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What Microphone Should You Use? Well It Depends

If you’re aiming to get the best sound quality when recording at a studio, it is vital to select the right type of microphone for your needs. Not all mics are utilized for the same purpose which makes it tricky figuring out which ones you’ll require. Before you buy any mic, you must have a basic idea or knowledge of its different types, and intended usage. Fear no longer, though, as we’ve already gathered ample information for you! Here are things you should know on what microphone you should use depending on your needs.

Three Types of Microphones Typically Used In Studios

There are three microphones types that you will use in a recording environment or studio: the Dynamic Microphone, Condenser Microphone, and the Ribbon Microphone. Each of them creates a distinct sound when paired with the proper sound source, which is why it is imperative to learn more about each type. Let’s cut through the chase and cover them one by one!

  • Dynamic Mics

  • Condenser Mics

  • Ribbon Mics

Dynamic Mics

For most studio owners and musicians, the dynamic mic serves as the dependable option among all mic types available. No surprise, as these mics are versatile, come at a lower price point, and compatible with the majority of musical sound sources.

Often, you can find this mic type to be very handy if you are going to perform live, record your vocals or instruments at higher levels. It’s their insensitiveness that makes them efficient on loud sources, such as the bass cabs or the snare drums. It takes a huge amount of noise before they begin to distort.

Moreover, they are sturdy enough. You can swing them freely, being confident that if ever you drop them, they’ll still be okay. If you are in for more aggressive vocals and heavier guitars while performing in a live setting, you should add this microphone to your musical toolbox.

Condenser Mics

The condenser microphone is most likely the first type of mic that any new studio owner or musician buys, especially if they are looking to record vocals. These mics are extremely sensitive compared to other counterparts, making them perfect for brighter sound origins like the human voice.You can also try and find out if Neumann TLM the best condenser mic, check out this review.

There are two kinds of condenser microphones. The first is the large-diaphragm condenser mic that is ideal for vocals. The second is the small diaphragm which is suitable for recording acoustic instruments. Those two types of condenser mic types are efficient and proven to enhance sound quality.

What’s great is that certain condenser mics have a switching mechanism, enabling you to change between three distinct polar patterns. This feature makes the condenser microphone a flexible choice. No wonder, most studio owners choose to buy it first even though, it is relatively expensive as opposed to its counterparts.

Ribbon Mics

Ribbon microphones came into existence way back before the dynamic and condenser mics were invented. With the rise of technology, ribbon mics lost the limelight in terms of music production.

Truth to be told is that they are still being used nowadays. They are, however, for the recording connoisseur and pro studios who have the ability to fork out more money for the device. Ribbon mics provide a vintage feel to any recording as they have the distinct ability to register a whole room tastefully, get higher notes linked with string or woodwind precisely, and transfer more atmospheric sounds.

These excellent features make the ribbon mic in demand for people who aim to professionally record an array of acoustic instruments. If you are a beginner, don’t go get this straightaway. Reserve this on the latter part of your recording career stages.

Other Kinds of Studio Microphones

While the three listed above are the microphones typically utilized in studios, there are other microphone types brought by the surge of technology, all are handy and beneficial for their own purposes. Let’s cover them up below!

  • USB Mics

  • Bass Mics

  • Boundary Mics

  • Multi-pattern Mics

  • Shotgun Microphones

USB Mics

USB Microphones only entered the market recently but have become famous throughout the year. The main reason is that, unlike other types of microphones, it doesn’t need audio interfaces or mic preamps to start recording with your computer. Simply plug in the cable onto your computer, and you’re all set! This type is would not work for studio owners though. But, if you’d like to test the waters before having a bedroom studio, the USB mic is ideal for you.

Bass Mics

There are many types of microphones available that are excellent in recording bass sounds. However, if you are looking to get the best quality, why not get the microphone that specializes on it? Bass mics enables you to register even the lowest-end frequencies on sources of sound like bass cabinets or kick drum, making bass sound more striking.

Boundary Mics

Boundary microphones is a vital mic type to add in your arsenal if you are a professional studio owner. What makes its unique is that it is the only type of mic which can be set up on any flat surface and consequently, gets immune to comb filtering.

Multi-pattern Mics

Multi-pattern mics is a type of microphone that usually resembles a large-diaphragm condenser. They are easier to recognize as most of them have distinct double-capsule style, and a switch system, which enables you to change between the given polar patterns: unidirectional, bidirectional, and omnidirectional. This feature makes it a versatile mic, which can be utilized to register almost anything from your studio.

Shotgun Microphones

Shotgun microphones are a type of mic that has enhanced the directional polar pattern compared to that of the hyper cardioids. With that, it enables the mic to get sound coming from a specific direction and a long-range. Moreover, shotgun mics’ capsules are situated at the tube interference’s end, helping the mic to eliminate any background noise.

Wrapping Up

We’ve discussed the main and other types of microphones you’ll be using for your specific needs. While they are handy for their intended usage, as you gain more knowledge, you’ll learn how to go out of the comfort zone. You’ll be able to use them interchangeably or even simultaneously to your advantage and beyond convention.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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