Microphone Techniques For Vocals

There are many different types of microphones as well as techniques used by studio engineers to get varied vocal styles to sound excellent. Basically, the microphone techniques for vocals will determine the resulting sounds. Singers and vocalists use a variety of mic techniques to achieve various results, whether they are rapping, singing ad-lib or beat boxing. A pop filter is sometimes used for an even more dynamic effect. Before anything else, knowing the different mic types is the first step to achieving great microphone techniques for vocals.

A microphone ready to record vocals from an musician artist

Condenser Mics

Condenser microphones have a conductive, thin diaphragm which sits close to a metal back plate. This works like capacitors in which the pressure of the sound vibrates the diaphragm which then causes the capacitance to produce a sound signal. Since capacitance is used rather than actual moving coils, there is improved sound quality and fidelity. These mics are thus ideal for studio precision recording. This sound capturing method using condenser mics will require power to you will need a direct box or a mixer with phantom power, or batteries. Condenser mics will get the job done no matter what instrument you are trying to record.

Dynamic Microphones

If you need a versatile, reliable mic, this is the one for you. Thanks to the magnetic diaphragm with a moving coil, these types of mics capture sound reliably and can do so even at high levels of sound pressure. You can thus use these for louder sources of sound such as guitar and bass amplifiers and even drums without having to worry about damage or unwanted distortion. These mics work well in quiet settings as well as high sound applications.

Boom Microphone

This type of mic is quite popular in television and film production. It is basically a directional mic mounted on a boom arm and located just out of the frame of the microphone. Around the boom arm, the cable is wrapped once or twice.

Ribbon Mics

At one time in the radio industry, ribbon mics were quite popular. These mics had a light metal ribbon that could pick up air velocity. This caused it to be sensitive to high frequencies, capturing top notes without being harsh and yet retaining a warm vintage feel. There has been a return of vintage voicing particularly since the new mics are made in a much more sturdy way than the old versions. This makes it a good mic to use for live instrument recording even in venues that have a manageable noise level. You can also use these mics for recording with a vintage feel. Set this up combined with a condenser and a dynamic mic for a track that is open sounding with auto tune.

2 dynamic microphones ready to record a band in Tulsa

Microphone Techniques For Vocals Do Make A Difference

Think of the mic as part of your voice. Direction and distance is the key to a good microphone technique. Basically, for your voice, the best mic direction is slightly below and angled up towards your mouth or straight in front of your mouth.

Keep the mic between half an inch to an inch away from your mouth in a vocal booth to capture the full tone of your voice. When you sing louder, move the mic slightly to the left or the right. Once your dynamics go back to normal, move the mic back to the usual straight position.

Remember that as you move your head, you need to move the mic along with it, so the sound stays even.Keep in mind that your voice will lose quality or drop out of the mix if you move away too far from the mic. Holding the mic too far away from your mouth won’t capture your voice very well.

Using a pop filter which is a noise protection filter for your mic will help eliminate or reduce the popping sounds that are sometimes recorded with singing or speech.

There are so many creative ways to get the exact sound you want with your vocals. Talk to the artists at Groovus Maximus Project in Tulsa Oklahoma for some more awesome ideas, tips, tricks and advice on your next music studio or vocal recording project.


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