If it’s worth recording, it’s worth recording well. To do that, you need a quality microphone. Purchasing your first microphone is a lot more complicated than you may have imagined. And discovering your favorite mic can take years of experience and experimentation.
The job of buying a new microphone is an important one—and an expensive one. It can be a very complicated one. Fortunately, the Internet is filled with pages of useful advice and recommendations about microphones.
This article will introduce you to 40 websites that do just that. And you can make this page even more helpful by adding your opinion in the comments. Let us know which microphones you prefer, as well as helpful websites about microphones I’ve missed.
Understanding Microphone Types & Uses
Part of the battle in choosing a microphone is knowing that different types are better for different jobs. Here are some web pages that give you the details.
- The-Microphone-Guide.com. The ultimate resource on microphones.
- Media College.com: Choosing the Right Microphone. A brief article about the main types of microphone, and things to consider when buying one.
- Buzzle.com: How To Choose Your First Microphone For Your Recording Studio. A brief article giving advice about buying your first microphone.
- eHow: How to Choose a Microphone for Podcasting. Six brief steps to buying the right mic.
- eHow: How to Choose Correct Microphone for Home Recording. A similar article with five brief steps.
- eHow: How to Choose a Microphone for Recording Vocals. Another brief article in three steps, this time for vocal mics.
- Ezine Articles: How to Choose a Microphone to Record Acoustic Violin. Great advice from a Masters of Music in Violin Performance.
- Articlesbase: How to Choose a Vocal Microphone. Some quick but helpful advice.
- Educypedia: Microphones: Overview. A helpful list of resources about microphone terminology.
- Audiolink: How To Choose Wired & Wireless Microphones. A detailed and helpful overview of how microphones work, and some brand name options.
- About.com: Condenser vs. Dynamic Microphones. Advice about when to choose a condenser mic, and when to go dynamic.
- Build A Recording Studio.com: Microphones - choosing the right mic for your recording purposes. A helpful article that talks about what type of microphone to choose, with a recommendation.
- Macworld: Choosing a microphone and other podcasting hardware. An excerpt from “Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac”, Second Edition, a $10 electronic book available for download from TidBits Publishing.
- Silver Dragon Records: Microphone Selection. A brief article on microphone selection with lots of links to other helpful articles.
Microphone Buying Guides
There are plenty of online music stores that want to sell you a microphone. But they don’t want to sell you the wrong one (and worry about refunds and postage and disgruntled customers). So they provide helpful buying guides that help you buy the right microphone from them the first time. Hopefully they’ll help you too.
- Sweetwater: Live Sound Microphone: Buying Guide. A detailed guide covering types of microphones, impedance, polar patterns, and what to look for.
- Sweetwater: Studio Microphone: Buying Guide. A similar article with a focus on the studio.
- Sweetwater: Wireless Microphone: Buying Guide. Another guide, with a focus on wireless.
- Musicians Friend: Microphone Buying Guide. Another helpful and detailed guide about buying microphones.
- TweakHeadz Lab: Microphones for the Home Studio. A guide to selecting the right group of microphones for your home studio, with links to reviews of specific mics.
- Sam Ash Direct: Microphone Buying Guide. Consider what you are using the microphone for before buying.
- MusicGearReview.com: Microphone Buying Guide. Things to consider when buying a mic.
List of Recommended Brands and Models of Microphone
At the end of one helpful blog post on microphone types, the first commenter asks, “Can you suggest a desktop microphone that we should use?” You may be asking the same.
It’s nice to know specific brands and models that others are using successfully. Here are some web pages that give specific mic recommendations.
- Audiotuts+: 10 Best Affordable Microphones for the Home Studio. Specific mic recommendations for home recording.
- Transom.org: What Microphone Do I Get? A helpful article with a long list of recommended mics for different purposes.
- Dolphone Music: Finding the Best Microphone. An article about microphone types with specific microphone recommendations.
- HubPages: The Best Microphone for Live Gigging. A look at vocal mics with a specific recommendation.
- The Garage Door: All About The Best. A humorous look at microphone recommendations.
- Galttech: Microphone Reviews and Buying Guide. A buying guide with specific mic recommendations.
- The Musician’s Guide to Home Recording: Choosing and Using Microphones for Your Home Studio. A detailed and helpful article with photos and recommendations of specific mics.
- Blog Relations: Shure SM-58 - Still the Best Microphone. A good general purpose mic.
- eHow Expert Village video: Choosing the Best Microphones for Your Home Recording Studio. A video with specific mic recommendations.
- ZDNet: Ode to the microphone: A podcaster’s selection guide. Though this article is a little old now, it gives a long and detailed set of microphone recommendations.
- Activemusician: Recording Microphones. A detailed catalog.
- Activemusician: Live Sound Microphones. A detailed catalog.
- The-Microphone-Guide.com: Why AKG Microphones are a Good Choice. A positive review of AKG mics.
- ADK: ADK Audiophile Series Microphones. ADK mic catalog.
- Tom Lee Music: Studio Microphones. Online catalog.
- Shure: Pro Audio and Personal Audio. Online catalog.
Interactive Pages that Help You Choose a Microphone
I’ve been looking for a useful online tool for choosing a mic - and failed! I’m sure that somewhere on the Internet there must be a helpful web form that you can fill in - listing mic uses and preferences - and after hitting “Submit” it spits out a list of microphone models that are perfect for you. Unfortunately I haven’t found it - let us know in the comments if you’ve found one.
Here are some sites that don’t quite do that, but they do narrow down the choices for you with some targeted recommendations.
- Wize: Best Microphone Reviews. A list of microphone uses linked to searches of specific recommendations with reviews.
- Shure: Choosing the Right Mic. If you’re buying a Shure mic, this page can help you narrow down the choice by matching mic characteristics to the most typical live sound applications, then identifying the most appropriate choices.
- Audiolinks: Microphone Questionnaire. Not really an interactive online tool, but a form to fill in to get Audiolink’s advice about buying a microphone for your needs.