When you start your search for a great live vocal microphone you’ll soon learn that you should have done some research online first. There are a lot of different terms and jargon that are specific to the industry, and you’ll be hit with them as soon as you enter the store. You’ll want to know exactly what the sales clerks are talking about so it’s a good idea to do a little studying online.
Do You Know What A Pickup Pattern Is?
This will be one of the statistics you’ll read about each microphone you look at and it’s very important to know. You’ll be wanting to find what is called a Cardioid pattern so that the vast majority of the sound that the mic picks up is from directly in front of it so that is blocks out many of the background noises. By not picking up what is called ambient noise, the sounds of the crowd, bar, disco, or stadium won’t be picked up and broadcast to the audience along with your voice.
The other very important thing to note about the Cardioid pattern is that it help prevent the dreaded feedback squeal that we’re all so fond of. This can be a huge problem in locations that are very noisy and drive people out of the building quickly. You’ll find that most of the vocal microphones do have this feature, but you should always check. If you tend to play in very noisy venues frequently there is also a super cardioid polar pattern for you.
The shaped frequency response that you’ll see listed on the box isn’t really much of a concern for voices since the human voice only occupies a small section of the total bandwidth. Nearly all microphones will cover the 80 Hz to 1100 Hz frequency range without a problem. In addition, many microphones will actually enhance the midrange of the frequencies to boost the part where most singers voices will be.
If You’re Singing Live, You’ll Want The Dynamic Mic
For the most part, all live vocal microphones will be dynamic mics and most studio recording mics will be of the condenser variety. Condenser mics provide a smoother response and clearer sound but can pick up the slightest bit of background noise so are better in the studio. Plus, they need their own power source because of humming issues.
The dynamic mike is the better choice for performing live.
The more expensive microphones don’t necessarily sound better but will have better shock buffers that limit the amount of noise you hear when they’re being handled, moved, plugged in and activated. There is also a special filter called a pop filter that can limit the amount and volume of breathing and lip smacking that comes through.
If you can afford them, the more expensive mics do give a better sound in the live venue and can add to the show in ways that the crowd doesn’t realize.
If you’re shopping for a good mic all you have to do is do some online reading before you begin. Once you know the jargon, then you’ll know what to ask for when you get there. Many high-end stores will be able to ask you questions and lead you to the right mic, while the bargain stores will have plenty of mics, good prices but limited knowledge salesclerks. As long as you know what you’re looking for you’ll do fine.