Recording microphones – we all need them in our studio, but choosing the right microphone for the right situation can sometimes be tricky.
I get asked lots of questions when it comes to choosing the right microphone for recording: Where should I place my mic? What type of mic should I use for each instrument? What about my voice? Can I use more than one mic to record a sound? Plenty of questions and lots of possible answers!
The most important thing to remember when recording is that the sound you capture depends on three main things (although there are a few more):
- Good source/musician
- Good mic
- Good mic placement
Another very important point worth remembering is this: don’t try to fix something in the mix. Aim to get the best sound you can from your instrument and your musician, whether you’re recording yourself or someone else. If something doesn’t sound right at the recording stage, you’ll find it even harder to get right at the mixing stage. Take your time, you’ll be paid back later for your effort.
Professional Microphone Decisions
When it comes to deciding what recording microphones you want to use in your home studio, there a few key areas to think about:
- The different type of mics you can find
- The polar pattern (the microphone pattern, or pickup pattern)
- Frequency response of the mic
- Microphone techniques and positions, including stereo microphone techniques
- The microphone preamp and recording ‘direct’
Different makes and models of microphone also feature their own characteristics, which can have an effect on where they’re best used.
The sound of a beautifully plucked acoustic guitar is obviously a lot different to the loud, crisp snap of a snare drum, so using a variety of different microphones for different sources makes perfect sense. But there are some great all-round ‘go-to’ microphones that will always do a solid job for you in your home studio, and that also won’t break the bank.