A Complete Guide To Professional Audio Equipment
Audio equipment is utilized all over the world for many different reasons. Professional audio equipment in particular is used in settings where excellent audio is highly essential. For example, people use professional audio equipment in music recording studios or podcasting spaces because good quality audio is a must for these scenarios. People may also use audio equipment for huge parties, house parties, concerts, and many other grand events.
Although numerous people could use different audio equipment pieces for various gatherings, you usually can’t use the same type of audio equipment for every situation. For example, a concert isn’t going to utilize the same audio equipment as a house party.
The following is a complete guide to different professional audio equipment pieces suited for different purposes.
When people think of audio equipment, before they even look towards audio analyzer equipment or cables, the first thing that may come to mind is a microphone.
a) What Is A Microphone?
A microphone refers to a device through which sound vibrations in the air are translated into electronic signals. Microphones could also scribe sound vibrations in the air to a recording medium. Various types of devices for audio recording are enabled by microphones in order for things like music and speech recording to take place.
A good microphone is an essential part of your professional audio equipment. In your audio chain, every link that you include is essential and contributes to your recording’s overall detail.
b) Microphone Preamplifiers
A microphone preamplifier refers to a device that takes the low output from a microphone and proceeds to amplify this signal to a higher line level. Signal flows that have high-end microphone preamplifiers in them are great for achieving a great sound that adheres to details surrounding the audio.
In the event you’re purchasing microphones to add to your professional audio equipment kit, try and test out various microphone preamplifiers to assess which one is best for the sound you’re trying to create.
If you want to change the depth of your sound along the way, you could always upgrade your microphone preamplifiers. However, if you want to avoid the tedious process of testing when upgrading your microphone preamplifiers, you could always get a new microphone through a thorough review of options when you’re shopping for one.
c) Types Of Microphones
There are four different types of microphones that you could make use of, including large diaphragm condenser microphones, dynamic microphones, small diaphragm condenser microphones, and ribbon microphones. It’s important that you use the microphone that you think is best for your particular setting.
- Dynamic Microphone
A dynamic microphone is also a relatively good quality microphone to include in your audio equipment. It’s usually cheaper than a large diaphragm condenser microphone and is considered to be durable with good sound. Dynamic speakers tend to work as a speaker in reverse, in that they use a suspended mobile induction coil.
Dynamic microphones typically handle high SPL (sound pressure level) accordingly. This contributes to them being ideal for loud sources such as drum kit close microphones. Some would consider this microphone as a must-have for your professional audio equipment.
- Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
A large diaphragm condenser microphone is ideal if you’re looking to record mainly vocals and instruments. In a large number of recording studios, you’re very likely to see these large, stylish microphones being used. With a condenser microphone like this one, a condenser (or capacitor) is used to switch up acoustic vibrations into some kind of electric current.
Therefore, they usually require an energy source. They tend to output a louder signal and have higher sensitivity than ribbon or dynamic microphones. This sensitivity is beneficial to quiet spaces and is good for recording vocals. The depth and sonically pleasing sound of people’s voices is captured successfully with large diaphragm condenser microphones.
- Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
A small diaphragm condenser microphone is usually purchased by people who’re planning to record a lot of drum cymbals or stringed instruments. These microphones are also referred to as pencil condensers and are much smaller than the large diaphragm condenser microphone.
Even though they’re small, they could still be a very useful addition to your professional audio equipment. This microphone is ideal for acoustic instruments or different stereo techniques. Therefore, if you’re looking to record classical music, a small diaphragm condenser microphone could be a good option for you.
- Ribbon Microphones
Lastly, ribbon microphones are used for a little sonic variety and to add a smooth texture to your sound. With ribbon microphones, between the poles of a magnet, a very thin electro-conductive material is suspended. This helps generate a signal. Although they’re relatively fragile, this microphone has an invitingly warm and vintage tone that makes it unique.
Good microphones or quality microphone preamplifiers are ideal for capturing good sound, however, it’s important that you don’t forget about accurately hearing the captured sound. The next time you think of purchasing audio equipment for an audiophile you know or think of building a recording studio, don’t forget to include a monitor.
Some high-quality monitors could be a great addition to your professional audio equipment. Monitors refer to loudspeakers in speaker enclosures particularly created and designed for various professional audio production applications, like filmmaking, radio stations, recording studios, and many others. Audio reproduction is believed to be crucial.
You could always upgrade from a mid-level prosumer monitor to a high-end monitoring system if you want to accurately develop your sound. Monitoring systems could be an important thing to set up in any setting that require professional audio equipment.
- Computer Audio Interface
A computer audio interface refers to a device that acts as your computer recording system’s front end. It converts instrument and microphone signals into a recognizable format for your computer and your software. The computer audio interface also helps route audio from your computer out to your audio monitors and your headphones. A computer audio interface could be a great addition to your professional audio equipment.
A highly-quality interface isn’t only a great contribution towards producing high-quality recordings but is also a good contribution towards the playback sound as well. Every sound that enters or leaves your computer is affected by your computer audio interface. If you have a good computer audio interface, you’re likely to fully immerse on the audio-visual experience of good sound depth.
Furthermore, it’s clear that a computer audio interface is needed in order to produce quality recordings. If you’re leaning towards mixing and mastering your recordings, a computer audio interface is essential.
- Control Surface
When you’re dealing with audio, you may want some control. Many people enjoying manipulating sound, changing it, adjusting the volume, and really just assessing the range of their sound. A control due face is typically described as a human interface device through which users are allowed to control a digital audio workstation.
Control surfaces are said to not have any direct impact on the quality of your sound, but they contribute to the pace of your workflow. Things move faster and more seamlessly when you have this human interface device in your audio equipment collection. Sometimes people feel separated from their work or the stuff that they’re recording because everything is nearly entirely done by a computer interface or digitally recorded.
Making use of a control surface could make one feel less like a computer operator and more like a musician or a music producer. People tend to produce better audio or music when they have a control surface within their audio equipment because the more mental focus is given to the sound of music and less time is spent on touching mouses or engaging with computers. You could also work efficiently when you interchange between audio editing software and a control surface.
Furthermore, when you use a mouse continually in a recording space or a space where you’re utilizing audio, you usually can only adjust one parameter at a time. Control surfaces grant you the opportunity of having tactile control over dozens of controls simultaneously. Perhaps a control surface is just what would help you to make your journey with audio feel more professional and real.
- Audio Cables
Although audio cables are not as exciting to explore as microphones, they’re still an important part of your professional audio equipment. There are two varieties of audio cables, including unbalanced and balanced audio cables.
An unbalanced audio cable describes a simple audio cable used in various audio spaces. It’s simple looking and is relatively cost-effective. This device includes a connector and the like. Although most unbalanced audio cables transport a mono audio signal, there are stereo options too. Unbalanced audio cable types are typically more prone to noise interferences and thus tends to cover short distances.
However, balanced audio cables usually cover long distances. The properties surrounding a balanced audio cable allow for it to take a lot of strain without its audio quality being affected. Be sure to select audio cables that are ideal for your settings in particular.
Professional Audio Equipment Takeaway
The above guide is designed to assist you in making good choices when it comes to professional audio equipment. Whether you’re building an at-home recording studio or looking to upgrade your podcasting workstation, it’s essential that you pay attention to detail when it comes to audio.
People may decide whether or not to engage in a product or piece of work according to the depth and quality of the audio. Purchase the professional equipment that you need and find your sound.