Home Studio Gear: When To Use A Multi-Pattern Microphone? 2022

In general, if you’re recording vocals or single instruments like an acoustic guitar, you should use a microphone with only one polar pattern, with cardioid being the most common. This single pattern mic will be ideal for recording the majority of instrumentation and vocals.

A multi-pattern microphone, on the other hand, will provide you with greater flexibility in less common situations. Multi-pattern microphones allow you to work with multiple instruments at the same time while only using one microphone. For example, you can set the pattern to omnidirectional, which allows you to easily record three people in a room and pick them all up equally by placing them all at the same distance from the microphone. A figure-eight pattern would allow you to record two guitar players facing each other while removing some of the noise from either side.

So, if you work with others and record a variety of instruments, or if you find yourself in unusual situations and placements, now is the time to invest in a multi-pattern microphone. However, if you only use your microphone for one thing, such as recording vocals or recording your guitar where you set it up and never move it, then choose the mic that best suits that situation. In most cases, this would be a single pattern cardioid microphone.

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