How to chooses a microphone
A microphone is a most useful implement to us whether it is an online meeting, We-Media live broadcast or a family karaoke. Especially for beginners, a microphone with excellent performance can bring terrific pickup sound effects, so how to choose a suitable microphone? Generally, you need to consider factors such as the type of microphone, directivity of sound, occasion for use and transmission method. Next, FDUCE will share five main points of choosing a microphone with you.
Type of Microphone
Microphones, in terms of the conversion principle, are generally divided into types including moving-coil microphones, condenser microphones, electret microphones and ribbon microphones. This is the first factor we need to consider when choosing a microphone, because different categories of microphones have their unique performance and uses, and the sound quality produced by them can be different.
Moving-coil microphones: Generally, the noise of moving-coil microphones is low and no extra power supply is required. They are relatively cheap, easy to use and have stable, reliable performance. But their instant response and high-frequency characteristics are not as good as those of condenser microphones. If you are a beginner in an environment with poor acoustics and loud noise, it is more suitable to choose a moving-coil microphone.
Condenser microphones: Condenser microphones have the advantages of ultra-high sensitivity, fast instant response, extremely wide range of response frequency and ultra-low handling noise . But they are relatively fragile and moisture-intolerant. If you are in an environment with excellent acoustics and need to record high-quality vocal audios, you can choose a condenser microphone.
Ribbon microphones: Most ribbon microphones do not require external power supply, and can record clear, detailed but slightly dull voices. They can be used artistically in recording studios. But, they are generally fragile and have relatively low output, so it’s better to used with a preamplifier.
Electret microphones: Electret microphones are widely used as handheld devices because their low cost and small size. Those with integrated FET preamplifiers can provide high performance but its output signal is relatively weak and has relatively low ability to handle the maximum sound pressure.
Directivity of microphone
The directivity of microphone refers to the sensitivity mode of the microphone to the sound from all directions, which is an important indication for purchasing a microphone. Generally, according to the directivity, microphones are divided into omnidirectional microphones, bidirectional microphones, cardioid microphones, supercardioid microphones and shotgun microphones, which are quite different from each other in the sensitivity to sound from different directions.
Omnidirectional microphone: This type of microphones can pick up sounds from all directions when recording and be equally sensitive to them. It is most suitable for recording sounds in a room, but it cannot effectively reduce or eliminate two noises. It is mostly used in conferences or speeches when you need to collect simple voices of many people.
Bidirectional microphone: It is mainly sensitive to sounds from two sides rather than sound from the front or back. Its typical use is to be put between two instruments or two people standing face to face with microphone in front of them. In this case, two voices can be recorded together, while retaining the independence of the two.
Cardioid microphone: This type of microphone can record sound in front, with a small expansion range on both sides. It is sensitive sound in front of the microphone with a wide range but not sensitive to that from behind. It is mainly suitable for voice work such as podcasting, personal singing and musical instrument pickup.
Shotgun microphone: It is a type of microphone that aims to record sounds from a single direction to the limit with the optimum sound-receiving angle being the small cone-shaped area in front of it. It can effectively reduce the recording of surrounding noise, and mainly used outdoors, for example you can use it to record sound of outdoor news interviews and television location shooting.
Occasion for microphone use
Before choosing a microphone, we also need to be clear about our purchase purpose, whether it is used for professional recording, karaoke at home, or live SHOW, because the technical specifications of the microphones vary greatly due to different usage requirements.
Professional recording: Recording professional sounds requires a high-quality microphone suitable for voices of people. Condenser microphones is more suitable for professional recording as it can provide clearer and more stable sound. If you need to pickup sounds, it is recommended to use a microphone with a smaller diaphragm for more accurate recording, while a larger diaphragm is more suitable for the condition where you want much warmer and heavier sound and reduce unnecessary noises.
Family Karaoke :The environment is relatively noisy when you sing karaoke at home and many amateur singers are actually humming with low voices, so it is recommended to choose a wireless microphone with sound effect and function of tuning in this case. It would be better to choose one with functions such as playback facility, real-time playback, reverberation, delay, ducking and sound processing and convenient to connect mobiles, computers, stereos and smart televisions.
Live SHOW: For live shows, we have high requirements for microphones, including less delay, a wide range of pickup, high sensitivity and good sound quality. The sound quality and sensitivity of condenser microphones are basically superior to that of moving-coil ones. The condenser microphones can also record more overtone elements and more details, which are more suitable for a noise-free environment and anchors who sing karaokes or play games.
Conferences or games: An anti-noise microphone with good performance and clear sound quality, in general, can meet the requirements for meetings and games, where the microphone used is often a vertical one. And it is suggested to choose one whose sound volume and bracket angle can be adjusted.
Method of microphone transmission
Microphones can be divided into two type according to their transmission mode: wireless and wired microphones. Wired microphone do not need a host computer and can be directly connected to the processing device; however, wireless microphone require a host computer to connect to the processing device. The choice mainly depends on the convenience of use.
Wired microphone: Wired microphones are usually limited by a certain distance, and should be chosen with taking the length into consideration, which is sometimes inconvenient to use. But as the wired microphone transmits the analog signal directly through the line, its sound quality is more stable and smooth and it can store more complete audios.
Wireless microphone: Wireless microphones are easy to operate and more convenient and flexible to use; but they need to encode and decode signals when transmitting, which may face the problem of signal loss and are weaker in anti-interference and security.
Using method of microphones
Microphones are categorized into handheld microphones, lavalier microphones, gooseneck microphones, boundary microphones,etc. in terms of their using method. This is another point you need to know when selecting a microphone for they are suitable for different occasions and meet different usage needs.
Handheld microphone: Handheld microphones are mainly used for programme host and karaoke singing. This type of microphones is generally made of metal materials and equipped with a high-intensive anti-slip metal grille, which can protect the microphone from being damaged and enhance the main sound source effectively, as well as suppressing background noise.
Lavalier microphone: Lavalier is generally used for lectures or singing as it is wireless and doesn’t need to be hand-held; thus, if you are a teacher of actors who need to dance while singing, you are highly recommended to buy this one. Experts and guests in TV programs usually wear this kind of microphone, because it is small and unobtrusive.
Gooseneck microphone: The gooseneck microphone is mainly used for conferences or speeches for its accurate and clear pickup, high sensitivity. In this case, the sound can be capture without mouth to be close to the microphone. Also, its lever can be adjusted to ensure speakers can sit or stand with the most comfortable postures.
Boundary Microphone: It is commonly used in teleconference for its high sensitivity and wide pickup range, and the voices of the participants sitting at a round table can be accurately captured.