• Donny

How to use a mic? Point it at the sound! Is it really that easy?

Well---yes and no.

The most important thing about mics to learn is positioning. Where do you put it?

Close? Closer?

If the mic can't show on camera, and you can't hide it really close---then you must back off a little, but almost every other situation will benefit from positioning the mic really close to the vocal. We're really used to hearing recordings made with expensive German microphones from four inches away! That's what sounds good to us after years and years of TV, Radio, and Music recording being done that way.

Make sure you are using the front side of the mic. Some mics are side address and they have a front and a back. The back side sounds like ca-ca. Some mics are end address, those are pretty hard to get wrong. If you're not sure, turn the mic around and around all different ways and listen on headphones. You'll know right away from the sound.

Another important thing to remember about a mic is that it doesn't have a brain. It doesn't know what you're thinking or hearing or what you want to hear. It has to obey the laws of physics. Our brains are real good at focusing on the sound we NEED to hear vs what we ACTUALLY are hearing. We filter. Microphones can't do that. It's good to record a test and listen back. Make sure the fridge isn't humming in the background.

So after you've pointed the mic at the sound and you got it real close (and you carefully set the level on your pre-amp or recorder) what then? Move it around a little and see what changes. This is especially true for instruments. Also you can move around in the room and see how that effects the sound. Your room can do good things or bad things to the sound depending on everything.

So---point the mic at the sound, move it around, and see what ya got!

Kinda like the hokey pokey.

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