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How to mic anything

I’m getting sick of seeing things like “A D112 is a kick drum mic”.

You can put ANY MIC in front of ANY SOURCE, it may or may not sound how you want.

How to mic anything:
Step 1 – Put a transducer where the good sound comes out.
Step 2 – Listen. If the result is worse than real life then it’s the wrong mic. If it sounds good, start recording.
Step 3 – Repeat until you find the right mic or run out of options.

Once you start using multiple mics (non-stereo) it gets a tiny bit more complicated but the rule of thumb I go by for placing a single mic.


  1. matt
    matt September 28, 2010


    BTW this explains why I have so many microphones. They each must be good at *something*.



  2. Randy Coppinger
    Randy Coppinger September 28, 2010

    I like intentionally misusing technology: what is this thing SUPPOSED to do? Oh well I’ll use it for something completely different then! But after experimenting with the Audix D6, I have to say, it pretty well sucks on anything except kick drum. And once you start to get to know your mics, you find that certain ones TEND to work better on some things than others. So while I agree that experimenting is important, having some uptake over time is good too.

    Knowing the range of an instrument can help you decide how to mic it and otherwise make technology choices for how to record it.

    Someone told me D112s are really good for capturing the sound of a fart in a can, but I can’t verify that. πŸ™‚

  3. SpyrosK
    SpyrosK October 12, 2010

    I agree too: “So while I agree that experimenting is important, …

    So, the reason that you seeing things like β€œA D112 is a kick drum mic” named sound pressure (SPL)! Low frequencies produce more sound pressure.
    For this reason D112 can handles up to 168db SPL with no audible distortion.
    The same time, I report just for comparison, another famous mic like shure sm57, can handles up to 94db SPL…
    It’s important to take a look at Frequency Response Graph of these two mics. For everyone want to:

    So, every mic made for some reason.
    and I close with: “… having some uptake over time is good too.”

  4. Marcos Ficarelli
    Marcos Ficarelli November 18, 2010

    I agree! Anyway, for me, good miking begins with good studio silence, overall silence (city); that’s where we have the chance to chose the right mic.

  5. mastering
    mastering March 9, 2011

    It is actually a very logical way of miking up. Use your ear and put it in the sweet spot, it often works and often does not, sometimes its the wrong mic and just does not do the trick.
    (especially with bass instruments)

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