Red Dog Music | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
Do ‘Reflexion Filters’ make a difference?
The original sE Electronics Reflexion filter – now known as the Reflexion Filter Pro – has been with us for a few years now, and you may have seen one behind many a microphone, but what are they? And do Reflexion filters work?
Oh, and while we’re talking about it, have you seen that the sE Reflexion Filter Pro has been dropped in price to a quite simply project-studio-amazo-friendly £169? No? Well there you go… And of course, let’s not forget the latest flagship addition to the Reflexion Filter family: the RF Space!
With a ten-layer construction and 7 vertical bass pillars to deepen the air gaps, the sE Reflexion Filter Space moves the technology forward to an unprecedented place! As we’re sure you’re expecting a joke here, we’ll just say that the RF Space is out of this world!
What is a Reflexion filter?
One of the most challenging things to do in a project studio is record a great vocal sound. Whenever you’re recording with a microphone (unless you’re in an anechoic chamber!) the sound you record will be a mix of the direct sound, and reflections of that sound bouncing around the room.
In a lot of project studios, the room dimensions and the amount of acoustic treatment can be an important factor in how the recording sounds. As we are so used to hearing the voice, anything that makes the vocal sound less than natural is often very apparent to our ears.
Additionally, the natural reverb of the recording space can also present challenges trying to fit instruments recorded in that space into the mix.
The natural solution is to record in a better space, but booking studio time can be expensive, and knocking walls down in your house and covering the walls in acoustic treatment isn’t always practical.
What you need is a solution that is practical, compact, affordable and put-away-able.
With a couple of extra mic stands, a polyester duvet and a Reflexion filter, you can dramatically improve the quality of your recordings.
A Reflexion Filter is an acoustic screen that fits to your microphone and wraps around your microphone; combine this with a duvet hung over mic stands behind the vocalist and you’re well on your way to a better take!
How does a Reflexion filter work?
A Reflexion Filter is a curved acoustic screen comprised of a range of layers that break up the sound and scatter it at the source, before it has a chance to bounce around the room.
Perhaps the best thing to do is let sE themselves explain…
And, in addition to explaining, here’s a natty little layer-by-layer breakdown of the sE Reflexion Filter construction:
Does a Reflexion filter make a difference?
– If you can, use a room that isn’t a cube and is full of soft furnishings!
– Position the mic away from the walls, but not in the exact centre of the room, you can always try a few different takes to experiment with positioning and make a note of what works best
– Hang a duvet or blanket over a couple of mic stands (or build a free-standing acoustic screen) behind the source. While the Reflexion Filter will help break up the sound at the source, this will help protect the sensitive front of a cardioid microphone from any reflected ‘room sound’.
One of the great things about the Reflexion Filter is its portability. Got a session on the go or in a rehearsal room somewhere? Simply pack it up and get it in the gear trunk!
Who uses a Reflexion Filter?
It’s all very well talking about why it should work, but if you really want to know that it does, here are some words from some top producers and artists for whom the sE Reflexion Filter is an important part of their gear list:
Rik Simpson, Producer – Coldplay, Jay-Z, Kasabian, Athlete, Lamb. “sE’s Reflexion Filters have been invaluable for conquering spill problems between mics. I have both the IRF and the RF PRO on drum, guitar and piano mics, which massively cut down the bleed between the different sources.”
Rob Harris, Artist/Writer – Jamiroquai. “I use the RF PRO all the time on vocals and acoustic guitars. It really helps to control what the mic receives, especially in project studios – a life saver!”
Troy Antunes, Producer – The Backstreet Boys, Justin Timberlake, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Gloria Estefan. “I’ve used the RF PRO for EVERY vocal session I’ve ever done since first getting my hands on it. It immediately became a staple in our studio.”
Chris Porter, Producer – George Michael, Take That, Chris De Burgh, Gary Barlow. “The Reflexion Filter is invaluable in situations where it can moderate difficult acoustics…you can make the most of acoustic guitar and vocal recording when the room is too ‘live’. I have also used the RF to control hi-hat spill onto a snare mic. Such a simple piece of kit but so useful.”
Andy Bradfield, Producer – The XX (Great Gatsby), Above & Beyond, Craig Armstrong, Rufus Wainwright, “The sE Reflexion Filter is, a studio must-have – it keeps the vocals tight & under control, without affecting the frequency response of the mic at all, in almost any recording environment… it’s magic!”
If you have any questions about the Reflexion Filter range or about recording in general, feel free to get in touch and one of our recording specialists will get right back to you!
Red Dog Music is the UK’s friendliest musical instrument and pro-audio dealer. Between our 5000 square foot Edinburgh shop filled with an incredible range of products, and our London showroom in Clapham specialising in high-end instruments, dj and pro-audio, Red Dog Music has you covered from north to south and from performance to playback.