When choosing a microphone for the first time, you have no product knowledge and do not know what to do?
It doesn't make sense when people say that there is a difference between a condenser mic and a dynamic mic ...?
Well, this time, I would like to introduce the basic knowledge of condenser microphones and dynamic microphones and how to choose between them.
Table of Contents
Introduces the mechanisms of dynamic microphones and condenser microphones. It is important to understand this as it is related to the performance and use of the microphone.
Electricity is stored in a thin metal membrane called a diaphragm, and the voltage of the membrane changes by reacting to sound, which is output as a signal. Therefore, it is necessary to supply power to the microphone.
Like a condenser microphone, it has a diaphragm. The dynamic microphone has a coil and a magnet attached nearby. The vibration of the diaphragm is transmitted to the coil, and the electrical signal generated by the movement of the coil is output. It is generally said that the diaphragm of a dynamic microphone needs a higher volume.
To summarize the points,
- Condenser microphones output a signal by the movement of electricity stored in the diaphragm
- Dynamic microphones output electrical signals generated by the movement of coils and magnets
It is a mechanism. This also makes a difference in sound and handling.
Differences between condenser microphones and dynamic microphones
Now that we know how it works, we will introduce the differences.
A highly durable microphone mainly due to its simple structure of coils and magnets. It does not break with a slight impact.
Vulnerable to impact and we need to be careful about moisture. You don't have to be too anxious. It is often said that "humidity management", such as desiccators to manage humidity, are not always necessary for cases. It is important to avoid extremely humid places and environmental changes (sudden temperature changes). This is because water droplets on the inner diaphragm can cause defects and mold. You don't need to do anything special if you keep this in mind.
Connect directly to equipment via microphone input.
Connect to microphone input terminal. Phantom power is supplied from the device.
If the mixer or PA set to be connected has a phantom power supply function, just turn it on and you’re ready. If not, you will need a phantom power supply like the following.
Sound Pressure Level
Although there are differences depending on the model, they can often handle loud sound sources. The maximum sound pressure level of the world's most classic SHURE / SM58 microphone is 160dB. This level is rarely to be reached, as jet engines are said to be about 140dB.
More delicate sounds can be collected well when compared to a dynamic microphone. On the other hand, sound pressure level tolerances tend to be lower than dynamic microphones. The standard RODE / NT-1A has a maximum sound pressure level of 137dB. Some microphones are lower than this, so be careful with loud sound sources such as drums and bass amplifiers.
Usually, you don't need to worry about it.When used outdoors, the sound of the wind may create noise. In that case, the solution is to use a windscreen.
There are several sources of noise.
Signal Noise Ratio
Since electric power is supplied by phantom power, a slight electrical noise is generated. Most products are not that sensitive, but more expensive microphones tend to have less of this noise.
Because of its good sensitivity, it tends to pick up pops in the voice (ba and pa sounds). These can be reduced by using a pop guard. It also protects the microphone from saliva.
Usually, if a switch is included, it will be only an on/off switch.
Condenser microphones do not have an ON/OFF switch but may be equipped with a PAD or low-cut switch.
This can lower the sensitivity when the volume of the sound source is large.
When environmental noise such as air conditioners and personal computers are mixed in, noise may be reduced by enabling low cut. In addition, it is also effective against swelling bass sounds from acoustic guitars and vocals.
Switchable Polar Patterns
There are microphones that have switchable Polar Patterns. Unidirectional, bidirectional and omnidirectional can be switched. The AKG / C414 series allows for 9 levels of switching.
Now that you know how they work, let's take a look at when and which kind of microphone to choose.
High durability, reduced feedback, and low handling noise make it perfect for live use. As for wireless microphones, there are many products including wireless versions of classic dynamic microphones. It is also important that the grill ball can be easily replaced even if it is slightly dented.
Instruments such as Toms,Snares, and Bass Drums
Durable and are less noisy. They also have a high maximum sound pressure level and are used with wind instruments, percussion instruments, and guitar amplifiers.
Condenser microphones can be broadly classified into two types: large diaphragms and small diaphragms. Large diaphragms are often used for vocals. They can pick up the breadth and delicacy of range better than dynamic microphones. Compared to a small diaphragm, the noise level (SN ratio) is lower and the sensitivity is higher. They are also used for miking musical instruments.
When you actually listen to the sound, you can clearly hear the difference between a dynamic microphone and a condenser microphone. We have prepared sound sources that can be compared.
MXL/ V67G HE
Miking musical instruments, Stereo recording at venues
A condenser microphone with a small diaphragm is often used for miking sounds from musical instruments. Compared to large diaphragm mics, they have a wider frequency range and dynamic range, and feature a flatter sound. The maximum sound pressure level is often higher here.
In addition to musical instruments, they are also used for miking the entire sound, such as live shows and hall recordings. In most cases, you record in stereo using two microphones. For such applications, there is a lineup of "matched pairs" of mics which manufacturers select for having little individual difference.
The demand for USB microphones is increasing for video distribution use for YouTube, and so on. Simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable to get high-quality sound. Basically, USB microphones are condenser type. Power is supplied by bus power (via USB cable).
What did you think? The functions and applications differ depending on the microphone, and you can see that there is an optimal microphone for each application. These microphones are just some of the many microphones on the market. There are exceptions, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.