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Condenser Microphones - How do they work?

Condenser Microphones - How do they work?

What are condenser microphones? 

Condenser microphones are more precise and sensitive thandynamic microphones so if you’re trying to record or pick up the finer detailsof a sound source then a condenser microphone is what you need. The downside ofthis is their inability to withstand high sound level pressures so they arecertainly more delicate than a dynamic microphone.

The mechanical operation of a condenser microphone consistsof a thin diaphragm stretched across and closely positioned next to a fixed metaldisk. This metal disk is often referred to as the back plate. The materials usedcombined with the closeness of each surface create a capacitor. When thediaphragm is vibrated by sound waves the capacitance varies and causes a changein voltage which is essentially the microphone signal that gets sent to the mixeror amplifier for further processing.

Condenser microphones have additional circuitry to make themwork and therefore require power; this can be supplied from a battery or from aphantom power source. In a hand-held microphone the battery is normally locatedin the body but with a tie clip or headset solution there may be a separatepower pack with a belt clip. The general use of condenser microphones utilisesomething called phantom power and we’ll cover this in a separate blog entry.

So, to summarise, condenser microphones require power, theypick up much finer details of audio, but they can’t cope with high soundpressure levels. Most condenser microphone manufacturer’s will let you know themaximum amount of audio the microphone can withstand so it’s always worth aquick read of the spec sheet or, if you’d rather speak to a human, we’re alwayshere to help.

*Thanks to Shure for the image

Created On  18 Jan 2018 10:26  -  Permalink


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