How to Choose Correct Microphone for Home Recording

2008-4-13

Planning a home recording session? Choosing the right mics is paramount to getting everything underway. There are a number of choices to make regarding what kind of equipment will be used based on what level of sound you want to capture. The rules for home recording may be different than those in a studio or public place. Think about equipment needs carefully to avoid getting too much or too little.

Step 1:
Choose a proper range of sound. Look at different microphones to see what kind of specific range of sound acquisition they provide. Some mics will pick up sounds in the next room; others will only "hear" what's right up next to them. Think about what is right for your project.

Step 2:
Choose digital or analog. Analog mics are sometimes used for live performances, but nowadays, most people use digital mics for recording projects.

Step 3:
Choose stereo or mono. Stereo microphones allow for the "splitting" of sound to a left or right speaker. Mono is just a single sound stream. Think about whether your recording project at home needs stereo capability.

Step 4:
Choose condenser or dynamic mics. Condenser microphones are of a higher sensitivity for greater sound capture, but they can be pricey. Dynamic microphones are also generally easier to work with, with less accessories needed.

Step 5:
Consider all plugging-connecting requirements. If you've ever taken a look at a "public-grade" mic used in formal venues, you can see that its connectors are very specifically made to be plugged into a full-scale sound system. Other cheaper microphones can be plugged directly into radio recorders or even amplifiers. New USB mics connect straight into a laptop or desktop computer. Think about what you want to use to record your project.

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