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What is the link between the type of microphone and it's directionality?

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Caroline Scott
What is the link between the type of microphone and it's directionality?
on Aug 17, 2015 at 10:24:31 pm

Hi all I'm trying to learn about microphones and getting confused about the relationship between the TYPE of microphone and the Pick Up Pattern of a microphone.

As far as I am aware there are different types of pick up patterns for microphones: omnidirectional, cardioid, unidirectional and bidirectional
And there are different main types of microphone: shotgun, lapvalier/lapel and hand held.

Are the pick up patterns directly related to the type of microphone? E.g: are all handheld mics omnidirectional? Are all shotgun mics unidirectional? Or can you get omnidirectional, cardioid, unidirectional and bidirectional of all types of mics?

Sorry if this is obvious but i'm so confused!


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Richard Crowley
Re: What is the link between the type of microphone and it's directionality?
on Aug 17, 2015 at 11:45:10 pm

Simply, no, these are all quite independent factors.

The FORM-FACTOR of a microphone (clip-on "lav", or hand-held, or stand-mount, or boom-hung, etc. has almost nothing to do with any other factor.

The DIRECTIONALITY of a microphone is also quite independent. Whether omni-directional, semi-cardioid, cardioid, hyper-cardioid, or "shotgun"(line-gradient or interference-tube).

And the TYPE of microphone is also quite independent, whether dynamic, ribbon, electret condenser, or traditional condenser.

To be sure, there are some practical limitations, you won't find hyper-cardioid or shotgun clip-on lavs simply because their form-factor is not physically big enough to make them that directional at lower frequencies. And you probably won't find dynamic or ribbon shotguns, either just because of requirements for the genre like size and sensitivity, etc.


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Caroline Scott
Re: What is the link between the type of microphone and it's directionality?
on Aug 18, 2015 at 10:52:20 am

Thank you, this was extremely helpful.


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Ty Ford
Re: What is the link between the type of microphone and it's directionality?
on Aug 18, 2015 at 2:27:01 pm

Hello Caroline and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Richard provided an excellent explanation of microphony.

Here's a video that may also be helpful. I suggest you listen over studio monitors or good headphones.







Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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