The Best Microphones for Vloggers, Podcasters and Filmmakers
Most of the best vlogs, videos and films have one thing in common—great audio. The same is obviously true for podcasts. Great-sounding videos and other productions will undoubtedly feature excellent audio mixing and editing, often with audio plugins. But the single most vital ingredient in creating great audio for your production is having the right type of microphone.
Knowing your mic options will help you find the best one for your next project. Initially, you will most likely have only a single microphone for your production, but over time, you will find it handy to have several at your disposal. In addition, different microphones will give your audio recording more versatility, allowing you to adjust on the fly to different circumstances and conditions.
Before listing the types of microphones that work well for vlogging, podcasting and filmmaking, let’s briefly discuss how microphones work and their polar patterns, or “pickup patterns.” Once we understand how microphones capture sound in space, we’ll be ready to explore microphone types.
Condenser, dynamic and other mics
The 2 most common types of microphones are condenser and dynamic. Ribbon and carbon microphones were also developed and used in the 20th century, and other mics exist, like the Piezoelectric. But for our purposes here, we will keep things focused on the condenser and dynamic mics.
A condenser mic is made of a lightweight diaphragm fixed to a case and suspended over a backplate. When soundwaves hit the diaphragm, it vibrates toward and away from the backplate, which transfers waves into electrical signals that are picked up by the mic’s electrical field. Condensers are known for capturing vocals and higher frequencies with great detail and accuracy.
By comparison, a dynamic mic features a magnet, coil and diaphragm. When sound waves vibrate the dynamic mic’s diaphragm, it vibrates the coil, which the magnetic field translates into electrical signals. Dynamic mics, which are usually larger and more rugged than condensers, are often used to record musical instruments. They’re also frequently used to pick up the voices of television broadcasters, which makes them a good option for podcasters.