As a hard-working video-audio professional or a film-maker, you have to record both video and audio clips. Where video clips are for visual aesthetics, the audible parts do justice to the video. Apart from recording on-site audio through microphones, the editing and post-production work on audio still continues. And, if you neglect the microphone quality, then the enchantment of your visual efforts might go in vain.
Why should you rely on the most expensive microphones? Why can’t you record and shoot using cheap microphones? Whether the recorded audio is for your upcoming Podcast or video project, the success of the job depends on the outcome of the audio experience.
On the other hand, if you are a stage-artist, microphones are your best friend, no doubt. So, you have to compare microphones and ensure that you don’t compromise with anything essential.
Quality Factors that Distinguish the Most Expensive Microphone & Cheap Microphone
Whether you consider it dynamic or condenser, it should be the best according to your profession and passion. After all, the microphone would be a lifetime investment for your visual and audible projects. While comparing microphones, both the cheap and the most expensive mic, we found a sharp difference between the frequency, tones and crispness in the recorded audios of the microphone.
Well, that’s an apparent distinguishing characteristic. And, it might fluctuate from environment to environment. Especially, if you are shooting and recording in a chaotic surrounding, then extracting the required audio would be a difficult task. However, we find the expensive mic to deliver a win-win strategy for such cases.
Let’s check important measures that can’t lie about choosing the expensive or the cheap microphone. But, to be honest, if you find your cheap microphones are performing great in these factors, then you might skip purchasing an expensive one. There’s no justification for spending more if you can achieve almost the same quality tones and audible graphs from both the expensive and cheaper one.
Directionality or Polar Pattern
Every available microphone in the market covers a range from where it collects audible energy. For instance, some microphones can pick up the audio from every possible direction and some can’t.
Therefore, you have to clarify your requirements, then choose a suitable microphone. To start with, omnidirectional mics can collect sound from every direction and it is very useful for a chorus performance. Live recording of videos won’t seem fruitful on omnidirectional microphones but a live studio program is a perfect match for the microphone.
On the other hand, bidirectional microphones are popular options for Podcast creators. On the other hand, cardioid microphones just record the audio from the frontal part. These are optimized choices for music recording. Additionally, super cardioids are a pro-version of cardioid one. They have got a leaner pickup compared to cardioid ones, but allow more improved outdoor noise elimination.
The sound pressure of any audible counterpart is measured in the terms of decibels or commonly abbreviated as dB’s. While recording sound, microphones tend to tackle a certain level of distortions and wipe them out from the output signals. The sound pressure signifies the maximum volume or sound intensity that a microphone can bear with without welcoming any deformities. The greater the digit of sound pressure would be the better the mic can perform, simple.
This term indicates the output from a microphone depending upon variable frequency sounds from surroundings. But, the amplitude remains consistent. Frequency response is generally recorded in terms of dB. Additionally, this measure takes care of deviation in phases with respect to frequencies.
The frequency range of audible sounds for human beings vary from 20Hz to 20KHz and so the microphones do. If you want to sort out the best microphone from the most expensive microphone and a cheaper microphone, then look at their frequency responses.
The broader the frequency range, the better the microphone is suitable for your recordings. If you don’t want to miss any minute detail, then the frequency response is the factor worth your consideration.
It signifies the difference between the output audible signal and the noise of the system within. For instance, the dynamic range for human beings is around 120dB. That means that the difference in the intensities of the softest and loudest sound to human ears is 120dB. Additionally, the dynamic range plays a pivotal role in microphones comparison.
A microphone, irrespective of its cost, would be more efficient if it can pick sound from noisy floor to max SPL sound frequencies. Therefore, the more dynamic range your microphone possesses the fewer details you would miss from your audio project.
Microphones convert the acoustic energy in electrical signals. And, impedance implies the AC resistance of the microphone. The quality is measured in terms of ohms. Audio experts suggest mics with a lower impedance of 600 ohms or lesser are better especially when you are working with longer cables. Otherwise, distortions might bother you. In other words, ignore mics of high impedance.
Have you noticed the back switches of the condenser microphones? Those are called attenuation switches. This can lead to a decrease in the output quality of the microphone to a specific level. You can tune in the quietness of the microphone and increase it from 4 to 6 times.
Additional Factors Related with Microphones
Apart from functional characteristics such as directionality, dynamic range, sound pressure and frequency response, you can sneak into sensitivity, S/N ratios too. Such factors also vary from the most expensive microphones and cheaper options.
Moreover, you shouldn’t overlook the size and weight of the microphone for your next purchase. In case, you are a vlogger, then you have to carry the audio counterpart on your way. So, have a look at your definite set of requirements to choose the microphone.
Selecting a Microphone is not Rocket Science
On the contrary, you can’t decide and treat a microphone like a smartphone or a camera purchase. Conduct proper research so that you can avail the best microphone according to the flexible or tight budget. Meanwhile, determine the necessity of such an audio counterpart: live shows, Podcasts, film-making or vlogging. If you’re just a beginner, then opting for a package would be the best. Otherwise, you can definitely take your view from specialized to most expensive microphones with rich features.