Saturday, February 24, 2007

Microphones -which one do I choose?

Unless you are feeding into your compoter direcly fron a jack in your guitar or keyboard and not using any vocals or drumkit it is more than likely you will need microphones for your studio.
Microphones come in various types and pricetags and are suited to different purposes.
There are mics designed specifically for vocals and others for instruments.
Some are highly sensitive and work brilliantly in quiet environments for recording softer sound sources in the studio for example.
Others are perfect for live stage work and are highly directional (they pick up sound from the top of the microphone and are less likely to pick up unwanted noises from the side and back) and can be "aimed" to pick up what you are recording.
There are also studio mics specifically designed for drums and clip on the actual kit eliminating a lot of unnecessary clutter with stands.
I personally use a number of different types of microphones.
A Shure sm58 (a dynamic mic) which is primarily a stage vocal mic - but also works well with many instruments and is less sensitive to outside noise.
A Behringer B1 studio condensor mic for vocals and harmonica (this is more sensitive).
Two AKG C100 condenser mics (these I use to pick up ambient or environmental noise) I position these in front and above a choir for example to capture a broad area of the group) and also in the outdoors for recording nature sounds.
Depending on what you are recording it is worth having a selection of a few mics for each type of instrument you are likely to be using.
You don't need to spend thousands of dollars on equipment in this area (on the other hand a 20 buck microphone bought from your electronics store just won't cut it).
Brands such as Shure, AKG, Senheiser are good choices as well as some of the behringer models. (plan to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a decent microphone).
To find out more about microphones here are some resources. (a little bit about early microphones)

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