt €If the boom dolly. As this is mcved around te qOVfH different asti!,)l'1areas',the slil~tial reJatibns.ilip b'etween 101ldspeai.:!fr arid rntcrnphone 15 rrralrrtalrred. and g00a sewar-atk5'1iJ Ban EIe achl:eved. The vrnees sf the s'ingeros can be relayed to the;,GonduG!01' b:y a [3artly shieli1le~ loudspeaker over his f.lea:d Qr by a line ,loudspeaker 00 thel;}ack edge @f his rnuste 5land. Line I@tldspeakers usea. for cemmunlcat'lon shol'lld not 1ge allowed to ramiate bass at fr:eq,U1i'!Hcies below: th05'e c-o-rrespgnding t@ "their I'en¥)til: this et1'Sures that Hileir elireGtional !:ju,aHties !do n@t deteriorate and cause spill at low frequencies.

Where the @rellesUal a:nd actingj areas are at opposite ends: Gf the same mall, Similar metho€ls may !'ia"e to De employed t@ GVet'd'0me sQwnQ cleJays due ro tlile I,eo@th of the studio.

d,4 ~

Post-sVl"iohing an ,orcheStr;:l

Whe'rB- scenes Foust tie r;>reree@rdeCi @r filmed l!),ef@,re thee (5rchS'str,-a is available, a sep·arate guide tracR: 0t the· e:e.a't €>r pian('_) aocompanlmant is r8'l':ordetL On videotape it is recoraed em to an audio cue.1:racK. In the studj@ thss Gues are fted t9 the conBuctor by headphenes, 59 that th:e orehestra Q'arr then be synchro,nhed to t.l<ie pr.evecordimg.

®PE:RPI. OR HI)\LLET Or;.J T!H.E\t.'ISION wltn the C!onmuetof' and orohesrra in a separ'ate studio fr!E)m the aGtiQH. 1, Lir'lelouQSR.s'6Ker. along the top _sf tile- mU,sl,t , stana; several small ellipNeal Il;JudSJ;leaker.s ",r@€lUG~ little bass and are age~ua1iely directional at high'fre.qwencies •. An aHemative is .g, a 10uSSJ'leaker in.a hQG!'.!. The 4ft (1.2rri) square baffle lirnits: high fr'lilCiju,ency -Sl'!iIl i;)ut may -also !'let In ·the w-ay of lights, S, rv1onfto~s fIDr Gont:ll!l~tClr tID aGtioll. 4. [arne.r.a to relay beat to rel"etite'ur In tele'l)'i.sion s~l!1di@.



Presenting classical musk on teievisfexJ:1 ,may efiitail compromises - but 1'hese shottli:i afteet the balaifee as ftttfe as possible.

Classical music in vision





For €1:as'siGal musk a terevision picture should make little ditf?rel'lc~ 'to tile type of balance s01:l'ght. The rnusical value,s ta~e precedence. gut it can liie more dlffiQl!llt t@ -a·thieve a go@d hfalance beoawse televisimn stiJdi,@s are generally rather deam; because micrQphones ,a'l'Io th'eirr sMnes shm.lld not be ootrush!e; and b.ecause the laV0ut should be visually s·atisfying. In practi,!':€, h@weve r normal correert layout 0f tfie orch"es1tra gel'l'e·raUv gives a:c;jeql!1ate J'lictums; while, tHe use of C@.RQert ilalls rather than tel~vision stlddins SHives tl:re probliern €If 'ad~lljua:J;e re\l'erber~ti@n as we.11. Blirec'to:rs and ae;slf!]ners sometimes adopfmore visually ad'ilenturous la¥Guts, But the SW0€eSS of their ati'empts Ts oTten €Iel1la1able.



Picture and sound perspeetiwes

THe te.le.visionGamera 081'1 take of individual orcrtestral, 0W1! it wo"t1ld .dis't~:rrt t'fue IT:J\Jsk: if the balafotce w.ere t@ be, v8lfie€l fr@n1 snat to shet 19 match this, ';fhe balarree fs;quLred far te'le'V'iskHif may, ho'wB,ver, benefit from mote presence than is usua.l for music presented In sound ol'lhV: this will justiN the Glose-ups an(;i may sOldnQ better on the inferior l.ouclspE!'Qk.eps fill so "nan,),'IDfi sets. I:f for drarnatic rather thal'l musloal purposes the balance is modified to march a close~up, it is better 10 add a tl,!'lse-b1p micrQphbne to a normal balance, ramer tfiCln to present the wh01e sound frorn tile IDOSltion of tile C811'1'er8.

QRCH.ES1':RA IN VISION Where a s1iancla,~(;j balance f0~ sound C).nlyls achieved en m,ierqphoHe 1, a eornbination €lJ'tl'l.e other tW€l mlCf€ll'JhOnEs rrrav be rriose SUItaBle for .elevisi!iln. M1cro!,)hon:e :2 €lIves ,€[arity but insufficient ~everEler<itibn; this is addetls¥ mi:cml'1lione 3.


Wh'en bane!: is [Dresented om teLevision it may not !;ie easv to get tlie or:c;:hestra into tt.le ~Ale :"ftudh.i). In this ~ase i1: is as well. to separ'ate the two entitel¥ and 'take the orchesna to a concert I;[all or sound studio where a 9009 balaA!;)8 can Be ot'.i'Nlinelfl, and thent6feeQi this ey loudspeaker te the dancers, Im:leed, even if the orchestra is in another I'lal't .of the same studio lolldspeakers may still lle,l];l them. Sound e\ffec.1s in the term ef the danGers' steps or rustle of costume that are occqsionaJly audi,bLe th rowgh tile l'I1usic will aeW life ana real ism to the performance. Par these a dire€tional mienJ).p)hone shpulC!! be place:d on the €lead Bide of any 10uG.speaker array. (A set of small loudspeakers arran'gecl in a line one above

anotber ratiiates· in h0riz(m'ta.1 plane" wi1!lia deaQ zone abb:ve them.)

Slnge.r and acc0mrilaniment

For singers, the principal alterrtattve to a nnuGropnone' in vision is a boom with a oaro.ioid rmict'ophone just outside Qf the egge @f frame. Where sim§eT ami '@€compani'rrlent :are widely se'lllara1lel1i, there is 8 slj§ht time IQg unles$ the sing:€1r is given a louclspeaker fee.eI of the aGc@mp~tnimelllil: (the conductor !-tears the combihed sound on hea(jph,onl:l::;,).

The re'la't'lve Glea·@I'I.e:ss 'Of mast tel.l'f;vish;lfl s'll<Jdi@s Elan we t'l1rneti to 'aclvanta[lJB: sin@e:rsge;merall'y r€.Gj!;fire I'ess a·I'tI~i{[;lal r-8verberill'tiQl'n than the orl':he.stra.






Popular rnusle in vision

T p[}b

OGo 00

r:8Q' G f2SJ 0

o .~g


Visual considerations may€> that tAla soum€l studio Lay@t:Jt oanrret be k1csed f@r musicCians appearing Em teJavision .. But fo'!' a gr«DUp tna." has been r8€I,ypdeti, ,"h~qwaHty of tITe soured By whicn tliey are known dem81'lQts thatthe prfnei"pal results Q.tthat lay@ut still be aohieveGi. Ani;'i §rouQs whGi tVave not been recorded are l:tepef:ldent on sLJuadquaHty that mtl'S! i:Je as 1210S8 as p@ssiiJ:le till that @f the: re80rding studio if their musje IS to eo n'f(j)I>m to e,xistinID standards. Si:@ visual (;(;)hs'i'i:lefal'lo s must mot override rrru si8a I q uaJity ..

THe simplest case is thaf of tbe band which appeaf~ in vision only @ccasLonally i1lui'ing the pr@gramme. Here. the 1:ethniqu~s· of the SOlll'lrii st:u«i'io are ~arrie-d ever almoet unchanged: the taitly deae! aC0ustie Qf most 'television and fUm stw.;liQS favours the mulfimicrljphone technique. low sereens may DE;! used to divide the sections, <IFI'c,:i the Q@FI.irlueter wears heaGlp.lil@nes. Tttis is accepled as a vi sua I C'0I'lvention.

Where the Rlaye'rs 'aFe mere. stron!'l,ly featLJred, the main change from <the sourrd studiD is to avoid fi:lit;;rolflhones or starrds thlat are u:rtdul¥ optn)Jsive, ow wMidi @bstrl!lcfthe line of the ca/mera. ~ut sourrd 9till c'0mes first, aAd again visual €Qnve;ntiGns (fermit Ui.i's. Sing~rs generally work 1'0 stand micr0lRhones or with hand mieroll>; bl!l'l' wh,ere HiTs is inappropriate a DQ0m can be wsed, as dose as possTble, al7l0 perhaps. with a bi,gh-quallt't( gUI1I micrQphone 1[0 improve sepa~a±i(!ln.

A particulaj-ly r,ew.arclin€l a(j:lproach is for the dire€tbr amd desi\[jnl2!r to a'Geepl the needs of sound as a s1'arting pO'int, and to attemptte make the la~lollt visually ·intriguing. For fhjs to w.orK well, tlile sound SWpel'V.iStH", too, has to ef:Jte'r intQ the sjsirlt of the c"cH9<(iJerative venture.

WMere the vieual an,1'iiI musical deman€ls' zrre totally incompatible- fl9r exam@le, an exactin\lj, tlan(!;e routine' whe~e the danoe,r. sfnl?js - the sound is prerecGrded and the dance performeCil to playback.

SI=lQlW BANI;) ap[ilearing in vision aMd gi'vil'lg SUP!'l0i't to sim:ge,r '(H Gther, ·featul'e? acts, 'T¥,f;lh;a.l lal/Qut: V. Vi0;!ins. VIa, Vrotas. Ci. ~O-ell€is .. 91$" D0uble Bass. ~, ~C0'11Stl€

guitar. T, Tympani .. P, Peteus's'iolil. D. Drl'JITl kiu, H, t1(iIr~s. T[iI, lfr.u,.l!'l'lets. .

Tn, Trombones. fti.c, Af:lmrdien. 8. SaXOjT>fia!'18S, d{i)!:J1lJhng :-v?oi1lwlI'ld. w.i Qvec,:,IL wind microWhofle. All rhicr€ll'lnones may roe Genoenser cadlGllitls e)(£Bpt f(!lf moving eeil an bass: drurn.

Filmed mus.ic

Film (l·iffers from tele,vision in that it is usual "to tal<:8 sherts one ala time and edit 'them together afterwards. The whole ac;tiol'l of a seene may he repeated sevelfa'i times, taking the sound each tirrre, if onl,¥, as a guide track. $ep,arate sutaways are s"hQ~oftef1 to p<laybaok.

5'everal cameras may Be used, as il'l teleyisiQr;), wl1e,n refi!letition of the music wouldl5e mt>fe' ·e)qpensi've than t'Ile additional eGlui(."lment arrd ojDe,ratGrs. wheF~ a uniqu'e eVent oanrtot !:;j'e re~sh@t, or wHere the 'director feBlsllhatthere are stronq artistic benefits-to be oJf.itail'1'ed •. 'A f.inal l'lossii:Ji litv +s that there Will be more music Jillayed (·e.9. at a publi€' e,vel'1t~ than is ifiAally requiF£ifB o rt film, S.ID that cwtaways ~an hie shot dU~lflg this s,a:l'1'Ia performance.

'Go eait picture to music, the beat can be r:nar~ed on the gwlae treacK, and alYf!H@priate actions matched to that of the mastelf s ound;

'~ off 0

,......._19-.-.-"~.lco~01j=lcg ~~

0wO 0 o IJBI~

~ Lfi)

( J


A.N.OTHER POSSII3L~ tJ'!\YOUif FOR DANGle. E3AND ,Agair:1 the· rhvttJm is it'! the Gentre :1;0 give the stroriaest .l2ie:at in SU(l,n an exces:JVel,y. sJ!l~ead la~Qut.

W, II'I.cli"idt,lal mierophpnes for saxophlDne. (t"0otlwIRd) se(!ltu!!l'I. JB, Jar~gle 1:10)( pian0. 1;;81., Celeste. G, Guitarist and amplifier. T~, Trurml'lets, TI'I, Trmnbol'lfls. B, BFa~s. l11l1i,(,:f0ph0tiB.




How ttie Ifl&(iib signal flows t'fiT@l1gh rnlcnoprrone aAd otmer ch.aDf'lels jrJ l!he desk.

The control desk

The primary furrction of the control des~ is to cemlDine tli,e various sound sources at agpn.ll:l:JFi.ate ·Ievels. At its rrrost c0;.flilple.X\, thE! input mayinelude up to €iQ microphohe,s, several disc and ta,ge repr(!H]UCers, reveri:Je;"atioJ;l plates or ecn0 r00ffiSj. ane, say, Hi out·sime source fines (fr0rr1 telecine and vi.deotaIll8·, other studios, remote locations, 0'1terse·as circuits an€! the public telephone sy.stem).

The inptit vtJlume rna)' raTfge over as much .as 90d8, grouped as low level seurces (S.lllilh as micrGIJ,'-lfi0nes) or high levEI,1 (sucll as lines from rernote sources). AU signals are raised ito a ·"€lATI'Tl0f1 high I,eye;! at allie'wt 5@-70dS aOQveNie output level from most ruicropbones. This minimises el,ecirioal n@i'S'"e ana the effects @f ind!:lctkm iTT the desk itself arlO in llnes to other eqlJilSl)'l'lE;!l'1t. Ea:€.M sOlJme is chanrrelled through a S'BJ1larate fader. Where sever:al rniorophorres are likely to befa-ded up and down to@etheI> they are preset on individual faders wfric'l'i are then fed to and controlled by ·a slfl§le .group fader. The grou'ps are tlien mixed 10 a master fa.dEli"' (main gain control).

The desk will tisually have provrston for the frequency reslD.@r:lse on a Dumber of char-mel'S t'ei41uaJis'8tj,on' and c@mf}ressirm) and for radc;fiA§ artitieial rever-Iile-ration in so;me ji1rop'tllrtil')cl'f t@" e'a€h signal. Filfers to reduce fuJI·f)"equenc;y sound to telef!1h0nE quality f@f dr-a.malic purf!.l0seS may be switched tn .. Ih televiSlari these' may be interlinli;ed witl:! ~I~ture €"ut b.uttens. A press-but't!llR'prehecar' raellity allows 0ircuits to be sampled on a small auxiriary l@udsJ'l1;f.aker (see page,s 31 ana Hi5). A '501(;)' facilit.y allows a single enannel to be monitored, suppressing other feeds to tl>Je loudspeaker Dlolt without affecting the miX that·I's fe€! tQ any reeorder.

Dtner circuits aS$()£iatedwitn the mask are shown 0n I;m§je lJ'lli.

Noise reductioll

In a: reGardIng studio producing comrner6al records gr. tapes, the!'€' is a poteDtiaL for noise t(,1l be added at eaeb stage of, the ehain, an-dim J!larti€ular at any interme,Ci.iate· reeordin'9. -V·VIlO techniques are available to combat'tiris. One is to @Elmven:the (anala.gue) signal from Ute mioraphQneto a dl,gital signa,1 a1 the eacrJiest eonvanlerrt, €Iperate on the signal in tlie control desk. entirely by meerss Qf di§ital teehAQlo;g'y, then t;:@lIlveft it l3acli:. as late as pl;rs·sitJl,e. An ea'rlier method employs an ao:alogue signal thrGIl,lgh.0ut, 0I!Jt mDdili"ed by a rroise reduction system. Iflthis, the freguen'GY range LS'spllt ir.rto several parts. The fre€luene~ bands with laast energy (and in whiEh noise woultJ be most ",otiBeable) are automatiQally raised. in tEl'vel betol'e recording, and reCluced by a corresponCiing amount afterwards as a coded signal corrtrots the. reconstitwtibn of NiB original sound,



MONO CH)!\NNI::L Some of the !acilJtles; that may feunf!l' before the channet fcJ3der. 1., Mi!l:ropnone (ldw leve]) input. 2, 48V phantom power for electr(;J.static miCreJl-'lhcme. 3, i"solafmg transformer. 4, Mil!lmph@ne ehannel ampHfier. s, Lrne (high leveD input: im th'ls case, tape replay. 6, Buffet. "'1, Fine preset gain (typieaUy ± 15tlS). 8, Phase reverse control. 9, EOqu·anse~. 10, ~qUialjser ID¥l?ass.

t t , Opti.ona"i 'insert' routing: allows e*ternal mod bile 1!0 modify ohannel sI9.f1a:1. 12, Prefade-lis{J'ln. 13', Remote .cut, or 'G@ugh key'. 1~, U:halYmel fader ..



(, 8 STEREO CI'IJ.l.NNEL Same facilities before ehanrre]. fader. 1, Stereo micrephon·s. 2, Buffers, 3, Coarse eh:ann'el amplifIers, 4, Channel input 5witeb:ing, (to f-I'Iooe).

5, Phase revers,e in left leg only.ll', Equalise.r. 7, .Equaliser bypass, 8,Optoienal 'ins-e~ fer p.lug~in modules (e .. \1I. gr-ajDf'ii(; filter). 9, P.r"e,faele··en. HI. Hamate cut. 11,. Ganged c'hannel;,{ai:lers.

