How is the "sound" of a microphone created?

We know that every microphone has its distinct signature, depending on its responses in the free and the diffuse field and some other properties like nonlinearities and the proximity effect. An analysis of this signature is allowed by the following recordings. We have recorded a male speaker with 8 microphones in 6 different rooms - simultaneously! This was done by repeating the recording in each room very similarly.

Speaker in room

Now, with this audio demo you have the chance not only to switch between the microphones in one room, but also to switch between rooms using the same signal and microphone. Hence, the parameter "room" has been isolated. Note which influence the room has and how the different microphones translate the room.

 SCHOEPS V4 Free and Diffuse Field Response

SCHOEPS V4 Free and Diffuse Field Response, from [SCHOEPS website]

This example shows nicely how the microphone "quality" parameters free and in particular diffuse field response influence the final sound of the microphone.

Please also take a look at the Wikisinger whose approach is similar, but with the highest quality! They used an ORTF Stereo microphone for all recordings (SCHOEPS MSTC 64 U).