AES Store

Journal Forum

Audibility of a CD-Standard A/DA/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback - September 2007
10 comments

Reflecting on Reflections - June 2014
1 comment

Quiet Thoughts on a Deafening Problem - May 2014
1 comment

Access Journal Forum

AES E-Library

A Brief Tutorial on Proximity Effect

Most directional microphones use the pressure gradient method to produce the desired directivity. Sound is sensed at two or more points on the microphone body, and the difference is used to favor sounds coming from some directions while reducing sounds coming from others. Microphones intended for a single purpose can be optimized to have the desired response at a certain distance, but the frequency response will always change with distance due to the fixed spacing between the sound sensing ports of the microphone. Over the years, there have been several approaches taken to reduce this proximity effect. This paper will discuss the basic physics of sound pressure and pressure gradient in the near and far field, common methods used in microphone design to achieve directivity using pressure gradient, and the practical results for the microphone user. Two main points will be discussed in detail, which are often missing from the literature on this subject. The first is that proximity effect is not only an issue for close sources but also for distant ones in many cases. While the international microphone characterization standard IEC 60268-4 suggests measurement of frequency response in the plane wave conditions (or the far field), very few microphone makers actually report this information. The second point is that proximity effect occurs only where there is pressure gradient: a ideal cardioid microphone has no proximity effect at 90 degrees. Differences between theory and reality will be illustrated with near- and far-field measurements of a number of dynamic, ribbon and condenser microphones.

Author:
Affiliation:
AES Convention: Paper Number:
Publication Date:
Session Subject:

Click to purchase paper or login as an AES member. If your company or school subscribes to the E-Library then switch to the institutional version. If you are not an AES member and would like to subscribe to the E-Library then Join the AES!

This paper costs $20 for non-members, $5 for AES members and is free for E-Library subscribers.

Learn more about the AES E-Library

E-Library Location:

Start a discussion about this paper!


 
Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Google+   YouTube   RSS News Feeds  
AES - Audio Engineering Society