Home Studio Gear: When To Use A Multi-Pattern Microphone? 2021


Generally, if you are recording vocals or single instruments like an acoustic guitar, it makes sense for you to use a mic that has only one polar pattern with cardioid being the most common. This single pattern mic will be the best choice for the bulk of recording most instrumentation and vocals.

A multi-pattern microphone on the other hand will give you more flexibility for certain less common situations. Multi-pattern mics allow you to work with many instruments at the same time using only one microphone. For example, you can set the pattern to omnidirectional allowing you to record 3 people in a room very easily and pick them all up equally by placing them the same distance from the microphone. A figure-eight pattern would allow you to record 2 guitar players that are facing each other while eliminating some of the noise that’s coming from either side.

So if you collaborate with other people and you record many different types of instruments, or if you encounter all kinds of odd situations and placements, then the time might be right for you to pick up a multi-pattern mic. However, if you have just a single purpose for your microphone, maybe just for vocals or just recording your guitar where you set it up and you never move it, then select the mic that best suits that particular situation. And in most cases that would be a single pattern cardioid mic.

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