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Polar Pattern Tone Magic with Ryan Earnhardt

From his Lumen Audio Studio in the North Carolina hills, producer Ryan Earnhardt creates a weekly blog,, explaining and demonstrating recording techniques. His audience is growing steadily thanks to no-fuss, immediately enlightening videos about everything from sound panelling your studio (cheap!), to recording various acoustic instruments, capturing room reverb, nailing a live recording – and buckets more.

In 4 parts, Ryan uses a RØDE K2 to demonstrate how changing your polarity, from Cardioid to Omnidirectional to Figure-8, changes the tone you capture when recording various subjects. Watch the videos below to see how the polar pattern affects the sound.

Vocals (especially helpful with proximity effect)

Guitar amps (Ryan always responds to questions and comments from the YouTube posts and this session was added due to popular demand)

Drum Overheads (the K2 sounds very sweet)


The K2 is the perfect mic for Earnhardt’s application. With its continuously variable polar patterns you can pinpoint the tonal sweet-spot across the entire polar spectrum for any given sound source, while the Class A valve circuitry provides the subtleties of even-order harmonic distortion: bedrock for rich tone. It also comes with RØDE’s world’s-best 10-year warranty (naturally). Get the K2’s full specs and find a dealer here.

"Ryan Earnhardt is the creator of Creative Sound Lab, a YouTube show that showcases recording techniques to capture sounds, rather than fixing it in the mix. He teaches classic techniques for using microphones, recording real instruments, and room acoustics that give any studio the ability to achieve a high quality sound."

Check out more of Ryan's work at:




Twitter: @RyanEarnhardt or