Microphones are phallic objects used to convert the blatherings of journalists, "artists" and undesirables such as the dreaded "karaokeists" from audible wavelengths to electrical signals. They come in many shapes, sizes, types and prices. They are now standard with laptops and smartphones, for whenever you need to tell the whole world how above average your life is. Most microphones today use electromagnetic stuff, something to do with capacitance, and piezoelectric light modulation generation.
In 1877, both Thomas Edison and Emile Berliner filed patents for the carbon microphone. By then, Americans had perfected the art of being whiny legal whores, and Berliner's patent was considered null by American courts. Thankfully, Berliner didn't get sued into non-existence as is customary of American legal practises, and went on to invent the disc gramophone (American phonograph) and carbon paediatric all-in-one makeover.
Invented by Bell A. Weiner in 1916, the condenser microphone confusingly uses capacitors rather than condensers, because techies are really stubborn people like that. These microphones work according to the capacitance equation: where Q is a fixed charge, V is the potential, and t is the number hours you will waste fiddling with the cables setting the damn thing up. These often require phantom power, a security measure which summons ancestral ghosts to annihilate roadies who think they know what the fuck they're doing screwing with the setup.
These are the shitty ones you get in your phone. They are a waste of time. Due to the low cost to make, you also get these in Karaoke machines, thus losing their credibility as a step forward for humanity.
Dynamic microphones work by electromagnetic induction. In order to coax the electromagnets down the shaft, a selection of lewd images of other electromagnets is broadcast along the XLR cable. This is the reverse principle of loudspeakers. Notable examples include the Shure S&M58, which gained criticism for the tastelessness of images broadcast to the helpless electromagnets. This is the one you often see on stage a open air concerts, and contrary to popular belief, you don't need to deepthroat the thing to get a sound out of it.
Ribbon Microphones are the really old ones you see back when everyone was in black and white. I tried asking my grandparents about them, but all I got out of them was "are you here to collect the bins?".
Using Plank's principle of "everything is better with lasers", the laser microphone was born out of tacky 80s spy movies. The laser is pointed at a source that picks up sound, like a window, and can be used to spy effectively on the neighbours' daughter.
Inevitably, one will wind up recording either a loud black rapper who is a heavy smoker, or a wheezy asthmatic who slobbers everywhere. These people are not only capable of damaging art as a whole, but also your microphone, that may well cost more than the internal organs of the artists. Thankfully, there are pieces of equipment that can protect your microphones from audio abuse.
The most commonly used form of audio contraception, this consists of a layer of foam around the head of the microphone. Ironically, this is the most expensive form of protection; studios need to replace them often, as professional artists have the attention span of a two year old and take the foam cover off to play with it. Women's tights are an effective substitute; many sound engineers will have a pair to hand.
Regrettably, these do not assess the quality of the music going through and filter out the bullshit unoriginal drivel that modern music consists of. These are in fact designed to deaden the shockwave generated from firearms discharged at black rappers in the studio, while still maintaining acceptable audio quality. Recent innovations include a fabric mesh which remove the higher frequency bands when large caliber rounds are in range. They can also keep people's spit off the microphone by applying 50kV of potential to the metal mesh, and when the spit completes the circuit, the hapless artist receives a shock. It's been suggested that these filters will reduce plosives, whatever they are.
Blimps (also known as Zeppelins) are the silly dead kittens on sticks you see TV news crews wandering around with. They serve no purpose other than to ensure celebrities know that there is a news crew following them. Only free range dead kittens have so far been approved for use by the NSPCA. Changes in EU law could see the dead kitten export market nosedive should non organic kittens be outlawed. They may also prevent the membrane in from vibrating in the wind, but there is little evidence to support this. The blimp was discovered when the composer John Cage attempted to record a kitten stuck in a tree. The kitten fell due to having an epileptic seizure from the strobe lighting being blasted at the kitten. Cage found the recording equipment didn't pick up the strobe lighting, but was satisfied with the visual element of the now deceased kitty on the condenser microphone.
Microphone arrays are situations where multiple microphones operate in tandem, often linked to a mixing desk or computer, to try and make sense of the useless stuff going into the array.
Microphones arrays are linked by the simple equation
Where a is the number of alcohol units available, n is the number of cables, p is the WMG pressure constant, m is the number of microphones, and x the number of turns Berliner has completed in his grave at time dt.