How to pick a Microphone


Microphone Varieties

Long the role of the professional sound engineer, choosing the correct microphone has now become while using the proliferation of the home studio, the work of the amateur, and even typically the beginner. This choice needs to depend upon what you’re going to use the mic for, and also on personal preferences. In this article, most of us be dealing with the two principal categories of microphones: dynamic microphones and condenser microphones.

Active Microphones

These mics normally have a more robust design because they are more often used in our living settings. They are also usually less costly and resistant to moisture.

Active microphones use a diaphragm that can be attached to a coil regarding wire placed within the permanent magnet field of permanent magnets. When there’s a variation inside pressure on the diaphragm it will eventually cause the coil to have a varying electric current which then requires amplification. Because it’s required to attach the coil right to the diaphragm, dynamic mics tend to have thicker diaphragms as compared to condenser mics. Because of this, recordings are less precise and could possibly be less sensitive to highs than condenser mics. Well-liked models include Shure SM57 and SM58.

Dynamic mics generally don’t need virtually any electrical power to operate (as against condenser mics). They are ideal for more complex high sound pressure degrees (SPL).

Condenser or Capacitor Microphones

Also known as a capacitor as well as an electrostatic microphone, this type of microphone stand picks up sound through a tiny, flexible diaphragm that’s inserted next to a metal area ( as opposed to the rigid diaphragm/coil system used by dynamic mics).

Condenser mics can range from inexpensive Karaoke mics to help ultra-high-level recording mics. Generally, they produce modern audio signals and are vulnerable to distant sounds in addition to high frequencies. Because of these explanations, they are often used in studio-taking situations.

Because condenser mics are more sophisticated and are much harder to manufacture, high-quality condenser mics are rather high priced. Condenser mics are ideal for taking voice, acoustic guitars, pianos, orchestral instruments, and percussion, in addition to sound effects. Some of the most famous designs are the Neumann U47 and possibly the AKG 414.

Phantom Electric power

Condenser mics require a strength source, provided either coming from microphone inputs as phantom power or from small battery power. The most common type of phantom strength is +48v DC. This specific phantom power is used to be able to charge the diaphragm and also the plate. It also supplies a tiny amplifier that boosts the tiny current* generated by diaphragm movements. Phantom power products are often built into mixing workstations, microphone preamplifiers, and related equipment.

Ribbon Microphones

Bows mics are a type of energetic microphone. They use a very skinny metal ribbon that’s halted between the poles of a potent magnet. Sound waves bring about this ribbon to move as well as an induced current. The discord output of older bow mics is much lower than vibrant mics so a transformer is used to increase voltage production and to increase output impedance. Modern ribbon mics keep away from this problem by using improved magnets and more efficient transformers. Bow mics are usually bi-directional (see next page on gathering patterns). Classic models range from the RCA 44 and seventy-seven as well as Royer mics.

Pick-up/Polar Patterns

A pick-up (or Polar) pattern, also referred to as the particular mic’s directionality indicates the area(s) from which a microphone picks up sound. It exhibits how sensitive it is to be able to sound coming in from diverse angles about its core axis. It’s important that you select the right pattern for what you’ll be using the mic for, or you could capture sounds from parts you don’t want or get rid of sound information you need.

Omni Structure

This is the most basic type of microphone stand pattern. It has a theoretical 360° pickup response, which means that the item responds equally to looks coming from all directions. Ideal for set vocals, sound effects, and bedroom ambiances. Omni patterns usually are pressure sensitive and therefore significantly less sensitive to wind disturbance than directional (velocity sensitive) mics. They also give significantly less of an impression of distance than directional mics thus they’re

Cardioid Pattern

This specific heart-shaped pattern is the most frequent for unidirectional microphones. Its name cardioid comes from Greek regarding heart shape. This cardioid condition means that its unidirectional and most of the sound is taken care of from the front. This routine is used for most basic saving situations or whenever a noise has to be picked up from generally one direction. Because the back side of the element rejects seems it receives, dynamic cardioid mics are often used for stay situations. This property allows reduce unwanted spills posted by instruments and therefore reduces the unfortunate risk feedback.


This structure is similar to cardioid but with more significant directionality. It has a tighter subject of front sensitivity and a teeny lobe of rear tenderness.


These mics are given sound from both the front and back but not from the sides. These mics are excellent for recording two harmony vocalists, duos, or face-to-face job interviews with only one mic.

Different Considerations

Frequency response

That is a measure of the microphone’s tenderness to different frequencies. It’s an attribute of all mics that several frequencies are exaggerated and the like attenuated. So the frequency reply shows how a particular microphone responds to particular eq.

A chart usually exhibits a mics’ frequency reply. The x-axis exhibits frequency in Hertz, the particular y-axis shows reply in decibels. A higher benefit means exaggeration and a reduced value means attenuation. An entirely flat chart (frequency response) would show that the microphone is equally sensitive to everyone’s frequencies. But in reality, a uniquely flat response is unattainable and even the best mics have any degree of deviation. Also, it really should be noted that sometimes a new mic is specially chosen for any specific frequency response so it has. For example, a microphone stand with a frequency response used to the human voice is a good choice for recording within an environment with low-consistency background noise.

Self Sounds

This measurement represents the current point of a mic’s active range. This is important if you want to track record very soft sounds. Fundamentally, the lower the number the higher quality.

Maximum SPL (Sound Force Level)

This is the maximum level a mic can acknowledge. Here, the higher the number, the greater. But one should note that mics with very high SPLs possess higher self-noise.


Indicates how well the actual mic converts sound stress into an output voltage. The larger the number, the higher the awareness. A highly sensitive mic generates more output and will consequently need less amplification right after. It should be noted, however, that a greater sensitivity rating does not always make one mic much better than another.

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