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Types of Microphones for Recording

Published on March 12, 2019 By , 0 Categorised in:

A microphone is an essential component in voice and music production. The requirements of every recording are different, and they need different microphones. There are many types of microphones available, and every type serves a different purpose.

It is essential to know about the variety of microphones to select the right mic for a recording. This post shares the type of microphones available in the markets to guide the readers to choose the right device for their recordings.

Types of microphones used in Music

Three types of mics are used for the recording of music. Users can connect them with musical instruments and record their sounds along with vocals.

Dynamic microphones

The dynamic microphones are the best for working with powerful sound resources like bass and guitar amps. They offer the best no distorting recording thanks to their moving coil diaphragm that makes it possible for high-pressure levels of sound. They are best to use in both the quieter and noisy environments as they can capture sounds reliably in every setting.

Condenser Mics

The condenser microphones comprise a thin diaphragm that changes the capacitance for producing the audio signal.  The membrane produces the sound, and there are no moving coils given in a condenser microphone. This makes the condenser mics ideal for precise studio recordings both for voice and music.

The condenser microphones are perfect for recording the sound of acoustic guitars and vocals. If you want a good quality recording for voice or instruments, the condenser mics are the best. They have a large diaphragm and a steel grille for the protection of internal components.

Ribbon microphones   

Although ribbon microphones are not popular nowadays, they were the most used in the radio industry. These mics use a light metal ribbon that detects not only the displacement but also the velocity of air. The microphones are capable of capturing high notes without distortion.

The ribbon mics are slowly gaining popularity as the new improved units are highly reliable as compared to their old counterparts. You can use them for multi-instrument recordings in the events with moderate noise levels.    

Some other microphones

Carbon microphones

These are the oldest forms of mics used for recordings in the studios as well as domestic settings. Carbon microphones were used in the first telephone, and they are still used in some types of phones. It consists of carbon dust with a thin diaphragm made of metal or plastic. The sound waves hit the diaphragm and compress the carbon dust that changes the resistance and in turn changes the audio signal.

Fibre optic microphones

The fibre optic technology is highly popular in the transfer of high-speed data. It uses thin strands of glass instead of wires for transferring information at high speed. The technology is also being used in the microphones. So, microphones have undergone several changes with the help of fibre optic technology.

The traditional mics were bigger and used an electrical signal to record the sound. The latest microphones with fibre optic technology are smaller in size and entirely safe for use in electrically sensitive environments.

The fibre optic mics also come with a plastic body that makes them perfect for use in magnetically sensitive settings like the MRI rooms in hospitals.

Electret microphones

These are the most used microphones across the world. The mics you see in the computer shops, cell phones and handsfree headphones are the electrets microphones. The reason for their extensive use in these devices is that they are relatively cheaper than other types of mics. They are a type of condenser microphone in which an electrets material is used instead of electric charge. The kids microphone is also a type of electrets microphone used in toys and instruments.

Cardioid Microphone

A cardioid microphone has a heart-shaped polar plot due to which it is named so. The mic is highly sensitive from the font and less on the sides. They are ideal for recording the sound where the source is in the front of the microphone. Due to the front sensitivity of the mic, it is perfect and widely used for live performances where there is a lot of crowd noise.

Laser microphones

A laser microphone works by a laser beam and converting it into an electric signal. For example, a laser microphone captures the vibrations off a plane and transmits them to a photodetector that turns it into a sound signal.  The microphone is used to detect the waves of distant objects by converting them into audio signals.

Final Words

These are the basic types of microphones used for recording of vocals and music. The price of these microphones varies with the kind of technology and material used. For example, the condenser and dynamic microphones are expensive than the electrets microphones. What the users choose depends on the purpose of use and the requirements of recording. 

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