The Various Types of Microphones Used in Radio Stations

Media Entertainment Tech Outlook | Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The majority of radio stations have a variety of microphones. Specific microphones are built explicitly for vocal and on-air work.

FREMONT, CA: A microphone (mic) is a relatively straightforward device: speakers speak into it and pick up and transmit sound via a speaker. On the other hand, mics have a lengthy and winding history outside radio station studios.

Dynamic: Dynamic microphones are the most well-known form of a mic; they are the portable models used on stage by singers. They would most likely be employed in a radio studio if a band performed a song in the studio. Alternatively, if a reporter went into the field to gather information for a news report, he would use the dynamic mic due to its portability.

Capacitor/Condensor: Capacitor microphones (also known as condensor microphones) are among the oldest types of microphones. When picturing a radio studio, these microphones come to mind: the DJ speaks into the microphone, which is kept in place by a long arm-like device. Capacitor microphones perform well in quiet environments, which is why they are the most frequently used in radio studios. They are often more efficient than dynamic mics but also more expensive.

Electret: Electret microphones are a variation on the capacitor microphone, and they are significantly smaller and less expensive than their capacitor equivalents. Due to their lower-quality sound, they haven't gained much traction with radio stations, as many stations have chosen to invest a bit more in the capacitor mic's superior technology.

Carbon: The carbon microphone evokes thoughts of vintage jazz clubs, with the vocalist blasting a tune into the large, silver metal mic. Carbon mics are also known as microphones lowered from the ceiling to the man standing in the center of a boxing ring, waiting to announce the contestants. Although used in early twentieth-century radio stations, technology has rendered the carbon mic obsolete, despite its iconic appearance.

Ribbon: Ribbon microphones resemble capacitor microphones in appearance and are equally as old. Ribbon microphones, which were extremely popular with radio stations in the 1920s and 1930s (where they supplanted carbon mics), are velocity microphones. They are directional, which means speakers must position them in the direction of the sound they wish to record. Although early models were somewhat flimsy, improved technology has increased their durability.