In Broadcast September 2012 - 34


WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 12 - SEPTEMBER 2012

InSOUND
Microphones In Action
Kevin Hilton examines how the technology of sound recording continues to evolve to meet demands that are ever more sophisticated
Kevin Hilton

34

The microphone is a good example of an older technology that is being adapted to the demands of modern television, which inevitably involves stretching some fundamental rules. The basic principles involved in building a mic pre-date TV but they have been adjusted over the years to meet new requirements in the visual medium, as well as in music recording and radio. As a result mics come in all shapes, sizes and types. This choice has been growing since 1963 when AE Robertson in the second edition of the BBC Engineering Training Manual, Microphones, described a “bewildering array” of mics with “differing characteristics” being constantly joined by new designs coming on the market. There are now more manufacturers, each with a wide product range, including models aimed at specific applications. The need for specialisation continues to increase to match new production methods. Two key areas today that have forced a rethink on mic design are: presenters working in studios or on location where there is a lot of background noise; and news reporters or solo programme makers shooting using DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras, usually without a sound recordist.

Clean Audio
Among the manufacturers continuing to consider this balance is DPA (Danish Pro Audio) Microphones. DPA markets mics designed by Brüel & Kjær, which built on the reputation of its reference recording products and gained a new market in head-worn miniature units for live theatre. At last year’s IBC DPA launched the d:fine range of headset mics, aiming squarely at broadcasting. Christian Poulsen, the company’s chief executive, says DPA has a strong market in broadcast with its mini-booms and has seen this increase since the introduction of the d:fine. “My view is that in broadcasting there is an increase in programmes being made in difficult sound locations but at the same time there is a rise in expectation for good audio,” Poulsen observes. “The demand for high quality close miking has definitely been increasing since we introduced the d:fine.” Having the mic capsule close to the mouth of a presenter or guest makes sure their voice is always picked up properly and are “on mic” but in many instances there can be a lot of background noise, such as on noisy audience shows or live sports coverage, so this has to be controlled at the same time. This

DPA dfine miniature head worn presentation mic

RØDE’s Stereo VideoMic Pro for DSLR mounting

can be done by using directional capsules, such as cardioid units (which have a heart-shaped pickup or polar pattern) or by applying equalisation to the mic. Poulsen says neither is ideal: “Cardioid and other directional mics are very sensitive to wind and popping noise,” he explains, “while if the person wearing an eqed mic moves, you can hear the change in sound.” D PA s p e n t t w o y e a r s experimenting with new ways to approach the problem and eventually decided on changing the mic housing and venting construction to produce the d:fine. This essentially gives a “mouth side”, which can be positioned close to the sound source without popping, the noise made by “plosive” sounds such as Audio-Technica BP896 subminiature omnidirectional lavalier mic words beginning with ‘p’; and an “audience side”, as black,” he comments. intended to cut down the amount Beyer’s mini-boom sets were of background noise, either from used for presentation and reporting people or natural sounds like wind. during the Olympic Games, as were Poulsen is doubtful whether the its M58 and MCE58 long-handled d:fine could have been developed reporters’ mics. The M 58 dynamic ten years ago, adding that the key omni-directional model mic has was working out the difference been a staple in TV and radio between pop noise and wind noise. reporting since being introduced “Once that had been done we could approximately 20 years ago. see there was a different pattern Nettlefold says having a model that needed on the inlet for the front side “just works” is an advantage and that and backside of the mic,” he says. the only recent change to the M 58 is “Positioning the headset over the the addition of a more hard-wearing ears of a person is also important, finish on the body. because if it doesn’t fit properly then Audio-Technica has added two whether the mic sounds great or not interview mics to its broadcast doesn’t matter.” and production range, the cardioid Many of the other major manufacturers are also producing CONTINUED ON PAGE 36

headset mics; Sennheiser has a range including the HSP 2/4 and the ME-3 N, Audio-Technica produces the BP893 MicroEar set, Shure has units for both wired and wireless connection and Beyerdynamic offers them as part of its Opus wireless range. Matt Nettlefold, Business Development and Product Manager at Beyer’s UK distributor POLARaudio, says its mini-booms have been “tweaked” and are fitted with pop shields for close working. “The idea is for them to be discreet, so they come in flesh colours as well


