… for Random Weirdness

Tip #494: Pick the Right Microphone

The right microphone, more than any other audio component, determines the quality of your audio.

The ElectroVoice RE-20 dynamic microphone.

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Chuck Crosswhite, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is an excerpt.

There are three basic microphone types:

  • Ribbon
  • Dynamic
  • Condenser

Ribbons were the original microphone and, because they are seriously fragile, are only used in highly-controlled studio environments.

Dynamic microphones are durable, moisture resistant, resilient mics that are great for capturing loud sounds. These mics are a mainstay at live music venues. These microphones don’t require any external power, so plug it in and get to rocking some sweet vocal tracks. This is a great option for anyone podcasting on the road in unpredictable settings and weather.

Condenser microphones, on the other hand, thrive in controlled environments such as studios. They tend to be much more sensitive than dynamic microphones and have a louder output. These microphones do require an external power source, so you’ll want to check out an interface or mixer with phantom power to supply these mics with electricity. Condenser microphones are also normally much more fragile and expensive, so be sure to treat them well. This should definitely be your microphone choice if you want to achieve a higher-end production value on your podcast.

The article goes on to recommend mics for beginning, semi-pro and professional podcasters. While I prefer Shure SM-58s as a dynamic all-purpose mic and ElectroVoice RE-20s for studio work, I don’t significantly disagree with his suggestions.


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2 Comments
  1. Greg Ghering
    Greg Ghering says:

    Thanks for publishing these tips, Larry! Regarding the caption under the RE-20 photo – that’s a dynamic mic (rather than a condenser), is it not? I love that model. I use it for my podcast!

    Reply
    • Larry Jordan
      Larry Jordan says:

      Greg:

      My error. You are correct, its a dynamic mic. I’ve corrected the caption. And, I agree, they are wonderful – I own three.

      Larry

      Reply

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