Condenser Microphones

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One element that really trips people up at home is the idea of the condenser microphone. people buy massive diaphragm condensers for his or her home recording due to the fact they are informed they’re the first-rate for tracking vocals, that's proper. however a condenser mic is a lot extra complex than dynamic mics, as they require some thing that maximum beginners and domestic recording lovers are not aware about. here, i’ll talk the simple information needed to advantage most from a condenser mic.

What is a condenser mic?

There are two simple styles of condenser mics, huge diaphragm, in which the diaphragm is an inch or large and the sound is captured from the side (examples, akg 414, neumann u67, neumann u87), or a small diaphragm condenser, wherein the diaphragm is smaller than an inch, looks as if a stick or pencil, and the sound is captured from the the front (examples, shure sm81, neumann 184).

The diaphragm is made from two parallel plates, like a capacitor.  sound waves hit the the front plate, which vibrates the gap in among the plates, generating a signal that is sent to the mixture board.  because these plates are thinner and lighter than the tablets in dynamic mics, they react to sound faster than dynamics, making them best for sensitive acoustic sounds along with vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, and so on. (as well as for cymbal mic’ing, drum overheads, room mics, and so forth.).

Why isn’t it selecting up sign once I plug it into my preamp?

The thing is, for a capacitor to work, it desires an outdoor strength supply, which includes a battery. therefore, for your condenser microphone to paintings, it wishes what is referred to as “phantom energy.” that is specific to condenser microphones, as no different microphone calls for phantom energy.

Ok, However what does “phantom electricity” even mean?

The time period “phantom strength” refers returned to a time whilst condenser mics each had their personal electricity supply – and you could imagine how traumatic it was on a huge recording set up to have some of these cumbersome electrical containers sitting around the session. ultimately, engineers designed a way to send the energy through the board, via the mic cable, into the microphone, completely bypassing the want for an individual energy box. all the boxes had been gone yet the mics still worked, accordingly the term “phantom power” become coined.

So, all condenser mics want phantom energy? and, how do i send it to the mic?

Some mics, such as neumann u67s, still have their personal strength materials, however for the maximum element, the mics you’ll be dealing with will want phantom.  your board at home must have a phantom strength button on it, generally denoted as “+48v”.  make sure, anyplace it is (at the channel strip, at the back of the field, and so forth.), that the 48v option is selected.  different mics dumb it down for you a bit, both with the aid of requiring simplest a battery for functioning (examples, audix uem81c battery powered condenser mic, audio-technica at8022), or if connected on your computer through usb, taking it’s electricity out of your pc (examples, audio-technica at2020usb usb condenser microphone, shure pg42-usb usb condenser mic).

Observe: i have no longer individually used any battery powered or usb mics, so i can not recommend any particular mic for you.  as with any piece of tools, you’ll need to do your very own studies as to what fits your wishes first-rate. no matter the way it receives it’s energy, once you figure that out, you’ll be pleased with the intensity of sound you’re able to achieve.

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