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Microphone Polar Patterns

This outlines the types of Microphone Polar Patterns. Microphone Polar Patterns are the field of focus that the microphone will pick up due to the position of the diaphragm and other factors.

Microphone Polar Patterns
0 degrees is straight in front of the microphone, 180 degrees is directly behind the microphone

Omni Directional

This encompasses a field of all directions, or nondirectional. In theory it should be a perfect sphere but because the microphone its self is not infinitely small it gets in its own way, just like if it was on a person’s body. So the smaller the body the better the polar pattern. The wavelength of 10 kHz is 3.4cm so small microphones are effective at even high frequencies.


This is the most common unidirectional microphone. There is a dip at the back due to the microphone casing and the direction of the diaphragm. A Sub cardioid is similar to the omnidirectional polar pattern but flatter. and Super and Hyper cardioid have tighter patterns compared to the basic cardioid pattern, but they add more sensitivity to the cardioid because of their higher sensitivity.


These are the highest directional microphones. They have small fields of sensitivity to the left, right and rear. This is still significantly smaller than other directional microphones. This is the most common on film sets for booming over subjects.



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Matt Price

Matt Price

London Sound Recordist

I am a London Sound Recordist and Sound Editor for many types of projects around the film genres. This covers creative content right through to feature films. I am passionate about sharing my journey and knowledge to help the rest of the community. If you need anything from me, feel free to get in touch with me at London Sound Recordist.

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