What microphone is best for recording an orchestra? What’s a good snare mic? Should the microphone be a condenser or dynamic, omni or cardioid?

You can answer these questions more easily once you know the types of microphones and understand their specs. First, it always pays to get a high-quality microphone. The mic is a source of your recorded signal. If that signal is noisy, distorted, or tonally colored, you’ll be stuck with those flaws through the whole recording process. Better get it right up front.

Even if you have a MIDI studio and get your sounds from samples or synthesizers, you still might need a good microphone for sampling, or to record vocals, sax, acoustic guitar, and so on.

A microphone is a transducer—a ...

Get Practical Recording Techniques, 6th Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.