1. Outstanding results every time you hit the record button
A microphone's mission is to accurately capture the best aspects of your sound source and deliver it to you just the way you want to hear it. If you're not getting your tone in the ballpark of what you're looking for right away, (while being confident that everything is fine with the sound source itself), chances are you’ve spent your money on a wrong microphone.
A mic that's right for the job should sound very close to the sound you're envisioning in your head without the use of heavy-handed EQ maneuvers.
Simply put – microphone is a tool. You would not get the desired results by using a hammer on a screw, would you? Getting the sound you want during recording means making a choice like this one albeit it requires more attention, skill & knowledge.
Hence the following tips provided by one of the world’s most renown boutique microphone manufacturer – Violet Microphones.
2. Imagine you’re buying a new car
Microphone is a long-term purchase that will determine the result of your work for at least five-to-ten years if not longer.
Therefore it is wise to look for a microphone of a higher quality. Price really does matter in the world of microphones and the saying: “Stingy always pays twice” rings true here.
While some cheap mics that are made in China can sound and look pretty decent, the very nature of the way they are produced (mass production) means you can’t escape a certain hardly ignorable flaws and inconsistencies.
By choosing mics that are carefully hand-crafted, you'll ensure that your gear will be reliable, consistent in quality and up to the highest standards of quality control, not even mentioning the value of the brand name that can be very important when you invite clients (musicians) into your studio.
3. The manufacturer has to be your friend
When making an investment in your gear, you're building a relationship with the manufacturer.
It's very comforting to know that the company you are buying from can provide you with great customer support in case you need some advice, help with the product or even tips and tricks.
It's known that huge corporations can't always respond to your emails and provide you with the attention and the personal touch you deserve while most of the smaller manufacturers pride themselves on having very dedicated customer support representatives and being available.
For such companies making mics is often a matter of passion and while they won’t be able to produce tons of product in a short time, they will personally answer for and stand behind every unit that leaves their workshop.
4. Don’t settle for any potentially unwanted surprises
Current market trends, fast-developing production technologies or process optimization doesn’t change the fact that you get what you pay for.
Top-of-the-line microphones always deliver what they promise because the manufacturers are investing loads of money to make sure every mic sounds perfect and exactly to their specifications.
By choosing a mic that's of top shelf quality, you can be sure that your gear won't make your projects crash & burn in the middle of a session.
The only surprises audio engineers want are the musical ones that come from great recording sessions with nice, uninterrupted creative flow. It's a nightmare to make your clients sit and wait on you mid-session while you're troubleshooting every piece of the signal chain only to find that your mic has given up the ghost.
5. We all love cool things
Every business is based on storytelling and so is yours.
Clients love working in a space that's decked out with nice, shiny gear that they don’t have in their bedrooms even if they don't really know what it all does. You have to try and sell yourself as someone who hasn’t made compromises while building your studio, even if in all probability – you have.
While gear doesn't play the main role in making your clients happy, they do appreciate a good mic that looks nice and has a good reputation in the industry.
While setting up, you can tell little stories about what makes a specific mic interesting, which producers or artists use them and why they are cool. If you have mics that are loved by popular producers, the artists will feel reassured that they are in good hands.
6. Credibility is everything
Nice pictures of products are good to look at, but they only tell the manufacturer's part of the story.
What really matters is the real-life feedback from audio engineers and producers – this is what gives the product it's credibility.
Every manufacturer always lists a ton of reasons why their product is excellent (even if it isn't all that great), but all that needs to be put to the test.
Look for reviews and testimonials from real hard-working top engineers that have earned their place in the business of making great music. They have no reason to lie, pretend and put their name at risk.
7. Price & performance (the most important)
There is no real reason to overpay 2x, 3x, 5x or even 10x for the product if you're getting the exact same results with the product costing less, especially if it checks all the boxes above. This can occur in real life.
Therefore it is wise to do some research and find out if there is someone who is making the same type of mic you want but for less money.
The reasons can be different – small companies often choose an aggressive pricing strategy to conquer a piece of market, they can also offer insane discounts as part of their marketing campaign.
Because of the internet doing this sort of research has never been easier. You can find companies that make top-shelf products for a fraction of the price of the old “studio classics” without sacrificing the build and sound quality.
To sum it up - when purchasing a new mic everybody is looking to make a smart investment. Keep these 7 things in mind and find your own studio workhorse!
P.S. If you're looking for a new mic that checks all the boxes, here's a 50% OFF COUPON CODE. You can use it for The Amethyst and The Globe microphones!