Microphony: observes industry standards

Audio Postproduction

I must admit that, after spending a lot of time weighing up models, brands and manufacturers for other parts of my studio for audio postproduction, I was very clear on the subject of microphones. Regardless of what I can recommend here, in the matter of microphones I encourage you to stick with what you see working, at least at first.

It’s all about diving for devices that are almost a standard within the recording world. That’s what I’m going to stick to when talking about sound-capturing devices: things that I know work, that I’ve tried and that I know respond well. 

And all that without going crazy with the price. We would all love to have a Neumann U87 Ai to record voices (me at least), but not everyone can afford what it costs.

That is why in this section we are going to limit ourselves to microphones for voices and instruments, although maybe in the section of sounding an amplifier we can make some observations that I will detail later. 

For now, I will comment on the devices that I have had the opportunity to test and that can give some hint of where to start building a good set of microphones for the home studio. Let’s go first with the voice microphones:

  • Rode NT1-A: 

there are several reasons to recommend it in low and medium budget home studios. This condenser mic is fantastic for recording vocals, the pickup is incredible and the cancellation at some distance works great. 

It usually comes in a pack with its own spider (the part that holds it to the mic stand) and an anti-pop filter (used to reduce the impact that certain lyrics have on the mic’s diaphragm when spoken). 

  • Shure Beta 58 A: 

Shure makes great devices. Within the family of dynamic microphones, the Beta 58 A has a great response with the voices and can be used both in the studio and live. In fact, it comes to improve a classic, the Shure SM58. It is capable of capturing all the subtleties of the voice for audio postproduction, and the response to the dynamics is brutal. 

  • Sennheiser MK4: 

We went up a bit in the price range to meet another big name in the industry like Sennheiser. Like most of those we will discuss here, the signal-to-noise ratio of this MK4 is tremendously good, ensuring incredibly sharp recordings. 

It has impressive pickup capabilities, to the point that if you are going to use it in an environment that is not properly prepared, it may pick up noise from the outside. 

  • Shure KSM42 SG: 

We close this review with another marvel created by Shure. If you can afford to buy something that starts to be in the high end, then it’s worth it. The clarity you get with this mic is practically crystal clear, the voices sound very full after passing through it and, in short, it’s a delight to use it for vocal recordings..

In this list you have just read there are three condenser microphones and one dynamic one. Which one should you take? First of all, an obvious one: the one you can afford. Secondly, I personally prefer the condenser ones for recording voices. 

The sound you get is much closer, clearer and warmer, but that’s just a matter of taste. If you like better what the Shure Beta 58 A offers, don’t hesitate to use it for audio postproduction.