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Buying Tips for a Microphone

Nov 21, 2007
It is an age old notion that costly microphones perform better than the cheap ones and can generate better music; but in recent times the trend has been changed somewhat. At moderate price, manufacturers are dishing out capable microphones; which are in fact copy of specifications of the costlier ones. So, one of the necessary objectives for a beginner would be to get good buying tips for a microphone from the professionals.

Know the purpose

The first and foremost thing is to know the purpose for which you are buying the mic. There can be various necessities for buying tips for a microphone. The need can be as varied as to be used in vocals, onstage or to use with an instrument, or even for recording. You might also want to buy a multipurpose mic that can help you in both or in other works also. There are quite a number of mics that are well used in studio, live recording or with an instrument. Shure SM57, is an example of a mic that can be used on stage and in recording musicals.

Know the Environment

One of the buying tips for a microphone given by the experts is the analysis of the playing place. You should try to match the gear and the mic with the environment. You should not spend money on buying costlier mic if you are planning to use it in the home environment where the acoustics are far less than ideal. Sensitivity of a mic is also a deciding factor on its price; so in case of a home environment a less receptive and less costly mic will do the job well and good. Performance of a mic also depends on the quality of the gears it is used with. High quality mic packages can guarantee you higher quality music otherwise it might work below par.

Want to know the specifications?

A good buying tip for a microphone is to understand the basic mechanism and terminology of a mic. Polar pattern is the shape of field of sensitivity of the mic. In other words it is the direction from which the signal is coming. An omnidirectional mic can capture music or sound from any direction; where a bi directional mic can respond to sounds coming from any two sides, neglecting the other two directions.

Unidirectional mic, as the name suggests, is for obtaining sound from one direction only. Unidirectional mic comes with three types, cardioid, hypercardioid and supercardioid. The cardioid mic is heart shaped. The name comes form the word cardiac. It rejects sounds from 180 degrees opposite of the mic facing direction. It is most sensitive straight on, along with the sides due to its shape.

The hypercardioid is able to catch more sound from beyond the range of 180 degrees but does not capture sounds that are coming from 90 or 270 degrees. Supercardioid, in fact, can accept a bit more sound from the range of 180 degrees direction but then from the sides the sound is captured the minimum than the other two.

These are some of the basic buying tips for a microphone, which a budding player should remember before investing in a costly microphone.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for music gear, speakers, and microphones. You can find the best marketplace for music gear, speakers, and microphones at these 3 sites: music gear, music equipment, speakers, and laser microphones, unidirectional microphone.
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