What Is A Dynamic Microphone?

What Is A Dynamic Microphone?

Table Of Contents

(clickable navigation)

What is a Dynamic Microphone?

How Do Dynamic Mics Work?

Moving Coil Dynamic Microphones

Ribbon Microphones

Dynamic Microphone FAQ’s


Check Best Price
Shop Now

Our Score

What Is A Dynamic Microphone?

The phrase “dynamic” may refer to a variety of things, particularly when it comes to sound and music. However, in this context, it has little to do with “dynamic range” or “dynamic performance.” In this case, it refers to the type of electromagnetism that occurs, for example, within your bicycle’s dynamo: an electric current is created when an electrical conductor travels in a magnetic field.

So What are Dynamic Microphones?

Simply described, a dynamic microphone transducer operates on the electromagnetic induction principle.Dynamic microphones are those which use electromagnetism to turn sound into an electrical signal. Moving coil and ribbon microphones are the two types.

When we say “dynamic microphone”, we usually mean “moving-coil dynamic microphone”, though ribbon microphones are also dynamic. Both of these microphone transducer types use electromagnetic induction to transform sound into audio, although they do it in distinct ways.

How Do Dynamic Microphones Work?

A conductive diaphragm (whether a copper coil linked to a diaphragm or an aluminium ribbon diaphragm) travels inside a magnetic field. The magnetic field changes related to the location of the conducting material as it oscillates back and forth.

Through electromagnetic induction, the changing magnetic field creates an alternating current voltage (mic signal) across the oscillating conductive material.

Moving-coil and ribbon dynamic microphones are both passive by design. These microphones do not require any external electricity to operate. However, there are also ribbon mic versions with active components to assist amplify their signals.

Moving Coil Dynamic Microphones

Moving coil microphones are arguably the easiest to comprehend since they are designed in the same way as a loudspeaker: A coil is bonded to the back of a membrane, and it is surrounded by a powerful magnet. When sound waves strike the microphone, the membrane moves to the beat of the waves, and the coil on its back moves with it. A modest signal voltage is induced in this coil by the relative movement of the coil inside its (stationary) magnetic gap. There’s your microphone, which turns sound into an electrical signal.

Moving coil mics are frequently used on stage since they are robust and do not require additional power. Engineers in the studio typically favour condenser or, in certain situations, ribbon microphones, which are less robust but provide excellent sound reproduction.

By far the most prevalent form of dynamic microphone is the moving coil microphone. Because “moving coil microphone” is such a long phrase, most sound engineers prefer to refer to them as “dynamic mics” or just “dynamics,” classifying ribbon microphones as a separate category. While this is theoretically inaccurate, it makes a lot of practical sense because ribbon microphones are pretty exotic, they sound and behave differently from moving coil dynamics.

Ribbon Microphones

Ribbon microphones operate on the same fundamental concept of electromagnetic induction as condenser microphones. A ribbon transducer, on the other hand, employs a short strip of extremely thin aluminium foil instead of a membrane and a coil. In other words, the membrane itself acts as an electrical conductor within the magnetic gap. A membrane with a coil of copper wire connected is substantially heavier than a thin length of aluminium ribbon. As a result, a ribbon transducer can track the path of sound waves more precisely than a moving coil capsule.

However, because it just uses one conductor inside the magnetic gap rather than an entire coil of wire, it provides a significantly lower power. Ribbon microphones, as a result, have a step-up transformer that doubles the output voltage of the transducer by a factor of roughly 30. Despite this, ribbon microphones have lesser sensitivity (i.e. output level at a given sound pressure level) than moving coil microphones. As a result, a ribbon microphone need a low-noise pre-amp with plenty of boost.

Ribbon microphones are bidirectional by nature, meaning they are equally responsive to sound originating from the front and sound coming from the back. However, sound waves from the sides do not cause the ribbon to move. This pickup pattern is known as a figure-8.

Ribbon microphones are extremely delicate and must be handled with extreme caution. Another disadvantage is that most ribbon microphones have a very limited treble response. Ribbon microphones are now exclusively used for specialised applications where prolonged top end is not necessary, e.g. for guitar cabinets, or is undesirable, e.g. to moderate too bright brass instruments.

