What Is A Mic Boom?

Microphones are used to capture various audio signals and they’re quite the important tool where audio is concerned.

There are so many microphone enhancements that all serve their own unique functions…therefore knowing these enhancements is not only crucial but important in ensuring that you carry out your work well.

A microphone boom pole is probably something that you’ve come across but didn’t actually know what it was.

Not to worry, by the time you finish reading this post you would have understood what it actually is and what it actually does.

Most new people to music production ask me the function of the mic boom so I decided it was time I wrote them a complete post detailing this.

with that said, What is a mic boom?

A mic boom is a pole or long rod on which a microphone is attached at one end and is typically used when recording dialogue for video and film.

Therefore, a boom microphone is a directional polar pattern microphone on a boom pole that is designed to reject background noise and capture signals directed towards it which is why they’re the go to mics for most film and video work.

Use of Boom microphones

In film

A person that works in audio as a sound engineer has to be well equipped with the right gear so they can get the job done as swiftly as possible.

This why they may employ good directional microphones that can reject background noise while picking up the intended audio signal which is the dialogue in this case.

Directional microphones are the preffered type because they are highly selective in the audio that they pick up which means when you’re trying to capture a specific audio signal that is surrounded by other audio signals, they are the best at getting what you want and leaving out the rest.

Recording of overheads

Sometimes boom microphones are used to record drum overheads but this is not a typical use but it’s worth knowing.

Microphones recording overheads have to be attached to a boom and pointed directly at the overheads being recorded in order to get the best audio recording possible.

This is even more common when bands are recording their instrumentation live so they can edit it out in their digital audio workstations.

However, sometimes boom poles may be used to attach microphones that are pointed toward specific drum elements in live performances.

It takes a good understanding of the microphone and some testing to get right, but can be highly effective once you get the hang of it.

In interviews

Interviews also benefit from the use of microphones attached to mic booms.

Think of reporters that have to do standing interviews and cannot be at one spot for a long time.

It is only wise that they employ boom microphones to help them get quick interviews and have the freedom to move around.

Using boom microphones is also a slick way of hiding the microphone and a way to also ensure that the person being interviewed is able to express themselves freely without having to hold a microphone in their hands or have to point their mouth toward a microphone pointed at them by an interviewer.

How to choose a mic boom pole

Here are some things that you have to consider when deciding to purchase  a microphone boom pole.

1. Understand what work you have to carry out

The first thing you obviously have to figure out is what you want to use the mic boom pole for.

This should set the tone for what boom mic you’ll go for.

Maybe you want to carry out a long nterview with sitted guests, in this case you then have to probably look for a boom pole that can be attached to a microphone stand. This is because it may prove difficult to have someone hold the microphone by hand through out the entire interview.

At times you may simply want to capture some dialogue, for a short period of time, in which case you could easily just go for a boom mic that somebody can hold by hand pointed at the interview guests.

2. Determine use conditions

When choosing a boom pole you also have to consider the conditions in which you intend to record in.

If you’re going to be recording in environments where the pole could get hit …then you might want to settle for a stronger boom pole that can be steady even when somebody accidentally hits it.

You also have to ensure that you get a boom pole suited to the kind of work you’re doing. Some of them are just meant to be used indoors while others can be used outdoors….therefore take some time to get the right one so your recording experience can be better.

3. Get the right length

Length is another thing you have to consider when choosing a boom pole. If you’re for example going to be recording at a bit of a distance from a sound source then it might be wise to go for a boom pole that has some length to it.

4. Use the right microphone with the right stand

Also ensure that you use the right microphone with the right stand.

It pays to look through microphone specifications so you can determine if it can be used on a boom pole or not.

Therefore, take some time to find the right microphone and take some time to find the right boom pole to work with your microphone.