A microphone that picks up sound from the front and back is called bi-directional, or a Figure 8 mic, and there are several cool things you can do with them. Read the post.
Microphones are among the most important things in a studio’s arsenal – but don’t get caught up in the “more money equals better quality” syndrome when purchasing a home studio microphone. Like a camera lens, there are microphones that are good for wide angles, others for narrow focus, and there are those that have a vintage feel to them. No mic/pattern combination works for everything. Read more.
Most mics have a fixed pattern — the most common mics used in an audio recording situation are condensers, electret (condenser), ribbon, and dynamic. Read the post.