One of the essential pieces of equipment you need, whether you are a performer, or just enjoy playing music in general, is a microphone. There are plenty of different sorts of microphones you can choose, and they are extremely flexible when it comes to the general price range. You would be able to find them anywhere, from the price of $100, up to several thousands of dollars. While this type of equipment should usually not be spared upon, the truth is that you can actually find a microphone at a fairly affordable price and still have it perform at the level you need it to. The only thing you need to do before setting out to buy one, is to know exactly what kind of a microphone you are going to need.
Define the purpose of using your microphone
The main difference between several types of microphones available is their intended use. You can’t exactly use the same type of a microphone for studio recording, live performing and the supporting microphone for the musical instruments. Each of these types has been tailored to a specific use, so before you can go out there and get yourself a microphone, you would need to establish what are you going to be using it for. There are certain types of microphones that also require some additional equipment, so getting them without previously ensuring that you have the necessary equipment, may result with a very poor performance, despite the perfect quality of the microphone.
Go for more flexibility if you are a beginner
For beginners, who aren’t quite sure about what they will be using their microphone for, it would be a good idea to look for versatile models that are going to be able to perform well in multiple environments. There are certain types of microphones that will be able to do a lot of good both on the stage and in the studio, so if you think that you may need a microphone for both those occasions, look for the versatile models that will be able to capture sound genuinely and naturally in changed environments.
Take a look at the polar pattern before choosing
Keep your eyes open for the polar pattern of each microphone you are planning to buy. This is one of the most important specifications to look out for, because it will directly affect the ability of the microphone to accept the incoming sound from certain directions. The three basic types of polar patterns are the cardioid, supercardioid and hypercardioid, which all reject any sounds coming from the sides of the microphones, or the far back. You should typically look for a specific polar pattern, based on the position of the mic on the stage, or in the studio. If you are unsure about which directions you would like to isolate the most, try getting a multi-pattern microphone, which has the ability to switch between two polar patterns in a press of a button.
Distinguish the two basic types of microphones
Microphones can be either dynamic or condenser type, which makes for another important difference when it comes to your choice. A dynamic microphone is suitable for stage performances, while the condensers are much more sensitive to sound, making a much more suitable for studio use. This type doesn’t necessarily have to define the purpose of the microphone. There are dynamic microphones that have been optimized for studio recording, and condenser microphones that can perform very well on stage. For beginners, though, the best studio microphone should be chosen via a recommendation from a professional. It will most likely be a condenser mic, but as you progress and learn more about them, you will be able to make new choices.