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Old 09-13-2017, 07:07 PM
Matt Bo Eder
Posts: n/a

Originally Posted by larryace View Post

Question for the experienced sound techs: Why would I use a dynamic microphone in the studio when I have enough great condenser mics? I play medium/normal volume, not hard, not soft.
It's not a matter of "just because you're in the studio", Larry. It's "what sounds better?"

This is why studios own thousands of dollars of all kinds of microphones - so they can pick and choose what they want to use. When clients walk into the studio and see the engineer work so fast at coming to a conclusion about what he's going to use, they assume that's how it works for everybody - but the reality is the engineer has spent the time testing mics and over time, he knows what will work - that's why you hired him.

Is anyone aware that Bonnie Raitt has made a lot of vocal recordings using the Electro Voice RE20 microphone? It's a (relatively cheap) dynamic mic that we would normally see stuck inside a bass drum. While other singers sound best on a $10,000.00 AKG C12 tube condenser mic, or the venerable AKG C414. It all depends on what tools work best for the job.

I had a guy mic my snare drum with a pencil condenser mic (AKG C330), and it sounded great because he wanted to bring out more highs without having to resort to using EQ at the mixing console. I know a saxophone player who's horn only sounds good when you use a Sennheiser MD421 (another dynamic mic). Microphones are important, but you haven't lived until you've heard an excellent microphone plugged into an equally excellent mic pre-amplifier, which is how the big studios work most of the time. I took the lowly Shure SM57 (that cheap dynamic mic) and plugged it into an Manly mic pre-amp, and that mic never sounded so good. Of course, the Manly mic pre-amp costs about $5,000.00!

Probably everybody makes the assumption of using specific mics for specific things, when in reality you use whatever you need to get a great sound recorded. So if that means you're in the studio and the engineer tries several different mics on you, and for some reason ends up using a Shure SM58, that's because that what sounds best at that time, on that day. Tomorrow it could be different. The recording studio exists for experimentation - this is why I say that it depends on what you're going for.
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