Wrapping/isolating microphones

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Piotr
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Wrapping/isolating microphones

Post by Piotr » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:05 am

I was recently considering wrapping microphones in plastic and other materials to see what kind of effects I could create. Haven't had a chance yet, but was wondering if anyone has any neat ideas? Bubblewrap, velvet, plastic, wood, aluminum foil??
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Z-Plane
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Post by Z-Plane » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:45 am

Save time by wrapping your head in all of the above.

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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:55 am

Z-Plane wrote:Save time by wrapping your head in all of the above.
Classy.

The short friendlier answer is you'll never know until you try. So try it.

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Post by suppositron » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:01 pm

junkshop wrote:
Z-Plane wrote:Save time by wrapping your head in all of the above.
Classy.

The short friendlier answer is you'll never know until you try. So try it.
I agree, that is not a very constructive comment. But a little funny.

I'm not sure you want to do that to try get isolation, but you can certainly do it for an effect. I heard Radiohead put an egg carton around the vocal mic for "You and Who's Army?" I thought it sounded pretty cool. But I don't know, that could have been done with eq too.

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Post by Brett Siler » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:23 pm

IF you put a mic in some PVC piping you can get a cool filter effect, even cooler if you move the pipe while recording the source.

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Post by Wagz » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:15 am

Ive always been curious of what would happen if you made a wrap out of Sheetblock or some type of sound absorption product, or even added a thin layer of foam inside of the aforementioned PVC piping technique. Never tried it but could be interesting.
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Z-Plane
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Post by Z-Plane » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:30 am

Z-Plane wrote:Save time by wrapping your head in all of the above.
I didn't mean to be unfriendly, just that covering or cupping your ears with these materials will probably speed up your experiment x100, making essential time to remove the transformer from your SM57. Seriously, prepare to be underwhelmed with the results, maybe one or two will sound interesting, but none earth-shatteringly amazing.

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Re: Wrapping/isolating microphones

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:02 am

Piotr wrote:I was recently considering wrapping microphones in plastic and other materials to see what kind of effects I could create. Haven't had a chance yet, but was wondering if anyone has any neat ideas? Bubblewrap, velvet, plastic, wood, aluminum foil??
Try instead of covering them, making shields the you put the mic through, to block reflections from behind the mic.

If you use metal, or other materials that reflect sound well, you'll get interesting results, similar to a boundary microphone, but with a limited boundary (ie the size of the shield)

There are examples of mic techniques using shields to deflect sound from one or two microphones.

EXPERIMENT.

Cheers
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Post by NewAndImprov » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:21 pm

I once had to mix a record where the tom and snare mics (57's) were recorded with paper cup collars around them. Literally, they punched the bottoms out of fast food soda cups and taped them around the 57's. As might be expected, made for wierd, phasey drum sounds. Not what the band had in mind. Could be cool for an effect, I guess. In this case, I used a LOT of overheads.

The band swore that somebody famous, I now forget who, did it this way.

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Post by Piotr » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:43 pm

That's more like it. Was really wondering if anyone has tried anything and had any success. Perhaps could have phrased that more clearly.

Z-Plane, do you have any experience with this topic, or are you merely trying to be clever?
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Piotr

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Post by Z-Plane » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:17 pm

Piotr wrote:Z-Plane, do you have any experience with this topic, or are you merely trying to be clever?
The physics are relatively simple - whatever material you put between the mic and source will have a similar effect to when placed between your ear and source, enough to get a feel for what its doing. Most of the materials you suggested are likely to create a rather uninteresting LPF effect, perhaps a wooden or plastic box will have some resonant properties but again, I doubt they will be desirable. My most interesting results with these sorts of experiments was using 20ft tubes, yet to be installed as drains in a house. Interesting yes, but next to useless. More to the point - just go ahead and try it, we are probably past the point where energy and time required to post replies has eclipsed energy required for this whole experiment. :lol:

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Post by Piotr » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:05 pm

20 foot pipes - didn't work. Anything else? I really was looking for things that did work! P.S., I've never heard such a bummer response on TOMB.
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Piotr

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Post by cgarges » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:15 pm

InvalidInk wrote:IF you put a mic in some PVC piping you can get a cool filter effect, even cooler if you move the pipe while recording the source.
Soft plastic corrugated piping is even cooler.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

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