What Is A Dynamic Microphone? 3 Main Features

Microphones

Symphonies and whispers both generate sound waves. Microphones convert sound waves to electrical impulses. A computer turns these electrical impulses into 1’s and 0’s. Now that the computer sound wave is in a language that a computer understands, it can manipulate it (amplify, distort, e.t.c)

Microphones transduce this signal in a variety of ways depending on their kind… they all however use a diaphragm.

The Diaphragm

Now a dynamic microphone would not be a microphone without a diaphragm… nor would any microphone be a microphone without a diaphragm. The diaphragm is a tiny little speaker-like object made of plastic, metal and magnets. Sound causes the diaphragm to vibrate, and these vibrations are transduced into electrical energy due to electro-magnetism, all this audio stuff really comes down to physics doesn’t it.

dynamic microphone
A Dynamic Microphone

Small Vs Large Diaphragms

Small Diaphragms are good at detecting higher frequencies, and keep a polar pattern well preserved. You will see these types of mics used for instruments like acoustic guitar, snares, pianos, ukuleles e.t.c.

Large Diaphragms have a higher sensitvity and provide a fuller side. They measure a larger range and thus have less consistent polar patterns. Instruments like Vocals, Kick Drums, Toms and Cellos.

A Dynamic Microphone

dynamic-mic
Anatomy of a Dynamic Microphone

Using a magnet, dynamic microphones convert sound waves into electricity. They function similarly to speakers, but in reverse. Electricity shakes the diaphragm in a speaker, causing sound waves to be produced. Dynamic microphones, on the other hand, pick up sound waves that cause the diaphragm to shake and generate energy. This electricity is subsequently amplified by a transformer and delivered to the microphone’s output, resulting in sound.

Because the coil inside of the diaphragm has a specific weight, if you generate a silent sound or a sound with an unusually high or low frequency, the coil will not vibrate sufficiently to output sound.

When To Use a Dynamic Microphone

Dynamic microphones can take very loud noises without being damaged, due to their low sensitivity and higher gain threshold. So, Dynamic microphones make excellent studio microphones for anything that’s really loud.

Examples of what situations to use them in:

  • Electric Guitars (The Amp)
  • Brass instruments (Horns, Sax, e.t.c.)
  • Strong Vocals
  • Snare drums
  • Electronic Keys
dynamic microphone sm7b
The Shure SM7B is a Dynamic Microphone

Take Away

A dynamic microphone is one of the oldest type of microphone around, it utilizes magnets and not phantom power to function. Dynamic Microphones handle loud sounds very well, and are used in a live concert, or with louder instruments in the studio.

Advantages
  • Durable, and Handle Loud Noises
  • Produces Good Sound Quality
  • Cheap
  • No Power Required
Disadvantages
  • Microphone Mechanics Limit, Sound Reproduction Quality From Being The Best
  • Bad For Recording Higher Frequency Instruments

Now you know what a Dynamic Microphone, aren’t your curious to learn what a Condenser Microphone

is as well?

Mark D.

Mark D.

Hi, I'm Mark. I've been playing instruments since I was just a little kid. I've played cello and piano for a few years, and recently picked up guitar. I've produced bad music. I also run this blog where I share interesting things I've learned. I hope you Enjoy my posts!

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