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Re: comparing mic specifications...

Subject: Re: comparing mic specifications...
From: "Walter Knapp" waltknapp
Date: Thu Jul 6, 2006 6:58 am (PDT)
Posted by: "Ed Anson"

> Usually, the signal to noise ratio is controlled by the effective noise 
> level of the mic as compared to the sound you are trying to record. 
> [This may very well include the background sounds, as someone else has 
> pointed out.] If the mic's noise level is not well below the level of 
> the sound you are recording, no amount of sensitivity will improve the 
> signal to noise ratio.

One of the tools that's very handy if you want to get into the spec game 
is a good sound meter. To have some idea just what the sound level is at 
various sites.

In nature recording often sites can have a sound floor so low that the 
mic self noise is higher, even with the quietest mics. In this case it 
becomes critical that the character of the mic self noise is not 
intrusive so that it hides in plain sight, sort of. You can cheat a 
little in this way, so the self noise level is not a hard and fast limit 
but a little bit of a fuzzy limit.

Once you have fulfilled the requirements of the noise level of the mic 
then the sensitivity becomes the next thing of importance. And higher 
sensitivity is a plus.


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