Welcome again to the Dojo, everybody. This month, we’re going to discover the world of microphone polar patterns, so you may make higher selections for recording your electrical and acoustic guitars.
“Understanding these patterns may also help you make higher recordings by perceiving what your mic can sonically ‘put in body’ and what can be ‘out of body.’”
What’s a polar sample? As a sound supply arrives on the microphone, a polar sample represents the world(s) of best sensitivity relative to the angle of the sound supply. Consider a polar sample as you’ll a digicam lens: the broader the lens (or digicam setting), the extra photographs you possibly can put in body. Even in case you are not a digicam buff, you almost certainly have a number of digicam settings in your good cellphone (portrait, normal, panorama). For microphone polar patterns, there are three major selections as properly: cardioid, determine eight, and omni [Figs. 1, 2, and 3, respectively]. FYI, there are different polar patterns (hyper-cardioid, super-cardioid, and so forth.), however for now I’m going to concentrate on probably the most usable three for recording functions. Understanding these patterns may also help you make higher recordings by perceiving what your mic can sonically “put in body” and what can be “out of body.” One last item earlier than we start: Some microphones have a set polar sample (non-adjustable), whereas others provide a alternative of a number of polar patterns.
The commonest sample is cardioid. The good thing about utilizing this sample is that it has a large candy spot and provides nice rejection behind the mic. Which means regardless of the capsule of the mic is pointed in the direction of can be “in body,” and issues behind the mic can be significantly minimized. This provides larger management once you wish to seize the a lot of the sound supply you’ve aimed the mic at whereas minimizing the whole lot else. Basic mics just like the Shure SM57 and SM7B are fastened cardioid-pattern mics. Should you’re recording your acoustic guitar in a room the place another person is taking part in an instrument (or singing), you wish to maximize your guitar and reduce the bleed of the opposite musician. You may obtain this by taking part in your guitar instantly reverse the opposite musician, get some separation, and mic your guitar about 4 to five inches away from the 14th fret.
What for those who’re taking part in a duet and also you wish to file the opposite participant equally properly, with just one mic? In case you have a mic that has a figure-eight polar sample, you possibly can. Sit reverse one another, place the mic within the center and equidistant from each of you. Then set your ranges and go! Most large-diaphragm condenser mics can have all three primary adjustable patterns (cardioid, determine eight, and omni), and plenty of provide much more selections. As an illustration, the Rode K2 ($699 avenue) is repeatedly variable (all positions), the AKG C414 XLII ($1,099 avenue) has 5 selections, and the AKG C12 VR ($5,999 avenue) has 9 patterns. The figure-eight sample additionally offers nice rejection for sound sources that aren’t instantly in entrance or behind the mic.
Maybe you wish to file your different acoustic band extra evenly? Use the omni (omnidirectional) setting of your mic and place it within the room the place you suppose issues are roughly balanced. So, if in case you have a full band, don’t place it close to the drummer and anticipate the acoustic guitar to be equally as loud. Do not forget that the mic, whereas getting sound from in all places and rejecting nothing, continues to be going to choose up the sound supply that’s closest and in addition loudest. Transfer the mic closest to the singer(s) and the devices that naturally battle to compete with the drums, after which transfer that group additional away from the drummer till a extra balanced sound is achieved.
Till subsequent time, preserve experimenting and have enjoyable.