TYPES OF MICROPHONES AND THEIR USES
There are so many types of microphones that are designed for a specific purpose. Manufacturers know the dynamic use of microphones; this is why they invest in as many types as possible for maximum productivity based on your needs. Whatever your function or action, you will find a microphone best suited for that purpose. When you walk into a store selling microphones, you will be amazed by the wide range of microphones and prices. It may be true that the more expensive the mic, the better the sound. This does not mean that fairly priced mics will not perform well. If you have a shoe string budget, you can still get a good mic at a fair price. Dynamic microphones fall in the category of fairly priced well performing mics.
Types of dynamic microphones
These are the ones used mostly. They have a high Sound Pressure Level (SPL). It can be used during functions and is loud enough to be heard for quite a distance. These microphones perform well and are fairly priced.
- Drum microphones
Different drums produce different sounds. The cymbals which come with the drums kit also produce its own sound. Drum microphones comes in sets of many microphones, sometimes 5 or more. Using these microphones to amplify the sound produced by the drums kit makes the sound produced more enjoyable.
- Microphones for brass, reeds, stringed and wind instruments
This microphone is very small and light in weight. It is especially designed with a frequency that receives sound from the specific instrument. It comes with a mounting that is used to attach the mic to the instrument.
- Bullet microphone
This microphone is designed for the harmonica. The round short casing makes it easy for it to be wound on the players hand close to the harmonica. The sound produced is splendid when the microphone amplifies it.
- Wireless microphones
Wireless microphones are similar to those that have codes. The only difference is the wireless microphone has a transmitter that allows it to move at a wider range. The receiver unit of the wireless microphone is attached to the PA system or to a mixer. Radio frequency is used to provide the signal needed by the wireless microphone.
Whichever microphone you need, you can now make the right decision when it comes to purchasing one. With the wide range of microphones available, it can over whelming making a decision. However, once you know specifically why you need the microphone, making a decision on the type is easier. Take note of possibly the direction the mic will be picking the sound from. This is very important in knowing which mic is ideal for you. You really do not want your event or function ruined because you bought the wrong microphone. A good microphone provides clear sounds without interruption from the environment. Microphone manufacturers have thought of it all, all you need to do is consider what is best for you and make your purchase.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT MICROPHONE FOR YOU
You need a microphone and you think they are all the same, right? As long as it serves its purpose, why bother specifications? Well, microphones come with specification like any other gadget. Based on these specifications, the microphone you choose may make a good buy or not. You should not waste money on a microphone that will be useless to your needs. Before you go to the shop to get yourself a mic, it is important to know how you expect to use it. This is the main factor that will determine what microphone you need to buy.
Characteristics of microphones you need to consider when making a purchase
- Polar Patterns
This refers to the direction from which the mic gets its sound. This is clearly seen in cases where a singer is using a band. It is easy for the whole set to be muddled if the right microphone is not used. Using a microphone that blocks out all the other sounds such that all you hear is the sound of the person singing when he is using the mic.
- A bi-directional mic gets sound from west and east. It however blocks sounds coming from the north and south.
- Uni-directional mics accepts sounds from the front. It blocks out sounds from the back and sides. These are the most commonly used mics.
- Some microphones have multi-patterns. It means you can keep shifting it from one pattern to another depending on your needs at the time. This is an ideal one because you can alter its pattern based on the environment you are working with.
- The sensitivity of the mic to sound. Some mics pick up the smallest sound irrespective of the system used.
- The sound pressure level (SPL) determines how loud the microphone can get. This is a big consideration if loud instruments such as trumpets and drums are used together with the mic.
- The proximity effect of the mic matters as well. This is especially so if the user of the mic would like to emphasize an effect such as bass of an instrument. A mic with a high proximity level does this very well.
It is therefore important for you to understand the purpose of the microphone before you go to buy one. Different microphones serve well depending on the environment in which it is being used. Sound is a very important aspect of a function or event. You do not want to ruin something that would have turned out great by investing in the wrong microphone. Evidently, you will need to learn quite a bit about microphones in your venture to get one. Learning never stops and it is great learning something new especially if has to do with an investment you are making. If you buy a good mic, it will serve you for a long time. Spare a little time to research and make the right decision that will suit your needs and purpose.
Wireless microphone is a simple microphone but it has no wires attached. Previously people had a notion that a microphone has to be something big and must have many wires. But times have changed. And with time the design and technology of microphones also changed.The history of wireless microphone is very interesting. There are many companies and individuals who claim that they are the inventors of this specific type of microphone.In the year 1951, John F Stephens developed a wireless microphone. It was made for a navy musical show. All the singers, players were given their own microphone. And all of them were wireless.In the year 1957, Sennheiser, a manufacturer of German audio equipment who was working with the German Broadcaster called Norddeutscher Rundfunk exhibited one microphone, which was wireless. This system was marketed under the name of Mikroport through Telefunken from the year 1958.
Beyerdynamic, a German equipment manufacturer claimed that Hung. C. Lin first invented the wireless microphone. It was then called a transistophone. Its production started in the year 1962. They also claimed that it was first used in a film called My Fair Lady in 1964. And it was used by rex Harrison in the film.To do away with the wire was not at all an easy task. It took a lot of transmission technologies, standards and frequencies to make this removal. In this microphone transmission is possible in radio waves using VHF or UHF frequencies, AM, FM etc. There are some microphones that cost low. Many of them use infrared light. But this infrared microphone needs a direct line of sight between the receiver and the microphone. But the costlier models do not require this.
