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. The bidirectional microphone is examined from historical, technical, and operational perspectives. It is reviewed how it was 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 sound waves arriving from different angles of incidence, it is shown that very often it can be employed successfully where other more commonly used microphones cannot.
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