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Discover all the dynamic microphone reviews for recording studios or live performance. As opposed to condenser microphones, not all dynamic microphones require external power (phantom power). The most prestigious brands are Shure, AKG, Electro Voice, Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser and Audio-Technica.
Good to know: Dynamic microphones are most commonly used for recording vocals and acoustic instruments in concert (live) but also for studio recording.
Today, microphones are part of our daily lives. Did you know that a microphone is also called an electroacoustic transducer? Its primary function is to transform an acoustic oscillation into an electrical oscillation. This is precisely the case with the dynamic microphone.
To understand how a microphone works, it’ s important to know the different parts that constitute it (or its anatomy). A dynamic microphone can be divided into three parts:
It’s possible to classify microphones according to some characteristics:
As you can see, the world of microphones is very wide. To be more exact, we will focus on electrodynamic microphones, usually called dynamic microphones.
The dynamic microphone has a very thin diaphragm. It’ s very thin and is attached to the coil. The coil is made with copper wires of a total length of 2 to 4 meters. It must be as lightweight as possible, because it will move in the air gap of a fixed permanent magnet with an induction of about 1 Tesla. The operating principle of a dynamic moving-coil microphone is based on Faraday’s law. In simple terms, the variation of magnetic flux through a closed circuit causes an electric current to appear, called the induced current.
Faced with a sound source, the diaphragm will start to vibrate. The coil which is mechanically attached to it will also move. It is this back and forth movement that will generate an electric current within the coil. The output level is low, but can be amplified up to a certain level without problem. To do this, we can use a pre-amp that can be found in the input circuits of a mixing console for example.
The uninitiated may think that dynamic microphones generate noise by themselves because of their built-in active circuitry. But, all circuits have an electrical circuit that will produce noise. Higher is the resistor, higher is the noise. In addition, the impact of air molecules on the microphone diaphragm will generate noise.
A large diaphragm is a major advantage, because the sound is generated from the impact of the air molecules. A large diaphragm is a good thing, because the sound is generated from the impact of the air molecules. A large diaphragm will give a better result. Usually, dynamic microphones are available in omnidirectional and cardioid versions. For this type of microphone, it’ s impossible to use more than one diaphragm. Therefore, each model is normally designed to offer only one type of directional response.
The bandwidth of a microphone is its ability to reproduce the frequencies it picks up. Dynamic microphones have a much smaller bandwidth than condenser microphone. In fact, microphone manufacturers will reduce the bandwidth in order to adapt the microphone to specific types of sound recording. In the example of a dynamic microphone, this bandwidth will be between 80 Hz and 15,000 Hz. This is the frequency range of the voice.
The response curve corresponds to the character of the microphone. In other words, it will show the response of the various frequencies included in its bandwidth. It takes the form of a diagram showing peaks and troughs as a function of the frequencies picked up by the microphone. In general, the response curve of a dynamic microphone is fairly linear over a frequency range from 30 Hz to 10 kHz.
Usually a phantom power supply is used to activate the condenser of an electrostatic microphone and to power the small built-in amplifier. Some dynamic microphones have such an amplifier. In this situation, we speak of an active microphone. Passive dynamic microphones don’t need an external power supply. However, if they are supplied with power, they cannot be damaged. There is, however, one condition: you must use the correct cable.
A dynamic microphone is omnidirectional. It has a fairly low sensitivity and will require the use of a microphone preamplifier. It can handle sound pressure levels of up to about 180 dB SPL. Its response curve is more or less linear over a frequency range of 30 Hz to 10 kHz. It is, however, much less accurate than a condenser microphone.
The dynamic microphone is not very sensitive to wind, as opposed to vibrations. This is caused by its high inertia resulting from the mass of the coil. Manual operation may be difficult unless the microphone is equipped with a shock filter. Otherwise, the use of a stand or tripod is recommended. In addition, it’ s a stable and very robust microphone. It is not very sensitive to moisture, which makes it the ultimate weapon for external use.
There is no rule concerning the choice of studio microphone. It all depends on the sound you want to achieve. This is the criterion for choosing a microphone.
However, dynamic microphones are able to handle very high sound volumes. This is why they are used for recording a bass drum or a snare drum. They can also be used for recording wind instruments such as saxophone, trumpet or clarinet. They are also the ideal recording equipment to pick up high volume guitar amps. They can be used on stage or in a recording studio.
They can also be used for vocal recording. The sound will not be as detailed as when used on an instrument, but it will still be acceptable. However, if you are recording metal or rock music, the result will surprise you.
However, as with ribbon microphones, the output level of dynamic microphones is quite low. They therefore require the use of a good amplifier. In some cases, the microphone requires a high gain to work properly.
On the market, you can find dynamic microphones that require about 60 dB of gain to achieve optimum results. This is higher than what is usually found on a mixer and on entry-level and mid-range audio interfaces.
In this case, we recommend the use of a Cloudlifter. This is a preamp with a high-performance circuit that can add up to +25 dB to your signal. The result is exceptional sound quality. Of course, it's not essential for all dynamic microphones.
To improve sound quality, you can also use an anti-pop filter, or a windscreen to limit plosives.
The dynamic microphones have many advantages over its competitors. They have an exceptional quality/price ratio. They are not only very robust microphones, but they are also relatively inexpensive. Their resistance gives them a great deal of versatility. Indeed, this type of microphone will always find a place whether on stage or in the studio. They can also handle high sound pressure levels.
Nevertheless, they also have some disadvantages. One of these is the sensitivity of the microphone. The coil, which has a fairly large mass, is attached to the diaphragm. The movement of the diaphragm is limited by the weight of the coil. This will result in a loss of sensitivity, especially in the high frequencies. Usually, a dynamic microphone is designed to operate effectively up to 16 kHz. Above this frequency, the sensitivity of the microphone will drop considerably.
Technological advances have enabled new materials to be used in the design of dynamic microphones. One example is the use of neodymium for the magnetic structure. It provides a much stronger magnetic field. It also allows the use of a much smaller coil. This allows the diaphragm to move more rapidly in the high frequencies. This is what has enabled some manufacturers to equip their microphones with a frequency response of up to 20 kHz.
The output level of the dynamic microphone is also a weakness. Dynamic microphones require a great deal of amplification. If the sounds being recorded are loud and close to the microphone, this is not a problem. However, if the sounds are weak and/or distant, they will require amplification. The result will be too loud. This is one of the reasons why dynamic microphones are not used for recording instruments such as the acoustic guitar.
The dynamic microphone as the EV RE20 represents the best value for money. In fact, in its category, you can find high-performance, versatile microphones at an unbeatable price. Typically, its frequency response curve is good, giving it good sensitivity and clear, crisp sound. It's a professional microphone for vocals and various types of instruments. Extremely robust, this type of microphone can withstand fairly violent shocks without affecting its performance.
For reference, we have made a selection of the best microphones on the market. It’ s important to note that before buying a microphone, you should try it out. Remember that each microphone produces a unique sound.