How to Choose a Microphone for Home Recording

If you are planning to have your own home studio, then you know that one of the most important piece of equipment that you should have is a microphone. There are many kinds of microphone available for home recording and the number of choices may confuse you. Selecting the right microphone for home recording is crucial since some of the models out there can be quite expensive. You don’t want to make a purchase only to discover later on that the mic is not right for you. In order to avoid making such a mistake, it is important to have some guidelines that can help you in making the proper decision.

Types of Microphone

Condenser Microphone

Condenser Microphone

USB Microphone
A USB Microphone is essentially a plug and play microphone. It has a built in preamp and an analog-to-digital (A/D) converter. This means that you do not need to buy a separate mixer or a preamp to plug it in your computer. Very easy to setup and fairly inexpensive. But their quality comes no where near to a proper condenser Microphone. Buy it only if you are very short of cash, or do not want the hassle of learning what a mixer or pre amp is! Suitable for very low quality work.

Condenser vs. Dynamic
If you have the budget, it is advisable to get one condenser and one dynamic microphone But if you’re really in a bind, then you should start with a condenser microphone This is ideal for vocals and acoustic instruments. The downside to having a condenser mic though is tha

t you can’t place it in front of a very loud sound source. If you are planning to record loud music, then you should get a dynamic mics that can handle SPL.

Dynamic Microphone

Dynamic Microphone

If you are planning to record a lot of guitar riffs from a cranked amp, then going for a dynamic microphone is the right option. For vocals, Condenser Microphones is the best.

Note: If buying a condenser mic, be sure you have +48v phantom power on your preamp or mixer.

Ribbon Mics
These are high end professional microphone. You should only think of buying them if you have very good quality preamp and analog-to-digital (A/D) converter. Low end mixer and preamp do not capture the full essence of this microphone. Also, this microphone needs lot of care. Recommended only if you are setting up an expensive professional setup.

Bottom-line, go for a condenser. There are a few good ones which start at only $250 and are far better then any dynamic or usb mics.

Do Some Research
In choosing for a particular brand of microphone for home recording, it pays to do some research. Advertisements are never a reliable source of information. If you know other people who are also into home recording, then you can ask for their opinion. You can also go to different Internet forums where you can interact with fellow home recording enthusiasts. Happy Recording!

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