Microphones

When shopping for microphones, you will realise there are 2 broad types of microphones. One is the Dynamic microphones, and the other is the Condenser microphones. Let’s take a deeper look into the features and differences between the two.

Rode Nt1a

Rode NT1A

DYNAMIC MICROPHONE

Microphones that use electromagnetic induction to transform an input signal are commonly called dynamic microphones. They are widely used as vocal mics on stage, due to the fact that they can achieve a very high gain before inducing feedback. It does not require power supplied to it.

 

CONDENSER MICROPHONE

Condenser microphones are the most common types of microphones found in studios. They have a much greater frequency response and transient response – which is the ability to reproduce the “speed” of an instrument or voice. They also generally have a louder output, but are much more sensitive to loud sounds. Unlike the Dynamic microphones, it requires phantom power supply (usually 48V).

Within the CONDENSER category, there are also Large Diaphragm Microphones (LDM) and Small Diaphragm Microphones (SDM).

Large Diaphragm Microphones
are typically used for vocal recording. A large diaphragm condenser mic requires less energy to move the diaphragm due to its larger surface area and increased sensitivity – which results in a lower gain being needed from the preamp, hence less noise being introduced into a signal.

Large Diaphragm mics also tend to pick up more of the room sound than a Small Diaphragm Condenser which tends to have a more focused range. Due to their heightened sensitivity, LDC mics should be held on a shockmount which helps to  reduce external vibrations.

The Rode NT1A, Audio Technica AT2035 and AKG C214 are some of the better LDM mics.

Small Diaphragm Microphones
are generally the best choice where you want a solid, wide frequency response and the best transient response, which is the ability to reproduce fast sounds, such as stringed instruments.

The Rode MT5, Shure SM81& AKG Perception 170 are some examples of SDM mics.

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Rode NT1-A
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