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Microphones

Microphones for live sound have a history dating back to the amphitheatres of ancient Greece, where actors would have horn-shaped mouth openings on their theatre masks. It wasn't until 1665 that English physicist Robert Hooke would have the idea of using a cup and a taunt piece of wire. The cup acted as a diaphragm, converting sound to vibrations which were transmitted along the wire.

Modern microphones take these same principles a step further by converting vibrations to electrical signal. This is done with a 'sensitive transducer element', and microphones are classified by which element they use. First came the carbon microphone, which used carbon granules pressed between two metal plates to capture and encode audio (poorly).

Most live sound applications use dynamic microphones, so called because they feature a moveable induction coil sitting in a magnetic field. They are cheap, hardy, don't mind a bit of moisture, and far less susceptible feedback than other mics. The most famous and ubiquitous of all live sound microphones would have to be the Shure SM57 (1965), and the SM58 (1966).

Young preformer singing on a stage
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