What are polar patterns?

The MA-200 and MA-201fet have a Cardioid polar pattern. The MA-100 and MA-100SP have interchangeable cardioid and omnidirectional capsules. The MA-300 has a continuously variable pattern selector and the MA-301fet has three selectable patterns: omni, cardioid and figure-of-eight.

Microphones can be configured for any of three main polar patterns; Cardioid, Omni, and Bi-directional.

polar patternCardioid mics pickup sound on one side of the capsule in a heart-shaped pattern (hence the name Cardioid) and reject sound from the rear and sides. This allows engineers to isolate a sound source from its surrounding environment, such as other instruments or ambient noise. (See below)

 

Microphones can be configured for any of three main polar patterns; Cardioid, Omni, and Bi-directional. Some microphones also allow for settings in between these patterns.

Omni-directional mics pick up sound equally from all directions, which is especially useful for capturing ambiance or a large sound field. This can be a good or bad choice of pattern to use, depending on the quality of the environment the mic is being used in. Omni-directional mics are very popular for recording classical music.

polar patternBi-directional (or figure-8) mics capture sound equally from the front and back of the mic, while rejecting sound from the sides. Most ribbon microphones are bi-directional. (See below)