1 2 3 '4



JrJ1'ctJ .. ' to ~"

6 7 . 10.


1-3, Stereo input fnom grQup faders. <1 anG! 5. Left ana right main buses. 6, Gl;ln!'red m.a:in c@ntreL 7, Urniter and make--upanlplifie-rs;, also Ilinketl for iderrtleal action on left and right 8, Tone input, 9 .. To monitQl.riog meters and louC!lspeakers. 10, StereQ output.

GF.l®UP$ 1 -4, bus BarS', wires that efOSS all channels. Here !W0 mon@ channels, 5, are both conne-oteCl

to bus 1 and stereo channel, 6, is 6QAI1I.8Gtea 10 a and 4: nothln-g is

fed t(» i;)U5 ~. The outrart; of each bus (or ster,eo pair) is fed vera groU!;J eentrots to maim eorttrol. 7. Group PlJtputs.


152 153

A srerea imaoe cen be altere' a or 'bi:tlft ap'frQm R'/(!iflO.

Controls for' stereo

A stereo channel may have a linked parr of faders for the left and right (A am€! B) si:Qnals. I} these .are not e,x6ctly in step 'th'e imaQe will shift sideways. 11"'1 older, ','ltewp;e,d f-aders whe:re col1't'a€t With the ne*! pair 0f studs miglit not he in @erfect sYnG:hronisatien, tn,is E(')uld r.'esult Ififs,tere0 'Wiggle' or 'flieker'_

In prinGiple,th'e A arrd g; sigmals €an be .a.dtl.l<eQ and sufutFacteg to Greate M and S signals, and the faders will act 01'1 these. There is no sjdew8¥S wiggle, out there, Gould Qe rnlnor varIations in image width, whicf.l is less o bjedtil!),1'l,ablle. It is, in any ease, ne€'8:ss::ny to be able to control widtk with A and B fader eorrtrets. a oresstlrrk fader feeds part 0fthe A signal to combine WIth B ana viiee versa.

A further €@ntwl can tie used for im,age displaeern:el"'lt. The entire stereo diann'el is offset hJy means of a g-anged pair of fader's working in oP'Positiqn to ~'ach @tRer. Offset is al!s0 aehievecl by fcrdlng A and B iJifferenlial.iy.

Arrifida.l reverberatlnn is nli:lrh1ally sdCled at ll!lU width, althQugh if aesLrect, the return feed Dan fue narrGlweu aXlE!. ufiset for -spedol effects.

The panpat

Monophor.lic G®:mJiiGlDent:s of the stereo itfl'afj,e mlll'St be guioe'a or stee,red to their errersen j;losit!iol'l. lS. p_anor"aFnic,0Al.e'te. OJ' p:1anl'lGt divides the Signal in thl') proportIons requir-ed to rn€lvellhe rm@llo sl€linaf sideways wlth@;l!.{t rrtakinq it aj[lpear t@ move 'ffurwartl Dr Qa0.kward at: the same time.

The panpot is use1;l with sFlotttinl;! mlt;rophQnes in classioal m~lsic balances, and for all ct.leanlilels in ,P0p;ular !T.I['!sic, in (j)rder to CGlrl'struc;;t tlre s'tereC1l Image .. In film at talevlsion stereo soured, the paRI'101i I'nat:Qhes 1.he apparent p0'5ttlen of a mono s(lIl!In!!l source (of s-pee€h or effects) to picture.

Tile sp[eadet

A 1');l0n0p;mQl'lie sound G'ar'( _also b& spread across the whole width. of the ~teree image. I,R -8 spreader, the s'ignal IS (dTvj(\jed Int0 two e.(,'jl!lal parts which are passed through d~l.ay netwClrks f'lrocilucin\1J differential phase shin. One SiGle onl¥, g8es through a fader and the two $ign.als are the-n adl!l.eCil and sulJltfl'acteGi to treate A and 8 siQnals.

This is FflQ"stc€immonly l!ISed to C@fl!.ler't rnon€Jpl;u,mic' feGeTaed effects to siniu.lated stereo!)) for rain qr1;)ther weather effects whicFt would surr0und liNe actie n, o'r Tor trQw(;J SCenes qr generalised traffic ilqise, within whk;h indi"\:liell!lal GOmp0nents may e6 panned in ortlerto increase ttre reatisrn of a scene.

A mere eompfex [_mage eQuid G€lmbine s[!ll'eae:ers and panpsrts: 'for a horS'e-arttd~fBl:,Jt pass'il'lg close by, $pread horses hooves riTlay De psm.fled aQross the s'ceme followetl b~ the Garr-jage wlieel's.

STE.REG SIGiNALS C('l1'l1.lerti.l'lg A and B sigl'lals to M -and :.0;, 8[OJd viee var sa.

STEREO©, CONTR@LS 1, PreiSe~ (l:Ontr0! to balan~e- 0utl'lutl!retw:eer;J mi!>ral'lhone elen16mts.

2" Ganged channel fader.. §, IrTIa'ge wi.dth oorrtrnl. 4, Channel offset CQI'I'tro! ~thi's d,[sptaCf;!s the oomj31lete _spreaa image).

SPHEAQER C;lRClJIT The I:l1oFlophOl'1,fe input (Mj is split equally between paths X an'!!! Y.

1 and 2, Delay f.1etworks produG.ililg tllf.lierel'ltiai ph'ase shift .. 3, SR~e'a,d contral fader, 4, Sum anp differem:e netwer~ protlil:lt:iil'lg A arrd B c@ml'l®nents fr0n<1 the X a:FiEl Y slgn.als~ ..



A B'

'." -s l ,_,


(iJnly a, few eontrota are Qpef:aled directly.: {;r;wst are prestft and. sometimes tlie'y eeo be ettered late".

Fading and mrxlhg

A fa,d'er ts ess"entiaJI;y a variable resistaric;;e; or platent"iQtnete'r WlllChis liepigned to be IQgaritllimlc ove,r its main working ran~fe_ The effeet of this ifs th~t, meesured,Ua decibels, its cillibration is li,liIear over :!ilerhaIllSSOdB, Ilielew whkh the rate of fade Tncreas:es rapidly to a fil'lal cut-off. Some desks have tW0 fa-ders if! each Gh~nnel, erre of which is: u:seg ~€1 Gantml relative le1l18'18 as the sound is' mi'xe!iL while the ott\er, ab0ve it~ ieel!ls a separate si!'}naJ to a rnulti~tr.acK recorder.

EaGn fader is gene,rali:y as.sgci'ated witli several' <'ltriplifl'ers_ 0ne eomP.Jensates fg,r the- action of the fac;;ler, I'lrovil! 1Qd8 @f'hea'dr€)om' aeeve the nominal zero. !In some cases the signal does not itself pass througM tHe fader, whk:ti Insteaa controls' a voltase that operatee on the signal (analo@ue or di0i1?al) in e€lbli-pment which may ee remote from the mesK itself. WhateV'erthe system used, the laY0ut has rnatT>lY featu res in 00mIOJ'l0:n, reflecting the wide range of possioililies !for contra>! that is- available i'rI most m'Bdern desks. These ate usu'ally 11:11(::1 out in line for aach "hannel -, resulting ,in a l;!' and, to tlie !;lninitiate€l, petentially intimid:atin,a masS"of faders-,. switGhes and indioators,

SinGe mQst Gontrols on a desk are u'searareJy or intermittently. digital desks can be sfrnl1difielil ill their layowt b¥ routiRQ the praseleS se,€juentially to <;I sector where their GtI.rreFitJy desirecl values can tm laie out one- after another. Mos,t of tine olileratl"on (im:ludil'l!!l the use of group rade'rs) are ar~an!'l;ed in this way, so that in, lair ex;:tmple, a live bn:lIadGatst, the se.emin@ly em;:lrmoLils anay of posslbi'iities is redlJm;ed to the I!evel at: wt:Jkh It.can se IllhysicaHy oentrotled lDy one pair of liands:.

Building. sountl stage by stage

Tra'tKil'lg. building up a (l;ompJete s@unm by aid,~Htjve re-e0rtliing, Is taken a. s~ag'e furthe,r i:h post-balancinq, or 'redut;::tit;m'. f;lr0a~ tBrf.')€ is used to rec·8,rll many traGk;s (typically 1e[j,r 24) in svnchronlsarfon so that the ,~eGordjng sessiElfl Irself can IDe devoted to estahi;lishin!'l the bmat'i musi€:al qualities 'and the basi€' contributior, of each indiv.itlua.1 instrument. Tha precise details of tKeatment and relative levels- ar-e worked out later. This, is a powerful teehni{:Jl!Jle wl'ilch has been wlttely used 1n the creative balarrcing UflDOP rnustc. It aflGlws the fual,ancer to concentrate €In one thing at a time sad to e:xperiliT'l€l'lt. Begin by eheeklng th"e treatment given to indlviduat tracks, startiD.g with the rhythm, and then gradually assemble a eompQshe soulild. If the re,sult is I!Jhsatisf)iin€l, try a.Qain: the Qrtginal tr.a(1:ks are Dot affe·ctecl.

DIgital teGhn0logy[;!ermits tl'le sett'in,!Js fo'r each trial to be sawed In memory, and updated as regwired. The operation of faders ean also be stored, allowimg many more operation:$" to tie Garr~ed out at the same time.



FAQERS beft: Sh0ft and lo'l'l@ tArOVI' ooniilu€TIve; ~[a'stic fai:l,ers. TAese may be -ass,oG'!ated with e::hannel m0ni't0rirfg al'l0 @f<OUP selecttom contm·l,s. 80me fade[s used for nne inpl!I.t may also have rel1:fote stantbuttons, Rigl#:: .A. Manual fade'r<. B .. l\'IIot0ns+ed fadeT.

D 0 f-IO
'" -5
o -'a
D Till 1--5
w f-IO
D ~15
0 f-l,5
D ~io
8 i':-- so

1. Obllpllt is taken l1Iefore' channel fa'der. 2, SYn:lb01 'for '0verpres-S' fao1li1¥: wHen €1iI)'lI'lfl1el is fulll's,d out. I"ressing tlile fader knob reutes sigl'la1 to!7fiste:n (heard ,01'1 ne~ar-rield (0]( skHjJi0 loudspeakers as selecte.q, (0]'( (O]ri heaGpJl0'nes).

o €I 0 0

' ....

I 2 [3 4 00(;> 0

•••• s G " B


o Q Q :.9:::

•••• i'iI 10 II 12.

° 0 (;) (;)

•••• 13 14 15 liS

RU6JTING MATH"'': At the top of each ehunnel strig on a desk t;iesi@necl to be, .Iinks€! to '3 rnulticharrrtel recorder, the mass ·0f press-bl;lttOll1S Ieoks mone con'rwlex than ito i15,. Press anv til;Utt0Jl to sel'ld ehaAI'I.el0,utpllt to select:elll traclf.

Hew filters are used [OT Ijl'amatie or m,(1,sieal effects.


FIlters maylfle aative or !;l.essille_ A passive fmer can enly reGluee the level of the sIgnal passing through it, doiJ:lg so s~lf!}ctively by rre<quency_ With the Simplest eircblit the filter [38sseS sUi)s' all of the si§ncai on Gneside of a Ghosern fre~uenGy al'1d cuts pmgress+v:ely more arrd rnone of; it' on the. other s-iee DT thls tUrFl.~o"ef ppililt_ .

Simulating telephone qualj,t:y, etc.

!?'i-imple switGnable ~assh,o:e filters can b'e usei.1l to $fff:iulate tel,ephc0ne fjual:ity sO-blnd, p.!l!l.l'llic ~daress-, Intensorn systems and IOHdspeaker output within the ae1!i@H of a dramatie !!Iresentation_ -rne gri.ginal signal CIDrnes from a stud'ip miaophene whieh is seJ'larate'd and st\jehje~ from other open mior-opliot'les to aVIDitii spi.IL For o0ruplete .sep'aration It can be pla€ed in a Gll.'lSec;i cubicle, witlii the Performer wearing heaQlpnenes. In a television play wf'tere the peif('JTmer has to appeal:' rn visior.l in altemateshots, this is not p'flIssible: in this case the studio lay@!.:!!must be dooL@tiJedtG mln'irnise the p@ssibilitv of sRlilL Direotignal l'I1icr:0phones lie,lp to @nly 'a limited eoctent, as ffil,u;;h cf the spill is by refleo:te.d sourrd ..

The t~e!CIuf!ru;y ran~e flIf most pwtilic:telephQne s¥stems is some 3000Hz, wi1!h a lower Limit of atrerurt 3!J()~z_ The'f.e is rro ne-ei.'I to Q):QI'lY thls ecx8c-tI¥: the degree bfeut-offklsed is a rmitter for the jWlJgrnePit flit the. balancer, as i_s the ,r,elative leVel o'ft:Jie 'far' v@iee in a telephone CQI'l'll€rsatibn (m€!ter:s provilile no useful lndicatiort cf the ap:iprol'lriate leve,1 wben tne bass hiss been removed from B s0und).

Response sele.ction (equalisatian, 'EG')

For mote eornplex ch,angeS'in iireCllJen:cy resJ'}el1se an actIve fiJiter employing amplifiers is used, In ine:xpen.sjve cl@.fIi1;estic e'(5JlIjpment 'tHis can very sinlply be incerparated into amplifier eircuits wi;Jich are needed anyway, so simple bas'S an€! treble GGmtralg 'are widely available>. S'udi·@ alesks ha '8 mw.£f;i more sr.l'arpJy~Ele·fined oontrers for lifting an.d reduGLh,g not: ertly bass and t'reble but also orre er rofKII6 ranges il1l betw.een, to pni:lvide \!VAat Is calleccl eqwalis'ation or EelI'.

NomiRallv, 'eEjwalisa:tion' as appli'e€l to rrrietophones rnearrs re-sto,rlng a level freque.ncy· respol' t@ a microphone that has inherentl:y or By its I'HDSitle(1 ali blne.V·en respo",~e: it may be WS'E:1.rl ta match rnieroptrones with ditfer.ent reSl1l0lises. In praotl'€e it rri·ay offelil also mean'ta.kin0 a seGffina steR in the Gr-eativedistotti01i1 €If sOblno for a particular effect (the eh_oiee !tIf m.ieroph(;}fle .aAa its belm@ the fir'St). It is used .in thiS way in [3QP music - 'Snd the .esuIt is' a mEl:tte;f for the judgment 0f the balarreer.


Ef,FECT$ UNfT wilh f0Ur de,9 re es €If bass cut (81-'1,) and five bf treble But (F1-5).

c TELEPHO.f\IIo;: .~f=Fbb:TS §WITCHIN@ UNn FOR TIELEVISION 1, Pr~-seleGtor. switches, 2, Switehes linked tovide,@ QI!J'~ bl!.lttons_ 3, B!'IS£i ~md tr.eble tilt,ers. Here mil!:rbpf10ne /'JI; is. undist(!)f1ea only wn,ile B is filtered amd vrce Vefsa_


Mtc.lilfu. (and sholvtng)


'lop liftJr.e:<;luctip",' or l'i.t EQ

Bass liftlre (iLJcti&n or I.f. EO

o 0 0 J\_ J"'\._ Midliftwith "a~iable Q

'" 0 <;)

EQUALJ$.A:TION MODW LES 'Left: Merte eharmet., 1, High and 1:0w,pass fil'ter:s- , 2, HF equalisatiofTI" 3_ and 4, High! and lowp'ljQ-f~~fi1uE;lHcy 5, Vanable Ql (bamawii1ltl;)). 6, LF e.,;rualisaliaf1. 7. RIDUtU:9 ~WI't(';t1~. Centre: Stereo enanneJ. 8~ 1 0, High, mie.l- amd 10VV"-ftequell:!i;'y e[:l'uallsj3tl@IiL RlfiJht~ 6Q; symbols.


More coin!§rex filteJ:s ere use,d to anan{I"t! t'he cemrn! part eft t"tte ft:eqrHmcy resp:orJse tsurve,

RespORse shaping

Between tfie extremes of bcass and treble (Donnols, a rather 1'Tl00fe comJ!illex fQcf'1ifl of tiilter' cart be HseEl to seilectively amp>lifya nafrrQW range of frequeneies, W.t.iere ,t'lis is €lone withleut affectrn!g the remai'nd:e'r;- of the sounri, the !3ffe_ct is Galled midlift.


This j,s the eleetrical 8Cjuivalent ef tae 'selectivE;!:El'mp~asis of partlc_m,lar freqlCJEm-ci'es by the v08al cavities Dr the dfmensions of the resoreatqrs of many irrstrrumenls. In these, Hie fermant th-at is pn~duGed £lives the instrwment fIiluch of its character. M.lcllift ean th,erefor'e, be seeR as a devicJ! for emphp.sising GharaEter and, indeed, if used out of any appropriate Gentext GanElo so to the [!.Ioifift gf car1cature.

