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Microphones

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Robert Maddison

on 7 September 2016

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Transcript of Microphones

Microphones
What do we use microphones for?

What type of microphones are available?

How are microphones different?

When should I use a particular microphone for a specific situation?
Below are a selection of microphones you would expect to use in the industry. You need to identify the name of these microphones from the following list:
Condenser
Boom
Dynamic
Lavalier
Why do we use microphones?
The use of microphones in the media is to in short capture the best sound possible.
We can break this down further into 3 points
1.Coherence-the need to hear a particular sound clearly be it speech or music.
2.To isolate a particular sound with no interference from background noise, distortion or echo.
3.To make the sound pleasing to the ear.
What type of microphones are there?
Microphones fall in to two different categories:
Dynamic
and
Condenser
microphones.
What are the differences between the two?
1.Dynamic microphones are used for picking up sounds that are closer to the microphone this is know as the 'pick up range'.
2.They are not dependent on a power supply
3. They are cheaper than other microphones and are more robust.
4.Dynamic microphones are better suited to higher levels of volume.
1.Condenser microphones run on 'phantom power' which means their power comes from an internal source or they take power from the camera or mixer that they are attached to.
2. As a result of them having more components they cost more.
3.Condensor microphones produce a 'warmer' sound which is generally preferred.
4. The pick up range on a condenser microphone is greater than that of a dynamic.
The principles of microphones are the same, a vibration is converted into sound but what makes these microphones different?
Microphones run on the same principle that each one has a diaphragm which makes contact with the sound. When the diaphragm vibrates it in turns moves other moving parts, this is where they differ.
The vibration travels through the diaphragm to a coil which in turn moves backwards and forwards. This creates an electormagnetic charge which travels through the coil which converts it to the sound energy.
A condenser microphone uses 2 plates to convert the sound. One plate acts as the diaphragm whilst the other is fixed. The sound wave will make contact with the diaphragm, the moveable diaphragm as a result changes its distance between the back plate, this in turn produces an electrostatic charge which is then converted to the audio signal.
Condenser or Dynamic?
Below is a list of scenarios in which you could use a microphone to record audio. You need to decide which microphone you would use and why.
Directions
As well as the different types of construction of a microphone you also need to think about the
pick up range
or
pattern
of the microphone.
What is the pick up range/pick up pattern?
Microphones operate in different pick up ranges and we must consider this when using microphones.
Omni-directional pick up patterns pick up sounds from all directions, used for picking up ambient sounds.
Cardioid pick up patterns are directional microphones and you will find different variations of these. Good for picking up sounds directly in front but do have some pick up on the sides.
Hyper-cadioid pick up patterns may be more familiar to you called shotgun mics. These are super directional cutting out sounds from the sides and rear.
Bi-Directional microphones pick up sound in a figure of 8, their only real use is an interview between 2 people.
On the diagram of the microphone label what the key points are.
Diaphragm
Sound waves
Audio Signal
Omni-directional
Cardioid
Hyper-cardioid
Bi-Directional

The following terms are used to describe pick-up patterns, how do these look? Draw how these would look as a diagram.
Thinking of the pick up patterns covered, when would these types of microphones be used in media? Give one situation where you would use these types of pick up patterns and one negative use of these types of directions.
Omni-directional microphones are great for picking up atmosphere and ambiance.
If the source of the sound is moving then omni-directional microphones do not need repositioning or moving.

Picking up different audio means capturing unwanted sounds, which is something in a professional scenario is not desired.
Cardioid microphones are great for picking up what is in front of them. They will also pick up ambient sounds from the sides. Great for picking up voices as the are directional and specific.

Picking up ambient sounds may not be desired.
Hyper-cardioid are exaggerated versions of cardioid and therefore pick up audio specifically in front of them minimising ambient noise around them.

Shotgun microphones like those used in television sets use a hyper-cardioid pick up pattern.
Bi-directional microphones pick up from the front and the back which means they are perfect for conducting interviews between two individuals.

Omni-directional may be better for multiple interviewees.
What do we use microphones for?

What type of microphones are available?

How are microphones different?

When should I use a particular microphone for a specific situation?
Traffic Lights
Microphone Carousel
In groups you will be tasked with testing and trying out the different microphones discussed in the previous session. As a group you will get 15 minutes to explore and test the microphones.
You should make notes on:
The type of microphone it is.
The pick up pattern that the microphone has.
What the microphone could be used for in a professional production.
You will write a reflective blog which should cover:
What you have grasped from experimenting with the microphones.
Technical language should be used throughout.
You can use images an diagrams to help explain your points.
You should cover what you have understood and what you would like to explore further.

Your new post should be titled "Mic Check 1,2"
Full transcript