Flashcards in Microphone Types and Details Deck (16)
What is a diaphragm?
A light and thin piece of material attached to a metal coil, which is placed inside a magnet.
What happens as sound waves make the diaphragm vibrate?
The coil moves rapidly in the magnetic field. This makes electricity flow in the wires, producing a very small electrical signal.
Describe how the plates work in a condenser microphones
Two plates (very thin sheets of conducting material) are held a tiny distance apart.
When the diaphragm plate vibrates, the charge is disturbed and electricity flows between the two.
Describe the differences between cost in a Dynamic and Condenser microphone.
Dynamic - Less expensive and more easily available
Condenser - Genrally costs more than a dynamic microphone.
Describe the differences between handling in a Dynamic and Condenser microphone.
Dynamic - Robustly made and can survive the occasional knock or drop.
Condenser - The mechanism is delicate and needs to be handled with care. Humidity and extreme cold need to be avoided too.
Describe the differences between amplification in a Dynamic and Condenser microphone.
Dynamic - produces a very low level audio signal which needs lots of gain from a preamp before being useable.
Condenser - Needs pre-amplifying - but not as much as a dynamic microphone.
Describe the differences between power in a Dynamic and Condenser microphone.
Dynamic - doesn't need a power source as it makes its own.
Condenser - Needs power- some use a battery in the casing. Most need phantom power which is sent along signal wires.
Describe the differences between placement in a Dynamic and Condenser microphone.
Dynamic - Used for close/loud sounds.
Condenser - Can be used close up but is also good for low level and distance sounds.
Describe the differences between frequency in a Dynamic and Condenser microphone.
Dynamic - Less sensitive at high frequencies than a condenser.
Condenser - Has a very good frequency range, sometimes up to the limit of human hearing or beyond. this makes condenser mics the choice for high quality capture of complex, wide ranging sounds.
Why do Condenser mics work better with high frequencies?
They use a smaller, lighter diaphragm to capture sound.
Describe the uses of Dynamic mics and why.
Their strong construction makes dynamic mics suited to situations where there are high levels of sound:
- Kick drum
- Snare drum
- Close mic trumpet, sax etc
- Guitar amp
- Live vocals
Describe the uses of Condenser mics and why.
They need more careful handling and don't always survive at high spl's:
- Stereo or ambient recording
- Drum overheads
- Instrumental recording in more controlled conditions to capture full range of sound.
- Acoustic/classical guitar amplification and recording.
- Recording vocals, to capture the maximum frequency range and quality of sound.
How does the diaphragm relate to polar patterns on a condenser?
For a microphone to have different polar patterns it must have more than one diaphragm element.
How are polar patterns formed generally?
The electrical outputs from each of the diaphragm elements, which result from the impinging acoustical sound pressure levels, are added or subtracted from each other.
What is a common way to create different polar patterns in one microphone?
Mount two condenser cardioid elements back to back inside the mic housing.