1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Concrete sounds and low frequencies

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Gpp, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Gpp

    Gpp Active Member

    Hello all,

    I am recording some concrete sounds like pages leaf through and torn fabrics.
    What I listen to after recording are sounds coloured much more on the low frequencies than they actually are.
    The mic (AKG 414) is very close to the sources. Is it because of to that? I have tried also to use the hi-pass filter of the microphone: though these low frequencies become less strong, the sound is still far from how it actually is.
    Do you have any advice?
    (Beside the AKG 414 I am using a SPL Gain Station and a Fireface UCX 400).

    Thank you.

  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Which pattern are you using on the 414? In the 414's cardioid and Figure-8 patterns there can be significant proximity-effect (which is the boost of low frequencies that increases as the mic gets closer to the source). All other things being equal, an omni-directional pattern won't exhibit the boosted-low-effect.

    Here is a Sound On Sound article on mic patterns that will explain it in greater detail.

    If that isn't what's causing the radical difference between what you hear at the source vs. what you get at playback - it would be useful if you told us the recording and listening environment and what you're using to monitor the playback. All of these things are factors.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Recordings sound effects is an art. It really has a lot to do with the surrounding acoustics. Having a microphone to close can really present a false image. And sometimes it's not just how you record it but how you manipulate it, after recording. And that proximity effect that occurs with all directional microphones might require that you switch your microphone into the Omni directional pattern? This will eliminate any of the proximity effect from cardioid or figure of eight polar patterns and pick up more of the rooms natural acoustic signature. Doing it in stereo presents a slew of other problems from phase and timing inaccuracies at the speed of sound. And where less than a single millisecond of timing differential can destroy the entire effect. At least with Mono, it's a single point source. And you can position it with a panoramic potentiometer also adding time delay to create the HAAS effect for relative stereoscopic positioning. And which works out quite well especially when good EQ is used. Typical of many folks trying to obtain sound effects is overload from short duration transients that do not show on the meters. Most metering in digital recording today is peak metering as compared to the lowly old averaging VU meters of yesteryear. Still, it's easy to overload sound effects. They're not very legato like most musical instruments except for drums. So no meter is going to show you the whole picture. And where you might have to record at levels that appear to be lower than average? In fact, many of these sound effects have a lot of high frequency transient energy in them. Basically making condenser microphones all overload before they ever make it into the microphone preamp. And where dynamic and especially ribbon microphones can really come off much better then any condenser microphone can in this application. We rarely record Latin percussion instrumentation on condenser microphones for just that reason. Instead, will generally use dynamic microphones like SHURE SM57/58's and any other derivations similar to those. So a condenser microphone isn't necessarily the right microphone to use in this application of yours. You'd think it should be a condenser microphone but it actually should not be. So try a $100 US, 57. That's why God invented them here in the US of A.

    old-fashioned girl
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  4. Gpp

    Gpp Active Member

    Thank you! I'll start to try with the omnidirectional pattern.

Share This Page