What is a good quality microphone for recording? This question is often asked by vocalists, podcasters or other such customers who are still relatively new to the music industry. Once you’ve gained enough experience under your belt, you’ll come to know that certain types of microphones work better with specific music recording equipment. However, without any such experience, it might be tough for you to purchase a high-quality microphone.
Nowadays, there is a wide range of microphones which are available in the market. Thanks to such a variety of options, you have to differentiate a condenser microphone from a dynamic microphone.
You also have to make this purchase on the basis of polar patterns which is a term used to define the sensitivity of this device. As a result, a customer who is still unsure about what is a good quality microphone for recording tends to become extremely puzzled.
However, if you want to save both time and money while making this purchase, you’ve just landed at the perfect place. In the below-mentioned guide, we’ve discussed at great length about what to look for in a microphone and how you can differentiate an ordinary microphone from a premium one.
Once you’ve gone through this guide, you’ll be in a comfortable position to purchase a high-quality microphone without any hassle.
When it comes to the microphones, they can be broadly categorized into two different types: Condenser and Dynamic. Even though there are some other types as well, the aforementioned types will be more than enough for you in almost every single scenario.
Having said that, both these microphones are designed to work with distinct recording equipment. While you can use the condenser mic with acoustic guitars, it’s the dynamic microphones which work better with electric guitars. So, before purchasing any one of these two types, it might be better to have a look at their advantages and disadvantages.
According to some microphone experts, it is recommended to use a condenser microphone with a high-frequency music gear. It includes, but isn’t limited to, pianos, cymbals, and snare drums.
As per the dynamic microphones, they produce more favorable results when paired with low-frequency equipment. Starting with the traditional drums, it also includes electric guitars, kick drums and other such music instruments.
If you’ve purchased a microphone in the past, you might be aware of the fact that this device comes integrated with a diaphragm. The diaphragm, which looks like a cone, works with an attached coil to convert sound waves into an electrical energy.
As already mentioned, the condenser microphones perform much better when combined with high-frequency recording equipment. The reason behind it is that as compared to a dynamic microphone, it’s the condenser mic which makes use of a flimsy diaphragm.
A lesser amount of noise can make this diaphragm to move. It means that even though the high-frequency sounds incorporate lower energy as compared to its low-frequency counterpart, it can still rattle this device. Such kind of construction eventually makes the condenser microphones a highly sensitive device.
Dynamic microphones, on the other hand, feature more massive diaphragms. In order to move this component, one requires a more significant amount of energy which is eventually provided by a low-frequency sound. This is the reason why a dynamic microphone is less responsive as compared to that of a condenser microphone.
As you could imagine, the delicate diaphragms in the condenser microphones are less durable. They cannot be used with high-frequency music instruments. Otherwise, you might cause permanent damage to this device. This type of microphone is generally recommended for all such instruments that produce low-sound pressure levels.
There is no such problem with the dynamic microphones as you can use them with the loudest instruments in your studio. Furthermore, they also come with a more durable construction so even if you drop them, they’re likely to survive. This is the reason why a majority of singers use this type of microphone while performing on the stage.
So if you’re looking to use low-frequency equipment on a consistent basis, and that too in a rigorous environment, it might be better to purchase a dynamic microphone. As per the studio recordings which involve a lot of delicate music instruments, a condenser microphone can be your first choice.
Another feature which enhances the overall lifespan of the dynamic microphones is the fact that they come with a moisture-resistant construction. It doesn’t mean that you can actually use this gear under the intense rain. However, a dynamic microphone does stand tall against other environmental elements, including humidity.
Condenser microphones are devoid of any such construction which makes them viable for indoor use.
The condenser microphones come at a higher rate as compared to that of the dynamic microphones. The reason behind it is while the former device is more than capable of picking up low-frequency sounds, the latter works well with high-frequency audios.
So if you’re a budget-conscious shopper, it might be better to purchase a dynamic mic. However, if you can afford to pay big bucks in return for a quality microphone, you should go for the condenser microphone. That is because even though a dynamic mic is more durable than the condenser microphone, the condenser mic is still generally more preferred for ultra-sensitive audio recording sessions.
When it comes to choosing between a condenser microphone and a dynamic microphone, it eventually comes down to the musical instruments which you’re going to use in the recording studio. Although some people believe that a condenser mic is better when it comes to studio recording, this isn’t true by any means.
Starting with the dynamic microphones, they are recommended for recording pop music and general voice overs. You can use this type of microphone with a wide range of drums, including toms and kick drums and you can also use it for on-stage performance. Furthermore, if you’re going to use extremely loud equipment in your recording sessions, it might be better to purchase a dynamic microphone.
The condenser microphones, as already mentioned, are generally preferred with sensitive music instruments. All those devices which tend to produce low-pressure sound levels create flawless results when combined with this type of microphone.