When it comes to getting a great audio recording, many people focus on choosing the right microphone. While selecting the right microphone is important, it’s not the most crucial aspect of achieving a high-quality recording. I explore why the price doesn’t always matter.
Whether you are making a podcast or recording the next #1 selling single, you’re bound to need a microphone to capture some vocals or instruments. Before you run out the door to splash some cash on a new microphone, there are a few factors which can contribute to why you might not be getting the best out of your existing microphone.
There are some obvious factors which might demand you go looking for a new microphone, but before you do, you may want to consider a few key factors that make the biggest difference when recording. I’m going to technique and gain control.
Microphone technique refers to how you position the microphone and how you use it to capture sound. The way you position the microphone will greatly affect the quality of the recording. For example, if you’re recording vocals, you’ll want to position the microphone in front of the speaker or singer’s mouth and at a distance of about six inches. This will help to capture the voice while minimizing background noise. If you’re recording an instrument, you’ll want to position the microphone close to the instrument to capture the sound clearly.
Gain control is another important aspect of recording. Gain refers to the amount of amplification applied to the signal from the microphone. If the gain is set too high, the recording will be distorted and unpleasant to listen to. If the gain is set too low, the recording will be too quiet and difficult to hear. Proper gain control is essential for achieving a clear and balanced recording. In most cases the gain can be adjusted on the hardware the microphone is plugging into (sound card), or, the microphone itself (if it’s a USB microphone, for example).
So why is microphone technique and gain control more important than microphone selection? Well, even the best microphone won’t sound good if it’s not used correctly. On the other hand, even an average microphone can produce excellent results when used properly.
Learning proper microphone technique and gain control is a valuable skill that can be applied to any microphone. By mastering these skills, you’ll be able to achieve great results no matter what microphone you’re using. Famously Michael Jackson would record his vocals with a Shure SM7, because of its tone it captured of Michael’s voice.
While selecting the right microphone is important, it’s not the most crucial aspect of achieving a high-quality recording. By focusing on microphone technique and gain control, you can achieve excellent results with any microphone.
Put these techniques to the test.