Active ribbon microphones, which feature an amplifier circuit for increased output, are a relatively new discovery. Active ribbon microphones, like condenser microphones, require phantom power.

Dynamic Microphone FAQ’s:

 

What are the advantages of a dynamic microphone?

The following are the primary benefits of using a dynamic microphone: Rugged and able to withstand strong sound pressure levels, such as those produced by a kick drum Provide high-quality audio in all aspects of microphone performance. They do not require a power supply to function. They are reasonably priced.

What are the disadvantages of dynamic microphones?

The following are the primary drawbacks of using a dynamic microphone: The assembly’s mobility is limited by the heavy microphone diaphragm and wire coil, which limits the frequency and transient responsiveness of the microphone. In general, condenser mics are better suited for capturing instruments with higher frequencies and harmonics, such as a violin.

What are the benefits of dynamic microphones?

Dynamic microphones may be utilised for a variety of applications, produce excellent sound, and are sufficiently durable – ideal for on-the-road use.

How Do Dynamic Microphones Work?

Acoustic energy causes the diaphragm to vibrate which in turn creates voltage.

What are Large diaphragm microphones?

Large diaphragm Large diaphragm microphones have a larger, less consistent polar pattern and also have a higher sensitivity which provides a larger sound.

How do you convert sound waves into electricity?

Dynamic microphones turn sound waves into a voltage with the use of a magnet.

How do they work?

In simple terms, they work as a battery.

What are the uses of these dynamic mics?

They’re also really good studio mics for things like drums, brass instruments, pretty much anything that’s really loud.

Here are some examples of how they are commonly used:

  • Amplification for guitars Vocals that are too loud
  • Snare and tom drums
  • Digital keyboards
  • Instruments made of brass

Although condenser and dynamic mics may be used interchangeably, condenser mics are often more sensitive to signal, so while you can’t blow out the capsule, you can get a lot of distortion if your signal is too hot.

What Is A Dynamic Microphone?

The phrase “dynamic” may refer to a variety of things, particularly when it comes to sound and music. However, in this context, it has little to do with “dynamic range” or “dynamic performance.” In this case, it refers to the type of electromagnetism that occurs, for example, within your bicycle’s dynamo: an electric current is created when an electrical conductor travels in a magnetic field.

About Me

My name is Angela Garner. I have a passion for audio and music production, since I started working in a recording studio as a young teen. I decided to create a review site about microphones to help pay off my music degree as well as provide Australians with useful information about the best products they can buy.

Each of my product reviews receives a score from 1-100, with 100 being the best reviewed products.

I have a passion for clean reviews, so you will never be burdened with ads on my site. You can support me and this site by clicking on the links for the products, which are Amazon affiliate links, which will pay a small commission on your purchase from there.

Trustworthy Reviews

 

In Depth Research

I spend an average of 10 to 20 hours reading reviews from consumers for each microphone product I review.

Simple & Straight Forward

Each microphone and audio product reviewed, will have simple pros & cons to save you time in your search.

10,654+ Reviews

Over 10,654 reviews from all over the internet have been read, researched and compiled by AudioTrove®.

What Is A Condenser Microphone?

What Is A Condenser Microphone?

Table Of Contents

(clickable navigation)

What is a Condenser Mic?

How Do Condensers Work?

Why Use A Condenser Microphone?

Types Of Condenser Mics


Check Best Price
Shop Now

Our Score

What Is A Condenser Microphone?

If you’re on the hunt for a new microphone, or you are just curious about microphones, it’s useful to understand what a condenser microphone is, and how it differs from a dynamic microphone. Condenser microphones have been widely used in the recording industry for many years and are a staple of most recording studios. We’ll answer all of your burning questions about condenser microphones right here. Let’s start by learning what a condenser microphone is and how it operates.

Though dynamic microphones are common for stage use, condenser microphones have long been the chosen model for studio recording. This is why:

Condenser microphones need to be powered by a battery or an external source. The resulting audio signal is stronger than that generated by a dynamic mic. Condensers are often more receptive and attentive than dynamics, which makes them ideal for catching subtle nuances in a tone. They are not as suitable for high-volume recording sessions due to being very sensitive, which often causes distortion if you are not careful with mic placement & setup.

