Take the 2-minute tour ×
Sound Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for sound engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What microphone would be appropriate to record heartbeats? I want to record people off the street so it has to be easy for the person to hold in place themselves for a couple of minutes whilst standing up without causing too many extraneous noises. It would be great if it gave the impression of 'medically legitimate professional' rather than 'home-made pervert freak'.

It's being made in London to form part of the music for a modern dance show in Korea.

share|improve this question

6 Answers 6

You could try Diego Stocco's method. Check out his stethoscope mic at :24. Looks like a Rode NT-6 with a modded stethoscope attachment.

share|improve this answer
    
That's a brilliant trick. Maybe it's a lot harder to do than it looks but I will try it. Thanks for the link. –  Tom Parkinson Oct 8 '12 at 8:20

come on, there's got to be a more extreme version that involves ingesting things or, you know, probing of some sort. :D

share|improve this answer
    
To be honest, I think people off the street will be a little uncomfortable about that... "I have to stick it WHERE?" –  David Larsen Oct 5 '12 at 19:36
    
What about spill, bleed and leakage? –  Tom Parkinson Oct 8 '12 at 8:19
    
@David - Hahaha :-D –  Christian van Caine Oct 10 '12 at 1:58

Unless you are recording in a very controlled environment, I would recommend a contact mic (which is, ultimately, a better-sounding stethoscope). A standard capsule-based mic will likely generate too much noise (or pick up noise from the surrounding area) because you'll need to turn it up significantly to pick up a pulse.

Check these out: http://www.c-ducer.com/

They are contact mics that could easily be mistaken for medical electrodes but anyone who doesn't know better (it basically feels like a leather strip, and it comes with its own double-sided tape). I own a pair and they sound fantastic — very low noise and they come in a kit with a phantom-powered impedance convertor that terminates in a standard XLR to plug in to any preamp. They're advertised for violin, harp, piano, and any instrument where there is a resonant body. Properly fitted to the upper chest and/or neck, I'm sure you could get some good heartbeat sounds.

Best,
~Matt

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks Matt. A friend has offered to lend me a pair of harp mics which sound very similar. –  Tom Parkinson Oct 8 '12 at 8:14

I have done some great hartbeat recordings with the H2a Hydrophone from Aquarian. It may be a good idea to try with the adapter

share|improve this answer
    
Ditto, better results with the adapter than without. –  NoiseJockey Oct 8 '12 at 5:03
    
Thanks for the tip. –  Tom Parkinson Oct 8 '12 at 8:24

Hello !

If you've got one, you could try with a hydrophone mic in contact with your chest. It's not the best way, because you will have noise to deal with, but maybe you can get what you're looking for.

Clem

share|improve this answer

@Clem. If you're using a hydrophone, you could do the recording underwater in contact with your chest. This might actually make it feel like you're inside the bloodstream. You would need a very quiet body of water, though.

share|improve this answer
    
with regards to quiet bodies of water - that probably rules out urban swimming pools. Those things pick up traffic noise like crazy! –  Rene Oct 5 '12 at 14:54
    
That's a great idea. Will try it in the bath. –  Tom Parkinson Oct 8 '12 at 8:20

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.