New Media Interchange

New Media Vocabulary: Condenser Microphone

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New Media Vocabulary: Condenser Microphone

“The condenser microphone, invented at Bell Labs in 1916 by E. C. Wente[2] is also called a capacitor microphone or electrostatic microphone—capacitors were historically called condensers. Here, the diaphragm acts as one plate of a capacitor, and the vibrations produce changes in the distance between the plates. ” –

When you see folks using those big, studio microphones, chances are they are condenser mics. What is a condenser mic? Since there are far better descriptions of condenser micrpohones available online, I am going to refer and link to them rather than create my own, poor, definition.

For me, in general, condenser mics are great for recording my voice as they tend to add bass and an overall richness to my somewhat high voice. The proximity effect kicks in when working close to these mics and, for spoken word podcasts, can really enhance your vocal sound.

You can hear an example in my own work using an MXL 2001 Condenser microphone on my my podcast, Career Opportunities.

More information on Condenser Microphone:


My own condenser microphones


MXL 2001 | Blue Snowball | MXL 990

Do you have questions, comments or clarifications to this New Media Vocabulary term? Add them to the comments!

Previously on New Media Vocabulary:


Filed under: Equipment/Gear, Hardware, New Media, New Media Vocabulary, podcasting, Technology

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