The rrrost comm0n use f@rmiIilHfti's in popular music. Here the empha~ sis of individual e/;jaract:er heh~s instll'uJ'l"lents tt.-rat are battling for reoognilion In .a 10ud and densely structured sound. As we have seen, sinmers, wQQcl!Winn and brassrnay be !!liven peaks of mittlJiflt at diffe'rent freqw.encies and so ma:y@sc:efTlflbine€i in a shEl@lre piece of, .FrolUS'ie. ThesQ p"eaks :m-ay <1J's'o be ae'sorllDed as'f!jresellce', as tl\ey appear to brin§ forward a' partiGular souree ;without affecting its overall volwine. A comp-arable effect is a rnil1l-r'ange dip or 'sne.lf'_

DigitallY-RrGgfammem equalisation cam haVe atrnest cORtililb!Ously var;iable «oritrol of frequenoy or volu-me ana: can also vary the width of the ourve (Rnovim as the Q)_

~raphi.& fitter

If we taKe response selection one stage further up the scale of cprnl!lleiXity we reach tne!'iraphitt (0rshaping) filter. In tliis tlJe signal is swlit into !;)ands which are t:7Jl1icaJly @ne-thirdl of an ootave wide. :In practice" these will not be discrete bands but tiwerJapping peaks, S'0 arranged that i@.r a 'level response' the sum af any frequency is equal to that of the original s:ign;aL Vis<lJally similar €lev~(!;es vary considerao1y in the degree t€l whieh this is aG'pjeveei.

Selection of the deslred effect is m'alie by setting: tbe slides for tl;re various temponent bands at differen.t leveLs to form what appears to be iii \i1rca~m of the new response on tne fate of the cdrrtrol unit. The 8E:tual resw€!nse that is aCrtievecl may cliffer fnDm this to' -an exte-ni that depends on 'irrdlvidual ae,s.ignqcnd the sbarprress of the fluetuatiorrs set. But in afilY case, the restllt of any p.a,rticl!Ilar operatj0n can onl:y o'e judQed my e'ar.

7his type 0fec.i!u'aJisatiO:f1 iSi lSarticwlarly useful in marching the qualitv from diffment microphen-es wl1en nerec0Fding (Glubbfng) film or video sound. Voi-ces· recorded in aiffereR! conditions earrnot, in ~reneral, be rnatcheg sd perfectly tHat they sound as if they were in the same place. But defieienciesIn gruality and intelligibility can be rtlCl'0e less o l'iitrl.JSlve, and onl1ecessary rnlrror variati00s e-al'l be e'ilaned out;



$IMPLE BA~g Af>JD TREB.l:1E CQi>lTRDL The efteet of e'sriy 't@fle' COr.ItFrnJS_


FlRESENCE' If>EJl:KS Ty:p.i(!:'al g.x_aRll'1les (il'~ mitl'lift .. Sitlge,r S, w00dwjlild IJ'rI arrd lilrass 8 SaGA have tfueir separate. range wHhfn whiEh th:eir eharaeter+is sel.eottvely ern'phasise!J. so that one -El~-es n@t eorrflict with or Gl@,SCUfe an.otl1et.




GRAPHIC FIL TEfl In the m:ost u-sual Illesign the sJi,ae faders -are at thirl:l~ octave irrrervels, an€! eentrol -the gain or attenuation 111 a bafjQ @f a60Ut that wi.€lth. In priflciple. the 0·\lerall effect should 1'1l'ateh tbe, lin'e shewn on th.e faee of tile m€ll'luJe, but tfjis may net Ije achieved in praG'tice. The resuH sfioultl be jl'lElgee by ear.

100 1kHz


Ikl=l2 r IlDk

Redaoing, volume Faa:ge by eatametic electrical lfI<Ietneu!ls,

Compressors and limiters

Gompressi-on (re:rilHction in ilIynamic r'an~e) rnav be, used tll) maintain a hl€1R 'overall I'evel TI'l 0flfleJ' to ensure the stron€le'St !J(!)'ssibl'e reclim;::!e€! or broadcast si0nal. 11'1 j.'>Gp1l1ar rnusfc it may bi€ afi)plietl te individual c@nlponents 0f a tia€king -sound whioh would otblerwise have to I:!le heh?l l'Qw i'n C'l,rder'to avoi,a slid den I'Iea!.is blottln@ our the meJodl{; or it Alight me ~ed on, the melo'dy rtself, whi!':h mighf otherwise haV'e to be rai'sed overaU. and 8'S a result become too fiQrwar:d.

How a cempresslilr wor!(.s

gelow a ,ri!redetermin>ed leve~1 (the Hfre'sh.olcl or onset point) th'e v0luiTliI'~ of a s;i@nal is unchangecL Above this p0il'1'i t)1e aaditi,GlrJai volume is ree:luc~d in a gi:ven proportion, e.q, 2 : 1. :11 : 1. or !ii; 1. For e:ltarmple, if the th1ieshold were set at SdS below the level 01i1 00 Ii>Eif Gent mOQulation afilo 2: 1 comlRi?ession selectad, i~ would rrrean that sIgrnals whlol1 prev..iously @'iermodulat"e(i;f IildB were now just reCjchil'l1'.l hili rnerdulatlom. SImilarly if3 :. 1 mad I;}een €flOSen, signals which previously w@uld have qverpeakad by 32dB will ROW 0!1lly just r.eaolii 100 per cent.

Wti'81 tois mepnSc in practiee is that the Qve,rall le:l7elmav l;;e. raiseti o¥ Sc;fB o,r 32dB~ so tf;]a! I'e!<lti'lely gulet sigo'-als maRie a Fmu,ch bi§ger" Q€lrrtriIWl'i(9'n than w@IilIGi otherwise ee pBssiljle.

Anexpande» operates .Iike a GOffipreSsor, !;jut in reve', allowing flJlthe. fine CIi.lntr-ol of dynaiTIJ!?s; a €om(;J_ander &€lmbines the t;w"e, first 0C!lm-

pf't;!.ssing, then restoring the ori0inal dynamics. J$l-.

How a IUnitef works

Sl?Jppdse now that the comlRn~ssion r.atl9 is maete, say 20: 1, and the tliresh([)le:I level raisecl to s@methjn~ very close t61'00 Iller cent rT:lodulation, Working like this ,l'1e compressor now acts as what is called a limiter. A I1fttjter can be used t® hold. une~li>eGte€l lln:livitdual higH peaks that WIDwid 9'V'erloatl subseguent equipment or it can be use~ te li,fr tMesignals fr@m v.irtually any lower h~vel to the usallile worKing ~ange of the equipment ~ 1:h(;Twgl'l. thi.s may cause I'IrolZitems with high level signals that rilEiY pe eXcessively compresse:g.l, arrd witt'! background norse 1118t will Be lifteg.

I~ will IDfr se.en 'that the effect Qf a 2: 1 compressor wrth a tt-ire-shald at 8dB below 100 per cent molilulatimtl is to compress ollly th'fi}. 'tf.>p 1608 or sf\ilnals while leaving th0s,e at a lower level te drop away at a 1 : 1 Ifait'io.

Toe decay time: in a tYPical simple li,miter may be set at 0.1, 0.2, D.ll-, 0.8, 1.6 '0r 3.2 se€onQls. Ttol€ fastest Qhhes·e can nold brief traneient peak~ wifhout affecting bat<:kgf'ountd bot Wlitoh a raloriti serIes af peaks could produce an unpleasarrt v'ibra:to-like effeqt, P@r lTBost pl:lI'P9S:eS ael.1HJt half a Se0QnGJ is sati,sfa(;;f0I:Y, but duration ls not criflcaJ at low compreSSiQIL.

L(,)I1'l,pres:s@r53fill2llimiters shQyld not be t,J,sed Tor classical music, IficQleed, wherefhanu·al control is feasible i't is alm0st inval'lablS' tu be preferred. The us1=! of t-ompression in pop musi.c is a &lYe'Gial ease,


QYNAMI[;S MODUUE$ Ll~ft., ste~eo:

In-[fri.e; Qhannel CQ ntT'I!l Is. 1., Limiter fl'iresl9o:J!d and Telease (decay tlmeJ settings errd '\'rat'8' ke:y<.

2, Ji:.;omlJ)r.ess..o.r thr'esho!d, . c0mpressi@.n r-ati0, attack and release settiR,!)s. :1l, GalR reduction due to G@mpressj3r or l1mite'r..

4, fil1,ake-l;Jp gain arnpJifier setting. 5. Switenesfor G(;Hnpri'lSSor; limitBr. Of external contfoel. R;gl'lt; in@RO: l:/sef"-ll for f1n8contf01 ,0f pepular music cly.namk.s. 6. t='xpander c@ntrols. 7, Cbm[llf'essor eOPltrels.

LIFTING LOW LI:.VEL5 1, With the €ol'11l'lreSS0F out ef circuit. only a srmall I"rOpPtti0f'1 0f tire input §oes into the ®esired €iynarnk 'r<Jl'1ge (,2-31. 4, W,!thimcreasing eornpressloa I:FIpr<8 can 1;Je; 'a I&GOJiJl!fTi1odated.5; Limiter.

N'lD1SE(5AT'E 1" Ran~e @f maximum eXcpeeted input lev'sl.

'2. Corr esportdina rnaxirriurn outplJt level. 3, Lowest I,evel of iihterest.

4, Low~( arid of desi'Qnec;i dynamiG r:ang'e. 51, (iatin,!) level: if level 0f '">igHal dr0J!)s b,eIElw this; the input chalraeteds.t:ie raII5' from level A to le~el a.


G o

r8 S Il'Ipl:l.t (dB)


Input (dB)

lnput tdB')


'Echo' al.!Jtjmenls or rep/acee§- t'he f'everberati011 given by neture! ae(in!J.~·.ics.

Artificial reVerbefatign: "echo"

Artificial re1lferQera1:i~IH'I (AR) is eften €oUel1luially eal.led ':echo' - an odd name fer a devi,ce wbiQn serves to extend reverbel<!tien with0iUt, 1t is hef"l'ed, introol!lci'iigla'ny actual eche8s. 11' Is useti on bc"cgsions when lTl0m reverheratiun IS waAteirl-tl'iah· tlfie bUilt-in aaousti€s' of a s:tllluiI:'J oan supply, or (for music] when a multirn-iefgphO'ne close ba'I'81"1.l3€ has been ad0j::lte,l;j.

MO'lSt control desks Ii,ave 'auxiliary send' facilities whiefi GaRDe used to t:ake a fee€! fr0m Ba€h ehanrtel to >an a rtitl,da I reverbel"aNoh oev;ice. Sinr;e each can be given its @li'V1'1 indiviid~al setting, thrs allows greatet ®0ntfol mali IS possible with Ilatwral -aqq,ustics ..

In the past, echo chambers, reveri:Jeration plate.s anti even systems of sfj)r1ngs have been e'Jmploye€.l. These all prot'.iw0e a rarsderrtised d.eta'y of sound by a system of multiple refle.Gti'ol'ls.

The eeho e.hal)1be,r.

An eche chamber mat be. a roam with 't;,r-imht' retleGt!im!,) walls, 1il~~Ha[!ls with 'junk' lrffere'd a:bout at random, in arder tfi) break l!R 1:ti;J,e retl E'K)ti0ns and rnop UJ') excess miGl-ran!'je re",e~b,eFati0n. A. humid atmosphere g"ives, astrorrq hlgh-frequeniCyresponse; a (fry one aJDs@ri:;}stop. An echo €haml'ier IilLke.Cl to the outside atmmsphere v'aries Mltfh tr.H:~ weather. The' shaID8 and si",e 0f the reorn controls its qual,ity 0f re\:l:erbe~Btion. In practice, the volume is 0ftem rather srnatl. 1iyj£!ieally 4QQOtr3 (113m3) Qr less.

AFlotloler' disadvarrMg,e of the eche €haml;;eris that, onee laid 0Wt, its reverber-ati'oTi time is fixecj. Two secorrds may be suitatala f'Qr music !;U,lt less "safisfaGtmy for spee-ch. A furtfrer pro'blem, whicn may add to the cost, is tI"Ita1 ecM@ chambers !'!e,em to IDe iS01ated froln strueture-borne JilOise.. But at leas:!: the- ulecay i~ l'IatufClI, he-cause the reve~be'fatiID:n is in tnree €I11rfensiolis. A plate, with two, sounds ruore meeh'i;lnic;al.

There.v,e"be~aflon ,plate

A metal plate ta,kes up le-ss roorn than an ech(fj Ghamber ana is·: les:s :suse8[D't!ible to structure-1ii0rne noise. It can, howe!Je~~, piek UJ!.l sourrd f"rGlm tlile alr. so 10 avei€!: hQw-rIDwndit €ould not l2Je housed in the same room as a m:onitorifl~ loulJ .. speaker. It IS not affe~ted lD;y other plate-s.

The plale 1S a s'heet of metal with tt:al71:s(;tu€€rs .. nne vibrates the !\llate and oth'ers; aelling as a CQ.f11'aGt microphones, pic~ up the sig,nal, refleete,d many tlrnes from the- edges. Unlilte tine eche chamber, its natural resortances dC) not thin out to sRarl'! weaks at the lower frequem::ies, btlt are sprea.a fairly evenly thr0Ugnbut'the aooio rang(t. DaFrlRing is also used to vary; Feverberatiofl times !;ietwe.en a nominal 0.3 and 5 .. 3 seconds.

For a !!liven seni.f1Q the actual duratien is longest at mid-fr.e€juen0ies, with a slight re'ducricn in the bass and ~atheF more. in tl'l,et@p (15dB at 1 Q OOGHz.), tnei'ei;)y sim klla1Jj'lig tne tiig'h-frequency alisorptlqn of nil.e air: ef a rmiJ'ffi of [mSlde:rate size.



FLEXIBLE 'ECHO SENI3' ~,Cbannel fader-. 2, Channel 014tput_ 3, PrEi- or p0"st~fader switch. 4, Alii sena rocler. 5, Bus Bar allocated to 'AI"I. €i, 1'@ :AR device, DlJtsicle corrtrol eonsote. .. On IH 81'1 Y' desks, the feed to Affi. passes 'thmugh auxiJi:p:ry 'senitl" circuits that may alse be \Js.ecl for many other f;jU'I'R0seS_ arrd in th~ simplest case may be fed frorn a p,0i-At after the chal'lr:l.el faoo'er..

ECHO GHAMBER 'A U~sha!3ed f00A'l may !oJ'e used to in(ireaSe the distance. the sourrds must traVel from IOl'.lds·I'U'laker to rllllcr@pAone. A st'em.€l pair wl'lUld picl« up sound fr@m djff~rent clire.ttions:.





Digital'revertreratiof1 Is more .flex/hie end. has Ia,f!gely r:eplaced echo a'hamhers aPIa plates.




Digital rever'ljeration and delay

Heverberatiofl C::<lm l3e mirnickea by C0.r:ripUl'l1!r G®nlrol of a d.lgital si'!'lnal, but, as in the E.!'volution of the desk itselt this needE!1!I the dmrelopment of relatively poweiful techniques (j)f C!jata maDjRuJation 'and storage (by rarrdorn aeceas memory). Now that these are aVail"8bl~, i?Jigltal artificial reverberation has laFg'ely replClcee earlie, techniques whichr as- we have seen, were limited irt tbeil' fle:xiillility and often had severe col'Qra1!i@1'l or reco-!!]nisal!Jly unr'ealistie characteristie-s. Indeetl, for those who dev€,loped an 8ffe-Gti€lJ'I fGfr the plate,its qlla[i'tY can be offere{1l digitally as one speeial Qase among maA!!_

A versatile dig"ital reverbera-tion d;ev,iGe willsimul;ate a wide Fange of, a0(:)ws-tics, with rnarrv pre-pro.g-rafn med -arl'd gl'1tel111he reassu ri n,gly fiamfllar n'ar,Fres o,t' GO m'lifl@nlY"-enG0U mtered errvtron rnenrs. SHOIiJ. titl,es d0, €If (:)QH rse-; represent the p.rog.ramrmer's concept of wtl-at tt.1ey mi,!,}ht sound like, Sl'J . s-nQHI£I be taken only a:s starting poinJs in the searGcb forsDmething suita'mI18, rather tl1lan aceeJl'lte,tI at faGe value. Even SG.r for m'any tla.laneers such a range will o@l1er most o~ N~ejr r-eql:liremen'ts.

Beyond them, however, there is far moreen offer - at Ieasr in !1lFil'l€lple, for'l.n'€) vast array of separliltely coFltrQlled pal'amete-rs can at first sl-9ht Be tdaul'ltin9_ Witt~ pra.ctIIJ€),1;bey, allow the user to 'title-fllme' €Q(jsting options or construct comw'-etely new, cUsltemise'd effe_Gl's, s"lf~uldtf.lese be required,

A use-fill. I fa,i:=::i'lit1y a110W~ Cf@ssover p01nts l:;)efweenfrequency ranges to be set S0 that each GaFl llIe given Its own sp<eeiill quality_ In '8 rea,lis:tlc example, the I'GW frequEUVl(;i,es migi'!t b-e as:si§nem a r-everIDerati,Qn :Vlml,'e tnat is pe,maps half a seCond Ionge:r than the mid-.r.ange. Other eharaete;fisties mig'mt include Iiln inltral delay (somefim;es Gonfosin"!!Jrv called 'Rr.ecElela)jl'), first reflecti0l'ls, th;e·'attac~' Idl"f the main ootly of revce:rg'erati:t.ln, tlien its slope and its final decay. There may (thou!tlh per:hal'ls wLti'! sorne !!!ve'rla'p-o'ffwncti0n), Ije more: one device offers 22 par-ameters. whicl;j can be wse€l to n:l€lclify re'Verb'eration, and a further 1~ {d! produce effects which lie outside the range [If rtaturat acoustics,

DIGITAl AR €ONTROL I,ijNIT' The deceptively oernpact ®0nirols for one 'digital s,ig.flal processor" which offers a wielle variety of AR and ether effeGts\ 1, lEd disl)llay showinfl a deseffptive Harne of the seleeted pr(')_gra!lll, its, main char.acterlstics, and the votume (in:cludin@ overload warnil'fg).

