How to Choose Your First Mic

Music production knowledge

Once you have put together your homes studio or recording studio with all the essentials like, your audio interface, a pair of studio monitors or headphones and your selected DAW what comes next? Unless your production journey will only take you through sample packs and VST synths there is one thing you’ll be missing to get sound into your DAW a microphone. So, when it comes down to the moment of buying or getting a new mic you will find there are loads of microphone types and vast price range difference. This article will help you make the right choice of mic for you.

One of the first aspects of buying a microphone is your budget, so first set a budget limit. In this limit we can include another factor that is at what stage are you buying a mic, are you a beginner, intermediate or a pro.
Secondly, try to think about what will you 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. If you plan on recording acoustic instruments in general or a live band small diaphragm and condenser mics are the way to go. Setting up a stereo recording would be a good starting point so at least consider two mics like the AKG P170.

Now, if you have to choose one mic to cover everything to handle multiple sources there are a couple of mics that are known to handle it in a great manner. All these mics are mainly large-diaphragm condensers with the ability to select polar patterns to adapt to different recording scenarios. If you are on a beginners budget, you might want to look at the CAD m179 or the Audio Technica AT 4050. For pros, the AKG C414 is a blast!

Image: Shure