Microphone Accessories: The Only Essentials You’ll Need!
Okay, so you purchased a great microphone for a couple hundred dollars and it’s on the way already. What’s next? How to set everything up? Well, let me guide you through which microphone accessories you will need to get.
The budget microphones usually don’t come with any accessories included. At best, you will receive a cheap windscreen. Therefore, you need to purchase a few things yourself.
When doing the research back in the days, I’ve come across tons of articles on which set up is the best and why THEIR set up is the best one. I am going to be real with you – there is no such thing as the best set up or the best microphone accessories.
I mean there are certain rules of how the sound waves move and which surfaces they bounce off the most. However, this is not something to be worried about at the beginning of your journey.
Maybe after a year or so you can professionally soundproof your room and add some cool things to your set up. For now, let’s keep it simple. Let’s go!
Microphone Accessories: The Only Essential You’ll Need!
1) Which Mic Stand Do I Need?
There are so many out there, it’s hard to decide, I feel you. There is also no point to google “the best mic stand” because (spoiler alert) the best also cost you a fortune.
I see people complaining that their stand is not heavy-duty enough, or that some of the treads wore off after a year.
I do have a strong opinion on this. Especially in the lower price range we are looking at, you can’t get a top quality mic stand for $20 and expect it to perform the same as a $200-$500 stand. It just doesn’t make any sense.
If you mic is very heavy, look into a heavier stand, but honestly, most affordable studio mics are good to be mounted on a simple light duty mic stand.
Also, there are many different kinds, such as tripods, arm stands, round base, overhead stands etc. They all have different purposes and are for different studio environments.
You have to decide on what you need and then go from there.
My personal pick is Samson MK-10 Microphone Boom Stand.
2) What’s a Shock Mount? Do I Need One?
Look, most microphone stands don’t come with shock mount, especially the cheaper ones. Some microphones will have a shock mount included in the package, but most won’t.
So double-check the description of the microphone you ordered. If there is no mention of a shock mount, I can almost guarantee you it’s not there.
If you do have one, go ahead to the next section.
Alright, let me explain real quick what a shock mount is.
So it’s basically a little thing that you attach to your microphone stand. I guess you can call it a microphone holder.
Shock Mounts are all set up differently, but what they essentially do is hold your microphone in place so it doesn’t slip and fall. Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?
You 100% need one because you can’t just screw the mic into the stand somehow. And most budget stands don’t come with one attached to them (probably because the profit margin is already low)
This should be clear, there is nothing complicated about shock mounts whatsoever.
My personal pick is this microphone shock mount.
3) Which Pop Filter Do I need?
The same goes for pop filters: one is essential. It blocks the annoying “plosives” and keeps your vocal take and your mic clean.
It’s not going to make an enormous difference, However, if you consider for how much pop filters go these days, it’s a must-have, hands down. Of course, they can go up in price quite a bit, but there is no real reason to go and spend more than $50.
Actually, if you are just starting out, I suggest buying one for no more than$20-$30. It has one job to do, really, and all the add-ons are most of the time unnecessary.
They come in different sizes, and some of them take up less space than others but does this make big difference to you? High likely, it doesn’t.
My personal pick is Neewer Pop Filter.
4) Which Microphone Cable Do I need? Are They All the Same?
This section is very straightforward as well. You basically need a cable to connect your microphone to your interface.
Unless it’s a USB-Microphone, which set up is self-explanatory, you are going to need an XLR cable. Some of them go up to $1000’s of dollars, but those are some fancy 100 ft, ultra protection, and perfect isolation cables.
For the most part, you can get them for $10-$20. Will you see a big spike in quality if you invest $100 instead? Well, in theory, yes, but we are trying to be practical here, am I right?
There is no need to spend another $80 to buy a “better” cable. You get what you pay for always applied, but in the case with accessories, the curve is way to steep.
This is also my personal opinion. I am sure you will find audio engineers who will laugh at me, and it’s okay. We are not talking fancy studios with the best equipment.
We are trying to build a budget music studio, am I right?
My personal pick is this XLR Male to Female Microphone Cable.
Conclusion: Microphone Accessories
This shouldn’t be anything expensive. If you go real budget, you can get everything for under $50. Obviously, I wouldn’t suggest going for the cheapest options, but it’s really up to you.
If you feel like it’s the best you can afford right now, so be it. These elements are nothing but accessories, so you shouldn’t be too concerned about it. Spend good 15-20 minutes and you are fine.
This is everything for this section. I tried to make it as short as possible, so you will have more time to research the more important stuff.
Also, this is the last section of the guide, so congrats! If you have gotten this far, you must be serious about making music.
I respect that. Now, when you have or just about to have your studio set up, it’s time to get into producing and recording!