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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Small Diaphragm Mics

10. What to Get?

Small
DiaphragmIn a microphone the diaphragm is a thin membrane up to 1" in diameter that converts sound waves into electrical current. A loudspeaker diaphragm does exactly the reverse.
diaphragm
condensers are a must for any studio, even the smallest ones. Whenever you need want a detailed, transparent sound, a small
DiaphragmIn a microphone the diaphragm is a thin membrane up to 1" in diameter that converts sound waves into electrical current. A loudspeaker diaphragm does exactly the reverse.
diaphragm
condenser should be your first choice. For maximum versatility, get a stereo set. Exchangeable
CapsuleThe part of a microphone containing the diaphragm which moves or vibrates in response to sound waves.
capsules
are nice and useful, but if you’re on a budget,
CardioidA heart-shaped microphone response pattern. In effect, cardioid mics are generally directional, but not strongly unidirectional.
cardioids
will do just fine in most applications. If you often record relatively quiet sources, make sure the self-noise figure is no higher than 20 dB-A. Other technical figures are rarely an issue.
SensitivityThe input level (in dB) required by an audio device to drive it to its rated output level.
Sensitivity
is usually high enough on any condenser
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
mic
, maximum
SPLSound Pressure Level: acoustic sound volume, measured in decibels (dB).
SPL
is mostly a non-issue in home applications. Extras such as pad- and low
CutTo make a break or split in a piece of audio. Traditionally this was done with a razor blade where magnetic tape was physically cut.
cut
switches and accessories such as elastic suspensions are not essential, but in many applications they will make work more comfortable.

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