Why Are Some Microphones So Fuzzy?
- Written by Rodrigo Marques
If you've watched some Discovery Channel documentary, you've probably seen those shotgun microphones that are used to capture the sounds of the most diverse wildlife. Today we are going to find out why these microphones are so hairy to the point that they look like little animals. Come on?
You're watching your favorite documentary on TV and suddenly appears a mega fuzzy monster microphone in the field of view of the camera. So you may think that, somehow, that microphone is trying to protect itself from the cold. Which can't be true, because we can see these shaggy mics even when they are filming in the Sahara desert. So all that fuzz around the microphone has nothing to do with the cold.
Comparing Fuzzy Microphones With Studio Microphones
Another interesting fact is that we don't see this type of shaggy microphone inside the recording studio. If you can remember the recording studio microphone, realize that they also have a peculiar appearance.
Here we can have some clue about why those wildlife documentary mics are so hairy. It seems that it is a matter of microphone use purpose.
Why Use Fuzzy Mics?
The great secret about fuzzy microphones is that they are great for capturing audio in open areas, such as in the middle of the forest or in the fields. For example, when they are trying to capture the audio of roaring lions lying on the savannah. The gain of these microphones is also quite large, and that would be terrifying if there was not that fuzzy protective screen around the microphone, which is called a "wind screen" or as it is affectionately dubbed "dead cat." Of course we need to imagine a Siamese or Angora cat, who have their hair so fuzzy…
Of course, not only does the “dead cat” enter to protect the audio from our recording against the “damaging wind noises” in open areas. We also have the “dead mouse”, which is that little foam wrap that surrounds the lapel microphone.
In recording studio microphones, we have the "anti-pop filter", which is just a disc-shaped screen, positioned between the vocalist and the microphone diaphragm.
In summary, "dead cat" protection is what ensures lions sound perfectly when you watch Discovery Channel documentaries. There are still some microphones with parabolic bulkheads, capable of capturing audio over long distances.
The fact is that for every audio problem, there is a different technical solution. After that, you will never see the fuzzy microphones with the same innocence as before. Right?
An extra tip from Rodrigo: If you want to know How To Build a Home Recording Studio From Scratch And Get High Quality Audio Using a Production Process, I recommend you take a look at our kindle book right now.
You may also like this:
We believe that a Home Recording Studio can change the future of many entrepreneurs and artists who need to show how great their talents are. Enjoy it!