2·, I"rogra.rn -or register_ ::t Number. IDf jDf0QPam or re~;fster selected.

4, PUncti€l.R keys .. ~, liD di'SJ9lam sli[;J~rs,and keys associatem witR th'ecuFrelfl.lly s8l'eete@ control 'I"age' . OJ'ler.ation is not inhlitively: ID0Vio,LJs: new users should f@llew the step.-l!Jystep instn"i"ti0~ris, guilde€! i:FIttjaJ.iy !lty the suppnsedly 'I!lsercfrien€lly' pr.09pam names, _

fUANGIN.G AND PFlA31.N6' 1'1re enange in amplit-tJde (vertleat scale) llIlit1l frequency. A. The effe.ct of nali§ing - here with a delay of OJ'lms - is evenly l'listri'Eiuteo ~hn;lugh61!lt--rhe· frequenc,y range, but is not related to the musteal sealec, which is 'Io£jariihmf(!;. B, Cancellation '3;AO 8phaocememt produced 15y the use of a pttase-chanqlrrq f'lehNerk: -the drillS are €Iistrililuted over the musical seale.

Digital ~pecial .eff'ects

Sonhisti!i:ated effects cam ee00tainetl, incillain~ reverl:ierafi€)n tTme·s tf'1i8t tJe,l'1el'ld en f.r,e,queneYilftl@ uflnattlfally lon'§ til1Tlesfor speeial effe,cts, {!;dntinl:\G'Us sampling g)ves a 'spin' effecJ, which i!Jy slightly ~nh'al'lG'ift!'il paIrt 0f tille frequene.y rang;e can sounlil liRe a riElpidly 1'l6gene_ra"fing feed:tJa.€k effeet 0r I'lewl-rol!md (which is nerrnallv av@ide€l liJ<e the plag,ueJ. Vari'ab;l-e delay is also achievecd, and by r.ee0r:nbining this wil1i'! the o~j!ilinal signal, 'ph'asing' eng 'flanging' effects can 1ge o braim ed, a hol.10w ph<;ls.eeaflGellal'ign qwal1zy that can ba made to sweep tlirQugh the audlbfrequelu:y range_ Used as sJ3ecialeffects iA. pUlp mush;:, tmis nas I'lreviQliIsly been aGhieved by manual <drag OFI sne of a pah of rec0rdjl'l,g's_


[ ]

{I I I I I I :3
1 [I]
I ~
J :5
,,6~~¢9r 6
Q:ooooo 2


u u





flow 'eetro: is used creatively in pop musie; rem"&diaJIy. in oIa;s.siear masit: and for special effects on speech.

Using lecho'

,. , .

, ..... ""'. \'


Arti'fi~iaJ reverberatfetil (AR) is an il'lte;gral part of a,ny balance where eJose r'nkr8pnones are' used. As each source has a separately eerrtrelled feed, differential am6ur1ts of 'eah@' Gan l<Je added, depending on ffre elarftv of line lsl'r resonance required. SQI,Qi:sts can be brQught forward BY lifting the direct COUlpcmentof the, S(])Ufld and reduGing AH iMp!;!t. The,voi,r;€ requires less eehe (eithe'r irt volume or re,ve'rber:atior:J time) if the words are t@ be heard dearly - though in mGJ,me,rn music the mar.gin'al al!li[jjbility of a few key words or ,[Dhrases mav fue all that is required 1.0 estabfi,slil subj'ect rnarter 'Of mood. Here the application of AH is a matter for 'the bal'<lnce~. In his interp~etalioFl of tlre composer's or arrariger~s intention there is S8Qpe fIDr skill and ve'rs'at1Hty.

'ECHO' MIXTURES With cseparate centrol of the dlreet feed, 1, and the affifidal rellefberati0n fAR) feei'l, "2, a wT€feuahge ef e:ffect1> is. ,f.)ossible. A, ReYt'!'rfu:sratiQJ;l ciQminates, the s,IDum;!. B. Rev.erm:er.atYtll'1 tans @Imtly Iilehrnd it.


--~--- - ---+----

SiJmulafin-g concert han conditions

When GlassicGal music has: been recorDed in an acow'S'tic whtGh ist@o Claao (as lnmosr tllde-Ilisitin Qr filrlfl stwctiLIlS), AI'! fiTiI'ay be added in an attempt to impfQ?lle rnatrers. Beoause at its s.ize, in a coneert hall thepe is a tirny delay between direct sound and the first refle€tioil arriving: at the miGrophon~. What:' ha:ppems: il'l this interval o'ft€>fI h€l,ps to define the character Elf particuJar instruments. A d,ela¥, of a tellth of a sec:lDr.JtSi €ol"respol'lds to a pattr c;lifference of 100ft (30€'m), as ina' !Jig oalL !>lote that we are already in the realms of true 8-0110, as:a delay in excess at a twentieth oftr se'fce,f]e can begiH to separate (;uiginal -seurrd and reverberatiorr t0prodUlJe drs" 8rete 8!.>hoes on staceato sounds. Digital delay will have the same ef,fe~t. Tl<le long patH of true Goncert hall reveroerati(jJn results (in (lry air) in the atrenuatien @f higM freqldem:1es: this wBlIld als0 lile indud.ed in a di.!1jital simulation ..

rleV'ed,)Elratic;)n times of EJjfferent dutatlons may be used for sing~rs and orohrestra.

'ECHO' QN TWQ VQIGES Where: diffe.~ing arrrounts of Aft are n~~ded Qfl_tWI1J vQjees, GPposin§ mit:rofilh0ne:s a'Rd'XIQiees are plall:,eci deae-sidecaR "t'oA~a()i;] other. 'fhis layout (us'in.!;i bi-direG'ti€mal mieroFJhenesl might be -aC!ioWted i~ a ~adi0 studio; in a 1:elevisj'(l)11 stud1im the~e will 1il."m;naUy be 1'f)0re sli/'a;;o:e. rnakl'Rg S-eJilaFati.on e.asier.

'Eolio· on speeE:h

In usin€l '€CR.(j), fer sl'leedi (e.g. in l'l,taY!;1) the main problem IS one of perspectives Fl'lC@vin§l eloser to. a m:krOlilhone prOdl'JGfn~ more fese;;! to the AFt de\7ice - tfie ve~ry reverse of a reali$tiG e&e8t. 'AS'eJ1larate r.:micrQp'R@l'Ie for ttl.e 'ecn0' feed may help; so will careful rehearsal of the tlesired effeet., Where differihQ ameunts of reverberation -are reql:lire~ Em tWQI voices taRen e.n q,; sil'lgle mier@phoPl8,. a switch in ARfee€l (ehariqe d between voi€es) should be used iA prerererrce to the AR IDutput fader. 'Nn'Eire the latter is varied it should be reset at the start of the new souna Cilld not: in the g'ap betwe,elil- s'@unds, wi;1e're the change would Be awdible· unJ~s'S' the g-ar;p were Imag.

THE I:RPECT OF LEVEL 1, Loud cliJ:ect sourtd, 2, Audi!;>le reverberation. 3, Huiet direct seurrd, 4, Reve~l;),eration now belpw threshoJd of heairing. 5, For a Qiveri: sett-ing 'Of the. AR fader there ls -a tevel of dlrect .sound below which the reVerbfil'FatioO has RID au:€lible effect. This als0 varies with the settin@ of the liSten:er's l:oWllspeaker.



Th~ essesement of Fe/ati!;'e cEocmd volurnes is done b¥ea~ s_ubjeot to some referehce level which is determined by meter.

Thle maxim6lm permftted v@lume may m8 sharply defined. In AM padio '100 P@of ee nt modulation' means (;jlwite literally the paimt aemle whk;h the p'eal<s of the sig-Ila! are gfe.ater than those of the sarrrer wave and will momentarily extin~blish it; €1fT} a vinyl reGord there i<5 a pliysicClI limit to the wall thickness between l1r:oQves. ln I'lmttie8. heweve;r, i'n presentday terms 'furl rrrodutatlen" generally inciic,a!teS' an upper lir.nitf@r some desigha1'ed lo~ .Ievel of i r:reversib Ie distcrtion.

Similarly tliere is- a I('}wer< limit to programme level betow wliich noise @1 Qm:e sert Of another becomes noticeable. We must- th-erefore C01'1t'rOJ a'nid vvhere nel!:essal1)! comPl~ess tMe ~ignalFo ma'ke the. best uese of the ~ange between noise and ltiistortioTL Withih the accepted ra'r.lge, judge the rela-1'iv;,e h~'IIel,s by ear, but use a meter to cl'leJJI( the result_

Meter-s are also used to ensu re that there is no ur:lcalle~ ter I:.o$'s dr g,Ii"n between items of equipment: to control rela-qve levels between dlffer:en1 (ile:i'formances; arid to Gheek that levels rem:ain withLn the: bounde desirable' f€l1f goo:cl listening.

In music rec0,rding studje-s, multitrack- teetmiQues: ideally t'equi~e separate me·tering each eh:annel that is being. reeorde(;L Using the cerrventiomli disl'llay, ahl'ol.ft" eight meters can be r(:!'ad. Fi!>r a lar:!iJe,r number it is best 1a have tne;1II1 in line with thE fader aro1il risi'r1Q on a vertir&aI sCal!e to form a graphkal display.

"The 1wl') main ty.pes @f meter are the VtJ meter (fay;our~cl in Amerka) and tlils ppM (wid.ely l!.Ised ifil Europe). A Dargrilph may si'niulate eitIJer_

PEAK I?ROGRAMME 'METEl't (PPM) The ma~k,irigs are- white. en hllack. EacM. eivision is' 4f1B;'1f' ,0n the meter fsa standard 'zero leV'el' arret '6' i's full me0ulatre!1, above- wl1iol'i i!list0t'tten is to ae expe,ccted_

VU MET,EI'l. Tine- lower sC<j;IJ:\ iodilElates f!1ercer;lta~e mo,dulatil'lR arrd the upper scale dec;il:iels re:lattve to fl'J·11 mo!;lul'<l1!iQn_

I 16
0 0
~ ~
12 1.:2
16 16
20 ao
':15 'l.S
lP 30
B c VU m.eter

The face of the VU m,eter has scaJes for Ilioth perceHtage modulation and deoibels. It may We a dt.rect-re'a~Hng instr.ument - i.e. requiring rro s~ecial amplifier. In a studl@"quallty mle;ter t;t':ie long time-constant '(as mwch as gOO rniHis8so·Jids is uS'eo to darnp unreadable fluotuati'uHlS) j!lfeventS1 trerrstarrt sounds from being regi:stere€l at al:l .. It I!mder-J'eads on sh·arply perGus;;ive sounLllsanC51 speech (at" 'WOG ['leF cent mO:Qwiation' these ate distoltecjj,.

A paf';lieufar diis'advant~ge of the scal,e is that '!l!er(';entag.e mcdulseion: has little·to do with relat-ive lev'els as pepceTved lily me ear, and that about 1:1.8'lf of the Lange is ®CG!-1Ji.1I'ea by th'e :adS abrove and below the nominal 100 j:'1er Gent rnodulatior; Very little naturat g€lun(f1 varie. over so n'art'@w a range. Nevertneless many users feel they do get sufffcient inf@rmfltiQ'Ii1,

Peak progl'amme meter

The ,PPM is a proqrarnms aia as well as' 8,1'1' engineering d'ellicH. US!rlg a s(!leci-al al'l1plifier. for GjIDnversiafi of the sigr:]'af it reads logarithmically (i.e. im decihelsl @ve,f, its wIDr~lhg rangE! Git aOIDut §lOdB, A. typical FJ1M ha-s a time constaflt <of 2..5> mllliseGlQod:s Td<r ttre rise and a SJ0W f'aJi (time €0F1stant 1 seeona, giVill.g a fa_ll of 8.7dB/se:oonclJ.


Bi€l.RGRAI"H$ A, A simple LED bar.gra:l'lh giveS''i3 rqugh guide to lever (Dr' everlQaGl) 1m an imf,jviau:al chamrrel or gr-oup. B, PI-asr,pa bargraph: mono, C, Plasma lJarl'lTaph: steNo tor amy ];lair of chaHl'le,ls) .. Above a given level (here +8 on the PPMttt'ie gllaslna gloW is brighter still, to iIadk;ate overlead, A further t,ype of di"spl'ay siTnl'Jlate.,s the b;aftir<lf'll:i on a VDU, D, B'argra~hs C'QI'I.~e. to offer a va,rrety@f displays ineludil'lg both PPM ami v.u_



Hew to matefi the relative: I€we/s of dif.fe.rellt proorernsn« e!eli1?e.fills.

Programme volume

A meteroan lYe w:sed t@ suggest or otraok levels; Fer el'(81'1'l I'l Ie, if a clis€lJssi'on. is allowed it·5: nemTiial aynamk rang,a with oGCasional peaks up to tl:1e maximum, ar.rew$J'8.ade'r WAO speaks 0learl¥ andevenlv will sound loudehQugn witt;. ,peaks averaging about €rdB Ie,ss. A whole_ sys~e:m af sL1eh referen.ce levels can be btrilt up: see ·first ta·hle opposite.

Radio and "te·le VIS i(;Ul stations \/\lith a €i'istlncti\te styl.e ana a restri€ted range of proqrarnrne' rnaterial have only a limited number li)f types of junetien ef1~ it is easy to Iirrk item to item. But Tor a se·fl:fi,€e (stil.1 availab,le in .many Gountriesl w:l\icl'ii 1:hOQrp@ra:tes news, cornedv, dr-ama, popular and classieal rnusie, r81:ig.ioo.s serviees, ma@azine's, diseus'$:iQn proQrammes and so on, problems of matChIngoetweefl successive items can I:;)e:c@'me acute; a listener expeets to "8€JjUSf his volume 0nJy with inereasiD€llnterest lrr a pa rtieular iteom. An increase in \l.0I.u m'e tliiat.c0lncliiles with a reaumien of interest is: LrrLtating.

I'Mogl'8cmm~ mater.ial

Talk, e!isou§>Sit'i21'1 pr€lgr-arnmes News arrd weather

Drama: l'larr.a1irtln

Dnarna'; actiEJA

Ugmt: R"lljsic

Classlca I rn 1;1 sic

l'Iarl1lsichori;ls and oagpipes Cl-avioh0rGfs and vir.§inalS' AnnIDwncements hietween Ji)'UofSie-

(depe,n~in9 0n type of music)

o -q


'0 to -1&

o to -Hi

o t~ -2:£) -8


-4 to -8

JUnetionsbei:Ween speech and music

Two rules which generally >$JTr1Q@th JlJn€;tioDs betvveefA s[!>e8en and mLJs:ic are given in the secorrd "fable opposi:t:e. The apparent G01ltradietion can be resolved b¥ starting speec;:h 2MB d@lI:\(n from Its normal leyel and ,hen raising it .by tlhat small difil'eren'ce. Thesl1! levels assume listening with at I.east mG-derate attemfion with the v.0lume set 8!:)"Gordingl;y. I . .m these. cif'oumstanc·es announcements snouli::l peaK less "than musie, l'3ut if the listener's \!'f!J·lume is always assufifle([l to be low, a I'ri@her rel"ative:le\iel of speed\ is tQler-abl,e: in the worsn c($lliIflftl@ns an annOl!Jncemerotl1l1'aY haVe t® be gdB -above mlUsk.

P>wl!ilems of matcMin!jJ 'are trf 1('}.55 fnterest to statiorrs whose .main audience may be listemin,@ in @'f tJrrfavoufab·le 0ontiltlQ}[ilS (e.§ .. in a car or on poor equipment such as a small transistor radiQt,. ar whQse prine:ipal concern is maximl:1rr1 coverage - as in oeve,lopiDg countries: wham a SFA.aIJ nl,lmber (S)·f transmItters cover a wiide area atrd com(f,l;Inication takes precedence over· quality,

Fi.lms and memV other programme:s an televisien require a volume set1i'mg that is 10wer GH'! average ttran is fdr adlJleftisin@ Of promotIonal Ilnks:. Thcs <llilpears to be an intf'acf'ab:le ~roblem - whk;1i is lett to the audience to solve' with a 'mute' buttnn,

b.l5'fENJE:RS' PRI'CPERItNQHl FQ8 RIELATllJE LEVELS GF SPEECH AI"JD MU$.IC Bas·~Cl on the results 01' a l!I:B.b survey. This included classical and li§ht (TIus:ie (llil1t not pop rrrusie) and was cdeslQned to measure preferenGes<"for ristenirfg in reas~Hi1able eont!lrtio'ns at heme·. l'hese are the- aVeraged results:

men women
Jl8 "'8 88 90 87
75 '14 Jl9 89 84
75' :;13 79 '89 83'
71 71 ~4 8~ 7"1 listening fevels·

A.n ex.petir,nent on wefe·fred liste:ning [evels Ithird table, gpPos.lte) shows that sQund ba.laneers prefer to Listf:ln at margiFlaUy hi§her levels than fTilus"ioians; and both very muon higher than most members of the pubJi&. Reople pn'lfessiomaUy e€lnc:erfled WItH sound need t8 eiKtratt a greal €ieal more information from what they heat, ancl the greater velume helps them to plck up the finer pflifilts af "fades and mix'e:s, etc., and €heek teGhfliea! GlI!I'afity.B'l,Jt it must aJway.s IDe remembered thcQt tI~e state of af.f'alrs at the receiving ecrnti may be \<ery (llfter-ent.

