brubart wrote:Here is a suggested new use of Har-Bal: Make a short recording of a musical instrument or vocal in various microphone positions. Compare the spectra of those positions. This shows the tonal effect (almost like EQ) of various mic techniques.
You could even select a reference mic position where the instrument or vocal sounds most accurate -- say, 2 or 3 feet from an acoustic guitar. Import that recording's wave file into Har-Bal as a reference. Then place the same mic in various close positions (near the 12th fret, near the bridge, near the sound hole) and make short recordings. Import the wave file of each mic position into Har-Bal, and you will see the tonal effects of close microphone placements.
You could even equalize a close-miked recording to sound like the more-accurate distant reference recording. So, when leakage forces you to mike in close, you might be able to equalize the recording to sound more natural, like the distant reference mic.
I did some research on this topic back in 1981. For those who are interested, the research appeared in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society:
Tonal Effects of Close Microphone Placement
Volume 29 Number 10 pp. 726-738; October 1981
Abstract: The effect of microphone placement on reproduced tonal balance is investigated for acoustic guitar, piano, electric guitar amplifier, and voice. The data presented are based on spectral measurements in various microphone locations, listening tests, and a study of instrument radiation patterns. Suggestions are offered for close microphone placements and equalization to achieve various tonal effects, including the natural timbre of the instrument as heard at a typical listening position.
Author: Bartlett, Bruce A.
E-lib Location: (CD aes4) /jrnl7888/1981/7815.pdf
The same article is Preprint Number 1782, Convention 69 (April 1981).
I hope this new application for Har-Bal leads to a better understanding of microphone techniques.
Another new application: Use Har-Bal as a microphone emulator. Record a voice or instrument with a reference microphone (such as an expensive Neumann mic), and record it again in the same spot with a mic of your choice. Using Har-Bal, EQ the mic of your choice to sound like the reference mic. It won't be a perfect match, but it may be an improvement. You can use this technique to make a lavalier mic sound like a high-quality mic one foot in front of the mouth, and so on.
Maybe Har-Bal could be used in live sound to get a decent-sounding mix. Use a graphic EQ (or console EQ) to make the house spectrum closer to some ideal reference curve. If you couldn't use Har-Bal itself in this application, you could at least use its concept of spectral matching.
Hope this helps,
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