Sound Equipment: How to Choose a Studio Microphone

Every professional recording engineer knows that in order to obtain a great recording is essential to have the right studio microphone selection. If you are new to the field, the subject of studio microphones may see a little intimidating for you. But don’t worry, with a bit of studio experience in your portfolio, you will understand that some microphones work better for recording a certain instrument than others. From dynamic to condenser Studio microphones, this sound equipment comes in numerous choices. With so many options to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming choosing the right microphone for your needs. Below is a guide to the most common types of studio microphone and how their function will serve you.


Types of Studio Microphones

Dynamic Microphones

With this sound equipment, the audio is created due the movement of a conductor within a magnetic field. In most dynamic microphone models, a very small diaphragm moves to respond to sound pressure. This action causes a voice coil to move also, creating a small electric current. These microphones are more sensitive than the other types, more durable, and usually less expensive. They are perfect to be used with drum and electric guitars.

Condenser Microphones

If you are looking for a highly effective microphone, choose a condenser model. This sound equipment is more responsive to the nuances and ‘speed’ of sound waves than the previous model. A condenser microphone is a simple mechanical system that features a thin stretched conductive diaphragm located close to a metal disc. This arrangement results in a capacitor that is charged by either a battery or a dedicated power supply. The diaphragm vibrates slowly in response to the sound pressure, making the capacitance vary while creating the signal output of the microphone.

Ribbon Microphones

This type of microphone was popular in the golden age of radio but seems to be doing a resurgence, thanks to the efforts of some manufacturers. This sound equipment respond to the speed of air molecules moving a small element instead of sound pressure level. While in studio applications this factor doesn’t make a difference, it can be vital during an outdoor recording on a windy day.

USB Microphones

These microphones represent a modern development in microphone technology. The USB microphones feature all the elements of a traditional microphone (diaphragm, capsule, etc) but have two additional circuits, which are what differ them – an analog-to-digital converter and an onboard preamp. The A/C converter allows the microphone to be plugged directly into a computer and the preamp avoids the need to connect the microphone to a mixer or external mic preamp. With these microphones, all you need to make a mobile digital recording is to plug them, launch you DAW software, get yourself the best microphone cables for recording and work your magic.