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A Basic Guide to Understanding Condenser Microphones

Similar to our previous blog, understanding condenser microphones is just as important as understanding how dynamic ones work as well. In this guide, we'll cover the most basic facts about how these microphones work and how they can best be utilized.

  1. Capsule: The heart of a condenser microphone is its capsule, which consists of a thin, conductive diaphragm and a metal backplate that are separated by a small distance (typically a few micrometers).

  2. Sound waves: When sound waves reach the capsule, they cause the diaphragm to vibrate, changing the distance between it and the backplate.

  3. Capacitance: This change in distance creates a change in capacitance between the diaphragm and backplate, which can be measured as an electrical signal.

  4. Polarization: To create a usable electrical signal, the capsule must be polarized with an electrical charge, which is supplied by a preamp or an external power supply.

  5. Amplification: The small electrical signal generated by the capsule is then amplified by the microphone's internal preamp or by an external preamp to produce a stronger signal that can be recorded or transmitted.

  6. Output: The output from a condenser microphone can be either analog or digital, depending on the design of the microphone and the requirements of the recording system it is connected to.

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