• Microphones – How Do You Prepare For A Recording Session Studio 101

    February 18, 2019 | Wade Nichols
  • Microphones - how to prepare for a studio recording session. They are a massive topic of discussion. However, we will brush on a few to help you when entering a recording studio session. I get asked all the time about which one is the best. There is no such thing. That question is like asking which crayon is the best in the crayon box. Obviously, the blue one is best when drawing the sky. The red is the best when coloring a fire truck. The same applies to microphones. If you are recording something dark and heavy, the best one may be a ribbon and not a bright condenser. So they are like colors in the crayon box, use when appropriate.

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    Another point to discuss dealing with microphones is their polar patterns. You can use the polar pattern to your advantage. Take a cardioid as an example. Point it at the sound source while keeping the back of the microphone toward an instrument or sound that you want to reject. Cardioid polar patterns come to a null point behind it, which will help reject a noise coming from behind.

    A third topic is the proximity microphone technique. We are used to performing live. Those microphones we put right against our lips and sing hard into them. They are usually a dynamic microphone. The diaphragm inside is thicker than a condenser. The condenser is what is typically used in a recording studio setting, Its membrane is skinny. It cannot take that considerable puff of air. Also, they are very revealing. Singers tend to be taken aback by how they sound, having never heard that before.

    Lastly, there is such a thing as microphone etiquette. Do not just move a two thousand dollar or more microphone around because it is not exactly where you are comfortable. Let the engineer move it or lower the microphone stand. It is not like your stage mic. It is incredibly fragile, and that is why it picks up the sound so well. Just keep in mind the most expensive item you own at home. You would not want everyone just fiddling around with it. 

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