Tidepool has helped musicians, engineers & producers find the right mic for over fifteen years.  We're not here to 'slam' you into purchasing a mic you'll soon regret buying, we'd really like to help find the right tool for the job, one that will be useful for many years.

Whether you're adding new mics to expand the drum sounds your studio is known for or setting up a podcasting booth in a spare nook in your apartment, we can help.

There are three main types of mics—dynamic, ribbon, and condenser, all of which may pick up sound from all directions (omnidirectional) or primarily from the front (unidirectional or cardiod) or from the front and back (bi-directional.) 

Dynamic microphones—which tend to have heavier diaphragms—are most often what you see on stages because they're generally the most economical and rugged.  However, the heavier diaphragms generally used in dynamic mics don't react (vibrate) as easily as lighter ones so they tend not to capture the more delicate, nuanced high or 'air' frequencies.  Those who want to bring a darker, more lo-fi sound to their recordings may use dynamic mics to their advantage.

Ribbon microphones implement relatively simple technology (compared to condenser mic designs from the 60's going forward) which can be ideal for old-school timbres; they tend to have a gentle top-end (as in they basically don't capture it, hence their 'warm' characterization.) In place of a membrane they use a very thin piece of metal that has been bent into a ribbon shape.  The metal is akin to the soft metal you see in the backs of air-conditioners— it vibrates with sound pressure.  The ribbon is held in place and  amplified by a pair of magnets, sending the signal down the cable to the mic preamp. 

Condenser microphones have crazy-thin, light-weight diaphragms and active circuitry (either solid-state or vacuum tube) that require a dedicated power supply or, at the very least, phantom powering (don't worry, even the lowliest USB computer interfaces all seem to have phantom power these days.)

In condenser microphone categories, you'll see these acronyms: SDC and LDC - SDC is Small Diaphragm Condenser (generally the slimmer 'pencil' mic profile.)  SDC mics can be especially good at capturing high-frequencies on and off-axis which makes them great for general instrument pick-up.

LDC is for Large Diaphragm Condenser (generally the physically larger 'studio' mic you see in pics of recording studios).  The larger diaphragms are more sensitive and have greater output than the SDC mics making them great for capturing intimate vocals - and a whole bunch of other music sources/sounds, too.