Microphones are very important in the music recording process. They convert sounds into electric signals which will be processed on the computer during the editing, mixing, and mastering stage. To achieve the best quality, you need to find the most competent microphone among others. In shopping for microphones, consider these 9 things to choose the best mic for you:
Microphones are categorized into two – dynamic mics and condenser mics. Dynamic mics are more rugged than condenser mics that’s why they tend to perform better during live performances. On the other hand, condenser mics are more sensitive to sound which makes it perfect for studio recording.
This refers to the response of microphones to the ranges of frequencies – from low to high. Condenser mics work better on high-frequency instruments, including cymbals, piano, and acoustic guitar. On the other hand, dynamic mics are perfect for recording drums and electric guitar cabs.
Diaphragm Size and Weight
Condenser mics are much smaller than dynamic mics. They also have a lighter diaphragm to capture sound. Since dynamic mics have heavier diaphragms, they are less responsive to high frequencies.
On the other hand, the heavier diaphragm of dynamic mics makes it more passive in which it can generate an adequate voltage through movement, not needing for external power source. In contrary, condenser mics require phantom power. With this, condenser mics can record softer sounds and can achieve higher gains.
Condenser mics have lighter diaphragms which are very fragile and may be damaged at higher sound pressure levels. The heavy diaphragm of dynamic mics makes it perfect in recording louder instruments like drums.
Apart from the heavier and stronger diaphragm of the dynamic mics, they also have a much stronger overall design. If you drop a dynamic mic on the ground, it will still function, whereas condenser mics may barely survive. With this, dynamic mics are great for mobile, on-stage performances.
Resistance to Moisture
Dynamic microphones are highly-resistant to environmental changes including temperature and humidity. On the other hand, condenser mics may not function or may have poor performance under extreme changes of humidity.
Gain before Feedback
Dynamic mics are widely used in on-stage performances because they allow higher gain before feedback. Basically, feedback is a common problem in live environments. Unlike condenser mics, dynamic mics have focus in recording the closest sound. Condenser mics are very sensitive producing erring feedback.
Basically, dynamic microphones are much more affordable than condenser microphones. They are also more varied in brands and kinds, plus, they can easily be purchased through online and physical stores. Condenser microphones can cost as much as $10 grand each. However, you can find more affordable choices.
Remember, you need to try the microphones first before purchasing them. It is important that you are aware of its sound quality, durability, specs, and features. Also, do not hesitate to ask the sales representative about the pros and cons of buying certain types of microphones.