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Author Topic: Presence peak/ resonant frequency in a microphone  (Read 9358 times)

deigoruellez

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Presence peak/ resonant frequency in a microphone
« on: November 04, 2012, 07:04:34 pm »

Can someone please simplify the definition of this please?  I've heard multiple definitions that have confused me a little bit.  I'm sure it's a simple enough answer, would just like to be sure about it.  Does it just mean that the specified range of frequencies responds best (more clear) than other frequencies for that microphone?


Thanks guys.
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deigoruellez

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Re: Presence peak/ resonant frequency in a microphone
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 07:09:45 pm »

Also, something else that confuses me about this definition: (direct excerpt from book I'm reading, Bobby Owsinski's THE RECORDING ENGINEER'S HANDBOOK second edition):  The dynamic microphone also has a resonant frequency that is typically somewhere from about 1 to 4 kHz.  This resonant respond is sometimes called the prescence peak because it occurs in the frequency region that directly affects voice intelligibility.  Because of this natural effect, dynamic microphones are often preferred by vocalists, especially in sound reinforcement.
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deigoruellez

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Re: Presence peak/ resonant frequency in a microphone
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 07:13:50 pm »

lol sorry guys one more thing.  What does "flat response" mean?  Is that a good thing?  Could use an in depth explanation...
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Jeff Ling

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Re: Presence peak/ resonant frequency in a microphone
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 12:20:48 pm »

Microphones with flat response, reproduce audio signals equally well across the entire audio spectrum. They don't add or take away bass, midrange or treble from the original signal.
  Some microphones are not "flat" for various reasons. A "presence peak" is an area of the mic's upper frequency response which is not flat, having a slightly boosted output, usually by design. A mic having a presence peak at say 5khz sounds bright and crisp, similar to a flat mic with EQ added after the fact.
  Just as a drum head resonates at some frequency based on its diameter and the tension that it's under, the mic's diaphragm will have a resonant peak as well. The output from the mic will be higher around this frequency.
  So, flat mic or one with a peak? Both have advantages. A flat mic spits out just what you put in and a mic with a presence peak essentially adds EQ. A flat mic lets you add a presence peak at any frequency you wish but requires the extra EQ step. A mic which already has a peak is less flexible in that you are stuck with the peak you are given but no extra EQ step is required.
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Fletcher

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Re: Presence peak/ resonant frequency in a microphone
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 09:56:42 am »

Microphones with a "flat" response are generally made by the Easter Bunny... there are some measurement mics that are actually "flat" [my favorite being the Microtech Gefell MK 221 capsule on the Josephson 617 body!!! -- its not only "flat" but its really "musical" sounding which I suppose sounds like a contradiction in terms - but it ain't].

Most "presence peaks" are caused by phase shift by filtering at the top and the bottom of the audio spectrum... most of the time what is happening is that the "presence" area of the frequency spectrum is actually coming through the speakers first [not by much, but by enough for the little super computer we call a brain to perceive].  This is actually a bug that many call a feature... use these things enough and your record will sound like it was made on a wire recorder 75 years ago -- in other words -- I hate those fucking things and avoid them like they cause testicular cancer.

My only recommendation is to try a bunch of stuff and try to determine what sounds best for your music and will best help you achieve your goals.  There is a LOT of hype and bullshit that has permeated our industry [especially over the last 10-15 years as more and more unqualified mooks get into it hawking poorly designed products made in far off lands by unskilled (spelled "c-h-e-a-p") labor.  Again - avoid that shit - and try to avoid the hype. 

There once was a time when "sales guys" actually knew what they were talking about because they had actual experience making records... these days almost all the sales weasels are guys with diplomas from SAE / Full Pail / CRAS who couldn't buy a real gig due to their lack of ear training / general skills in the craft.  They hear presentations by the manufacturers' marketing mooks and believe that shit like it was some form of Gospel truth.  Watch out for these weasels!!!  They work on commission and their only goal in life is to separate you from your hard earned cash... they don't give a rat's ass about you or your music!!!

Demo stuff in your studio -- figure out what works for you... and then return the unused portion for a full refund.  Any sales weasel that won't agree to those terms is a scumbag to be avoided at all costs!!!

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Kamilla

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Re: Presence peak/ resonant frequency in a microphone
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2015, 07:47:49 pm »

I really liked this information.
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Jesse Allain

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Re: Presence peak/ resonant frequency in a microphone
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2015, 02:45:39 pm »

I generally choose mics based on their inherent frequency response qualities. It helps if you know what timbre you are in search of and can really listen to what you are hearing and are able to identify the components of the sound that are desirable (and those that are not). This process of critical listening allows you to make a more informed decision as to what frequencies you want to emphasize or downplay via microphone choice.
 
Having a good working knowledge of mics, their characteristics and how different sources are reproduced by them is a valuable tool in the recording process. Also, having the time, patience and open-mindedness to get the sound right in the first place can make the process of mixing easier as your track is now closer to the sound you were initially after.
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Fletcher

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Re: Presence peak/ resonant frequency in a microphone
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 11:54:17 am »

having the time, patience and open-mindedness to get the sound right in the first place can make the process of mixing easier as your track is now closer to the sound you were initially after.

While unrelated to the topic addressed in the thread, this is a seriously important topic -- I call it "Always Be Mixing" -- one of the magic things about the early era of multi-track recording was the lack of options -- if you were working with a pair of 4 track machines you were constantly mixing as you went along -- and they weren't "rough mixes" -- this was the "product" -- whatever decisions you made you lived with for the rest of the process -- period.

In many [MANY] ways a superior way to work than the stupid high track counts of modern times where it appears nobody has the balls to make an actual decision.

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm
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