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Intro to Music Production: A Lesson About Microphones

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Joseph Edward

on 15 March 2013

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Transcript of Intro to Music Production: A Lesson About Microphones

MICROPHONES JOSEPH JO LEE singer-songwriter-producer BROOKLYN graphic designer by day by night I become a lesson about for Introduction to Music Production
on Coursera (friends call me Jo) HI! name's born, raised and living in welcome to WHAT IS A MICROPHONE? a microphone is a THERE ARE MANY TYPES OF MICS dynamic ribbon including most commonly used each have a special design and purpose DYNAMIC MICROPHONE the the workhorse of live sound engineering limited frequency response or,how well a mic picks up a specific range of frequencies Because of their limited frequency response, some dynamic mics are designed to target a particular range of frequencies for specific applications. HOW A DYNAMIC WORKS diaphragm wire coil magnet sound energy (air pressure) causes the diaphragm to vibrate the diaphragm makes the wire coil move along the magnet the magnetic energy generates an electric current wire to mic cable current moves along the wire to the mic cable as an audio signal A dynamic microphone has three esstential components:
a diaphragm (a wafer-thin layer of metal)
a wire coil
a magnet resistant to accidental damage what's great about dynamic mics? set backs to dynamic mics? (bass, mids, treble) (drums, vocals, amps) sound energy electrical energy Also, although they can be turned up relatively loud before feedback is a concern, dynamic mics have restricted sensitivity. This makes them less effective with very quiet sources.

You may run the risk of introducing hiss into your mix trying to set an acceptable gain stage. condenser CONDENSER MICROPHONE the the workhorse of studio sound recording what's great about condenser mics? have a louder output set backs to condenser mics? typically, are more expensive than dynamic mics HOW A CONDENSER WORKS A condenser microphone's essential components:
a diaphragm
a backplate
a battery or phantom power do not require external power to operate potentially, can be turned up louder before feedback perform well on loud stages & with loud sources dynamic microphones tend to have a This frequency response chart for the Shure SM58 tell us:
it is less sensitive below 200Hz
rejects sounds below 40Hz
is more sensitive between 2kHz and 10kHz
rejects above 15kHz are likely to pick up other sounds in their environment are prone to distortion with very loud sources are rather fragile and costly to repair Because of their considerable sensitivity, condenser microphones are less often used in live applications. They can easily pick up sound coming from other instruments, amps and monitors on a stage when
not placed properly with the right EQ and gain stage. sound energy causes the diaphragm to vibrate the vibration changes the distance between the diaphragm & back plate changes in distance change the capacitance changes in capacitance generate electrical current, creating the audio signal A condenser microphone is more accurately called a capacitor microphone. A capacitor is an electrical component that stores energy as an electrostatic field. To create this field, or capacitance, external power is required, which is called phantom power. diaphragm backplate phantom power electrical energy sound energy electrostatic field can record a broad range of frequencies captures more subtle detail performs well with quiet sources Ultimately, neither mic is necessarily better than the other. Both can be used to great effect, no matter the application.

For example, Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' was recorded on a dynamic microphone while Seal prefers a condenser microphone on stage. BUDDING PRODUCERS: When making your first mic purchase, a great dynamic mic can be more effective than a low cost condenser in the studio. Try to invest in a solid preamp that helps you capture clean audio at a consistent level. FELLOW VOCALISTS: Consider buying your own dynamic microphone for gigs and rehearsal studios. Some venues don't clean their mics well, if at all. It's an easy way to catch someone else's cold. Visit an an audio equipment store where you can experiment with microphones and find the one that best suits YOUR voice. Personal horror story: I used a mic supplied by a reputable rehearsal studio, woke up the next day with a giant cold sore on my lip and had a show that same week. For example: My friend prefers how he sounds on a Shure SM58 while I prefer the Sennheiser e835. Both are the same price(approx. $100) and are the most popular dynamic mics used in venues. I recommend a dynamic mic because you can carry it around in your gig bag and, if your bag gets tossed around, your mic will hold up to the abuse. Do your best not to share your mic with anyone. Be present to assist the sound engineer with testing your mic levels. Oral health IS vocal health. developing a fledgling artist collective in NYC HUGE thanks to
Loudon Stearns
Berklee College of Music
Coursera phantom power charges diaphragm & backplate, creating electrostatic field special transducer that converts sound energy (air pressure variations) into electrical energy (voltage variations). We call that electrical energy an audio signal. dynamic and condenser mics are hope you enjoyed it!
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