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Need quick answer: Difference between types of microphones?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Nick Gann, May 12, 2003.

  1. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Hey all-

    In my music and modern society class, we are putting together a proposal to make a portable recording setup for the schools use. The current system is so out of date, it is basically a tapedeck with a microphone input.

    So, my question:

    What is the difference between a cardioid microphone, super-cardioid microphone, and a single diaphragm condenser?

    We are planning on getting 3 Behringer B-1 Single Diaphragm condenser Microphones, 4 Shure BETA 58 Super cardioid microphones, and 3 Sennheiser E835 Cardioid microphones.

    I need to know:
    • The specific purposes of each
    • Why we need each of them over a different type of mic
    • Why we need 3 or 4 of each type, not just one of each

    Thanks to all who help :)

  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Presumably, you'll want to record performances where several instruments/singers are being miced up at once?

    Suppose you've got a band, and the singer, guitarist & bassist all do vocals... you can't very well share one Beta 58 between them, can you? :D

    That thread Wil posted is really great - but there's a *lot* there to wade through. It will give you an idea of what mics are often used for which purposes.
  3. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Thanks for the fast replys you guys.

    That link is great Wil, I will wade through it later when I get the time (I'm at school right now).

    Moley, thanks for the explanation of the cardioid and super cardioid. So basically, the super cardioid is the same as a cardioid, but it just picks up more from the back?

    And the Behringer has a polar cardioid pickup pattern. Would you happen to know what that is, or is it basically the same thing?

    The purpose of this rig is to be able to record a full big band or a jazz band, or a choral preformance, so it is a big group. Are there any other mics you think we will need, or do the mics we are getting cover our needs?
  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Ahh well that's a tricky one. I've never recorded anything near as big as that, I've really only recorded myself playing.

    But, that thread ought to shed some light on it. It may have advice on recording big bands - I'm not sure.

    But, you may well want to setup some stereo pairs. There are various configurations for stereo pairs, and that is also covered in that thread.

    For that purpose, you may find a mic with a figure 8 polar pattern useful. As it stands, you're only getting cardioids & super-cardioids right?

    The main polar patterns are cardioid, omni, and figure 8. Figure 8 is like you might expect, it has lobes at the front and back, but no pickup at the sides. Whereas omni as equal pickup all round.

    You may find figure 8 and omni mics useful as well as cardioids? I'm not sure. Either way, read that thread on homerecording.com - but be warned, it is loooong. And, as you will see, it was started by our very own Chris Fitzgerald - and towards the end, I posted a couple of times.

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