Recording music requires that you have the right equipment so you can carry it out properly.
The most important tool in recording is obviously your microphone because it is the primary recording tool.
With that said, having a microphone is the easy part. You now have to figure out how to make your microphone sound good.
One of the common questions that I get from music producers is “how can I make my mic sound quality?”
There’s a lot of techniques you can employ to carry this out effectively.
This post will get into the various techniques that you can use to improve your mic quality so your recordings sound a lot better.
Stick around so you can harness the power of these techniques for your own gain.
With that said, here are the various techniques you can employ to improve your microphone quality.
1. Get the right Microphone
Improving the quality of your microphone is obviously crucial but before you even think about doing so. Get the right microphone.
I cannot stress this enough.
Microphones are designed to meet and perform prescribed functions. Which is why you have to get the right one for your specific application.
For example, if you’re looking for a stage performance microphone, your ideal microphone would be a dynamic microphone because they are meant for this type of application.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to record vocals and instruments.
Your ideal microphone would be either be a cardoid or omni-directional condenser microphone depending on how you intend to carry out your recordings.
Condenser microphones are also good for podcasting.
Getting the right microphone is obviously important.
So the very first step to getting good recordings is to get a high quality microphone that fits your desired application.
2. Eliminate noise in your environment
Once you get a good microphone intended for you desired application.
The first technique that you can use to improve the quality of this microphone is to eliminate noise sources in your environment.
Microphones are powerful, especially recording microphones.
They can easily pick up any sounds present in the room they are being used in.
Which is why it’s important to get rid of anything that can be a source of noise. You can preferably use a quieter room to record in.
You can also sound proof your room so you block any noise from coming in or coming out.
But then again, you have to be sure that you have gotten rid of all noise sources present in your recording room.
3. Avoid microphone proximity
Being close to your microphone while recording or simply speaking can dampen the quality produced by your microphone.
Recording too close to the microphone produces something called the Proximity effect.
The proximity effect destroys the quality of recordings so ensure that you record with the microphone at a good distance and not too close.
4. Improve Connections
Most professional microphones rely on cables to deliver power to them so they can run.
If these cables are not connected properly, the quality of the microphone can become greatly diminished.
You’ll notice alot of unwanted humming and static because of bad cable connections.
Furthermore, overall bad electronic connections can easily bleed and be recorded by your microphone which is why it’s important and crucial to ensure that all your cable runs are well done.
If you have a lot of electronic machines present and hooked up in your room you could consider having them installed in a dedicated machine room.
This can save you the hassle of having to check connections that may be causing trouble.
5. Use a Pop Filter
Microphones are susceptible to sound pressure that can be caused by a sudden burst of air.
This can cause the microphone to either produce or record plosive sounds that can be uncomfortable for the listener.
Therefore using a Pop Filter can help you counteract plosives as well as avoid any proximity issues.
Most microphones do come with pop filters as add-on’s but others don’t.
So you have the choice of either buying it separately or ensuring that you purchase a microphone that comes with a Pop Filter
6. Use a Microphone Stand
Microphone stands are essential tools that are necessary for your microphone.
Essentially, using a mic stand can help you better the quality of your microphone.
This is because your microphone needs to be firmly in place while you use it
Especially for condenser microphones that are meant for recording.
You can’t record with it whilst holding the microphone in your hand or whilst it’s on a table.
So do invest in a good microphone stand so you avoid any issues with the output that the microphone produces.
7. Have the back of the microphone facing noise sources
Most condenser microphones pick up sound from the front.
They are designed to reject any sound coming in from the back.
Which is why a good way to improve the quality of such microphones is to ensure that you have the back of it facing noise sources.
This will ensure it only picks up what needs to be picked up rather than picking up everything including noise.
8. Record on the right side of the microphone
If you intend to use a Microphone for recording music, your job is to understand the pick up pattern of your microphone.
Once you understand this, you can easily use it to record correctly.
Most people don’t realize that most microphones pick up sound from the front and not the back.
Which makes them experience average sound quality because the microphone is not being used in the manner it is meant to be used.
So record facing the right side of the microphone. Check the microphone manual as it will easy indicate this.
9. Use an Audio Interface
An audio interface is basically hardware that acts as an external sound card.
Your inbuilt sound card is not meant for complex audio processing which is why getting an audio interface and using it with your microphone is the best course of action if you’re looking to improve the sound quality of your microphone.
10. Use gain appropriately
Gain can be one way to boost and give recorded vocals more volume but using too much of it can negatively affect the output of your microphone.
Most audio interfaces come with gain buttons that allow you to give vocals a boost.
Try and test the gain at different levels and pay attention to the quality of your microphones output.
This will give you a good indication of how much gain is necessary and how much gain is too much.
To improve the quality of your microphone you first have to pick the right microphone, then get the right microphone stand as well as a pop filter and then get rid of any sources of noise. For recording, use an appropriate audio interface and ensure that you use Gain moderately. This can help your microphone perform better.