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Another thing to understand about microphones and their directionality is what we call Axis, that refers to the relationship between where the microphone is pointed and where the source of the sound is coming from. An On-Axis sound is something that's directly in front of the microphone. Off-Axis is something where it's coming from the side, and it's not pointing right at the side of the pattern, see I have got the patterns here. So that's off-axis. Here is another example on-axis, off-axis. Axis is basically broken down into 360 degrees. If something is dead on, 0 degrees, that's on axis.
Anything that's off by any degree is referred to by a degree. So this, for example, would be 45 degrees off-axis. The reason axis is important is because as you move your sound source around the microphone or point the microphone in a different direction, the frequency response and sensitivity of the microphone changes. An axis is a way to kind of, it's a way to make a note of how you recorded something and how you plan to pick something up. Let's look a slide that shows our Polar Pattern graph again, but let's think of it in terms of axis this time and not necessarily just response.
So it's a 360 degree circle, here is our polar pattern, a cardioid, the front of the pattern, 0 degrees on-axis, to the sides, 45 degrees, 90 degrees, et cetera, 180 degrees off-axis. So as we move with different patterns we get different frequency response. And the reason this is worth knowing about is that sometimes it's a problem, but sometimes it's a benefit. So if you have a microphone setup, and it gets turned accidentally while things are recording, the voice can change.
For a instance, right now I'm going to turn the way I'm facing this microphone and go off-axis, and you can see if you can see if you can hear any change in my voice at all, now I'm off-axis. Do I sound different? Now, I'm back around to the front. See that makes a difference. The advantage of it existing because you'll say, well, why don't we just make every microphone omni-directional? Is that sometimes there's things you don't want to pickup on-axis, or sometimes there are sounds that are too loud, or sometimes someone's to nasally, so you want them to be off-axis, like here I moved over way to the side of the mic.
See how I sound kind of, I'm not quite there the same way, I am not as present and bright. Sometimes that's an advantage, now I'm back in the front of the mic here talking straight into it. So that's the axis effect. Once you kind of know how a mic deals with that, if it does it all, then you can figure out how to use that as a tool and how to avoid certain things. It's kind of all about matching your sound source with your microphone and the making decisions about how you want to grab that sound source. An axis is actually, it's a tool that you can use if you understand it and worth knowing about.
In the next movie we're going to look at the frequency response of the microphone and the proximity effect.
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