Dynamic or condenser: The best microphone for your home studio

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The music industry has seen enormous shifts over the past few decades, with music recording moving from the domain of the lucky few, to an artform many carry out in their garages and bedrooms. The rise of genres such as hiphop have capitalised on this home made sound, and musical democracy has taken the world by storm, with everyone from children to adults intent on creating and releasing their own music online. But, despite great free music software and a barrage of websites hosting blogs and selling music, one thing remains the same. To create a great quality recording you must have a professional quality microphone.

There are many types of professional microphones created to capture the distinct sounds of particular instruments, and choosing one great microphone will set you on your way to creating a fantastic home studio. Most mics are either dynamic or condenser microphones, and deciding which type of microphone you'll need is a matter of pinpointing what you plan to do with it. So here are the basic facts to get you started.

Dynamic Microphones

If you love thrashing it out on the drums and recording electric guitars and other big, low frequency sounds, a dynamic mic is your best bet. Dynamic mics are hardy and can be used without an external source of power. Dynamic mics are much more affordable than condensers. They handle the rough and tumble of live performances and won't generate screaming feedback the way a condenser would under the same conditions.

Condenser Microphones

If you're a vocalist, or want to record the subtle flavours of violins, acoustic guitars and pianos or the resonance of cymbals, you can't go past a condenser mic to make the most of your high frequencies. While they are more fragile than dynamic mics, the lighter diaphragms inside condenser microphones are able to record soft and subtle sounds that dynamic mics will simply ignore. You'll need an extra source of power, known as phantom power, to run your condenser mic.

Whatever your style of music, your recordings will be built, layer upon layer, of instruments. When it comes to laying down your acoustic guitars, strings or drums - and most importantly when recording your vocals - the quality of your microphone will dictate the ultimate character of the track you're creating. Choosing the right professional microphone for you is essential in capturing your unique sound and setting you apart from the crowd.


14 March 2018

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