What’s the biggest difference between a beginner’s home studio and a professional, “Downtown” studio?
While a beginner’s equipment may all work, there’s a lot more to it than that. In a startup studio, the owner usually has a couple of good microphones and a couple of crappy ones, the latter probably snaggled from the band’s performing mics. Typically, there’s enough to record the drums, then add one or two parts at a time. A professional studio, on the other hand, has a microphone collection that is both broad and deep: deep enough to supply a whole raft of musicians playing at once, and broad enough to allow a real choice of microphones, giving the engineers a good chance at finding the most appropriate match for every instrument.
In this article, I’m going to describe the contents of a really well-stocked microphone closet, as might be found in a professional studio of some years’ standing. To make the job manageable, I’ll divide the microphones into several broad categories. It’s not out of the question for even a small home studio to be equipped with representatives from each category; to this end, I’ve subdivided the categories into price divisions.