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Microphone Buyers Guide: Things To know Before Buying A Microphone

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in Music Gear | 0 comments

Microphone Buyers Guide: Things To know Before Buying A Microphone

  Microphones come in many different colors, not visually, but sonically. Think of microphones as audio lenses. There are lens that are good for wide angle shots, narrow and there are those that have a vintage feel to them. The same is true with microphones. There are different pick up patterns, colors and tones etc. No mic/pattern combination works for everything. Before buying a mic, there are a few things you need to consider. Your budget, what you plan on recording and your current setup. Mic specifications, Understanding the Lingo Having a basic understanding on the lingo is good to have when looking for a mic. Most people just look at other studio’s gear list or blow $1,000 on a mic without understanding what they’re buying into. Frequency Response: Meaning the range of frequencies a microphone can pick up. A microphone with a frequency response of 80hz – 15khz wouldn’t be ideal for recording a bass drum, but would be good for recording vocals Response Curve: This is how the mic performs based on the frequency response. When you look at the curve, there with be peaks and dips in certain ranges indicating what the mic specializes in. For an example, vocals mics may peak a little more in the high-mid range frequencies, thus giving better vocal reproduction. Sound Pressure Level: On the back of the mic packaging you’ll see this as SPL. The SPL is how quiet and loud of a signal the mic can capture and accurately reproduce. Understanding Mic Polar Patterns This is the mics field of view, that’s the best way I can describe it. Cardiod: Mics with this pattern capture sound best when positioned directly in front of them while rejecting sounds coming from the sides and rear. This is the most popular pattern you’ll run into while shopping.   Omni: Omnidirection mics equally captures sounds from all directions. Great for capturing room tone and ambience.     Figure 8: This pattern allows for equal capture from both the front and rear positions of the mic. Also good for capture background and amb try sounds, much like the onmi pattern     Super/Hyper Cardiod: Very similar to a cardiod mic, but more directional. It’s as if they zoom into the subject you’re pointing them at while rejecting sound from the side. Also, unlike the regular cardiod, it doesn’t reject as much sound from behind making them a little difficult to work with. Different Type Of Microphones Dynamic Mics: Good for loud sounds and stage performances. They’re inexpensive require no additional power built like tanks Shotgun Microphones: Typically hyper-cardiod and super-cardiod patterned. Excellent for voice overs and field recording. These mics work similar to a telescope by focusing on the sound in front of them and rejecting unwanted sound behind and on the side of them. Condenser Microphones: Excellent for capturing detail in recordings. There was a time when condenser mics were too expensive for home studio musicians, but these days, they’re more affordable. Side note – must be powered via phantom power USB Microphones: Not ideal to a lot of professionals, but one can’t deny there growing popularity and ease of use. I find these microphones great for quick recording projects. Microphone Diaphragm Sizes Mics come in two sizes large and small diaphragm. Both...

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The Field Recorder Buyer’s Guide

