A microphone’s pattern indicates how sensitive it is to sounds arriving at different angles. This is an overview of different polar patterns and what they are typically used for.

Omnidirectional

Omnidirectional:

These microphones can pick up sound from any direction. This means that the microphone does not need to be aimed in a certain direction. Often used for groups of singers or instrumentalists.

Cardioid

Cardioid:

This is a heart shaped pattern where most of the sensitivity is at the front and least is at the back. It isolates the unwanted sounds is more resistant to feedback than omnidirectional microphones.
Often used for live vocals.

Supercardioid

Supercardioid:

They have a narrower pickup than cardioids, reducing the pick-up of unwanted sounds. They also have pick up at the rear of the microphone. They are the most resistant to feedback.
Often used for…

bidirectional

Figure of Eight (Bi-Directional):

This receives sounds from both
the front and the back of the microphones, but not the side.
Often used for recording set ups.

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