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Old November 20th, 2005, 02:10 PM   #1
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Reach: hyper vs. cardioid

Do hyper-cardioids have longer recording distances than a cardioid? Or does it just seem that way because they reject more sound from the sides?

For example, if my subject is 6 feet in front of the mic, in a controlled studio environment, will I get a stronger/weaker/same signal from a hyper vs. a cardioid? (assume a condenser mic)
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Old November 20th, 2005, 02:39 PM   #2
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the narrower beamwidth does let you record from further away - hence the longer shotguns. In truth, very often too narrow is more of a nuisance as in less than ideal conditions it simply doesn't capture some sounds unless aimed accurately, whereas a wider one doesn't have to be directed quite so well.

The only thing to watch is that although you can get further away, the directional pattern of many hyper-cardioids and lobar types is pretty poor at LF and usually 'leaks' in, making LF roll-off in the eq important.
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Old November 20th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #3
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A microphone's sensitivity to sound, the electrical output versus the intensity of the incident sound, is not dependent on the polar pattern. With the exception of parabolic microphones there's no acoustic equivalent of a telephoto lens. But with less "noise" sounds being picked up from directions other than the direction of the sounds of interest, a highly directional mic might appear to be more sensitive than a less directional one because the suppression of unwanted sounds allows you to increase the gain to compensate for the lower signal strength and use what would otherwise be a signal buried in a lot of extraneous junk.
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Old November 21st, 2005, 11:18 PM   #4
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What is really important here is whether or not the sound reaching the sides of the mic is coming from the source or being bounced off the walls, floor and ceiling of an indoor room. Outdoors this phase cancellation can work wonders in rejecting off axis sounds because most of the sound reaching the sides of the mic is coming directly from the source rather than reflections, and super directional shotgun mics work wonderfully. Indoors however, much of the sound reaching the sides of the mic have bounced off of some wall, floor or ceiling surface and are out of phase to begin with. Instead of cancelling out, these out of phase off axis sounds just get pushed even further out of phase and sound quite boxy and strange. The more directional the mic, the more pronounced this effect is indoors. A Cardiod still sounds pretty good, sometimes a HyperCardiod is passable (depending on the acoustics), but a shotgun almost always sounds bad.

Personally, I like short shotguns outdoors whenever possible, but indoors, a cardiod is about as directional as I get.


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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
Do hyper-cardioids have longer recording distances than a cardioid? Or does it just seem that way because they reject more sound from the sides?

For example, if my subject is 6 feet in front of the mic, in a controlled studio environment, will I get a stronger/weaker/same signal from a hyper vs. a cardioid? (assume a condenser mic)
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