Soundman Dummy Head

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Artificial head for stereo microphony

  • Head made of pine wood
  • Stainless steel base plate with 3/8" thread
  • Beige silicone ears
  • Especially suitable for OKM microphones
  • Weight: 4.6 kg
available since March 2021
Item number 333359
sales unit 1 piece(s)
$555
The shipping costs are calculated on the checkout page.
Available at short notice (usually 2-5 days)
Available at short notice (usually 2-5 days)

This product has been ordered and is expected to arrives in the next few days.

Standard Delivery Times
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M
Not as realistic as a human head but a useful tool regardless
Melonbrother 18.11.2022
I purchased this in order to be able to experiment with binaural recordings of loud sources without damaging my ears, as well as quiet sources without capturing breathing noise. I use a DPA binaural headset.

Firstly, construction seems good - as you'd expect from a head made out of wood it's solid. A base plate on the bottom takes care of the threading for a microphone stand, and the ears are moulded from (presumably) silicon. Being far heavier than any microphone I've come across, it would definitely be recommended to either use a heavy duty stand or stick firmly to straight upright positions. Trying to record in a boom position (or even just angled down or up) on a conventional stand would likely lead to toppling.

In terms of sound quality, my model gets close to the realism of a binaural recording but doesn't quite match a real head. The issue seems to be with one of the moulded ears - while one side sounds as good as my own, the other introduces a mid-range phasey sound. I initially thought my microphones were damaged, but testing them on my own head reveals that it is the pinnae on one side of the dummy. The real head provides a far more pin sharp image and the illusion of being able to track a sound through space. I confirmed this with another listener to make sure it wasn't just a trick of my own ears going into my own ears. Perhaps with Soundman's own mics it would be better, although the quality of the DPA is astounding.

However, this is not to say you can't get a good recording from the dummy - while it's not going to fool your senses, it's still a cool, very unique capture which compliments more conventional microphones nicely. I like to stick it up as a stereo room on drums, strings, percussion, and other sources. It excels on foley. Maybe one day I'll spring for a KU-100 to compare it to, and until I do I don't have a lot of equivalent experience, but I'm glad to have this in my toolset. With a set of omni mics such as my DPAs, it produces a very good capture of room ambience in particular. I expect it to be great for field recording as well.

Again, I can't compare it to any other binaural dummy heads, and can't say it's better than my own head, but it is proving to be a useful addition to my collection of recording tools and I'm happy to work with it for the forseeable future.
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