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Microphone Pickup-Pattern! How the different pattern modes affect Your Recording?

In this post we want to help you to understand the different Microphone Pickup-Patterns. Which Microphone Pickup Pattern is the best for your Recording- Purpose? Definition ✔ and Tips ✔ on Cardioid, Stereo, Bi-directional, Omni-directional


Microphone Pickup Pattern - best microphone for YouTube



What is a Microphone Pickup Pattern?
– Definition – 


A Microphone Pickup Pattern is the way your microphone is setup technically to record sound coming from vairous sources in your room. In the following chapters we will explain and give examples for each microphone pattern.

Mainly there are four Different Pattern Modes for Versatile Audio Recording:



Cardioid Mode (most common)
Microphone Pickup Pattern

The most common microphone pickup pattern, when it comes down to recording for youtube, podcasting, gaming and voice-overs, is the so called cardioid mode.

Well-suited for podcasts, vocals, or game streaming, because the cardioid mode records sound sources that are directly in front of the microphone. It delivers a rich, full-bodied sound. And even helps to eliminate sounds that are behind the microphone like the clicking of your keyboard while recording gaming or simple background noise.

Recommended for:
podcasts, game streaming, vocal performances, voice-overs and instrumental recordings (one explicit instrument like playing the guitar).

Stereo Mode
Microphone Pickup Pattern

microphone-pickup-pattern-explanation stereoThe stereo mode uses both the left and right channels, and is ideal for capturing a realistic, general sound image.

Therefore you will use a microphone with stereo pickup pattern for recording music in a studio or even narrations where you want to address the direction from which the sound approaches the listener. One speaker (voice) is coming from the right, the other from the left. The Stereo recording also can address the “positions” of the rest of the sounds in a room.

Microphones with a stereo recording pattern inherit at least two capsules to catch the sound.

Recommended for:
Instrumental Recordings, especially Acoustic Guitar. Vocals with more than one voice (choir).



Omnidirectional Mode
Microphone Pickup Pattern

microphone-pickup-pattern-explanation omnidirectionalThe Omnidirectional mode picks up sound equally from all directions. Therefore when talking about the perfect microphone pickup pattern for your needs, it is perfect for all situations where you want to capture the ambience sound of an event. For example when recording a live concert or an interview at a club where the ambience should “show up”.

Recommended for:
Concerts, Interviews with more than 2 People, Podcasting with lots of people in the room, conference calls.



Bidirectional Mode
Microphone Pickup Pattern

microphone-pickup-pattern-explanation - bi-directionalThe Bidirectional microphone pickup pattern records sound from both the front and the rear of the microphone. Therefore it is the perfect choice for capturing the details  of a musical instrument. Another great usage of this microphone mode is recording an interview between two people, sitting opposite of each other.

Recommended for:

Interviews (one-on-one), Musical Instruments (details), voice-overs where you want to capture the sound of a speaker behind your microphone and your voice.

Hope this helps you to get clear which will be the mostly used microphone pickup pattern for your recordings. Of course you can filter all microphones on this site in the Microphone Finder by the pick up pattern for a better overview and decision.

Tip: If you are not sure which one you will mainly  use. Take a look at our no.1 recommendation of a Multi-Purpose Microphone for your recordings, the Blue Yeti Review.

If you have any ideas or want to share your own experience with a pickup pattern or a specific microphone we would love to exchange in the comments below.

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