You may have heard of ASMR, the increasingly popular internet-based relaxation trend. Dana Park is a South Korean creator of videos that purposely trigger ASMR, which is described as a pleasant, tingly sensation in the scalp that extends down the back and out through the limbs. She started her YouTube channel in 2013 and has currently over 500.000 subscribers.
[LEWITT] How would you describe ASMR?
[Dana Park] ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a sensory experience where you feel relaxed by various stimuli – visual, auditory, olfactory, and/or tactile. For example, maybe you’ve experienced feeling sleepy or relaxed while getting a haircut or hearing someone explain something to you in a very slow and gentle manner. Sounds from nature are also a good example.
[LEWITT] What motivated you to create ASMR videos?
[Dana Park] I first encountered ASMR when I was in high school. I was having a hard time sleeping due to the extreme stress of preparing for university. So I searched for relaxing sound videos on YouTube and ended up falling asleep within 5 minutes of turning on my first ASMR video. After this surprising experience, I fell in love with ASMR – and I was a heavy ASMR video viewer for about two years before I finally ended up making my own videos in the genre.
[LEWITT] How do your videos help your viewers and listeners?
[Dana Park] My viewers and listeners watch my videos when they want to relax, fall asleep, or even just focus on something. Many of them tell me that my videos have helped them with anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Others tell me that ASMR videos make them feel very relaxed and cozy, so they watch them at the end of the day before going to bed. I wouldn’t say that these videos are guaranteed to help you with anything, but I’ve gotten lots of feedback from people who’ve told me that they help them to feel better. And this feedback from people is one of the main reasons I’ve kept doing ASMR videos.
[LEWITT] What’s your favorite video so far?
[Dana Park] I wouldn’t say that this one here is my only favorite (I have so many!!! :) ), but I do recommend it because it’s in English and I introduce various trigger sounds.
A trigger sound is a specific sound that might give you tingle. When I say “tingle”, I mean that tingly feeling you get when you feel ASMR. “Trigger” and “tingle” are key words in understanding ASMR.
A to Z Trigger Sounds (Various Tapping)
In this video, I make sounds with various items to form an “A to Z” of trigger sounds with items starting with each letter of the alphabet (Apple for A, Bop it for B, etc.). I pat, tap, and scratch each item to produce various sounds. I usually take my inspiration from everyday life and everyday items because, after all, ASMR experiences are originally from everyday life.
[LEWITT] What role does the microphone play in ASMR videos?
[Dana Park] The clear and crisp sound of a high-quality microphone can help the listener feel that “tingle” better. As I’ve already explained, ASMR can be understand as a tingly sensation you might feel when you listen to sounds like the ones in these videos. So the microphone is an important tool that lets the AMSR artist capture their “trigger sounds” and express them to the listener.
[LEWITT] What qualities are important in a microphone if you want to use it for ASMR videos?
For me, personally, low self-noise is very important – as well as a mic’s ability to make the sound cold or warm depending on the video’s concept.
[LEWITT] You used to use two LCT 550’s, but now you’ve switched to two LCT 640 TS’s. What made you switch mics?
[Dana Park] I first purchased the LCT 550’s because of their 0 dB self-noise, with which I was extremely impressed. But I got some feedback about the sound being a little bit too crisp (I think this is because it’s ASMR, and my viewers were still used to what I’d been using before). So I bought an LCT 640 TS in order to keep the sound quality high but achieve a warmer sound. At first, I liked the idea of having one microphone that I could use in stereo mode, but then I purchased a second LCT 640 TS so I could continue with my concept of being between two microphones and archiving sounds recorded in that configuration.
[LEWITT] What do you like about the LCT 640 TS?
[Dana Park] I love its high sound quality, but at the same time, it still keeps whispering and various other sounds natural and realistic. I haven’t used the polarizer plug-in so far, but I think it could be of great benefit to users who record with an LCT 640 TS mic.
[LEWITT] What’s your recording chain?
[Dana Park] I use the Tascam UH-7000 and ZoomH6 (as mic preamps with integrated interfaces), Canare cables, and Cubase 8.5 as my DAW.
[LEWITT] In closing, is there anything else you’d like to say?
I love LEWITT mics’ design, their unique shock mounts, and their fantastic sound quality. I’m still studying and learning about sound, and LEWITT mics have been helping me a lot in the process. I have a lot of affection for my LEWITT mics, and I even took them along to this TV show I shot a few months ago.
Someday, I’d love to try out two LCT 940 and a small-diaphragm pencil microphone if I get the chance.
If you enjoy soothing sounds, you might enjoy ASMR as well. If this is your first time hearing about ASMR, I hope you’ll take some time and listen to different ASMR videos. It helped me very much when I was under a lot of stress, and I hope it will do the same for you!