Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 1, last updated 6/25/2013
21
Figure 1.18 Polar plot of a dynamic cardioid microphone,
showing pickup patterns for various frequencies
The sensitivity that a microphone has to sounds at
different frequencies is called its frequency response (a
term also used to describe the behavior of filters in later
chapters). If a microphone picks up all frequencies equally,
it has a flat frequency response. However, a perfectly flat
frequency response is not always desirable. The Shure
SM58 microphone's popularity, for example, can be
attributed in part to increased sensitivity at higher
frequencies, which can make the human voice more clear and intelligible. Of course, you could
achieve this same frequency response using an EQ (i.e., an equalization process that adjusts
frequencies), but if you can get a microphone that naturally sounds good for the sound you're
trying to capture, it can save you time, effort, and money.
Figure 1.19 On-axis frequency response of the Shure SM58 microphone
89 7 6 5 4 3 2 89 7 6 5 4 3 2
+20
+10
0
–10
–20
d
B
20 50 100 1000 10000 20000
Hz
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
+20
+10
0
–10
–20
d
B
20 50 100 1000 10000 20000
Hz
Aside: Shure hosts an interactive
tool on their website called the Shure
Microphone Listening Lab where you can
audition all the various microphones in
their catalog. You can try it out yourself at
http://www.shure.com/americas/buyers-
guide/mic-listening-lab
Previous Page Next Page