Sound Workshop

Microphone Pickup

  • Omnidirectional


This microphone picks up sound from all directions. If you were to walk around the microphone talking, the volume would stay the same for all of it. This type of microphone would be most effective when used for collecting ambience and atmospheric noise, because it would be able to pick up noises from all different angles, meaning you get a fuller sound.

  • Cardiod


With a cardioid microphone, if you were to walk around to the back, the volume will slowly drop off until you’re virtually unheard. This type of microphone is good for lapel mics, because it can be pointed towards the person so it picks up their voice but won’t pick up the rustling of the clothes.

  • Hyper-Cardioid


For this microphone, the majority of sound is picked up towards the front, but there is also a slight noise pickup on the other side. This is used mainly in professional recording, because the singer can sing into the front and their voice will be the main sound recorded, but the other side can still pick up some ambient noise so it isn’t just dead silence. Or for live performances, the other side of the mic can pick up the audience cheering.

  • Shotgun


This has a similar pickup pattern to the hyper-cardioid, in that the direction you point it is where you will get the most pickup, but it has a wider pickup around the side and back of the mic as well. It’s good if you need to focus on a specific noise in a film (dialogue) but still need to get the atmospheric sounds in the background as well.



Sound Clips

This video contains three sound clips all taken inside the college.

First – College Reception

In the reception, the acoustics weren’t bad, but wouldn’t be useable for sound recording. The roof was slanted instead of flat, which made the acoustics better because the sound didn’t bounce directly off but was instead deflected off the ceiling a few times causing is to lose strength. There was also a large plant which helped to break up the sound and make the echo smaller. However, the roof was still tall and the walls were flat and hard, meaning that the sound bounced off them instead of being absorbed which causes an echo.

Second – Recording booth

There was almost no echo in the sound booth, despite the fact that there weren’t many objects to break sound up. The reason for this is that the walls were made of a metal mesh with thousands of tiny holes in that let sound through, and behind them was foam which absorbs the sound. This room would be ideal for recording sound, provided you didn’t need video to go with it.

Third – Recording studio

the recording studio would also be good for recording sound in, because there are foam panels on the walls that absorb sound, and on the ceiling are wooden diffusers. These diffusers are curved, because when sound bounces off a flat wall it stays very much intact, but when sound hits the diffuser it is reflected in many different directions which reduces the strength of the echo.

This video contains three sound clips all taken outside

first – Outside of college

Right outside the college is a road, meaning that the recording quality is very poor. In the clip, we had the mic facing the road and as it’s a shotgun mic the cars were the main noise it picked up. Shotgun mics pick up a lot less sound from the back, so if you had to film in front of a road you should do it with your back facing the road and the mic pointed away.

Second – Middle of Park

The main focus of the park is the river that runs alongside it, and there’s nowhere in the park you can really go where the microphone doesn’t pick up the sound of the river. As you can see in this clip, if you point the mic away from the river, the noise doesn’t interfere too much and also adds to the atmosphere of the park, however if you tried to film right by the river the sound of is may be too overpowering.

Third – leaves rustling

In this one we recorded, the leaves were right by the river and as I said it might be, the sound is quite interfering. However, this clip doesn’t include video. If you were also filming the leaves you would be able to see the river in it and it would give the noise context, so it would seem less intrusive and more natural.


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