A microphone is an electroacoustic device, the main functions of which are sound amplification and sound recording. It is important to understand that the specifications of different microphones will differ depending on the area of use of the device. Therefore, first you need to decide what exactly you need it for. Based on this, you can choose the most suitable microphone model.
Types of microphones
The most popular types of microphone are dynamic and condenser. The advantage of the first type is that it does not need an external power source, in addition, its device is quite simple. The principle of operation is based on vibrations of the membrane, which are then transmitted to the current lead passing through the magnetic field.
The dynamic look of the microphone is often used for concerts, live performances. It is also used in recording studios. There are also models of these microphones that are specially designed for special instruments - for example, for various drums.
The action of a condenser microphone is based on a change in the capacitance of the condensate located between the plates, which are affected by sound. This type of device requires an external power supply. These microphones are best suited for studio work (for sound recording), since they transmit the sound in the best quality and cleanest possible.
However, they are very sensitive to external conditions - humidity, ambient temperature, distance to the sound source, as well as to extraneous sounds. Because of this feature, their use in the "field" conditions is excluded. However, there are models of this type that can be used for live performances, for example, choral singing. Condenser microphones must be mounted on special holders.
Choosing a microphone: specifications
To choose the right microphone, you need to understand its technical characteristics, or at least have a general idea about them. The quality of sound transmission is influenced by:
- frequency range;
- sound pressure level.
The directivity index describes how well a microphone can pick up sounds that affect it from different directions. Distinguish between omnidirectional microphone, bidirectional, hypercardioid, cardioid.
For example, if a microphone is omnidirectional, it will pick up all sounds, no matter where they come from. But this is not always convenient. So, when recording interviews on the street, a narrowly directed microphone - the "cannon" model, is better suited.
The sensitivity level indicates how quiet sound your microphone can detect. It should be noted that capacitor-type devices are more sensitive. However, it is not always justified, for example, for recording speech in noisy rooms or on the street. Due to the high sensitivity of an omnidirectional microphone, the recording will become "dirty" with various third-party sounds.
The wider the frequency range of the microphone, the better the device will transmit sounds. The sound pressure level indicates how strong the sound is capable of transmitting without distorting the microphone. A high indicator is 130-140 dB. This parameter is important if you want to use the device to transmit loud sounds - for example, drum rolls.
How to choose a microphone: recommendations
In addition to the technical characteristics listed above, there are others - compactness, weight, cable length, etc., which do not particularly affect the sound, but make the use of an electro-acoustic device more convenient.
By their purpose, microphones are:
- secret, which are attached to musical instruments, etc.
When choosing a microphone, you should also remember that it must be made of quality materials. Before purchasing a device, read reviews on the forums about the model you like and its manufacturer.
If you choose a microphone for karaoke, in addition to the above characteristics, pay attention to the cable length of the device and its connector. Also remember that you will need a handheld microphone. The rest can be based on your preferences and budget.