What Kind of Microphone Should I Use for Recording


When you’re shopping at online music stores for a microphone for your quaint home recording studio, you drown in the thousands of microphones with different types, brands and prices to choose from. To refrain you from making a random decision and clicking that “add to cart” button, you should at least first ask yourself, “what kind of microphone should I use for recording?”

Best Kind of Microphone To Use for Recording

Before anything else, you should know that 95% of all microphones belong to just two types – condenser microphones and dynamic microphones. So, how would you know what to choose? It depends on what you will use it for. Let’s compare the two so you would know if you need a condenser or a dynamic microphone.

1.  Frequency

Dynamic microphones work best on instruments with low-medium frequency response such as electric guitars and drums because they have heavier diaphragms.

On the other hand, condenser microphones work best on high-frequency instruments like pianos, cymbals, and acoustic guitars because they have small diaphragms for capturing sounds. This means, the higher the rate, the less energy they have to move mass.

2.  Power

Dynamic mics are known as “passive” while condenser mics are “active” when it comes to generating power. Due to their large mass, dynamic mics can generate enough power through movement. That’s why most dynamic micsdon’t need a source of energy. Meanwhile, condenser mics need “phantom power” to amplify the weak voltage they generate. The good side to this is, with phantom power, you’ll be able to record softer sounds because condenser mics can attain higher gains.

3.  Durability

Condenser mics are more durable than dynamic mics. Due to a condenser mic’s smaller diaphragm, it is also prone to damage, especially when processing higher sound pressure levels. The dynamic mic can process loud instruments like drums because of its heavy and sturdy diaphragms.

Also, dynamic mics are designed for heavy duty“rock n’ rolling.” You won’t need to worry much if you drop them on the ground because they will still work well. Butif you drop a condenser mic, itschances of survivalaren’t that high.

4.  Resistance

Aside from its durability, dynamic mics are generally great on stage because they are more resistant to changes in humidity. Under fluctuating weather and humid conditions, condenser mics’ performance may suffer.

5.  Feedback

Dynamic mics give higher gain before feedback than condenser mics. Feedback is a common problem in live concerts were microphones nearbycan record many sounds. Condenser mics, being sensitive to sound, often surrender to feedback while

dynamic mics are more resistant to it.

6.  Cost

Due to their durability, sturdiness, and feedback resistant capabilities, Dynamic mics are way more expensive than condenser mics.

The Best Mic for Studio Recording

Since we’ve been discussing how dynamic mics perform better on a live stage, most would probably guess that condenser mics must be better in studio recordings for capturing particular sounds. The truth? No mic in existence is good for every sound. That’s why it is important to provide certain mics fit for your specific instruments and tasks.

1.  Large Diaphragm Condenser Mics

You’ve probably seen this classic looking mic in all music videos where the singer is recording in a studio. Aside from its cool, timeless look, this kind of mic is the standard for recording vocals. This should definitely be the first mic you get for your home studio.

2.  Small Diaphragm Condenser Mics

Also known as a “pencil mic,” it’s specifically made to record high-frequency instruments like acoustic guitars and cymbals. This mic captures high-end shimmer, making it perfect for acoustic singer/songwriters.

3.  Utility Mics

This is the normal dynamic mic that is versatile in recording almost every instrument in the band such as electric guitars and drums. It is also ideal for recording rock vocals.

4.  Bass Mics

To record the good sounding low end of your bass instruments, you would want to get a “kick drum mic” or a bass mic. Its frequency response features a presence boost of around 4,000, a low-end boost and a scoop in the mids.

5.  Multi-Pattern Mics

Multi-pattern mics are designed with a unique dual-capsule that allows you to record between the three polar patterns. This highly versatile tool is perfect for stereo recording.

6.  Ribbon Mics

This mic is extraordinary because it is neither a condenser or a dynamic mic because it doesn’t have a diaphragm. Instead, it captures sound with a ribbon made of thin aluminum. Ribbon mics are similar with dynamic mics, but it is sensitive to ahighfrequency like condenser mics. It produces a unique sound, which is why it is quite expensive for a home studio owner.

7.  USB Mics

You’re probably using a USB Mic in recording your podcast or your YouTube video. It is the most popular and accessible mic as of to date. And of course, it is straightforward to use.

8.  Boundary Mics

These hard to get mics are essential tools in professional recording studios nowadays.Unlike all mics mentioned above, it doesn’t need a stand. Instead it is mounted on a flat surface in the room.The best thing is, boundary mics are immune to comb filtering.

9.  Shotgun Mics

Shotgun mics have the uniqueability to isolate sound. While not usually used in a recording studio, they are often used in capturing sounds outdoors such as in news reporting or movie making. This means you can record clearly even in a noisy environment.

So where will you use your mic? Did this information help you in choosing the right mic? If you found this article useful, kindly share it with your friends.