As with any electrical device, you will want to know all the facts when buying a new Studio Mic. Knowing all of the specs will allow you to focus on the mic that is best for you. Studio microphones are used in recording studios and even in clubs, and can be used in conjunction with other recording devices. Many times, these are the main piece of equipment a musician uses to mix and prepare their songs. However, they may also be used as an effect or as a miniature monitor, as in the case of a miniature tape machine.
Most studio mics have two different types of microphones: cardioid and condenser mic. The former has a diaphragm and moves air to produce sound and this sound waves are picked up by the recording cables. The later has a capacitor microphone, which does not move air but instead stores a charge to produce electric signals when necessary. Either one will produce excellent vocal effects, but there are benefits and drawbacks. Let's look at each type.
For vocals, a cardioid studio mic will capture the sound of the singer. This is great for studio recordings of live singers. However, if you record vocals live in front of a wall monitor, you will have to listen to the monitor to get the effect. In addition, the distance from the singer can affect the quality of the recording. If the vocalist sits too close to the board, the recording will have a thin, muffled sound.
If you record in a room with a wall but no monitor, you will need a boundary mic to capture the sound in that room. The boundary mic picks up only the sound within its area. There is another type called a cardioid that operates in the same way, but has much better phase cancellations, eliminating low sounds.
In addition to microphones, different types of pickups are required for different types of recordings. Many engineers like a polar patterned mic for a boom or "rumble" sound, while condenser mics work best for a more refined sound. Headphones also influence the quality of the recording. listeners may be able to hear more clearly over a boom mic, but condenser microphones tend to produce a cleaner sound because of their superior electrical characteristics.
Another mic type that can help you generate a better result is an unidirectional microphone. An unidirectional microphone behaves like a directional mic, picking up sound from all directions at the same time. It works particularly well in a studio as it does not require any monitoring, since the user does not move from his position during recording. The drawback is that the low-frequency response may be exaggerated compared to a cardioid microphone.
Tube microphones are usually characterized by their very large diaphragm condensers. A tube microphone works by passing a wavefront through the large diaphragm, which absorbs the waves and lowers them into the tube. The diaphragm acts as a capacitor, with the capacitor storing the energy from the sound wave. This technique is known for its great sound quality, although the sound produced may be muffled compared to other techniques. Due to its size, tube microphones are often used on mixing boards or headphones. However, they tend to overload power supplies and are not recommended for mixing, unless using a dedicated power supply board.
Although the above described types are all useful, some are more suited to specific situations. If you need a cardioid mic, then a cardioid pattern will probably give you the best sound. If you want an even stronger signal, then a directional mic is a good choice. If you want to focus specifically on musical instruments, then a good mic for that purpose is a bidirectional mic.