I have a weekly podcast that is recorded in a friend's home, and we are looking to upgrade the quality of our sound. Ideally, I would like to move from our current single omni-directional microphone to two individual microphones (we tend to speak at different volumes and have different tonal qualities to our voices that I would like to minimize by adjusting the input); however, the room we record in is rather small and I'm concerned about the two microphones picking up the other person, as well as picking up ambient sounds in the house (toilets flushing, banging on the table, air conditioner, etc.)

I'm open to spending around $200 / mic, but I'm not sure how I can tell prior to purchasing whether the microphone is going to pick up a lot of the external sounds.

Note that I'm not asking for specific microphone suggestions; I'm trying to figure out how to tell without purchasing it how well a given microphone will work in the environment (specifically, only accepting sound from directly in front of the mic.)

1 Answer 1


The microphone pattern is how we describe from where the mic will pick up sounds.

Even with (uni-)directional mics, sounds originating from behind can reflect off surfaces and still be picked up. You may need to take additional steps to control noise.

  • Thanks - that's exactly the set of terms I needed to know; I knew they were out there, I just couldn't figure out how to search for them. The CW post also looks really useful.
    – TML
    Oct 19, 2011 at 17:38

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