Category Archives: storytelling

Just as Natural as Breathing

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=true”]https://soundcloud.com/lakeya-johnson/julis-and-lakeya-the-cttalk[/soundcloud]

For this particular recording assignment I will do two recordings; one a discussion and the other narrative sounds. The recording will involve no more than two people for each, one of them being myself. In order to record both the discussion and narrative sounds properly I would have to do some research on how to record a discussion. I would also have to look up microphones used for recording and the best type; handheld vs pin-up (LAV), or a shotgun microphone. Lastly I would need to understand how the setting I choose to record my discussion will affect the sound quality of the recording. After going through my “Recorder Microphone check list” I found it better to have an uncompressed file for richer sounds and a high sample rate to capture all the levels of sound recorded in each. After this aspect of setting up my recording I moved on to a more greater challenge; selecting the microphone type for each recording.

Some of the resources that I will use while investigating proper sound recording techniques, equipment, and settings for my recording will be the internet, some text, and a professional sound engineer. For my text resource I will have to refer to the Audio In Media by Stanley R. Alten textbook. In chapter 15 of Audio In Media entitled Music Production: Miking Music for Digital Recording under the paragraph Isolating the Vocalist Alten writes, “To record as clean as a vocal sound as possible, many studios use a isolation booth to prevent leakage from instruments or acoustics from reaching the vocal mic”. This text will not only help me decide on what mic to use but help me find a good location based on acoustics. I will also refer to both chapter 2 Acoustics and Psychoacoustics, chapter 4 Microphones, and lastly chapter 13 Sound Effects in  the Audio In Media textbook. In chapter 13 Sound effects I refereed mainly to the narrative sound and descriptive sound segments along with the defining space portion. The recorder I will use for this recording will be the Tascam DR100 MKII. Based on its functionality and ease of use I feel this will be best for my recording. It also enables me to attach an XLR cable to it for my omni-directional microphone I will use. For the discussion I used an omnidirectional microphone mainly because I wanted to capture all voices in the room clearly. For the narrative sound I used a shotgun cordiod microphone which meant I had to be more directional in my recording process; aim the microphone at the object I wanted to record. The omni-directional microphone has a wider polar pattern and is used mainly for recording like this one. Although this is not the only way to isolate an audio recording it is one useful way I can get a clean interview. With this I found myself looking to the TV studio room to record a clean background sound free discussion.

After googling “how to properly record an discussion” I was led to a site called Videomaker. Within this site I learned about some of the mics best suited to record a small group (I customized the information to fit my discussion recording). The author of this Q & A answers the question he is given about recordind a small group with, ‘I would put an omni in the middle of the group and run an XLR cable to my camcorder.  You can get pro quality sound from a next-to-new Sennheiser ME62 omni with a K6 powering module for $240 on eBay, not a lot more than a $230 VideoMic Pro. With a pro mic with a balanced XLR out put, you can run balanced XLR cable without introducing noise.  You cannot do this with a mic with unbalanced 3.5mm output, like the Rode. The great thing about the Sennheiser is that it is modular.  If you need more directionality, you can get a supercardioid head for as little as $109‘ – brunerww. Although not all of this information was directed to me I did in fact take note to the suggestions for future projects.

As I searched the web for more useful tips and “how to guides” I stumbled upon another site called Soundtosound.com. According to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) list of  Soundtosound.com its states that “most engineers will use a cardioid pattern, which is more sensitive to sounds arriving from the front than from the back and sides, as this avoids capturing much in the way of ambient sound”. I find this very interesting because as I am doing a vocal recording I need to come to a conclusion of what mic type to use. Also this information helped me in my second recording that only contained sounds no vocals.

FEED BACK

During this entire recording assignment I was faced with many difficulties. Some of the difficulties I faced while recording was monitoring the levels to the production, choosing the right frequency, and intensity as it related to gain levels. I felt that my knowledge was not as vast as it could have been about the recorded I chose nor the microphone. Although I used the basic principles behind frequency, amplitude, and phase knowing more about the recorder would have helped. Because I used headphones and conducted the recording by myself I was unable to simultaneously adjust the recording as I heard the changes in pitch. Also while I focused more on recording the interview I was forced to keep the levels to a specific setting.

 

 

One against Gangs fighting sound effects

I used the ZOOM H2n to record sound effects and to create a story fight sequence. I set the recorder to the X/Y channel and also set the file format as MP3. I placed the recorder right next to my iPad while playing the video to focus on the sounds loud and clear. What I record the sound effects is from Bruce Lee’s movies that Bruce Lee uses his battle cries while fighting the opponents at the same time. Most of the sound effects scenes from Bruce Lee’s movies that I recorded is without background musics included so it would be easier for my to create my own sound effect story therefore when hearing back the sounds playback, you cannot tell the what scenes was from that it was used to be recorded in general.

