I get very often the same question from friends, students about what microphone should they buy for their home studio.The answer to that question is simple but it can be so complicated because as you already know ( and if you don’t let me tell you) , there are so many microphones on the market ,that searching for the right microphone can be a really mess. I’ve been there searching for the right microphone and trying to figure out which one is the best for me.
First of all,I would like to tell you that there are so many microphones for different uses.What do I mean by saying that? If you search on the web for the technical details of each microphone you will see that there are some categories of microphones for vocal recording, guitar recording etc. Yes,sure there are lots and lots of microphones out there with amazing reviews but you don’t need all these. You need a microphone to record your songs in your home studio. So simple as that!
The first thing you need to know is the different types of microphones and the exact use of each one. I don’t mean the variety of manufacturers but for technology of microphones.So there are three basic types of microphones. The condenser microphones , the dynamic microphones and the ribbon microphones. May be you are more familiar with dynamics because we use them in live performances also. The condenser microphones are divided in two sub categories : Large diaphragm condenser and small diaphragm condenser. You need a large diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone for recording all your acoustic instruments and your vocals. I know what you’re thinking: “Cardioid microphone?What is that?” Don’t worry.I ‘ll explain everything here and to my next posts more extended.
The cardioid microphone , as you can see in the picture below, is the area where your microphone can “hear”you better than from the side or rear of the microphone. In that way you get the best results for your recordings.
I’m sure you have searched on the internet for the best microphones for vocal recordings , the best microphones for guitar recordings and so on. I don’t have any problem for doing that because I have done it too.Especially if you are starting now with your home studio you get so many opinions for what is the best for you,but let me tell you one thing. All these guys are so much experts than you are, they are advanced in home recording and may be they have more money than you do! Even if you had all that money to buy a bunch of microphones, I can ensure you that all of these microphones would be the same for you! You couldn’t tell the difference!Forget all these! You just need only ONE microphone! Yes my friend , you heard me! Only ONE microphone! You need to find an inexpensive microphone ,work with it and discover all the advantages of that microphone. And believe me this can’t happen over one week or even a year! Grab a microphone and start working. The more you record with your microphone , the better recordings you’re going to get!
There is a false theory that only expensive microphones are good enough! No , my friend, that’s a lie!
These are theories invented from these who are likely lazy guys or they try a new microphone every two months!
If you learn the right mic placement on each instrument ,including vocals , you will have amazing results! You must practice on guitar recording ,not only reading and watching tutorials on YouTube. You must practice with your own microphone and your own guitar. Every microphone is different and every instrument is different . By recording as many times you can you will get the most of your microphone and getting the right tone of your instrument without having so much work to do later on mixing.After all mixing isn’t about that! It isn’t about fixing a bad recording!
I suggest that you must start with an inexpensive microphone. An inexpensive microphone doesn’t mean that is a low quality microphone. I think a microphone near €100 is the best choice you can have for your home studio.
I’m going to suggest my favorite inexpensive microphones and I think that one of these is the right for you!
AKG Perception 120
This is a large diaphragm condenser microphone, it’s one of AKG’s best inexpensive microphones and it’s perfect for recording instruments and vocals €80
Another amazing microphone , ideal for vocal recording ,but you can also record all your instruments.€105
A very good large diaphragm microphone. I still use it for some of my recordings. Brhringer is a company with very fine and inexpensive products , that you can start with and this microphone is one of them. It’s ideal for recording instruments and vocals.Especially in vocals it works very good, the vocal sits in the mix. It has a high pass filter on it and that can be very useful on your vocal recording.€100
I suggest two other types of microphone from Behringer.It’s C-1 (€60)
They are both very remarkable microphones and toy can choose one of these to start recording!
Another one very reliable microphone with excellent performance €60
A very good microphone ideal for recording instruments and vocals €99
There are so many manufactures for microphones,where you can pick one and start recording your songs! If you still can’t afford for buying a condenser microphone ,you can start with a dynamic one like I did! I recorded my first songs with the worldwide known Shure SM58.It was a gift from a friend of mine , who is a singer,and working with that microphone I recorded the best vocals ever.Yes, with this microphone. I had recorded a demo and one day a friend of mine ,who is an owner of a commercial recording studio, asked me “Where did you record this demo?” “To my home studio” I said. “ No you don’t understand.Where did you record the vocals?” “ In mt home studio” I said agiain.But the best part was when I told him that I used Shure SM58! As you can see ,my friend , recording isn’t about the gear you have but how you use it! It’s all about you!
What I ‘m trying to say is don’t get so excited from all these toys for your home studio. There is too much information,but you have to start from somewhere! Working and recording is the only way to learn how to get the most of your microphone. Everything is up to you!