Studio Productions- 360

Lights, Camera, Action! Microphones

At one point in our lives, we will all either hear someone speak into a microphone or speak into one ourselves. This small device is able to transmit voices and information across further distances by enhancing the sounds that are heard. There have been times, however, that a person speaks into a microphone, causing only static and jumbled voices to be heard. What causes a microphone to be good, and what causes a microphone to be bad? There are several electronic characteristics to consider.

First, consider the sound-generating elements. Microphones convert sound waves into energy that is amplified and reconverted into sound waves by the speakers. Dynamic microphones can work close to the sound source without receiving a lot of damage or excessive input overload. These microphones don’t distort loud volumes and are able to withstand high temperatures. Because of this, they are mostly used outdoors. Condenser microphones are more sensitive than dynamic microphones to heat and input overload, but when used properly, they provide a higher-quality sound from greater distances. These microphones use small batteries as their main power source, so failure can be linked to used-up batteries. Ribbon microphones are

sensitive as well and are mostly used by singers because they produce a warmer sound that is appealing to an audience. These are strictly used indoors.

Microphones also have pickup patterns, which are the territories within which a microphone can hear well. An omnidirectional microphone can hear sound from all directions mostly with the same quality. Unidirectional microphones, on the other hand, hears best from the front of the microphone as opposed to its sides or the back. The type used depends on the situation at hand and the sound quality that is required for the event.

Microphones also have some special features. Pop filters, for example, eliminate the pop sounds that come from someone as they speak directly into the microphone. Windscreens are used to reduce the sound of wind if a microphone is being used outdoors. System microphones are used to replace the need for various microphones with different pickup patterns. These microphones have several “heads” that can be attached to one base that change the pickup pattern depending on what is needed. Whatever the need is, however, there is bound to be a microphone to fill it.

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