Stewarts Production Adventures Yr1

Learning how to be good at production

SND: Types of Microphones



The most common microphone because it is light, cheaper than other mics, are tougher, and don’t need to be powered for it to work.

Inside is a diaphragm which has a small piece of coil wire and next to it is a magnetic field. The sound makes both the coil and the diaphragm which creates a minute electric current.


The sound then has to be amplified to make audible sound.

But because both the diaphragm and the coil have to vibrate, which creates inertia (resistance) which means they can’t amplify higher frequencies well.

Also amplifying the sound creates noise which doesn’t sound very good.

There are also ribbon dynamic microphones that instead have a metal ribbon inside the magnetic field. The sound quality is smoother and more detailed but are also more expensive and more delicate than regular dynamic mics.


These microphones have two conducting plates: One static and the other is a moving diaphragm. The distance between these two plates changes the capactitance (How much electrical charge it can store) and creates an electical signal.

Condenser Microphone

The diaphragm is lighter than in a dynamic mic because it is made from a gold coated plastic film. This also means it can pick up much more than a dynamic mic, including frequencies that humans can’t.

The bigger the diaphragm, the warmer the sound

The smaller the diaphragm, the more accurate it is.

It’s more expensive than dynamic microphones because they need a pre-amplifier that can pick up it’s small electrical signals.



It’s a condenser microphone, except that instead of having power extenally, it has power internally. The diaphragm is made of an insulating material with a perminant electrical charge. All you need is a preamplifyer. It’s heaveier though.

If you want a thinner diaphragm, you can get a back-electret microphone. That means that the insulating material is attached to the stationary back plate.


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This entry was posted on October 21, 2013 by in Sound and tagged , .
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