Choosing a microphone shouldn’t be too hard, assuming that you know the differences between microphones and what you will be using yours for. Granted, recording your vocals should not warrant the same type of studio microphone as recording instruments. It’s important to know what you will be using it for, and then going on from there.
A general rule is that dynamic microphones such as the Shure SM58S are exceptional for instruments and life performances. As a matter of fact, if you pay close attention to what most live performers use, you can almost bet, that it will be a Shure SM58S. On the other hand, condenser studio microphones are used for vocals or other soft recordings where details are extremely important. As you can see, having both type of microphones would be beneficial, but that boils down to your budget.
The condenser has a flatter frequency then the dynamic, which for recording vocals is a must. What ends up happening when you record on a condenser studio microphone such as the AKG PERCEPTION 220, you get a more clearer and accurate recording. The dynamic on the other hand, tunes out some of the details because once again, they are meant to be used for instrument recording and live performances.
The condenser studio microphone also requires a preamp or a mixer, which will provide phantom power of around 48 volts. Because the condenser requires the electric juice to run, the preamp serves as a booster. The dynamic doesn’t require any phantom power, seeing as how it’s a more rugged and less sensitive counterpart to its brother microphone, the condenser.There is also another important thing to consider when choosing the perfect studio microphone for you – the pick up pattern. Essentially there are three different kind of “pick up patterns;” the omni directional microphones, the bidirectional microphones, and the unidirectional microphones.The omni directional microphones pick up sounds evenly, so if you have a home recording studio, STAY away from such microphones. Why? It will pick up your TV, your neighbours TV, and your dog barking at the cat.
Bidirectional microphones on the other hand pick up sounds from only two directions, the front and the back. They are often used in radio interviews, which allow people to share a microphone. Unidirectional microphones are the optimal for home recording studios. These microphones pick up sounds from one direction, and allow you to isolate sounds that you don’t want to record quite easily. They also include the cardioid microphone such as the Blue Microphones Baby Bottle Cardioid Condenser Mic.In conclusion, it all depends on what you will be using your microphone for. If you plan on recording instruments or performing live, then a microphone such as the Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone is your best bet. On the other hand, if you are going to be recording vocals and care about the detail and clarity of them, then you have to purchase a condenser studio microphone.