Microphones make all the different in the corporate environment, and it is vital for you to better understand how and why. Read along as your team at Dobil defines microphone types and uses that can be implemented in your company!
Microphone Solutions – for Group, Classroom, and Individual Live Interaction in the Corporate Environment
It is important to us to familiarize you with what some of the different microphone options are so you can know what questions to ask your team here at Dobil so we can help you find a solution.
Who is Audio-Technica?
Audio-Technica is a family owned company formed in Tokyo in 1962. The goal of the founder was to provide high quality audio equipment at reasonable prices. At this point in time, they were working with cartridges and styluses for turntables and they found that in order to get a high quality cartridge, it was very expensive and the average person could not afford it.
By 1984, Audio-Technica had added both headphones and microphones to the transducer catalog and introduced unipoint series of microphones that same year. While that may not sound essential, but really that was the first mass-produced small element for microphones and they were the first ones to really bring that out.
By the early 2000s, our company was clearly established with condenser microphones not only in the corporate environment but also in recording studios and the broadcast field, and are used far and wide.
Today they have all manner of not only microphones, but of electronics, wireless microphones, digital mixers, and all the things you need to get your audio into an electric format to have clear communication, meetings, and learning environments.
Dynamic microphones are typically the type of microphone you think of when you think about singers and performers. These are used where you need a lot of noise rejection, for example if you are on a loud sound stage and need that isolation injection.
Condenser microphones are used for voice and music sources where you need detail and a good dynamic range of difference between your very soft and very loud sounds. These often look like and are referred to as a “gooseneck” microphone with a long chord and a little bud at the end.
The dynamic microphone is simple and inexpensive, but the problem is that it has low sensitivity and needs to be very close to the talker or source. If you take one of these and keep it at a distance, it won’t work well and isn’t being used properly. The condenser mic can pick up details from a distance, making this type more attractive even if it is a less attractive price.
Microphones without directionality are called omnidirectional. They pick sounds up in every direction. Unidirectional microphones pick up sound in a single direction, these are classified by different manufacturers with various names. What is important to know is that some mics have a specific direction that they need to be pointed and some do not.
A lot of times, people like the idea of a microphone that picks up everything. This is seldom a good idea. An example to note is in a boardroom style set up, a microphone in the middle of the room picking up all sounds in all directions may seem like a great option. In reality, there will be people who speak at different levels, and trying to get balance with only one microphone that picks up sound in all directions is next to impossible.
On the other end of the video conference or other event, if someone tries to adjust the volume to accommodate a person speaking at a specific level, then it affects the volume of the person speaking at the other level and throws the balance way off.
The best solution for this is to get multiple microphones that have that directionality and point it specifically at the source that you want to pick up so that you can find that balance to allow the people on the other end to hear clearly.
When considering different kinds of options in different styles of rooms or classrooms, the various factors to take into consideration include numbers of tables and chairs and strategically placing the microphones after analyzing the set up.
Microphone Form Factor
When it comes to your form factor, you have two options: something that will be on your table or something that will not be and may be suspended.
One of the choices for on-table microphones are boundary type microphones which sit on the boundary of the table. The advantage of these is that they are close to the sound source and your isolation for your people is very good. Some of them are low profile and others are even built into the table like button mics as they are typically referred to.
If they are inserted into the table, some of these can get expensive and there are potential complications with other forms of technology like laptops getting in the way on the tables. The advantage comes with the convenience, they are small and easy to switch on and off and can be incorporated very positively in many situations.
From an audio standpoint, your best option is a gooseneck microphone. It allows you position flexibility because they have flex pipe sections and can be moved around, and can be positioned closest to the sound source which gives you the best sound quality and isolation. It also brings you a clear table workspace since they are suspended and are out of the way.
The problem with using gooseneck mics is that it will require more microphones– one for every one or two people typically and these must be mounted and can interfere with shots if anything is being done on camera.
The next type of microphone you may encounter is an array type microphone which contains multiple elements of microphones and allows you to configure it and point it in virtually any direction. They are in fixed positions but are further from the source again, but can be more expensive because they are easily blended into the room environment and can even be camouflaged into ceiling tiles.