101 Guide to Microphones

On this (Matrix inspired) video, Kevin from RocketJump Film School discusses different basic topics that might help you choose and use microphones better for your next production.

In the video Kevin starts by looking at what is sound, how a mic record sound, what pre-amps do and how microphones (typically) connect to them.

Kevin also looks at the three different types of microphones that you might want to use – dynamic, condenser and ribbon.  Dynamic mics are cheap, robust and good to record very high level sounds, however they are not that good for more quiet and accurate. Condenser mics create hotter sound and are more accurate in general. They typically do require you to use phantom power (most cases 48V that comes from your pre-amp or recording device you are using in most cases). Ribbon mics are less used for video but are much more common in recording studios (they are delicate and not meant to receive phantom power).

Kevin also talks (and mostly demonstrates) pick up patterns from different mics – such as omnidirectional (good from all directions), carioid mic is mostly sensitive from the front and sides (there are also a few other types of cardioid mics with somewhat pick up patterns – they are all directional mics).

On LensVid we have a very extensive section devoted to sound recording for video productions which covers both equipment and techniques here on LensVid.