Microphone Basics
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Microphone Basics

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Microphone Basics Microphone Basics Presentation Transcript

  • MICROPHONE BASICS A BROAD OVERVIEW OF MICROPHONE TYPES, FREQUENCY RESPONSE & POLAR PATTERN MICROPHONE PLACEMENT
  • INTRODUCTION My name is Angela Terace Trippe. I am a singer/songwriter from New York. I hope you enjoy my presentation I thank you in advance for your thoughtful review. This lesson is for week 1 of Introduction To Music Production at Coursera.org. I will discuss •Microphone Basics: Types, Frequency Response, Polar Pattern and Placement tips.
  • MICROPHONE TYPES THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF MICROPHONES. FOR THIS LESSON WE WILL DISCUSS THE FOLLOWING- AS THEY ARE MOST COMMONLY USED FOR RECORDING MUSIC DYNAMIC CONDENSER RIBBON MICROPHONES WILL PROVIDE SPECIFIC AUDIO SIGNALS DEPENDING UPON HOW IT PICKS UP OR REJECTS CERTAIN FREQUENCIES. CONSIDER THE SPECIFIC APPLICATION BEFORE CHOOSING A MIC TYPE
  • DYNAMIC MICROPHONES Dynamic microphones are often used on stage due to their ruggedness and their ability to provide high gain without feedback or distortion. They do not pick up sound coming from other sound sources such as monitors or other instruments. Typically hand held, they work well for a focused area and are used by vocalists or loud instruments in live performances. Dynamic Microphones are usually low cost, simple to use. They do not require an additional power source such as phantom power They do not have the sensitivity capability that condenser or ribbon mics have.
  • CONDENSER MICROPHONES Condenser microphones generally have excellent sonic abilities and are superior at capturing sound accurately. They are an excellent choice for studio recording of vocals, acoustic instruments and overhead on drums. They are not typically a good choice for live performances because they can pick up monitor or other instrument sound – causing feedback A medium-large size diaphragm condenser is a good first choice for any home studio. They will require a source of power, either phantom power, 48V or battery power. When recording vocals a pop filter is necessary. They are not as durable as dynamic mics and should have a shock protector to minimize damage and reduce vibration noise.
  • RIBBON MICROPHONE Ribbon microphones are the most sensitive of all microphones. They feature a very thin aluminum diaphragm that is placed between two magnets, which causes them to be fragile. Ribbons do not require Phantom power and will blow if phantom power is added, unlike a dynamic mic. They have a good sensitivity to smooth and warm sounds, They are mainly used for guitar amps, strings, and drum room mics. There is some discussion that they are great for recording acoustic piano when properly placed.
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE Every microphone has a frequency response and polar pattern. Specifics are included for each microphone. A chart will be included with the mic to show where its limitations are regarding it’s sensitivity to different frequencies. Chart will show which frequencies it is designed to pick up well and which it will reject.
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE The horizontal line shows frequency in Hz, the vertical shows response in DB’s. A higher value means that frequency will be exaggerated, a lower value means the frequency is reduced An ideal "flat" frequency response means that the microphone is equally sensitive to all frequencies A flat frequency response is not always the best option. In many cases a tailored frequency response is more useful. Avoid response patterns which emphasize the wrong frequencies. For example, a vocal mic is a poor choice for picking up the low frequencies of a bass drum.
  • Polar Patterns will determine what area of the microphone picks up sound the best and what areas it rejects. Directional, Cardiod- heart shaped pattern will produce focused sound. It doesn’t pick up behind it. This is a good choice for specifically capturing one instrument Omni-Directional- round pattern, picks up from all areas equally. Bi-Directional- figure 8 pattern picks up front and back of mic Super and Hyper Cardiod- mushroom pattern, has multiple areas of pick up. This helps you get more of the sound of the recording environment. Some microphones allow you to change polar patterns with a switch. POLAR PATTERN
  • MICROPHONE PLACEMENT Proper placement will be determined upon the instrument you are capturing as well as the acoustics of the environment you are recording in. The best tip is to try different placements and let your ears be the judge. Each instrument and environment will take on different acoustic colors. Trial and error is the best approach. In regard to what direction to mount the mic- A rule of thumb is to point the logo of the mic at what you are recording.
  • CONCLUSION & REFLECTION This was a great lesson for me because as a singer/songwriter, keyboardist it is so important to know everything I can about microphones. After learning about the frequency response and polar patterns of microphones, I can clearly see how I have made mistakes in the past. Thanks for your review! See you on the forums,