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Author Topic: A Straightforward Discussion Of Microphone Variable Polar Patterns  (Read 1080 times)

M. Erik Matlock

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A Straightforward Discussion Of Microphone Variable Polar Patterns
Looking at the obvious advantages of different microphone polar patterns that work most effectively in specific situations.
By PSW Staff • Posted in Reading Room on August 8, 2018

Variable polar patterns can actually be good for several things. Before we go into them, we should probably briefly discuss what the main polar patterns are.

The three “main” polar patterns are cardioid (or unidirectional), figure-eight (or bidirectional), and omnidirectional. In a nutshell a cardioid microphone picks up sound from the “front” only. A figure-eight microphone picks up sound from the front and rear of the microphone. An omnidirectional microphone picks up sound from all around.

There are also a few polar patterns that fall between cardioid and figure eight that are supercardioid and hypercardioid. A supercardoid pattern has more side rejection than cardioid… in other words, it’s even more directional… but there’s a little more pickup from the rear. A hypercardioid pattern offers even more side rejection, but there’s even more pickup from the rear.

If you look at the patterns side by side you’ll see a “progression” from cardioid to supercardioid to hypercardioid to figure-eight where the side rejection gets better but the lobe in the back grows until pickup from the front and back is equal and the rejection on the sides is almost complete.

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« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 11:49:29 AM by Keith Clark »
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