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:

Polar Descriptions

Microphone facing top of page in diagram, parallel to page. Example:

polar-response-example.png

Omni Directional: Omni microphones pick up sounds equally in all directions. They are great for recording room ambience and capturing group vocals.

omni directionalg

Bi-Directional (Figure-Eight): Bi-directional microphones pick up sound in two directions; in front of and behind the microphone.

figure eight

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.

cardioid

Hyper Cardioid: Hyper cardioid microphones have a narrower pickup pattern than cardioid, but also have more rear pickup than super cardioid.

hypercardioid

Super Cardioid: Super cardioid microphones have a narrower pickup pattern than cardioid, but also have a tighter rear pickup than hyper cardioid.

supercardioid