Whatever the type of the microphone is, all have one thing is common. That is the diaphragm which is actually a thin paper or a thin piece of aluminum or plastic, located in the head of a typical microphone, and vibrates when it catches sound waves produced by differences in air pressure (see Fig. Vibrations in this diaphragm cause vibrations in other modules of the microphone as well which causes them to get converted to electrical signals that are actually the sound that we hear.All microphones can be referred to as transducers that convert one form of energy (input) into another (output). Microphones that convert acoustical energy directly into electrical signals or the other way round without requiring any peripheral power supply are called passive transducers. The electrical output comes directly from the acoustic power these transducers absorb thus making these “strictly limited by the conservation of energy” (Calvert). Examples include dynamic, magnetic, piezoelectric and dc-polarized condenser microphones.Active transducers produce electric current straight in response to the environmental stimuli and control “an external source of power” (Calvert). Examples include carbon microphones and RF-condenser microphones.All magnetic microscopes that operate according to the law of induction are called velocity transducers. Here, the principle is that the output electrical current is proportional to the velocity of the displacement of the diaphragm that occurs as a result of vibrations.All microphones share one characteristic that is looked for when we have to assess what microphone is best suited for which application. This is called directionality. This tells how much a microphone is sensitive to sound coming from different directions. Some microphones only absorb sound from one direction while some absorb sound coming from all or a combination of directions. Such microphones are called directional microphones. Directionality is of three types (WiseGEEK):Omnidirectional microphones absorb sound coming from all directions. These are also called pressure transducers. Their front face only is showing to the sound field and the diaphragm tends to pick up all sound vibrations equally that hit its surface no matter which direction they are coming from.Polar pattern is the name given to the
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