5 Points to Ponder Before You Buy a Mic for Your Studio

Condenser Microphone

You’re putting together your home project recording studio. You’ve cleared out your spare room and plugged in your digital multitrack recorder.

There’s only one thing missing- Microphones!

What kind of mic should you add  to your home studio recording equipment?

With a host of great sounding microphones by manufacturers like AKG, Shure, and Sennheiser, you can get warm sounds out of your home studio’s pile of digital gear without having to shell out big bucks for consecutive serial-numbered vintage condensers.

5 Tips to Getting the Right Studio Microphone

The following 5 pointers will help you pick out the mic that’s right for you!

  • Go wired. Vocalists love the mobility of wireless mics, but reception issues and other complications can seriously compromise home studio recording.
  • Get a mic that’s adaptable. Not all mics fit every task: a unidirectional mic designed for a guitar amp might sound strange as an overhead. At least one mic in your studio should feature a switchable pickup pattern and a flat frequency response for maximum versatility.
  • Think of what you’re recording. Wide-diaphragm condenser mics have a robust dynamic range that can capture acoustic instruments with crystal clarity, but for amplified instruments you’ll need a hardy dynamic mic (like the Sennheiser large-diaphragm dynamic mic shown above to handle the boost in sound pressure levels (SPLs).
  • Check the microphone’s power requirements. Many condenser mics require a power source, and while some have batteries, most of the time you’ll need a phantom power supply from your home studio’s digital multitrack recorder or mixing desk. Although this is a common feature, make sure it’s there before you buy the wrong mic.
  • Consider a preamp. Most digital multitrack recorders supply adequate gain to boost the volume of any mic, but a good tube preamp can shoot your home studio sound into the stratosphere. While some mic preamps boast price tags that are also stratospheric, even an inexpensive preamp like the A.R.T. Tube MP can make a big difference in the sound of your recording.

Have more questions about dynamic, condenser, or other microphones? Send us an email or give us a call at 407-757-3326 for more sound advice!