Some of the models work on single fixed frequency. But the advanced models do not use them. They work on a user selectable frequency. Using this frequency helps to avoid interference. It also helps to use various numbers of microphones at the same time.Advanced versions of wireless microphone offer a lot of facilities. It gives full freedom of movement to the user. You must be thinking how. Simple. As this microphone is wireless, you can keep it anywhere on your body. Just attach them and you can move freely with them. It does not matter whether you are inside your house or outside. As this microphone has no cable, there is no chance for a problematic cables too.
Wireless microphone is mainly of two types, handheld and body pack.The handheld microphone looks like the conventional microphone. But its body is a bit bigger than the conventional ones. And for that reason it is able to accommodate the battery pack and the transmitter.Body pack is actually a little box. It has got the battery pack and transmitter in it. But it is not a microphone itself. It is attachable to belt. It has got a wire that connects the lavaliere microphone, guitar or headset.Today there are lots of popular brands available for this microphone. All of them offer you a whole lot of new and innovative facilities. Sennheiser, Shure, Lectrosonics, Audio technical, AKG Acoustics, Samson technologies are all big names in this microphone industry.
A wireless microphone is a useful tool which magnifies your voice so that everyone can hear it loudly and clearly. It is useful when speaking in front of a crowd or having a performance. Wireless microphones are the same as cordless microphones and also use the same frequency range such as VHF, UHF, and Gigahertz.In general, the UHF frequency is mostly preferred by professionals. The cheaper type of microphone is the VHF and it is also functional for almost every occasion. As for the Gigahertz, it uses a digital frequency like that found in phones.
Wireless microphones vary in shape as it can be like a hand held microphone or a clip on microphone. But there are also various types of wireless microphones such as the headset type. This type of microphone is very light and fits perfectly on the user’s head. On the other hand, there is also another type of microphone which is called as the karaoke microphone which was introduced in Japan.
The most reliable and flexible wireless microphone is the hand held type. Actually, this is similar to the usual microphone except that it doesn’t have the cords.When you are eyeballing to buy a wireless microphone there are various things to consider. One of your main concerns is that it should meet your needs for the range that the microphone is capable of. True enough, the absence of cables or wires will give you more freedom in terms of microphone use; however, you should also consider the distance that the wireless microphone has to offer. There are some wireless microphones that have limited range of distance, and you should stay away from these microphones if you prefer to use it in a farther range.
Aside from the distance, you should also consider looking for microphones with good battery life specifications. Good wireless microphones have battery level indicators so that users can have a warning and not be surprised when battery runs out especially if it is used in important occasions such as during a speech.Actually, in wireless microphones, one of the biggest disadvantages is the batteries. In older models of wireless microphones, the batteries are not only heavy but also have shorter battery life. Good thing, the latest models of microphones has longer battery life and is already lightweight compared to the models of microphones before.Microphones that have VHF frequency are the most affordable lines of microphones. These VHF microphones, work well in a vast area; however, it won’t produce superb quality in terms of recording. It would be best to research more about these microphones before you will purchase so that you’ll have an idea which one is best for you.
Choosing a microphone shouldn’t be too hard, assuming that you know the differences between microphones and what you will be using yours for. Granted, recording your vocals should not warrant the same type of studio microphone as recording instruments. It’s important to know what you will be using it for, and then going on from there.
A general rule is that dynamic microphones such as the Shure SM58S are exceptional for instruments and life performances. As a matter of fact, if you pay close attention to what most live performers use, you can almost bet, that it will be a Shure SM58S. On the other hand, condenser studio microphones are used for vocals or other soft recordings where details are extremely important. As you can see, having both type of microphones would be beneficial, but that boils down to your budget.
The condenser has a flatter frequency then the dynamic, which for recording vocals is a must. What ends up happening when you record on a condenser studio microphone such as the AKG PERCEPTION 220, you get a more clearer and accurate recording. The dynamic on the other hand, tunes out some of the details because once again, they are meant to be used for instrument recording and live performances.
The condenser studio microphone also requires a preamp or a mixer, which will provide phantom power of around 48 volts. Because the condenser requires the electric juice to run, the preamp serves as a booster. The dynamic doesn’t require any phantom power, seeing as how it’s a more rugged and less sensitive counterpart to its brother microphone, the condenser.There is also another important thing to consider when choosing the perfect studio microphone for you – the pick up pattern. Essentially there are three different kind of “pick up patterns;” the omni directional microphones, the bidirectional microphones, and the unidirectional microphones.The omni directional microphones pick up sounds evenly, so if you have a home recording studio, STAY away from such microphones. Why? It will pick up your TV, your neighbours TV, and your dog barking at the cat.
Bidirectional microphones on the other hand pick up sounds from only two directions, the front and the back. They are often used in radio interviews, which allow people to share a microphone. Unidirectional microphones are the optimal for home recording studios. These microphones pick up sounds from one direction, and allow you to isolate sounds that you don’t want to record quite easily. They also include the cardioid microphone such as the Blue Microphones Baby Bottle Cardioid Condenser Mic.In conclusion, it all depends on what you will be using your microphone for. If you plan on recording instruments or performing live, then a microphone such as the Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone is your best bet. On the other hand, if you are going to be recording vocals and care about the detail and clarity of them, then you have to purchase a condenser studio microphone.