Microphone Terminology: F (With Definitions)

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Farad:

What is a farad and how do farads relate to microphone? A farad is an SI unit that measures a system’s capacitance or ability to hold an electric charge. Capacitance and farads relate to condenser mics since condenser capsules are parallel-plate capacitors. It is not crucial that we know what a capsule’s capacitance is, though it’s worth being aware of.


Faulkner Array:

Also known as a Faulkner pair.

What is the Faulkner microphone array? The Faulkner array is a near-coincident pair stereo miking technique that utilizes two bidirectional mics. The mics are spaced about 8 inches apart and both face forward.

Faulkner Array

Feedback:

What is microphone feedback? Microphone feedback is when an outputted mic’s signal is picked back up by the mic’s input, causing a loop that overloads the mic input. An example of mic feedback is when a mic signal is projected by a loudspeaker and picked back up in the same mic. The resulting sound is a distorted hum or squeal.

For more information on microphone feedback, check out my articles What Is Microphone Feedback And How To Eliminate It For Good and 12 Methods To Prevent & Eliminate Microphone/Audio Feedback.


Fibre Optic Microphone:

What is a fibre optic microphone? A fibre optic mic converts sound waves into electrical signals by sensing changes in light intensity on a reflective diaphragm. Fibre optic mics have superb dynamic and frequency ranges; they’re immune to electromagnetic interference, and they’re resistant to heat and humidity.

See: Microphone.


Field-Effect Transistor (FET):

What is a field-effect transistor (FET) and why are FETs important to microphones? A field-effect transistor (FET) is a common device in condenser mics that uses an electric charge to control a current flowing through it. A FET receives a capsule signal. Its electric charge varies, which modulates a larger supplied current (mic signal). FETs amplify and lower output impedance.

To learn more about microphone FETs, check out the following My New Microphone articles:

What Are FETs & What Is Their Role In Microphone Design?
What Are The Differences Between Tube & FET Microphones?


First-Order Ambisonics:

What is first-order ambisonics? First-order ambisonics is the basic configuration of an ambisonic recording and uses a tetrahedral microphone (or tetrahedral mic array) to capture W, X, Y, and Z axes and a sound-field that includes left, right, up, down, front, and back.


Flat:

What does it mean when a microphone is flat? The term flat, when in reference to microphones, typically means the mic has a flat frequency response and sounds natural across the audible frequency spectrum (20 Hz – 20 kHz). Flat could also refer to the shape of the mic, as some PZM mics are indeed flat.


Fletcher-Munson Curves:

What are the Fletcher-Munson curves? The Fletcher-Munson curves are a commonly referenced set of equal-loudness contour lines for human hearing. These curves show the sensitivity of human hearing by providing frequency-specific dB SPL values we would hear to be of equal loudness.

Fletcher-Munson Curves

Foil Electret Condenser Microphone:

Also known as a diaphragm electret, middle electret, or classic electret.

What is a foil electret condenser microphone? A foil electret condenser mic employs a film of electret material as its diaphragm rather than having a distinct diaphragm plate coated in electret material (like a front electret). Foil electrets are the most common but the lowest-quality electret mics since electret films perform poorly as diaphragms.

See: Microphone.


Form Factor:

What is a microphone form factor? A mic’s form factor is the physical shape, size, and layout of the microphone that plays a role in the mic’s functionality. Mic form factors include the capsule design, acoustic labyrinth, interference tube, type of mounting, address type, and many others.


Formant:

What are formants? Formants describe the peaks in a sound source’s frequency output and are partly responsible for the characteristics of the sound. Formants typically refer to the human voice, where they change based on the vowel sound being made. Some instruments have unchanging formants set at certain frequencies.


Free-Field Microphone:

Also known as a frontal incidence microphone.

What is a free-field microphone? A free-field microphone is a type of measurement mic designed with a tailored high-frequency response that compensates for its own presence in (and disturbance to) a free-sound field. Free-field mics work best in most sound pressure level measurement situations and especially in anechoic chambers.

See: Microphone.


Frequency:

What is a sound/audio frequency and how do these frequencies relate to microphones? Frequency is measured in Hertz and relates the number of vibrations/cycles per second of a sound wave or audio signal. The audible frequency range is between 20-20,000 Hz and mics typically have a response within these limits. Sound/audio is complex and exhibits many frequencies at once.


Frequency Range:

What is frequency range and how does it apply to microphones? Frequency range tells us the range (lowest to highest) of frequencies in a sound or signal. Typical mics pick up sound in the range of human hearing (20 Hz – 20 kHz), though some ranges are shortened and others extended. wireless mic signals are transmitted within ranges of radio (VHF or (UHF).


Frequency Response:

What is a microphone frequency response? A frequency response represents a microphone’s frequency-dependent sensitivity. Frequency response ranges are generally within the range of human hearing (20-20,000 Hz) and tell us how a microphone will pick up these frequencies. Frequency responses are often considered either flat or coloured.

For more information on microphone frequency response, check out my articles Complete Guide To Microphone Frequency Response (With Mic Examples) and What Is Microphone Frequency Response?


Frequency Response Curve:

What is a microphone’s frequency response curve? A microphone frequency response curve is an in-depth graphic that relates the intricacies of the mic’s frequency response. Frequencies are listed along the X-axis while relative dB values are listed along the Y-axis. The curve represents the mic’s relative sensitivity along with the mic’s response range.


What is frequency search in reference to microphones? Frequency search refers to the computer process of scanning through radio frequencies in order to find a radio frequency that is unused and free from interference in a given location. Once found, the particular frequency is used as a carrier signal for the wireless mic signal.


Front Electret Condenser Microphone:

What is a front electret condenser microphone? A front electret condenser mic is an electret mic with no backplate. Rather, the capacitor is formed by the diaphragm and the inside surface of the mic capsule. An electret film is fixed to the inside front cover of the mic and the diaphragm is connected to the input of the FET.

See: Microphone.


Fukada Tree:

What is the Fukada Tree miking technique? The Fukada Tree is a 7-mic surround sound technique. The front array has 3 cardioid mics (L, C, and R). L and R are spaced 1.8 m apart and point 45° away from centre. C is centred but 1 m forward. A rear pair of cardioids mirror the front L and R. Omni mics are set 1 m left of L and 1 m right of R.

Fukada Tree

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