Polar patterns

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Microphones vary in the way that they respond and pickup sounds coming from different directions. There are 4 polar patterns (or, pickup patterns) you are required to know.


  • Good for close-mic’ing a sound source
  • Broad-angle pickup of sound sources in front of mic
  • Maximum refection of sound approaching the rear of the mic


  • Excellent for close-mic’ing a sound source
  • Maximum side rejection of sound source
  • Maximum isolation – pick up less reverberation, leakage, feedback and background noise


  • Front and rear pickup, side sound rejected.
  • Perfect for two-part vocal groups or across table interviews
  • Used in specialist stereo recording applications


  • All-around pickup
  • Most pickup of room reverberation/ambience
  • Not much isolation (potential spillage/leakage issues)
  • Low sensitivity to 'pops' (explosive 'p's, 'b's and breath sounds)
  • Low handling noise


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