In my earlier article “microphone set up for sound reinforcement for a live performance” I gave some tips about using a condenser microphone on stage. In this one I will cover the advantages of such a microphone. With it’s physical size and weight (which are slightly larger than the boom microphone), it makes it easy to transport and easier to set up on stage. So, let us get started.
The advantage of a condenser microphone on stage is the obvious one: you can place it right next to your source of sound and avoid a “bounce” of the sound. But there is a problem with that. A microphone’s diaphragm can get “bogged” by small vibrations and the signal from the microphone may not be as clean as desired. That is why I suggested placing the microphone somewhere far from the stage, maybe in front of the soundboard or behind the stage, so the vibration of the diaphragm will be decreased.
So now we know what a condenser microphone is and what its main advantage is. And how to use it on stage. First, place the microphone where you want to place your source of sound. The closer you can get the microphone to the source of sound the better. Then set the microphone as close as possible to the source of sound and adjust the elevation of the microphone to the level of your choice. You may need to experiment a bit to find the best settings for your own purposes, but try to keep it as close as possible to the sound source.
Now let us go over the disadvantages. There are two main disadvantages: the noise factor and the weight of the microphone. If you are using a portable microphone which is not very heavy you will not have a problem with the noise factor. However, if you are using a large and heavy microphone with a long cable running through it, the weight of the microphone can become an issue. Condenser microphones are not that much heavier than other types of microphones. Also, if you are using condenser microphones on stage, remember that they are not recommended to be held in hands while you perform.
The second disadvantage is more related to the audio quality of the sound produced by the microphone rather than the source. When a microphone produces a lower quality sound because of coil noise in the motor, the sound from the source will not be as crisp as the sound produced by a microphone that operates properly.
This is the same as if you were listening to a television transmission that was being received in a poor quality. If you are not careful and do not monitor the sound levels, you may end up blowing out some of the sound sources or perhaps missing some of the audio. If you are monitoring using the monitor, make sure to do this in the same room as the source of the sound.
The last disadvantage of using condenser microphones is the size of the microphone. If you are trying to use this microphone in a small room, or if the sound that you need to record is small, then you may not be able to use a condenser microphone. These microphones have become very popular in recent years for recording concerts, but their limited sound quality has made them more common in radio studios and stage sound booths. If you want to record high quality sound, then you should consider other types of microphones that are much larger and produce a better sound.