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Music Gear | 2 comments

The Field Recorder Buyer’s Guide

For field recording (sfx for video games and film) you you’ll need a field recorder, headphones, cables, microphones as well as memory cards and batteries. Some recorders can be AC powered, but batteries are a must have when going out in the field. I’ll walk you through what you need to know when looking for a field recorder. Focus on 3 things; Your budget, features and build quality.   1. Your Budget: How Much Can You Invest? What’s your budget? $100…$700? What you can afford will determine what type of sounds you’ll be able to record. Technically, you can record whatever you want, but you wont always get good results. Another thing to consider is what you’ll be recording Loud sounds? Power tools? Your animals? Nature sounds? Will you be recording in the field? Will you be recording sounds in your studio or around your home? Are you ok with the internal mics or do you want flexibility? Those are things to think about while going through this guide. 2. Features Recorders Must Have Preamp – If you can afford it, make sure you have a recorder with XLR inputs. This will allow you to use external microphones which will increase your audio recording quality. When it comes to the preamp, test the noise. Listen to how noisy the preamp is at all settings, the less noise, the easier time you’ll have when editing. Recording format – 96k/24 Wav and up. This will give you the most flexibility when editing and mangling the sound. Portability – Make sure the recorder feels comfortable as you’ll be lugging this thing around a lot. You also want to make sure it easy to setup. Nothing sucks more than hearing a good sound, the missing it because it takes 10 minutes to get everything up and running. 3. Build Quality Make sure the build quality is up to par with your standards. This is more important for some than others. Me personally, I’m okay with cheap feeling equipment because I’m very delicate with my gear.   Field Recorders I’d Suggest Getting (pick one) $100 – Zoom H1 pros: Cheap, easy to use, light weight. 96Khz/24 recording cons: No preamps/xlr inputs $200 – DR-40 Pros: 2 xlr inputs, 4 channel 96Khz/24 recording Cons: Preamp could be cleaner, but does get the job done. $500 – Fostex FR-LE pros: 2 xlr inputs, good preamps (pretty clean), light weight cons: flimsy construction, convoluted interface   Additional Recording Accessories Batteries – All 3 of these recorders can run on AA batteries. Make sure they’re rechargeable, this will allow you to get most from your money. Memory Cards – Yep, a must have for field recorders. Below I’ve broken down the types each recorder needs. H1 Zoom: mini sd card. Go with an 8-16gig DR40: SD card, go with a 16 gig or 32gig Fostex FR2-Le: – Compact Flash. 8-16 gig I own all three of these units and have used them on various projects. If you have any questions about them, feel free to ask....

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Akai Mpk Mini Review: Best Bang For Your Buck?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Music Gear | 0 comments

Akai Mpk Mini Review: Best Bang For Your Buck?

  I’m a huge fan of midi controllers, mainly because they’re inexpensive, they come in a variety of sizes/builds and most have awesome features. Oh, and did I mentioned they’re inexpensive? I don’t suffer from gear lust, but if you put a midi controller in front of me at the right price, I’m adding it to my arsenal. I own a few different models (brands), mostly Akai and what I carry around daily is an LPK25 and the LPD8. I received both as a Xmas gifts back in 2010/2011 and they’ve been with me ever since. One controller that’s always looked attractive to me was the MPK Mini. So, I purchased it, gave it a few days and here’s what I think:   Review: What I Like About The Mpk Mini 25 1) Portability: Fits inside of any backpack and most laptop sleeve cases. It’s a tight fit stuffed into a sleeve (with the laptop), but it works. It fits best in a regular backpack or a Namba bag. 2) LPK25 + LPD8: You get the 25keys and 8 drum pads all in one unit. It’s like they had a baby! 3) Built In Arpeggiator. This is a great feature, you have a choice of mapping it to a custom temp (using tap temp) or the standard global tempo. Normally, on compact units features get stripped, I’m glad they’ve kept this one. 4) Octave Functionality: Two buttons allowing you control scale settings. 5) Program Mode: I love this feature because it allows you to choose between 4 programs. This allows you to assign the same knobs to multiple parameters. In Reason 7 Reason 8, I like to have a program for Re-Groove, SSL Mixer and a few parameters within my mixing suites. 6) Price: it’s affordable, anywhere between 90 and $100 depending on where you’re buying it from of course. My LPK 25 and LPD8 were a little over $100 (not including shipping). The Mpk Mini is currently on sale for $99 free shipping and handling   What I Hate About The Mpk Mini 25 1) Pad Sensitivity: It sucks! IMO that was one of the main selling points! Keys and pads merged together in a compact solution. The pads work, but sensitivity ruins the user experience. If the pads were as responsive as the LPD8, it would be perfect. Can’t believe they messed that up.. 2) Mod & Pitch Wheel: I know, it’s a mini controller, but having these two features could of really put this unit over the top. Even if they built in a cheap pitch/mod strip, that would have done the trick.   Final Thoughts On The Mpk Mini   Who this controller is for This mid keyboard is perfect for the person he moves around a lot or likes the flexibility of being able to work on the go. I like to toss this puppy in the backpack along with my macbook and head off to Starbucks, the park, friends house etc. It doesn’t have the stability of my Mpk49, but the Akai mini serves it’s purpose and it does it well. Who this controller isn’t for Those looking for grade “A” stability for a cheap price. The producers likes hammering the life out of their keys. Composers expecting a good feel from the keys. They aren’t full size (width). I hope this review...

