So you want to capture the best vocals you have ever heard or maybe the hottest drum runs or even the wildest guitar solo. Problem is, you just asked for three different microphones (mic). Where do you start?
Let’s start where the pros do — with the drums. When you are trying to capture a drum track, you need several mics. One mic will capture a drum kit but it won’t sound nearly as good as it would if you used job specific mics. This isn’t about specific brands, some are better than others but this article will cover the different jobs mics must perform.
Specifically, you wouldn’t want to use a bass drum mic to record vocals. It would work if you used a drum mic for vocals and it would capture the sound but a vocal sound has a completely different octave and frequency range than, let’s say, a bass drum. A bass drum is far more concussive than a human voice. A bass drum releases a large amount of energy in a short sustain at a given tuning. Drum mics are built specifically to take the concussive force without allowing the sound capture to be compromised. A vocal, on the other hand, has a wide octave and frequency range while being able to sustain notes for several seconds.
As you can see, these are two completely different sounds, so they require completely different mics to capture them. The same can be said about mics that capture guitar sounds from an amp or a mic used to capture a piano. The best course of action is to start with general purpose mics when building your collection of capture devices and then build up to the specialty mics that have a specific job application. Some mics can be quite affordable while specialty mics, for example used in sports to capture audio at a distance, can be quite expensive. It also depends a lot on the mics sensitivity and frequency capture range. Some mice are unidirectional and can capture sounds from any direction while others are focused down to a small area.