These~lgure.s were obtained by HEIC experiments in 1948, before tliie aOv·e.n"t €;!f either FM radio or pORular music in its modern forms. IBn''!: the tT'ends s-nown lieI'e ~emain valid. [The figur'es are given in dB relative to 2 x: 1 [i)5Pa.)



Aur<!l iu,d{l~ment and ma·r.liua'/ ()ol'1tro1 are tt'J oomtsress me. naf!Ural range of voturrre.

Manual control of music and speech

ADout 110d:B the thresholds. of hearing and of feelifl'![I. Ths si!'Jnifh;:ant s01·mdS (ioclwd;irig musk) that we hear in our oa1l¥ lives cover much af this ~an'g!1L But only 45tlB may separate the noi!se .Ievel of a quiet room and its occuparrr.s pre·le·r;red maximurr. I.evel of mwsj€. 30 tne netural or possible range of sounds rnusr be Qompr.essed t@ rrreet fhe preferenB6 of many IistBners, as weU as to' held le·ve·ls be'tw~-en noise al'le;i distortion Ievelss In plractke, differcent rah!iles aliJply to AM a'nd FM raGlia, and to clJ~al0gue and di!!)ital

MANUAL OONT~-()L OF PROGRAMME VOUJMti Method oflmmpresjsln\!J -a

heavy peak to retain the oriRinal drarriafic effe_C!:t ami at the same tlrne ensure tf;tat . the signal tails l'Jetv.veen r;naximuO'l and mi.nimurn per:missible levels 1 an:cl 2 $tel1>$ of 11/2-2dB are ma:cle at intervals of, ,say, 10 SeCQBUS_

Go.nt~omng music

In thJe corrcerr hall, music mav have a ran!!)'8" of 60-YOdB. In BB~ p:tr.actiGe it is compressed to about 2ldF:l (pe)3k: v'alue:o;i wit19. qui~teJl passages' not e<l(,ceeding half a ihinute . .ReGortis (CD and DAT in partiGular) may: be all(;)w£eillflore thafl this.

Automatic contret without the amtiGipOIti'on 0f or lo.udJ,'lassages v.v0wl«I destroy the music, IDut m~nual eorrtrol can enhance the listener's e·fljQ¥m~nt. 1m order t.iD avoid QverrflodulatiGJn, iade down gr'8dually over a li/eriQ€l @f half a rninute or rH@re; at;Jth;::ip.ate very quiet passages sirniiarly, Try to I'lreser>ae the nuancas of lil1Jlilt and shade. ~tE1ps of lVz-2dB at a time wl'lI not be tTetieed by the audJen.ce; mos:tf,aaers; are marked in 'step's' ef about tlilis size.




V(j)L6)ME C@N'rR,OL ANI:;} PEffiSPEGTIVE Fading I.1p a quiet I"a·s-sage is like m'ovin@ closer. But if th"is is d0ne on a sirig,le microptrone the I"erspective rernalns "he same, A pleasarrter effeet may be <lGhievecCf I:;ll{ niixirtg micfoph0r:Jes at two distatrcesc rnicrophone 1 is used to srin£l forward 'the quiet passages and miefopIJ0Fle '2 takes over i'h tl>18 loudest parts oJ the music.

eo~ntroUing: sp-eech and sound eHeets>

$tyeeGfl is controlletl in a Gfifferent way and over a narrower rang-e. Th'e maximum range is irl radio IiJI.ays, where BBC praetiGe allows 16"dB (03g.aLo, on f.!!8<;1K values), with avera>_se at SdB l.oJel'Qw the maxir.ntllifl to allow fo·.r the: dramatic e¥ffe€t of louder passage.s. ~ven so, shoutirog has to be held baek (triaking it S@URQ 01stantl tJriless 1ihepelformers restrict tHeir awn volume arid proje!;;t the· effec;:t @f sioiouting. Mam.lal cOJ'ltr@1 of levels may be exerc.ised more abruptly than tor musk it the adjustrtrerrt is made at-the enc! 0fthe gal'> between one voice and another; A.sudden adjustmeftt fuy as milch as 6dEl made €luring the first syllalJlefoll@wln9 an unex!'Jected ch<!nge in voice le'V'el may be barely noticeabte.

The volume of a parcusaive S011lld effect such as a pist(ill shot 01' ear crash m.blst be suJ;:I9Bsted: by the ehaf'acter of continuing sound. Fortunately thi,& nBces.s·arv convention ts :f!6G.epted by listeners,

Recording for film

I.n r'e€O'l'ding for film, the rrururnurn of conf,,'ol should fueexerdsed: et so~me'. TAe purpose 0f- this is fiot to match the voices in different shots: thes€l san be put on sepa,fate traeks and matc,fJed at the Glub'J)ing (te-recording) st'l'ige. f.latner, it wiU help the editor WIth the baGk'gfouhd atm0sp.li1ere - fer example, tin¥ gaps that are 0p€med alit can sometime:s @B fined by cutting Iii) SQUI'IQ trImmed ff01m oHler parts of the· same take,.

n:::lPl~GlE IN DYJ':<JAMICS €JP;6> SO!JND EFF~CT An effect of V'l1>11eh a domlhant' el.em.el'l1 is\~heer V011'.lJ'lil8 of sound, such "<l.S a rifle shot. 1. must be held down dose to. the 100 per cent rnoduletiqn Jevel, 2 [fh0u!'jm sorme distortion clue 0 o\!er:modulatioFl is' aCf;el'itable). The L0b1dnesS' of the sIDu.r.n::l must Be sU!']§9sted by the eeJi0in@ r;e:verbef~tjontl>1at feUows It, 3. AclditioRai smurrds .FT'lay De used to confirm its nature,: the GlassiGal examj1lle is the. nlccchet.



Aldx.ifiary inpul anti output OlrGuics

Links to the studio chain

In this book the mai.A signal traeed trnr@ogh the desk is that which @riginates in tlie mitrophQlles (and oth,er inJllut sources) and l:eaves tlie desk after the main §lain Cf)I1I'trol 10 98 to a- rec0rill'er, a I oca I or Gable€l audience, :or to a broadcast trarrsrnitter. In addi'tiOA to thie, there are generally iii number of other circuits; some (Sl]{':1'l as that t9r artffkial n;l\le~bere,6o['l) are JlIlu!,}g.ed int@ the main studto crtaio; others pf9viele SUpJ\llerrfnil,llItary inputs er f"8e;mJS ('sends') out from the desK. (The~re are also Jines such as prqduction talkbaek to the stadlo, whi!i:t:i are essentially iflde:pandent of thE!' programme sr!ilnaL)

A f@lclback switch (whiG':h may oe(1)re-set and left) feeqs the OUlput of selected faders te a ,.$tudiG loudspeaker fnr cue (or f'l"0ssibly mQo,d) purpos'es; an atlditi0nal Switch in each channel "taps it i@!r feed to r;Jtlbll:c addf.8SS 10udspe.akers irf the auQlienee are,a.

The output from some gf tI'le chBnnelsmay be split to pr0viGle a 'clean feed' tHat odeS not pass through the main (master) centro!. Thfs alluws stw,clio owtput t@ 'l3e fed to a refTiotelocation with0ut sent:fing baek $he G'ontribkltion from that 5QUme.

Rel.b0te tele,!,:>hones may sorrretisrres be u·s.ed as a source" e.g. for irnniediace news coveraqe or phone-inpf0'j:iJl'am'lYles. The bal'ld-width is t'{Jilically 3000Hz, or ma¥ be le~iS if there are poor-qualitY Links. feed the ihc0ming call tlilroU§h 'CIA ampri"Ner and limiter to the c0ntr01 desk, IS-blate the owtg-oing call frorn ~tutli.Q chain.

TQ m.a~e effe€'tive use of aural judgeme'till the balancer needs g)@0d Ii.stening oon€litions and high-quaJi1!.";l IQuQs[:,)eakers, 5.0tmd is monitored far defrcien~ies of various· ty[<les:

1. P,mdm:tigti 'fal;llts sudi as rhfscBst voices. stilted slPeaking of the lil'les, l.Incdll@(!ju·ial scMj!)~s, bad timing.

1 .. Fau.tty te€hniques, f!llT €}xarnpl:e P€l(!)r balance aI'l€i cor:Jtml, untidy 'fades anG.i mixes, misuse of acouetics,

:3. PIllID·r sound ,@[uaHty, as In distor1iol], lack of bass or t(91fJ, '9r OTher IfreguJ.arities in the fre€Jue'ncy response or recordin§ faults SiUGI"1 as WflJW, flwtte,r, hum, tafjl8 hiss, noises €lue to loose connections or [:flo@r screerlil'lg.


'1, Reproduoer§, which are normally fecl direct t.Q the rr~ixer vi.s switch c(!ln1a"t, 2, maY' b,e 5wil.cheQ, 3, 10 I>riovidle

an aceustic feed to the stuiili0 10l,'.Ids!,)eaker, 4.

CLEAN FEED CIReUIT !for multi~ studio r':l:iscussiElR a speaker in the studio cam hear a llIistant source on Meadj1)h'ol'les without own veLce, 'Clean' cue is also provlded,

1, Mior0phone and 2, Headphones OF 'deaf aid' for sll'eakerirn studio.

3, G!eaR feed t@ clisf-<JRt studio,

14, Gornbined 51\udi0 output.

5, IRi:f0min.@ line.

The line-up pFOcedure

To line' U.R equipment to a cernrnon sta 1'1 i1la.rd, an eleotrioally~generated is fed frorn the corrtrol desk or mi,~eT tnrClu@h tfie cl"1ain to the recorder er transmitter. -A sample of fhis tone may Qe ineluded @rl e:ach reEpr.ging us'e€i fo~ pmfessiQnal purpGlses, so tnet replay. e!!juipment and sUDseql!ent recI'Jrdin!:'ls may alse be lin8:0 up t@ the original standard. It is also ocrnrrron practice totahle 'level', that is, to' Li:.sten to a s:amfDte of, the f1~eterial to be reGorded and check Its volurne on <1. meter .. Fed througn the ehain (but [,la1 re<.>.@Irdied) 1'his S"erv8cs as a sest of the system in rrro're practi&a.f conditions and conflrrns tl'le i'Cl€1'MtitY(llf the souree.

MUL,T.IWAY WI9R~ING Lf:l this e:((ar;n",le four nam.ete SQurl-:eS eao!'! ieeeive a broadcast-qua Ilty mix witham' 0Wt'l £0 fil'tributl0n'. This matrix can IDe g8;hi;e~e,d my thE;! use @f 'aH>!iliary sends' or 'irrI'Glepen:€lent main 0.u1p;ut" facilities in thie oentra! miner cIDlTs®le,



7 8



1 <-4'.>'1--_ I







Useful formulae

Further reading

An urrrJerstanding of these relationsnips is net OJssent:ial to fh(')sff!' "with a fJ_urlI!ly prectieat i(lteres'f: in micF@ph£JFle Lise. But they will lire useful to tb6se with a matbematical or engIneering background.

Alky'FI, Gi.Jyn. SaunCi liechni€lues for Vi;c;iee. and TV. Fpeal Press (2nd Ed., 1'989).

Mainly mono, but far "more detailed @n sound than MiHeifsQn's b"o@R'.

flJ-arftlett_ Brifm. Ster<eo MiGI\(i)ph€u;Je Techniques. Poce! 'P-rei;3 (1991.).

Gl!Iide to the the@ries behind tlie' use sf free-field, lllowr:Hliary layer and stereo pairs.

B(j}rwkk, Johl:J. Mierophenes, Tecnnokogy and t~chlilique. Focal Press (1990).

A go~d :aU·-roufttl account tllu'l!Igh With less empt:ias'is on ~edGrlTlance.

Gaytord Michael ted.) Microp]\ml'1e Bn@il'leerll'1g Handb(;)(}K. H:JlI:aJ Press (1994).

Offers detEllled te€hniGal, and wlilere O1nJlJ.ropriate, mart:h;Efm01tiGal descrlp,tions Glf desi,!1jn -a·nd resultio!ll perf0~mance chan,fcterlstiCils fer a wilde ran~e of types - even incluliUhg a sectien 01'1 the pTemis:eor optical rnicrophot.les. Man'll Ghal'lters are @0t'ttrlbuted bV spEHgialist Etillgimeers of p<;tiLiQ)ulal marj<;et leaders which inevitablv somewhat" limits flie seleoti0D of e~amples.

Huber; David A.?1J7es. Micr'OJ'lhones Man.ual, Design OIrad A~plieation. F(3cai Presc5 (1'988).

Most directly us:eful wnefl desariboing tne char'<lcI'"eristks @t individmal instrwi)1Bnts and How to eX1pJO{t them in 'mlcH'Ylllh0ne I9laQ~meJilt'; less so when tfiscus-sing th'e COmphl!Kities of microphone design. Amerjoafi termim~lg!"JY.

Mil/arson, Gerahii. The Techmiq'l!I€ 0f Television P'fedu'c:t'ioA. F(1)(;af Press (12th Ed., l,g90).

A. hr~hl¥ analvtical stud¥ @tthe medium" i'ndueling a sectiO'n on the

e0t<1tr1butlon of s0unil.

Nisbett, Alec. The 5(')wrid $tudi@. FGlGaJ Press (6th Ed., 19!!14).

Extends beYIDn'd tfi'e fiel€! of rhe Use @f Microphenes to include a full acc@unt at ~rogr.a' €enstruGtion, scrund effects, raaiephl1mi€ techn1ques, eqiting, and the role of $:'Qund in teleVision and fil.rn.

[)r:lnge/, R(:JDet't. AuClYG Gontrol H'andb00k. FGcal RF~SS (6th Ed., 19H5).

An eleme:ntary intmGuiGt'km with a strong empHaSis on AmerIcan .e€lui!,)I'TIu;mt, wil'" [;lhotographs and claimed perfermaw,,·e e.h~raet~H'istjG$.

Port.e,.., Kop'p- ami 0reen-K@/iJp. Visibl.e SpeeGo. COAcstable, Lqnaof] (196S)_ D@fi?er PublieatioflS, New

A elear deseripti:on of the ·eharacte·ristiGs of the human !/@iGe.

R@bertso~l, A.£. Mic::rO{ji'hones. ltttte, LGfird.€In ~21T1·d Ed., HI63:).

Des€:rit:ies the en·glneerin§ prinKi,p'le:s b.ehi.nd many of rtiieropt;uimes. Techni€all·y cernp,le.x, but worth searchin~ out.

Frequiency, wavelength and tfiespeeCi. of sound fA = c

whe·re ~. is wavelengtfi

G is the s·lileed of sounl.!!

f is fr€l.41Ueflcy in Ile~ (Hz)

1Hz IS one eyc.le per second~ 1kM4. is 10001ilz_

The speed @f s®:und varies with temfj},erature; c = 1087 +- 2'1 ftlsec

where T is the temperature in degrees 0elsTus.

l1me speed L')f sQunG,! also varies with rhe nature of the medium. III fu.ll1y: saturated darnp air it is some :3ft/se!': (Q.HmiseG) faster than in dry air. In l'iqlllids a'n€!. solids it is' rnuch f.aster.

Volume, Intensi1!yand power


Volume =10 log .3: decibels I,

where 1'1 'and 1.2 are t,he ifol'tensities.

The range 0f s@und intensiDes between the' threshold of Hearing and t'h(j! threslil@I,(\j ·(9·f feelin~ (if ttrls i·s aCcepted 1'(') b'e l' 20dB) is 1 (;)12 e r 1 000 000 000 OQO : 1.

The; g·01i'n of an ampliii'e;f is also meastl~ed in de'6ibels: p

Gain ~ 1Q Ig9 ___3 dec;:il;;els P1

whe'r'e P, i'S' 1Jhe PQWer inpLl and P2 'the power output .. BUt power is pr0pIDrt:ional lio the square of voltage, so

.. (V2') 2 Vi!.

Gam = 10 log -. 2@log-t:l:ecibeJs

.. ' V1 V1

A ran!;],e' ofl 'OOID 00@ 0@000f) :'1 in intensity is" equ:ivalentto 0nly ~ 000 OOQ ~ 1 in v@ltage.

Nets that the vollJage scale is· uS'ed for rniG1rop.h@nes: dBs of voltage ~ail'l are not tile scame as etBs of increase in sourfd intensity.