I found a website about the sound effects foley how it was made that can apply to the media to create a story of a procedure. For example, it explains that “Foley effects are sound effects added to the film during post production (after the shooting stops). They include sounds such as footsteps, clothes rustling, crockery clinking, paper folding, doors opening and slamming, punches hitting, glass breaking, etc. etc. In other words, many of the sounds that the sound recordists on set did their best to avoid recording during the shoot”.

Overall, I enjoy recording the sounds when knowing how to adjust the channels and file format from the recorder to hear the playback recordings for the results.

Lets build a…

There are many things one can build and sometimes these choices can be infinite with the tools and resources you may have. I would like to build a number of things all relating to sound and how we can use the build to develop our skills. I would also like to make a stop motion film with the use of action figures based on a movie scene or something with my sound effects. If that doesn’t pan out then I would like to build a speaker preferably one with a high wattage.

The Zoom H2n Handy Recorder Tutorial

We are teaching you the capabilities and operating functions of the Zoom H2n Handy Recorder. I must give credit to my wonderful daughter who assisted me in this project

This video is done in an MP4 Format.

The recorder however can be specified to record either in a WAV format or MP3.

This is our Test recording from the video.  It was done in a 4ch mode. Which saved two separate files.  Here is only one, which is the MS file.  4Ch also saved a XY File which is the exact same as the MS file.  It’s just how it’s done in the 4Ch mode. [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/111237767″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

 

Getting to know your equipment

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es_4M9E7o3g[/youtube]

 

The objective of this post was to understand the how the recorder and microphone is to be properly used and explain that in a video tutorial. Before starting this post I referred to the Makings of A Good Blog Post by M. Branson. Within the making of a good post I was promoted not only to used hyperlinks, pictures, and video but to add a reflection of how I felt about my recording. After reading this I felt the need to watch someone actually doing what I was assigned to do to get abetter understanding of what a tutorial should look like.

MARANTZ YOUTUBE TUTORIAL

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gcd9aS8s3vw[/youtube]

The Marantz 671 which is the slightly updated version of the Marantz 670 contains a few new features along with it user friendly display. First off the Marantz contains a built in Microphone which is very useful when you are not wearing a headset to listen to recorded sound. It also has 2 XLR cable inputs for condenser or dynamic microphones along with a head phone jack and remote input. The headphone volume can be set manually from the knob on the front face of the Marantz which goes from 0 – 10. Just to mention a few display features the Marantz contains a recording, total / remaining time, left/ right decibel reading, track, kbps, and a khz label.

The Marantz does come with the optional phantom power  option of (+48v). Although I did not get it to record over two channels using two different microphones It can record in mono and stereo. Stereo 2 channel and mono 1 channel for both recording and playback. There are also two different recording formats one for compressed and the other for uncompressed recording.

Uncompressed records using 16 or 24 bit PCM (Pulse Code Modulation). 16 -bit at 4.1khz for standard CD recordings and 24 – bit 96khz for more high quality recordings. Most of the input levels are manual but they all can be set off or to automatic. I believe that with the ghost recording; the Marantz can duplicate your mono recording and place it to the L / R side but 15db lower.

Reflection:

Through my entire process of this recording I felt that It could have been done better. My concerns were on the quality of the sound that I heard after the recording and how I would set them the next time I recorded.  Although I had a headset I could not use it because I did not have the adapter that allowed the headset to fit into the port on the  recorder.

Different places with a Sennheiser MKH 416T & a Zoom Handy Hrn recorder

I used a Sennheiser MKH 416T Shotgun Microphone with my Zoom H2n Handy Recorder.

I had to use a MZA14T Power source/adapter for the MKH requires a power source because it’s a condenser microphone. The power source also has certain filters that give the user options of reducing certain levels.  High pass/low pass etc.

Trying to insert pictures, but having difficulty.

I actually walked all around campus to explore different mic pickups in the area.  Bathrooms, hallways, outside sounds and closed in atriums.

Microphone Test: Sounds in The Multimedia Lab

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=true”]https://soundcloud.com/somethingtoosee/sound-recording-multimedia-lab[/soundcloud]

SONY ELECTRET CONDENSER MICROPHONE ECM 77-B

Sony775

The two microphones used in this sound recording where the Sony Electret Condenser microphone, ECM 77-B model along with the Sennheiser MHK-416 microphone. While recording we used the Tascam DR-100 recording device which we had to connect two cables from. One cable from our microphones and the other into the base of the Tascam recorder. While we ventured through the spaces of the multimedia Lab Lakeeya used the personal interviewing mic model ECM 77-B and I controlled the Sennheiser MHK-416 microphone.

