Microphone Terminology: W (With Definitions)

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Warm:

What does the term “warm” mean with respect to microphones? A “warm” microphone is a mic that is not overly pronounced in high-frequency response. Warm sounds have strong bass frequencies and fundamentals compared to their harmonics. Tube condenser mics and dynamic ribbon mics are often considered “warm” due to their high-end roll-offs.


Wavelength:

What is a wavelength and why are wavelengths important to microphones? A wavelength (symbol: λ) is the length of a wave at a given frequency. With mics, we’re concerned with wavelengths of sound waves and of AC electrical signals within the audible frequency range of 20 Hz -20 kHz. Note that sound waves and AC signals have many wavelengths and frequencies at once.

Wavelength (λ) is inversely proportional to frequency (f) and can be calculated with the following formula:

λ=c/f

Where:

  • λ is the wavelength in meters
  • c is the speed of sound in meters per second
  • f is the frequency in cycles per second

Wedge Technique:

What is the wedge technique of microphone placement? The wedge technique is a baffled stereo miking technique that mounts two PZM mics to a V-shaped wedge. The wedge consists of two 2-foot square panels that converge at an angle of 70°. The PZMs are attached to the panels roughly 6 inches from the edge and the wedge “V” points at the sound source.


Wide Cardioid Surround Array:

What is the wide cardioid surround array miking technique? The wide cardioid surround array (WCSA) is a surround sound miking technique that consists of 5 matched cardioid mics. The left and right mics are 120 cm apart with the centre mic 15 cm ahead. The rear left and right mics are 30 cm apart, 60 cm behind the front array, and point upwards.

Wide Cardioid Surround Array Drawing

Windscreen:

What is a microphone windscreen? A microphone windscreen is a screen that covers at least the grille of a microphone in order to protect the mic capsule from wind energy. Windscreens act by absorbing and dissipating wind energy around a microphone, preventing it from affecting the diaphragm.

To learn more about microphone windscreens and my recommendations, check out my articles Why Do Microphones Have Screens? (Pop Filter, Grille, Windscreen) and Best Microphone Windscreens, respectively.


Wireless Microphone:

What is a wireless microphone? A wireless microphone is any mic that has its signal transmitted wirelessly. Wireless mics attach to various types of transmitters including handheld and bodypack versions, that encoded the mic signal and send it wirelessly via radio frequencies (VHF or UHF) to matching receivers.

See: Microphone.


Wireless Microphone System:

What is a wireless microphone system? A wireless microphone system is made of all the parts that allow a mic signal to travel wirelessly. Wireless mic systems include microphones, transmitters, and receivers. The transmitters and receivers must be tuned to the same radio frequency in order for proper wireless transmission to happen.

For more information on wireless microphone systems, check out my article How Do Wireless Microphones Work?


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