• the “heart” of the microphone
  • It vibrates to corresponding changes in air pressure

determined by how fast the conductor moves in and out of the magnetic field

determined by the strength of the magnet and the 

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amount of movement by the conductor

Dynamic Microphones

Moving Coil




 transducers which changes 

acoustical energy into electrical 


electrical signal

 produced by moving a conductor within a 

magnetic field

moving coil

The diaphragm is usually made of mylar


Thickness is approximately 0.35 mils


Attached to the diaphragm is the voice coil which is suspended to a high flux magnetic field

Resistive damping

used to achieve a flat frequency response


The diaphragm has a resonance 

in the middle frequencies

Ribbon microphone

ribbon uses the electromagnetic 

theory of induction

? A thin corrugated sheet of 

metal, usually aluminum, 

suspended in a magnetic field

Condenser Microphone

works on an electrostatic principle


capacitor is capable of storing a charge


determined by:


 The composition and surface areas of the plates


The dielectric or substance between the plates, air


The distance between the plates 

(variable with changing air pressure)

electrostatic principle

Depends on variations in internal 


tube power supply

Tube type condensers require a special cable between the mic and power supply


The cable contains extra conductors which carry the voltage separate from the audio

Phantom Power

The audio and DC supply voltage travel 

in the same conductors (48 Vdc)


Usually available on the console


The mic will draw the required power while 

dynamic mics will ignore the power

center tapped transformer

A transformer at the console input will not pass DC voltage therefore the only path to travel is to the microphone


 Another transformer at the microphone routes the voltage in the appropriate direction


 The return of the DC voltage is down the shield to the negative side of the supply

The polarizing charge is stored permanently within the diaphragm or back plate


No form of powering is required to charge the diaphragm


 The pre-amp will still require power


A well designed capsule will retain its charge for at least 10 years


It is predicted it would take 30 to 100 years for the capsule sensitivity to drop 3 dB