Glossary and index

RurnSE,y, F'rancis. St~r~0 $ou!<ld 'f0r TeleMisicm. Fecal Press (HJ8m).

A short conversion course for those famIllar with the mono basics.

Talbot-Smith, !rI1. ted .. } Audio engineers Refe'tem;e Bonk,. Faeet Press (1994).

A useful souree DObk on ttre desit§n, manufacture and installatfofl 0f rnajrv 1yriu~s of '(Iudi0 equ'iprnent.

Wo@i'i', A.a. The F'hysi£Sc of MUsi!.>, Me~htJet:l. Lendon (7th GcJi." 197!5j.

A Standard primer on the subfect.

Note on ~inerence5 in Britisb and American usage,

This book is <desIgned to be r.ead ifl both Arnerioa and Br-it('lin, as well. as many other pa.f1Js of tine worfd. The reader IS asked to f@rglve the rni dAtlantic: terminology that often result-s~,[)iffere'nces of wS'age appear 00t only betwe:en eountrig's but 'even from one 0K€I:anis'ati[))n t'0 another:: bx;>th SBG and NBC have their own 'b@us,e" term Lo,g:IGg:y. ~u'rther anorrtall'es may appear in translati"an frem othe'l" langu-ag'e'S. Dr by the whIm of the engineerSior salespeoll'le for manutaeturing companiesln the description of tbe'ir prodl!JCES,

There are veriatrons in ways of tl.esctibing the JOQ thIS book is abeut, the place wHere it is eatr!ed out, anti the equipment used.

The American teJfm auclfo @1i.rerat0~ br@adly de$crih~s the job. But. I betray the En§lish @figins []f this book by avoiding the term in the tesst: 'audio' and ':Iftdeo' are u:sefl much rnore in Ameriea in Biitaln wli:wre th'e older 'sQund' ans 'plemwr;e' a,repre;feHe:d except in Gertall1l c€lffilpounCil terms of Arn'rerican oft~lir.l pr for €Hfferentiating between signal feeds in tele'ilision reGording systems. In Cemm0n usage in I?lritafn -a vii.'Jee is a cassette reG0rt;l,er (Dr recording) .... In BHC raciio an audlo Gl"le.ml1or is- ealled a etudle manager. Televisi®n 'soulll.d sl,Jp.erxti.sQrs' and 'Him 's@und ree0rdists' ane rrot unreasonable names - althou§h purists m,ay obJeGt to 'recordist' as -a way of avoitfin§ G0nfusion between the werson an€lthe madiine, "the reo'order, $offl8tlFl'l,eS' he or she dl1fw13les as 'souns engineer' or 'soufl,d technician'; better- perhaps to say 'sound mali (or woma'n)' or 'SOWflO bala ncar' .

The place and the e(;Juipment

The pleGe where rnuch of tfie job Is done mignf most reas-onaDly be called the corttrdl room or, in television, sound or :awdio cQ.ntr®L BBe raaib is 1J0und by its @WI'l hiS!t~ry: thef8, ',€@ntr@1 r@@rt'I' was 1h.e name gi\;r:en t"@ the; l'I'Iain switching centre, and tli1.e roQm that is parr ofa studio suite is Gaited a control GwDrGle. Tile mime as originally accurate: it started life as fa struoture I.i'~ an 0'lefg.rown 1;elephofle box in the cerrrer of the s1iudiQ.

TIl.e cQntrQl desk is also ~alLed the p;anel (SBG radio) or- the 1:50ara (Y$ usage), The master corrtro I (LJS) is' also @allei1:la ma'in\i1ainclllntrol, and a swfu~m'aster 'c@ntr81 is a gt:@bl.P fader. A Bri.ish Qutslx;Je br@80C'9st has Al'ller-ical'1s puzzlin!';r it turns out to fj~ a rernote: whiLe a nefTlO @I'l toe NBC board might confu!:,!e a I3"rifish sound @ngineer, who w@l!lld call it an ou,t$1de source, Readers Olav aGlt! their Gillin examples frem these pages.,

Me1Jrie eOilversions

In this beol(, Gonverscions from impenal to me'txlC. rrteasures are often deliberately 1m I'lrecise. It' would be perverse te ~l'n'ldeF 2ft 'as [).,,91 m v.vI;H~~e 'ball-park' clistam:es ane- int.en._ded.



A. and B signa'is (29. 31. 78'-79, 80-81, 1 as. 152-153) Le.ft and right components 0'f stereo, In AS 5itereo these are g.el'leratea andll:lr pr0cessed al'l@.transmltt\f.!'d sep:ar.ately.rt@t oombined as MS fmiBdle and side) signals. Ahsar~ti(;\R (34-,35:, 88-91) LQSS of sQund cenergy. due to friction as the air moves bad:: 'ltld forth in the intersti€es of a j2>@fQlJS material (a soft absorber) or oy transfer to another vibr:ating system fn1l'l'T1 wtoJich less s@wns 1'5 subseque'fltly re-radiated. See' ~IS0 membrane abs(j}I'ber, HeJmholt;: resonetor.

Absoq"tion coefficient (34) The fraction Clfs:eund energ¥ w.hichi is{;fbs@r:oeGl. usually Oh reflectior.J at a surface and unless otlrerwise statad f@r a< fr8!l[UBFlCY pf 6'1 2;Hz. 'at riQrrnal rneiderwa.

ACODS'tics (aO, 32- 34, 42. 74-75:, 82 -84. 9(};--C9<:l, 104-107, 11 €I -111, l34, 162) TAB Dehavibur (!If SDl!JnO, anti its study. The aeoustics @i a studio (;j,er;>ena orr tts siz.e and shapa anti tl1e amount ar,id PO.sitlOFI of aitlsClFbing -and reflecting materials,

Acoustic cantro1syst:em (32. 10'4-105) A system mf miefophenes, G:'®'rnl1luter-cont~011e:liI m_Jx-antt!-delay eLnmits and ,loudsl;leake'rs W,t1ll>:h is use~ to extend the reverberatl€m time of a hat! b)1" G vari.abte amount. A€otlstie fee;d~aGk is not use-G.

Ac@os1:!ic troJogrrap.liy (105) The US.e- of-a c(')mlilutef and loudspJ;eaker arrays to reconstrurct- a tW0- or three-(jIim,ensional 5lDuod field to s'imbdate that in an audlte riurn wftt.1 a differe,nt snape antlacIDwstres. Tlie terril 'hofogl'aph-y.' is an <ilnaJogy, [,101 an accurate d'escrij2>tion of the me'thod. Ampllficatiofl ('9,.48'-49, 130. 150-151, U6) A gain iA stre1ll@tlil, usuaJl¥ 0f ae electri:eal sigFl.aL

Analogue signal (jil-$, lBO, 154) A cOlllttnuous,fy-variable signal which corresponds directly IO the original wav!'l'fQ~m, and whie.h G8n 158 used to repm,dl'.lce il, The wav,eiorm is not sampled and not C0l'lVertetd. to a s'aries ot nurnbens (as in a digital audio signal. GJ_v.).

Antinede (2'2-2.3) The ~art of a stationary waVe where there is m-ax.imum

disiP~(jGemenr. .

Ariliificial r.evellberation '(AR), "echo' (9. 74, 82" 150-15>1. 162~167) Contlnuatren of an auuii(l) signal simlillat'in~ 'the nEltural decay of ~ound within an enclo5'ed space. See, alsl9 cJigitaf reverberecton, echQ cfJa-mIJer- ectio {lJlate, csprings.

Atmosphere (g[;l, 172) The normal hackg"ound sound at any lrrcatiorr, AttaGk (20, 1(4) The way a Sowna startS'. See also trf:mSiept. Attenllati.on (1!iJ~-1B.5,160-161) Fi'X'ed or vari-ab.le 10sses, of an electriGaJ signal. See atso fade,,"- &@mpI'ff$si€)/iI, limiter.

up an aCieqlJlIte s,j'gnal, to disGriminate iij'€Iainst nOIse. a:frd pF@vid'e an, a~J!!'r®(;lriate ratio of direct tID im:Hn:tct sOllnd. It may alsQ. includ·@ th"e c~eatjv~ mesdifioation of the electric-al signal.

Balance test (75,102, 116) A trial b'alanGe, or a series of trial l'5alances. whi-ch sh.Dl!IlCl preferably be judge€lby d'irec:t cl1)mparfS@H.

Bargraph (16"8-1169) tnaudic, a meter showim;g volume as a liRear (4sually upright) disp.ilay. It may act as either as PPM or IUd metBr (.(j!.v.).

Bass (44, 54, 82, 157, 1-59) Lawer end of the musical scale. In aeoustics, the ran!1!e lbel'Ow about 2QOHz) in whiGh the~e are difficulties. in :t!he ref!)rodw@liol1l 0f soun~. Que to the :Iarge wav~l,el1gtfjs involved. Bass tip-up (i¢4-41 r 50, 5S" 56-5'7, a;Z, 113) 'A seleclive empliasIs of bass whicl:'i 0CQIJI.r5' when a rnicrol,>.ntlrle resj2>0ndrlil!'.l to ~ress.ur,eWadiellf Is f!)laoe.fl where there is a sliost.antial redu0tion in sourrd intensit.y between· tl:'le two 1il0iflts at which the so!-!nd wave is sampled. It is most notiQeabl£ when the microphone 18 dClse to the sowrce ana §'Gis also Ga11ed '(1IFOximity effect'.

Bi-di'rectienal mfcrophene (38-39, 42-51. lin. 82, 84~85, 88-91, 103, 115',12.1,131, Hiv) Qnewh.ich responesto sourrdfrom lts frorrtand rear but not to .sound from it-s sid~s anti abeve Bno mehllw.

Boom (4ffi-4.7, 54, 68,94-101) An arm, usually telesGo[?liG and meumted on a floor st;@r.ld .mr iElmlly, from which a mi€.ro(1lhcmeis slun'g.

Gable (37, 6&-69,9'8) Electrical wiring, e.g .• te earrv audio signal, I1lIDwer supply ID[ both.

Ganeellation (14, 40-43, 52:--'54, 76J Pat.tial or cornplete oPP)QSLtion in phase. so that rne sum of tw:o signals awPrQaches or reaches zero. Cardioid response (38-39', 46~51, !}!:l, 62.82, 84-85, 9~, 128, 132) Literally, a heart-shaj!).8d direGtiorial res(1I@JI1Ise,

Cavit:y resonance (16, 34-95. 40) See -Psh~/mh@7tz resonator.

CoincidCent pair (76-79, 92-!:D3. 10{ii-109. 121, 123.-128, 13-8-141) Two matohe~ direction,a" micFC)phones (often in a S'in@le hOelsing) angl'ed te pier< up inf@fma:tion frmiTI diffe'rent but Qv,erla[.)lpimg parts of a sound field. It is usually ananged that the sum 0f their outputs tsan aceeptable mono signal and tbeir differert,ee contains (s~erea) 'Informatien on positio'n. C'lean feed ("174) U.S.: mixed-mif'l'l!Js. A cue to a remote J1!r0![JrSfT'lffie sounoe which iFicludes@fI @utthe eonrributlon from that source. Coloration (32, 82, 102) Distortion of frequency responseoy resonahoes at partieular f:requeAcles.

Compatibilitv (78) Measllres t'O e;nsHre that a stereo 5igl'l:81 1JI)'@I'lUJ;:es acceptable monophmH1G sound wl;Uill1l feproduGed on stan-d-ard rrrtrrro eqlJil'lment.

Qampr~ssion (66,102, 13,!!l, 150, '160-1613 172-173) C€mtrol of S(lHmtJ Levels t@ en'sure t'hat all wanted sjgnals are switably ",1'a'Ged between the noise and cl.istollti0n le\lels of the medium, 8n(;1 that relative levels are aCGeptable to the i.nt:erideCl aucJien(i;e .. Manual and autetnatic compression are USf!eJ for diffe're'rlt J!lUr~:Hj)s:es.

Backing track (1,2.0) .A pre-rec6rded mus'ieal acc0mpanirnent 10 whieh the s01bists oan listen on hBafllllhQnes' as the¥ add their Own l1Ierl'0rmam18s. Baffle (77, 11 jil) A small '8(;;oustiGsc.t'een wAiGIil €.i3LJses a Ioeal var.iatiol'l in tqe;@(c@l:J£ti€fi'eldneara mlC!)rophone. It distodl&the high-fre(!juenq( sound, byse:ttirig b1P i8 systEll.11'l of standit'lg waves.

Balance (S', 7iJ-93, 102-149) The' cFl€IJce @f m:liorophc;me pnsitienS'to J!.lid



Dummy head technique" (71, 1(9) A pair lijf mi&rophon~s arl"afl~ed-to mimi'£; the lfelative; pOSjition of the ears. 'A baffl:e l5etweeti them reprdduces the sereenrng effect anti !'Iath-tlcifferel'llC'e clue to th.e he,an. This produces at spatfal effe:ct, !:;la'st heard on Weadpl'l@nes.

Dynamcics (1;60-1~1,170-173) The way in wllien sound volume va;rres.

Compres5ion ratio (160-1IH) fA selected degree of automatlc oornpresaion, e·9· 2: 1, 3.: 1, or !) : 1'. IllS set to @per'<'lte at a given @r:Js'et v@lumai 8.,9.

S dEl oel'ow ful.1 modulation. .

Contlenser microphan& (36,-38, 46-50, 59'-(1) "finis d~pends on the electrlcel qwal!ity @f e-aj2laeitance, h:!. th'e abIlity gf neighbouring ana oppositely charged conductors-to stofe eneq;JY between tRam. A con€lenser is a device for moin€! this, arid lrt a condenser· mi€rophone the tw@. ~omp0nen'ts ace a diaphragm 'and a base plate. Variations fn their distance apart produce c@rresponding fluGtu~tioR!s iA eal'.lal>itance snG! .&0. gen:erat9' an ele'otrlo~1 sjgnal. se.e also electret-

Connector (1'O~ 71 j See DIN, Lema, -XlR.

Contact microphone (64~'65, 114. l1g, 13Q, 1 a'S) One whlx:h (iireetby: pkks I,Ip the sound fransmitted witf1in a s(!)lid mateFial.

Conttol (150-175') Th·e adjustment of progFamme level (in the form of an electri.G'al signal) to make itsuit°atJ.l·e fa.r feeding to a re£@rderort"rarlcsmitteT. Cottag·e-Ioaf response (38~.:1I!;I, 56-51)' A bi-direGtional reaporrsein wh-ieil pick wp at the fnllnt !s more sensitive and covers a wIder angle tilam that at the Fear. See SUPf!'rc'8rdioili resoonee;

Echo (9, !l2, 150-1 l'j1, 162-167) Literally, the discrete repetitf@n of sourrd a-t least a twentieth of a S'e€@nd late·r; €olloquially, artif1cialr-ever-beration or AH (q.v.).

Echo chamber (162-1&30) f-teverberant room, through whi8fi .a signal is fe<lJ via loudspeaker a7ncl rnjerophene.

Echo pla'te (16:2-164) A. sheet of metal wAich is used to provi_de artificial reveroemtion. It is vibrated by one ttarnscl!Jlmr; another (@t two' for stereo) respoAd.~ ft0 the reflected wa"'E! rrrottorrs ..

Eigentone (32) A 6hataeterlstlc resonance due to the fOl'ma:l! of standing wa·ves between paral!lel walls.

Electret(36~37, 21'S, 50-61. 84) Miniatl4re, lig~htwei@ht condenser m'IGrophone In which the di.aph~a§,m or baseJillate GaHie·s a permar;remtly emaeddecd electri€ char·ge. Early de'V'eJ0pment was limited by the m,echani'€aI pmperties @f materials (such as teflon) which wouliOf hold a eharg,e indefinitely witmou"! ·Ioss. A goet:l Jilerforman€e is .achie:\7ed by the !!ISe of a .metaJ (e.g. tin) di:aphragm over an el:e.Ctrostatica',lly ehar!!led haseplat.e. This can n0W be m'<lde of silJiG:on o~lde (sutface-tre.ate(j to e~dude wate,r) which may act as part of tlie head-amptifier chip. Electromagnetic wave (8') Radiant ene1'9'Y travellfn;!!I at the speed ot light. Tnis includes gamma and X~rays, HgJ;lt, radiant heat, and radio. Electrostatic microphone, (48) See condenser mia;mp·h(f)i.lJe, eleetre«. End-fire (46-47, '54, 80-81) Polar response with axis-tn line with b@dyllff

mierophone. .

Envelope (20) The way i:n whkli the volume of a sound varles 'in time; its dynamicS' (Qt.I1,).

EquaU'sation, EO (9, 60., 94,130., 15'@-Hjl, 156-159) Changes in the eJe(1)ncal sic!!Jnal, n@minaliy t€l correct ftnr freguem,y distortiooinU0duced at ,flny stgl~e in an audio. system. In practice it is a'l:sa used for creafivel\i' dist()lrjing the frequenGoY response sfi'li fl!Jrther, tile re'sliAlt Being jl!ldg:e.d by ear.

Exp(lnenti.U (i8, 27) A rete et growth trr whieh dowl\iIlAQ €Iceurs at equal int~ro/als· .. See logarithmic 'Scale.

