A microphone, more colloquially known as a microphone or mic, is a diaphragm-like small device whose muscular shaft lies in a housing that contains its sensitive pickup and microphone element. It acts as a source of sound for any instrument or musical instrument. A diaphragm controls the movement of the microphone's rotary arm, which picks up and transmits the sound to the music speaker or recording head. The quality and performance of a microphone are affected by several factors.
The physical characteristics of a microphone are such that it must be able to pick up and reflect the minute particles of sound vibrations. Thus, the microphone must have a diaphragm that does not restrict the sound waves to flow through in only one way. In addition, the diaphragm must be such that it can sustain the sound vibrations without becoming damaged. Microphones used for recordings therefore feature a special housing that protects the pickup from damage due to impact, moisture, dust or any other hindrance. These days, a number of people use condenser microphones for recording as they reduce the overall noise that is created by the moving parts within the microphone.
Microphone technology is based on the principle of piezoelectricity; this is the principle that the vibrations of an electrically charged conductor will produce an electrical signal when stimulated. Microphones also comprise a diaphragm that acts as the instrument's diaphragm and allows a change in the electrical signal produced by the vibration of the diaphragm to vary the volume, pitch and timbre of the recorded sound. The use of condenser microphones means that the signal generated does not include the high frequencies that are generally associated with drums and cymbals, but rather, it is limited to a lower frequency. This makes the resulting sound quieter than what we usually hear when playing an instrument.
Carbon microphones utilise a principle of piezoelectricity whereby vibrations of a diaphragm will excite a treble wave. As the diaphragm is moved, the vibrations change the signal produced and so alter the pitch and timbre of the sound. Carbon microphones can be used in many different ways depending on the quality of the mic and the application. Some common uses of carbon microphones include:
Dynamic microphones use a magnet and a coil that cancel each other out. They differ to piezoelectric microphones use because the vibrations of a diaphragm does not excite a coil. Instead, these microphones use a dual magnet that cancels each other out. When the magnet moves then the coil must also move causing a canceling effect. Dynamic microphones use two coils to achieve this.
Condenser microphones use a diaphragm instead of a coil for the electrical coupling. These are the two main technologies that separate them from other forms of microphone reproduction. The capacitor acts as a capacitor bank for the electrical charges and the capacitor value of the signal changes as the signal passes by the microphone. The electrical signal then changes the capacitance of the capacitor and changes its electrical conductivity.
Capacitive microphones use an electronic transducer that pushes or pulls on the diaphragm to change its capacitance. The transducers are generally solid state transducers that use electronic devices to switch the electrical current. One commonly used transducer is the piezoelectric one used in digital hearing aids. In digital hearing aids, a thin piece of plastic is placed inside a circuit and it works by emitting light as the sound waves hit the plastic. The thickness of the plastic determines how sensitive the device is and how much the audio quality can be improved.
A lot of audio engineers and musicians make their own Microphones. There are many different brands of Microphone available in the market and if you are looking for one then you can choose the brand that has high durability and reliability. You can even use headphones with Microphones that are made specifically for hands-free use. However, if you intend to use the microphone both as a music instrument and microphone then it is recommended that you use condenser microphones as these microphones produce higher volume output even with a lower sensitivity level. Microphone shopping should be taken very seriously as there are many Microphones being used at present.