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Enhancing Your Workflow With Studio One: A Few Of My Favorite Features

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Diymb Blog, Music Gear | 2 comments

Enhancing Your Workflow With Studio One: A Few Of My Favorite Features

    Presonus’s Studio One has been my go-to DAW for about two years now. In my digital audio creating career I’ve gone from Cool Edit Pro (that’s right, back in the day), to FL Studio, to Reason, Cubase, Ableton, & Reaper. All of these have their own special qualities, but when I got to Studio One it just felt right. You know, the kind of program you spend a good period of time learning instead of attempting to wing it leaving many functions shrouded in mystery? Arguably the most important responsibility of the modern DAW is workflow. Does the software work for you intuitively and enhance the creative process? This is, of course, remains in every sense a subjective question. Different methods require different needs, past experiences interplay with future expectations and that molds our view as musicians and producers of the most ideal workstation. What I aim to do here is give you an overview of my favorite features that might not be the most well known. Keeping Track Of Ideas One of the coolest features for me is the ability to create ‘musicloops’. This is made possible when for instance, you come up with an idea while working with MIDI. You can create a custom folder in the browser window, then simply drag and drop the MIDI clip from a track. This will bundle a ‘musicloop’ file that is basically a package containing the MIDI clip, a FLAC audio loop, and your MIDI instrument’s information (presets and or settings). This has been invaluable for me since I frequently get new ideas for something else while working. I can finish a track confident that when I’m done everything has been saved that I need to build upon. Conceptualizing Projects With Ease The Project construction window seemed like a fairly simply concept upon first glace. Digging deeper under the surface I discovered that I had never seen something like it before in a DAW. It compiles all the individual songs for a project onto a timeline in whichever manner I choose. If I make changes to those already compiled songs, the project will ask if I want to update and the new changes are now accounted for. There’s no need to start from scratch as was my experience up to this point. It also allows a variety of options to choose from for the final render. For example, if I select ‘Digital Release’ I get mp3’s with all my metadata and artwork embedded in a nice neat folder. If I select ‘Image’  Studio One will create a disc image of my work to the specifications I have set. This creates a seamless mastering process for the DIY musician. Saving CPU The ability to render tracks is not a new concept. We’ve seen this before, but what Studio One does different is that it give you much more flexibility. If I’m running a few plug-ins or VSTi’s I will inevitably need to render to save CPU, and when I do, Studio One creates something of a hybrid track. If I’m working with MIDI and need to go back for changes I can select ‘Transform to Instrument Track’, confident that all my settings remain. But if I’ve already rendered a MIDI track I can still add effects or processing. I...

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Cheap Recording Studio Gear For $100 (And Under)

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Diymb Blog, Music Gear | 5 comments

Cheap Recording Studio Gear For $100 (And Under)

