Why does a supercardioid polar pattern have a rear lobe?

FAQ #838 Updated August 17, 2010

Question:

This is a basic design question that I've had a hard time finding an answer to. Why can't manufacturers make a super or hyper-cardioid mic that doesn't have that "bubble" at 180 degrees? This would give the obvious benefit of having a mic that would reject feedback no matter where the monitors are. I suspect that there is some type of physical limitation with the design process. Could someone please elaborate on the reason?

Answer:

Because acoustical physics won't allow this "improvement". There is no simple layman explanation. The answers lie in the physics and math of mic design. If you have a heavy math background, the equations can be found in the book: "Microphone Engineering Handbook", by Michael Gaylord, ISBN 0-7506-1199-5

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