Chapter 6-Audio Reaction
Audio plays a very important role in media production that is often overlooked by many. Because sound is such an innate part of production, many people do not understand the many different dynamic parts that make up how audio is produced. Sound controls much of how a production is packaged overall, and good sound quality is of the upmost importance to news and other media outlets. Chapter 6 gives an inside look into the different components that make up sound, and how all of these features come together to produce sound overall.
In order to have an overall understanding of how sound works and the different styles associated with sound production, one must have an understanding of realist, modernist, and postmodernist styles. Along with the basic understanding of these styles, it is also important to understand how different recording devices and their placement can affect how different sound styles are produced.
The most important feature of sound production often falls back on the microphone which is a “transducer that converts analog sound-wave energy into analog electrical energy” (Kindem & Musburger 210). There are three different kinds of microphones: dynamic, ribbon, and condenser microphones. Dynamic mics are the most rugged style of microphone and are used by most news stations for field work due to their good quality for a fairly inexpensive cost. These microphones are built to withstand poor weather and sound conditions. The next type are ribbon mics, and these kinds are the most sensitive type of microphone. Although they produce the highest sound quality, these microphones are only ideal for use in places like recording studios and radio stations where they can remain stationary. These kinds of microphones are the most expensive, but are preferred by many due to the warmer sound that they produce. Condenser mics are the last kind of microphone, and these mics fall in the middle of the quality scale. They are better quality than dynamic microphones, but are also more expensive and sensitive to different noise and weather conditions.
Along with different kinds of microphones are the different pickup patterns that each of these have. Three of the most commonly used pickup patterns are omnidirectional, cardioid, and hypercardiod. These can all be used in different situations, and each is most useful in their own particular situation. Microphones can also be used in mobile and stationary situations. Different kinds of mobile usage include handheld, lavaliere, and headset usages. Microphones also rely on different accessories including windscreens, wind socks, clips, and boom poles, to create the best quality sound.
When creating audio, it is very important to consider the impedance levels associated with the sound quality. High Z levels create bad quality sound, while low Z levels create professional sounding audio. All of these different materials and techniques are equally important when trying to create the best possible quality of audio in different kinds of segments and broadcasts. It is very important for audio technicians to have a well-rounded understanding of each of these factors in order to be able to create the best possible sound.