What Microphone is Best for Me?
Choosing the right microphone is imperative in live sound application. The sound profile of what you are mic'ing will determine the optimal microphone. Are smooth lower sounds or pounding bass important? Or high pitched rapidly clear articulation? Also keep in mind your performing style. Are you…frenetically moving up and down on stage? A drummer that vivaciously flairs their sticks up high? Vocals - Dynamic Microphones are great for live singing performances. AMS recommends our range of Handheld Dynamic Microphones
. These microphones tend to have a round sound, that “cuts the mix" better then more expensive condenser microphones, and also can take a beating. Dynamic mics are not only inexpensive, but also can capture all frequencies that the human voice can create! If the vocalist has a thinner voice then the precision of a Condenser Microphones' high end is in need. Of course if you are dancing or moving during your performance then a wireless microphone is in need.
Can be mic'd through an amplifier or directly from the sound hole of the guitar. Electric Guitars share the same frequencies as a human voice, so a dynamic microphone would be best used to mic a guitar amp. For example, a popular choice for electric guitars is the Shure SM57
among other great Dynamic Instrument Microphones
. If you want to mic an acoustic guitar directly, then we recommend using a mic with high sensitivity which can pick up on softer details such as an Instrument Condenser Microphone
Pianos have a wide range of frequencies (notes) that can be played. So generally you would want to use a stereo pair of condenser microphones. The two condenser microphones, either large or small diaphragm, should be placed above the strings, but away from the hammers, one on the lower notes, and the other for the upper notes.
Since drum sets have so many different components, the best condition would be to have an individual microphone for each drum and cymbals. For this reason AMS provides excellent drum microphone packages, from 3 to 7 microphones. Click here to check out our Drum Microphone Packages
. Each component has different sound characteristics they give off, so to do the microphones associated. Cardioid Dynamic microphones are tuned for the cracks and thumps of toms and kick drums, Supercardioid dynamic mics for snare drums, and Overhead Condenser microphones for Cymbals and Drums.
Electric instruments can be directly wired to your recording platform or mixer, but also can be mic'd through the amplifier. Recording an amp through a microphone can express the instrument in more of a live sound experience. Some like it grittier then clean and so to, you may find that you enjoy the sound of your electric instrument through its amplifier rather than a direct feed.
Things to remember while buying Microphones
- Always keep in mind the application of any given microphone.
It's all about what you want to record and in what style. Subtle changes in microphone design may alter the way a listener experiences a performance. Louder sound sources dictate the use of high quality dynamic mics whereas general concert venues will need good quality condenser microphones. If in doubt, go with the overall workhorse of microphones, the Dynamic Mic. They are the multi-purpose microphones that can be used in almost any application.
- Wireless or Stationary - Simply put, will you be moving around during your performance?
If so, then you definitely want to be using a wireless microphone. The key word for all microphones is application. The same as stationary mics, you must think about the application of your wireless mic in performance. How will you be moving? Do you need to use your hands? These are the types of questions you must ask yourself to decipher between wireless headsets/handsets, and wireless lavalier microphones.
Know your Microphone!
Using the right microphone and understanding the polar pattern of your microphone, will allow more gain (volume) and less feedback.