Microphones are amongst the most important tools in any sound recording work and an understanding of their properties is vital. Fuller technical details can be found in books listed under ‘Further reading’ – here we must confine ourselves to an outline.
There are two principal characteristics of any microphone. One is the transducer system – in other words, the means by which sound waves are converted into electrical signals. The other is the polar response – the way in which the microphone responds to sounds arriving from different directions. We will look at these two things in turn, but first we will look briefly at the main components of a microphone. These are:
1. The diaphragm. This is a thin circular sheet of metal ...