Choose your First Mic

Music production knowledge

In this entry we’ll tell you how to choose your first mic.

Once you’ve put together your home/recording studio with all the essentials, what comes next? For example, your audio interface, a pair of studio monitors or headphones, and your selected DAW. Unless your production journey only takes you through sample packs and VST synths, there is one thing you’ll be missing to get sound into your DAW: a microphone. When you buy a new mic, you’ll find there are loads of types and a vast price range difference. For that reason. this article will help you make the right choice of mic for you.

Choose your First Mic: Aspects to Consider

One of the first aspects of buying a microphone is your budget. So, firstly, set a budget limit. In this limit include another factor: the stage at which you’re buying. In other words: are you a beginner, an intermediate, or a pro? Secondly, try to think about what you’ll be recording the most. A good idea is to find a mic that can fit all your needs.

If you will be recording a guitar, for example, one of the best all-time mics is the Shure SM57. Also, if you plan on recording acoustic instruments or a live band, a small diaphragm and condenser mics are the way to go. Setting up a stereo recording would be a good starting point. At least consider two mics like the AKG P170. Now, if you have to choose one mic to cover everything and handle multiple sources, there are a couple of options. All these mics are mainly large-diaphragm condensers with the ability to select polar patterns to adapt to different recording scenarios. However, if you’re on a beginners budget, you might want to look at the CAD m179 or the Audio Technica AT 4050. In contrast, for pros, look our for the AKG C414; it’s a blast!

A Catalogue of Mics

If you want to learn about the different types of microphones, you can check out our descriptive catalogue. For instance, there’s MEMS, liquid, crystal, and cardioid. Also, there’s laser, electret, fiber-optic, and carbon. Additionally, there’s ceramic, stereo, USB, ribbon, and dynamic. Be sure to check them all out!

Image: Shure