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Microphones: A Few Varieties And Their Uses

Various audio signals strike the microphone and it converts them into an equivalent electric signal which signifies that it is one type of a transducer. Thus one form of a signal is converted into its analogous form by the transducer. A microphone works in a specific way. Each of them has a diaphragm attached to it. On account of a sound signal, the diaphragm starts to vibrate. Due to which, the other components that are present in the microphone also starts to vibrate in the same fashion. These vibrating signals are then converted into its equivalent electric signal which is, in turn converted into the original audio via a loudspeaker connected at the end of the microphone.

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There are various types of microphones available. They are classified as follows:

The Dynamic type of microphone: They have a very simple design. It consists of few moving parts which includes a magnet and a coil of wire. Thus it eliminates the need of external power or batteries. It works on the basic principle of electromagnetic induction. The coil has a diaphragm attached to it. As soon as the incoming signal strikes the diaphragm, it starts to vibrate and the coil moves back and forth past the magnet. The movement of the coil results in the generation of electrical current. The microphones have several wires attached to it. These wires carry the electrical signal.


They find their application in vocals.

They are mostly used for live performances.

They can also be used for drums and amplifiers of an electric drum. For example: Shure SM57.

For example: Shure SM58.

The condenser type of microphone: A capacitor is used in condenser microphone. This type of microphone requires the use of batteries. The capacitor converts the audio signal into an electrical signal. They are very sensitive to high volume work. The transient response of condenser microphones is much superior to other microphones. Low noise and wide frequency response are few of its characteristics. They are of two types: condensers with large diaphragms and condensers with small diaphragms.


Avid fast track- This acts an audio interface which helps to connect the microphone to a computer.

They are used for the purpose of recording voices in studios.

Also used in kick drums and are very useful for drummers.

Few examples: Shure SM81 and Rode NT5.

The ribbon type microphone: It works on the principle of electromagnetic induction. A thin aluminium foil is present which is the electrical conductor and produces the voltage. The membrane being placed between the two poles of an electrical magnet; the ribbon type of microphones is bidirectional in nature. They are very much sensitive to the sound coming from the front and rear end. High sound pressure levels are successfully handled by the ribbon microphones.


They mostly find their application when one desires to get the natural sound.

Compatible with the instruments made of brass.

They can be used for vocals while singing two feet away from it.

Also used in pianos and in guitar amplifiers.

Few examples: Royer R-121 and MXL R77.

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