What Is Microphone Gain & How Does It Affect Recording Volume?
Microphone gain refers to the degree of amplification that a microphone applies to the sound waves that it captures. This gain level is essential in recording as it determines the recording volume, and it is crucial for ensuring that recordings are clear, crisp, and well-balanced.
When we talk about microphone gain, we refer to the level of amplification that a microphone applies to the sound waves it captures. But why do we need to amplify sound waves that we want to record? Let’s dive into the technical aspects of microphone gain.
Understanding Microphone Gain
Microphone gain is measured in decibels (dB), and it is the level of amplification a microphone applies to sound waves. When sound waves hit the microphone diaphragm and move the coil that is pressed against it, a small electrical signal is generated. The microphone amplifies this signal by increasing the voltage of the electrical signal.
The level of amplification determines the strength of the electrical output signal, which will determine the recording volume. The higher the gain of the microphone, the more amplification is applied, leading to a louder recording.
Microphone gain is set using the input gain control found on preamplifiers, mixers, or directly on the microphone. The gain control allows the user to set the level of amplification applied to the incoming sound waves.
How Does Microphone Gain Affect Recording Volume?
Microphone gain is directly related to the recording volume. For instance, If a microphone has a gain level of +10dB and it captures an incoming sound wave measured at 60dB, the output signal the microphone produces will be 70dB. This increase in the output signal results in increased volume and an audibly louder recording.
Another example is when the microphone gain is set too high, and it captures an overly loud sound wave. The microphone can distort, which leads to a compromised and distorted recording. On the other hand, if the gain is set too low, the resulting recording will be too quiet.
Therefore, the appropriate setting of microphone gain will determine the recording volume and quality. Achieving a balance between the recording level and microphone gain is crucial in creating clean, clear, and well-balanced recordings.