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The difference between dynamic and condenser microphones

Author:admin   AddTime:2021-02-24

This is an audio technology topic that has been discussed repeatedly, but how many people really understand the difference between dynamic and condenser microphones? Which type is suitable for live performances or studios? In general, the final choice will depend on personal preference, instrument type and musical style. Although there is no comprehensive answer, we can at least draw some broad conclusions based on the traditional applications of the two.

Dynamic microphones include "moving coil microphones" and "aluminum ribbon microphones". Their working principle is to convert sound vibrations into electromagnetic signals.

Moving-coil counter-wind:
The pickup of a dynamic microphone is usually made of Mylar plastic film, which is connected to a coil suspended in a magnetic field. When the incident sound wave causes the diaphragm and the coil to move, it will cut the lines of magnetic force in the magnetic field to generate a current, and the sound will be generated after amplification, which is consistent with the working principle of the speaker.

Ribbon microphone:
Ribbon microphones are also a type of dynamic microphones. Because of their extremely fragile construction, they are almost completely used in studios rather than on-site use, and they sound completely different from most dynamic microphones, so they are usually considered separate Variety.
Aluminum ribbon microphones usually use thin aluminum metal strips, which are suspended between two magnetic poles. When sound waves act on the aluminum strip, the aluminum strip responds to changes in the velocity of the air particles, thereby generating electric current.

It is based on this principle that the voltage generated by the ribbon microphone is very low and usually requires a preamplifier to increase the output. They are very sensitive and are usually susceptible to peak voltage or external physical damage, but their sound is more refined, so they are usually a reasonable choice for indoor stable use

However, the advantages of the ribbon microphone are obvious. Because of its thin and delicate ribbon can capture fast transient changes, it has a wide dynamic range, and can handle high sound pressure levels at high frequencies, and the captured sound ratio is large. The sound of most dynamic microphones is much more detailed, so they are more popular in a studio environment.

In addition, the ribbon microphone has a figure of eight polarity, which can capture sound from the front and back. This is also an ideal choice based on the recording environment, but it is not very useful for live sound pickup, because the microphone will collect a lot of surrounding sounds, beyond The expected range.

Condenser microphone:
The pickup diaphragm of a condenser microphone is usually made of polyester film, and some older models still use metal foil. The diaphragm is fixed on a capacitor composed of two metal plates. When the pickup diaphragm receives sound waves, the capacitance fluctuates and outputs current, which produces sound after amplification.

Condenser microphones have the characteristics of low current and high voltage output, because the energy stored in the capacitor is very small.

Because the diaphragm of a condenser microphone is particularly thin and light, it can track the changes of sound waves more accurately than a moving coil microphone, providing the most detailed and accurate reproduction for sound collection. Therefore, condenser microphones have the best transient response and the widest frequency response range of all microphone types, and have higher output and lower noise than dynamics.

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