Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share
29/05/2018

University Professors Join Forces For Academic Recording Project

News Image
University professors Kazuya Nagae and Thorsten Weigelt have collaborated to investigate the changes made to sound by microphone placement.

Kazuya Nagae is a sound recording Associate Professor from Soundmedia Composition Course, Nagoya University of the Arts, and Thorsten Weigelt is a Tonmeister and professor from the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK).

Taking Jurgen Meyer's renowned book 'Acoustics and the Performance of Music' as their starting point, the pair used a selection of DPA microphones to produce sound recordings of the most important instruments in the orchestra to highlight sound changes.

"Recording depends on so many things – from the music content, musicians and instruments to the recording venue and the arrangement of the microphones," Kazuya Nagae said. "When I discovered that no sound material is available as a study aid, I suggested to Thorsten that we create recordings so that people working and studying in the field of recording arts could make comparisons. We hope that our examples can supplement the worthwhile and irreplaceable book by Jurgen Meyer, so that we can not only see the differences but also hear them. This will help sound engineers choose the 'best' or most appropriate mic placement for a specific recording situation."

Mr Nagae and Weigelt recorded their samples at the UdK Concert Hall, which has a mid reverberation time of 1.5 seconds. The instruments they chose included violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, piccolo, oboe, English horn, clarinet (B flat, A and bass), bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba (B flat and F), snare drum (with and without snare), bass drum and timpani. Every instrument was recorded simultaneously with 14 AB stereo pairs of microphones placed in different horizontal and vertical angles.

"We wanted to record samples in a realistic environment and situation, so we opted for stereo recording in a concert hall because we believe that stereo listening is important for the perception of the colour of the recorded instruments," Thorsten Weigelt explained. "Based on a standard setup, we adjusted the geometry of the system for every instrument to get the most interesting recording points. Also, the distance to the instrument was chosen specifically for every recording, but with the same distance for every pair of microphones (for example violin 248cm, horn 226cm, timpani 265cm). Where possible, we recorded the musician in a standing and sitting position and adjusted the height of the whole microphone setup accordingly. For every instrument, we recorded a few orchestral studies offering different styles and characters, plus one short solo piece and scales."

A total of 26 d:dicate™ 4006A microphones were used to capture the sound and they were chosen for their neutral characteristics and excellent sonic qualities. They also used a pair of PZM in front of the musicians.

"We decided to use an AB-mic setup, which is realistic because it is often used as a main mic setting in classical music," Mr Nagae said. "The most popular mic pattern for this type of work is omnidirectional, which has the advantage of being free from proximity effect and gives a flat response at low frequencies. Even though we recorded in a concert hall and were not too close to the instruments, we wanted to ensure a flat response for the recorded direct sound by using free field equalized capsules. The d:dicate 4006A is famous for its very flat 0°- response if you use the standard silver free-field grid. It was important for a project like this to have very neutral microphones that didn't colour the sound and offered the best high quality specifications in terms of signal to noise ratio, dynamic range and maximum SPL. DPA fitted this brief perfectly. Also having the same type of microphone throughout was another important consideration, otherwise it would be impossible to be sure that the differences you hear are down to microphone position and not some specific microphone characteristic."

They say they are delighted with the support they received from DPA and its Japanese distributor Hibino, who between them supplemented the UdK's existing DPA microphone stock to ensure the recordings were able to go ahead. Other companies involved in supporting the project included RME, Audio AG, Synthax Japan Inc, the Kawai Foundation for Sound Technology & Music and Nagoya University of the Arts. As well as its concert hall and control room, the Berlin University of the Arts also provided musicians and recording students on its Tonmeister course.

"Anyone listening to these recordings will need to bear in mind that while they have general validity, they are also specific to the recording situation in the UdK Concert Hall, the instrument used and the musician playing the instrument," Mr Weigelt added. "An attentive listener will take good hints from them but will need to explore his/her own specific recording situation. The listener will also clearly hear very different direct-to-reverberant ratios depending of the position of microphone pairs, which are frequency dependent. This has to do with the frequency dependent directivity factors of the instruments. More interesting angles would have been conceivably, but practically not possible. Also, don't forget that for instruments with more complex radiation patterns, the captured sound changes with the distance between microphone and instrument in more aspects than only direct-to-reverberant ratio. This is clearly shown by Jurgen Meyer, but that would be the next story – if we can find 100 microphones of the same type!"

www.dpamicrophones.com
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

14/08/2017
DPA Helps Glass Animals Achieve A Solid Vocal Sound
Front of House engineer Pete Johnson is "loving" DPA's d:facto Linear Vocal Microphone, which he is using on the current Glass Animals tour. Johnson s
30/06/2017
Lipsync Provides Full Sound And VFX Post-Production Services For Drama
LipSync has announced its role in providing full sound and VFX post-production services for upcoming drama Alone in Berlin. From tomorrow,01 July, the
04/10/2017
Sound Devices Set To Launch The MixPre-10T
Sound Devices is to launch the MixPre-10T, the newest member of the MixPre Series (MixPre-3 & MixPre-6) of audio recorders, mixers, and USB audio inte
15/06/2017
Sound Devices' Wingman App Available For Android
Sound Devices has confirmed that its remote control app, Wingman, is now available for Android. It works with the company's 6-Series line of field mix
07/06/2017
The Sound of Silence: The Art of Using Music
We all know how crucial music can be to complimenting your production; indeed without the soundtrack a large chunk of the emotional depth can disappea
15/05/2017
Richard Earnshaw Invests In Prism Sound's Titan
Artist and producer Richard Earnshaw has invested in a Prism Sound Titan Multi-channel Audio Interface, which is helping to improve the accuracy of hi
11/05/2017
Evolving Sound Trailer-Music Launches
New trailer-music label Evolving Sound has launched with three powerful albums, delivering forward-looking full orchestral, hybrid and electronic trai
04/01/2018
Latest Sound Desk From Stage Tec Revealed At BVE 2018
Broadcast audio distributor Aspen Media is proud to present AVATUS, the new sound desk from its German supplier Stage Tec, at BVE 2018 in February. AV
19/12/2017
Prism Sound Upgrades Key Products
Prism Sound has revealed that it has upgraded four of its products to ensure that they support ASIO Direct Monitoring (ADM). The company's Titan, Atla
29/11/2017
DPA Microphones Deliver Sound For Comedy Show
DPA Microphones has delivered the sound for a single-camera comedy – Swedish Dicks – which recently made its TV debut in the United States. The comedy
27/11/2017
Edgeware To Deliver At-Home Dolby Atmos Surround Sound
Edgeware has announces that its TV delivery systems now support the online delivery of Dolby Atmos surround sound for playout on home entertainment sy
23/11/2017
Nugen Audio Provides Precision For Sound Designer Mark Henry Phillips
Mark Henry Phillips is a composer, sound designer and producer who has worked on a variety of podcasts, films, radio and TV shows. He trusts NUGEN Aud
09/10/2018
DPA Delivers Great Sound For Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
For nearly 70 years, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has delighted visitors with a spectacular display of music and fireworks from the esplanade o
01/10/2018
Avid Expands VENUE | S6L Live Sound Platform
Avid® has announced the immediate availability of a new control surface, processing engine and I/O rack option for its expanded Avid VENUE™ | S6L unif
14/12/2017
University of Westminster Transforms Students' Understanding Of Sound
Over the past two years, the University of Westminster have been revamping the production environment at their award-winning School of Media, Arts and