In this segment of how to build a home studio we focus on buying a microphone. Now that you have a good computer, recording software, and audio/midi interface, of course, the next step is to choose the “right” microphone.
Microphones vary greatly in price and quality. Top end microphones can cost thousands of dollars. For instance, the Neumann U87 costs as much as $3,649.00. A cheap microphone can cost as little as ten bucks! For a good quality recording, you obviously wouldn’t buy such a cheap microphone but you can do pretty well with one that costs less than a few hundred dollars.
So what kind of microphone would you need to buy? There are two main types. They are dynamic and condenser microphones. Let’s take a closer look.
How to build a home studio – choosing a dynamic microphone
Typical uses for dynamic microphones are for stage use and recording studio use. Dynamic mics are especially resistant to moisture and other forms of abuse, such as a drum stick hitting the microphone. Unlike condenser microphones, they don’t require phantom power.
The number one suggestion for dynamic microphones is the Shure SM57. It’s usually used for recording guitar amps, snare drum, kick drum, toms, hi hat, horns, and so on but it can do much more. If you’re a newbie and funds are an issue, you may want to get this microphone first. For vocals and acoustic guitars, you would need a good preamp as well.
How to build a home studio – choosing a condenser microphone
Condenser microphones are generally much more expensive than dynamic ones. Condenser mics, unlike dynamic mics, use Phantom Power to charge the diaphragm of the mic. This is easily supplied by most mixing boards. (Look for a switch that says “P 48” or “48V” on the channel strip or on the back of your mixer.)
Condenser microphones are generally used only in recording studios due to the fact that they’re so fragile and because of their sensitivity to loud sounds. There are two types, small diaphragm, and large diaphragm. Large condensers are best for vocals, and small condensers are great for delicate instruments.
In my home studio, all I use is an AKG C414B. This is a very popular and very versatile professional recording studio microphone. This is certainly a microphone to aspire to if you don’t already have one.
If you’re looking for a high quality condenser mic but don’t want to spend a lot, the RODE NT1 is an excellent choice. This mic can handle everything, not just vocals.
How to build a home studio – microphone options
Other microphones you can look into when building your home recording studio, apart from the Shure SM57, RODE NT1 and AKG C414B are:
- Studio Projects C1 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
- Shure SM81LC Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- ElectroVoice RE20 Classic Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
- Audio Technica AT822 Special Purpose Condenser Microphone
- Rode NT4 Stereo Condenser Microphone
- Sennheiser MD421II Dynamic Cardioid Microphone
- Studio Projects B1 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
- AKG C3000B Single Cardioid Large Diaphragm Mic
- Rode NT2A Variable Pattern Studio Condenser Microphone
- Shure KSM32
- KSM44/SLOther microphone options (for drums) include the:
- AKG D112 Large Diaphragm Microphone
- AKG Deluxe Drum Mic Package
- Studio Projects C4 Condenser Microphone
- Neumann KM184 Cardioid Small Diaphram Microphone
- Audix DR456 Drum Microphone Combo Pack (4xi5, 1xD6, 4xDVice)
Many times one microphone does the trick in a small budget home studio. If you’re not recording drums or a wide range of love instruments, there is probably no need to get several mics.
How To Build A Home Recording Studio Page One.
How To Build A Recording Studio Page Two.
How To Build A Home Studio Page Three.
How To Build A Music Studio Page Four.
How To Build A Home Recording Studio Page Five.