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Cardioid microphone - guide

cardioid microphone
AKG P120 cardioid microphone

Today there are 3 main types of microphones used for recording live performances and more. Dynamic, condenser, ribbon
A cardioid microphone exists in all three types mentioned above, Cardioid is a translation of heart in Latin,
and the microphone is named so because its reception range resembles the shape of a heart, Let’s go a little deeper and explain.

What is a cardioid microphone?

cardioid microphone


As we mentioned above, a cardioid microphone is not another type of microphone but a certain reception diaphragm in all types of microphones.
The cardioid picks up only in front of the microphone and from the sides, but not 360 degrees. 

Generally, the rejection of the signals in the rear is not absolute but very muffled to avoid background noise from the frequencies most audible to the ear.
In a cardioid condenser of the expensive types, there are sometimes different replacement patterns among them the cardioid.

What is a cardioid microphone good for?


This mic is used for many purposes, both in the studio and live.
Here is a summary of the common uses of the two known cardioid configuration microphones.

 Dynamic-cardioid mic: it is usually used live to isolate the voice of the singer/instrument 

from the rest of the instruments or the audience, which gives the sound people the option of optimal editing of each channel separately

In studios, the dynamic microphone is used for recording instruments without many harmonic details.

The cardioid configuration will help in cases of background noise in a home studio or multi-channel recording in one room.

Condenser-cardioid mic: the more common use of the cardioid shape is with a condenser due to its wide reception.

 In the studios, we usually want to receive input as cleanly as possible.

Therefore we prefer reception only on the side of the instrument or the singer.
A condenser is rarely used live, but a cardioid configuration is necessary in such cases due to the loud noises it may receive from the other side.



A Cardioid is not a type of microphone but an option for most types of microphones.
The main change in such microphones is their more focused reception range compared to Omni microphones.
Using a cardioid usually gets cleaner audio and fewer problems in post-production.

Hope it was helpful to you.