The Different Types Of Studio Microphones

Studio Microphones

If you are looking to buy a studio microphone it is important that you know about the different types.  When you know the different types available you will be able to determine which the best one for you is.  There are 4 primary types of microphones that you can consider. Microphones can range from expensive but great studio mics to home level studio microphones.

Condenser Microphone

The first type of microphone that you should consider is the condenser microphone.  These microphones are more responsive to sound waves in terms of speed and nuance.  It is possible to get these microphones in a solid-state or as a tube, but this will not change the way they work.

Condenser Microphone

The condenser microphone uses a thin conductive diaphragm which is close to a back plate.  When there is sound pressure the diaphragm vibrates which affects the signal output of the microphone.  The ability to pick up small sound waves makes this ideal for absolute fidelity of the sound’s source.

Dynamic Microphone

Dynamic microphones are the more common of the microphone types as they are able to take more punishment than condenser microphones.  Another reason for their popularity is that they are cheaper than other studio microphones.  Dynamic microphones are ideal for use with electric guitars and drums.

The dynamic microphone also uses a thin diaphragm.  However, the diaphragm used is not as sensitive as the condenser so higher frequencies might be lost.  One advantage of dynamic microphones is the abundance of brands and models available.

USB Microphones

One of the newer types of microphones on the market is the USB microphone.  A USB microphone offers all the same elements as their older counterparts, but do have 2 new additions.  These additions are the onboard preamp and the analog-to-digital converter.

USB Microphone

The addition of the preamp means that a USB microphone does not have to be connected to a mixer.  The converter automatically changes the output of the microphone from analog to digital.  This means that the microphone can be plugged into a computer and recording software will automatically read the output.  USB microphones are ideal for small setups where you want to plug your microphone into your computer and start recording.

Ribbon Microphones

The last type of microphone to consider is the ribbon microphone which was the most popular microphone during the golden age of radio.  Ribbon microphones differ to others as they work with the movement of air instead of the sound pressure levels.  This functional difference will not affect the way that the microphone works in a studio environment.  However, it can make a big different if you are trying to record in an outdoors location.

Ribbon Microphones

Choosing the right studio microphone is important because it can affect the whole setup you need.  The most common microphones are dynamic because they are cheaper and hardier than others.  However, condensers offer good sound much like the ribbon microphones.  If you have a small setup, which is just you and a computer, then a USB microphone is ideal because it removes the need for mixers or converters.