Next: Analog Tape
Previous: Converting Sound to Electricity
Different types of microphones pick up sound from different
directions. So-called omnidirectional microphones pick up sound
from all directions roughly equally. Directional microphones
such as those with cardioid and supercardioid pickup
patterns pick up sound from one direction while rejecting most other
sound. Lastly, there are microphones with a figure-8 pattern
that pick up sounds from two sides along the same axis, but reject
sound along the perpendicular axis.
It is important to choose the appropriate type of microphone for a
task. If there is a lot of ambient noise, a directional microphone
can help to capture only the desired sound. If it is desirable to
capture ambient sound, an omnidirectional may be the best choice. The
Shure SM-57 and SM-58 are both directional microphones.
The Shure SM-81 has interchangeable heads that allow it to act
as a directional or omnidirectional microphone.