What Is A Condenser Microphone? – Identifying What You Need
It's not enough to capture and amplify sound. When you listen to podcasts or music, for example, the content, no matter how good, is always at the mercy of audio quality. There is a need to choose the right kind To assure you of integrity and accuracy in conveying sound through a microphone. A microphone could either be the condenser or the dynamic type. If you're wondering what a condenser microphone is, this article will tell you what it is good for.
Condenser Microphone: How It Works
If you’re curious as to what is a condenser microphone, read on to know more. A condenser microphone is not the standard type of mic that we usually see. The latter is the dynamic microphone, with a handle and a smaller round or cylindrical head. The dynamic mic is best for amplifying loud sounds, but if you are looking for a mic that captures even the pops and clicks and these finer nuances of sound, it’s best to go for a condenser microphone.
How they call the condenser microphone gives us an idea about how this type of microphone works. They call this the capacitor microphone. The sound of a condenser or capacitor microphone is produced by a capacitor that is made of two charged metal plates positioned close to each other. These two metal plates that make up the capacitor is the backplate and the diaphragm.
The backplate is a fixed metal plate, while the diaphragm of a condenser microphone is the plate that moves back and forth to produce a sound, and electrical signals are picked up and produced. Sound waves cause the vibrating motion of the diaphragm. The closer the plates are to each other, the better and more accurate is the sound. This distance between the backplate and the diaphragm affects the capacitance of the condenser microphone. The closer the plates, the higher the capacitance, and therefore, the resulting sound is crisp and clean. Crisp and clean – these are key in understanding what a condenser microphone is.
The thin diaphragm of a condenser mic allows it to be sensitive to even the most delicate sounds. The nature of a condenser microphone's diaphragm allows it to follow sound waves with greater precision. Because of this, it is usually the type that is used in recording studios.
Since condenser microphones are more lightweight in assembly, they are also relatively smaller. They are much more expensive too.
Types of Condenser Microphones
After knowing what a condenser microphone is, it's now time to learn its types. There are two types of condenser microphones, depending on the size of their diaphragms. There are large-diaphragm microphones and small-diaphragm microphones.
Large-Diaphragm Microphones for a Deeper Sound
Large-diaphragm microphones are very sensitive even to popping and hissing sounds, or even to sounds which you think are negligible.
Small-Diaphragm Microphones for Solidity
On the other hand, small-diaphragm microphones are best for capturing the sound of guitars and stringed instruments and for recording concerts.
In contrast to a condenser microphone, another type is the dynamic microphone. A dynamic microphone isn't as accurate and sensitive in picking up sounds as a condenser microphone, but it is strong enough to deal with high sound pressure levels, like in a rock concert. This type of microphone is usually good for rock music, loud guitar amps, and drums. Since a dynamic microphone is not as sophisticated in construction as the condenser type, it doesn't need any external power source for it to work.
If you are concerned about amplifying booming and powerful sounds and vocals, then dynamic microphones are your best bet. Think clear, far-reaching live announcements that can catch the attention of a crowd. While condenser microphones are good for studio use and audio recording, dynamic microphones are ideal for live shows and live concerts.
Dynamic microphones produce sound through a wire coil, compared to a capacitor in condenser mics. These sturdier, standard microphones also do not need an external source of power than the more sophisticated condenser microphones. Moreover, dynamic microphones are less delicately structured, so they do not require the meticulous maintenance and care that condenser microphones need.
What Type of Microphone Do You Need?
Learning what a condenser microphone is and its type is essential in this industry. Now, what type of microphone would best serve your amplifying needs? Here is a quick guide:
- If you’re a singer, the best microphone for recording vocals is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone.
- A small-diaphragm condenser microphone would be good to record your musical pieces on your acoustic guitar.
- On the other hand, a large-diaphragm condenser microphone would best capture musical pieces played on instruments like a cello.
- For simple productions and concert taping, a small-diaphragm condenser microphone would work fine.
- Capturing the sound of drums would need the use of both dynamic and condenser microphones. The dynamic microphones would capture the louder beats, while the condenser microphones would take care of the finer drum sounds.
The key to choosing the right kind of microphone – or even microphone combinations – is to know what you want to convey through sound and what you want to achieve in the process of amplifying. A message that needs to be heard and understood clearly by many ought to be delivered in a loud volume to catch attention. A dynamic mic would be best for this. The art and rhythm of music ought to be transmitted in delicate detail to give justice to the musician and composer's creative process and work. Now that you know what a condenser microphone is, you're assured that your art and all its details won't be lost in translation just because of the wrong tool. Find out more about condenser microphones.
Setting up a home studio can be quite daunting, especially if you don’t know which condenser microphone will give you the output you’ve wanted to have