Documenting the Different Types of Microphones

Documenting the Different Types of Microphones

It seems like such an easy product to shop for, at first. As time goes on, though, you are finding out how difficult it is to choose the ideal one to accommodate your situation, huh? This is, of course, alluding to microphones. If any of you have done any research whatsoever on them, then you are aware of how many different variants there are. However, that is not the only aspect you have to look out for. Each specific variant, which will be outlined in-depth, has their own features that distinguish them from each other. All in all, it can be a completed process. Hopefully, in this article, you will gain a clearer understanding of what you might be looking for.

Studio Microphones

A big question you need to answer right away is what you plan to use your microphone for. Whether this is of a professional nature, or simply for fun on your downtime. If you want to pursue a musical career (or any other that would utilize a microphone), then it may be wise for you to consider a studio microphone. However, as alluded to earlier, the process does not end here. There are different types of studio microphones, but the two main ones are dynamic and condenser.

To give you the brief, dynamic mics hold the advantage of being less sensitive to excess noise. Such as high frequencies and the overall pressure of the sound. They are also designed to withstand a decent amount of punishment, but not an overbearing amount. A condenser version, though, does a much better job of responding to the speed of sound waves. Either one will suffice for most situations, but keep in mind that they do hold distinct differences from one another.

Drum Microphones

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out if you will have any interest in investing in microphones for drumming purposes. If you have any interest in recording your drumming prowess, then you may be disappointed to know that it can be extremely difficult to find the correct microphone. Unlike other musical instruments, drums have multiple instruments to accommodate for. In other words, one microphone may suit the bass drum well but will not do squat for the snare.

The best thing to do is experiment with multiple types of microphones, and even research what top professionals use. Dynamic and condenser microphones, which were alluded above, are just two of the options you could use. Just remember, most of the time one microphone will not create a superb result when you are recording from your drums.

USB Microphones

So far, each microphone has been ideal for situations where you are set in one location. There are going to be occasions, though, where you wish to take your microphone on the go. Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best ways to achieve this is to invest in an USB microphone. They combine the luxuries of other microphones, but they do not need to be plugged into an external microphone preamp. As it is USB-enabled, all you must do is plug it into your computer and you can record from anywhere; with a proper software installed.

As many have probably guessed, this is a perfect choice for anyone looking to use a microphone for pure entertainment. A few situations where this would be appropriate would be when doing a voiceover, commentary for a YouTube video, an online Podcast or a Skype interview. Do not think for one second, though, that this does not have use in the professional world. Given that some do podcasts and YouTube videos for compensation, they can be ideal for both entertainment and work. For a cheap model that will suffice, check out Microphone Geeks’ review of the Blue Snowball iCE at http://microphonegeeks.com/blue-snowball-ice-budget-usb-mic-review/.

Shotgun Microphone

No, this is not a microphone that can shoot bullets to eviscerate humanity. The only reason this style is referred to as a shotgun microphone is that the body is shaped like the barrel of a shotgun and that the target must be directly centered with the device. Unlike other microphones, this will only pick-up the sound that is directly pointed at it. What this does is ensure that other noises that are happening in the background, if they are not in the direct direction of the microphone, will not be picked up by it.

This style is perfect for public speaking events. Not only will the microphone only pick up the speaker’s voice, if they stay in the target range, but the speaker does not have to hold it to their mouth. As long as it is being talked to in front of it, it typically can pick up sound from a decent distance away. Thus, the speaker does not have to worry about the microphone becoming a nuisance (which is important as public speaking is nerve wrecking enough, as it is).

Lavalier Microphone

Chances are, you have seen one of these in person without even knowing that it is called a lavalier (or lapel) microphone. They are much smaller than a standard version and, oftentimes, they clip on to your collars when you are speaking. From there, they are connected to a radio frequency transmitter (that is either in your pocket or attached to a belt). However, where they are clipped goes hand-in-hand with their intended use.

Typically, these are only used for public speaking or theatrical performance (or any other event that involves people speaking to an audience). If you are intending on using a microphone for public speaking, you can get away with clipping a lavalier to your collar. This is because you will be spending most of the time standing still. But, when you begin to move around frequently there is a chance that it will scratch against your clothing. These microphones will pick up everything and the noise will be unsettling to the audience. For theatrical purposes, you could still use this variant but would need to mount it in a place where this would not be an issue. However, most of you will probably never have a need for this.

The hope is that you came out of this with a better understanding of what you may be looking for. If nothing else, maybe you can know scratch a few off your list. While no specific models were documented, this gives you a clearer understanding of the different variants that are available. Keep digging deeper, however, because having the right microphone can do wonders for whatever activity you are partaking in.

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