|Whilst the omni-directional and cardioid pickup patterns are the most widely used there are other patterns out there to and they all have their uses in our world of picking up audio for broadcast or recording.
One such pattern is the figure-8 polar pattern which is capable of picking up audio from the front and back whilst rejecting noise from the sides. With this ability to equally pickup audio from the front and the rear it is often referred to as a bi-directional pattern. It is easier to imagine the pick-up pattern as a figure-8 where the microphone head is situated in the centre point where the lines of the ‘8’ cross over each other.
The figure-8 pattern is often used to record two sources at the same time; this could be two voices from people speaking or it could be a method of recording in stereo although other techniques to achieve this are available too. With careful positioning a figure 8 microphone could be the answer to a lot of solo artists needs as the pickup pattern can be used to pick up both singing and guitar audio without picking up too much noise from the audience.
As with all microphones the selection of the microphone type and its positioning is very important and if a figure-8 microphone is used in the wrong application it can result in very poor audio. One such scenario would be the use of a figure-8 pick up pattern instead of a cardioid which would result in all the audio from the rear of the microphone being fed into the broadcast or recording.