There are a huge variety of microphones available for the home studio owner. They fit all budgets, offer many unique sounds, and work for different applications. It’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed looking for the right mics for your studio. This article offers a few tips to get you started.
First of all, this article is aimed at beginners. If you are already racking up a nice microphone collection, you will probably already know much of this information. If you are planning your first mic purchases, read on.
Your budget is extremely important. Avoid spending more than you have and getting yourself in debt. Start with simple, inexpensive microphones and learn some good mic’ing techniques. Later on you can upgrade. Decide how much you have to spend, and stick to your budget.
For the first couple mics, you need to serve a variety of purposes. You will likely need to mic vocals, guitars, bass, drums, and acoustic instruments. One surefire way to cover all these areas is to start off with a Shure SM57. This mic is incredibly versatile. It can handle lots of applications and will last a lifetime. Plus it’s under a hundred bucks.
But if you want to diversify just a bit, I would recommend getting a large diaphragm condenser and a dynamic microphone. The condenser is great for vocals, acoustic stuff, drum overheads, etc. You just want to avoid placing it directly in front of a loud sound source. That’s what the dynamic mic is for. Your dynamic mic can handle high SPLs, so you can place it directly in front of a cranked guitar amp. With these two microphones, you’re off to a great start already.
When it comes time to expand your mic locker, consider adding another large diaphragm condenser. Having a pair of condenser allows you to mic drum overheads in stereo. That will greatly improve the stereo image of your recordings. You can also add additional dynamic mics. With more of these mics, you can mic more drums or guitars at once. Later, when you have a little extra cash in your budget, consider investing in a good quality kick drum mic. This mic will make your drums sound ten times better, and it’s great for recording bass guitars too.
Remember that buying mics is fun. You get different sounds from every mic you try. Eventually you will have a big collection of unique mics to use in your studio.
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