Microphone Terminology: N (With Definitions)

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Near-Coincident Pair:

What is a near-coincident pair of microphones? A near-coincident pair is any stereo miking technique that uses a pair of microphones spaced roughly 6-12 inches apart and angled symmetrically on either side of centre. Near-coincident pairs are often preferred for their stereo image since the mic positions somewhat simulate human ears.

Near-coincident pair miking techniques include:

To learn more about near-coincident pairs, check out my article What Is A Near-Coincident Pair Of Microphones? (+7 Examples).

Near Field:

What is considered near field when discussing microphones? Near field is a general term that means a microphone is very close to its intended sound source. Near field mics capture more direct sound with fewer reflections. However, they risk sounding unnatural due to their proximity since some distance is required for a source’s sound to fully develop.


What is microphone noise? Noise is unwanted sound in a given situation. By that definition, noise is subjective. Microphone noise is comprised of any unintended or unwanted signal within a mic signal. Common causes of noise include EMI, vacuum tubes, internal circuitry, mic gain, and handling of the microphone.

For more information on microphones and noise, check out my article 15 Ways To Effectively Reduce Microphone Noise.

Noise-Cancelling Microphone:

What is a noise-canceling microphone? Noise-canceling mics reject ambient noise while remaining sensitive to close sounds. They are pressure-gradient mics with acoustic labyrinths that cause ambient, distant, and off-axis sounds to cancel out at the diaphragm. They barely show proximity effect and only pick up close on-axis sounds.

See: Microphone.

Nominal Impedance:

What is nominal impedance and why is it important to microphones? The nominal impedance of a microphone is the average output impedance across the mic’s frequency response. Mic output impedance specs are usually nominal values, although actual mic output impedance is frequency specific. This helps to explain why variable impedance preamps colour their microphones.

NOS Pair:

What is the NOS pair miking technique? The NOS pair is a near-coincident stereo miking technique that uses two cardioid microphones. The cardioid capsules are spaced 12 inches apart and angled at a 90° angle, pointing outward.

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