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sE Electronics Reflexion Filter  From sE

Portable Vocal Booth

sE Electronics

$299.00

Retail:  $399.00

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Manufacturer's Description from sE

 

What is the Reflexion Filter?

The Reflexion Filter is basically a portable device for recording live sound sources with reduced room ambience. It is an advanced composite wall which is positioned behind any microphone by means of a variable position stand clamp assembly which ships with the product. The main function is to help obtain a 'dry' vocal or instrument recording. This is especially useful in studios without proper acoustic treatment, but can also be used to help record takes in control rooms, where the performer also has to operate the recording device, or in rehearsal studios to reduce ambient noise.

The Technical Bit:

The Reflexion Filter has 6 main layers. Firstly, a strong layer of punched Aluminum which allows sound waves to pass through it, diffused, to a layer of absorptive wool. The sound waves then hit a layer of Aluminum foil which helps dissipate energy and break up the lower frequency wave-forms, and from here they hit an air space kept open by rods passing through the various layers. The air gap acts as an acoustic barrier. The sound waves then pass to a further layer of wool and then through an outer, punched, Aluminum wall which further serve to absorb then diffuse the remaining acoustic energy.

The main absorber has 4 formed pieces of state-of-the-art specialist acoustic absorptive material attached to its face via the extended separation rods, which further serve to absorb and then diffuse the sound waves as they pass to the main filter.

The stand assembly comprises a mic stand clamp fitting, which attaches by means of a vertical joint to the horizontal bar assembly onto which both the Reflexion Filter, and any standard fitting shock mount can be fixed. The microphone (in its shock mount) can then be moved both vertically and horizontally along the bar, and the Reflexion Filter itself can be moved vertically to obtain the optimum working position.

How does it work?

The various layers both absorb and diffuse the sound waves hitting them, so progressively less of the original source acoustic energy passes through each layer. This reduces the amount of energy hitting un-treated walls and other surfaces so there is less of the original source reflected back as unwanted room ambience to the mic. The Reflexion Filter also helps prevent any reflected sound reaching the back and sides of the mic. Its shape and size have been carefully tested to maximize absorption while keeping 'coloration' down to only around 1dB, and leaving the microphone?s polar pattern unaffected.

The Results

'Independent test results from the Tongji University Audio Lab in Shanghai show audio image colouration with and without the sE Reflexion Filter. The tests (carried out by China's leading Acoustic Engineering University completely independently) clearly show extremely low levels of coloration when using a microphone with the Reflexion Filter while recording (20Hz to 20KHz).

This was one of the greatest challenges in designing the RF. Other companies have now started to try and copy our designs (without breaking the patents which are what make the Reflexion Filter actually work!), but fail to achieve such good results because the designs are too simplistic.

The RF comprises several layers of Aluminium and patented acoustic fibreboard separated by acoustically isolating air gaps... and therefore manages to remove large amounts of room ambience with a very compact design. The whole idea was to make the unit as effective as possible, but in the smallest space... otherwise what would be the point... you may as well treat a wall behind the mic.

The shape of the RF is also critical to the design as it randomises any Reflections back from the surface of the filter. Products which are semicircular (without the flat diffuser panels the RF has) will concentrate any inconsistently reflected frequencies onto the mic... the worst possible scenario.

Another very poor design though is a simple 'V' shape behind the mic. This creates one of the worst coloration problems you can manage to achieve when recording audio. Think about problems of Bass Accumulation in room corners... the bass is accentuated worst in 90 degree corners, so any baffle placed behind a mic which is this shape creates huge coloration problems in bass frequencies. This also adversely affects higher harmonic frequencies because of the massive energy in bass frequencies exciting these higher harmonics. A simple flat panel on a wall positioned behind the mic is a much better solution, as it does not create coloration, but still limits at least some of the early reflections in the room.

More independent test data will be available soon (approx Mid March). For independent reviews on the performance of the RF please check our reviews section.

In Summary:

All in all, it's a very clever and desirable piece of kit. It allows you to record vocals, guitars etc with a 'drier' sound without having to have an acoustically treated room. It's portable. It uses state of the art materials. It works? and it's a fraction of the price of acoustically treating your studio environment!

sE Electronics

About Manufacturer

The sE Electronics story begins withMr Siwei Zou, a hugely talented classical musician from Shanghai who won a top place at the Shanghai Conservatory and went on to become a highly successful player, conductor and composer. He worked closely with the Shanghai Opera and the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra as both conductor and recording artist,with several hugely successful classical hit recordings to his name. In 1987 he was invited by California Sonoma State University as a visiting Scholar to serve on the faculty. He continued to teach counterpoint and orchestration as a faculty member in the Music Department at the University. He also studied recording technology under Grammy Awards nominee Professor Warren Dennis Kahn. The sE commitment to exceptional quality can be directly attributed to the company founder Mr. Zou, who in his distinguished career has developed an ingrained instinct and desire for perfection. Wishing to bring this drive for artistic and creative perfection to bear in a tangible way, Siwei started his own microphone manufacturing company. Working with a team of his own top engineers, and experts in the field of electrical engineering at Shanghai University, Siwei designed, built and tested a whole range of new and innovative products. Shunning the common practise of western manufacturers re-branding cheap Chinese microphones, Siwei designed and built his own range of microphones which are now manufactured in his state-of-the-art facility in Shanghai., the ultra-modern face of new China. sE Electronics make only their own products, which means dedication to detail in every aspect of performance and styling without compromise. All sE mic capsules are entirely built by hand. Even the chassis and flight cases are built in-house. In fact when you own an sE microphone you can be confident that every aspect of both the mic and its accessories has had the same unrivalled level of care and passion right throughout its design and manufacture. Even to the level that every single microphone that leaves the facility has undergone a personal listening test rather than simply being put through a machine - and it shows. Launched in Europe in 2003, sE Electronics condenser mics are now the number one brand in the UK and the fastest growing microphone brand in Europe. The brand, in its short history, has already won almost every major European award possible for excellence including the Future Publishing Readers Poll ýMic of the Yearý Award. Although sE is a new line to the USA in 2004, both the sE Gemini and Icis have already won the coveted ýMix Certified Hitý Award and the range is fast finding the same unanimous acclaim and passionate following that it has in Europe. sE is so confident youýll be able to really hear the difference, that they offer a completely free loan service for all of their products! The range includes three superbly tailored ýpencilý instrument mics, two large diaphragm solid-state condensers, two incredible performance tube mics, and the worldýs first dual tube, transformerless, studio mic in the form of the award-winning Gemini.