One question that always comes up is what is better between ribbon microphone vs condenser microphone. These have similar features but are not different, knowing about the different types of microphones is important to choose the most appropriate one, for the instrument, physical space, or genre that you want to record.
If you want your music to sound radio-ready, you need to use the right microphone. It can be confusing to choose a microphone. Especially when you’re recording for the first time. How can you decide which microphone is right for you out of all these different types?
By the end of this article, you will know the pros and cons of Dynamic vs Ribbon Microphone vs Condenser, and when they should be used.
Dynamic vs Ribbon Microphone vs Condenser
Dynamic vs Ribbon Microphone vs Condenser are discussed in this post. We explain how they work, how they sound, and what the differences between them are.
Let’s talk about dynamic microphones first.
In general, when we refer to a dynamic microphone we mean “moving coil dynamic microphone.” Dynamic microphones are electromagnetic transducers, which means ribbon microphones are also technically dynamic microphones (we’ll discuss them shortly).
The electromagnetic induction process converts sound waves into audio signals in a dynamic microphone.
The device moves a diaphragm (and an attached coil) within a magnetic field within a permanent magnet.
Despite being firmly attached to the diaphragm, the conductive coil is drawn as though it is not attached, in order to differentiate between the two pieces.
The workings of a dynamic microphone can be summed up as follows:
- Diaphragm movement is caused by small variations in pressure on one side of the diaphragm.
- The coil moves with the diaphragm as it moves.
- As the magnets and pole pieces provide a permanent magnetic field, this conductive coil oscillates back and forth. Magnetic structures are constructed with cylindrical spaces that accommodate coils without touching magnets. The magnetic pole of one coil is in the interior, while the magnetic pole of the other coil is on the outside.
- The conductive coil experiences changes in magnetic flux as it moves within the permanent magnetic field. Electromagnetic induction induces a voltage across the coil when the flux changes.
- A coil produces an AC voltage when it oscillates (alternating directions). AC voltage at the diaphragm of the microphone alternates with sound waves!
- In order to output the AC voltage from the dynamic mic, electrical lead wires are connected to the coil and the coil voltage is sent through passive circuitry.
By using electrostatic principles, condenser microphones convert sound waves into audio signals. This is done by means of a parallel-plate capacitor-like capsule. Diaphragm movable (backplate stationery) and diaphragm movable (diaphragm movable).
The workings of a condenser microphone are as follows:
- It is necessary to maintain a constant charge on the parallel-plate capacitor before a condenser microphone can work properly. In addition to the permanent charge (with electret material), phantom power and DC biasing voltage can also be used to provide this charge. The voltage will change inversely proportionately to any change in capacitance between the plates in a constant charge.
- As a result of sound waves, the diaphragm moves at one of its sides, causing small changes in pressure.
- The distance between the plates varies as the diaphragm moves back and forth. The capacitance of a capacitor is determined by the distance between its plates. The capacitance varies with the space between the plates. The voltage varies with the capacitance.
- There is an AC voltage present since the diaphragm oscillates (alternating directions). Sound waves are generated at a mic’s diaphragm by this AC voltage (audio signal)!
- An active impedance converter converts this AC voltage into the condenser mic’s inner circuitry and sends it out.
Ribbon microphones are dynamic, as mentioned earlier. Ribbon mics are distinguished from moving-coil dynamic mics by their diaphragm, commonly referred to as “ribbons.”
By electromagnetic induction, ribbon microphones convert sound waves into audio signals. In a permanent magnetic structure, it uses a ribbon-like diaphragm suspended within a magnetic field.
Here’s how a ribbon microphone works:
- The conductive ribbon-like diaphragm moves when sound waves cause pressure variations on either side.
- A permanent magnet is used to supply the diaphragm of this ribbon with a magnetic field that oscillates back and forth.
- When it moves through the permanent magnetic field, the ribbon experiences a changing flux of magnetic energy. Electromagnetic induction causes a voltage to be induced across the ribbon as a result of this flux change.
- Ribbon diaphragms oscillate in opposite directions, so they produce an AC voltage. Exactly as the mic’s diaphragm vibrates, there is an AC voltage (audio signal)!
This AC voltage is transmitted through the passive circuitry of the ribbon mic via the electrical lead wires attached to each end of the ribbon diaphragm.