Whenever you have plan to stream game or podcast, you may have to choose a good microphone. But there are too many microphone brands to choose and you may confuse a bit.
But don’t worry. Here we share about how to choose the right microphone for your projects. But we don’t talk about the microphone brands.
We all know that microphone is used to convert sound waves into electrical signal. In this situation, the sound waves are turn into electrical signal waves based on microphone types.
There are two types of microphone.
- Dynamic Microphone
- Condenser Microphone
Dynamic microphone doesn’t need power and the sound wave is produced by passing magnet wire coil. Normally, you can see dynamic microphones are used in musical instruments and stages or concert. Dynamic microphone are less sensitivity than conderser microphone and you need to close up with dynamic microphone to record proper audio.
Dynamic microphone can only record closeup situation due to its sensitivity nature. But this doesn’t mean dynamic microphone are bad. Because the noise around the room or environment can’t come through dynamic microphone. So you can get clear audio tone on dynamic microphone.
Dynamic microphone are suitable to record loud sound (high volume) such as singing, lead guitars, drum. etc. If the sound is quiet or low volume, dynamic microphone can’t record proper way. Because its less sensitivity nature.
Condenser microphone are high sensitivity and it can record everything around the environment. But condenser microphone needs electrical power. It is suitable to record complex sound due to its high frequency.
But it is not suitable for very loud sound. Because condenser microphone can record everything around its environment and very loud sound can cause heavy noise in your audio file.
Condenser microphone are expensive than dynamic microphone.
If your room is wide and heavy noise near your environment, dynamic microphone are more suitable than condenser microphone. Because dynamic microphone can only record closeup sound waves.
But if your plan is to record complex sound everything, condenser microphone is the best.
Now you understand the difference between dynamic microphone and condenser microphone.
Understanding Microphone Connection Types
XLR connection type comes with 3 pins connection cable and circular shape. XLR microphone are industry standard connection type. But it doesn’t mean better than USB. There are some reasons why XLR connection is industry standard type.
If you are recording multi-audio file such as guitar, drum, piano, etc at the same time, you need audio interface device to record all these sound together. In this situation, you need to connect multi connections to the audio interface devices and audio interface device accepts those connections with XLR cable. And at the same time, the audio interface device can control gain, sharpness and tone level ( Low, Mid, High) of incoming audio signal.
This is why XLR is standard connection in music production and audio mixing. Both dynamic and condenser microphone comes with XLR connection type. But you can’t connect XLR microphone to computer directly and you need an audio interface device to connect computer.
USB microphone is simple and the connection cable comes with USB A or USB C. So you can directly connect USB microphone to computer. Both dynamic and condenser microphone comes with USB connection type. But you can’t connect USB microphone to audio interface devices. Because there is no audio interface device that supports incoming connection with USB and they only support XLR input.
How to select XLR or USB microphone?
If you are doing game streaming or podcast alone, USB microphone is good enough and no need to buy audio interface device. But if you want to record multi-track for music production or live entertainment, XLR microphone is the best choice. Because you can control real time audio setting via audio interface device.
You can also adjust realtime audio performance configuration for USB microphone by using audio softwares in computer. If you are recording only your voice for game streaming and podcast, USB microphone is suitable for you. Normally, you don’t need XLR microphone until you make multi-track audio over audio interface devices.
Understanding Polar Patterns
There are four main polar patterns in microphone in general. If you define specific polar patterns, there are total of six polar patterns in microphone. Here we talk about four main polar patterns.
In the earlier time, most of microphone comes with only one polar pattern. So you need to buy more than one microphone based on your requirements. But nowadays, almost modern microphones come with at least 3 polar patterns and some with 4 polar patterns.
Cardioid is the best common polar pattern and the highest sensitivity in front of microphone capsule. Cardioid doesn’t take any waves behind the microphone capsule and less sensitivity from the sides.
That’s why Cardioid is the best common recording polar pattern.
Omni-Directional pattern is used to record 360′ surrounding. So you can set the Omni-Directional microphone in the center of your place, it can record all the waves in 360 degree.
Bi-Directional pattern is used for interview mode. It can record front and back of microphone capsule. So you don’t need to turn microphone to interviewer.
Hypercardioid is similar to Cardioid. But it is mostly use for film making and instrumental sound. We will not discuss in detail about Hypercardioid and Cardioid sub categories. Because the post we talk about is only for podcaster and game streamers. So it is not required to explore in detail.
Now you understand about dynamic microphone, condenser microphone, polar patterns, XLR and USB connection type. For game streaming purpose, Cardioid condenser microphone is the best choice. If you are love to create podcast, condenser microphone is the best choice due to its higher sensitivity. But your podcast room needs to setup sound treatments. If your room or living space has complex noise and no additional sound treatments to the room, dynamic microphone is better.
Both game streaming, podcast and live streaming purpose, Cardioid polar patten with condenser is the best choice. But for musical live streaming, dynamic microphone with Cardioid polar pattern is the best.