Microphone - Microphone Polar Patterns

Microphone Polar Patterns

(Microphone facing top of page in diagram, parallel to page):

  • Omnidirectional
  • Bi-directional or Figure of 8
  • Subcardioid
  • Cardioid
  • Hypercardioid
  • Supercardioid
  • Shotgun

A microphone's directionality or polar pattern indicates how sensitive it is to sounds arriving at different angles about its central axis. The polar patterns illustrated above represent the locus of points that produce the same signal level output in the microphone if a given sound pressure level (SPL) is generated from that point. How the physical body of the microphone is oriented relative to the diagrams depends on the microphone design. For large-membrane microphones such as in the Oktava (pictured above), the upward direction in the polar diagram is usually perpendicular to the microphone body, commonly known as "side fire" or "side address". For small diaphragm microphones such as the Shure (also pictured above), it usually extends from the axis of the microphone commonly known as "end fire" or "top/end address".

Some microphone designs combine several principles in creating the desired polar pattern. This ranges from shielding (meaning diffraction/dissipation/absorption) by the housing itself to electronically combining dual membranes.

Read more about this topic:  Microphone

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... Several approaches have been developed for effectively using a microphone in less-than-ideal acoustic spaces, which often suffer from excessive reflections from one or more of the surfaces (bo ... If the microphone is placed in, or very close to, one of these boundaries, the reflections from that surface are not sensed by the microphone ... Initially this was done by placing an ordinary microphone adjacent to the surface, sometimes in a block of acoustically transparent foam ...

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