Whether you're somebody who likes to jam out or a full-fledged musician with one leg into playing live and the other into setting up a studio of your own - you can't really move forward without a mic stand. You need it, not only if you're a vocalist but also if you need to record those acoustic guitars, or perhaps for mic-ing your djembe. Plus, you can't really go wrong with mic stands - unless you're looking for a mic stand for one specific condenser microphone, or unless what you're buying is nothing but a substandard piece of equipment. Lucky for you, we've done the dirty work and we've got for you a list of all those fancy mic stands of 2021. At the end of this guide, there's a buying guide that'll help you zero in on a flawless one. So, without any further ado, let's get started!
Believe it or not, mic stands are one of the most essential gears for a musician aspiring to perform well. Here's all you need to know to purchase the perfect mic stand!
Breaking Down the Components of a Mic Stand
Before you invest in a mic stand, let us look at its structure. Knowing the ins and outs of a mic stand will ultimately help you purchase one that fits your needs!
Mic stands are manufactured in two styles of base, first is a flat base which is usually made of cast steel and is heavy duty while the second is a tripod-style base which is lighter in weight. The former one is usually more stable.
Also the main part of a mic stand, the pole is the base's extension and it is usually height-adjustable to cater to every musician's instrument and needs!
The little gear that allows height-adjustability in mic stands is a clutch. It comes in a twist style i.e. loosens and locks the mic stand's height into place manually and in a trigger grip style where the height of the mic stand is adjusted in a quick, single squeeze.
It is the connection at the top of the pole of a boom arm mic stand that allows musicians to adjust the boom arm to their preferred angle and extension. A good clamp also keeps the boom arm upright no matter the weight of the mic being used.
It is the part of the mic stand that holds onto the mic during practice sessions and performances. Standard mic stands usually have a plastic, tube-like structure that grasps the mic well and also allows musicians to remove the mic from the stand easily.
Designed for heavy-duty, large-diaphragm microphones, a shock mount is an alternative to the clip of the mic stand and it functions as a barrier between any vibrations produced in the body of the mic stand and the audio generated from the mic.
All the Different Types of Mic Stands Available
Now that you have familiarised yourself with the head to toe of a mic stand, here are all the different types of mic stands that you might come across in the market:
Round base mic stands
The standard type of mic stand, a round base mic stand, is constructed in a heavy-duty round steel base with a single-pole extending from it. It occupies minimal floor space, prevents tangles, and benefits stage singers the most.
Tripod boom mic stands
The most common type of mic stand, a tripod boom mic stand, has three legs at its base usually fitted with rubber/plastic end caps for extra security, and has a great boom arm extension to allow maximum reach.
Scissor arm boom mic stands
The most flexible type of mic stand, a scissor arm boom mic stand, is constructed with a central hinged elbow joint which allows musicians to easily reposition the stand to their liking and swivel the base when it isn't in use. It is usually mounted to a wall or a desk.
Desktop mic stands
The most portable type of mic stand, a desktop mic stand, is small in size and made for musicians that prefer rehearsing while they are seated at a desk and their mic is secured to a desk's top.
Low profile mic stands
Functioning the same as a tripod boom mic stand, a low profile mic stand is just smaller in size and is usually made for musicians that need to record sounds near to the ground like guitar cabs or kick drums.
Overhead mic stands
The most sturdy type of mic stand, an overhead mic stand, is heavy-weighted, expensive, and has a boom arm that extends far and high allowing musicians to record sounds at a height like drum overheads.
How to Choose the Perfect Mic Stand
Let us get down to the final stretch of the guide, this is all you need to consider before purchasing a mic stand.
Make sure the base of the mic stand has plastic or rubber grips to secure it to the ground firmly and if the boom arm extends, it should have enough weight to support the mic and avoid toppling over.
A good mic stand usually has multiple options to customize the boom arm's angle, extension, and pole height to accommodate several styles of music. It should also be fairly easy to use and control.
Make sure the mic stand is constructed of a heavy-duty, metal finish that can stand a little wear and tear. If you travel frequently, get a mic stand that has replaceable parts so if one of the parts fails, it can be easily replaced without costing a heavy buck.
If the space is tight or the travel is lengthy, make sure the mic stand can fold into a compact size and size down for easy storage.
People Also Ask
Q: Can I use my studio mic stand live on stage too?
A: Most mic stands are versatile and can be used in every setting. However, studios usually prioritize a mic stand's stability to prevent constant adjustments while in a live session, the flexibility of a mic stand is more important. The mic stand you choose depends on the environment and its demands!
Q: How much do mic stands cost?
A: Mic stands can be found in a variety of prices, some are as low as $50 which work well temporarily while others may be around $80 to $100 and provide a durable structure to grasp heavy-duty mics. High-end mic stands are priced above $120 and are usually found in professional studios.
Q: Do all mic stands fit all mics?
A: Most mic stands are compatible with all mics, it is the weight that matters most when it comes to the right fitting. Light-weight mics may fit a mic stand easily while heavy-weight mics will need a shockmount to fit without toppling the stand over.
Jack has been a touring guitarist for almost 20 years, playing in a number of country music and rock bands. Jack loves the road and defines himself as a never-ending student of the guitar and other important instruments or tools that make a musician.