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Today, microphones are used in telephones, hearing aids, radios, tape recorders, and television broadcasting. Condenser microphones are generally favored by engineers for recording vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, woodwinds, strings, cymbals, percussion, mallet instruments, sound effects, ambience, and any source requiring lots of detail. Condensers are thus an essential ingredient in any classical and modern-jazz recording, and they are relied upon in all manner of pop music to put a bright, high-end sheen on sources. Today, microphones are small enough to be hidden inside tape recorders and computers.

The currents produced by the microphones are very small and a signal has to be amplified before it can be used. However, amplification is not selective. Dynamic microphones are the most versatile and durable. With a dynamic mic, sound waves in the air move a small cone inside of a tight coil of wire surrounded by a magnetic field. Microphones are also classified according to their pickup (or polarity) pattern. This describes the way the mic “hears” the sounds around it.


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This is hardly surprising, given that this mic is most at home in professional studios, whereas these far-less-expensive USB microphones are designed with computer users (and their budgets) in mind. But it means that if you're looking for perfect audio, you're not going to find it in one of these USB microphones. Shotgun microphones are commonly used on TV and film sets, and for field recording of wildlife. An omnidirectional microphone is a pressure transducer; the output voltage is proportional to the air pressure at a given time. New technologies of digital audiotape (DAT), the four-track Nagra-D, Fostex PD2, the 8 track ADAT, and wireless microphones are changing the way production sound and field recordings are produced.

Surprisingly, figure-8 ribbon microphones are an excellent solution for bleed. Bleed can be a real problem with many onstage mics - not just the amount of bleed but the quality of the bleed. Recognizable by name and reputation, SM microphones are virtually indestructible professional gear, built to take the punishment of night-after-night touring. Durable and reliable, SM microphones deliver consistent vocal and instrument reproduction in any performance setting. The microphones are nominally omnidirectional but their pickup pattern is modified by the absorption and reflection characteristics of your head and outer ears. Their noise level is typical of 1/4-inch electret condensor microphones, approximately 30 dBA.

Directional microphones are more sensitive to wind noise and popped aspirations, so you may need a foam windshield or equivalent. In TV-industry these microphones are called "shotguns" because they can be fixed up at a long distance from (2 up to 10m) and as if aiming at a sound source. The distance, at which we can place a shotgun, not exceeding the technical standard limits concerning sound intelligibility, is determined by the microphone's sensitivity. Although not yet a conventional stereophonic pickup, when the signals of these two microphones are combined via a sum-and-difference matrix system, left and right stereophonic signals result: Mid + Side = Left; Mid - Side = Right.

Now the signals from the two microphones are not merely kept in two channels and played back over individual speakers. The signals are combined in a circuit that has two outputs; for the left channel output, the bidirectional output is added to the omni signal. It delivers the extremely linear frequency response characteristics that Audix microphones are known for worldwide. Two application areas of microphones are discussed, those for precision measurement and those for hearing instruments. Silicon microphones are under investigation for both areas, and Danish industry plays a key role in both.

Balanced-output dynamic microphones are not affected by the presence of phantom power, since there is no connection between the shield and either signal lead and, therefore, no circuit for the DC voltage. The electret class of microphones are condenser microphones which use a permanently polarized electret material for their diaphragms, thus avoiding the necessity for the biasing DC voltage required for the conventional condenser. They can be made very inexpensively and are the typical microphones on portable tape recorders. You'll find BLUE microphones are beyond compare as a valuable investment and unsurpassed as a musical production tool. BLUE has its own facility located in Latvia (one of the Baltic states, located outside Russia).

Because multimedia microphones are so inexpensive these days, repairing them usually is a waste of effort and money, so the store's service center isn't overly important. If you plan to record a large number of audio clips for integration into PowerPoint presentations or web pages, you may want to look into buying a professional-style microphone. Two microphones are hidden in the ends of an inconspicuous black eyeglass holder. Sorry, glasses not included! Condenser microphones are the main type used within recording studios. This is because they usually have better frequency responses, increased sensitivity, and are generally of higher quality.

