If there isn’t already a group noun for microphones – you know, like murder of ravens, school of fish, and all that – there should be. I propose a silly of microphones:

A Silly of Microphones

I had all those wired up at once because we were doing some test recording of Anna for flutework on Kitsune at War. Despite appearances, the two mics on the far left are quite different to each other, due to their different head capsules having dramatically different pickup patterns.

The choices coalesced really quickly, as it turned out, because Anna’s metal flute is totally clicky in the keys. Lots of clicking sound, and no way to turn it off.

Not even when dampened with a shirt. Not even two shirts.

The funny part is, back when I was trying to get these couple of Octava 012s, I really mostly just wanted the cardioid heads. And one came with that option only. But another ended up having a set of three heads: cardioid, hypercardoid, and omnidirectional. And that’s come back to serve us well now.

See, most microphones you’ve used have either been omnidirectional (pick up in all directions fairly evenly) or cardioid (pick up in front of the mic in kind of a circular-bubble area in front of the microphone). A hypercardioid mic, though? It’s like a laser beam, or at least this one is. Instead of a circular pickup area, it’s shaped more like a dirigible. And that means you can zoom in on the sound you want, and simply not record a surprising loudness of noises coming from shockingly nearby that you don’t want.

Which is why it was a damn good thing I bothered hooking up two versions of that microphone. Otherwise, we’d be looking into rental flutes. But we’re not. Go us.

eta: Over on Dreamwith, Corvi suggests “a Feedback of Microphones.” I do like that! But feedback also requires speakers – or in extreme cases a turntable – so… hm…

eta2: With 29 more ideas for this from people(!), we decided to make a list and poll, here. Look and vote if you want!