An inquiry into microphone placement for TV musical programs



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A common question among musicians in television is concerned with the reasons for the inferior sound obtained. Having heard recordings and tapes of their work from radio programs or recording sessions, musicians are often disappointed after hearing a tape of a television show. With no accompanying picture, audio, the ten per cent of television assigned psychologically to this method of broadcasting, becomes the entire center of attention, and the faults are magnified many times. To inquire into this problem, a study was made first of sound conditions in radio. The study begins with the development of radio musical programs from their conception, and is concerned primarily with the acoustical conditions of studios and the qualities of microphones. In order to compare the favorable conditions for sound in radio with those same conditions in television, a survey is made of the acoustical conditions, microphones, and microphone techniques currently in use in radio musical programs. This is compared to the existing conditions in television, and many of the reasons for the differences in sound are exposed. In an effort to find out what the various individual problems are, and how they are met at different stations, and for different programs, a questionnaire was sent out to many audio engineers througout the country. Numerous responses were received stating that no live music is being telecast from that particular station, but twenty-four responses were received concerning local programs, and twelve responses were received regarding network musical shows. From these answers a compilation has been made, showing what some of the problems are and how they are overcome. Diagrams illustrating the seating arrangement of musicians, microphone placement, an in many cases, the acoustical treatment of the area surrounding the musicians, are included in the last portion of the thesis.



Microphones, Television, Musical programs