how to choose a studio microphone for a home studio

Recording Studio Microphones: The Beginner’s Guide

Tape or dynamic? Lamp or capacitor? What should be the ideal microphone for a home studio, which can provide high-quality professional sound in any conditions? If you care about such questions, we are ready to help you in this!

A high-quality studio microphone opens up a wide range of possibilities for its owners in the world of sound recording. Fixation of supersensitive sound vibrations allows not only to transmit sound in its natural, pure measurement, but also as accurately as possible to convey the timbre coloration of the voice with all its subtleties of sounds.


how to choose a studio microphone for a home studioHowever, choosing a microphone is a troublesome and individual matter. Professionals and amateurs agreed on the opinion that an ideal microphone still does not exist, and it is unlikely to exist. After all, this, by right, the “king” of studio equipment chooses its owner.

The microphone is a unique mechanism of its kind. It is able to fix the elusive sounds of the subtlety of the sound device and, in turn, to give the recording the effects of live sound. That’s why, the studio microphone is an indicator of the whole studio, the success and the task of which is to make a recording similar to the sound of a “live concert”. Now, the assortment of studio equipment consists of microphones of different types and types of destinations, each of which has its own characteristics. And although the choice of a microphone is an individual matter, it is still worthwhile to highlight the main points that are key.


All studio microphones can be divided according to the source of the sound. So it is necessary to distinguish between vocal and instrumental microphones. And although there are such distinctions, it is still not necessary to be extremely scrupulous about such a prescription. A high-quality vocal microphone can record live musical instruments at a high enough level.

Vocal microphones should be divided into:

  • tape;
  • electret;
  • condenser;
  • lamp;
  • dynamic.

Ribbon microphones, whose membrane is replaced by a thin aluminum tape, have a very high cost, which does not always justify all the subtleties of their use. And although tape microphones do not require phantom power, they are still among the most “gentle” in use. In turn, electret are characterized by high resistance. Unconditional plus – is their fitness and unpretentiousness. Due to these properties, electret microphones have earned their popularity among fans. Microphone sticks that are designed for Skype conversations are often used by rap artists in their home studios. However, it should be remembered that electret microphones lose significantly as sound transmission.

Among a large number of studio microphones, one should separately distinguish between the condenser and the tube microphones, which are the absolute leaders among their “brethren”.

Condenser microphones can rightly be considered the leader in sales. High quality sound transmission, minimum noise and affordable price – that’s what makes condenser microphones popular and very common. Condenser microphones perform their work equally well in the recording of vocalists, chorus and live musical instruments.

There is an opinion that a quality tube microphone is the pride of any studio. “Lamp” was favored by its “warm” and soft sound. The lamp microphone is a kind of capacitor. Instead of transistors it has a built-in tube amplifier, which makes the sound comfortable, without a brutal iron effect. The disadvantages include the fragility of the action of the lamp itself and the fact that after switching on the tube microphone “warms up” 10-15 minutes. However, even these insignificant flaws and its high cost justify its possibilities. It is the tube microphone that can transmit sound in its live and pure measurement.

To studio microphones should be attributed and dynamic. Reliability and the ability to work in different conditions – all at an affordable price. Dynamic microphones are designed for live performances, but some vocalists use them in studios. It is because of their low sensitivity that vocal “flaws” can be hidden.
When you have already decided on the brand and model of the studio equipment, you need to check it in action. Only through constant sampling and selection you can find what you need. In this case, we recommend that you agree on testing the model you need directly with the store’s representatives.

The work of the studio is an interdependent chain consisting of studio equipment, each link of which must work in a coordinated manner and correspond to each other. To ensure the full performance of the microphone, you need to pick up quality additional equipment, which include, in particular, preamps (mic preamps).

To maximize the work of the studio as a whole, one should also take into account the sound insulation. After all, even the best musical equipment can not hide the shortcomings of the studio itself.

A properly selected studio microphone will open up new possibilities for you and change your idea of quality sound.

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