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Microphones

Blue Microphones

Definition of a microphone; A microphone is a transducer, it converts acoustic energy into an electrical signal.

The Different Type's Of Microphones Are;
Dynamic Microphone
Radial Condenser Microphone
Axial\Dual Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Electret Condenser Microphone
Dynamic Ribbon Microphone
PZM (Pressure Zone Microphone)
Sound Field Microphone

Dynamic Microphone (Moving Coil Microphone)
The characteristics of a dynamic microphone are as follows;
1) Limited frequency response.
2) Can handle high SPL (Sound Pressure Level).
3) Fixed polar pattern.
4) Don't require a power supply.
5) Very robust.
6) Good handling capabilities (Hold them in your hands).
7) Very good for live use.
8) Very directional (Pick up where its pointing at).
9) Low signal to noise ratio (Low output).
10) Polar Pattern = 1 Cardiod (fixed pattern).*

Examples; Shure SM58, Sennheiser E935, Beyer TGX60.

Condenser Microphone (Capacitor/Stored Energy System Microphone)
The characteristics of a condenser microphones in general are as follows;
1) Very fragile.
2) Good frequency response.
3) Susceptible to damp or humid weather conditions.
4) Good signal to noise ratio.
5)Polar Pattern = Cardiod, Omni Directional, Figure Eight (Usually variable patterns).*

Examples; Rode NT2000.

Radial Condenser Microphone (Single Diaphragm Placed Horizontally In The Microphone)
The characteristics of a radial condenser microphone are as follows;
1) Very fragile.
2) Good frequency response.
3) Susceptible to damp or humid weather conditions.
4) Good signal to noise ratio.
5) Small diaphragm.
6) Cannot handle high SPL levels.
7) Low frequency response (Cant pick up all frequencies).
8) Requires phantom power supply (48v DC/Direct Current).
9) Frequency response 50hz-15Khz.
10) Good for acoustic type sounds etc.
11) Polar pattern = 1 Directional characteristics may vary by manufacturer.*

Axial/Dual Diaphragm Microphone (2 Diaphragm Microphone)
The characteristics of a axial/dual diaphragm microphone are as follows;
1) Large diaphragm.
2) Full frequency response.
3) Various polar pattern (You can change the polar patterns).
4) Can handle high SPL levels (Up to 140dB/Threshold of pain).
5) Very fragile.
6) Very sensitive (May need to be shockmounted).
7) Susceptible to damp or humid weather conditions.
8) Good signal to noise ratio.
9) Requires phantom power supply (48v DC/Direct Current).
10) Excellent for vocals.
11) Polar pattern = Directional characteristics may vary by manufacturer.*

Electret Microphone (Permanently Charged Plates)
The characteristics of an electret microphone is that it looks like a radial condenser microphone, it has the same characteristics as a radial condenser microphone but it is not as good. But it is better than a dynamic microphone.
1) Very fragile.
2) Good frequency response.
3) Susceptible to damp or humid weather conditions.
4) Good signal to noise ratio.
5) Small diaphragm.
6) Cannot handle high SPL levels.
7) Low frequency response (Cant pick up all frequencies).
8) Requires phantom power supply (48v DC/Direct Current).
9) Frequency response 50hz-15Khz.
10) Good for acoustic sounds.
11) Used on TV a lot (Lapels on presenters etc.).
12) Polar pattern = Directional characteristics may vary by manufacturer.*

Examples; Prinzsound EC-55.

Dynamic Ribbon Microphone (Magnesium Ribbon Microphone)
The characteristics of a dynamic ribbon microphone are as follows;
1) Very fragile.
2) Cannot handle high SPL levels.
3) Limited applications (Cant be used on many applications).
4) Good top end better than an ordinary dynamic microphone not as good as a condenser microphone.
5) Good for classical music, speech and soft vocals.
6) Warm sound.
7) Requires no power supply.
8) Very large in size.
9) Polar pattern = 1 Omni Directional (fixed pattern).*

Examples; Samson VR88, Blue Woodpecker, Shure KSM353.

Pressure Zone Microphone/Electret Pickup (Works On Sound Pressure Levels)
The characteristics of a pressure zone microphone are as follows;
1) Very robust.
2) Good for ambience, surroundings etc.
3) Limited applications (Cant be used on many applications).
4) Can handle high SPL levels.
5) Requires no power supply.
6) Frequency response 40hz-16Khz.
7) Usually goes in at line level.
8) Polar pattern = 1 Omni Directional (fixed pattern).*

Examples; Tandy/Realistic 33-1090B, Shure Beta 91, Beyerdynamic MPR 210.

Sound Field Microphone (Microphone With Various Polar Patterns Beyond Standard)
The characteristics of a sound field microphone are the same as a condenser microphone;
1) Very fragile.
2) Good frequency response.
3) Susceptible to damp or humid weather conditions.
4) Good signal to noise ratio.
5) Can handle high SPL levels.
6) Very expensive.
7) Used in TV work (Outside broadcast etc.), classical music and speech.
8) Polar pattern = Multiple polar patterns but are different to the regular polar patterns.*

*Please be aware that certain manufacturers may have incorporated a different polar pattern instead of the usual standard.

Miking Techniques

XY Miking Technique (Direct Miking)
This is used on drums and on a multi-miking setup usually drums must have cardiod polar pattern.
The mikes must always point away from each other, Be a minimum of 18 inches this help reduce spill and phase.

AB Miking Technique (Stereo Miking)
This is used for ambience it can contain microphones with any polar pattern.
The microphones must be equal height and equal distance, Must be 18 inches apart.

Middle and Sides Miking Technique
This is used on strings and orchestral it basically does what it says picks up well in the middle and on the sides.
The polar patterns used is cardiod and figure 8.

Proximity Effect On Microphones
The closer the microphone is to the sound source the more bass you will get, this is called the proximity effect.

Direct Sound Source
This is the distance the mike should be from the drums etc. 3 to 12 inches from the sound source.

Miking Off Axis
This is to stop wind surge on a condenser microphone usually if you haven't got a pop shield, this is basically pointing the diaphragm towards the singer or sound source but placing the microphone above or below the level of their mouth

Miking Up a drum kit

Here Are The Different Microphones & Channels Usually Used While Miking Up A Drumkit;

Bass Drum
The Bass drum uses input number 1, The type of microphone used is a dynamic microphone usually a AKG D112.
Always make sure that the microphone is pointing inside the Bass drum hole.

Snare Drum
The snare drum uses input number 2, The type of microphone used is a dynamic microphone usually a SM-58.
Always make sure that the microphone is around 3 to 4 inch's from the surface and make sure it is not pointing towards any other microphone or drum.

Hi-Hats
The Hi-Hats use input number 3, The type of microphone used is a radial condenser.
Always make sure that the microphone is around 3 to 4 inch's from the surface and make sure it is not pointing towards any other microphone or drum.

Tom Drums
The tom drums use inputs 4,5 and 6, The type of microphones used are dynamic microphones usually a SM-58's.
Always make sure that the microphone is around 3 to 4 inch's from the surface and make sure it is not pointing towards any other microphone or drum.

Overhead Microphones
The 2 overhead microphones used are 2 condenser microphones, Usually 2x AKG 414's.
You must make sure that the silver side of the microphone is facing downwards and away from the other microphone.

 

 

 

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