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What Is a Pressure Gradient Microphone?

Pressure gradient microphones are quite versatile and can be found in almost every professional audio application.

They are also the microphone of choice for musicians who want to record their instruments without having to worry about feedback. 

Pressure gradient microphones offer several advantages over conventional dynamic or condenser microphones. 

For example, they provide much wider frequency response, greater stability, and superior sound quality. Not only does this mean better sound recording, but it also means less equipment and setup time.

In this article, I’ll explain what a pressure gradient microphone is, how it works, and why it’s useful.

Pressure Gradient Microphone Introduction

A pressure-gradient microphone responds to changes in pressure between two closely spaced points. Its diaphragm is exposed on both sides.

When the speaker moves closer, the volume produced by the mic increases. The lower the frequency, the higher the volume.

In order to produce a high-quality recording, a pressure-gradient microphone is essential.

The sound travels to the rear side of the membrane, and it reacts to a difference in pressure between the two sides. 

Unlike a conventional sound microphone, the sound travels around the mic’s diaphragm to reach the rear side, and it takes some time to travel across the diaphragm. That difference in time is what causes the signal to be produced.

When the signal hits the diaphragm from a 90-degree angle, it causes no movement in the membrane. The resultant signal rotates the polarity. 

Pressure Gradient Microphone Uses

This type of microphone is not suitable for the lowest frequencies because the signal reaches the membrane with a large detour.

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Therefore, the lowest frequency that can be represented by a pressure-gradient microphone depends on the value of Dt.

A pressure-gradient microphone is used for audio recording. Its design involves a diaphragm that is exposed to sound from two sides.

Sound travels through the membrane and follows a pressure gradient, which is a natural result of the detour caused by the membrane. 

This difference in pressure results from the acoustic detour. A directional characteristic of a pressure-gradient microphone means that its output is proportional to the velocity of air particles.

Pressure-gradient microphones have both sides open. The corresponding pressure-gradient capsules are bi-directional and exhibit no proximity effect. 

A sphere-shaped wavefront has a high velocity, and a sphere-shaped wavefront will have little or no impact on the diaphragm. 

This characteristic makes a spherical shape ideal for mics that are difficult to switch in a normal-pressure microphone.

The pressure gradient characteristic is a measurement of the difference between the pressure of the diaphragms.

The lower the frequency, the higher the pressure gradient. If the diaphragm is exposed to a low frequency, the pressure gradient is higher, and the microphone does not work properly.

This is the reason why a high-pressure signal will be more directional in a sphere-shaped model.

The most common pressure-gradient microphone is the bidirectional one. It is the most commonly used polarity. Because it is bidirectional, it allows for higher frequencies.

It is ideal for capturing low-frequency sounds. Its sensitivity is dependent on the amount of noise and the detour Dt.

The simplest form of a pressure-gradient microphone is the ribbon. The two-way design gives you more options than an omnidirectional model.

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Pressure gradient microphone vs Conventional Microphone

The first major difference between a pressure-gradient microphone and a conventional one is its frequency response.

A pressure-gradient microphone has a low sensitivity and a high sensitivity.

It is not able to accurately represent lower frequencies. Its sensitivity is affected by the distance between the two.

Its polarity can be sensitive up to 60 Hz and higher. In the case of a polarity shift, the corresponding frequency will be lower than that of a non-polarized microphone.

A pressure-gradient microphone uses a diaphragm that is open on both sides. It detects the difference in pressure between the two sides of the diaphragm.

A sound wave that has high pressure pushes the diaphragm while a sound wave with a low-pressure trough pulls the diaphragm.

Diaphragm displacement occurs when the diaphragm reverses direction. This is why a pressure-gradient microphone is called a bidirectional or unidirectional one.

A pressure-gradient microphone works by sensing changes in pressure. Its sensitivity is heart-shaped, which prevents feedback from monitors.

The cardioid sensitivity reduces pickup from the sides and the rear, reducing the chance of feedback from the monitor.

Its high sensitivity also helps it to boost bass. A pressure-gradient microphone can be a useful tool in a recording studio, while a cardioid is more versatile.

Conclusion

In conclusion, pressure gradient mics are great tools for recording acoustic music because they offer excellent sound quality while eliminating unwanted feedback.

As long as you know how to use them correctly, they will provide you with high-quality recordings.

2 thoughts on “What Is a Pressure Gradient Microphone?”

  1. Pingback: CAN LOUD SOUNDS DAMAGE MICROPHONES

  2. Pingback: HOW TO FIX CRACKLING MICROPHONES?

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