Did you know that one of the biggest YouTube podcast channels, the H3 Podcast, has 2 million subscribers?
Whether you’re planning to make your podcast or start a music career, a microphone is a necessity. It’s especially important when you’re starting at home. But without prior experience, you’ll find it difficult to find a microphone.
Don’t feel discouraged yet.
With this guide, you’ll find the best recording microphone for your needs. Read on and find out more.
Think About Your Intended Use
To get the best audio, you must figure out the kind of audio you plan to record. Even when you get the most expensive microphone around, you won’t get your desired audio if you don’t use it in the right environment. There are exceptions to this rule, but if you plan to use it for either a podcast or recording vocals and instruments, you must get the right type.
This determines the type of microphone you’ll get. Without knowing the mic’s purpose, you’re bound to get one you’ll later regret.
Know the Various Types of Microphones
Once you determine the type of audio content you’ll record, you can pick the right microphone types. The gritty details might sound confusing if you haven’t heard these before. For now, here are the two primary types of microphones to get you started.
This microphone is the most common type. The mic used by singers and standup comedians is a dynamic microphone. It has a small coil on its interior, and this component is sensitive to audio vibrations.
As the soundwaves move into the coil, it becomes an electronic signal your devices can record. It’s a good microphone when recording on-stage performers, street interviews, and instruments.
Dynamic microphones are also great for more environments because their interior magnets and coil are more robust compared to other types. These microphones can take a beating before getting obliterated. It’s tough and versatile, whether you’re outside or recording at your desk.
This microphone type functions differently, using capacitor plates instead of magnets and coils. It gets more technical, but the practical fact is that condenser mics can pick up smaller vibrations than their dynamic counterpart. That’s why they aren’t the best choice if you’re playing bass guitars and drums.
But, when you aim to pick up the subtleties in voices, condenser microphones are great. It means they’re the best option when you record podcasts or singing in a booth.
Condenser microphones have a more specialized use compared to dynamic ones. It’s primarily because their capacitor platers aren’t as robust compared to magnets. There is an exception to its rule: shotgun microphones, the gigantic mics people hold when shooting movie scenes.
A shotgun microphone is worth carrying around since it can capture the actors’ words. But this is an overkill if you’re using it to start a home podcast.
XLR Microphone vs. USB Microphone
USB microphones are more convenient and cheaper compared to XLR microphones. These microphones feature a cardioid polar pattern, making it a great choice for podcasts and voiceovers. With this pattern, the microphone picks up audio from the front.
For vocal or instrumental recordings, XLR mics are the best. It’s also a good option for a higher quality of sound for podcasts. Its primary drawback is its price tag and the fact that you must also get an audio interface.
The higher audio quality of XLR microphones is because of its inner mechanisms. It has two channels for both incoming and outgoing currents, canceling out unwanted sounds. USB microphones use a single channel for both incoming and outgoing electrical currents, resulting in sound distortions.
Think About Polar Patterns
The next step is to determine the content your microphone will record. Ask whether your microphone only records the audio in front or around it. These recording patterns are polar patterns, and they determine what your microphone can record.
As said above, the more popular polar pattern for microphones is the cardioid. It comes from the Latin term “heart-shaped,” meaning it picks up sound within that heart shape.
If you want something that picks up sounds from all directions, use omnidirectional microphones. You can even get wireless ones to make the experience versatile. You have lots of choices since the worldwide market for these products is at $2.1 billion.
Learn About Frequency Response
This refers to the ability of microphones to reproduce signals they pick up. Ideally, these appliances must have a one-to-one ratio for audio reproduction. It means the sound it picks up gets a perfect conversion into electric signals.
The reality is that vibrations fall off along the way. That means these sounds will never make it to the final recording. Often, you’ll have no means of determining this without technical knowledge.
But, it never hurts to ask sellers before you buy a microphone. They’re often accommodating, so you’ll have a better idea of how it affects the sound you record.
Think of Sensitivity and SPL
These might sound fancy, but sensitivity determines the quietest sound the microphone can record. Microphones with lower sensitivity numbers can pick up quieter sounds as you make recordings. It’s not a good thing if you don’t want unnecessary low-volume sounds to end up in the final recording.
SPL is the acronym for Sound Pressure Level. It’s the opposite of sensitivity since it measures the loudest sound your microphone can pick up. You measure this in decibels.
Do you need royalty-free music from YouTube? If so, read this guide on how to convert a YouTube video to MP3. That way, you have better means of getting music for your podcasts.
Get the Best Recording Microphone Today
These are the tips to get the best recording microphone for your podcasts. Use these to ensure you get what you pay for. Don’t hesitate to start recording, even if you need to get a budget podcast microphone for your home studio.
Was this guide helpful to you? If so, we encourage you to read our other posts and get more related tips and tricks.