There are so many mics out there that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. Even deciding on the best mics is a difficult undertaking.
However, it does not have to be as perplexing as it appears. Despite the fact that the number of mics on the market grows every year, there are only so many ways to record sound waves in the air. So, if you know what type of mics you need, you can cut down your options and choose the best equipment for the task.
The powerhouses of the microphone universe are dynamic mics. They’re inexpensive, long-lasting, and sound great on some of the most popular recording devices. Dynamic mics act like a speaker in reverse by using a moving induction coil hung in a magnetic field.
Dynamic mics respond quickly to transients and can tolerate high SPLs with ease. As a result, they’re ideal for loud sources such as drum kit close mics and instrument and bass cabs. A dynamic mic or 2 should certainly be in your collection, given how economical and adaptable they are.
Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic
When you think about studio recording mics, large diaphragm condenser microphones are typically the first thing that springs to mind. They’re the big, elegant, and serious-looking mics you’ll find in most pro recording booths.
Condenser mics work by converting acoustic vibrations into an electrical current via a capacitor (or condenser). That implies they require a source of power, such as 48V phantom power, in order to function. It also implies they’re far more responsive than dynamic or ribbon mics and produce a much louder sound.
They’re good for silent or highly dynamic sources, such as vocalists, because of their sensitivity. For vocals, large diaphragm condensers provide a number of sonically pleasant properties. They contribute to the “larger-than-life” quality we associate with professional studio vocals.
LDCs, on the other hand, work with a wide range of sources. Consider a large diaphragm condenser mic if you just need one mic for everything. Many current LDCs have changeable polar patterns, making them extremely adaptable and helpful in a wide range of recording scenarios. They’re also one of the best mics for starting your studio.
Small Diaphragm Mics
Small Diaphragm Condensers (also known as pencil condensers) are the LDC’s smaller and less showy relative.
Despite their diminutive size, they’re just as essential. Small diaphragm condensers feature excellent transient response, a long top end, and repeatable pickup patterns. As a result, they’re ideal for both realistic stereo techniques and acoustic instruments. If you went to a classical music studio session, you’d probably notice a lot of SDCs.
Ribbon technology has been around since the beginning of mics. Commentators speaking into vintage ribbon mics can be seen in photos from the boom period of broadcasting.
Ribbon mics produce their signal using an ultra-thin (pause for it) ribbon of electro-conductive material hung between the poles of the magnet. The first ribbon designs were quite delicate. Moving them incorrectly, or even exposing them to high SPL, might damage the ribbon. However, the sound was worth trading in terms of durability. Ribbon mics are sought after for their warm, vintage sound.