[linux-audio-user] OT: Microphone info

Florin Andrei florin at andrei.myip.org
Tue Aug 10 00:18:23 EDT 2004

On Tue, 2004-08-03 at 12:50, Alastair Couper wrote:
> I am looking into getting a decent microphone, but am having a hard time  
> wading through all the obviously subjective yet passionately held opinions  
> that I see in various reviews.

You are not alone.

> I am skeptical that a $1000 mic is 5 times  
> better than a $200 mic.

Depends on how you define "5 times". But no, don't be too skeptical.
Sometimes expensive mikes "hear" things that cheap ones don't even dream
about. Some other times they're just expensive paperweights.

> How much of what I read and hear is simply an arms  
> race for professional studios ?

Part of it. Not all.

> In talking to pro friends with their  
> multi-k$ mic/preamps, it seems to end with: "It was either that, or give  
> the money to the gov in taxes."

The more you listen to mikes, the more you hear differences.
Some mikes put bland voices in a better perspective, giving them
sparkle. Some mikes capture a big drum's punch. Some mikes sniff all
nuances in a string instrument's sound. And so on.

If you're an absolute newbie, you're looking for a mike that's cheap,
it's not outstanding but it's not too bad either and it can be used at
pretty much everything without being exceptional at anything, and above
all it's sturdy and can swallow a lot of abuse, see Shure SM57. Oldie
but goodie.

Unless you own a good, acoustically treated studio, it makes no sense to
purchase an expensive mike. Stay south of $200.

> Any links to info much appreciated.

Pretty good tutorial:


Florin Andrei


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