Monday, July 13

Selecting a Microphone for Home Recording

Selecting a microphone for home recording can be a difficult decision to make. It all depends on the following:

a. Budget
b. Your Room
c. Your Recording Commitment and the depth of your project
d. Your existing recording gears


Basically, there are two types of microphones:

a. Dynamic Microphone
b. Condenser Microphone

The above microphone photo belongs to a condenser microphone type, and it looks obviously different from the dynamic microphones.

During the selection process, below are the recommended guides.

Guide 1: If you have the budget and your home recording studio is using high end gears with good room acoustics. For example you have vocal booth. Then use a condenser microphone, it will produce the best results.

Guide 2: If you have the budget but you do not have the vocal booth, then use high end dynamic microphones such as Shure. The reason is that, dynamic microphones are not as sensitive compared to condenser microphones.

If you do not have a vocal booth, there could be noise during vocal recordings. And it can be isolated easily if you have dynamic microphones since it is not super-sensitive.

For those that do not know a vocal booth, it is a sound proof enclosure where the vocalist will record the vocals. The purpose is to avoid catching noise from other sources in the studio. See picture below:

Picture of Shure SM 58 Dynamic Microphones. Source:

Guide 3: If you do not have the budget , dynamic microphones is cheap. Just make sure that you do not do recording during noisy hours, or else you will be disappointed.

Also, if you have a mixer, consider the connectivity of the microphone you are going to purchase. For example, you should not be buying XLR based microphones if you do not have XLR inputs in your existing recording gears.

Also if you are building a home recording studio to produce commercial projects, the recording commitment and the depth of your project is high and therefore, secure a more expensive microphone like the condenser ones.Once again, if your room does not have good acoustics, then settle for dynamic microphones since it is more flexible compared to condenser microphones.

Always buy from quality and reputable suppliers, do not buy from unknown stores, there are a lot of stores nowadays claiming they sell genuine microphones but is indeed a fake one.