With Mythbusters ending this season, I decided to write this article as my personal tribute to their show and bust the myths of my favourite music equipment – the microphone. You don’t have to be a mythbuster to crack a microphone myth. Do frequencies interfere with wireless mics? Which type of mics should give you the fright? Is the XLR microphone cable good enough as they say? Stay tuned to see some myths ruined.
There are wireless microphone frequencies that are totally interference free. Busted!
This is one of the most common myths that audio manufacturers want to sell to their customers. In reality, there are no frequencies that are free of interference, because physically it is not possible to reserve or trap a frequency. In the frequencies spectrum, there are no independent ones. Every wireless equipment works within the range of numerous frequencies. You should always tune it properly if you want to escape unwanted static and sound disruption. Simply by stating this fact, the myth is busted.
USB microphones create lag problems when recording, mostly while multi-tasking. Plausible!
Some USB Microphones, have a built in feature that amplifies and monitors the input signal before it converts from analogue to digital. Therefore, it is very possible that you witness delay of sound (while the conversion is going on). In order to avoid this, use your PC speakers since they can serve as great monitors during playback and help you hear the sound on time.
A louder microphone is superior. BUSTED!
A real pro will instantly frown while hearing this statement. When the microphone itself is too loud it can cause disruption of the sound. The true power comes from being able to properly position the speakers, as evenly and as efficiently as possible so that the sound will naturally flow within the area. Another problem with loud mics is their sensitivity to high frequencies. They require additional attention – you will have to keep them away from anything that gives pout sound and vibrates.
Ribbon mics are not equipped for handling high-frequency waves during live performance. Busted!
This was a problem before, but with technology advancing everyday, now it is only history! By adding new materials and changing the design, the manufacturers made it possible for artists to use ribbon microphones and performing flawlessly regardless of the high frequency waves. Retailers now sell Ribbon mics that are specialised for live performance and in doing specific studio sessions that support a various range of applications.
USB microphones have weaker sound quality vs. their analogue (XLR) counterparts. Plausible!
USB microphones feature the same physical composition as the XLR that is used for studio recording. A USB microphone cable gives you the same quality for recording, but their interconnectivity is way different than then XLR cables. That is why this myth is plausible! In some situation, XLR cables give a better sound quality.
The microphone was created by David Edward Hughes, and is one of the greatest technology advancements that man has been able to accomplish in the last 200 years. They are the basis for communication, music industry, politics, economy – all-in-all they are a wide-spread medium. Microphones and all the accessories that come with them (microphone cable, amplifier, software and mixes) help us communicate, create, learn, share and change the world if we dare!
In the end, I want to thank Jaime and Adam for giving me the motivation, you guys sparkled my imagination, your legacy will withstand the test of time and other generations will see you as the intellectual gurus of this generation.