Tag: cardioid

PreSonus Audio Box Studio Comes With A Lot For A Little

PreSonus Audio Box Studio

If you’ve ever wanted to get into audio recording, but were intimidated by the vast variety (not to mention the often high cost) of gear and software, your solution has arrived! With the Audio Box Studio by PreSonus, you get a high-quality selection of gear and software from a brand that’s trusted by audio professionals around the globe that doesn’t weigh too heavily on your wallet.

The Interface:

AudioBox USB

First up is the AudioBox USB interface. This impressive little guy has two XLR/TRS combo jack inputs for both microphones and guitars and MIDI I/O for, well, any instrument that utilizes MIDI. MIDI‘s not just for keyboards, you know! Anyway, its Main and Headphone outputs are 1/4″ TRS, and it hooks up to your computer via USB. Honestly, with this interface, you’re pretty well set in just about any recording situation.

The Microphone:

M7 High Definition Condenser Microphone

It also has +48V phantom power for use with condenser microphones, which is certainly good news considering that the included M7 high-definition, large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone requires it! This package includes a 9 foot cable, and a protective cloth carry bag for the microphone, making it nicely portable and perfect for recording on the road. To read more on condenser microphones and the cardioid polar pattern, check out these two previous blogs of ours: Demystifying Microphones & Polar Patterns (Demystifying Microphones, Part 2).

The Headphones:

HD 7 Headphones

Plus, it’s hard to go wrong with a quality set of headphones like these. With high-resolution neodymium drivers, precision-tuned acoustic chambers and an extended bass response, you’ll hear everything you need to hear with the clarity that professionals require. These babies are lightweight, comfortable and have a single-sided 8 foot cable, giving you plenty of room to move around if necessary.

The Software:

HD 7 Headphones

Finally, we come to the software; which, in my opinion, is the highlight of this package. Many other DAWs have finite amounts of tracks you can make, but not Studio One Artist! You can have unlimited audio, MIDI, virtual instruments, buses and FX channel tracks. Studio One Artist boasts the “most intuitive MIDI-mapping system available,” real-time audio timestretching and resampling, not to mention automatic delay compensation which is fantastic for sessions that have a lot of effects in them. If all that wasn’t enough, the Studio One Artist DVD-ROM comes with 4+ GB of third-party software, loops and virtual instruments. How’s that for value, hmm?! So, what are you waiting for? A top secret jambalaya recipe or something?!

The Jambalaya:

Jambalaya

Well, hilariously enough, PreSonus actually does include a jambalaya recipe on page 81 (all the way at the bottom) of their quickstart guide for the AudioBox Studio. I think they’ve become my new favorite manufacturer. Frankly, I’ll be picking one of these AudioBox Studio packages up myself soon, because bundles as great and affordable as this one don’t come around very often. Hurry before they’re all gone! What are you doing wasting time still reading these last sentences?! Go! Go! Go! And make jambalaya!

READ MORE +

Polar Patterns (Demystifying Microphones, Part 2)

 

In the first Demystifying Microphones blog entry, we focused on two of the most common types of transducer principles of microphones: dynamic and condenser. In this blog, we’ll be learning about the various “polar patterns,” of microphones.

Polar what?

First of all, no; polar patterns have nothing to do with cold temperatures or the North/South Poles, so feel free to toss that idea out of your head right now. Polar patterns are simply directional measures of microphones’ sensitivity to sound. Not simple enough? Okay, let’s break it down some more.

It should be noted that the diagrams below are relative to the “address type,” of the microphone. Fortunately, those aren’t difficult to understand, as there are only two: side address and top address, which just mean microphones pick up sound from either the top or the side. Easy, right?

Anyway, as of now, there are 7 main types of polar patterns:

Omnidirectional:

Omnidirectional

An omnidirectional microphone, as you might infer, is one that picks up sound from all directions (hence the prefix “omni”). Technically, such a thing is physically impossible because the microphone’s body itself gets in the way of sound pickup. Try picking one up and recording something with the capsule facing away from the sound source and you’ll hear what I mean. Regardless, the idea is that it picks up sound from all possible directions, which can be fantastic for recording natural ambiances for use in post-production or video games.

Subcardioid:

Subc

If you were to do a Google search on “subcardioid microphone,” (as of the date of this blog) you’d find one Audio-Technica microphone in particular (the AT808G) and a few separate microphone capsules. The idea with this polar pattern is to combine the advantages of both omnidirectional and cardioid patterns; specifically, a fuller low-frequency response but less “proximity effect” (which is just an increase in bass that occurs when the microphone is placed close to the sound source), and clearer, more accentuated side and rear sound pickup than a cardioid. The usefulness of this polar pattern is debatable due to its relative scarcity.

Cardioid:

Cardioid

Cardioid, plain and simple, is the most common unidirectional microphone, and is named such because of its heart shape. This pattern is most common due to its rejection of sound reflections (or “reverberation,” or “echoes”). It serves to reduce feedback (which can be terrible if it gets out of control, believe me), and can be particularly useful for picking up a specific sound amidst noisy environments. However, they are susceptible to “plosives,” (popping wind sounds that occur with “P” and “B” words) and the aforementioned proximity effect. Despite its shortcomings, the pros of this polar pattern certainly outweigh the cons.

Supercardioid:

Supercardioid

You know, it seems like whoever came up with the names for these polar patterns probably should’ve given it a bit more thought. Rather than having 5 variations (that I know of) of “cardioid,” it seems like these other patterns could’ve had more descriptive, or at least more creative names. Anyway, I digress. The “supercardioid,” is a slight variation of the cardioid pattern, as you can see in the diagram. It does well to capture direct sounds and it has a little lobe in the back to pickup more natural reflections; great in situations where you want a little more environmental sound in the mix.

Hypercardioid:

Hypercardioid

Hypercardioid is pretty much the same thing as supercardioid, but with a slightly larger lobe in the back to capture a little more environmental sound.

Bi-Directional or Figure 8:

Figure 8

Now, we have the bi-directional – or Figure 8 – pattern. Microphones with this pattern pickup sound equally as well from either direction. Most often, you’ll find this pattern in ribbon microphones. You’ll usually see bi-directional microphones used in headsets and broadcast microphones due to their natural, uniform sound quality.

Shotgun:

Shotgun

At last, we have the shotgun polar pattern. Unlike their ammunition-filled counterparts, microphones with this pattern are highly directional. Due to their slim frames, shotgun microphones are often used in film and theater in order to pick up sound while remaining relatively out of sight. Shotgun microphones have a unique design that has the pickup capsule located behind an interference tube with tiny slits on the sides. This interference tube significantly diminishes sound from the sides because of phase cancellation. In short, the longer the tube, the tighter the pattern, thus greater sound rejection from the sides and greater focus in the front.

So, that’s that! For now, at least… I hope you all enjoyed and learned something valuable from this.

READ MORE +