The best microphones for recording vocals and high-frequency frequencies are condenser microphones. These microphones are the best for studio applications.
But what is a condenser microphone? Why are they so popular? Do you want to use it for your recording projects?
The following article will help you to understand and have the best answer to your curiosity.
What Is A Condenser Microphone?
We’ve already discussed the basic characteristics of a condenser mic: A microphone that is active (it needs the power to function), with a capsule-based capacitor that uses electrostatic principles to convert audio into sound.
Condensers, like all microphones, require a diaphragm to communicate with sound waves and approximate their movement.
Even though condenser microphones come in many forms, there is a common working principle. This principle is accompanied by a few key components condenser microphones share.
- Capsule-based parallel-plate capacitor
- A diaphragm, or more, that acts as one plate for the capacitor
- A backplate, or more, that acts as the other side of the capacitor
- A converter of impedance
- Circuitry that allows electrical power to charge or power active components.
Although technically complex, this is the easiest way to describe a general condenser mic with basic information.
Condenser microphones have a wide frequency response, high sensitivity, accurate transient responses, and excellent sound quality. Many condensers perform better than others, and it is difficult to list all condenser microphones.
The components of a Condenser Mic
Although condenser microphones look simple from a design standpoint, the science and interaction of the components inside them are quite complex. Here is a list of condenser microphone components and their functions.
Condenser Mic BackplateA static piece of metal placed behind the diaphragm is called a backplate. The backplate is stationary while the diaphragm vibrates.
Sound waves cause an air pressure difference that creates capacitance. This capacitance can be translated into an audio signal.
A capacitor stores electrical energy between two parts. One of these components is the backplate in a condenser mic.
Condenser Mic CapsuleA capsule refers to a collection of components that includes the backplate and diaphragm. The capsule is the entire sound capture portion of the mic in most cases.
Sometimes, you may hear people using “capsule” or “diaphragm interchangeably. This is technically incorrect.
Condenser Mic DiaphragmThe diaphragm acts as the membrane for the capsule. The thin, electrically conductive part of the capsule vibrates opposite the backplate to cause capacitance. To conduct electricity more efficiently, diaphragms can be coated with gold.
The diaphragm is the component that acts opposite the backplate in a capacitor’s storage of energy in an electric field.
Condenser Mic JFETThe condenser microphone’s impedance converter increases the voltage generated by the backplate vibrations and diaphragm.
This feature is found in many microphones, as the low current generated by the device is not enough even though sufficient voltage has been created.
Phantom power supply for condenser mics. This power supply can be either a dedicated unit or is provided via an XLR cable or USB cable. The microphone uses power output via an impedance converter, which amplifies the current.
When To Use A Condenser Microphone?
There are many condenser microphones available on the market. I’ve already talked about my favorite, but the most popular is the small-diaphragm or large-diaphragm.
They are completely different and can be used for entirely different purposes. We’ll be discussing the different types of condenser microphones and when they can be used.
How Does A Condenser Microphone Work?
They are also known as “capacitor microphones” in the UK. A capacitor is two plates of metal nearby. This may be something you learned in physics class. The capacitance is higher if they are closer together.
A similar construction is used for a condenser capsule. It is composed of a thin membrane that is close to a solid plate.
As it is sometimes called, the membrane, or diaphragm, must be electrically conductive, at least on its surface. Gold-sputtered mylar is the most popular, although some older models use a thin metal foil.
Sound waves are hitting the diaphragm cause it to move relative to the solid backplate. This means that the distance between the capacitor plates changes.
The capacitance of the capacitor plates changes following the sound wave rhythm. Voila! We have transformed sound into an electric signal.
However, the capsule signal is too fragile to be connected with other pieces of gear. Although the output voltage of the condenser capsule is quite high, it produces very little current due to the small energy storage capacitor.
An “impedance convert” circuit is required to buffer the capsule from the outside world. By making more signal current available, the impedance converter makes the signal stronger.
External power is required for condenser microphones. Although this may have been a problem in the past, today, almost all microphone inputs offer P48 phantom powers – a Neumann invention that has become the international standard (see box, “Powering Condenser Microphones”)
Superior Sound Quality
A condenser microphone’s diaphragm can follow sound waves with greater accuracy than a dynamic microphone attached to a moving coil. This is due to its low mass.
Condenser microphones offer superior sound quality. Condensers offer the most dynamic response of all microphone types and have the highest frequency response. The attack of a drum or the “picking” of an acoustic guitarist.
Also, condenser microphones usually offer much higher sensitivity (i.e., output) and lower noise than dynamic microphones.,
These theoretical benefits only apply to well-constructed specimens (like Neumann’s). Although a condenser microphone for as low as $ 99 may sound better than a high-end moving coil microphone, such as the Sennheiser MD 441, it will likely be louder and produce a lower quality sound.
Types Of Condenser Mics
There are many types of microphones, but there are only two types: small-diaphragm or large-diaphragm. Each microphone has its sound characteristics and is used uniquely when recording.
Condenser Mic Mic Large Diaphragm, The capsule’s surface area is larger because the diaphragm measures over 1 inch in length.
An average large-diaphragm microphone will be placed in a fixed position in a recording booth. Large-diaphragm models are used to capture the richness and depth of low-end sounds. They create a widening effect that fills the audio space.
Small Diaphragm of a Condenser MicSometimes referred to as a pencil microphone due to its small size and usage in long, thin designs; a small-diaphragm condenser mic usually has a diaphragm that is less than an inch in length.
This configuration will most likely place the diaphragm in front of the microphone. The audio source will then direct its energy towards the top of the microphone.
Although they can be carried around, many of these units are used to record from a desk or a mounted position in the studio. A small diaphragm can be used to pick up high-end sounds and transients.
Condenser microphones can also be used for field recording. Condenser microphones are more sensitive than dynamic mics, and they have a flatter response which is ideal for recording detailed audio. Large Diaphram is a common tool in today’s recording studios.
Above are some shares about condenser microphones. Hooke Audio hopes that you have found all the information necessary to choose the right microphone for your needs.