Microphones are designed to be sensitive to specific polar patterns.
Polar patterns, in turn, affect the overall pickup pattern of a given microphone. So what is a polar pattern?
A polar pattern refers to the “directionality”, or sensitivity of a given microphone relative to the sound source.
- Omni-directional microphones are equally sensitive to sounds from all angles.
- Bi-directional microphones are sensitive to sound from two angles.
- Directional microphones are sensitive to sound from one particular direction.
For example, to capture audio in the middle of a classroom or store, you’d use an omni-directional microphone. If you wanted to capture audio from two directions like a bank teller’s window, then a bi-directional microphone would be ideal.
Depending on the type of microphone in use, pickup ranges will be affected.