Last updated: August 19, 2021

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Thinking of giving a more professional look to your recordings with a condenser microphone? You are very welcome! You have come to the right place!

In this article we will present you the benefits that a condenser microphone can bring to your recording, besides showing you why it is worth investing in this sound equipment. For this, we have prepared a material that will show you all the specific information about the condenser microphone, with special tips and important purchase criteria. Check it out!




Summary

  • Condenser microphones transmit sound with incredible quality, but are extremely sensitive. This is why they should be used in environments such as recording studios, for example.
  • Their durability is low compared to other types of microphone. It is important to keep it and watch out for falls or knocks.
  • Its price may be higher, so it is important to understand what it does and what it is used for, in order to choose the investment.

The Best Condenser Microphone: Our Picks

Buying guide: everything you need to know to find the best condenser microphone on the market

Top-quality sound, with precise sonic details for vocals and instruments when recorded. Is this what you're looking for in your ideal condenser microphone? Know that a quality product will give you that and more. But how do you know which is the right product for your needs?

With so much variety that the market offers, it is common to have doubts at the time of choosing. Rest assured, from now on we will answer the main questions asked by buyers. You will receive a complete buying guide about the product. Check it out!

microfone condensador preto em um primeiro plano, com homem ao fundo em pé com as mãos segurando o fone de ouvido

Condenser microphones are ideal for studio recording. Source: (Amin Asbaghipour / Unsplash.com)

What is a condenser microphone?

First of all, do you know what a microphone does? The microphone is an object capable of converting one type of energy into another. It is a type of transducer. What does this mean? It picks up the vibration of sound and translates it into electrical energy.

It does the opposite function to that of a sound box or an earphone, which are also examples of transducers, for example. These objects receive electrical energy and transform it into acoustic energy, unlike microphones, which do the opposite function.

The microphone is a transductive object. It picks up the vibration of sound and translates it into electrical energy

But we are here to talk specifically about the condenser microphone, aren't we? In short, the condenser microphone works like an electronic capacitor. The object's diaphragm vibrates with sound pressure, creating a capacitance in the system, which is converted into audio.

In the case of condenser microphones, the longer they are in length, the more sensitive the microphone is. This is why this type is preferred by acoustic studios, announcers and podcasters. It is ideal for capturing the sound of the voice or musical instruments with an absurd wealth of detail.

To work, most models need phantom power, also known as Phantom Power. Because of this need, it is easily found in external soundboards and tables with the +48 button. It is because of the Phantom Power that quality condenser microphones will hardly be able to be used in the computer (we will explain better the microphone's functioning in a future topic).

What are the differences between a condenser microphone and a dynamic microphone?

The main difference between a condenser microphone and a dynamic microphone is in the way of captation, that is totally different between them. While dynamic microphones use a coil of metal wire suspended in a magnetic field to pick up sound, condenser microphones use the vibration of the diaphragm as a condensing device.

This results in the quality of sound each can deliver. Dynamic microphones should be used in situations that need the mobility of the person using the microphone. This is why they are often seen at events, shows and lectures, for example.

Condenser microphones, as we have already mentioned, are extremely sensitive and can pick up everything that is around them, depending on their pattern. That's why they are generally used in studios.

Condenser Microphone Dynamic Microphone
Capture Sound arrives through the diaphragm It uses a metallic wire coil suspended in a magnetic field
Usage Situations Used for recording in sound studios Generally used in events, shows and lectures that need mobility
Resistance They are extremely fragile, and may not resist a fall on the ground, for example. Generally they support a lower sound pressure They are more resistant to falls and support higher sound levels

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the condenser microphone?

Get ready for sound quality you've never seen before. There are several advantages to purchasing a condenser microphone. Take a look:

Advantages
  • Very high quality sound recording
  • Ideal to record interviews, podcasts and music in studio
  • Sound sensitivity above all the microphone models
Disadvantages
  • High price
  • Its durability may be lower for not supporting falls and very high noises

What are the types of pick-up of a condenser microphone?

Condenser microphones may have different types of pickup pattern. Some may have a single type of polar pattern, others have more than one to choose from. Let's learn about them: cardioid, hypercardioid, figure-8, omnidirectional and multi-pattern. Understand in the box below the difference between them:

Condenser microphone Pickup Patterns
Cardioid Pickup happens in front of the microphone
Hypercardioid Pickup in front and behind the microphone, with focus on pickup behind
Figure 8 Pickup on both sides of the microphone, with small rejection in the middle
Omnidirectional Pickup on all sides of the microphone
Multipattern The microphone comes with several of these patterns above

Does the condenser microphone need any accessories to work properly?

You need to be aware of this question. The answer is yes, it does need some accessories to work. It is important that they are quality materials. As we mentioned before, it will need a power supply.

This can be the Phantom Power of the soundboard or audio card, a preamplifier or even a battery (in rare cases). In addition, you should pay attention to the cables that will conduct power. They must be of good quality, as it is important that there is no interference. The same applies to the microphone connectors.

You should also pay attention to the stand you will use to hold it, after all they are much heavier than normal microphones. We have already mentioned here in this article the problems with condenser microphone falls. Therefore, it is necessary the purchase of a spider. It works as the ideal pipe for the product. The object ensures stability and also a possible fall protection.

Microfone condensador cinza em um estúdio de gravação com headset ao fundo

Condenser microphones need a power source to work. (Source: Jonathan Farber/ Unsplash.com)

Buying criteria: What to take into account when comparing condenser microphone models

Here is a list of the main features you should consider when choosing your ideal condenser microphone. These are essential details that will help you choose the best model for your recordings. Check it out!

Use

You must be totally clear on where and for what you will use your condenser microphone. It is an excellent option if you want to make recordings in studios or closed environments. Are you looking to record acoustic instruments, delicate voices or podcasts? Then this is an excellent choice for you.

Type of capture

Once you understand your need and realize that investing in a condenser microphone is a good idea, you should now think about what kind of condenser microphone you'll need. Where do you want the sound to be picked up from?

You will find several options on the market. There are models that capture the sound from any direction, the bidirectional that capture only those coming from the front and back and those that capture only one direction.

Homem falando em um microfone condensador com headsets na cabeça

The condenser microphone is ideal for recording interviews and podcasts in the studio. (Source: Soundtrap/ Unsplash.com)

Sensitivity

The more sensitive the microphone, the more sound it can pick up. That's why this criterion is important, as you'll be able to choose how sensitive you want your ideal condenser microphone to be. In general, the more sensitive, the better. However, the more sensitive, the more expensive.

Connectivity

What types of equipment will you need your microphone to connect to? Nothing worse than buying a device that doesn't connect to the object you want to record, right? Then do not forget to seek which are the types of connection that it has or if you will need to buy some kind of adapter or even choose another microphone model.

Summary

With a condenser microphone, you're likely to achieve audio levels you never imagined. As we talked about during the article, they are extremely sensitive, so they capture and translate sound in a beautiful way.

Research well before choosing yours, after all it will be an investment that you will use for a long time. Remember to take into consideration factors such as sensitivity, connectivity, capture and use. Have a good choice!

(Fonte da imagem destacada: Fxprosound/ 123rf.com)

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