How to use a studio mic properly

As studio microphones are quite various and different, so are the set ups and depending on the mic you are using, you need to follow specific steps. It’s also very important what are you using the microphone for and these things have a big say on how to set up and place it in the recording area. As most popular studio microphones are condenser microphones and dynamic microphones, the set up refers mostly to them.

In order to begin, you need a recording console, an XLR cable and a microphone that fits the best your studio needs. For capturing vocals, drum overheads and acoustic instruments, you’d want to go with a condenser microphone as it can capture a wide frequency spectrum. This is important to represent precisely the high-end details of the instruments.

To capture electric guitar amps, bass and drums, you should stick with a dynamic microphone. This type of mic can handle the high sound pressure levels without any risk for distortion.

You need to plug the female end of the XLR cable in the microphone and the male end of the cable into an input on your recording console.

In case you are using a condenser microphone, turn on phantom power, otherwise the mic is not going to work. If the condenser microphone has an external power source, you don’t need to turn phantom power on and you can actually damage the mic by doing it.

For a close and intimate sound, place the mic close to the sound source and try to eliminate as much as you can from the sound of the room. For an ambient sound, take it few feet away from the sound source from time to time so that you can pick up more of the room reflection rather than the direct sound of the instrument. Get creative and play with the distances and don’t hesitate to experiment until you get the perfect sound.