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What Is Ambient Miking? How Does It Work? (Explained)

I often get asked about ambient microphones and how they work. In this post, I will answer these questions and more about ambient ambient miking.

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Do you want to be able to capture high-quality audio in any environment? Ambient miking is a great technique to get the most out of your environment and its natural sounds. But what is ambient mocking? And what are ambient microphones?

This post will explain how an ambient microphone works, how to use it, and some important features of a good ambient microphone. So if you’re wondering or are just curious about ambient microphones, this post is for you!

Image of gold colored microphone in a stand. Source: felipepelaquim, pexels
Image of gold colored microphone in a stand. Source: Felipepelaquim, Pexels

What is an ambient microphone? Ambient microphones are made to be used in environments where the ambient sound is louder than the direct sound.

What is ambiance

The ambiance is another term for an environment in a location’s mood. Background noise in an audio recording consists of ambient noise in a certain area or region. Every place or space has its distinct ambiance.

What is an ambient microphone?

Any microphone designed for ambient settings might be considered an ambient microphone. In ambient miking methods, the microphones are placed far away from the sound sources so that the sound (reflections and reverberations) can be heard more clearly in the mic signal. So, ambient microphones are placed far away from the sound sources and work best in big, echoing rooms.

What makes the best microphone for recording ambient audio?

In general, a condenser microphone is the best choice if you need one with a flat frequency response, high sensitivity, low self-noise, and a polar pattern that picks up sound from all directions. In addition, these active microphones provide a pleasant sound and work well in ambient settings. This is why omnidirectional microphones are often used for ambient recording.

If you are looking for one of the best condenser mics in the market, look no further than the Audio Technica AT2035. This is a well-reviewed mic that won’t break the bank. And this unit below comes with a ton of extras. Check it out!

  • KIT INCLUDES: Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Condenser Side-Address Microphone | AT8458 Shockmount | 5/8"-27 to 3/8"-16 Threaded Adapter | Protective Pouch | Audio-Technica 2 Years Limited Warranty | H&A Reflection Filter (Silver) | Reflection Filter Tripod Mic Stand | Pop Filter with Gooseneck and Adjustable Knob | H&A Elite Pro 10' XLR M to XLR F Microphone Cable with Rean Connectors | Closed-Back Studio Monitor Headphones
  • STUDIO AND LIVE: Exceptional Detail and Low Noise, The performance of this side-address mic makes it an excellent choice for both studio and live applications.
  • HOME STUDIO: With its smooth, natural sound, the AT2035 is ideal for musicians, streamers, podcasters, and other content creators.
  • PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE: Professional Extras, The AT2035 is equipped with a switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter and 10 dB pad, and comes with a custom shock mount.
  • The Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is a well suited solution for home studios, project recording and live sound reinforcement alike. The side-address condenser microphone features a cardioid polar pattern for minimal feedback and off-axis noise. The element and output stage combine to produce a smooth yet natural audio quality with low noise.

When to use ambient miking techniques

Here are some common applications for ambient miking and ambient microphone techniques.

1. Distant room mics

In a recording studio, ambient microphones are called “room mics.” These microphones are placed far from the original sound sources to record the room’s reverberation.

2. Crowd mics

Audience noise is easily captured using ambient microphones. Instead of picking up certain people’s voices in the crowd more clearly than others, ambient microphones pick up the whole room’s worth of noise.

3. Field ambiance

Mics designed to pick up background noise can be used indoors or outdoors. They may capture the ambiance of a certain space.

4. Reverb channels

When you put ambient microphones and closer microphones on the same sound source, you get a signal with reverberation and a clear signal. As a result, a producer may create impressive results even with just two channels, and more microphones mean more room for experimentation.

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “Audience Mics Made Simple! | MxU NOW” from the MxU YouTube channel.

A video called “Audience Mics Made Simple! | MxU NOW” from the MxU YouTube channel.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the ambient microphone.

Where should ambient mics be placed for live recording?

For live recordings, The best solution is to position a pair of condenser microphones at the side of the stage aimed at the audience. This method brings the sound source close to the stage, where the performer can experience the full effects of the space’s natural reverb.

What is the ambient microphone used for?

Any microphone designed for ambient environments is technically an ambient microphone (where the diffuse sound is greater than the direct sound). While ambient microphones are typically used to record background noise

Are condenser mics better than dynamic mics for ambient recording?

In general, a condenser microphone is the best choice if you need one with a flat frequency response, high sensitivity, low self-noise, and a polar pattern that picks up sound from all directions. In addition, these active microphones provide a pleasant sound and work well in ambient settings. This is why omnidirectional microphones are often used in ambient recording.

Conclusion

Ambient miking is a great technique to get the most out of your environment and its natural sounds.

This article covered what an ambient microphone is, how it works, and the uses of an ambient microphone. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Ambient miking is used used to capture the natural sound in a room.
  • Any microphone designed for ambient settings might be considered an ambient microphone. 
  • A condenser microphone is the best choice for ambient miking.

So, do you find ambient microphones effective for noise cancellation? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on music production. Thanks for reading, and never stop making music.

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Audio Apartment Author
Written By Andrew Ash
Hey there! My name is Andrew, and I've been making music since I was a kid. I now run this blog all about home studios and music production. If you want to improve your home studio setup, this is the place for you!

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