All microphones are based on an electric condenser principle that provides advanced performance in a miniature package. The microphone IC (Integrated Circuit) design uses the latest technology to provide the lowest noise and highest EMI protection. The two microphones are separated by an acoustically muffled disc of 300 mm diameter. The effect of this disc is as follows: as the frequency increases, the two microphones are more and more separated. Dynamic microphones are typically very rugged and don't require a voltage source to work properly. Cardioid pattern, small diaphragm dynamic mics are most often used as handheld vocal mics (like the very common Shure SM-58) or as instrument mics (like the equally common Shure SM-57).

As a rule, lapel microphones are non-directional and pick up sound from all directions. Although directional lapel mics are available, they are generally larger, more expensive and very prone to mechanical noise (brushing against clothing, etc.). Microphones are facing competition in a new, rapidly evolving and highly competitive sector of the audio communication market. Increased competition could result in reduced prices and gross margins for microphone products and could require increased spending by research and development, sales and marketing and customer support. Omnidirectional microphones are also used for vocals, because of their lack of proximity effect. They could be used for recording of a group of vocalists, although the preferred method would to split the group into individual singers and each one having their own microphone.

The microphones are programmed to avoid television channels. Broadcasters haven't complained, and the consumer groups accused the FCC of "benign neglect" regarding enforcement. Still, it is disappointing that carbon microphones are not still available for experimentation and non-critical use. Certain microphones are said to be more microphonic than others. What this means is that the microphone amplifies all of the microphone's physical exterior noise, the noise of the microphone cable and various other handling noise.

There are a few additional challenges when using a small consumer minidisc recorder, as the mic input is a high-impedence 1/8 " mini connector, while most pro microphones are low-impedence with XLR connectors. Get a high-quality converter cable, wired for this purpose, with an 1/8 " mono connector on the minidisc end if you are using a single mono microphone. The reason these microphones are called "dynamic" is because they require no external power to operate. Studios that have traditionally relied on these key microphones are left to work either without them or endure very high expenses and very high maintenance practices.

For people who are serious about podcasting, or are looking for a way to record vocals or instruments with their Macs, these USB microphones are worth a look. Neither provides studio-quality results?you?ll need a mixer and a higher-end microphone for that?but their convenience and ease of use make them ideal for computer-based recording. Hypercardioid microphones are thus considered even more directional than Cardioid and Supercardioid microphones. Hypercardioid microphones are frequently used in situations where maximum isolation is desired between sound sources. The MCP-90 series microphones are mechanically designed for quick, easy mounting to RTS? keypanels and selected Telex? Audiocom? intercoms. The frequency response is tailored for full-range sound reproduction with natural sound pick-up optimized for close-up use.

Cardioid microphones are more directional, and allows the recorder to point the microphone the direction in which they wish to capture audio. Both have their advantages and disadvantages in various situations. These vintage microphones are still in great demand; the 44BX could be found in many NBC studios, and the 77DX is currently used on NBC's "Tonight show" and on "Late Night with David Letterman.". Most of these microphones are not available in retail stores. They are specialty items with very limited distribution.

For classrooms in which desktop microphones are impossible due to flexible seating arrangements, small directional microphones hanging one or two feet down from the ceiling can work, if the room is very quiet and non-reflective. In classrooms with noisy air handling systems or large areas of hard surfaces (tile floors, plaster or concrete block walls, large windows), this is not a viable option. While some studio microphones are customized for voice capture and others for use with one musical instrument or another, there are a number of brands that are configured to work well with both vocals and music. Because these types of studio microphones can be used for more than one type of recording, they often will cost a little more than studio microphones that are designed for one particular application. The cords are wearing out and the microphones are (literally) in pieces. The sound that comes from these microphones is barely acceptable.

Omnidirectional microphones are the simplest to design, build and understand. They also serve as a reference against which each of the others may be compared. The instrument microphones are strategically designed that you barely notice they are there. They are lightweight and positioned in a way that they will not interfere with your playing at all.






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