A TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF ACOUSTIC RECORDING TECHNIQUES: EVALUATING MICROPHONE CONFIGURATIONS FOR ACCURATE FREQUENCY RESPONSE

Open Access
Author:
Pauley, Anne Christine
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Christopher Rahn, Thesis Supervisor
  • Zoubeida Ounaies, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Music
  • Piano
  • Microphone
  • Frequency response
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Fourier
  • Recording
Abstract:
The techniques used to record and produce audio are as numerous and nuanced as the music being recorded. The purpose of this study is to collect knowledge and recording techniques acquired through qualitative experimentation and connect it to the technical theory behind their function. This study serves the essential purpose of testing the knowledge passed between recording engineers against a quantitative analysis of the audio recording. This research will summarize the available information on audio recording equipment and techniques available and their characteristics as they relate to acoustic recording. Research in commonly used microphone configurations for recording grand piano are also included as background for the experimental test setup. The experimental results compared the two common methods of miking acoustic grand piano, finding that a configuration focusing on the piano hammers created a recording more similar to the frequencies heard by the pianist, while a configuration focused on the interior strings had a more even frequency pickup across the instrument range.