Recording - October 2017 - 30

MAKE THE

MOST
OF YOUR

M CS
LDCs can sound peaky or strange as the
source moves off axis, which can be a
problem if the singer or guitarist moves
a lot or the mic is being used in a room
with other instruments.
Small-diaphragm condensers tend to
have a more even off-axis response and
a more neutral tonal character; they're
"flatter" in their frequency response. This
is why they're commonly used for miking
instruments; they can be aimed and
positioned effectively to reject sounds
from nearby sources and they present the
instrument with minimal coloration. SDCs
will often be a bit noisier than their LDC
cousins, even if only by a few dB, so they
benefit from higher-quality preamps.
SDCs in the studio are used on hand
percussion, winds and brasses, string
instruments (including guitar), but rarely
on vocals. They're used on drum kits for
cymbal and hi-hat miking, and should
be chosen and positioned for their best
rejection of outside sounds.
Dynamic mics sometimes get a bad rap,
because they're seen as "cheap". While
they do tend to have a less bright high end
than condensers and a more colored sound,
they're rugged and often quite versatile for
a variety of applications. They're commonly
seen on guitar amp cabinets, drums of all
kinds, and are popular for vocals when
live on stage because of their ruggedness.
Depending on how they're designed,
dynamic mics can have a dramatic proximity
effect that's used to great effect on voiceovers and broadcast vocals, or no proximity
effect at all, which makes them great instrument mics. The very best dynamics can
easily be as expensive as great condenser
mics, but there are popular models that are
quite affordable as well.
30

RECORDING October 2017

Ribbon mics are enjoying a huge
renaissance these days; lots of makers
are building them at all price points, and
unfortunately it's now just as possible to
buy a badly designed cheap ribbon as
any other kind of badly designed cheap
mic. The reason for ribbons' resurgence in
popularity is because of their tonality, which
is often clear and rich without being overly bright like a condenser or peaky and
comparatively dark like most dynamics.
Ribbons see a lot of use on vocals, guitar
cabinets, front-of-kit and drum overheads,
all kinds of winds, and as room mics. Most
of them have a figure-8 pattern, which can
make positioning tricky for the beginner,
and passive ribbons require preamps with
a lot of very clean gain (or an active inline
head amp that's phantom-powered). Also,
they can be damaged by puffs of air, so
they need to be used with pop filters and
positioned with care.
These are very loose guidelines; once
you learn the sound of a mic, you'll want to
use it wherever its sound will work for you,
and that might mean bending or breaking the above rules. For example, drum
overheads are "usually" small-diaphragm
condensers, but some people prefer LDCs,
and ribbons are becoming popular again
in this application as well. The handheld
live vocal mic was once guaranteed to
be a dynamic, but with recent changes in
capsule technology, condenser handhelds
are becoming popular. And so on.

Speaking of live...

Live mics tend to be designed with
more feedback rejection, tighter polar
patterns, and more rugged construction.
There are vocalists who swear by a handheld dynamic mic in the studio because
it helps them channel their live-show
energy, but in general, mics for studio
and live use only overlap a little bit.
There's nothing inherently wrong with
using a studio mic on stage if you're
playing quiet acoustic music, but a mic
that's well suited to the iso booth probably
won't like the drum kit, guitar and bass
amps, and PA that is dangerously close
to it on stage. That's why folks who play
rock music live usually invest in what
they'll need for the stage before they
worry about home studio use.
That being said, remember the truism
that the best mic for the application is the


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - October 2017

Contents
Recording - October 2017 - Intro
Recording - October 2017 - Cover1
Recording - October 2017 - Cover2
Recording - October 2017 - 1
Recording - October 2017 - 2
Recording - October 2017 - 3
Recording - October 2017 - 4
Recording - October 2017 - 5
Recording - October 2017 - Contents
Recording - October 2017 - 7
Recording - October 2017 - 8
Recording - October 2017 - 9
Recording - October 2017 - 10
Recording - October 2017 - 11
Recording - October 2017 - 12
Recording - October 2017 - 13
Recording - October 2017 - 14
Recording - October 2017 - 15
Recording - October 2017 - 16
Recording - October 2017 - 17
Recording - October 2017 - 18
Recording - October 2017 - 19
Recording - October 2017 - 20
Recording - October 2017 - 21
Recording - October 2017 - 22
Recording - October 2017 - 23
Recording - October 2017 - 24
Recording - October 2017 - 25
Recording - October 2017 - 26
Recording - October 2017 - 27
Recording - October 2017 - 28
Recording - October 2017 - 29
Recording - October 2017 - 30
Recording - October 2017 - 31
Recording - October 2017 - 32
Recording - October 2017 - 33
Recording - October 2017 - 34
Recording - October 2017 - 35
Recording - October 2017 - 36
Recording - October 2017 - 37
Recording - October 2017 - 38
Recording - October 2017 - 39
Recording - October 2017 - 40
Recording - October 2017 - 41
Recording - October 2017 - 42
Recording - October 2017 - 43
Recording - October 2017 - 44
Recording - October 2017 - 45
Recording - October 2017 - 46
Recording - October 2017 - 47
Recording - October 2017 - 48
Recording - October 2017 - 49
Recording - October 2017 - 50
Recording - October 2017 - 51
Recording - October 2017 - 52
Recording - October 2017 - 53
Recording - October 2017 - 54
Recording - October 2017 - 55
Recording - October 2017 - 56
Recording - October 2017 - 57
Recording - October 2017 - 58
Recording - October 2017 - 59
Recording - October 2017 - 60
Recording - October 2017 - 61
Recording - October 2017 - 62
Recording - October 2017 - 63
Recording - October 2017 - 64
Recording - October 2017 - 65
Recording - October 2017 - 66
Recording - October 2017 - 67
Recording - October 2017 - 68
Recording - October 2017 - 69
Recording - October 2017 - 70
Recording - October 2017 - 71
Recording - October 2017 - 72
Recording - October 2017 - 73
Recording - October 2017 - 74
Recording - October 2017 - 75
Recording - October 2017 - 76
Recording - October 2017 - 77
Recording - October 2017 - 78
Recording - October 2017 - 79
Recording - October 2017 - 80
Recording - October 2017 - Cover3
Recording - October 2017 - Cover4
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