The term condenser refers to a capacitor, which is an electrical device that stores energy in the form of an electrostatic field. ‘Condenser’ is technically outdated and no longer used outside of audio, but the term has stuck as the name for this kind of microphone, which uses a capacitor to transform acoustic energy into electrical energy.

Condenser microphones are typically more expensive than dynamic microphones. Less costly versions are available, but usually come at the price of low quality so keep that in mind – you get what you pay for.

 

How Do Condenser Microphones Work?

A gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragm condenser microphone capsule.

The back-plate is made of sturdy brass and features a hole pattern that must be drilled with great accuracy to insure a clear tone.

A capacitor consists of two plates connected by a voltage. All of these plates located within the condenser mic are made of very light material serving as the diaphragm.

When sound waves strike the diaphragm, it vibrates, changing the distance between the two plates. As a result, the capacitance increases and a charge current occurs as the plates are closer together. Capacitance reduces as the plates are moved apart, and a discharge current occurs.

Why Use A Condenser Microphone?

Condenser microphones are widely used in recording studios to capture sounds with excellent precision, accuracy, and clarity. Great for a range of instruments, vocals, and high frequency recordings. They have a diaphragm that can follow sound waves in a more reliable way than dynamic mics due to their low density. Because of this, Condenser microphones have remarkable sound clarity.

They also have the broadest frequency response and greatest transient response out of all microphone types. Transients are the sharp and short bursts of energy like the sound of a guitar pick plucking strings on an acoustic guitar, or the attack and punch from drumsticks hitting drums and symbols. Due to this, condenser microphones also have better sensitivity and less noise than dynamic microphones. 

If you’re using a condenser microphone for vocals, you’ll need a pop filter because they’re so vulnerable to transient noises that the p and sh (plosive) sounds you produce can create distortion and be exaggerated in the recordings without them.

Condensers get their character partly due to them requiring phantom power (power from an external 48V preamp). This means they won’t need a lot of preamp gain to boost the signal to where you want it. Having the wrong type of mic can mean that you need a lot of extra gain and condensers help solve this problem. 

Types Of Condenser Microphones:

Condenser microphones are classified into two types: small and large diaphragm.

Large Diaphragm Condenser (LDC)

Condenser Microphones with a Large Diaphragm

Large Diaphragm Condenser (LDC) microphones are often used for studio vocals and any instrument recording that needs a deeper voice. A large-diaphragm microphone warms up the sound of what it’s transmitting, which contributes to the misconception that most LDC’s reproduce low frequencies better than small diaphragm mics. Small-diaphragm microphones, in particular, are much better at reproducing anything equally, including bass.

Small Diaphragm Condenser (SDC)

Condenser Microphone with a Small Diaphragm

Small Diaphragm Condenser microphones are the perfect option for capturing stuff like stringed instruments because they have a strong, wide-frequency response and the best transient response. SDC’s are still the main method for concert recording.

What is a condenser microphone?

Condenser (or capacitor) microphones are widely used in recording studios to capture sounds with great precision and accuracy. This is achieved by suspending a lightweight membrane (referred to as the diaphragm) by a fixed plate. Sound pressure acting on the diaphragm allows it to move, resulting in electrical output.

About Me

My name is Angela Garner. I have a passion for audio and music production, since I started working in a recording studio as a young teen. I decided to create a review site about microphones to help pay off my music degree as well as provide Australians with useful information about the best products they can buy.

Each of my product reviews receives a score from 1-100, with 100 being the best reviewed products.

I have a passion for clean reviews, so you will never be burdened with ads on my site. You can support me and this site by clicking on the links for the products, which are Amazon affiliate links, which will pay a small commission on your purchase from there.

Trustworthy Reviews

 

In Depth Research

I spend an average of 10 to 20 hours reading reviews from consumers for each microphone product I review.

Simple & Straight Forward

Each microphone and audio product reviewed, will have simple pros & cons to save you time in your search.

10,654+ Reviews

Over 10,654 reviews from all over the internet have been read, researched and compiled by AudioTrove®.

All search results