How to Use Recording Microphones

How to Use Recording Microphones


So, you have a beautiful voice and want the world to hear it? That means you will 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 will 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 have all the equipment that you need. This varies depending on the person and type of accessories you want, but we suggest starting off with three essential pieces of equipment: the microphone, a sound pop filter, and headphones. We will discuss more on why you should have each one.

Microphone

Of course, if you want to learn how to use recording microphones, you will 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 have will only affect the sound quality and not how to use and set it up. Microphones range in price, but typically the higher the price, the better-quality sound you will get from it.

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

Sound Pop Filter

Next, you will want to make sure you have a sound pop filter. These are not required, but they are definitely recommended.

Pop filters are great for many reasons. Imagine singing into the microphone. If you are new to everything you will likely find yourself screaming. This is not a bad thing, but 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 do not scream into the mic, pop filters are great! They are called filters for a reason, so any wind or sound that is not your singing will get blocked depending on the quality of your filter.

Headphones

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

The main reason for this is so that you can hear the audio or beat that you are singing over. You do not want your music playing out loud while you are 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 is not 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 have a USB microphone, it should be plug and play. That simply means you plug in the microphone and it is 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 are usually multi-colored (pink, green, yellow) and easy to identify. Match the colors and you are good to go to the next step.

Adjust Audio Settings

Now, you will 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 will 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 have 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 should not have to mess with these two options.

At the bottom though, you will see an option called “Device usage”. You will 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 is working.

Keep in mind that if you are using a studio mic without any headphones connected, you may experience a bothering sound or echoing. It is 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 have any plugged in. 

Levels

On this screen, you have 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 are useful, but not necessary. The noise suppression will attempt to block out background noise while the acoustic echo cancellation will work to prevent any echoing that is caused when recording your guitar. 

Advanced

This tab should not be touched unless you know what you are doing. It is simply controlling the sample rate and frequency of your mic.

Install Optional Software

This is not required to do, but some people like to use software when recording with microphones. A great program that is free is Audacity. It is a voice recording software that is 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 will run into a few problems with connectivity, but for the most part using a recording microphone is quite simple.