Microphones come in all shapes and sizes. Understanding the most common types will help you pinpoint one that serves your needs better whether you’re recording or performing live. Of course, you have to start by familiarizing yourself with polar mic patterns. In other words, you ought to know how a specific microphone picks up a sound. What follows is a rundown of popular mic types and what they’re all about.
Cardioid microphones capture what’s in front of them and obstruct everything else. Their front-focused pattern allows you to point your mic to an audio source and cut it from excessive ambient noise. By extension, this functionality makes cardioids an excellent choice for live performances or situations that require you to reduce noise and suppress feedback. These microphones offer stellar polar patterns in comparison to other models, further explaining the reason they’re a common feature in karaoke or performances in big arenas.
Other uses include miking loud instruments such as guitar speakers or drum kits. On that note, visit http://microphonegeeks.com/sennheiser-e935-review-cardioid-dynamic-microphone/ to discover the Sennheiser e935 cardioid microphone and what makes it one of the most sought-after wireless models on the market.
These are more or less like the type that we’ve described above, but with a narrower area of sensitivity. The ripple effect is that you get better isolation and higher resistant to feedback. And, because of the superior ability to reduce noise, hyper cardioids great for a loud sound source, untreated recording rooms or noisy stage environments. Even then, it is essential to note you must place sources such as drum kits or stage monitors on dead spot sides for better feedback suppression.
As the name suggests, these captures sound from every direction/angle. The tout a non-directional design and provide zero rejection. They’re a brilliant choice if you want to capture nuances better to keep sound more natural. On top of that, these are the mics to go for in churches, or situations with great acoustics. They will serve you well if you’re recording using multiple instruments. You have to keep the noise level though. While omnidirectional microphones will get the job done, it is essential to note that they are more prone to monitor feedback. What this means is that you cannot use them in very loud noisy or loud venues.
These mics look like, well, you guessed it, number 8. With such a design they can capture noise from both the front and the back. The back and front sensitivity makes them perfect for recording and capturing sound from two or more instruments. Think of these are omnidirectional microphones but with sound rejection on two sides. While figure 8 mics aren’t as popular as other types on this list, they are ideal for large diaphragm condensers or ribbon microphones.
Also known as Gradient or Line mics, these feature a tube-like design. Their polar pattern is more directional than that of hyper cardioids. More specifically, they use a capsule placed at the edge of the interface tube. The idea is to suppress sound coming from the sides through phase cancellation. The design further offers a tighter polar pattern on the front with an extended pickup range. Shotgun microphones are common in theatres. They also make great mics if you want to capture drum cymbals, chorals or singing groups.
The Bottom Line
It is essential that you know what to expect with a specific microphone before spending your money on it. Be sure to read the mics specification to have an idea of what it has to offer if you’re a first-time buyer.