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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2 nd edition Chapter 2 Microphones Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2 nd edition Objectives Describe the main characteristics of any microphone: directionality, element, impedance, and frequency response.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Objectives

Describe the main characteristics of any microphone: directionality, element, impedance, and frequency response.

Describe a variety of microphone formats and name several situations that would require the use of each microphone.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Objectives

Demonstrate the proper use of microphones.

Create an on-camera interview segment using a camcorder, a microphone, and a tripod.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphones

Microphones are designed to work in different settings.

There is no “best” or “perfect” microphone for all situations.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

“Collection” and “Selection”

Develop a collection of microphones, and select the best microphone for each situation.

Just like a fisherman has a variety of lures in his tackle box, a TV studio should have several microphones!

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Directionality

Omnidirectional – collects sound from all around; 360 degrees.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Directionality

Omnidirectional – microphone can be shared by the group

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Directionality

Unidirectional – collects most of the sound from the front, and very little from the back and sides.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Directionality

Unidirectional – usually a single-source mic, or used in interviews.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Element

The part of the microphone that changes sound waves into electrical energy.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Element

Dynamic Element

Durable

Good with loud noises

Good/average sound quality

Usually handheld

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Element

Condenser Element

Excellent sound quality

More fragile

Not as good with loud sound

A favorite of singers

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Condenser microphones require a power source.

Electret condenser – power from a battery

Phantom-power condenser – power from the audio mixer

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Impedance

High impedance

Low impedance

The two are not compatible!

The impedance of the microphones must match the impedance of the sound system.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Impedance

  • High impedance
  • portable audiosystems
  • consumer and some professional camcorders
  • cable runs of 30 feet and less
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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Impedance

  • Low impedance
  • high quality
  • professional audio systems (theatres, TV studios, etc.)
  • professional camcorders
  • longer cable runs
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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Impedance

Connectors

Low impedance systems almost always use the XLR connector.

High impedance systems almost always use ¼ inch phone connectors or 1/8 inch mini connectors.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Impedance

Some microphones are dual-impedance – they can be switched from high to low impedance using a 3-way on/off switch.

Image provided courtesy of Shure Incorporated.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Impedance

A matching line transformer can be used to convert the impedance of a microphone.

This example converts a low impedance microphone to high impedance. A high-to-low transformer is also available.

Image provided courtesy of Shure Incorporated.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Frequency Response

A microphone’s ability to hear tones (high and low) across the audible spectrum.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Frequency Response

The human ear can hear the range of 20Hz (low bass notes) to 20,000Hz (high notes).

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphone Frequency Response

Microphones can be compared to that range.

Generally speaking, condenser microphones have a better frequency response than dynamic microphones.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Microphones

Describing each microphone

  • Directionality
  • Element
  • Impedance
  • Frequency Response
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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Types of Microphones (microphone formats)

Handheld Microphone

Available in…

Omnidirectional and unidirectional,

Dynamic and condenser,

High impedance and low impedance,

Various frequency ranges.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Types of Microphones (microphone formats)

Lavaliere (Tie-Pin) Microphone

  • Omnidirectional,
  • Almost always condenser,
  • Advantages:
  • Small size
  • Hands-free
  • No skill required
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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Types of Microphones (microphone formats)

Surface Mount Microphone

Flat back, designed to lay flat on a table.

Great for recording group discussions.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Types of Microphones (microphone formats)

Pressure Zone Microphone (PZM)

Microphone points downward and collects sound that bounces off the plate.

Another great group discussion microphone.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Types of Microphones (microphone formats)

Shotgun Microphone

Extremely unidirectional microphone

Great for videotaping guest speaker and presentations

Can be camera-mounted

Wear headphones!

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Types of Microphones (microphone formats)

Wireless Microphone System

Components

Microphone

Transmitter

Receiving station

Transmitter and receiving station are tuned to the same radio frequency.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Types of Microphones (microphone formats)

Wireless Microphone System

Handheld or lavaliere

A favorite of entertainers and reporters

Be aware of power needs.

Environmental factors can impact range.

Practice with your wireless microphone system in a variety of situations.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Using Microphones

Know your microphones. Select the best microphone for each situation.

Wear headphones.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Using Microphones

Handle your microphones carefully.

Test your microphones by speaking into them. (Never hit, slap, or blow into a microphone!)

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Using Microphones

Carefully connect your microphone. Don’t put the excessive weight of adapters onto the microphone jack.

Use a microphone extension cable instead.

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Television Production: A Classroom Approach, 2nd edition

Using Microphones

Use a windscreen when recording outdoors.

Use the correct talent-to-microphone distance(six inches) from the source

Mic a source – not an area.