Timbral Characteristics of Off-Axis Microphone Response

Research Student: Juan Carlos Franco Hernandez
Principal Supervisor: Dr Tim Brookes
Co-Supervisor: Dr Enzo De Sena
Supported by: Doctoral College Vice Chancellor's Studentship Award

Start date: 2019
End date: 2022

Project Outline

This research project aims to investigate the properties of microphones that lead to them imparting a particular tonal quality or timbre to captured sounds. This will be experimentally evaluated by positioning a sound source at different angles, to explore the response of several microphone types and models, in particular when the source is not directly located in front of the microphone i.e. the off-axis response.

In addition to acoustical measurement, a subjective assessment stage using human listeners will be undertaken using a methodology developed in previous IoSR work. From the results, computer models of timbral perception will be developed to allow automated prediction of the timbral characteristics of microphones. These models will have applications in microphone design, development, marketing, selection and use, e.g. an app could be developed to advise on the best microphone choice to make a 'warm' or a 'bright' recording of a cello.