Of course, the first thing you need to record audio in general and music, especially a good microphone. In previous recording history, the only way to record audio was using a conically shaped object that impressed a wax disk and could only take a single mono input. With todays advancement technology, the musicians are relatively easy as the choice of recording equipment ranges from the simplest, modest home studio set at an extremely affordable price to the advanced professional international standard quality audio equipment for Creme de la Creme. Since this article is made for DIY musicians, we are going to look at the microphone basics today so that we can make an educated purchase that suits our budgets and our artistic endeavors when time comes.
Microphones are divided into three main categories:
also known as moving coil microphones. They are called moving bubbles because it is the mechanism that these types of microphones work with, using a moving coil that receives stimulus from vibration in the air and then translates that motion into electrical energy to enter the signal chain. It is also called a dynamic microphone, as these types of microphones are usually used for live performances, or to record relatively loud and strong sounds, such as kicks or electric guitar cabinets. The main staffs sound of a dynamic microphone is that it sounds a bit boring due to the inherent frequency response allowed by the motion coil. But this is done with durability and endurance: dynamic microphones are the strongest microphones, so they are often used in live performances when the scenes can be too dynamic for sensitive equipment. The ubiquitous dynamic microphone (which is hailed as it must have in each studio) is Shure SM57.
also known as condenser microphones. Like the dynamic microphone, the microphone of the capacitor gets its nickname because of the mechanism it uses to receive and translate mechanical energy into electrical energy - using a capacitor (or conductor) to translate the vibrations into the electrical current. The condenser microphones are the studio engineers favorite for sound sources that are soft, fragile and have high-frequency content, such as female songs, violins, acoustic guitars and cymbals. The advantage of the capacitor mics is that they have a better frequency response for high frequencies, so they are good for capturing materials that have insinuations or rich in high frequency harmonics. There is not a common example of a condenser type, as if there is a dynamic but beginner is Rode NT1A and Audio Technica AT2020.
I am sure you must have seen one of these unique handsome microphones, if you are a musician. These are the musicals you see in classic 1950s, where the female singer in the bar with the red dress holds the microphone and sings in a microphone shaped like grilling on the side. Band microphones use a highly sensitive method of converting electricity from vibrations, and are therefore the most fragile of the three types of microphones available. Their sound is a mix between a dynamic warm quality, but can also get the high frequencies as a condenser. Band microphones are usually used for specific purposes, because if you can use it correctly you can create a signature sound that can not be achieved with gardening dynamics or capacitors. The unique use of band microphones makes them the most expensive on the list, compared with the other two types.
By using the right type of microphone, we can achieve better sound recording. Granted, the art is unlimited, and there are no hard and fast rules. But it always helps to have a guideline so we can do an educated guess and aim to achieve the same sound quality as we hear from our favorite records.