SENNHEISER MHK-416                                     TASCAM DR-100

Singheiserphoto (1)

While in the lab we picked up various sounds along with our own voices. Some of the sounds recorded consisted of conversations from other students in the atmosphere and sounds of empty space. While traveling between the multimedia labs hallway, video recording studio, and the actual computer lab we noticed different depths of sounds. I noticed that while in the hall way it was more of an echo space. While in the video room I noticed that the sound quality was more rich and less like and echo as the room became wider.  While in the actual computer lab I then noticed that the sound quality picked up more as actually voices come into the picture.

Some students were 5 feet away which made the sound higher and others were 25 feet away which made for a more normal sound. I noticed during this recording that sounds with a higher volume were often closer to the microphone and more normal volume sounds were much further away from the microphone. Which to me explains the decibel rating associated with this microphone 13db for the low side of sound range it picks up with a max of 130db. This to me is pretty impressive as a JET engine round rage when active reads 140db meaning that this microphone can pic up many defining recording.

 

Microphone Quality: Test 2 (Zoom H2n / EV RE-18)

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=true”]https://soundcloud.com/somethingtoosee/microphone-quality-test-2[/soundcloud]

For this microphone quality test I decided to use the Zoom H2n handy recorder along with the EV RE-18 microphone. The manufacturer of this microphone is Electro Voice and the model of the microphone is the re-18. The EV RE-18 microphone has a thin short cylinder shape made of metal. It is pretty weighty for a small microphone but taking into account its mostly metal its weight makes sense. Although this microphone can be used as a handheld device it does come with a stand for more relaxed use.

RE_18_MicrophoneZoomH2n

While I used this microphone I attached an XLR with a 3mm head from its base to the line in port on the Zoom H2n recorder. The EV RE-18 is a dynamic microphone that only records in mono. The EV RE-18 microphone was and is mainly used for broadcasting and in some cases used outside of working distances (more than 12 feet away). It accompanies a lot of rejection and bass boosting qualities unlike its older model the EV RE-16. I really dont understand working range vs non working range but I believe its where the microphone is able to pick up your sound clearly.

The manufacturer of this recorder is Zoom and the model  is H2n. This recorder was designed in quite a unique way. The H2n model has a microphone top which makes up the whole upper part of the recorder, a flat base for standing along with a built in SD card slot, and 2 double A battery slots. Although this microphone comes with a stand it can be place down and used to record things form a distance. I believe that is the main reason why the manufacturer Zoom decided to place double A battery slots in its back. You may hold it in your hand but because the microphone takes up much of the devices body you may get microphone rub in your recordings.

During my recording I had the recorder set to XY mode. I did this to separate the EV RE-18 microphone from the Zooms built-in microphone. I also had it record in a MP3 320 kilo bit format.  I also used the Sony 7500 headset to hear my recording while speaking into the EV RE-18 microphone. All I had to do was place the end of the headset jack into its line out port which is located on the side of the H2n device. After taking off he headset I used to help me hear as I recorded with this device I did not like the sound quality. Mainly because It seemed inaccurate to the sounds that I heard while recording with the headset on. With the headset on I was only able to speak or yell but so much with out damaging my ears. Other than that draw back, the sound quality was really good but I felt it could be a whole lot better on my part.

Microphone Quality: Test 1(zoom H2n)

ZoomH2n

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=true”]https://soundcloud.com/somethingtoosee/microphone-quality-test-1[/soundcloud]

For this microphone quality test I decided to use the Zoom H2n handy recorder. The manufacturer of this microphone is Zoom and the model  is H2n. This microphone / recorder was designed in quite a unique way. The H2n model has a microphone top which makes up the whole upper part of the recorder, a flat base for standing along with a built in SD card slot, and 2 double A battery slots. Although this microphone comes with a stand it can be place down and used to record things form a distance. I believe that is the main reason why the manufacturer Zoom decided to place double A battery slots in its back. You may hold it in your hand but because the microphone takes up much of the devices body you may get microphone rub in your recordings. During my recording I had the recorder set to 2-channel XY mode. I did this just to see how it would record while I also had it record in a wave 32 bit format. I used just the Sony 7500 headset with this device. All I had to do was place the end of the headset jack into its line in port which is located on the side of the H2n device. After taking off he headset I used to help me hear as I recorded with this device I did not like the sound quality. Mainly because It seemed inaccurate to the sounds that I heard while recording with the headset on.The sound quality was really good but I felt it could be a whole lot better on my part.