Microphone 101 | Professional recording techniques

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Microphone 101 | Professional recording techniques


Jun 16, 2024


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Microphones are a staple in the world of professional recording. There are many different types of microphones, each with its own unique set of characteristics. In this blog post, we will explore ten professional microphone techniques.

The first technique is placement. When choosing where to place your microphone, you need to consider the type of sound you want it to capture. For a natural sound, choose a distance between three and twelve inches from the target source of sound. If you want more bass in your recording, move closer within an inch or two. The last technique is proximity effect which can change how deep or bassy your sounds are based on where you place the microphone relative to its intended destination.

The next technique is angle. You can adjust the angle of your microphone to change the way it captures sound. For example, pointing the microphone at a 90 degree angle towards the source will give you a brighter sound, while pointing it downwards will give you a more muted sound. Experiment with different angles until you find one that gives you the sound you are looking for.

Another technique is interference patterns. The position of the microphone relative to its target can alter how it captures sound, but if your recording setup has two or more microphones in close proximity then they might pick up on each other's sounds and interfere with one another causing an echo effect. This often happens when multiple people are speaking into separate microphones, so be sure to experiment with different placement options until you find one that minimizes this effect.

The next technique is wind noise. If you're recording outside or in a windy area then you'll need to take steps to reduce the amount of wind noise that's picked up by the microphone. One way to do this is to place a windscreen in front of the mic. A foam cover or mesh screen will do the trick, and you can even use your hand if necessary.

The next technique is room noise. If your recording setup isn't isolated from its surroundings then it's very likely that the microphone will pick up on ambient noises such as cars on the street, voices from other people in the room or even vibrations that travel through objects like windows and shelves. Place your recording equipment as far away from potential sources of noise as possible to minimize this effect.

The next technique is backlight. If you're using a condenser microphone (which we'll go over later) then it's likely that it will pick up on backlight. To solve this problem, purchase a pop filter to go in front of the microphone which will absorb all popping sounds before they can be captured by the mic.

The next technique is equalization. If you're using an analog recording device then many have built in EQ settings for use with specific types of mics. If you're using a digital recording device then you'll need to either record with a mic that has its own EQ settings or manually alter the sound after it's been recorded by adjusting your level of bass, treble and mid-range frequencies in post production.

The next technique is noise cancellation. In many cases, ambient noise might be picked up by your microphone. You can use this to make a cleaner recording in some cases, but it's most often preferable to eliminate the noise altogether using an option called "noise cancellation." This uses software on your computer or device which analyzes the background sound and then reduces its volume when you're recording takes place.

The last technique is stereo recording. In traditional video and film setups, the left channel records one half of a sound while the right records what's on its other side. If you're looking to create an immersive audio experience then this is a good option for you. The only downside is that it requires two separate mics which can be expensive.

The next technique is polar patterns. There are two main types of microphone polar patterns: cardioid and omni-directional, but the basic rule to remember here is that cardioid mics pick up sound in front while omnis pick it up from all around. If you're looking for a cleaner recording then use a mic with a cardioid pattern which will block out any noise from behind and to the side.

The next technique is stereo recording. In traditional video and film setups, the left channel records one half of a sound while the right records what's on its other side. If you're looking to create an immersive audio experience then this is a good option for you. The only downside is that it requires two separate mics which can be expensive.

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