Building A Microphone Collection
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
So, you're in a band and you want to record yourselves? Great! But which microphones to buy? With an absolute plethora of choices, it's easy to be overwhelmed, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Here's some thoughts to set you on your way:
With most modern home-recording the approach is 1 instrument at a time- this has the advantage of reducing the amount of microphones you need! If you choose mics with a few different uses you can really get somewhere quickly.
Starting with a drum mic pack
Probably the best starting base is a drum mic pack. This will provide all you need for drums (and a few other instruments besides). Something like the Audix DP7 will make the backbone of your fledgling mic collection.
From there, you also have what you need for bass and guitar. The Audix i5 included in the pack is a great mic for heavier guitar styles. The D6 kick mic is also great for bass guitar cabs (although bass is often recorded via DI).
The only thing you'd definitely need to add is a good vocal microphone. A solid option is the Shure SM7b, highly regarded by many and used as widely as Michael Jackson and James Hetfield. Two other good (and relatively inexpensive) vocal mic options are the Aston Origin and the Roswell Mini K-47.
Buying Individual Mics
Some don't like the idea of buying a mic pack, some are on limited budgets and cannot afford that many microphones! That is ok, an alternative is buying a small collection of really high quality mics (not that the Audix collection is bad by any means!) and slowly expanding as you have need.
If I were to go down that path I would probably buy the following mics:
Roswell Mini K-47 (pair)
The Mini K-47's would work as drum overheads (especially in a Glyn Johns style setup), alongside being usable as vocal mics, acoustic guitar mics and a stereo pair for any other instruments such as piano.
The SM57 would be used for snare and guitars
The D112 would be for kick drum and for bass amps.
As you can see in 4 microphones you have a versatile and useful collection of mics from which you can start getting great recordings
The other thing to consider is the second hand market. Microphones are almost always worth buying second hand, they work fine and are sometimes considerably cheaper. Keep an eye out for fakes (there's some great guides on the internet) and you can score a great deal!
So there you go, some approaches for starting a mic collection and getting some great recordings straight away. Don't wait around, buy what you need and get creative!
What are your thoughts? What are your favourite mics in your collection? Comment below to let me know!