Recording Microphone

The recording microphone is designed for making high quality audio, unlike other microphones that sacrifice quality for reduced size and cost. The two main types are the condenser and dynamic. Condenser microphones are used in studios and concert halls, while dynamic microphones are used for stage performances and public speaking. Other factors to consider when choosing a microphone are its directionality and diaphragm size, which can both greatly affect the quality of the output signal.

The condenser microphone is a high quality recording microphone used for capturing the best possible sound. It is also referred to as a capacitor microphone because it uses two charged plates to produce its output signal. The top plate is attached to a diaphragm that vibrates with the sound waves. The change in distance between the plates changes the current flowing between them. Condenser microphones are very sensitive but they are also expensive and fragile, and they need a power source to operate.

The diaphragm in a dynamic microphone moves a copper wire coil over a permanent magnet, creating an electrical current in the coil. As such, it does not require a power source like the condenser microphone. Dynamic microphones are generally less sensitive but have a wider frequency response. They are also cheaper and less prone to damage from water and vibration. Dynamic microphones are mostly used for stage performances, rock concerts, public address systems, and other roles where high quality audio is not required.

An important factor to consider when selecting a recording microphone is the size of the diaphragm. Diaphragms are classed as either large, medium, or small. Microphones with a large diaphragm respond better to vocals and lower frequencies, like the sound of a bass guitar. Those with a small diaphragm have a wider frequency response and are better suited for higher frequencies, like the sound of a violin. Microphones with a medium sized diaphragm capture both high and low frequencies but with reduced quality.

The directionality of the recording microphone should also be chosen carefully. This is a measure of how well the microphone picks up sound waves from the surrounding area. Directionality is shown on a graph called a polar pattern. An omni-directional pattern means that it picks up sound evenly in all directions. A bidirectional (figure-8) pattern means that it picks up sound from the front and rear better than it does from the sides. A unidirectional (cardioid) pattern means that it picks up sound mostly from the front, with only small inputs from the sides and rear.

The cable between the recording microphone and its amplifier needs to be well insulated to prevent interference from electrical noise. It should not have sharp bends or be wrapped around metal objects, and the connecting plugs should be clean and free of corrosion. There is a belief that gold plugs and connectors are essential for high quality audio but this has been proven to be untrue. The weak output signal from a microphone may need to be passed through a preamplifier before it is sent to the main amplifier. The preamplifier boosts the voltage of the signal to a level where it can be used by the main amplifier.

For a recording microphone to perform at its best it should also have the right accessories. A carry case lined with foam is essential for protecting a microphone, especially the sensitive condenser types. A solid stand is important for reducing vibrations which cause static noise, and a shock mount can help to further isolate the microphone and prevent vibrations from reaching it. A pop filter helps prevent distortions when recording vocals. The finely woven nylon slows down the air coming from the mouth and reduced the popping sounds heard when certain words are spoken.

This Recording Microphone Review is Written/Updated on Jul 16th, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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