Bead room (·88-91. 10.3'-1(;)4) A room wifh very trriek sound OiIIDSQrbers (eftarr 1 metre geep). A crea<eaGouSrtic l).a5 little or no reHeeted sound. Decay (3.2, 162, 104, 167) The way if! whidl a note entls;. or 'in whieh a souFld or Its rev:erberafiofl dies away.

Oeeibel, dB (26-:.n, 39, 168-1:73, 176') A measureQ·f fe'lative intens.it1jl, power or volta{jJe.

lihtlay (104, 183, 163-1&e;) $toringa SQwr.1d fop a fIloment, usuaHy in a €ii€)ital store, then: recammining it with the original sfgnaL

Dia.phragim (10-12~ 3:1-41, 46-48, 58j 60) That part of the mic~rophoAe which responds to air pressure -or pressulle§:rad:ient~ if eXfl@secl 011

lli@t:n siQes. .

D·iffusioil (3Z, 3.4) Breaking up sou nd wavesl:Jy rnearss of irregularly distr;ii;lut'etf reflectiR,g surla€es ..

Digital audio Signal (7, 9 .• 150, 154, 164~16!)) Autill@ infarmati@11 which has been conv crt~(j from aaa/og.l!le form (fn whi,sn the eleetrfcal w8lJefG!·r-m is directly related to the sauna waVeform) to a binary code. While in this form it is rret su.bjeet to't:heg'raG'Ual accretkm of- noise which contimwusly degra!ll,es analogue Signal's.

Digital delay (164) Temporary storage of a signal in memory, S0 that it can be reproduced after ~ designated interval.

~igital reverbera1!i'on (164-1~65) ReverbeFation §1enera,leti by uS'jnge digital Signal al'!d' random access fflery;wries.

DIN (70-71) German industry- standard, e.g,. as applJ,ed to' microphone CO(lFl1eGt@r.s.

Direc'tlvity ~51) The front-to-back ratte of sourrd piC'ked up tJ;y a miGf@j3ln0ne. Di.ston:i'on (9, :36, 74, 111£1., HiS, 172) Wnwante.d chanqes of sQund €Ju'ality, @eneralby by the introducHon o<f el·ectrically generated tones, or by oli.anges in the relative levels 0t- the dHterent freqwencje'S .J!lresent.

Fade (1.§O-1.55, 17iZ-17J) reGluctiElIl or incretlse in an eleetrical aludio signal by the use of. a fader or 'pot' (p"@,tentiorneter).

Field pattern (38~39) Polar response .(!!I.v.).

Rader (154~1S:5) Potentiometer t:'p.ot') eontr(;illing the v@·lume Of an audio signal.

Fi!!lUire--ei:ght response (";;18-39,42-45, 48-51 ,£l2, 1(6) Also called 'figl:l reef-ai!;1ht'. A bi-direetiortai microphone response in wnh;;h the 'front aff.d oae'K are I[ve out op>peslte in !'Ihase. See atso bi-iiireG1Ji@Rii1I.



Filter (44, 150, 1'56-159) A network of elec rOfilic eJerlileJlts <sen:erally tesistances ana 'o'apacitanees) whiGh allows sortie frequencies 1€1 Piil'SS an€!' atlJenuatE;lS Qtl>leJ's.

Eishpole (.99,) A hand-held miGfoph011<€ ,B0·01ffi.

Flutter e'cho (32) A rapid fluctugitiolJ iri volume whioh is heard when a staccate. S"Dun@ r~verlJerates oetween parallel refleotirlg walls.

f-g,ldback (144-147~ 174~175) A feed €If sele@te.a sources to a studi"t l[lu(Jspeaker for the benefit. of tlila p'el'fo~liFu~rs.

Formant (20, 22, 24-25, 158) IX roroaa frequency res.onancj!asSQclated with iii sauna sourca, e.g. a v0ic'e GJf a musical instrument. It is caused by the p.hysical ch'a,racter;tsties (ng,tably the dim€ftsi0hs) of tlele resonant system.

Frequency (12-1'3, lIB-H), %11\'-->27, 40-41, HiS) 10 pure tones, the number of G@mJ)I'ete os€TIl'ations that an a'l r paftiGie rna kes a bout a median "ro~siti(m in one seeond, Complex s0unds are l1l1aele wop by aGiding rnanv such s'imple patterrrs of motion (Oor frequencies) ..

Freql!enc.y response (26-2V, 3\6., 40~41, 43-gg, 156~1 39) The way iF! whLch the re-1:<;I1',ive levels of the different. firequenlOies iri a S0wna or alJ'~io signal are chang.eCl ill passing thf'0u,g;h a stase 0fi electrical COmpGlrl61'1t in its I:'fath (e.€l. by a microphone). FreqUienoy eorrection may be intr.0duced to l"e:sto17e or 0therwise deliberately Gharige the ff€l2Jlilency response. This is: also c.-aHed equalis:atien.

Fundamental (18~25) The prtm<lrY and usuallythelcowest 0@mp.0nent of a musical r.lote, an0 that whiGhaefin;es its pitch.

Gain (176) AmpHficatim'l" g.eneralJy &aIGulat€"0 in deeibels>

Gate (161) A switchi'ng clrcuit that passes or (J;-ots a s\g.nal in re~pOfllse to 81') external stimulus,

Gooseheel< (59, 6Q, 122-123, 12.5, 126-127,142~ SectIon of a rnrcrophone mountl'l"lS that is flexible ena.ugh to bend liO an€l hol(CJ a desired shape and li".l i recHo n .

Gun micrapbone (5Z~55, n,96, 99, 147) MicrOphoTi_.e f[ttea with irrterference tube to rnake it highly directl@nal.

Gi.u,y~wir:e (69) Line pulling sus.pended rrricrophone to desired PQsltion.

Haas eff,eet (3-0-31) An effe:et wllien occurs wherf sound arrives at the ears hom dLfferentdireetion·s with a time 'diffefen€:t!of a few milliseG~IriEls or more: t:fll the sound seems te coma from the direetlon of the first si@nal to anrive .. This limits "the fiela witliin w'Midi ~-I()(jdspeaker stereo oan be he·ara.

Harmo.nics (l8~23, i1!J.j;) A series Qf' frequerrcies h'at are all mloJ.lti(!lies Qf tl;j·eldwest freque'tlcy present (the fund:amental).

Head amplifier (48~49, 59, 61) A small -am.pllifier WIThin the microphone Gasi ng or ",earby whieh converts the fl ujGtuating @8rlacitance of a c0ndenser mitimphGfleinfo the form of an alt~TFiatir.lg current which Is suitable for'l.smiSSiOi/l f.;iy ca.lii-Ie tQ a mixer' or rec·orde:r.

t'lelmhollZ resenator (16, 34-35) A caMify within WHlCh ai't" ean De made


to e'Xpand 8'fldGcentract ~t- a ~e<J!oer.lI"Y which 1'5 oharacterlsrle of its size "in.d sfl.ape. If a soft GDSnrlJtng material is placed in the mouth I9f the' cavity, it will sele8tiva,ly, reauce sound at tne resonant frec:;jw8'rlcy.

H.elmz:, Hz (12-13, 176) Numb'er of cycl·e:s or exew:sions per secQoiEI ifl a. ~ur,e tone.

Howl-reuild or howl-back (164) Closed (O;ircui'IJ, e.g. microphone, ampHfier, looQsl)Jeaker anlll so~nQ (.!lath b'8€K" t® me rnicrolflnone again, in wiliei'i the overall !,],ain exeee.Qs the 10sses lilt. the sys.tem.

Humidity (104, 11Q, 1Iii2, 176) Damp t;r:ati-smits sound better than dry aIr, inwnich upperh.armenics are atterrerated In a dietant balanse. (BeC8LLse of tnis, in dry 'con,€litiofls a close balam)E sounds l7I11Qre brilljarrt; than arrv . I'lerf@' hear~ at rrorrmal [Jistar;tc~ in a concert halLJ

Hydro;phone (6'4-65) Transducer which C0fl'llefts sound wit.liin a fluid. p;afti,[mla'rIV w'ater, 10'8'n El:1eG"tri,€al si['JlllaL

Hypel'cart:li'oi.ti. response (50) lmprectse manlJfal':,twfeps~ term: !'ll"'€)wably th~ S,a'l'l'ifr;:! as SUl'lemarti'iDid oro cotta!'le-I'oa'f - but this should be Gonfi;rmed @y I@Qb:;ing at a polar diagr;am.

h;npedance. (3S:) The combination of tes:istance: ifl(;:l~ctaflee: and c.8f<1aeitance that: serves tp reouee the Signal in an altermatin@ current. An indlJlGtanc'e sl1tBctively reduces- hiyh frequencies; aoa-pacrrance Cll"scrilnin-afBs against tlie low; a res&;tance aets equally Q,r\ all frequBrJ,cies.

Intensity of sound (16:-17, 26-21.44, 176) The sourre ene,rg:~l cmssing @Re square metre.

Interference tube (54~55) An acoustic, channel wli'rdi, attaG:hed to a mierophgne c8psw.le. eonfers higl'ily .c;jim3€t'io:nal Pf@pert1es. $'oi<lnds appr@,aching from an aDgle ta the axIs are reduced or eTirnifialeo by plqas·e C8nbelfatiof'1.

Lava.lier (6;(;)) Mi:crQpirH'):ne suspended ro:und the neck, A:ls0G;alled Deck or lanyard miCf!llphgne.

Lerno (70.-71) £mall connector with a sleeve and pins p@inl'ingin 00th djrections.

Lever (Un, 1~7 -174) Volume of tFleeJectruG"al sig.HaL A level tes.t ls used to fins suitallile Sl"!tting:s for (a) the source fader, to allow 'for expected varietiorrs in sound volume, and (b) tilE master, to feea the si_§nal onward acta level w_HiGh is apptopr'iately placed between the no.i_sa and disc'lrortion lelV'els of tl'iefellowin!!.j eQt!iItHnent·.

LimiteT (191, 160·-161) An autornettc GOfltro,1 to ~e.duce volume when tfie signal. rise~ above a I.evel that woulGi intr@G!uce signiHeant dist@rtiof). Line up OlD, 1'7il) To arrang:e1ihat the siglf1al p.asse:s tJ1rol'J~h all ite£fls of equipment at an 8.pp'r.opriat:e. Ieve! (q.v.). This Is achieveril by the y'se of lin'e-f!Jp (eU'!!?, !iJften at 10QOH;z" whi,phis fed tliJrougn the entire S'ystem anti l;i,nould proa1uce a standard readin@ on meters at ev"ery sta§e.

lip-rjtibon micrephone (56-57) One which is he·ld at a. ciOSB, ,standard distance frIDffol the m0uthto €;li~crir-minate against: ambient noise. Eqya'l~ ised bass tip-up further redwoes .Iow frequency nOise.


i.:o£at:ion (86) PlacE! outsj:de a studTo used to m€ord sourtd anlil10T picture. log.arithmic scale (1'8, 26-21. 16$, 176) Ql'lie which CQm\1erts a particular form of§jrDWth ('€'xponential', q.v.l bapk to a linear soale. Diftt;!rences in sound intens:ity or fn?(iJ'I,A,el'lcy wblGh inCYease in the ranos 1 : 2: 4:: '8 : 1 (\j : 32: 64'l;!ppear to tlIe Bart@ grew l!iy elll-ual inte'rv'Ells, so it is €omJeni,ent to represent tlcie~m by, a seale whi,ch atsn has equal lrrtervars - Q : 1 : 2 : 3 : 4: 5 : 6~ TNis is '8 I'Q!!)arithmics:Gale.

L,oudnE!sS' (2ft-27. 170-172:) TAB swbje€tive aspe.ct of sound Intensity. Loudspe~k<er (g~9, 28-.31) .A transduce:r which csrnverts an electrtcal signal ihto sauna. LiK'e the mlcrop.hone at the oftl'le ohaifJJ, it is eS'sential'y an ana.10gue device.

M and S sigo.als (78-79, 152-153), 'middle' and 's'ide' eOfl1- penents of tne st€r:eo signal, oIDtainea byaddLng a.fiJd subtractil"lg the I,eft and rigliit stereo si'§nals. It is eor'IVenient if 'M' "is aJsa an ae:c~eptable mono signa"" with '8' containing tA& a€l'djll'oHal infonnation re-GJuired fQ'r stere0. T.he 'al€lebraic sum ania difference of the M and S .~ignals is, OI'lQE! again, the lett aIle ri'ghto0rTill£l€men"ts of stereo.

M~S microphone C80-SiT, 94,96) 'A. pair @f eap'Si!lles designed topiEK up the hliQldle ana sioe Gomponents of stereo QJ're€t1y. Tlgey are IifIOj1Jnted in a S'in~le caSirl@, usually. in anena-fire configuration.

Membrane absol'ber (34-35) A dampem resonating p,anel which will respend to and seleGtlv,elyalJsl'Irma ran~e of s@und frequen.cies.

Meter (9, Hl1. 168-169) Device for meas:uring voltQge, Burren!: &1;11;, The VtJ mete!' and peaK pro:gl'annmuE' meter (q.v.) are adaptations' for measuring a,I1Qi0-signa:1 volume.

Mierophone (7-11, 24, 36-67, 76-8'1) A <:levice for cQ'f1vef.ting sGlu~nd tID el!3ctrtcal ene·f9Y.

Miidlift (124;, 126, 130, HIS, 157-159) Denberately~intmduced peaR in the middle- ahg u(Zll'?e,r~freqtlency response, S'ee a,lso Presence.

MiK, Mbcer (9, 150-155.) The eleCTrical eo rm jon of a~c:!Iil'J gig.nals. 1M a mixer eaoh source Is first een'brollea by its own fader.

Motlulation (160, 168-171) eu!"er-imfi)@sitian of the auGi0si.gna.1 on a carrier wave; @T higher "frequeney. 700 per fi;ent medufati@f1o er fill!1 moaaJaNon eone,sponds to the nl'a*imum acceptaQ~e audio si!;jn;al leve'l beyond which overload di'st@rtion @GCUf&.

MonItor (8, !3), 30-31, 74-]5, 170-171, 174) Check sound qklaJity blyl ear. A moa,jtfJrimg t@u(J/spea'ki(!ris Lfsed to check the aesth!?tic quality as weI "(In add fti em, :l'JiGtme monitors are llIsetti in tel'evi~iOn, both in the corrtrol room and on the studi0 florn).

Mono, monophonic sound ~2a, :l2, 74-75, 78, 82, 1 D2 -103, 11£, 14:2-143) Sound G@rntJinei3tQ be reprotluGed th;:ough a single louc!lspeaker. If several 1®'udsweak:e.'F aFe IiIsed, the si,gnal to eaGh is the sarne.

MOl,.Ise (62-63. a4,142~143) Micr.o;rah'one In soft, ae;owstit;ally transparent h@us:iFi!'l attacheGi to SOlid, refleCtive surfaee. whiolij aets as. a pre,s'SUre zone (a.I1.).

Mov.jng-coil ini;c.rO'Pbone(36~38, 4£-47, 128-129) One in whicll a c-oil


attached to the tliaphraHJ'l1 moves in 'the field. of <;l magnet-

Music balance (102-149) S;-ee balance. F@r if'ltliV'iaual instruments see contents list.

Newtons per squar.e metr~, N/m2 (26) See Pa'!wal.

Node (19, Z2-23)In a stationary- w-ave. a poil'1t at whieh the~fe I's no clisf;Jla€ement.

Noise (~, 3€l, 54~55, 56-57, 62, 72-73, 86-87, 813, iiJ2, 1 (iJ(i)-16'1, 172, '174) Unwantecl soun€! Br audie signM.

Noise reduction syste,1Tl (15.0) Analo!;Jue systems ah1.ide<tMe-'~ullli(j)frequeney. sp:ectrum into several fuamc.;ls: each is then separately and aut~rnatLcaJ[y lifte?:l to its optimum signal-t6-nt')i'se ievel befQ,re recordi ng, and IS rec:!h,u;;ed a8c0rdifl€lly @n replay. 1::h1s I-'-Ie'rmlts multipie. re-f!;w0ri;ling with.o·l!lt the in'tro.cluBtiorT of 9l'lpreci:able [;I.QI,se frollr.ltjne taw€! i.tself. (It can also 5e used aml!fnd any otHer p0terrflally noisy eJi1!ment in a SQuniil system.) The tlse cf G11gital si'gnals serves a simil.aF plurpose.

Obstacle etfeU( (28, 40-41) A souna is not impeded by oBsf"acies wllien $,re smaller than its, own wavelengtlil But is ,eflet;t"ea or aJj"sofl:i"ea arrd also diffract'eJ;:[ by these which are larger.

Omnidir.ecti.onal response (38~39, 41., SO-(j)3, 82-8;3, 1Q8-10!J) Re::>J!,lot:lding e,qually to sOl>lnd from alI directions.

Outside source (150) British term for ren-rote SDurce.

Overtones (U·ij-23) InQjvidual €8'fm,pOnent frequerreiee in -a sound which. when added to the futlaa·me.ntal, help to defLne its musical l]uaJity.

~A, public address (HiD) Pi. feed of seleEted soon'€! sources te 8udienme$.

