Music Use

Demonstration Video
Grand piano and vocals (close miked)
Audio recorded direct to Sony FX1 camcorder

The Minisonic Mic Kit is ideal for recording musicians, from singers to sax players and from drummers to double bassists.

Whether you're a musician yourself or a producer working with soloists or full bands, the Minisonic Mic Kit will give you the clear, true sound that your music deserves.

Central to the kit are the exceptional little omnidirectional microphones and custom-built preamplifier.

Developed with musicians, the kit comes with accessories such as a pop shield and belt clip to enable high-quality music recordings in many different situations, including studio sessions, rehearsals and live gigs.

"Omnidirectional microphones are excellent for music recording... the omni will always sound more natural and open, especially on critical instruments such as pianos, violins and voices" - Hugh Robjohns, Technical Editor, Sound on Sound (read more).

How to Connect to your Recording Device

The Minisonic Mic Kit is really adaptable: it can be connected to your computer sound-card or portable audio recorder, your camcorder or HDSLR or your iPad or iPhone just follow the links to find out how.

The preamplifier outputs at a professional line level which means if you're using professional recording equipment with a professional interface then you can simply plug in using the XLR or 1/4" jack leads and you're ready.

Non-professional equipment may not to be able to handle professional levels most consumer sound-cards and hand-held recorders begin to clip above +8dBu. To solve the problem we offer a 10dB attenuator lead (part number AD-10) that links between the preamplifier and the breakout cables for interfacing to consumer equipment.

Using the kit for music recording
Using the kit for music recording

Where to Place your Microphones

There are several options for placing your microphones, giving a variety of great effects. They fall into two categories: close miking and stereo miking. Our mic holders, belt clip and lapel clip (all included in the kit), our mic stands and stereo camera attachment (optional extras) make placing your microphones quick and easy.

Close Miking

As the name suggests this technique involves placing the microphone(s) close to the sound source. This means that maximum sound energy is being converted to electrical energy at the mic, which has two benefits:

  • It ensures that the mic's output is high compared to the electrical noise from the microphone (no microphone is noise-free)
  • It minimises the pick-up of reflected sound from the room's walls and ceiling

In many situations this is the best miking option, giving crystal clear, uncoloured recordings.

Find out exactly how to close-mic a range of different instruments

Stereo Miking

Stereo miking provides a way to recreate the position of sounds on a recording. The obvious example is films, where stereo sound can give the impression that a noisy car is driving from left to right. But listening to a good stereo recording of music can feel like you're sitting in the front row at the Albert Hall!

There are two basic mechanisms by which a stereo image can be created using two speakers:

  1. The sound can be reproduced more loudly from one speaker than the other.
  2. The sound can be reproduced fractionally sooner from one speaker than the other. This time delay produces phase differences that the human ear can detect and use for location.

So where should you place your microphones to get a good stereo recording bearing in mind that these are omnidirectional mics?

Placing the mics quite close together is often most convenient and can be very effective. In this situation the main stereo effect captured is the difference in time of arrival at the two mics. For accurate phase capture, the time delay must be smaller than the wavelength of the highest frequency you wish to reproduce. In a typical situation, the optimal spacing between the mics is 35cm (see our workings out). We've designed our stereo camera attachment to have just this spacing perfect for capturing stereo sound when you're out and about.

Placing the mics further apart will increase the contribution of amplitude differences as one mic will be closer to some sound sources than the other. So if your right-hand mic is close to the drums, they'll play more loudly from the right-hand speaker, giving the impression that the drummer is on the listener's right. Note that level differences provide a much more solid stereo image as the listener's position between the speakers is not so critical. You can capture this type of stereo recording with ease using our mic holders and mic stands.

The reality is that the science of this technique is somewhat confusing and the best way to understand it is to experiment. Note that stereo recording also captures the room response, so it's not great for small, echoey rooms (for a DIY solution, try hanging duvets on the walls!). Generally though, the results are very impressive.

For more advice on using the Minisonic Mic Kit to record music, please read the manual or get in touch.

Music Use Links
Music Use
Instrument Miking

New Camera Adapter

Adapters for connecting the MiniSonic Mic Kit to the Canon EOS 5D mkII are now available. Now your videos will sound better than ever.

Camcorder and DSLR adapters

Connect to iPhone or iPad

Now your audio and video recordings will sound clearer and more realistic than ever.

Interfaces for iOS devices