2011-02-12: Listening to Jun Kaneko‚Äôs “Dango” sculptures in San Jose provided the opportunity for an Android field test.

The first hint that our Experia X10 mic setup was troublesome turned up in Milan as we toured the Cimitero Monumentale interviewing angels. We picked up a lot of ambient noise—much of it quite high-frequency—and not much resonance. As soon as we were back in the States, we conducted two surveys in downtown San Jose with Jun Kaneko’s ceramic ”Dangos” outside the San Jose Repertory Theatre as our targets.

An Android field test

We followed a simple pattern, recording each of the Dangos in turn using one setup, then the next. The two circuits occurred a day apart, but the ambient noise levels downtown were similar. Samples are organized by target for comparison.

File Jun Kaneko Dango 01 Android at freesound.org

File Jun Kaneko Dango 01 Schertler at freesound.org

One of Jun Kaneko's 'Dango' sculptures

One of Jun Kaneko's 'Dango' sculptures

One of Jun Kaneko's 'Dango' sculptures

One of Jun Kaneko's 'Dango' sculptures

The differences between the X10 and Schertler mics are clear. The X10 is picking up ambient midrange and high-frequency noise almost exclusively, while the Schertler is picking up the sound of the resonant cavity itself. So, with the X10, you get more or less what you’ll hear just listening ”around” the sculptures, while the Schertler captures what you’ll hear if you press your ear up against one of Kaneko’s monoliths.

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