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Brian McCarty, an audio professional presently living in Australia, seeks to conduct a series of tests to evaluate subtleties of microphone performance. His theory is that the shift away from interference tube microphones to cardioid and hypercardioid designs yielded an improvement in the intelligibility of dialog recording. Even if background noise increased slightly with the less directional designs, the dialog itself was more understandable and this more than compensated for the additional noise.


He will be in Los Angeles later this month and would like to conduct some controlled tests to produce data to prove this theorem. He expects to be here from about the 17th to about the 22nd.


Some tests will be done in a workshop under controlled conditions.


He would also very much like to make some tests on an active set. The idea is to rig two microphones, one with an interference tube and one without, to a single boom and make matching recordings of dialog in a real-world environment.


The resulting recordings would then be carefully evaluated for any differences in intelligibility. He is working in close association with Dr. Peter Mapp, a UK expert in audiology who has computer software that can help quantify any perceived differences.


To make real world comparisons, he needs cooperation from someone working on a project who might be able to extend an invitation to visit the set and briefly encumber the boom operator with a second microphone. He would particularly like to conduct this test in an exterior scene but any working project would provide an opportunity to make meaningful tests. Probably the whole business could be accomplished in an hour or so.


An independent production would probably be best as it is difficult to persuade the studios to allow anyone to make recordings, even briefly, and take away copies.


Brian used to live in Los Angeles and was a member of both Local 695 and Local 700. He is presently the head of Coral Sea Studios in Australia (http://www.coralseastudios.com/index.html) and is also chair of the AES Technical Committee on Sound for Digital Cinema and Television.


If you can help, please post here or send me a PM. Thanks very much.



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Giving this request a little bump.


For purposes of testing, Brian wouldn't need a high-profile production. Any project with dialog captured with a boom would be suitable. Even a school project would probably be fine, maybe even better. Brian would surely give credit in any write-up of results. And, this would be a good opportunity to interact with someone who, as chair of an AES Technical Committee, is surely more technically savvy than most.




Oh, it should go without saying that Mr. McCarty (or his associates) will be responsible for providing microphones, shockmounts, widgets and any other doodads necessary for the test.

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  • 5 weeks later...

If that's B. L. McCarty, I hope his feud with Mr. Morein from this coast isn't still in evidence. There was a long-standing and ill-tempered dispute among them that abused the entire newsgroup.


I don't think it's a big secret that interference tube based mics are more omnidirectional than expected at middle and low frequencies with the exception of the CS-3e. It's an exception because the mic element is at the TIP of the tube instead of the bottom.




Ty Ford

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