Despite being one of the progenitors of all modern microphones and recording techniques, the bidirectional pattern is still not very well understood; its proper and effective use remains somewhat of a mystery to many recording and sound reinforcement engineers. In this paper, the bidirectional microphone will be examined from historical, technical, and operational perspectives. We will review how it developed and exists as a fundamental element of almost all other single-order microphone patterns. In the course of describing how this unique pattern responds to soundwaves arriving from different angles of incidence, we will show that it very often can be successfully employed where other more commonly-used microphones cannot.
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