What Are The 5 Major Problems With Parabolic Microphones?
By Paul Terpstra
Parabolic microphones have long been a staple in various industries, from wildlife recording to sports broadcasting and espionage. Their unique design allows them to capture distant sounds with remarkable precision. However, like any technology, they come with challenges. This blog post will explore the five major problems associated with parabolic microphones.
A Guide To Parabolic Microphones Biggest Problems
1) Coloration of Audio
Parabolic mics have a frequency bias, which can “color” the audio. This bias occurs because low frequencies are absorbed into the dish more than high frequencies. Alternatively, you could say that high-frequency sounds reflect more efficiently than low frequencies. This results in the mic receiving sound which is amplified more strongly at higher frequencies than the lower ones.
Because of this bias, parabolic mics are not typically used for music recording or for movie production.
2) Size and Portability
Parabolic microphones are often large and bulky, making them less portable than other types of microphones. The size of the parabolic dish, which is necessary to achieve its impressive amplification, can be a significant hindrance when transporting the microphone to remote locations.
For professionals who need to capture sound in different environments quickly, the size and lack of portability of parabolic microphones can be a major drawback.
Handling noise. Parabolic microphones are prone to handling noise, which is the unwanted sound generated by vibrations or movements of the microphone or the operator. Handling noise can affect the stability and consistency of the sound recording, especially for handheld or mobile applications. Handling noise can be minimized by using dampeners that isolate the microphone from external vibrations and isolators between components. (Such features are designed into the KLOVER MiK line of parabolic mics.)
4) The Cost of Parabolic Microphones
Cost is another concern when it comes to parabolic microphones. Due to their specialized design and the precision required to manufacture the parabolic dish and microphone element, parabolic microphones tend to be relatively expensive compared to other microphone types. This can be a deterrent for individuals or organizations with budget constraints.
Furthermore, investing in additional accessories like carrying cases can add to the overall cost of using parabolic microphones.
5) Maintenace & Care
Parabolic microphones require periodic maintenance and respect. Like any microphone, treating them roughly will hurt their performance. Products with integrated mics often have delicate microphone elements that can be sensitive to physical shocks and moisture. Dust and debris can also accumulate on the dish’s surface affecting the quality of recordings.
Protecting the inside surface of the collector dish is critical to maximizing its performance. Otherwise, the collector dish can be quite rugged if constructed properly.
Our Final Thoughts
Parabolic microphones offer unparalleled directionality and are indispensable tools in various applications. However, it’s essential to be aware of their limitations and challenges. These include a limited frequency range, susceptibility to wind noise, size and portability issues, the need for regular maintenance, and their relatively high cost.
Despite these problems, parabolic microphones remain valuable assets in the world of audio recording and surveillance when used in appropriate contexts and with the necessary precautions. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses allows professionals to make informed decisions about when and where to use parabolic microphones to achieve the best results.
To learn more about capturing great audio, please contact us.
We will be closed from February 22 to February 29. We will hold all orders until March 1 for processing. We apologize for any inconvenience that may cause.
Clear Vision in Seconds, No Contact Required!
Industry Leading Technology & Safety. The Klear Shot is a user friendly, non-contact system for removing moisture or debris from a camera lens. The Klear Shot uses compressed gas to blow moisture off the surface of the lens.