Our pro audio specialist Tim Oliver quickly explains the proximity effect using a classic Neumann U87Ai microphone to demonstrate. Getting too close to a microphone, in particular a cardioid or directional mic, will produce an increase in low frequencies that can do everything from add character to completely ruin your recordings. Creatively using the proximity effect to create booming presence is a favorite tool of voice over recordists, and can also be used subtly to accentuate low end during the recording phase, prior to EQing. Tim demonstrates how a cardioid mic polar pattern is much more susceptible to the proximity effect by switching between omni and cardioid patterns on the microphone so you can listen to the difference.
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