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Old February 23rd, 2011, 09:29 AM   #1
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Ear Machine/myMicSound

From Radio World publication: Finding the Right Mic "Perhaps it’s a gimmicky, amusing site; or perhaps it’s a life-saver. <> Andy Sabin’s Ear Machine/myMicSound could warrant a look from radio production personnel." ..............

Or other folks for that matter. I have not had time to try this yet, or if it works semi-accurately. I would assume the mic print impulses do not include lavs. It could be useful for assessing a possible VO/Narration or other application specific mic.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:58 AM   #2
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Re: Ear Machine/myMicSound

It would be useful if the single and/or most critical part of the recording process was, in fact, the microphone in use. However, in my nearly 40 years as a commercial voice talent and narrator, I've learned that the sound you achieve is a result of the ENTIRE RECORDING CHAIN - rather than the mic alone.

That chain starts with the VOICE being recorded (which is to say the character of the performer's actual voice. Strong/weak low/high/ trained, untrained, lots of variation there). Next (in chain order not necessarily importance) is the Mic itself. After that is the Pre-amp or similar gain device employed to get the very weak mic signal up to a useable level. Following that in the modern era is the A/D converter used to digitize the analog signal. Next you run into the characteristics of the RECORDING MEDIUM, or storage system used to encode or simply store the digital data.

Finally, you can't even HEAR what the recording sounds like without a REPRODUCTION CHAIN that ranges from headphones to amplification and speakers - each of which can affect what you're hearing (or NOT hearing) about your signal.

Any or ALL of these can have a MAJOR impact on the sound you achieve.

In fact it's a GIVEN in the industry that the same mic through five different pre-amps will sound distinctively different.

So while nice and perhaps even a bit useful to understand the foundational characteristics of the different mic designs - if anyone starts and stops their evaluation of a mic at a tool like this - they're deluding themselves badly.

My 2 cents worth after a few decades in front of many, MANY different mics with MONEY on the line - and never having run into a situation where the spot didn't make air, or the narration had to be replaced because of the particular type of MIC that was hanging in front of me.

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Old February 23rd, 2011, 12:08 PM   #3
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Re: Ear Machine/myMicSound

Yes Bill, and no mic or software is going to save someone without a voice and the required skills.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: Ear Machine/myMicSound

While that's true, Bill, there is definitely a hierarchy. The voice, room, and placement (in conjunction with mic pattern) are primary factors. Anybody with normal hearing can tell the difference between a man and a woman, a quiet studio vs. a construction site, and close mic'ing vs. mic;ing from across the room. No golden ears necessary.

Wind protection and mic support is an interesting piece of the puzzle. If there's no wind or movement, it's invisible (aside from HF roll off.) However, if it's windy or you're handling the mic, even somebody with very poor hearing can hear the lack of proper gear.

After that, we have the mic, followed by the preamp and recorder. Not everybody can tell the difference or state a preference on these items. But many can hear the mic. A smaller number can hear the preamp and A/D.

Monitors and listening space are critical for the mix, EQ, reverb, etc. But if you're just doing production and passing the raw recordings forward, they're not so critical. You just need headphones that let you set reasonable recording levels.

Then there are things like cables, word clock, etc. Some claim these are really important. Others can't hear the difference.

While everything plays its role, a hierarchy definitely exists. And that can help people invest their money in the right order.
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