The microphone is arguably the most important element in the audio recording chain. A poor quality or ill-suited mic, or a mic placed in the wrong spot at the wrong angle, will make the best performance and instrument sound sub-par. There are different types of microphones, but they are all are transducers, converting acoustic energy (sound) into an electric audio signal.
One thing that sets mics apart – oftentimes universes apart – is the price tag. As a rule, the type of mic, the quality and expense of the components, the artistry involved in crafting the mic, and the science behind the construction all factor into the final price. And while the quality of a microphone does tend to result in a higher price tag, i.e. the more expensive the mic, the better it is, there are many gems that outperform their contemporaries in similar (and sometimes higher) price ranges, and others that are simply better suited to particular situations.
The Home Studio Microphone Guide explores the different microphone elements (condenser, ribbon, dynamic), pickup patterns (cardioid, omnidirectional, unidirectional), and tonal characteristics. In addition, 36 different types of microphones are highlighted, covering every recording application and home recording studio budget.
“Studio owners and recording enthusiasts are a pretty passionate group,” says Andre Calilhanna, co-author of the guide, "and there's no topic they're more passionate about than microphones. There's something intrinsically fascinating about them, evidenced from the massive response we received when we posted an article on our blog on the subject earlier in the year. That commentary actually helped inform some of our mic choices in this guide. It's a truly collaborative effort."
Disc Makers, the nation’s leading independent disc manufacturer, maintains Echoes, a DIY music blog, and has published over a dozen guides aimed at helping musicians sustain their own careers. This series of guides is their first to tackle the topic of home recording.
Volumes 1-3 in the series, Building a Professional Home Studio: A no-skimping guide to turning your living room into an A-Room, Creating a Home Project Studio, How to get optimal results from your space and budget and The $999 Home Studio, Essential gear you need to get your studio off the ground, are all available for free download from Disc Makers. Coming titles in the Home Studio Series will include Using Compressors, Delays, and Reverb; Getting Great Tones in Your Home Studio; and The Ultimate Guide to Home Studio Mixes.