Successful microphones have been built working on a number of different principles. Those ideas will be looked at here.
In this new series John Watkinson looks at all aspects of microphones to create a technical reference resource for professional broadcast audio engineers.
Few memories in broadcasting are more powerful than that rich, booming “Voice of God” sound heard on RCA ribbon microphones in early TV and radio studios. Those mics made most voices sound much better than they actually were — elevating the ego of many a disc jockey or announcer.
The companies that make in-line microphone boosters have until now promoted their transparency, increasing only the output of dynamic or ribbon microphones without adding color to the signal. At AES 2019, that changed when Soyuz introduced its “Launcher,” a new mic booster that purposefully colors the signal.
In this age of the information entrepreneur, the mobile recording and distribution of spoken word audio has dramatically increased. This has led to a proliferation of small studios for voice recording and to the construction of tiny sound booths in offices and homes. But how does one do successful voice recording in loud, noisy uncontrollable environments?
When a news reporter records enough audio over the years, certain tools become essential. These devices become trusted friends — ones the reporter can count on time after time to deliver the goods on a consistent and reliable basis.
In the lingo of microphones, we often use imprecise words to describe sound. The audio from ribbon microphones is frequently called “dark.” Condenser microphones may be called “bright.” But what do these subjective terms mean?
In this era of personal video and sound recording, it might sound ridiculous to say that many people don’t know how to properly use a microphone. But it’s true. Whether spoken word or a vocalist singing, learning some basic microphone techniques can significantly improve results.