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Which Microphones Are The Best Choice For Your Home Studio Needs?

February 12, 2018 - By  
Categories: Home Studios, Producer Tips, The Lounge

If you are recording music outside of a professional studio, you’ll need microphones for the sounds of your live instruments: such as vocals, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, drums, and bass. Any mic can record sound, but the recommended mics below are the most ideal for anyone on a low budget.

VOCALS

The Shure SM58 mic is “the most popular vocal mic in the world.” When you see singers onstage, nine times out of 10 they’re holding an SM58. What makes this particular mic nearly perfect for live performances and studio use are three things: its “ergonomic capsule,” rugged casing, and resistance to feedback. It’s not a requirement to use, but it’s a good choice for any studio.

(It’s under $3,000 but still pricey.)

ACOUSTIC GUITARS

The acoustic guitar is a hard instrument to record. Capturing its sound in full detail requires stereo recording. You’ll need a rare studio gem for this one.

The Shure SM-81 has been the industry standard for a long time. It’s been used on hit albums for acoustic guitars, hi-hats, and other instruments. Although this mic has a cardioid pattern, it shows a uniform frequency response from its sides. When used on acoustic guitars, this mic’s three-position bass roll-off offers a “simple way to compensate for the proximity effect for close miking.”2 For stereo recording, the SM81 works as 1) a pair of x/y recording, 2) a pair of ORTF recording, and 3) the “mid” for Mid/Side recording.

ELECTRIC GUITARS

If you want good sound for an electric guitar recording, the mic most recommended is Shure SM57. Engineers and newbies both prefer dynamic mics, and this legendary SM57 works for both engineers and newbies as the “electric guitar standard,” “newbie standard,” and the “industry standard.” What makes this mic ideal for electric guitars is its low-end rolloff at 200Hz. It compensates for the proximity effect of close-miking a guitar cabinet.

DRUMS

In today’s world, pre-recorded drum sounds are the norm. You’ll rarely find somebody recording authentic acoustic drums. If you have enough space and gear in your home, you can capture the sound of an actual drum set. What you’ll need is the correct selection of microphones.

Engineers like to use as many mics as possible, depending on how many he or she will need for capturing a desired sound.

However, if you only have two channels to record an entire drum kit, the two mics you’ll most likely use are a pair of overhead/room mics. Their purpose is to provide a stereo sound for one whole drum kit. For these overhead room mics, three popular pairs are the Neumann KM184 pair, the AKG C414 pair, and the Neumann U87 pair.4 They are highly expensive, often too pricey for a home studio. A cheaper condenser mic should do the trick of capturing this type of sound.

CONDENSER MIC

The Audio Technica AT2035 is widely regarded as the ideal mic for anyone starting a home studio on a tight budget. It’s equipped with a cardioid pattern, a high pass filter, and a -10dB pad. It also comes with the following accessories, a custom shockmount, and a cool-looking bag.

KICK DRUMS / BASS

If you are about to record a kick drum or any such low frequency instrument, such as a bass, you’ll need a mic designed for capturing low end sound.

The AKG D112 has all the standard feature you’d expect from any bass mic. It contains a large diaphragm dynamic, a cardioid polar pattern, and a frequency response tailored to the sounds of drums, bass cabs, and other bass-y instruments.

The most unique feature in this AKG mic is its built-in windscreen. It protects against popping.

CONCLUSION

These are just the cheapest and ideal mics for anyone starting a home studio. They are not required.

Want to know more about microphones, pricing, and a wider range of selections, click the link here to learn more.  For great prices on the best rock beats online give License Lounge’s online category of beats a try!

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