By O. Kroodsma (Auth.)
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Additional info for Acoustic Communication in Birds. Production, Perception & Design Features of Sounds
In their elemental form, all microphones except the ribbon have an omnidirec tional pickup pattern. All except the ribbon respond to variation in air pressure. In the case of a single diaphragm microphone, acoustical networks are used to create the desired pattern. The purpose of the delay network is to cause the sound 7 1. Recording Avian Sounds ©9 e A B C D E Fig. 1. Microphone polar patterns. (A) Omnidirectional. (B) Cardioid. (C) Hypercardioid. (D) Supercardioid. (E) Shotgun. coming from the undesired direction to arrive at both sides of the diaphragm at the same instant, resulting in a net pressure differential of zero.
Position yourself at a good working distance from the microphone. Note the settings of all the controls and your distance from the microphone. Save this recording and periodically repeat the test. By comparing the recordings, you can hear if something has changed. Of course, if a new microphone of the same model as the one in question is available, a simple A - B comparison can be performed. For a rough indication of polar response, you can walk a circle around the microphone and note your position on the tape.
4. Maximum Level The maximum sound level a microphone can handle is specified in decibels SPL for a given level of distortion. If the microphone is used close to the source it would be a good idea to consult a reference such as Beranek (1971) on the behavior of sound and microphones in the near field. 5. Polarity The polarity of a microphone is usually defined as the number of the in-phase connector pin. This means a positive-going pressure at the microphone produces a positive-going voltage on the specified pin.