This article introduces you to the differences between one studio microphone and another. I will give practical examples of how I used various microphones in my album Apus and how each mic has a personality of its own. To illustrate the differences, this article includes the songs as samples showing the microphones in action.
You may have never given them too much thought, or maybe you think one is just like another.
Yes, they do have different forms and shapes and you may have heard that one is for singing and another for the bass drum. However, when it comes to recording, the choice of the right microphone for a singer is incredibly important.
It is important to acknowledge that microphones and what comes along with them (i.e. preamplifiers) can change the sound of your voice massively. Simply said, the voice and the microphone should make a great fit.
How can I tell if a microphone is any good?
This is a very common question and it is very hard to answer. While one particular microphone might be good for you, it might sound strange on another person’s voice. The reason for this lies in the frequencies your voice is giving out to the microphone and overtones which might arise. Some microphones are meant to be used for voice, while others are meant to be used for instruments and other purposes. Such mics will never really produce a proper vocal sound. Nevertheless, you might be surprised by some “non-vocal” microphones when used for effect vocals or backing vocals.
Before answering the question ‘if a microphone is good for you or not’ you should decide on one important factor. Do you want to keep your natural vocal sound or not? The answer to this question lies within your own taste.
Which microphones are used in a recording studio?
Apart from condenser microphones there are a variety of dynamic microphones that could be also used for vocal recordings in a studio setting. Here I want to mention the SM7 which can be a great deal for loud-shouting vocals. For example for Rock and Metal music. As the condenser microphones are quite sensitive, a dynamic microphone is probably a better choice for such occasions.
Home Recording Studio Microphone
Maybe slightly OT - Am setting up a home studio for voiceover based around GarageBand - any thoughts on best microphone for setup, or other pearls of experience-based wisdom? Need best possible sound quality, but have a very limited budget. I saw an adapter by Griffin that goes XLR to 1/8" (then into iMic), but have only seen it on overseas sites. What have you found?
Check Out Ubuntu Studio
Ubuntu is a version of Linux- an open source operating system.
Ubuntu Studio is a version of linux that comes with all sorts of multi-media software built in.
Even if you have no interest in switching to linux, much of the Ubuntu Software is available for Windows as well.
To do simple home recording, all you need is a microphone that plugs directly into your computer's USB port and software called 'Audacity'. You'll get decent recordings, though certainly not professional quality [which would take thousands of dollars in equipment and years of experience to achieve].