How to Use Recording Microphones

How to Use Recording Microphones


So, you've a beautiful voice and want the world to hear it? That means you'll need to learn how to use recording microphones. These types of microphones are a bit different than normal headsets.

Recording microphones focus on amplifying your voice and making it sound as good as possible. For this, you'll need a few software and maybe some additional equipment. Let’s get you started with using recording microphones.

Gather Equipment

The first step to using recording microphones is to make sure that you've all the equipment that you need. This varies depending on the person and type of accessories you want. We suggest starting off with three essential pieces of equipment: the microphone, a sound pop filter. Headphones. We'll discuss more on why you should've each one.

Microphone

Of course, if you want to learn how to use recording microphones, you'll first have to own one. There are several different types of microphones on the market and choosing one can be a little challenging.

Don’t worry though! Any decent microphone will do. The type of microphone you've will only affect the sound quality and not how to use and set it up. Microphones range in price. Typically the higher the price, the better-quality sound you'll get from it.

We suggest if you're even a little serious about singing to get a medium-priced microphone. This way, you won’t be spending tons of money. you'll also have decent quality.

Sound Pop Filter

Next, you'll want to make sure you've a sound pop filter. These aren't required. They're definitely recommended.

Pop filters are great for many reasons. Imagine singing into the microphone. If you're new to everything you'll likely find yourself screaming. This isn't a bad thing. Changes in tone will show up on the mic.

For example, any type of sudden blast of air on the mic can easily be picked up. Pop filters help reduce and eliminate this annoying occurrence.

Even if you don't scream into the mic, pop filters are great! They're called filters for a reason. Any wind or sound that isn't your singing will get blocked depending on the quality of your filter.

Headphones

Lastly, you've headphones. This is a crucial piece of equipment when using recording microphones. Unless you buy a microphone that comes attached to a headset, you'll want to get a pair of headphones.

The main reason for this is so that you can hear the audio or beat that you're singing over. You don't want your music playing out loud while you're recording. This can cause many issues that you may not know how to deal with.

Headphones are relatively cheap. The quality of headphones you buy isn't important, you just need them to prevent the audio from playing aloud.

Install and Setup Your Microphone

Depending on your choice of microphone, this step can be difficult or hard. Each microphone is different, however, if you've a USB microphone, it should be plug and play. That simply means you plug in the microphone and it's ready to use.

Otherwise, you may have an analog microphone. These tend to have two or more wires that need to be plugged into your computer in the proper ports. These ports are located on the sound card on the back of your computer.

They're usually multi-colored (pink, green, yellow) and easy to identify. Match the colors and you're good to go to the next step.

Adjust Audio Settings

Now, you'll want to mess with your audio settings to make sure everything is flowing smoothly. Let’s start with the recording settings. Right-clicking on your volume icon in the bottom right taskbar, you'll see an option that says “Recording devices”.

Clicking on this should bring up a dialog that displays to you the different recording devices you currently have plugged into your computer. Right-clicking on the microphone you've plugged in will allow for you to adjust the settings of your microphone.

There are 5 panels you can see through on this screen.

General

The general tab has only a couple options. You can change the icon for your microphone and check the properties of your device driver. You shouldn't have to mess with these two options.

At the bottom though, you'll see an option called “Device usage”. you'll want to make sure this is set to “Use this device (enable) that way your microphone is set to work. 

Listen

The listen tab does exactly what the title states. It allows for you to listen to yourself through the mic to make sure it's working.

Keep in mind that if you're using a studio mic without any headphones connected, you may experience a bothering sound or echoing. it's only really useful to use to check and see if your microphone is working properly.

On this tab, you also have the option of choosing a playback for the microphone. This determines where the sound is played when the microphone is plugged in. You can set this to your headphones If you've any plugged in. 

Levels

On this screen, you've the option to adjust the microphone volume level. The higher the number, the louder your microphone will be.

If you still need more amplification, you can adjust the microphone boost slider which can distort your voice if set to high. 

Enhancements

This tab contains different configurations you can use with your mic. They're useful. Not necessary. The noise suppression will attempt to block out background noise while the acoustic echo cancellation will work to prevent any echoing that's caused when recording your guitar. 

Advanced

This tab shouldn't be touched unless you know what you're doing. it's simply controlling the sample rate and frequency of your mic.

Install Optional Software

This isn't required to do. Some people like to use software when recording with microphones. A great program that's free is Audacity. it's a voice recording software that's very powerful and has many voice manipulation features installed.

Conclusion

Now, you should know how to use recording microphones. Sometimes, it can be as easy as plugging in your USB microphone and recording.

Occasionally, you'll run into a few problems with connectivity. For the most part using a recording microphone is quite simple.