Selecting Vocal Microphone – Understanding Technical Specifications

This short article gives frequency response, sensitivity, impedance, and self noise level: an overview on five significant measures which are usually recorded in microphone specification sheets, and signal to noise ratio. Understanding these specs can help when attempting to select the studio microphone to buy for a particular use.

Frequency Response
Frequency response quantifies how different sound frequencies are reacted to by a microphone. A perfect “flat” result (equal sensitivity) microphone would react equally to all frequencies within the audible spectrum. This creates the purest audio and results in a more exact reproduction of sound. The fact remains the fact that even microphone which are advertised as having a “flat response” can deviate somewhat at specific frequencies. Usually spec sheets will list frequency response as a variety like “20Hz to 20kHz”, which means the microphone can copy sounds that fall within that range. What this doesn’t describe is the way precisely the various frequencies that are individual will likely be copied. Some microphone are purposely made to react differently to specific frequencies. As an example, instrument microphone for bass drums are typically engineered while vocal microphone would be more sensitive to the frequency of a human voice to be more sensitive to reduce frequencies.
As a rule of thumb, dynamic has not more level frequency responses than condenser microphones. What this means is that if truth of sound duplication is the primary target, a condenser would tend to be the greater option.
studio microphone sensitivity quantifies how much electric output signal (measured in “millivolts” mV) is created for certain sound pressure input signal. Usually when quantifying microphone sensitivity the mic is positioned in a benchmark sound field in which a sound pressure level (SPL) of 94 dB (1 Pascal) at 1000 Hz is kept in the microphone.