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Recording Vocals: What You Need To Know About Microphones

Microphones are one of the most essential tools when recording music. Whether you record in a studio or at home, the microphone is vital for most of the things that you’ll be doing.

When recording songs, the microphone will be crucial for vocal tracks that you need for these projects. And while we’ve already given you detailed tips for mixing vocals here at muz4now, there are basic things that you’ll need for getting started producing good vocal recordings.

To get the best quality voice tracks, you’ll need to know how to fully utilize the microphone. While it may seem simple, there are a lot of factors that affect the sounds that it captures. This is why we’ve prepared a short rundown of what you need to know to begin selecting and using microphones for vocal recordings.

Types of Vocal Microphones

There are two types of microphones that are most commonly used in recordings: condenser and dynamic. This distinction between these two is important, as they capture sound very differently.

This is because the microphone types vary in frequency response. Dynamic microphones have a reputation for being better at capturing drums and live vocals. This often makes them suboptimal for studio use, as you’ll want to get the subtleties in sound when it comes to vocal recordings. Here is a starting point if you need to choose a vocal microphone for your recording studio. It highlights how condenser microphones are better suited for recording vocals due to their proficiency at capturing complex sounds at higher frequencies. The type of mic you use will depend entirely on the situation. Keep this in mind when selecting what microphone to use.

Sensitivity and SPL

Point your vocal condenser mic towards the sound source

Sensitivity and SPL are also important factors to consider when choosing a microphone. A microphone’s sensitivity is determined by how quiet a sound it can detect. SPL, which stands for sound pressure level, is the maximum volume that a microphone can handle before the sound quality starts getting affected. This becomes especially important when recording vocals that are louder than usual.

According to this post on musicianshq, you’ll want a microphone that’s sensitive enough that it can record at -18dB. This way, you’ll be able to record without sacrificing audio quality, all while still being audible. You’ll also want to keep the loudest part of your vocal recordings at around -10dB. Any louder than that and you risk the vocals being distorted.

Polar Patterns

Lastly, a microphone’s polar patterns play into how it captures sound as well. In an article about podcasting microphones, the author explains that a polar pattern is the shape and size of the area that a microphone is able to capture sounds from.

Omnidirectional mics have wide polar patterns and are good for recording multiple people at once. These are often used to record choirs or ensemble songs. Cardioid mics are what you should be using if you’re looking to focus on one person’s vocals. These have a lower chance of picking up background noise, making it a better option for recording vocals.

Be sure to take all of these things into consideration when selecting a microphone for your next recording session. Remember that using the right microphone will surely yield benefits when it comes to improving the audio quality of your recordings.

Article specially written for
By Alisha Graham

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