Studio 101 - Part 4: Microphone Basics
In this article, we are going to explore the most central of recording technologies—the microphone. Microphones are fascinating pieces of gear: they can take the invisible movement of air and translate it into electrical signals that can be captured, digitized, and used in our recording systems. While not required for every recording (pure electronic synthesizer and virtual-instrument recordings are an obvious example), most sessions with live musicians will require the use of mics; therefore, it’s in our best interest to understand how they work.
We are going to start off talking about the basic types and functions of microphones, then look at some common microphone practices, and briefly consider the role of the room where recording takes place. Because mics are a core tool for our recording studio, we need to know the variety of mics available to us and their particular quirks and needs. Let’s figure this out!