How to understand microphones

JEFF TILLINGHAST ON UNDERSTANDING MORE ABOUT MICROPHONES: “I often hear two misconceptions from musicians and conductors about microphones: either that mics “work in a straight line, and whatever is in front of them is what they’ll pick up, or that mics “have a cone” (this is often explained with the person making a pie wedge shape with their hands), and that this is what the mics will receive. The theory goes that if the musicians are within “a certain range” of the mic, they’ll all be picked up equally. The cone theory usually coincidentally matches the physical dimensions of the mic in question, as if mics were some kind of soundproof scoop which collected anything with their arc. The truth is only slightly more complicated, but much more useful.”

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