The Microphone Book: Getting Great Sounds (Paperback)
How to choose and use microphones was once a skill passed down from senior sound engineers to their assistants as they would listen and learn by observation. Today, few large studios have assistant engineers, and an overwhelming number of studios are operated by their owners who are self-taught and do not have the benefit of the "big studio" tutelage. Getting Great Sounds: The Microphone Book imparts these microphone tips and tricks of the pros to make them available to any sound engineer or home studio enthusiast. It explains all aspects of all kinds of microphones, how they work, and how to use them in session recording. The conversational narrative style presents technical aspects in an easy-to-understand, humorous fashion, based on the real-life experiences of its author, a well-known recording engineer.Microphones are the first link in the amplification and processing of acoustic sound. Microphones capture the ever-changing instant of atmospheric pressure that passes by them. They are the windows through which we observe what someone has heard, what someone has played, what someone has said, and what someone has sung.Microphones are transducers. They change acoustic sound vibration into an oscillating electrical signal. They also uniquely transduce meaning. The most elusive vibrations-and the ones most sought after-are those that emerge from and are touched by the human soul. Central to capturing this elusive soul, this hidden spirit, are microphones. Somewhere within the sound they capture is the soul that differentiates a recording that moves the listener from one that does not. What makes it happen in one case but not in another?When someone uses a microphone, he/she attempts to enhance each sound's essence by selecting the microphone that brings out the desired "best" view of the sound, much as a painter might use different brushes and paints, pencils, or chalks to create textures. For example, the mic that is above the cymbals or on the hi-hat may not be the best choice for the toms, kick, or snare of a drum set. The best microphone for a given sound is the one that picks up the vibrations of an instrument as the player always imagined his performance should sound.The path to the perfect sound is a journey that includes the technology that follows the microphone's signal path and the acoustic environment that surrounds the sound source and precedes the microphone.This book is all about microphones and how to use them to get great sounds. The Microphone book includes an expansive appendix on audio signal processor and how to use them: Reverb, Delay, Equalizers, Compressors, Gates, Limiters, Expanders.