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TRANSDUCERS

Topics to be discussed
Definition of a transducer Types of transducers Microphones Carbon microphones Dynamic microphones Crystal microphones Condenser microphones

WHAT IS A TRANSDUCER
A transducer is a device, usually electrical, electronic, electro-mechanical, electromagnetic, that converts one type of energy or physical attribute to another for various purposes including measurement or information transfer.

TRANDUCER TYPES
Electromagnetic Electrochemical Electromechanical Photoelectric Electrostatic Thermoelectric Radio acoustic Electro acoustic: Ex: Microphone

MICROPHONE
Colloquially called a mic or mike Acoustic-to-electric transducer or sensor that converts sound into electrical signal. Microphones are used in telephones, tape recorders, hearing aids, motion picture production, live and recorded audio engineering, in radio and television broadcasting and in computers. Most common designs today use a thin membrane which vibrates in response to sound pressure. This is subsequently translated into an electrical signal.

Most popular microphones in use today are: CARBON MICROPHONES DYNAMIC MICROPHONES CRYSTAL MICROPHONES CONDENSER MICROPHONES

CARBON MICROPHONES

CARBON MICROPHONES
Carbon microphone is a capsule containing carbon granules pressed between two metal plates. Voltage is applied across metal plates, causing a small current to flow through the carbon. One plate and diaphragm vibrates with incident sound waves, applying a varying pressure to the carbon.

Changing pressure deforms granules, causing contact area between each pair of adjacent granules to change, and this causes electrical resistance of mass of granules to change. Changes in resistance cause a corresponding change in voltage across two plates. Hence in current flowing through microphone, produces electrical signal.

Applications
Carbon microphones were once commonly used in telephones and telephone repeaters making long distance phone calls possible in the era before vacuum tubes. They have extremely low-quality sound reproduction and a very limited frequency response range, but are very tough devices.

DYNAMIC MICROPHONES

DYNAMIC MICROPHONES
Work via electromagnetic induction. Robust, relatively inexpensive & resistant to moisture. Coupled with their potentially high gain before feedback makes them ideal for on-stage use.

Moving-coil microphones use the same dynamic principle as in a loudspeaker, only reversed. Small movable induction coil, positioned in magnetic field of a magnet, is attached to diaphragm. When sound enters through windscreen of microphone, sound wave moves diaphragm.

When diaphragm vibrates, coil moves in magnetic field, producing a varying current in coil through electromagnetic induction. A single dynamic membrane will not respond linearly to all audio frequencies. Some microphones for this reason utilize multiple membranes for different parts of audio spectrum and then combine resulting signals.

Combining multiple signals correctly is difficult and designs that do this are rare and tend to be expensive. There are on the other hand several designs that are more specifically aimed towards isolated parts of the audio spectrum.

CRYSTAL MICROPHONES

CRYSTAL MICROPHONES
A crystal microphone/Piezoelectric microphone uses phenomenon of piezoelectricity ability of some materials to produce a voltage when subjected to pressure to convert vibrations into electrical signals.

Piezoelectric transducers are often used as contact microphones to amplify sound from acoustic musical instruments, to sense drum hits, for triggering electronic samples, and to record sound in challenging environments, such as underwater under high pressure.

Saddle-mounted pickups* on acoustic guitars are generally piezoelectric devices that contact strings passing over saddle. This type of microphone is different from magnetic coil pickups commonly visible on typical electric guitars, which use magnetic induction, rather than mechanical coupling, to pick up vibration.

Saddle mounted pick-ups

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