[Dixielandjazz] FW: Advice about Mics

budtuba at aol.com budtuba at aol.com
Tue Mar 10 10:57:22 PDT 2009

 The electret condenser microphone is the simplest mechanical design one can imagine and yet has a tremendous frequency range.? Any of the MP3 players, cell phones, hearing aides, etc. built in the last 10 years are equipped with electret condenser microphones.? A musician friend of mine who heads up the local university electrical engineering school gave me (literally) a handful of these years back and I started using them successfully.? The stereo versions would imply two of the same.? The variable separation is usually provided by the mechanical design of baffles to isolate sounds coming from different directions.

The following is from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphone

An electret microphone is a relatively new type of capacitor microphone invented at Bell laboratories in 1962 by Gerhard Sessler and Jim West.? The externally-applied charge described above under condenser
microphones is replaced by a permanent charge in an electret material.
An electret is a ferroelectric material that has been permanently electrically charged or polarized. The name comes from electrostatic and magnet;
a static charge is embedded in an electret by alignment of the static
charges in the material, much the way a magnet is made by aligning the
magnetic domains in a piece of iron.

They are used in many applications, from high-quality recording and lavalier use to built-in microphones in small sound recording
devices and telephones. Though electret microphones were once low-cost
and considered low quality, the best ones can now rival capacitor
microphones in every respect and can even offer the long-term stability
and ultra-flat response needed for a measuring microphone. Unlike other
capacitor microphones, they require no polarizing voltage, but normally
contain an integrated preamplifier which does require power (often incorrectly called polarizing power or bias). This preamp is frequently phantom powered
in sound reinforcement and studio applications. While few electret
microphones rival the best DC-polarized units in terms of noise level,
this is not due to any inherent limitation of the electret. Rather,
mass production techniques needed to produce electrets cheaply don't
lend themselves to the precision needed to produce the highest quality

The real issue will be if the signal out is sufficient high enough voltage to match your cam-corder otherwise you'll need another preamplifier to bring it up.


Roy (Bud) Taylor
Smugtown Stompers Jazz Band
Trad Jazz since 1958...we ain't just whistling dixie!



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