  Here’s a list of 10 studio upgrades you should get. All recording gear and accessories are under $100.00 warning: I do make a small commission from items purchased through the links below   Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio – $26.00 If you’re looking for magical mixing presets – Push Button Magic, this book isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking to understand mixing and how to get the most out of your home recording studio, then this book is all you need. I’ve purchased my share of “Mixing” books, but this caught my eye for 2 reasons. It was recommended by a close friend of mine Mike speaks to those of us working with budget home recording studios. The Author (Mike Senior) goes into great detail about monitors and sound treatment. This was boring at 1st, but I now understand why. How can you expect to achieve a good mix if you can’t hear everything properly. Another thing I like about Mike is he doesn’t rattle off a huge list of monitors, he sticks with a select few (with good explanation) and shows you how to get the most from your home studio.     Focusrite VRM Box – $99.95 The best piece of gear I’ve purchased in years. You see, a lot of us are running around with mobile setups. The problem with the mobile setup is I can only take what fits in my backpack and that means no studio monitors. So, when I saw Focusrite’s VRM BOX I was more than excited. What it does is simulate monitors and mixing environments. It comes with 15 speaker models as well as 3 mixing environments making it one sick GROT BOX. Having the ability to do this without physically moving from studio to studio or hooking up different pairs of monitors is a lifesaver. Well worth the money.   Sony MDR 7506 – $97.00 Everywhere I turn I see these headphones: Professional recording studios, field recorders, recordists, boom operators. The 7506’s are loved, they’re trusted. I like them because of their sound and ease or portability (they fold up). No fancy features, just a good pair of inexpensive headphones.     Seagate External HD (2 TB USB 3) – $74.95 I believe that we as audioheads can never have to many backups. We’re all susceptible to losing our data in a crash. I’m not sure if you’ve ever lost project files, but it’s not fun, it’s a very stressful event. Stay stocked up on these, backup your material as often possible. There’s a rule of thumb to go by and that is → if it’s not backed up on at least 3 devices, it doesn’t exist. Some things to keep in mind Usb 3 transfers faster than Usb 2 Fast transfers Can run a bit hot Harddrives, can’t ever have enough of them.   Akai MPK Mini – $74.99 Akai makes some of my favorite midi controllers. I own both the Lpk25 and the Lp8 and both are great controllers, but this is the best of both worlds. Both controllers pack into one and for a cheaper price. I don’t know a better controller in it’s price range. If you’re look to save space or even another piece of gear to throw in the...

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Home Studio: What Microphones Do You Have In Your Arsenal?

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in Diymb Blog, Music Gear | 3 comments

Home Studio: What Microphones Do You Have In Your Arsenal?

Microphones are to musicians what camera lenses are to photographers. The only difference is, there are more inexpensive “quality” mics on the market for those operating on small budgets than there are for photographers. Here’s a snapshot of my small, but versatile arsenal of mics I use in my home studio:   Studio Projects B3 (large diaphragm condenser) One of my favorite condenser mics. It’s affordable, equipped with 3 pickup patterns and it sounds good. Cardioid – good for vocals as well as instruments. The cardioid rejects sound from the back as well as the sides. For best results place the source directly in front of the mic. Gain staging and distance should also be taken into consideration. I like to position my source 6-12 inches in front of the mic. Omni – This pattern will allow the mic to pick up sound from all around the mic. That would be 360 degrees. What some people don’t realize is the Omni pattern is more natural sounding than the Cardioid pattern because it’s flat. I like to use this pattern for acoustic instruments as well as capturing reflections in a room. Figure 8 – This pattern allows sound to be back captured from 2 sides of the mic, both front and back. I’ve never used this pattern for anything I use this mic for recording choirs, vocals, foley, instruments (all types). Aside from it’s versatility, I love it’s edgy sound.   Behringer B2 (Original Condenser Mic) Another large condenser mic. I’ve owned it since I was about 16 years old. It was actually my 1st condenser. Funny story about this model. I did an A/B comparison with a U87 and it sound damn near identical (except for the high end). So, I purchased more of the exact same model hoping to turn a profit, but not much luck. A few were good, the rest weren’t even close, nowhere near the quality of the 1st. Behringer is a great company (kicking out affordable gear), but their quality control… I use this mic for recording choirs, vocals, foley, instruments, ambiances etc (everything). I like it a little better than the B3 because of it’s overall quality.   AT2020 Condenser Microphone This is the cheapest large diaphragm condenser mic I have in my arsenal. I purchased it a few years ago because it was on sale ($70), and I wanted to try a a mic from Audio Technica (I do that sometimes). You can find them for around $70 – $99… sometimes cheaper What I love about this mic is it’s clarity. There’s a little warmth, not to much, as it’s a smaller large diaphragm condenser mic, but it still does a pretty good job on the low end. Best uses: A little bit of everything. I find it to sound really good on female vocals as well as males with light voices. If you record Blue (Temptations) or Barry White, you’ll loose some of that natural rumble they have. The problem most home studio owners face: Having their computer in the same room they record in. They end up fighting fan noise throughout the entire mixing/editing session. This wasn’t an issue with the 2020 surprisingly. Just make sure you aim the back of the mic at the sound you don’t want in the recording.   AT2020 USB...