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast September 2012

InNEWS Globosat Credits Tsl on Sportv Installation
BT Installs Snell Upgrade
InSOUND Merging Changes Gear With Horus
InSTUDIO Christie Presents Array of Projectors
InGEAR Multicam Systems Exhibit at Ibc
InGEAR Hitachi Ships 16-Bit 3g Sk-Hd1200 Camera
InGEAR Bosch Corner Silverstone With Electro-Voice
InREVIEW Exploring 3d: The New Grammar of Stereoscopic Filmmaking
InMEDIA Masstech: Mam for Leading Sports Channels
InMEDIA Scheduall Offers Full Interoperability
In Broadcast September 2012 - intro
In Broadcast September 2012 - Cover1
In Broadcast September 2012 - Cover2
In Broadcast September 2012 - 3
In Broadcast September 2012 - InNEWS Globosat Credits Tsl on Sportv Installation
In Broadcast September 2012 - 5
In Broadcast September 2012 - BT Installs Snell Upgrade
In Broadcast September 2012 - 7
In Broadcast September 2012 - 8
In Broadcast September 2012 - 9
In Broadcast September 2012 - 10
In Broadcast September 2012 - 11
In Broadcast September 2012 - 12
In Broadcast September 2012 - 13
In Broadcast September 2012 - 14
In Broadcast September 2012 - 15
In Broadcast September 2012 - 16
In Broadcast September 2012 - 17
In Broadcast September 2012 - 18
In Broadcast September 2012 - 19
In Broadcast September 2012 - 20
In Broadcast September 2012 - 21
In Broadcast September 2012 - 22
In Broadcast September 2012 - 23
In Broadcast September 2012 - 24
In Broadcast September 2012 - 25
In Broadcast September 2012 - 26
In Broadcast September 2012 - 27
In Broadcast September 2012 - 28
In Broadcast September 2012 - 29
In Broadcast September 2012 - 30
In Broadcast September 2012 - 31
In Broadcast September 2012 - 32
In Broadcast September 2012 - 33
In Broadcast September 2012 - 34
In Broadcast September 2012 - 35
In Broadcast September 2012 - 36
In Broadcast September 2012 - 37
In Broadcast September 2012 - InSOUND Merging Changes Gear With Horus
In Broadcast September 2012 - 39
In Broadcast September 2012 - 40
In Broadcast September 2012 - 41
In Broadcast September 2012 - 42
In Broadcast September 2012 - 43
In Broadcast September 2012 - 44
In Broadcast September 2012 - InSTUDIO Christie Presents Array of Projectors
In Broadcast September 2012 - 46
In Broadcast September 2012 - 47
In Broadcast September 2012 - 48
In Broadcast September 2012 - 49
In Broadcast September 2012 - 50
In Broadcast September 2012 - 51
In Broadcast September 2012 - 52
In Broadcast September 2012 - 53
In Broadcast September 2012 - 54
In Broadcast September 2012 - 55
In Broadcast September 2012 - InGEAR Multicam Systems Exhibit at Ibc
In Broadcast September 2012 - 57
In Broadcast September 2012 - InGEAR Hitachi Ships 16-Bit 3g Sk-Hd1200 Camera
In Broadcast September 2012 - 59
In Broadcast September 2012 - 60
In Broadcast September 2012 - 61
In Broadcast September 2012 - 62
In Broadcast September 2012 - InGEAR Bosch Corner Silverstone With Electro-Voice
In Broadcast September 2012 - 64
In Broadcast September 2012 - 65
In Broadcast September 2012 - 66
In Broadcast September 2012 - InREVIEW Exploring 3d: The New Grammar of Stereoscopic Filmmaking
In Broadcast September 2012 - 68
In Broadcast September 2012 - 69
In Broadcast September 2012 - InMEDIA Masstech: Mam for Leading Sports Channels
In Broadcast September 2012 - 71
In Broadcast September 2012 - InMEDIA Scheduall Offers Full Interoperability
In Broadcast September 2012 - 73
In Broadcast September 2012 - 74
In Broadcast September 2012 - 75
In Broadcast September 2012 - Cover4
In Broadcast September 2012 - S1
In Broadcast September 2012 - S2
In Broadcast September 2012 - S3
In Broadcast September 2012 - S4
In Broadcast September 2012 - S5
In Broadcast September 2012 - S6
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201604
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2016
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC02
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201512
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