Microphones. There's all sorts of different mics, actually there's mainly three different types of mics. And we're going to talk about those and we're going to talk about some of the more popular mics, what they're used for and why you might want to use them in certain situations. First mike we are going to talk about is the dynamic mike and the most popular dynamic mike of all times is the SM57, which is made by sure. They also make the SM58. This is mainly for instruments and this is mainly for vocals, but it's actually the same magnet the same diaphragm, the same coil in both of these, but the windscreen is different. Now these are workhorse microphones. These things have a very low failure rate, and they sound great, and they're not very expensive, they're about a hundred bucks. They're basically what we call a cardioid pattern, and they are a dynamic mike. The way it works is that there is a diaphragm that is basically just being pushed around by sound waves as it comes in contact with those, which is just air molecules vibrating, and it's on top of a coil, a moving coil, and there's a magnet underneath that. The magnet actually senses the moving of the coil, and that is transferred into an electronic signal, and that just goes down the signal chain into the mic preamp, and bada bing, bada boom, we get a recording. So this is a cardiod mic, which means it is pretty directional. You see a little bitty drawing right here of the cardiod pattern, which means that we are basically getting in front of this mike. It's a little heart-shaped thing which is why it's called cardiod. That's directionally, you can point this at something and it will pick-up what's in front of it and it won't pick-up what's behind it. That's an off axis rejection, which make these great stage mikes because they don't feed back very much if you have a monitor right in front. So you see these on stage all the time but they're also used in the recording studio. You'll use these on snares. You'll use these on tom tom's. You'll use these on almost everything. They're really great just if you have two mic's I would say get two of these, or two of these, and you can use them as a stereo pair if you need to, and you can get a lot of use out of them. So that's Dynamic mic, the second type of microphone I want to to talk about is actually Condenser mic. Now Condenser mic's use electro magnets, they actually are powered. And this is where we come into phantom power 48 volts, and that's going in to power the diaphragm, which you can actually see if you look in here. It's suspended here, and this actually is able to do a lot of different polar patterns which is how directional the mic is. If you take a look on the front here, we can do cardioid. We can do super cardioid which is a little bit wider, and then we can also do bidirectional or figure eight, where basically the front of this mike is picking up, but also the back of this mike is picking up. And then we can even do omnidirectional, where all sides of the microphone is picking up. Now the way that this works, because there's actually two diaphragms here that are glued together, one in the front and one in the back, and we have a lot of variety as to what we can do. We also have some pads on the back of this which is a fairly typical thing for more high-end condenser mics, there's pads that will just lower the signal of the microphone. And also we can roll off the low frequencies of the microphone as well. If we've got some low rumble coming from any variety of things, anything from an air conditioner, to a lot a low frequency information that's built up in the space that we're recording in that maybe we don't want. So this is very popular 414 Microphone right here. This is what we call a large diaphragm condenser mike. This is actually also a condenser mike but this is a small diaphragm condenser microphone. This particular one is a Shep's mike with an MK4 capsule on it. This particular capsule is a cardioid capsule, but we can use different capsules so if you Very carefully unscrew this. The body and the capsule are sold separately so that if you wanted to have an omnidirectional capsule, you could have one of those. If you wanted to have a supercartioid capsule, you could have one of those. They even have capsules that roll off the low frequencies for soloists in a more classical environment, and these are used for guitars, these are used for high head. They're used in classical recording and in very high fidelity recording where you need to get very accurate depictions of things. They're also great for pianos and stuff like that. So we've got the dynamics, we've got the condensers. Let's move on to the ribbon mics. So, ribbon mics are pretty awesome. This is actually a mic that is kind of a remake of the old RCA ribbon mics. Now the way that ribbon mics work, is there is actually a ribbon in here. And it is connected on both sides and the top and the bottom, and ribbon mics tend to be much darker. They tend to not pick up high frequencies very much, and then tend to be pretty dark and pretty warm, meaning that they distort pretty easily. They can also be really pleasing though this darkness and this warmth Is something that we kind of like, and we kind of like the warm fuzziness that these give us. If you look at a lot of the older radio shows and television shows that a lot times they'd have a ribbon mic sitting there on the desk. These can make harsh instruments sound really, really great. So this is one type of ribbon mic another very popular mic these days is the Royer 121. And again, the ribbon is actually in here, so the way that you place this mic is, this is forward, and this is backwards, you don't actually point it like this. Something about ribbon mics that's interesting is that, almost all ribbon mics are actually bidirectional. So, both sides of the ribbon pick up. So you're going to pick up On this side. You're also going to pick up on this side a little less and a little darker, but both sides are going to pick up. That's something that you're going to have to keep in mind when you're using a ribbon mic, and that can actually be used to your advantage. So another ribbon mic I'd like to show you is this coals ribbon mic, this was developed by the BBC over in England, this is a very heavy mic. Also a very sensitive and fragile mic, almost all ribbon mics are pretty fragile.You don't want to drop them, they'll probably break. The other thing is that you don't want to send phantom power to ribbon mics. If it's an older model ribbon mic sending phantom power to it can actually hurt the mike. The more modern ones are a little more forgiving and there's even a model or two of ribbon mikes that do use phantom power. But just keep in mind if you're getting a ribbon mike out, make sure that you're not sending phantom power to that microphone because you could actually hurt it. One of the things that you want to keep in mind when you're using microphones for a singer is something called plosives. Now, plosives are things like p's and t's where you are actually expelling some wind out of your mouth, and if you put your hand in front of your mouth and go p, you will notice that there is wind actually hitting your hand. So one of the things that we use is this pop filter right here. And we will put the microphone behind this pop filter so that, hopefully, some of that wind is going to be dissipated and caught up in the pop filter itself and not come in contact with the diaphragm. There's also pop filters that look more like this SM7, where you actually put it over the microphone itself, and that can help as well. Another thing that can help, is just positioning your singer in a slightly off axis way. So, that being right in front of the mic. Maybe you put the mic off just a little bit to the side, and their pulses go this way, and you wind up not getting them hitting up against the diaphragm, but it's something to be listening for as you're recording singers. So, there's a lot of different kinds of mics, as you can tell this is one of those things that nerds like me get real into. If you can't tell, I'm really into microphones, I love mics. At the end of the day though, they don't really matter. If you got a great recording, if you've got a great artist, if you've got a great performance, if you've got a great song, exactly which mic you recorded it on is probably not as important as all those other things. But at the same time, if you combine the right mic, with the right singer, and the right song. All those things together can make the recording even better and it's one of those things that just kind of makes recording fun.