Dynamic microphones convert sound waves into electrical signals using electromagnetic induction. It is called a dynamic microphone because it operates on the principle of electromagnetic induction in a dynamic or moving coil.
Dynamic mics are known for their durability and ability to handle high sound pressure levels. They are commonly used in live performances, broadcasting, and recording environments where ruggedness and reliability are significant factors.
In addition to recording vocals and musical instruments, they can also capture sound effects.
But let’s find out about it more and see how a dynamic mic works and how we can use it for recording.
How Does A Dynamic Microphone Work?
A dynamic microphone consists of a diaphragm, a coil of wire attached to the diaphragm, and a magnet. When sound waves hit the diaphragm, it vibrates, causing the coil of wire to move within the magnetic field produced by the magnet.
This movement generates electric current proportional to sound wave amplitude and frequency.
Knowing more about dynamic mics will help you to choose the right mic for your studio.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how a dynamic microphone operates:
- Diaphragm: The dynamic microphone consists of a diaphragm, which is a thin, flexible membrane usually made of mylar or metal. The diaphragm acts as the primary sound-capturing element of the microphone.
- Coil and Magnet: Behind the diaphragm, there is a coil of wire attached to it. This coil is suspended within the magnetic field of a permanent magnet. The magnet is typically a small cylindrical or ring-shaped magnet positioned around the coil.
- Sound Waves: When sound waves reach the microphone, they cause the diaphragm to vibrate. The diaphragm moves back and forth in response to the variations in air pressure created by the sound waves.
- Induction Process: As the diaphragm moves, it causes the coil attached to it to move within the magnetic field. This movement of the coil creates changes in the magnetic flux passing through the coil.
- Electromotive Force: According to Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction, the changing magnetic flux through the coil induces an electromotive force (EMF) or voltage across the coil. This induced voltage is proportional to the velocity of the coil’s movement, which is determined by the sound wave’s amplitude and frequency.
- Electrical Signal: The induced voltage generated across the coil represents the electrical signal corresponding to the sound wave. This electrical signal is then passed through the microphone’s output connections, usually through a transformer or preamplifier, to match the impedance and level requirements of the audio system it is connected to.
- Output: The output of the dynamic microphone is a low-level analog signal that can be further amplified and processed to be recorded, transmitted, or amplified for live sound reproduction.
It’s important to note that dynamic microphones are passive devices, meaning they do not require external power such as phantom power to generate the electrical signal.
The movement of the coil within the magnetic field is sufficient to generate the electrical output signal, making dynamic microphones rugged, reliable, and suitable for various applications.
How To Use Dynamic Mics?
A dynamic microphone is known for its durability and ability to handle high sound pressure levels. They are commonly used in live performances, broadcasting, and recording environments where ruggedness and reliability are important factors.
One of the advantages of dynamic microphones is their ability to handle loud sounds without distorting or overloading the microphone’s electronics.
However, dynamic microphones generally have a narrower frequency response compared to condenser microphones, which may limit their accuracy in capturing subtle details and high-frequency sounds.
Dynamic mics are one of the best microphones for recording and you can record anything with them but let me tell you what I like to record with dynamic microphones.
The first thing you can record with a dynamic mic is vocals and the most popular mic for that is Shure SM58 which is used on multiple songs.
But you can use other dynamic mics to record vocals because they give you a focused and in-your-face sound that can be very helpful for vocals.
In some cases, a condenser mic might be a good option but in general, I like dynamic mics for lead vocals and condensers for backing or group vocals.
In my opinion, these types of mics are the best microphones for recording vocals.
Another way to use a dynamic microphone is to record guitars and bass guitars if you like to use guitar amps.
Shure SM57 is a great vocal mic but it also works perfectly for guitars and almost every rock and metal song uses it.
It gives you a very focused and detailed sound which is great for heavy music and if you blend it with a condenser mic, then you can get even better sound.
However, if you use only one mic to record guitars then I recommend using dynamic mics over condenser microphones.
And lastly, I love using dynamic microphones to record drums, except for room mics- condensers work better as drum overhead mics and they capture the room sound better.
But other than cymbals I like to record drums with dynamic mics because they give me more powerful drum sounds.
Sometimes I might use different types of mics for drums but I always use dynamic mics to record snare.
If you are interested, you can check my list of best drum mics to find the one for you.
So, as you can see dynamic mics are great to record different instruments and very popular type of mic among recording engineers. They blend perfectly with condenser mics which allows you to create awesome and interesting sounds and tones. Knowing more about them will help you to use them properly in your recording sessions.