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MICROPHONE POLAR PATTERNS
OMNI-DIRECTIONAL microphones will capture all sound being made in a circle around the microphone. All microphones are naturally omni, and omni microphones are the purest way to capture sound without changing it.
CARDIOID microphones will capture sounds directly in front of them and “cancel out” some side and rear sound using phase-cancellation (both “in air” within a microphone by making extra holes behind a single capsule or utilizing two capsules with variable phase relationships). The phase cancellation required to control cardioid microphone sensitivity CHANGES the sound of what the mic will actually pick up rather than allowing for truly pure sound.
HYPERCARDIOID microphones are also called “super cardiioid” and are sensitive to an even narrower area than cardioid mics. Hypercardioid mics use more phase cancellation, and are used for boom microphones or any application where tight mic control is desired.
FIGURE EIGHT microphones will capture in front and behind, but will reject sound on the sides of the mic.