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How to Use Microphones


This tutorial aims to provide you with the skills to choose the correct microphone and use it properly to obtain the best possible sound. It is suitable for people interested in any type of audio or video work. Before you begin you should have a basic understanding of the most common types of microphone and how they work. If you don't, read how microphones work first.

The tutorial is six pages and takes about 20 minutes to complete.


The microphone (mic) is a ubiquitous piece of equipment. Found in everything from telephones to computers to recording studios, microphones are part of our daily life.

Few people think about the microphone in their telephone when they use it. Some people think about the microphone on their video camera when they use it. All professionals pay careful attention to their microphones whenever they use them.

Don't make the mistake that many amateurs make and use whatever mic is at hand (e.g. using a vocal mic for a bass drum). Also, don't make the mistake of assuming that using a microphone is easy. Microphone technique is a learned skill - plugging it in and pointing it isn't always enough.

The microphone is perhaps the most critical part of the audio chain (assuming that all other components are at least acceptable quality). A good quality microphone will provide you with the basis for excellent audio, whereas a poor quality microphone will mean poor quality audio - no matter how good the rest of the system is.

Next Page: Choosing the Right Microphone