The following passage taken from,
Operating Principles and Type Examples
Gerhart Bore / Stephan Peus
Published by: Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin
shows the importance of transient response in selecting microphones for this type of recording. The difference between the dynamic microphone and the condenser is easy to see in this oscilloscope display.
It is difficult to establish clear reasons for choosing condenser microphones over good moving coil ones solely from their technical specifications. Microphones having identical frequency responses, when reproduced through first-rate systems do give distinctly different acoustical results. This is understandable, at least to some extent, if the impulse behavior of the microphone is examined.
Fig. 41 shows the output voltage of two cardioid microphones, placed at a distance of 20 cm in front of a spark gap. A capacitor discharging across the spark gap produces an extremely short pressure impulse. The voltages put out by the two microphones show great differences between them.
Fig. 41 Output voltages of two cardioid pattern studio microphones when stimulated by an electrical spark discharge (above: moving coil microphone, below: condenser microphone)
Even taking into account the fact that human hearing does not respond to phase shift of individual components in the pulse spectrum, one must note that the moving coil microphone's output shows damped oscillations occurring within the audible range, which without a doubt, produce sound coloration and may mask the directly following sound signals.
Differences in the acoustical patterns of two seemingly identically specified microphones can be caused by a differing curve for the diffuse-field frequency response. Regrettably, this is omitted from most specifications.
In addition to the parameters determining response quality, the operational characteristics play a great role in judging the performance of a microphone. Enthusiastic HiFi fans are ready to take the greatest pains when using their highly valued microphones, and, when necessary, will operate each microphone through its own dedicated cable. In professional studio environments, the technicians demand microphones that are more rugged and capable of being operated dependably even under changing conditions and over many years. In addition all cables must operate with all microphones in a studio complex and plug into any microphone outlet available. This presupposes use of a uniform powering system.
Although outdoor pickups used to often be done with dynamic microphones recently top quality condenser microphones have taken over. These con-denser microphones operate highly reliably when used under field conditions and their operation is not degraded either by high relative humidity or temperature. The high temperatures in motion picture and television studios, when numerous spotlights are on, present no problem to studio condenser microphones.