Electret Microphones:The Musician’s Friend Created by Clarice Stasz for assignment in  Music Production taught by Loudon ...
Electrets are based on CondenserMicrophones, which are known to be Less sturdy than dynamic mics Preferred studio mic O...
Invented 1962 Gerhard Sessler and James West at Bell Labs   Developed to improved telephone communications.
DEFINITION “An electret microphone is a type of    condenser microphone, which eliminates the    need for a polarizing po...
Or, A microphone consisting of an electret    transducer in which the foil electret    diaphragm is placed next to a perf...
Engineering                        Preamp                           Vibrating membrane          Itc.nyu.edu
Small size advantage          Openmusiclabs.com
You use them all the time.
Do you make Youtubes? Electrets are in your laptop and portable  phone. They consist of about 9o% of microphones in  use...
Time for a new recording mic?  Your computer mic is fine for everyday uses,   like Skype, taking audio notes.  Music on ...
Benefits of electret  Very inexpensive, under $1 for lowest quality,   hence popular with gearheads  Suits voice recordi...
Technically superior This is according to the technical sound  engineer papers . The electret design is  supposed to be t...
A look inside one type Being condensors, they need power so some  include an amp.     http://sound.westhost.com/project93...
Others include a battery andthen connect to the amp.  www.caitches.com
Electrets have a bad reputation with some Vibrating membrane can wear out in a couple  of years More fragile overall tha...
Disadvantages of lowerquality (cheap) models Output impedance is relatively high Relatively low sensitivity Noise is re...
Home recording                          Today you can find                          good quality electrets                ...
Performing mics as well.              This looks like a              dynamic mic.              It’s an electret           ...
One pro’s experience “The cheap electret mics polarize the  diaphragm. This is cheap to make but results in a  diaphragm ...
Recommendations For spoken word or singing with a single  instrument, your computer mic could be just  fine For higher q...
In other words… Where ten years ago people said the electrets  were lousy for serious sound work, this is no  longer true...
Connecting to computer This is a topic in itself. Try these for help: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Tutoria  l_-_Co...
Self-evaluation As a result of this project, I learned: Three of my music-based mics are electrets:  flute, ukulele, and...
If I had more time, I’d have sound samples with various mics to  demonstrate differences I’d use Camtasia to make a vide...
If you evaluate this….Don’t hesitate to noteerrors,Or to suggest additions.ukestasz@gmail.com
Electret microphones and music production
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Electret microphones and music production

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Electrets can be very cheap and of poor quality yet they are now available at modest cost for the home music producer, and will result in stronger audio tracks. Learn about their design, their special benefits and disadvantages, and their application for Youtubes in particular.

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Electret microphones and music production

  1. 1. Electret Microphones:The Musician’s Friend Created by Clarice Stasz for assignment in Music Production taught by Loudon Stearns, Berklee School of Music, www.coursera.org, 2013
  2. 2. Electrets are based on CondenserMicrophones, which are known to be Less sturdy than dynamic mics Preferred studio mic Offer larger frequency response for collecting partials than dynamic mics Require phantom power
  3. 3. Invented 1962 Gerhard Sessler and James West at Bell Labs Developed to improved telephone communications.
  4. 4. DEFINITION “An electret microphone is a type of condenser microphone, which eliminates the need for a polarizing power supply by using a permanently charged material.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electret_microphone
  5. 5. Or, A microphone consisting of an electret transducer in which the foil electret diaphragm is placed next to a perforated, ridged, metal or metal-coated backplate, and output voltage, taken between diaphragm and backplate, is proportional to the displacement of the diaphragm. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
  6. 6. Engineering Preamp Vibrating membrane Itc.nyu.edu
  7. 7. Small size advantage Openmusiclabs.com
  8. 8. You use them all the time.
  9. 9. Do you make Youtubes? Electrets are in your laptop and portable phone. They consist of about 9o% of microphones in use today. Their quality is surprisingly good for many purposes.
  10. 10. Time for a new recording mic?  Your computer mic is fine for everyday uses, like Skype, taking audio notes.  Music on the same mic may sound tinny because of distortion and limited response. You sound better than what you hear.
  11. 11. Benefits of electret  Very inexpensive, under $1 for lowest quality, hence popular with gearheads  Suits voice recording well  Extremely wide frequency response (from 10Hz to 30kHz ) in best cases. Sample inexpensive electret
  12. 12. Technically superior This is according to the technical sound engineer papers . The electret design is supposed to be the most accurate transducer. Of course, this will be affected by the quality of the production. Nonetheless, theoretically, electrets should be the best.
  13. 13. A look inside one type Being condensors, they need power so some include an amp. http://sound.westhost.com/project93.htm
  14. 14. Others include a battery andthen connect to the amp. www.caitches.com
  15. 15. Electrets have a bad reputation with some Vibrating membrane can wear out in a couple of years More fragile overall than a dynamic mic Cheap models mean poor quality Some users find the bass range unsatisfactory
  16. 16. Disadvantages of lowerquality (cheap) models Output impedance is relatively high Relatively low sensitivity Noise is relatively high Sound level handling ability is low, typically < 90 dBSPL
  17. 17. Home recording Today you can find good quality electrets for under $50, with the specs you need in terms of pickup pattern, frequencyStereo ominidirectionalwith direct plugin to response, and more.minimize vibration
  18. 18. Performing mics as well. This looks like a dynamic mic. It’s an electret specifically for vocalists to reduce pops, optimize lower frequency response, and minimize distortion. It is also a cardioid design.
  19. 19. One pro’s experience “The cheap electret mics polarize the diaphragm. This is cheap to make but results in a diaphragm thats quite thick (maybe 20 microns or so). A back-electret puts that charge on a sheet thats between the backplate and the diaphragm. With this arrangement, you can use a normal diaphragm thickness… so it may be difficult to tell the difference between an electret and an externally polarized condensor mic in performance - that gap is narrowing.” From “Dale” on Gearslutz.com.
  20. 20. Recommendations For spoken word or singing with a single instrument, your computer mic could be just fine For higher quality, and ability to make finer mixes before uploading, explore quality electrets now widely available at moderate prices. For performing, because electrets are technically the purest transducer, you may want to try one out.
  21. 21. In other words… Where ten years ago people said the electrets were lousy for serious sound work, this is no longer true. Major microphone firms make professional level electrets, up into hundreds of dollars. Given the same price and specs, the back- electret design is your better choice.
  22. 22. Connecting to computer This is a topic in itself. Try these for help: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Tutoria l_-_Connecting_a_Microphone http://www.ehow.com/how_6362940_connec t-electric-condenser-microphone-pc.html http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2508
  23. 23. Self-evaluation As a result of this project, I learned: Three of my music-based mics are electrets: flute, ukulele, and Sony mini-stereo recording. It is worth using an external electret for my laptop for quality recording. A lot of sound reference materials require some engineering background to comprehend. I definitely missed some understanding in putting this together.
  24. 24. If I had more time, I’d have sound samples with various mics to demonstrate differences I’d use Camtasia to make a video from this PowerPoint with an audio track added In that last case, I’d reduce all the written slides and have more visuals. For example, I’d open up a mic to show the parts.
  25. 25. If you evaluate this….Don’t hesitate to noteerrors,Or to suggest additions.ukestasz@gmail.com

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