In more ways than one, a microphone is the most important tool a musician has at his or her disposal, both inside and outside of the studio. It can make or break a recording session or a show. Because if the microphone is garbage, what does it matter if the music you’re recording or playing is beautiful? That’s why every musician needs to know what they’re getting into. And with microphones, the key question you need to answer is this: condenser or dynamic?
You’ve seen a condenser microphone before. Invented in 1916, these slim, tube-like devices have been commonplace in the studio (and laboratories, too!) since then for a reason: because, when it comes to recording, the condenser is your best friend. Able to be moved by a particularly small mass of sound waves, the condenser microphone is sure to pick up the highest-quality notes you and your band have to offer. For this type, the Rode microphone, in particular, is the most well-known.
Now onto dynamics. Before going forward, how many times have you seen clips of Hendrix, Vedder, or Bono grabbing and screaming into that famous single-standing microphone? Raise your hand if you know what we’re talking about. The classic podium of sound is an instrument in its own right; a symbol of everything that is loud, raw, rock n’ roll. And that instrument — the one we associate with any sort of live performance — is usually a dynamic microphone.
Condenser Vs Dynamic
Of course, dynamics are the opposite of condenser microphones, because their goal is simple: be loud, if not blaring. That is why they’re found on stage and not in the studio: they’re more attuned to feedback, cheap, and can get soaked, if need be. In other words: these microphones are meant to be rocked, not rolled.
Knowing the differences between these two microphones is the first step in understanding their usage. And, before you enter the studio, you’ve got to know your equipment.
Wavemaker is a Recording Studio located in San Antonio Texas. We specialize in affordable recording services for Voice Over, singers, songwriters and bands. For more information, contact Wavemaker Studio today!