Microphone Directionality

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There are two basic types of microphone — omnidirectional and unidirectional[1].

Omnidirectional Microphone

Omni icon.gif

Omnidirectional mic. It is sensitive to sounds from all directions.

Best to use when more room ambiance is the goal. Direct and ambient sound can be adjusted by moving the mic closer to or further from the sound source.

Unidirectional Microphone

Uni con.gif

These are sensitive to sound coming from only one direction – let’s say from a guitar amplifier.

Cardioid

The most common type of unidirectional microphone is called a “cardioid” because its pickup pattern is heart-shaped. It picks up most sound from the front of the microphone and some from the sides.

Supercardioid / Hypercardioid

Superhypercardioid icons.gif

Supercardioid or hypercardioid microphones offer even greater sound isolation through narrower pickup patterns.