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How To Build A Recording Studio Part 2

Posted by on Oct 30, 2012 in Diymb Blog, Music Gear | 3 comments

How To Build A Recording Studio Part 2

  Alright so here I am, back with the 2nd installment of building a recording studio. If you’ve missed the 1st part don’t worry you can find it here How To Build A Recording Studio Part 1 I hope you find this post just as beneficial if not more than part 1. Please feel free to leave comments/suggestions and or concerns. So, without further ado let’s pick up where we left off. 6) Studio Workstation (The Studio Desk) You need a good workstation (desk) to organize your gear on. Now as much as I love ordering online, I tend to go into the store (guitar center) and set up all the gear I have (or something close to it) on desks, just to see how it fits, how it looks and if it’s going to work for me. I know, this may seem extreme, and piss some people off, but who cares? This is your future, this is your investment … Make sure the gear you plan to invest in work for you! I’ve always liked the workstations made by “Studio RTA” & “Studio Trends”. You can find a lot of their desk’s setup at your local music store.   7)Midi Keyboards -Which One To Use When picking a midi controller you want to make sure the controller feels nice to the touch. Some people like for the midi controller to feel like a real piano and some don’t. I personally like synth action and semi weighted controllers over full weighted keys. The midi controller I’m using right now is an AKAI MPK49. I’ve heard a lot of people claim that this controller has a key malfunction (one of the C keys breaks easily). I’ve owned the Akai MPK49 since 2008, and it works just as well as it did the 1st day I purchased it (flawless). – You just gotta take care of your gear folks (It’s not rocket science) Aside from the midi controller feeling good (while playing), it must also have these features: at least 49keys, pitch wheel, mod wheel and it must be velocity sensitive – Velocity sensitivity is a must! Now, let me just say that the midi controller doesn’t have to be 49keys, (get what you can afford) but it’s what I recommend if you plan on playing a lot of chords, they just have more flexibility than that of a 25key controller. These midi controllers are fair in price and they get the job done Maudio Oxygen 49 Key $99 Maudio Keystudio 49 Key $135 Akai MPK 49 Key $299.99 Maudio Axiom 49 Key $299.99 There are others out there but again, I only list what I’ve personally used. I kept this selection limited with budget in mind. I wouldn’t fixate on controllers that have a lot of bells and whistles, but if you have the money and feel they can be of some use, then by all means go for it.   8) Cables and Connections/Converters I remember being in a studio session with a client (bass player). We had 2 hours to get some recording done and 3 hours to hand the project in (not a good spot to be in). During the recording session one of the audio cables shorted. No big deal, it happens from to time, but the...

