How Does a Condenser Microphone Work?

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A condenser microphone is made up of two very thin plates, which vibrate to create an electronic signal. Learn how the electronic signal from a condenser mic is sent directly to the sound board with information from a TV and video producer in this free video on microphones.

Part of the Video Series: Music & Video Production
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Video Transcript

If you've ever wondered how a condenser microphone works, here's your opportunity. What I have here is a Sennheiser microphone. And if we take the top off the Sennheiser microphone, you can see that where the sound comes in, there are two small plates. These plates are made up of a very thin material and they vibrate creating a signal. When the plates are closer together, they create a charge capacitance. When they are further apart, they create a discharge capacitance. So basically, when they're creating electronic signals. These types of microphones require a battery charge or a 48 volt phantom power charge as in the case of this wireless transmitter that has its own power source by battery supply. Other microphones like this wired microphone will plug directly into the camera or directly into the sound board and will be sent a 48 volt power signal through the sound board or through the camera itself. So, creating a digital signal is made through these microphones, through the condenser microphones by vibration which goes through two plates and occurs when they are further apart or closer together.

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