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Shaping Sound in the Studio and Beyond: Audio Aesthetics and Technology by Gary Gottlieb

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Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones work on a completely different principle than dynamic microphones—the principle of capacitance. A capacitor is a device that, like a battery, is capable of storing and discharging an electrical charge. The turn signals or intermittent speed of windshield wipers in a car use capacitors in their circuits, which store a charge for a user-selected or predetermined period of time and then discharge.

Condenser microphones work on the same principle, where the stored charge is released in a fashion that is analogous to the original acoustic wave (see Figure 5.13).

Figure 5.13. The inner workings of a Neumann U 67, a popular condenser microphone. Photo courtesy of Neumann.

Think of two buckets of water, ...

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