The Truth About Microphones:We Dissected The Different Types

Microphones are an essential component of any sound system. The type of microphone you choose will have a big impact on your audio quality. So it’s important to know the various types out there. In this blog post, we talk about the different types of microphones and provide a detailed review for each one! Please visit our website for further information.

The Truth About Microphones:

A microphone, whatever form it takes, is a device that converts sound waves into an electrical signal. The most common types of microphones are wired and wireless. Wired mics connect directly to the mixer or recorder with XLR cables. While some wireless models use radio frequencies (RF) to send audio signals over long distances without the need for cables. The wireless mic needs batteries though which can be problematic in certain environments where power outlets might not be readily available. But they do offer more mobility than their corded counterparts!

The Condenser Microphone:

The most common type of microphone, condenser microphones are extremely popular in both the pro and amateur recording world. The main pros to this mic is that they have a wide frequency response range (20Hz – 20kHz). It means that it can pick up higher frequencies than either dynamic or ribbon microphones.

The downside?

They’re more sensitive to external noise sources. Because their diaphragm has two plates separated by an air gap with high voltage applied across them as opposed to static pressure inside a tube like some other types of mics. This makes for an inefficient sound pickup.

The Ribbon Microphone:

Ribbon microphones became popular during the 1930s when German electrical engineer Dr Erwin Schirmer filed a patent for the first ribbon microphone in 1932.

The pros?

The main pro to this type of mic is that it has a more natural, pleasing sound. Because they have no moving parts and produce minimal distortion when compared with other types of microphones.

The con?

The wide frequency response range isn’t as good as some other condenser mics out there 20Hz-18kHz at best.

The Dynamic Microphone:

The dynamic microphone was invented by Herbert W S Berliner (yeah, we know) back in 1929 and became popular during WWII because it’s so durable! This type of mic doesn’t require any power source. But instead uses electromagnetic induction to create an electric signal. This means that you need something called a preamplifier if you want to use it with a mixer or audio interface.

The pros?

The pros to this type of mic are that they’re great for live performances. They also have a wide frequency response range (20Hz – 18kHz), and can handle high SPLs without distorting the sound too much which makes them perfect if you work in any sort of noisy environment.

The cons?

They don’t pick up as many higher frequencies so these mics aren’t ideal for recording vocals like singing or speech from across the room. But rather instruments and amps due to their bright tonal quality.

The Lavalier Microphone:

This is a small microphone worn around your neck by means of an elastic strap that’s typically used only for on-camera use. Because it’s omnidirectional pattern will pick up everything that’s happening around you.

The pros?

The pros to this type of mic are pretty self-explanatory: it can be easily hidden and is good for on-camera interviews or voice over work where capturing every word might not matter as much. Because viewers will still know what you’re talking about.

The cons?

These microphones pick up too many ambient noise sources. This means that if you need a natural sound, these aren’t the best option.

The Shotgun Microphone:

The shotgun microphone was invented back in 1935 by American electrical engineer Harry Olson and became popular with outdoor broadcasting during WWII! It has an extremely narrow focus. So it picks up very little sound off axis but does well at picking up sounds from a wide angle (30 degrees) in front of it.

The pros?

The pro to this type of mic is that they are more sensitive than lavaliers and sound great in noisy environments. So if you record anything outdoors or inside a live venue where you need to capture the ambiance from all around. Then these might be your best option because omnidirectional patterns will pick up too many ambient noise sources (hence why shotgun mics became popular during WWII).

The cons?

They can only handle high SPLs for short periods of time before distorting. This means that using them in an environment with loud background noises like traffic could lead to not getting clean levels on certain parts as well as howling feedback

The Wireless Microphone:

This is any microphone hooked up via wireless transmitter to a receiver which can then be picked up by any other device with an input that supports it. 

The pros?

The pros are pretty self-explanatory. You’re not tethered to the mixer or audio interface like you would be if using a microphone cable. It’s also really easy to hide these mics in places where they might otherwise get caught on things.

The cons?

The quality of your sound will depend entirely on how far away from the transmitter it is. So this isn’t ideal for those looking for more professional grade results because wireless microphones don’t have as good frequency response ranges (20Hz-18kHz) when compared with their wired counterparts.

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