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Dynamic versus Condenser Mics.

A microphone is a device that captures audio by converting sound waves into an electrical signal. This signal can be amplified as an analog signal or may be converted to a digital signal, which can be processed by a computer or other digital audio device. This forum is for discussing Dynamic, Condenser, USB, Ribbon and Stereo Mic Sets.
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Dana
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Dynamic versus Condenser Mics.

Post: # 12Post Dana
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:35 am

Since we are talking about recording speech in this post, we will be talking about dynamic mics verses condenser mics. At this time I have around $12,000.00 invested in these types of mics and my favorite one for speech, is the Shure SM57 dynamic mic. It cost $99.00. I also have the Shure SM7b which cost $450.00. This is the mic that Michael Jackson used to record the number one selling album of all times, Thriller.

The SM7b is known world wide for being used by broadcasters and radio stations as well as professional narrators and voice over artist. While this may be one of the best mics on the market, you will also need to invest in a quality preamp to power this mic. If you use a low quality preamp with a high noise floor, this will only be amplified by this mic and your audio will suffer greatly.

I use the Tascam US 16×8 Audio Interface that gets patched into my Alesis USB 8 channel sound board, just to have the proper amount of gain to power this mic. Shure recommends that a minimum of 59dbs of gain are required and make no mistake about it, you NEVER want to go with the minimum requirements when dealing with any type of audio recording.

The cost of these two pieces of hardware is around $600.00 including the cables. Combine that with the $450.00 for the mic and you can see where this will be very expensive to set this type of mic up properly. So lets talk about the Shure SM57. Believe it or not, it has the same capsule as the SM7b. This comes straight from the Shure website. You can have the most expensive mic made and if it is set up improperly, you gain absolutely nothing.

So what is the big deal when it comes to choosing a dynamic mic over a condenser mic? Noise! Yes noise. Background noises can include: Computer Fans, AC vents, TVs, Washers/Dryers, Kids Playing and things of this nature. Outside noises can consist of Kids Playing, Overhead Flight Paths, Lawn Cutting, Traffic, Emergency Vehicles, Dogs Barking and things of this nature.

Now combine this with electrical interference noise. Preamps, Overhead High Voltage Lines, Electrical Circuits, Noisy USB Buss or Sound Cards and Signal to Noise Ratios concerning your recording equipment input levels. When all of these noises are added together, you now have what is called a “Noise Floor”.

While these types of noises will effect both mics, the dynamic mics are much more forgiving when it comes to outside noise influences. To put it simply, I can be recording with my dynamic mics while the lawn care company is mowing outside my home and it will never be picked up by my mics and make its way into my recording.

You can not achieve these same results using a condenser mic. Condenser mics require a very quite recording environment. You need to understand that it is all the little things added together that will result in a professional recording. Condensers mics are made for studio work and that is why you never see them being used on stage for live performances.

They are so sensitive, you simply can not filter out all the unwanted background noise that they will pick up. And I promise you, they will pick it up! Does this mean that you can not use a USB condenser mic and achieve good results? Of course not! It means you will have to work twice as hard to achieve results that will be comparable to or below what you can achieve with a dynamic mic outside of a studio.

If you have invested in a $29.00 condenser mic package, off of some website that includes a condenser mic, a mic boom arm, USB cable and pop filter, you have already probably condemned yourself to failure. This setup is great if you want to have conversations over the internet but they have no place for recording audio you want to submit to the ACX. This is Shures explanation concerning dynamic versus condenser mics.



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thestorygirl
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Post: # 36Post thestorygirl
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:30 pm

Dana, you'll be so proud of me! Today I was reading an audio textbook I salvaged while book sourcing some time ago. Read all about ribbon and magnetic transducer microphones and different cardioid directional patterns. :D

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Dana
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Post: # 37Post Dana
Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:21 am

thestorygirl wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:30 pm
Dana, you'll be so proud of me! Today I was reading an audio textbook I salvaged while book sourcing some time ago. Read all about ribbon and magnetic transducer microphones and different cardioid directional patterns. :D
I moved your post. Very well done! As you start to gain knowledge on the different types of mics and what they are used for, you will see how it is so important to have this knowledge, BEFORE you invest your money. Each mic has a specific design to match a specific set of parameters. You will also start to see why people have so much trouble with their recordings, simply because they chose the wrong mic. The best example is when someone is trying to do work for the ACX and they have chosen a figure 8 cardioid pattern.

They can not figure out why there is so much background noise. They have no clue that their voice is being picked up at the front of the mic, as well as all the reverb coming into the back of the mic. They blame the mic and do not realize that the mic is doing, just as it was designed to do. The figure 8 mic is great for doing interviews when you have two people sitting across from each other.

This is a great article on mics and what each one is designed for. It was written for Shure and it can be trusted 100%. Again, well done on starting off on the right foot!

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Post: # 41Post thestorygirl
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:05 pm

Well, even little ol' hippy knows not to put my mic on that setting!

Even EWABS is starting to make sense now!

What is your opinion of the Shure PG42 USB?? :geek:
Edit:
PS- NOT that I was going to buy that mic, but just wondered what you thought. And, am also trying to sound cool.

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Dana
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Post: # 43Post Dana
Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:08 am

thestorygirl wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:05 pm
Well, even little ol' hippy knows not to put my mic on that setting!
Well, you would be surprised on the amount of emails I have received concerning that very issue.
Even EWABS is starting to make sense now!
East West Auto Body Shop? Just playing. They seem like a nice Podcast. rb I will check them out later today.
What is your opinion of the Shure PG42 USB?? :geek:
Edit:
PS- NOT that I was going to buy that mic, but just wondered what you thought. And, am also trying to sound cool.
nono Not a whole lot and yes, your lingo is sounding very cool!

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Post: # 50Post thestorygirl
Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:14 pm

I know EWABS from their youtube show. But it was always over my head. I didn't know they had a podcast. I recently saw George Whittam (one of the hosts) on an old VO Buzz Weekly youtube show and he had a lot of tips for home studios. That's where I had the idea about the moving blankets.

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Dana
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Operating System: Windows 8 & 10.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW): Reaper, Hindenburg, Audacity.
Mics: Shure SM7b, SM 57 & 58, ATR 2100, AKG P120, AT Pro 70.
Digital Recorder: Tascam DR-40, Zoom H6.
Contact:
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Post: # 51Post Dana
Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:21 pm

Very cool. So now you have two sources that state the same thing. It is always best to get more then one opinion.

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