The microphone is one of the most essentials in a recording studio. Making music requires a lot of things. There are so many factors and efforts intertwined behind recording music. Sensitivity in microphones is a very important thing, especially in terms of modern audio equipment. Let’s know about how to change mic sensitivity.
What is Mic Sensitivity?
In the simplest terms, sensitivity is the output for the given input. The microphone input impedance is more than the microphone. The input impedance is at least ten times the output impedance. The microphone sensitivity depends on the types of microphones. This is called the open circuit.
The microphone’s sensitivity is rated using this open circuit. The measurement is quite useful in microphone sensitivity. They provide accurate measurements.
For microphone sensitivity, there are three processes. They convert the energy within the microphone. It affects the sensitivity of the microphone. They are the transducer type, the reaction of the diaphragm to varying sound pressure levels, the amplification of the audio signal.
Condenser and Dynamic Mics
There are two major types of microphones. They are Condenser Mics and dynamic mics. The condenser microphones give a more detailed sound. They are sensitive to sound signals. The diaphragm is designed in such a way that they catch most of the frequency. They can catch the lower sound signals better than the other microphones out there.
This is because of the sensitive diaphragm of the condenser mics. They catch subtle sound changes. The condenser mics provide an excellent high-frequency response along with their high dynamic range. The mics take less energy to move so they preserve most of the higher frequency. They have a fast transient response. The dynamic mics are handy. This makes them perfect for live concerts.
The feedback in the dynamic mics is quite lower since they are less sensitive to sound. The microphones are unidirectional. They perform in a mid-frequency range. In recordings, this midrange is seen more than the low and high frequencies.
Models of Microphone
Apart from the type, the microphone sensitivity also depends on the model. Different models have different types of outputs. The sound source in this regard doesn’t matter much because the models give different types of output in the same source. The microphone sensitivity makes the acoustic pressure into electric voltage. Here high sensitivity means less amplification.
There is not a fixed factor on which the sensitivity is better. As we have seen from the above, it depends on a lot of factors. The recording apps also play an important role. Sometimes, the lower sensitivity is better while sometimes the higher sensitivity is better.
The low sensitivity mics make the recording perfect for a loud sound. The low sensitive MCS is used for bass guitar and miking guitar amplifiers, close-miking drums, mics used in a live setting, high SPL shots. Again, the higher sensitivity is perfect for quiet sound. They are used for recording natural sound, parabolic mic settings, voice-over work, acoustic guitar, room microphones, long-distance recording.
Sensitivity and Reference
In the open circuit, a reference is issued. It is sound pressure of 1 Pascal which equals 94 dB SPL. Microphone sensitivity is stated and referenced in decibels. The passive microphones have lower sensitivities. They are like moving coils. The AC voltage in the microphone is very small. They don’t have anything that will boost the sign. They do have a step-up transformer at the mic’s output but it is not enough to boost the signal.
This is why passive microphones have low sensitivity in them. The rating of the moving coil is between one to six mV/Pa. It is -60 to -44 dBV/Pa. A good and effective passive microphone is between 0.5 to 6 mV/Pa range.
These mics depend heavily on pre-amplification for boosting. The active microphones are more sensitive than the passive ones. They have in-built amplifiers. So, they are more sensitive. They do not need extra ones to help them boost. The sensitivity rating of an active microphone is among 8 to 32 mV/Pa. They still need to get a pre-amplification. But it’s just to get into the line level. Not much like the passive ones.
Microphone sensitivity is quite important in the recording studio. For recording music, you need a microphone. Different types of microphones emit different voices and functions. A lot of factors remain connected in this.
There is the environment, then the mic type, and then function. You must be familiar with these concepts to get the highest performance. We will end the article by answering some of the most asked questions.
How to Get More Signals from the Microphone
This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Many people want more signals from their microphones. For this, you have to follow the following steps –
Get a mic with a rating of high sensitivity. After that, increase the source volume. Then, you have to get the mic close to the source of the sound. In doing all these, make sure the mic is connected to an input. Then, disconnect pads on the mics or the preamp and increase the preamp.
How to convert voltages of output to dBV –
dBV = 20 * log10V
Output voltage – V
How to Convert Pascals to dB SPL?
dB SPL = 20 * log10(Pa/(2.0 x 10−5))
These might seem complicated but once you understand them, it will be clear. It is important to have proper knowledge regarding these topics.
You can also read: Best Microphone for Streaming
A recording studio is quite a big step as it involves a considerable amount of investment. The equipment can is brought suddenly. You will need to conduct in-depth research for all of these. While doing the research, you will slowly understand things. If you have a love or passion for something, every step towards it feels like an accomplishment. It won’t be a hassle if you are truly invested in the thought. Hope this article was helpful!