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Condenser x Dynamic Mic (What Are The Differences Electrically?) Condenser Microphones
Old 5 days ago
  #1
Gear Head
 
Magic Music Box's Avatar
 

Condenser x Dynamic Mic (What Are The Differences Electrically?)

Electrically, what makes a condenser mic more sensitive than a dynamic mic? Is this related to the fact that a condenser mic transforms the acoustic signal into micro volts (μV) and a dynamic mic transform the acoustic signal into mili volts (mV)? If this is not related, for what purposes is useful to know the power difference between them?

Thanks!
Old 5 days ago
  #2
Here for the gear
Electrically, a condenser mic has a small electric charge applied to the diaphragm (+48v) from a power supply, whereas a dynamic mic needs the sound pressure level (air coming at the mic) to move the passive diaphragm. The air pushing against the diaphragm, is moving back and forth across a magnet wrapped with an electric coil - which generates the sound (and electric current). Condenser mic is far more sensitive and has a greater dynamic range than a dynamic mic as it takes far less air to move the diaphragm. The actual frequency range would be dependent upon the diaphragm size and mic design, but typically you can get more clarity out of a condenser mic...depending on the sound you're looking for. =)
Old 5 days ago
  #3
Gear Head
 

Electrically biased diaphragm on condenser mics. Akin to active vs. passive.
Old 5 days ago
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Magic Music Box's Avatar
 

Thanks for the answer!

And what about the Condenser - micro volt signal? / Dynamic - mili volt signal?

The condenser needs the phantom power because it's energy is to low (micro volts)? So you have to take the micro volt, transform it to mili volt to them apply gain and transform to line signal?
Old 5 days ago
  #5
Here for the gear
Either mic voltage would need to be amplified, and that's the role of the pre-amp. The difference between the mics is in the diaphragm design where condenser mics need a voltage applied across a plate, and dynamics do not. Condenser Microphones

That said, when you find your specific answer around the micro and milli volt difference, please post. =)
Old 4 days ago
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Music Box View Post
Thanks for the answer!

And what about the Condenser - micro volt signal? / Dynamic - mili volt signal?

The condenser needs the phantom power because it's energy is to low (micro volts)? So you have to take the micro volt, transform it to mili volt to them apply gain and transform to line signal?
The condenser microphone needs the phantom voltage to both provide a reference voltage across the diaphragm/capsule, and to run the impedance converter circuit. The condenser (capacitor) is varying its value based on the sound waves (sound pressure level, abbreviated SPL) hitting it. There is an infinitesimal current associated with the change in the capacitor value, so it's a very high impedance circuit. The 'pre-preamp inside the microphone' has the job of raising the current (lowering the impedance) to a useful value that is able to drive long cables with low noise.

Manufacturers have a lot of latitude on how much signal strength (milli-volts, abbreviated mV) they're going to allow the pre-preamp inside the mic to output. I own stereo pairs of the Line Audio CM3 and the Aston Starlight. The CM3's put out 6mV at 94dB SPL, and the Starlights put out 42mV at 94dB SPL.

The dynamic microphone's diaphragm is attached to a coil and moves within a magnetic field. This is inherently a low-impedance implementation, so it's compatible with long cables. My Shure SM57 dynamic microphone puts out 1.6mV at 94dB SPL, the Beta 57 with its neodymium magnet puts out 2.8mV.

HTH
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