Polar (pick up) patterns

There are many different types of polar patterns for microphones. The main four that I am likely to use as a journalist are:

  • Omnidirectional. This picks up everything in all directions.
  • Cardiod. This mic picks up everything but what’s behind it. It’s the most common microphone used.
  • Hyper cardioid. This mic is more directional to the front
  • Shotgun. This is also directional to the front. You have to directly point a shotgun at the sound source.
  • Figure of eight (bio directional). This picks up sound from both sides of the microphone, which is good to use to pick up two people talking. 
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