Microphone Polar Response
The polar pattern of a microphone is the variation in sensitivity 360 degrees around the microphone head.
There are a variety of polar patterns found in microphone design including:
Microphone facing top of page in diagram, parallel to page. Example:
Omni Directional: Omni microphones pick up sounds equally in all directions. They are great for recording room ambience and capturing group vocals.
Bi-Directional (Figure-Eight): Bi-directional microphones pick up sound in two directions; in front of and behind the microphone.
Cardioid/Uni: Cardioid microphones pick up sound in a heart-shaped pattern and offer maximum rejection at the rear of the microphone. This can be very useful for reducing bleed and leakage between sound sources. These are extremely common and can be found in most studio cupboards.
Hyper Cardioid: Hyper cardioid microphones have a narrower pickup pattern than cardioid, but also have more rear pickup than super cardioid.
Super Cardioid: Super cardioid microphones have a narrower pickup pattern than cardioid, but also have a tighter rear pickup than hyper cardioid.