Microhpne Capsules - What Makes Them Different?

Microphones can usually be divided up into 3 categories - Dynamic, Condenser, and Ribbon.

But within these mic’s there is a whole lot more going on, and I want to touch on that today, along with a new video expressing the sound characteristics that marry these microphones and why.

So let's dive in! 

 

Condenser Capsules

Condensers have a simple design, but with two variants. One portion of the capsule (Backplate)  is usually fixed in place, while the other (the membrane) moves when sound pressure is emitted onto it. This is called a Single Membrane design and only allows the mic to pick up Cardioid or Omnidirectional polar patterns.

Dual Membrane designs have one backplate between them or 2 with a small chamber between them, allowing several variations of polar patterns. When sound is aimed at the membrane, it moves towards the backplate causing a small electrical signal to be made due to the makeup of the microphone.

However, the speed at which the capsule moves can be determined by the design of it. Most capsules are gold plated due to the pleasing sonic characteristics and it’s light, however other companies have chosen metals such as titanium as its even lighter and therefore lens itself to a faster-moving response when sound is emitted.

JZ Mic’s pioneered a design that takes the best of these two designs with our Golden Drop Technology allowing the same sonic characteristics of Gold, but the speed advantage or a lighter metal allowing an expensive and highly sought after sound 

Large Diaphragm Condensers are usually designed to be relatively transparent sounding with a pleasing high end. Small Diaphragm microphones usually have a slightly more colored sound with the exception of a few. 

 

Dynamic Capsules

Dynamic mic’s use of electromagnetic conduction to create their voltage to be transmitted to a preamp. A conductive coil is attached to the rear side of the nonconductive diaphragm, and as the diaphragm moves relative to the sound pressure pushing it, so does the moving cil.

Magnets surrounding the coil create an oscillation to occur, and a small electromagnetic voltage is created as a signal to record with.  Some of the most famous mic’s are dynamic due to the sturdy construction and use within live music, where there is a high SPL 

 

Usually, They have a slight roll-off regarding the higher frequencies due to their use live and the feedback that can occur from the higher frequencies, and therefore invariably have a pushed upper mid-range and solid lower mid-frequency information.

The HH1` encompasses similar characteristics to some of the most famous dynamic mics, but with the addition of a more extended high-frequency range allowing it to be used in several studio applications as well as the aforementioned live music benefits of dynamics, separating it from the herd as a new age choice for better dynamic recording. 

 

 

Ribbon Microphones

Ribbons mics don’t technically have a capsule, rather a baffle mechanism that transmits the audio signal into a voltage. In order for the ribbon to work, a small literal ribbon sheet of metal is suspended between two magnets (lengthwise) with opposite poles (north and south respectively).

The ribbon of metal is itself the conductor of electricity, and as it moves within the magnetic field, a small electromagnetic current is created. 

 

Ribbon mics have a very thin sheet of metal (usually microns thin!) and so are susceptible to breaking much easier than the previous examples when there’s a large SPL, or a vocalist produces plosives (B’s, T’s, P’s, etc.) towards it. 

 

Let's listen, shall we?

Below, I’ve taken you through some of my microphone locker, to extend the sound characteristics of several non-JZ mics, and a few of our leading lights.

Take a look and make sure to let us know in the comment section which ones you thought were the best!

 


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