My thoughts...Wisdom from over the years

Of Mics and Men Part 2

Posted in: Blog, Featured, tip of the week ♦ Monday, September 24th, 2012, 1:17 pm ♦ No Comments on Of Mics and Men Part 2

Of mics and men part 2

Condenser Mics

Condenser mics are much more sensitive than the dynamic mic. They have a much wider frequency response and you may find that on certain condenser mics you really like the sound of your voice better.  This microphone is more capable of getting those extra high and low frequencies in your voice that the dynamic mic misses.  They are also able to pick you up even if you aren’t an inch away. Condenser mics are what we use to mic choirs, or to put on a lapel mic so you don’t have to be right up on it in order to get picked up. As you hear the better frequency response, it can be encouraging. They also respond to sound much faster than a dynamic. This accounts for their accuracy and in their ability to reproduce the nuances and subtleties in a performance. This is why condensers are more often the microphone of choice for micing vocals and acoustic instruments in a recording,

Sensitivity however, is a two edged sword. A condenser mic can pick up everything in proximity on the stage! This is especially true on a smaller platform when many musicians may be very close to you. This can cause problems with your sound man as he tries to control the individual sounds; he can’t isolate each sound. In other words, your vocal mic could also be picking up other undesired sounds, i.e. drums, guitars, monitors. A less sensitive mic may help in preventing some or all of the other sounds from leaking into the system.

Condenser mics are more expensive.  They also require “phantom power”. The phantom power comes from the mixer and most mixers have it.

Proximity Effect

The bass response of all directional microphones is increased as the signal source – your voice – comes closer to the mic capsule. This is called Proximity Effect and it becomes apparent at a range of one foot and increases as the distance of mouth to mic decreases. For speakers or singers with high or thin voices, proximity effect can boost the bass, filling out the sound.

Mic technique with a condenser mic really needn’t be much different than the technique you use with a dynamic mic but you may find that you don’t need to ‘eat the mic’ quite as much. So make sure that you find and use the right placement for your mic and then be consistent.  Even the best sound man cannot make up for your poor mic technique! It can be the source of many of your sound problems. God bless you as you serve Him.


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