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Balancing Studio Needs Vs Wants

Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in Diymb Blog, Music Gear | 0 comments

Balancing Studio Needs Vs Wants

  If you’re anything like me you have a subscription to 3-4 different music gear stores (online) that send you updates every week/month or whatever. Most of the time the updates they send are notifications of slashed prices or  promotion deals. I love looking at new gear that is released or soon to be released, and yes sometimes I have gear lust. I constantly have to remind myself of what I actually need and use in my studio (doesn’t always work out). Sometimes upgrades are worth it especially if they enable you to create music faster and more efficiently. While you’re upgrading your studio, be sure to focus on the essential needs rather than spending recklessly. Here’s a list I’ve compiled of the devices and gear everyone needs in their studio   1. Quality Studio Headphones   Most of us music producers/composers do a lot of recording at night in our own homes, while are family is asleep. With that said, you’ll need a pair of headphones that are both quality and comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and do not create ear fatigue. The 2 headphone models that immediately flash in my mind would be the Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO or the Sennheiser HD650’s. Both models feel good and have great sound quality. There are other good headphones on the market, but I mention these 2 because I have a lot of experience with them.   2. Condenser Mic(s)   A must for professional recording! There are dynamic mics out there that sound great such as the SM58, but the truth is not everything sounds good on that mic. I’d go with a condenser mic because they allow you to pick up more characteristics in sound and they’re reasonably priced these days. You can pick up a quality condenser for as little as $200.00. Condenser mics are great for recording: Vocals, Instruments, Foley Recording etc. No studio should be left without one. 3 good low budget condenser mics Blue Spark: Fancy look, made by a great company and it’s a jack of all trades. It’s clarity is amazing. Normally this mic is $199, they recent dropped the price to $149 on amazon. SCM 900: Nady doesn’t get to good a rep in the industry, but for what they’re asking $70.00 it’s worth having in your arsenal even if it’s used as a backup mic. I find it great for guitars, male vocals and edgy sounds. Studio Projects B3: It’s durable, versatile and reasonably priced. I favor this mic because it’s multi-patterned: Cardiod, Figure 8 and Omni direction. Multi – patterened mics allow you to get real creative with recordings and at $159, you couldn’t ask for a better mic   3. Solid mic stand   I know you’re probably thinking “A mic stand is a mic stand, if it holds the mic then it’s good enough“. I remember I was building a recording setup for a friend of mine, and all he wanted to do was record vocals. Well, he purchased a Blue Baby Bottle Condenser Mic (very nice IMO) and placed it on a cheap $30.00 mic stand w/boom adapter. The mic stand was a little shaky, and held the mic fine in an upright position, but as soon as he adjusted the arm on the boom the weight of the Baby Bottle pulled the whole stand...

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How To Build A Recording Studio

Posted by on Sep 26, 2012 in Diymb Blog, Music Gear | 17 comments

How To Build A Recording Studio

  This is a buyer’s guide created for those who are interested in building their own recording studio but, don’t know what they need to purchase in order to do so. Now before creating this guide, I originally only had composers in mind but, as I continued writing I realized, there are a few other birds I could kill with this stone. So, the gear suggested in it is geared toward both, composers as well as recording artists. Just a little warning, these options are base around a computer (tower and or laptop). These days, I suppose to fair to assume everyone has access to a decent computer. You don’t need the latest and greatest technology, I’ve done professional work on an 800mhz computer running nothing but Sony ACID – So no excuses my friends (anyone can do it).   Here’s the breakdown:   1) Recording Studio Monitors This is one of the most important pieces of a recording studio yet, it’s most peoples last purchase! It’s the after thought purchase of most recording setups and it shouldn’t be! How are you suppose to create good music if you can’t hear the things you need to be hearing? I find it funny that people are willing to pay $500 or more on software applications but, when it comes to the monitors (studio speakers) they try to find the cheapest solution possible. That doesn’t make any sense AT ALL! Music is ear candy ladies and gentlemen so, your monitors are not something to skimp on. Here is a small list of studio monitors that will allow you to get the job done (right) without breaking the bank. Active Monitors (No external Amp Needed) Under $400 Alesis M1 Active 520 – $174.00/Free Shipping Alesis M1 Active MK2 –$290.00/Free Shipping Yamaha HS50M $399.00/Free Shipping Don’t buy USB based monitors (as your main monitors).   2) Treating Sound Reflections This is very important. There are too many home studios with bare walls. This is not a good practice because the sound coming from your monitors, will bounce off the walls and back into your ears thus, altering what you truly hear in your mix. This is what I would suggest: Keep in mind, I’m not a pro engineer and I’m sure any (engineers) reading this will want to back hand me into next week. Studio Foam – Auralex foam is good (IMO), but it can be pretty expensive. Head over to ebay or your local GC and grab some. Keep in mind the goal here is to kill reflections (dampen the sound), not sound proof the room. Eggcrate foam is a great alternative! The thicker, the better. Keep in mind, not all mattress foam is the same. Some will be thinner or as think as the Auralex foam (depending on where you get it from). Where To Place Studio Foam I’m sure the next question is “where do I place the foam once I get it?”. This is a great question with a generic answer – Place it wherever it’s needed! What you need to do is clap your hands in the room and note where you hear echos. Those are the places you need to treat 1st! Everyone’s room will be a little different in size and clutter. When I say clutter, I mean the...

