Mar 20, 2000
Nanaimo BC, Canada
Abbreviation: Small Diaphragm Condenser

Small-diaphragm condensers — the bread-and-butter mics of the studio — are frequently used in situations that call for bright or accurate high-end pickup, fast transient response, and relatively uncolored fidelity. Often used singly to record hand percussion, plucked stringed instruments such as acoustic guitar, and bowed stringed instruments. They are used in pairs on drum kits (as overhead mics), piano, mallet percussion, and chamber or string ensembles. In addition, small-diaphragm mics are perfect for medium-distance spot miking of large ensembles and of operatic vocalists.

In the classical recording world, highly accurate small-diaphragm mics — especially those with a relatively flat frequency response — are standard equipment for concert-hall recordings of symphonies, choirs, and chamber groups. Matched stereo pairs or specially designed surround configurations, in which all the mics are tested and have identical responses within close tolerances, are preferred by audio purists for that kind of work.