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Tiny Tech Tips: NPR Music’s Favorite Microphones (And How To Use Them) #MusicMonday

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True life: I’m married to a gearhead. If he could live in a giant room alone among tape machines, old mics, and amps a la Hogwarts’ Room of Requirement, he would die happy. Sometimes that leaves me wondering – what does all this gear actually do? Cue my pleasantly surprised self when I came across this super handy mic breakdown from NPR Music.

Choosing different mics to capture a variety of instruments is an art form. There are countless options at different price points and there are no right answers. EQ adjustments to treble, bass and midrange frequencies can make an inexpensive mic sound good. Mic placement can change the sound dramatically. Whenever I’m not sure how to record an instrument, I move my head around until it sounds nice, then I replace my head with a mic. (Trade secret!) Also, what does the room sound like where you’re recording? Are there a ton of reflections or reverb that could affect clarity? Are the lights buzzing or is there a humming refrigerator in the background that could be unplugged? Are you outside and need a dead cat windscreen?

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