Which microphone is good for which purpose?

There are several factors influencing the choice of a microphone, for example the desired sound aesthetics, therefore, we concentrate on some technical factors.

Recording atmo sounds works best, using a stereo microphone (like MCE 72), this transmits directional and room information into the recording, making the viewer / listener part of the scene by surrounding him or her.

Moderations or interviews with quite few people, in most cases can be recorded with one or two monaural microphones. In these applications it is important to keep in mind, that the loudest sound at the mic always wins: the higher the environmental noise, the closer the microphone(s) have to be to the speakers! A microphone cannot differ between the signal, you want to record and "noise", it picks up everything, be it a voice, a street or a factory building! With a dynamic microphone, close to the speakers mouth you can record even in really loud environments like during concerts, in discoteques or in a formula 1 pit lane!

Voice overs can be done with the above mentioned monaural microphones or studio models for speech or singing. The room, in which the recording takes place has to be as quiet as possible, minor noises (like computer fans, etc) can sometimes be masked by reducing the distance between mouth and microphone.

Directional microphone - not just the long shotgun mics your see in TV, like MCE 85, but ALL microphones, which do not pick up omnidirectional! - need windscreens, mostly for outdoor use, some special designs (like the former MC 837) even when used indoors, mounted to a boompole. The narrower the microphone´s polar pattern, the more effective the windscreen has to be! The rumbling noise in a recording produced by wind is nearly impossible to filter out in post production, so, it´s easier, to avoid recording it in the first place!

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