Microphones For Digital Recording
are the first and therefore most important electronic devices in the
recording chain. They have to be chosen carefully.
A mike is an "air pressure to electric current" converter. It is the
first one in the recording chain and also the most
important for a good sound. That's true in the Analog, as well as in the
Therefore, if you consider buying only one mike, buy a good one.
With a linear, phantom powered, professional condenser mike, you can record
almost anything in very good quality.
When you read about enormous differences between well known condenser models
in some tests, don't be fooled. There are differences, but most are minor
compared to the difference between condenser and dynamic microphones.
In general you can say a good "condenser" is the right choice for
Instruments that should sound as natural as possible. For powerful drums
or E-guitar microphones with a certain "sound" (mostly dynamic
the better choice.
Now you get a short overview to my favorite mikes for certain
applications. If you click at the links you go to Zzounds, an online
retailer which provides the necessary technical details. Of course you
can also order it there.
Natural Sounding Condenser Mikes:
- A great "budget", but fully professional condenser mike is
the AKG C1000 (for stereo recordings you need two of them):
AKG C1000S Condenser
- Get the AKG C4000B with selectable polar patterns, if you have more
money to spend:
AKG C4000B Condenser
- For ultimate 24bit/96kHz digital recordings try the Neumann TLM 103.
It's the mike with incredibly low noise and the highest SPL transmission.
Neumann TLM-103 Condenser
"Special"-sounding mikes for specific applications:
- To record a standard snare or e-guitar sound, you don't come around the "standard"
microphone for that application, the famous Shure SM 57.
Especially for the snare very few good alternatives exist.
- Another "classic" mike that is used for Tom Toms or other
percussion intruments like Congas or Bongos. It has a
switchable 5-position bass- filter that is ideally suited for these
instruments. The Sennheiser MD 421.
MD 421 II
Essential Mike Accessories:
Special Tip: A
good pop-filter, though much cheaper, is almost as important, as a good
mike when recording vocals. Don't neglect that. I've seen too many
bad or even destroyed vocal tracks because of excessive pops.