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Condenser vs Dynamic Microphones

Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 in Diymb Blog, Music Gear | 8 comments

Condenser vs Dynamic Microphones

  Condenser Microphones   These are the most common microphones you’ll find in any recording studio you walk into. In many cases you’ll find multiple condenser mics in recording studios (mostly for different recording applications). Condenser mics have a really good frequency response and have the ability to reproduce sound accurately in it’s most purist form. Condenser mics can be pretty expensive depending on what brand you shop for but, thanks to the advancements in technology there is now a good mic in every price range. Now in order to use these mics you’ll need an additional piece of equipment known as phantom power. Phantom power is basically a power supply used to power your microphone (fair enough). Some condenser mics come with phantom power boxes but if yours doesn’t don’t worry as phantom power also comes pre built in with your mixer, mic preamp or audio interface. While shopping for condenser mics you’ll run into 3 different types: USB Condenser Mics, Small Diaphragm & Large Diaphragm – All capable of getting the job done   Large Diaphragm Condenser Mics   Large condenser’s are popular because they are good for vocals and any instrument where low tones are present. Another great thing about large condenser mics is they add a little warmth to the recordings. Make sure you use a good pop filter when recording vocals because this mic very sensitive to transients sounds (sometimes called plosives) such P’s and B’s or any type of sound that puffs air forward. Without the pop filter you will have horrible sounding recording sessions. Here are a few large diaphragm mics I recommend: Rode N1-A, Behringer B2, Blue Spark, Studio Projects B3   Small Diaphragm Condenser Mics   These mics have a fast transient response (ability to reproduce little sounds) and are great for picking up details in recordings. In vocal recordings this mic will pick up everything from lip smacking of your lips to your tongue hitting the roof of your mouth and your teeth during a recording. With stringed instruments it’ll pick up great finger slides, accidental finger slides, light deck hits and other natural random sounds. One down side to small condenser mics is it’s sensitivity to loud sounds. To loud of a sound feed into condenser can ruin it. Here are a few condenser mics I suggest: Shure SM57, Sterling Audio ST33, Oktava MK-012   Dynamic Microphones   Dynamic mics are built like tanks compared to the condensers. You can throw them, drop them, throw them into traffic and they’d still work. The most popular dynamic mics are Shure’s SM58 and SM57 models and any band who’s who’s touring has at least 5-6 of these bad boys with them at all times. They are excellent all around mics for both studio and live stage performances and shine when it comes to recording vocals as well as instruments. The best thing about dynamic mic is it doesn’t require any additional powering (unlike the condenser mic). Dynamic microphones do have a more limited frequency response compared to the condensers making them less likely to be overloaded by loud sound and lastly they are not as accurate when it comes to sound reproduction. Keep in mind there are some dynamic mics that are better than others I was always like to...

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