[bct] The Prius Podcast and microphone techniques

  • From: "Neal Ewers" <neal.ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Bct" <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 11 May 2006 08:40:58 -0500

Hi all. I got the following message and I thought the answer to his
question may be of interest to some on the list.  I will also BCC the
original sender.

Original message.

I very much enjoyed the podcast that you did driving with your friend in
her Toyota Prius.  Just out of interest sake which recorder were you
using for that?  Also in the cast, you mentioned what you thought was a
possible problem with your seat position and picking up her voice.  As a
totally blind person who listens to the podcast through a set of
headphones I didn't notice any possible issue.  I think that it would
have sounded just fine through a set of speakers.  Just my thoughts.
My message

Thanks for the kind words.  I was using my Sound Devices 744T recorder
to do the podcasts.
My comment on where I placed the microphones and the kind of microphones
could use a bit of explaining.

I find that using binaural microphones where the room or car ambience is
almost as loud as the signal gives you an unreal recording.  There was
more car noise in the recording than I heard with my own ear while in
the car.  This is in part because the brain and the ears are much better
at listening than a set of even the most expensive mikes which don't
have a brain attached to them that can mentally filter out certain
things.  I find that there are several mike techniques that might work
better here.

1.  Cardioid mikes in an O R T F arrangement.

2.  Wide cardioids in a quasi O R T F arrangement.

3.  An MS technique, using a Cardioid and a figure 8 capsule.  You have
to be careful with this arrangement in very close quarters because the
sound might be a bit out of focus.

Had I used any of these arrangements, you would have heard our voices
more pronounced and the car noise less.  That is exactly what I heard
when doing the actual recording.  The fact that Mary was sitting forward
of me meant that she was not in the direct line of the microphone
pickup.  So, there was a lot more ambient noise surrounding her voice.

Getting a realistic recording is an interesting thing to accomplish.  I
am now going to do a lot of recording in our car with different
microphones and different microphone positions to see what the
difference in the sound is.  I think I will likely find a setup that
captures the overall voice and engine noise at the exact volume I heard
them when recording.

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