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Do you use a condenser microphone or a dynamic microphone when recording vocals?

Author:admin   AddTime:2021-03-04

Whether in the documentary of your favorite band or in the scenes in the recording studio in the movie, there seems to be a common theme: singers are using large-diaphragm condenser microphones for recording. .

I know that people should learn from the experience of others and get twice the result with half the effort. But I am not a person who only relies on other people's experience to handle things. If it is just because other people are doing this, we have to do things according to other people's methods, which will definitely make our lives boring and uninspiring.

Will I use a condenser microphone when recording vocals? Of course, but condenser microphones are not my only choice.

In fact, I mentioned this issue in my previous article. In my album, I have used three different types of microphones for recording. They are: tube condenser microphone, ordinary condenser microphone, and dynamic microphone. The reason why I do this is: During the recording of the song, I always choose the microphone according to the characteristics of the song. When the sound of a certain microphone does not sound very good, I will choose another microphone that makes the sound sound better and continue recording.

But when I need to record vocals for other singers, I use dynamic microphones more often (and more and more frequently). I did this for three reasons:

Can reduce indoor noise

If the room environment you use when recording is noisy, then the biggest challenge you face is how to eliminate the noise in the recording. Whether the noise comes from a computer fan, hard drive, or lawn mower outside in the yard-ambient noise is definitely a very common trouble in life

The condenser microphone is very easy to use, and its pickup is detailed and clear. But because of this, the condenser microphone will pick up all the surrounding sound (including the noise you don't want) when it picks up the sound.

Because dynamic microphones are not as sensitive as condenser microphones, these extra noises will not be picked up when using them to record singers. With this alone, it’s worth trying to use a dynamic microphone when recording vocals.



No need to rely too much on the sibilizer

Tooth/sizzle can be used to make a human voice track or destroy it. When using a condenser microphone to pick up the sound, it tends to emphasize the singer's S and T sounds. Under normal circumstances, you can use the de-esser plug-in to solve the problem. This kind of plug-in is very convenient to use, but it does not guarantee that the perfect effect will always be achieved.

On the other hand, dynamic microphones cannot pick up ultra-high frequency sound, so we often don't need to use a sibilizer, even in high compression.

The sound is not easy to become harsh

When picking up sound, dynamic microphones are not as good as condenser microphones in picking up high-frequency sound. This is determined by their structure. In some cases, this may make the sound picked up by a dynamic microphone sound slightly dim and dull, but what I want to say here is that using a condenser microphone for pickup can sometimes make the sound sound too bright and harsh.

If you can hear harsh sounds when using a condenser microphone to pick up sound, please switch to a dynamic microphone. Although a dynamic microphone is not as good as a condenser microphone when picking up high-frequency sound, it can prevent the sound from becoming harsh.

Regarding dynamic microphones, the last point I want to emphasize is: if your preamplifier is not good enough to provide enough gain, then you are likely to encounter problems when using dynamic microphones. The signal generated when using a dynamic microphone to pick up sound is much weaker than that of a condenser microphone, so you need a high-quality preamplifier that can provide you with enough gain without adding additional noise.

Three reasons to use condenser microphones

So far, condenser microphones are the most commonly used microphones when picking up vocals.

Although personally, I do like to show better dynamic characteristics in the human voice, but sometimes I still need to use a condenser microphone. When I record the lead singer, I use a condenser microphone at least 70% of the time.

When you see this, you may ask, how did I decide when I should use a condenser microphone? The following are three situations where condenser microphones are used.

The preamplifier needs to provide less gain

Condenser microphones need to be powered on to work, which is why you need to provide 48 volts of phantom power from the preamplifier to the microphone when using condenser microphones. The phantom power will charge the metal plate. At this time, when the metal plate is hit by a sound wave and displaced, it will generate a current. This current signal is the audio signal we need.

The principle mentioned above may make you feel boring, but what I want to illustrate is that the output of condenser microphones is higher than that of dynamic microphones. Because of this, you can raise the signal to a usable level without getting a very large gain from the preamplifier.

The problem with the dynamic microphone is that when using it, we need to get a very large gain on the preamplifier to be able to raise the signal to the required level. Those cheap preamplifiers are usually unable to provide a large enough gain, or they will introduce too much noise in the process of providing a large gain. Generally speaking, this problem is not encountered when using condenser microphones.

Able to capture enough details

Because condenser microphones use charged metal plates and extremely thin diaphragms, condenser microphones can capture more sound details than dynamic microphones. This makes condenser microphones very suitable for capturing those extremely subtle changes in the singer's voice.

If you need to record for a rock singer who likes to shout, the advantage of details may not matter, but for folk singers who want to create and sing, the advantage of condenser microphones in capturing details becomes Very important.

High frequency sound

If there are any shortcomings of dynamic microphones, then it is weak in picking up high-frequency sounds. If you have a frequency chart of a typical dynamic microphone at hand, you will see that its frequency response rolls off around 12-15 kHz.

If you want a detailed and breathy human voice, using a dynamic microphone to pick up the sound is unlikely to meet your requirements. When you want to get a lot of "airy" sound tracks, condenser microphones are your best choice.

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