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Microphones and Backpack Sounds: Assignment 2

September 9, 2009

Comments on different mics:

When polar patterns in microphones change they tend to make the sound more muffled and lower pitched with extra interference and static. The figure 8 mic had a surprisingly wide range, I expected the fields to be much more narrow and much more noise obstruction to occur. The omni mic seemed to have a slightly reduced quality with higher pitches and more static when compared with the other functions.

Headphones can heighten awareness of sound location in a rather backwards way. The ears are picking up less cues then they are used to and some sounds are louder in comparison of others. This leads to an increased awareness of location and source and when a microphone is not in omni you will try harder to identify the sources of sounds because they are harder to tell and are being artificially balanced in the headphones. Omni mic settings are rather disorienting when you can observe sound directions because of the clarity and lack of directional cues with which you hear them.

Studio sounds:

For my HIFI studio sounds I chose to do a pack of sounds based around my backpack, which contains objects I use everyday. I utilized a water bottle, cellphone, pencil, folder, wallet, and zipper. I wanted to explore some of the simple-seeming sounds I make during the day in greater depth. One sound I particularly wanted to do was the sound of me swallowing. I have a parrot at home that will mimic repeated noises and I was surprised when she started to mimic the sound of drinking and swallowing, which made me think that it actually is a very distinctive sound that we don’t consider very often. Here is the link to my backpack sound pack:


2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 12, 2009 3:03 pm

    Nice sounds you carry in your backpack!! and you could have explored even more the sound qualities of each of the objects.


  2. jaykadis permalink*
    September 14, 2009 7:54 am

    I’m not sure what you mean by “static”, since that would indicate something wrong with the cabling or some other element of the system. The omnidirectional pattern is usually the clearest-sounding as it does not use acoustical processing to change the directional behavior as do the directional patterns.

    Your observations on headphones are what I would expect. If you place an object about the size of a head between two omni mics you can pick up rather convincing stereo images but a single omni has no good way of determining where a sound originates.

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