Condenser and dynamic microphones provide distinct benefits and users can pick the ideal option based on specific needs. Dynamic options are considered as the most resistant professional choices. This type of microphone is a good choice for journalistic work where a variety of difficult conditions are encountered.
Some may argue that dynamic are the way to go. Others swear by a good condenser. In fact, they are two different tools that complement each other. A condenser to dynamics is like a screwdriver for a hammer. A microphone is a transducer: a device for energy conversion. It converts acoustic energy (sound) into electrical energy, which can then be stored as data, or simply amplified and reproduced through the speakers.
What is the difference between a dynamic and a condenser microphone?
Both dynamic and condenser achieve this function, but differ in their methods to perform this conversion.
In a dynamic microphone, the sound waves hit a diaphragm supported on a thin wire coil. The coil is suspended in a permanent magnetic field. When the sound waves hit the diaphragm it vibrates the coil in the magnetic field. The result is a small electric current generated by friction, this current will then have to be amplified thousands of times.
One of its biggest advantages is that it does not require an external source of energy to operate and it is particularly resistant to physical abuse. However, its fidelity is not always the best.
A dynamic microphone is the best known of the two types and the most durable construction. The basis of this is electromagnetic induction. The diaphragm (the eardrum) is attached to a coiled wire in the field of a permanent magnet. When it is connected, an electric current flows through it.
When the sound waves hit the diaphragm, the coil rotates, changing the magnetic field created by the coil. This, in turn, varies the trigger current through the cable. The dynamic microphones are notoriously resistant. In the video I linked on the side, a dynamic dropped more plans but still takes the audio in a clear and clean way.
Often, a set of of these will be used, such as a dynamic will not respond for all frequencies. Some high-end options will include more diaphragms to achieve this, but the price increases proportionally.
When a more compact option that provides excellent sensitivity and the best response quality is required. Then it is best to go for the another type – the condenser mic.
The condenser microphones have an incomparable quality of response. They can also be so small such that they are easy to hide. However, most condensers are not as strong as dynamic ones and working in adverse weather conditions can be a problem.
The condenser work under the principle of an electric capacitor or capacitor. An ultra-thin metal diaphragm is strongly stretched over a flat piece of metal or ceramic. In most condenser microphones a power source provides an electrical charge between both elements.
The sound waves that hit the diaphragm cause fluctuations in the electrical load that must be subsequently amplified in the preamplifier (pre-amp). Said preamplifier can be integrated into the body or be located in a separate device.
Because these require a preamplifier, this means that, unlike their dynamic counterparts, most condensers require a power source, either current or batteries.
To provide AC power to a condenser usually the source is integrated into the audio mixer. This is known as a phantom power. When you use this type of power, the cable serves two purposes: it delivers the signal picked up to the console and carries the energy from the console to the preamplifier.
The use of batteries as preamplifier power is more convenient (you do not have to use a special mixer or other power supply device), but it also represents a problem: at the end of its life cycle the batteries “die” without previous notice.
To avoid this situation in full production, especially live, usually place two miniature condenser microphones together to the talent. If one of them fails, the other can be immediately activated. This technique of the double mic is known as dual coverage (dual redundancy).
There is another type in use such as the ribbon microphone, which is much more sensitive, but still the dynamic type and condenser are the most used in television production.
When considering the difference between a condenser mic and dynamic mic, it is vital to pay attention to various factors, including sound waves, diaphragm, charged wire coil and the permanent magnet.
A condenser microphone builds the technology behind a condenser. These units are used in many demanding applications and they are reliable for accurate sound reproduction.
The diaphragm is a plate in the capacitor, and the sound waves hit, drive closer to the other plate, the current in the wire is strengthened, thus sending the audio information through the wire. Some of the key factors that influence choice of mic include durability, quality of sound, accuracy and versatility. In fact, dynamic and condenser mics are good to have in your audio arsenal.
The dynamic mics offer an excellent capture of the human voice. Condenser microphones are widely used in film production. These boom mics are condenser microphones. They are even built into the phone, camera, among other digital devices.
If you want to record the battery, most people recommend a number of premium models along with other standard condensers. If you want to record a musical performance, the choice of microphone varies from one instrument to another. In general, go for a large diaphragm dynamic microphone, or a tape microphone, if you can afford it. See Recording music for musicians.
To make movies and television, condenser microphones are the best option, since they can be made lighter and smaller to reach their uncomfortable places. In addition, the barrel microphone, one of the director’s favorites, can be made only with a condenser.