There's a whole world of different types and makes of Microphone on the market, not forgetting secondhand classics you might discover for sale in the SOS Readers Ads.

Here at Sound On Sound, we're constantly being asked which mic is the best in any given price range, but in reality it's very difficult to choose just one, especially when it comes to vocal recording, as different mics suit different singers. Factors other than the mic being used, such as mic placement and room acoustics, have a significant effect on the end results achieved. So click the article links below, ask questions or share your expertise in the Microphones Forum, and don't miss out on those 2nd-user mic bargains in the SOS Readers Ads.

MIC TESTS — this link takes you to a current list of around 200 microphones that SOS has tested in the magazine.

Click for list of Microphones: Frequently Asked Questions

Microphones + Miking Forum

What mics do you prefer for acoustic guitar? Got a great miking technique tip to share? Share your advice/views...

Recording Vocals in the Computer StudioMusician in studio wearing headphones and singing into a Mic.
However much you rely on a computer to provide sounds and help create arrangements, if you want to include vocals, you still need to know how to mike and record them properly in what may be a less than ideal room. We offer some tried and tested solutions...
What Microphone should I buy first?
We answer one of the most common queries from those just starting out with home recording.Choosing a Microphone: dynamic or condenser?
Choosing & Using Microphones
Paul White sets out to answer some of the most common queries on how to choose and use microphones...
Stereo Miking Techniques explained
We take a practical look at the pros and cons of coincident and spaced stereo miking techniques.

Pop Shields: do you need one?

Pop shields are essential for most modern studio productions, but what are they and why are they so important?A Pop Shield is useful for blocking out sibilance and plosive "popping" sounds made by the vocalist.
Phantom Power

The term 'phantom' was coined because no additional wiring is needed to carry the power from the power source to the microphone — it is 'magically' passed along the microphone cable using the same wires that carry the audio signal.

Phantom powering is only possible with balanced wiring systems (the cables have two cores and one outer screen) and most studio mixing consoles have their own internal phantom power supplies that feed their microphone inputs. Depending on the mixer, the phantom power may be globally switched or switched per channel. Separate phantom power supplies are available (some running from multiple batteries for mobile use), and all serious microphone preamplifiers also have integral phantom powering.

  • CAPACITOR microphones require a power supply to polarise the capsule and to drive the preamplifier which is normally located inside the microphone body close to the capsule. Back-electret mics and active DI boxes need power to run their onboard preamps. To avoid the need for a separate power supply, the majority of capacitor microphones (other than tube mics, almost all of which need a separate power supply anyway) and most studio-quality back-electret models use the universally standard 48V phantom powering system, though some models will operate at lower phantom power voltages at the expense of some loss of headroom.
  • DYNAMIC microphones do not require phantom power. However, where the phantom power on a mixer can only be switched globally, it is safe to connect balanced dynamic mics provided that balanced cables are used. This is because the same phantom voltage is present on both the hot and cold pins of the mic cable and so no current flows. Take care, as any dynamic mics not wired for balanced operation could be damaged if phantom power is applied.


DAW Tips from SOS


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