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Live Microphones information
No matter how great a microphone sounds, if it isn't specifically built for live performances, it probably shouldn't be used on stage. Live vocal and stage microphones not only need a sturdy design, but need to be able to counter feedback. As such, stage microphones usually cater to specific instruments, which often ties in with the sound or the way they're set up.
Live Vocal Microphones
Vocal microphones - both dynamic and condenser models - usually feature a built-in pop filter to block the puffs of air that escape the mouth when pronouncing letters like P, F, and S. For some models, the frequency range and response has even been tweaked to line up better with vocals, meaning these microphones won't register any frequencies below 50 Hertz. What they will do, however, is boost the frequencies around the 5kHz mark since that's where most vocals could do with a little push.
Make Radio Broadcasts or Podcasts? Get a Good Vocal Microphone!
Vocal microphones also work wonders for speech, making them a great option for radio DJs and podcasters. Want as little noise and unwanted reverb as possible in your broadcasts or live-streams? Then a dynamic vocal microphone or a broadcasting microphone would be the best choice.
The only difference between a universal instrument microphone and a vocal microphone is that instrument microphones aren't equipped with a pop filter. The Shure SM58 and SM57, for instance, are nearly identical - the difference being that the SM57 doesn't feature a pop filter. In addition to universal instrument microphones, there are microphones that have been designed for specific instruments, like kick drum microphones and acoustic guitar clip-on microphones. To keep the stage from being littered with mic stands, it's always a good idea to use clip-on instrument microphones for live performances.
A Studio Microphone or Vocal Microphone
In the studio, there's one rule when it comes to microphones: they need to sound good. You're also free to place a pop filter in front of your studio microphone because there's no audience whose view you'd be obstructing anyway. There's no feedback either, so don't hesitate to use a sensitive omnidirectional microphone unless you're recording louder styles like metal and rock. Rock vocals are generally easier to mix when they've been captured with a dynamic vocal microphone due to its strong mid-range focus.
Miking Up Acoustic Guitars: Condenser Microphone or Pickup?
While condenser microphones do acoustic guitars the most justice, practical matters take priority when you're stepping onto the stage with your guitar. So, if it's just you and your guitar, it's perfectly fine to use a condenser microphone, but you're probably better off with a soundhole pickup system if there's a drummer set up right behind you.
Frequency Asked Questions About Live Microphones
What's a dynamic microphone?
Equipped with a magnet and a copper coil that turns the sound into an electrical signal, dynamic microphones are very robust and feedback-resistant, which means they're perfect for performing live.
What's a good microphone for speech?
To capture speech, it's recommended to use a microphone equipped with a built-in pop filter to counter popping sounds like plosives. It's also worth knowing that a suspended microphone capsule prevents handling noise. Vocal microphones meet both of these demands.