microphone - (often abbreviated to mic) Is an electrical device that converts sound vibrations into electrical signals that can then be recorded or amplified.

Types of microphones vary widely from vocal mics, to lapel (clothing attached) microphones to direction / shotgun mics for recording sound from a particular direction on a TV or film set.

Microphones vary greatly in sensitivity and choosing the wrong microphone for a particular job can result in recordings that are either too quiet, inaudible or badly distorted.

Microphones generate what is known as "MIC LEVEL" signals (which are electrical signals generally 100 times quieter than LINE LEVEL signals - which come from cameras, CD players and iPods)