J'lian, steer (106, 131, 140, 142. 152-159) Chang,e the relq!we strength of left anti right oornjrerrents of a -s-tere@ signal in 0rder to el<1,an@e its capl'p"arent positi<m within the re.pmElu(:;,eJiI sound t:iJel!;1.

Par;lpot (152-15;3) A 'panoramie f!1otentiu'meter' whien is. used to pan (q.v.i or steer a Signal t(9 left or right.

Parabolic refleeloY (52-'93) A r.efle0tor whioh wiB e0nee~trate sound from a aist@nc:e and Im a giXlel'l direetien tGl-a ~singl'e point. It is efficient onl¥ at wave,lengths .,ess than Its· dlarnater;

~ascal (Ha) (:~J) Uhit of SDlJflO pressure. 1 Pa =; 1 newtcm per square metre (N1m'?'). This Oasrepi.aced ",.0 older measure, dynes per square ee'rltlfT'1etre: iPa = 10 dyne:s/cm>C. A cornrnon reference level,.2 x 10-5 Pa, "approximaltes t0lhe ttl reshold 0f hearing at 1 kHz.

Peak pro9,ramme me1:er, PPM (168-169) .A meter used far rneas.urln~ the

raeak values Gif programme v0lume. .

P'hant"om poweF (411[, 60-€l1,. 6'8, 15~) Power s<UI'1Rfy, ono leg 01 wfiich

empl0¥s b@th wires of the audio circuil. .

Phase (14-15, 2g~ 39, zJ.i1~46, 48, 52-5'3, 153) The stagJe wblGh a (ZIartlcie res.j30neling to a pure torte has rceailil:!ed in vibnating about its median Rosltion. f'?a,rticles whidl are at the s·ame sl'a§J8 in l'his ey'Ble of mQv·ement


are said fe be ir.J,

Phase canc,eUaition ("l.Z, 5i2-53, 10.8,. Hl'lJ The sUr;>erimpositiotl of tws waves: wfiere one is !il€lsitive and the. @th'er rneg;ath.'Ie, so that their total is le-ss than either on its ow~n.

Phasi'ng (1,64~'165) .An effsct in wllirih two sirnila.r or idehtjcal siqnats afe very s,lightl'y S'ep·a.r-ated in timet, so tt'lat! UTe wa"eforms are enhammd a~ soma frequencies and cancel at CDtb~rs. If the time siepal'8tion is ebang'e'ciI" a h'eltow, sweeping effect is heard, Also called flanginfil.

Phon (26-27) A u nl~ or Sl!l bJeGtive- l'budness. Phons equ-a'1 deCl.fuels (measure'd objeetilU'ely) at 1000H;;:, ana at Qtner !j're~uel'lcie-s are relatt;!d to them by corrtaurs of Rerc~ived 6lQuai Im .. rdFlt;!ss.

P'itch (18, 2Q) The subj(:letive aspect of frequen€y. tn harmonic series, the frequem:y of the fUIiI.damem:taL

Polar characteristic, polar diagram, polar response (38-59, 76-81,. 92, 1021-) These describe the way ill which the Ff;)?I,)Qlnse ,at a microphorre Itar.leswittil the angle 9f inc'iae-nee of a sound. Slm,e: this wW change wIth freC1jwenG'r, it is gJiven for a repre;sentative ,se~ies .of pClre tones .. Por each of these tlie response alang the r.n9in <Ixis of s'{mmetr»; (@er:nimally a title normal to the- diaphragm) is ta~en as un.ity, and the respon~e at other. OII'I:gles is re[ate'a to tliis.

Popping,. POfl~shiel{j (72-73) B!r.eak-u!!' @f audio signal as di,apn fao\iJrTi is btewn Qut'@f its nai"fmal range- by v@c;;al plosll1es such '8S;'pJ and 'h'; and a s'c-reem between m@;wth and microptrone whicli prev:ents thts, Post-balan~i'ng (154) Treating (BY equalisatian,etG.) anti mixing sound t.hat has alreadV been recorded on multitraGk t8lila.

Pre-hear (15:0-151, 15.5) A means of samp,ling a pr@gramm€!, SQWrce beJ!9re fadin@ it up anti mixin·g it iii ta me studio sound. Also caUed 'prefade-listel;(, Pfl..

Presence (SQ, 8-2, 1Z4, 130, 1$0:, 140, 158-159) ~nin§Jlng 'fo.rwarcl' an inst-rkiment (or v('),iee) b:y sele.€tl","'ely ampH.fying a range of frequenci'es wln:icn ~(mtairfS much of its oharaeter.

Pressure :gradient (14, 38-39,,44-45, 48~49, 62) The difference between BI'IT(l) s:wccessl've poims in a sound iN:ave. ,Ii. miempAYlne which measures pressure gradient f@n (')PP'o$"tte sides of the (Jiiapnragm) will have a djrE;!ctienal res!ilol'l.'Se, wherea's one which measures the pressure at a sll'Igle poInt wi.II De omnidirectional.

Pressure zone or bounda.ry effect (62<-63, 8~, 142.-'143) Tille effeet of a t~arcl, rigid surfaee on thec pressure ami pres-sure greeHer'lt of tlie sound field close to tt: Carrcellatien at a ri@lit-angle t@ the surface can Be used as [D'art of the direEtional resp@fls'e ef arnieroJ!lhone. Se.e als@ 'f.fIol.!Jse. Progressive wave (,22) A wave whkh travels t,hrou0h a medium (as OisllflGt fmm a st'Qniiing or staB@nat)( wave).

P:~Ocximity effect (44-'16, 56-57, 72-73) See b;ass tip-up.

Pure tone (10r 174) A sound or s,ignal ~oF1tainjllg erae audio fre,q;uenev only ... 3ee 'also tfl'Je~up, sine wave.

{)Iuadra:pt'Jony (8, 1Q6.) &Qur.ld using fOlJ.f, l1iistih€t si!:j,nals whidt §o t@ fOllif


!@udspe'akers - cGmll:mtigm'llly tWo in ff'Q,m' Which repro.ouce fTlgSf 01 the directional inferrnatien, ani€! two at ilhre rear whiehadcl rev·edpe~atjon. lit 15 RGssib[e f@r aft f'eur to carry direct sQ,.unQ, out this sevetely lirnirs the iaea'i listen ing area.

Radie mlcrophane (66-tO, 141;) Mi€f0pnsne -attached to a S;ffiall radio transmitter, wirth a reoe'tve'r ro Iihk it to sourrd contrQJ.

Reference level (26, 1.66-16:.7, 1171,1;14) 3im];€ de.cib€ls .n'e a rrreaeure @ased on rati@s 1heJ"e rs no atilsolute ze-rc!l, 8rrti I'~l:iels are' given Felt;ltive to s@re€! 'arfuitrafY re;ferenDe level, For sound a useful reference level is 2: x 1[J-51i'<), as fhi,s rOHglily corresp'Qods to the lower limit of hurrran hearing a:1 lDQOHz. als@ Hne-ap.

Resonance (16. ~.4, 40, 112) N":atlolral j:imriodicity; reinforcement assoeia1ed with this.

Rasponse (36-65, 15@-150) Sensitivity. fre.qwen€y ami poJ~ r cnaFacteristies €If a micl'op'll0ne.

Respense .sefe-cuon (156-1I:i91 Tbre corrective or amatiVe manilbHJJatiorl of the ffeqwmcy content of a s'i9naL

Reverberation (9, 32,4e, 50., 74-77, 82,. 88, 9:1, 9~, 10:2-112, 11'6, 133. 1 !il;l>:-1@'l) Tf.u;! sum ·(l)f ,many refh;;'G.ti€lns @f a S0und in 'an enclosed space. Re"'ertu~ra.tion time (32-33, 90, 104, Hi8, 162,. 166) The time it takes fGf a sound to die ilirou@h60BB.

Ribbon microphone (36-3iJ,. 31:3-39,. 42-46, 50. 56-67, 8~, 90-91, 116, 110, 1204) One in wh·i¢Aa narrow strip of foil, Gfinrugil!lectl for !'jreateT flexibility, is s,uspended in a magnetiC fielliL A fluGtlol81'ing curretlt is produced by rrievernerrt roftfie foil with airJ!)ra:s-sure -@f, rrrore €@mmonl'j(, pressure graelien~.

Scale (1.3, t8-1.9) DiVieion Of tliie audia frequBnG'I range by musjeal i.e. ratios .. Tt.le m(l)r-e natmGnrous lntervals 1i!ca'l8 airnple frequency ratios, e .. g. 1 :::1. (octave), 2: 3 ('fifth), 3: 4 (fourth}, etc ..

Scale 01 width (74~77, 102-103, 110. 115, 140) The relatiVe widlh £If the stereo image within the audio field ilIetwee'n left an€l riighl leudspe'akers. Screen (,34~35, '88-91, 103, U6, 131 - n'a, 148) A free-sta ndtng .souredreHeotin!ll Qf absorbLl'lg panel used fo~ the 110 ca I nlc:ldificatipn of stomiG acoustiGs.

Se,nsitivity ,(10, 36-37, 43) Microphone @Llt!I~il,n rmeas:ur-ed in deeligets

relativE!' to GnB. velt per pascal.

S'eparation (10iil.126, 131-13~) Tlhe degtee to which the si,gna[s from @tifferel'lt sound SQurGes we kept apart fQT the purp@s'e 0findividua[ treatment and contrel.

Shelf (157-159) A dip im frequeney resJi>ons!ll obtaJl'I·ed fuy the use of a til:lJer (gr equatlser).

Shotg,un mierolphone (52-55) See gun micnifp"h o de.

Sibilance (24, 8;',', BB) The over-empnas'is of '5' and 'ti:h' sounds in speech,. Side-fire (8G-81] P€llar res@gnse with axis at rYgnt'-angl'8 to i710Cly of miGrQpnol'le.


Signal (8-9, 160, 168,174) Tn'!;! requJrel1l infQlIl'l'Hltion Cl!Jnte:AI (')11 a serund field or of an e:leclrlcal OT electrtimagh.et1c transmissioo.

Signal"t0~JlIoise J'3tjO (3.6) The ratio of inJormatiGn content to unwanted hiss, rumble, hurn and other unwanted fuack!1lfGUntil rrolses, measlared in decibels.

Srne wave, sine,tone (10~11) A waVe con'Mining a single frequency; a I"ure terre (!;I.v.). In n;;)athern'atj'€sj "sine fu;nmron' desoribes the shap'e of this simpJllest type of w.ave. The term is avoided ln this text.

Sound (10-35) A series 0f OlDmpresslons attd rarefactlens tr-avelliAg thN)U!!jM air or an0ther nlEHflium, cal1sed try sQnieoody or bo~dies In vibr(:ltiQA.

SbOfu:lfi.e.ld microphone (80-81) Proprietary naMe fQf' a mi0ro~I>l@liIe with tetrahedral array of caps,tlles.

Speech balance (24, .82-,93, 42, 172) See 'balafJae.

Spill (132, 1o!W-145,. 156.) SouAd pieked up b;y a mi"c:,;rOf.lh:one othef than th;at Int~"J(iled.

Spin (164) An ,effe,Et gbtained by reei~oul-ating' an ori"ginal sl'gnal repeatedly through the S<3Ri1e system. Any imbatance in the frequenGV Ghar.acteristlcs of the svstarn is I'apiltily enhanced, See afso h@wi~f:"Oun(jj.

Spo,tfing (101), 12D, 138) Setting a(iJaitional microplicne to selectively errharree some par;! (usually an instrUlment Sr grEfup~ within an 0\1erall bal.anc8-.

Spreader (1!i2~15:d A deVice which converts a mono sjgnal in!;!:), -a forrm af stereo, in wfuich it oc€upies all or a' brflad (?1arr of the <Iwdio sta9R Springs (162) Re'ite.rberatiQr.J-ji}mducln!i.l device in whicH a .signal Is sent along metal arranged in a cou, to be reflected many times at €I;iS00ntilildl!.lities rl'l the materi1al of it is made. The springiness of tl)'e ooil i.s not actually w:seel.

Stand (58-59, 68-69) Microphone rnountlrrq,

Standing wave, s~tiijharv wave (22-.23, S2, 40, 91) The sum of two equal waves travelling in oppas.ite directimn§. This may be e-ausea I::i:y: refleotion at a wall 0;1" at th'e enG of' a pipe.

Stel'eo, stereophen'ic sound (28~31, !DO, 14~80, 92-93, 10.2-103, 106-110,112,116,138-'143,151-153, 1fr::!, 16"9) SQund Gombineq to liJe reproduced thrt:lugh tWQ or mor€!' Ioudapeakers, each with a 'different signrcll, in order to giVe an impre§s:ion of spatl'al spread.

Studio lSound studiOI (32~35, ~, 88-91, 92, 95, 103, 114) An e'f'lGlose{i s~aee !1I;esiJgl'led IDr prfmarHy used fex mictophone work,

SU('Ieroardioid response (38-39, 50---'51, 83, 92~9]" 124-12'5, 130, 132, 1361) Unclear term for the much more descriptive '' resporrse. In this b00'k It is taken to @e a polar responseinte.rm.ediate between carr,l1@icl and bi-ciireetl@naJ. See (/il'eE:·tlvity.

Talk-back (98, 174) Use of iii micropbo,ne in the G0nff'€)I fID!iJffl whicl'! is li·.l'll<'::ed ttl! .a lo:utlspeaRer or. heaQf.Jhbnes in the stl!Jdio.

Tetrahedral arrl'3Y (80-81) A set ot f0wr mic:mph.6ne t1apsules tHe signal ·fror.r.J wbioh oan be "edu~ed tID l!JiIJe 9000 'eiireetimnal informatiIDn in three



dlrrterts+ons c€lnd Dan t3e further redl!.lee~ to t~o., with a 'ChoteS' @f (fir1;!cHgn anti polar res,ponse (im;'h,u;:iing a caJilacitY to pan and 'zQom' - i.e. eliani'fe the po'lar rHSWonse - usil'l§ an e~istil'f§ 4-chanFlBI ~ecoIcling).

Tone (151, f74) In audio pra6tice, a si:ngle?frequency signal or sdl;Jnd. $.ee sine wavB:, zero lev'el tone.

Tracking (13.2, 154) Builelingwp a rer;;8Tr;jing. in suoeeseive steges. Later tnacKcs are recorded 10 the ,r'ep.iay I;)j th0se already on tape.

Transducer (84.) A device for Gonv'eri~ng 3utii0 information from (line medi'um (sound, ele01rical 'current, eleGtromagr.Je'tic tHmsmissic;}O, dise. tape, ete.) to a:rreth@r.

Transforme,r (3'7, 4:11, 57. un, 151) A device wfiich isolate's ttte (jlirect currerrt components of an eleG"tri8al circuit while .pemiitting the signal to pass witfl no signifieant lass of I"Qw'erc, but ch'<ll'IgiI'l9 vQltage iilnrn j.mlJedance as requ~fe,til. Man~ rnicrojillilQnes produce an ·eJ,ectrical signal w.hicf1 is unsuitabfe for feed'jng at8ng lonfij cables or in!C'.! sl.lbseqwent equipment; the ttansforrner pro1Vicdes the necessary fflatehing.

Transiellt (20, 101', 1Ht 118. 124.) In this eonte>;t, often the ifregut~r iA~tial part !i;lf a sorrnd Defore a regular wavefQrm is establisheiol; -an Important part of ~1'I;e cnaracte'r of musicalins1;,rumen1!s.

Velocity of s@u"d (10, 13, 176) At room temperatufl'1 this is .3Rpreximately 1120ftisec, 8AdfOf most practioal cale-wlatfoils ma¥ De F8fiJarde6i as €"onstant . In Iiqulde and ,5mliQs It IS' faster.

Volume (26:-'27, 168, 176) See level.

VU meter (:1'68-169). Volurme unit meter, used in m~ucfi: A'fnerican eqwi~ rnent for me.asuring <.II.I9io sj,gnal levels. It shows percenta~.e rrrcdulatton and is net linear in deei'bels.

Wav.e, ~ound (9:""'1:7,. 122, 29, 3,2'., 52-5'4, 152) A sU€GeSSIDtl @f compress'ions and raretactiIDns transmitted through a rnedlum at a Cl1H'lstal'lt velocity, ttilesj<leetl of s@ufld.

Wavelen,gtti ('10~13i 52'.-1;)4, 176) F'FoVided that the wave is perifectly regul.a.r (i.e. a sim.€. wave or pure tone) tnis is the eistailce betweer.1 s.uOQeS5IVe peaks.

WinClsfi,ield,. winclsli:reen {:-£I1ii.46, 54-57, 72-73} Shield wflid'i fLt'S over a mie-[ojilliiane :to eontour it for srnoother airflow, tnerelN re1!:luerrig or' eri1'l'linating wind noise.

Wirejess micropHone (66-~67) See rcadi@ microptrene.

XlR (70-71, 81) A robust connector system used for mi'GrQphones aFlid cabtes.

Zero I.evel toile (174) Hec:tri0ally g.e'herated tone at a standqt"Q referenGe le\<~1 LJse0 to IIBe up elet~rkal equipment. In C:18G practice tHis is orre mil.liwatt Into 60G! oHms IllsiAg 10c)0Hz ji}l!If'e none.

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