A mic or not a mic?

The eagle eyed amount you would have noticed a lack of posts last week. This was due to the shock of having a job to go to! However, this week we will endeavour a double post to satisfy your microphone information needs

Having recently talked about condenser microphones it feels appropriate to continue with one of our most used mics, the AKG SE-391. To be precise, the SE-300b with a CK91 capsule as the main body of this “mic” is actually a preamp. A clever locking mechanism allows for the mic capsule to be changed very easily. The CK91 has a cardioid response patten and a very smooth frequency response from 20-20,000Hz. This makes it ideal for both live and recording purposes with excellent rejection of off axis noise. The CK92 is an omni directional cap which has the same frequency response but using it in a live scenario you will find you’ll be picking up everything around the mic so its always worth checking. The CK93 is a hypercardioid and the CK94 has a figure of eight patten.

For those of you who might have missed our previous link to a description of response pattens there is a way to visualise them. Omnidirectional response is like a string circle. A cardioid is where you pull the bottom of the circle to the middle. Hypercardioid you bring two sections of the circle to the middle about 30 degrees either side of the centre. Figure of eight speaks for itself!

As with most condenser mics, the excellent frequency response allows for accurate reproduction of any instrument. At Astra we mainly use our pencil condensers as overheads or hi-hat mics. When miking a hi-hat, anything you can do to minimise spill from the rest of the kit is an advantage. In small venues, even with the off axis rejection, you’ll find that you get all the snare drum you need down the hi-hat channel. As always, use your ears and listen while you mix.