NEWS
UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
September 10, 2013

5 Top Tips to Get the Most from Your Affordable Vocal Mic

Do you remember the early days of home computers, when you had to buy one with all the works and fittings?  I don’t think people were savvy enough back then to go out and buy a computer and its parts separately – they felt much more comfortable NOT buying them in pieces and putting them together.  Even today, the average computer user has to learn a bit before they can go out and buy computer parts and expect them to work.  One of the goodies that were included in early computers was the ubiquitous microphone.  These were those cheap microphones that broke your eardrums when you coughed into them too loudly.

Today, these are all but a thing of the past – but even with a terrible microphone many were able to take and make decent audio recordings (at least with spoken voice).  As long as the right techniques are …

NEWS
UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
June 23, 2013

Microphone Pickup – or Polar – Patterns

If you’ve ever found yourself in a higher math class, you might be asking yourself what the point of all of this really is.  This tends to happen in calculus when you are trying to derive equations and integrate function – but the applied part of it just seems over your head.  There is a second in later calculus that involved something called parametric equations, where you are able to work with different coordinate systems in order to create symmetrical and non-symmetrical patterns.  These are actually more relevant to sound engineers than anyone else, but once you understand what the math is actually doing, it seems like a brilliant use of math.

Those parametric equations can give you some brilliant designs like the cardioid and the bi-directional design.  On paper they look like a pretty piece of art created with some sort of pattern making machine – but in practice …

NEWS
UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
June 2, 2013

Audio Technica AT5040

Condenser mics are really the cool specimens of the microphone world.  These are the guys that are carefully boxed up when not in use and handled like dynamite at room temperature when they are in use.  Even the lowest end condenser mic is no cheap deal – and they can still suffer from the same problems as one that costs considerably more money.  The beauty of these mics is how well they can perform in multiple applications.  They can be used for vocals, and they can even be used for something percussive like drums.  The beauty is in their design which is not always instrument specific.

What makes these mics different from something like a Shure SM58 is really what they are capable of picking up.  The SM58 is no condenser microphone, but it isn’t a sensitive piece of glass either.  The SM58 can be thrown around and even stepped …

NEWS
UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
April 19, 2013

Spark Digital Microphone

One of the components that DJs omit from their setup is a good recording microphone.  Those who spend their time recording vocals have no issue with this, but some DJs may only pack a stage microphone for the occasion blast over the speakers.  For general purposes, a workhorse mic like the Shure SM58 is as good as it gets.  These un boosted mics come ready to take damage, and take damage they will.  I’ve encountered many mics with distorted heads and discoloration – yet these mics work perfectly fine even after tons of abuse.  The same cannot be said for professional recording mics and condenser mics – these really need to be taken care of.

It’s no wonder that to buy a decent condenser microphone you will likely spend more than a few hundred dollars.  These pieces of gear are very sensitive and simply dropping them on the floor can …

NEWS
UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
January 7, 2013

Focusrite Debuts Scarlett Studio Kit

Of all of the instruments available for you to learn to play, there is one factor that will easily offset your decision to pursue it or not, and that is cost.  Every instrument has an endgame; to produce sound in some sort of logical way that sounds pleasurable to the ear.  Without careful training and tons of practice, your instrument will never be anything more than a noisemaker.  Some instruments are easier to pick up than others, and some are simply too loud to be played around the house (drums).  There is one instrument that will literally cost your nothing; but in turn, might be the most difficult to master: singing.

We tend to forget even though everybody has a voice; singing still requires much practice and a good ear to go along with it.  If you’re trying to take your recording and performance to the next level, you will …