A shotgun is a long, cylindrical microphone that excels at picking up sounds in front of it, while rejecting sounds to the sides and rear. Shotguns are designed to have a narrower focus than an average microphone. Shotgun microphones do a great job of picking up the frequencies the human voice produces.
Omni stands for Omnidirectional. Omni microphones are microphones that pick up sound with equal gain from all sides or directions of the microphone. This means that whether a user speaks into the microphone from the front, back, left or right side, the microphone will record the signals all with equal gain.
Bi Directional: §
Bidirectional microphones (also called figure-of-eight microphones) are microphones that pick up sound well, or with high sensitivity, from the front and back but poorly, or with low sensitivity, from the sides.
Notes from the lesson:
Mono and stereo sound:
Mono sound or monophonic sound is intended to be heard as if it were a single channel of sound perceived as coming from one position.
Audio stereo means sound which is divided into two separate channels. These two channels are played back simultaneously via separate speakers. The effect is to create a fuller sound, and provide the ability to mix certain sounds between channels.
Acoustic qualities: (all experiments done with a shotgun mic)
We found that the size, shape and contents a room influenced the way our voices sounded. For example when we stood by the stairs in college we found that our voices echoed. This is because there was a high ceiling and not many furnishings to break up the sound, so it just bounced around the room. However when we went in to the sound booths everything sounded so clear and quiet, due to the pyramid padding in the walls and it being a small room. It also had the instruments and the speakers to break the sound up. Despite the being the perfect place to film an interview, it isn’t aesthetically pleasing so the next best place would be the studio room. This is because it has soft furnishings that breaks the sound up but it looks better than the white panels in the booths.
After going outside by the river we found that if you’re featuring a river in your video some background noise is good to keep the audio to the image, However sometimes it can be over powering so I’ve found that you should experiment by walking around finding a good balance so it evens out the river flowing. Also some background noise from the traffic can make the audio sound bad, so if you’re going to film in a busy street record audio with your back to the traffic to reduce the traffic sounds.
Another point is recording general ambience. This gives you extra audio to use if needed and it allows you to film ambient clips with no speech.
7 things I learnt about sound:
- When recording sound with a shotgun mic, make sure the person/thing you are recording is directly in front of the mic.
- When using the zooms you can change from the internal mic, to an external whilst recording.
- It is good to have noticeable background noise if it relevant to what you are filming.
- Soft furnishings allow the sound to be broken up and absorbed allowing a crisper sound recording.
- When recording anywhere listen to what is going on around you so you know what kind of background noise you will have.
- There are specific miss for specific types of sound recording.
- Mono is one channel of sound, whereas stereo is two channels.