Best Types of Microphones for Recording


After finding their singing voice, people get really excited to record themselves. In their excitement though, they often overlook which types of microphones for recording are the best. This leads them to buy a bad microphone.

Once you hear yourself after singing into a bad microphone, you may think you sound bad yourself and give up on singing. That is why choosing a good microphone is essential.

You want to make sure you sound the best when you playback your recording. Today, we will be going over the best types of microphones for recording so that you do not make the same mistake most people do.

Large Diaphragm Condenser Mics

These are very popular and are often time seen in movies. They are simple, beautiful, and elegant microphones. If you are recording your vocals, it is a great microphone to use. It has a large diaphragm which is great for collecting your voice and not losing any sound quality in the process.

It is also a decent microphone to use when recording instruments. Most musical artists will go straight for a large diaphragm microphone when starting out.

Small Diaphragm Condenser Mics

Just like with large diaphragm condenser mics, the smaller version does a great job of recording instruments. Even more specifically though, small diaphragm mics focus on high pitched and high-frequency instruments such as cymbals and the acoustic guitar.

For anyone who makes music at home on their acoustic guitar, the small diaphragm condenser mic is your best friend.

USB Microphones

It is hard to talk about the best types of microphones for recording without mentioning USB mics. They are very easy to use and require little to set up. All you have to do is plug the microphone into your computer and you are ready to go.

They also are cheap and easy to take with you on the go. The sound quality is not as good as some of the other microphones on our list, but that does not change the fact that USB microphones are a viable option for recording.

Boundary Mics

Boundary microphones are very unique. They are rare to see but are a great asset to have when recording in any studio.

They mount on the wall or floor of your studio are impervious to any type of comb filtering. You will see these types of mics in conference rooms a lot as they provide crystal clear audio in room environments.

Shotgun Mics

This is the microphone you see a lot around any kind of recording section happening outside such as a news station reporting session. The design of shotgun microphones works by including several slots that reject off-axis noise.

The way they work, when you use them you can record further away from the source of your sound and be fine. These mics work great in noisy environments, hence why news stations and television sets use them often.

Multi-Pattern Mics

Multi-pattern mics are typically characterized by a dual capsule design featuring cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8 patterns. As a result, multi-pattern mics can be used for many different things and are very useful for stereo recording.

They are not very newbie friendly, however, if used correctly, they are the best option for recording as the sound produced is of the highest of quality.

Dynamic Utility Mics

Utility microphones are great for recording instruments specifically. If you are planning on only recording your instruments, these are great to invest in.

They are cheap and easy to use. You also will find that occasionally, you will find one that works well for vocals.

Ribbon Mics

Ribbon microphones exist in their own category. They diverge from dynamic and condenser because they do not contain a diaphragm. Instead, they consist of a thin aluminum ribbon.

They are much more durable than other microphones on the market and they last a lot longer. The frequency sensitivity is also very high and so they are also good for recording instruments. They are a bit on the expensive side though.

Bass Mics

Continuing with microphones that are great for instruments, let’s discuss the bass microphone. It is designed specifically for recording bass-heavy instruments.

It features a low-end boost. Bass mics capture thumps better than microphones that are designed for both vocals and instruments.

Microphone Terminology

Now, we have discussed several different types of microphones. Each has their own specific purpose and goal. Understanding how each microphone works will allow for you to learn how to choose the right microphone for you. From sound quality, price, and overall use, each microphone type has its own function.

Now, we can discuss a little more about the different aspects of microphones that you can be looking at. This will be a brief overview to allow for you to get a little more familiar with microphone terminology.

Frequency Response

The frequency response is the measurement by which the microphone picks up audio frequencies. It is great to know as this will tell you how well a microphone will pick up your voice and how clear it will be when playing back.

Amplify

Amplification is the means by which sounds are magnified electronically by upping the amount of voltage, power, or current to the audio signal. Proper amplification can be the difference between a high-quality microphone and a low-quality microphone.

Cardioid

You will see this term used a lot when talking about microphones. It is derived from calculus, but for musical purposes, it is simply a design that allows a microphone to pick up sound in a “heart-shaped” pattern.

Omnidirectional

Like cardioid, omnidirectional is another way that your microphone can pick up the sound. For this definition, however, it means a microphone that can pick up sound in all directions.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are several microphones available on the market for recording. Each has its own purpose and area of focus that they excel in.

The best types of microphones for recording should be easier to pick out with the knowledge you have gained today.