As producers you’ll be using microphones constantly throughout the music tech course. You’ll need to have a solid grasp of how microphones capture sound in the first place and be able to select the right kind of microphone for a particular job. Read this introductory article on microphones, it will give you a basic understanding of the construction of mics and their functionality.

MICROPHONE TYPES: Dynamic, Condenser, Ribbon.

This video is a great introduction:


To download this document click HERE


Music.Tutsplus have a great introduction to six options for using two matched microphones. The important techniques to note are:

  • Spaced Pair
  • XY

What is Sound?

Everything we do in music has a basis in physics. When you play an instrument or listen to recorded music through an electronic device you’re ultimately shaking molecules around. Have a look at the embedded article for a very simple explanation of sound waves – understanding this will be at the foundation of your understanding of music tech.


To aid in your revision, please ensure you have thoroughly reviewed ALL of the subject areas and resources below:

There are Spotify playlists to accompany all the Pop Music History handouts:

A2 Revision on Recording Technologies

As a starting point for your revision on recording technologies you should be able to answer the questions below. Please pay special attention to the section on microphones. The AS resource on microphones is a good place to star. You’ll find this article an excellent source for additional research on mics.

Recording Technologies Research topics:

Early Recording

  • What were the very earliest methods of recording sound?
  • How did these work?
  • Who was responsible for the landmark innovations?
  • When did these innovations take place?
  • What was the impact of electrical equipment?



  • Explain in very basic terms how magnetic recording works.
  • What were the early advantages of tape in studios and broadcasting?
  • Who made the landmark developments and when?
  • List the parts of a tape recorder and explain their function.


Multitrack recording

  • How did developments in tape recording technology facilitate creativity?
  • Who were the pioneers?
  • When did the major developments take place? Give examples.
  • Explain stereo recording and playback.


  • What are the differences between analog and digital recording.
  • What is sample rate?
  • What is bit depth?
  • What are the ADC and DAC?
  • What does PCM stand for?
  • When was digital recording developed?
  • Give a brief history of the development of digital recording.


  • Give a definition of a microphone and explain it’s basic functionality.
  • Explain the construction and functionality of a dynamic microphone.
  • Explain the construction and functionality of a condenser microphone
  • What other types of mic are available and what are their uses?
  • What is phantom power?
  • What’s the difference between mic and line level?
  • Explain the common polar response patterns.
  • What kind of cable is commonly used with a recording mic?