Quite simply, the microphone converts sound into an electrical signal, amplifying it for all to hear. There are hundreds of professional microphones out there; this makes it difficult for the average person to sort out the type of microphone they require. In the simplest form, there should be three things that one should brush up on before selecting the microphone best suited to their need. These are:
- The types of professional microphones
- Which instruments they are used for recording
- The best brands available (And is it worth spending money on higher end brands?)
Professional Microphones and Their Uses
- Music- The musical industry uses a host of microphones depending upon their purpose. It is vital that the right type of microphone is selected to ensure that the music is heard and broadcasted in the best manner. For instance if the music is being recorded live then one will need to consider things like sound rejection (to cancel out unnecessary noise). Other aspects for consideration include: the number of instruments being recorded, whether the recording is live or in studio, the number of voices being recorded i.e. single or singing group/band, pressure levels of the song (not all mics can handle high pressure sounds), etc.
- Home Applications- With the rise of technology microphones have become part of a number of home devices, the most apparent of which are our phones, televisions, laptops, desktop computers and toys with sound. Less apparent devices include our alarm systems, which are imperative for our safety in the case of burglary or fire. If the right kind of professional microphone was not used in such devices then our safety would be at risk. Even baby monitors, used by many to check on the safety of their infants, employ a specific kind of professional microphone.
- Public Broadcasting- Apart from live concerts, public broadcasting includes lectures at universities, school assemblies, public speeches/talks and off course microphones used in religious places such as churches, mosques and temples. The right kind of microphone must be selected to ensure coverage of large areas where all present can hear clearly. For these purposes the most common all-rounder professional microphone is known as the Dynamic Microphone used for vocals and amplifiers and all purpose recording.
As you can see, professional microphones have become an integral part of a host of devices. In a society where technology is taking over, the need for high-quality microphones is higher than ever before.