To an average person, a microphone is a device you use to record voice. That is how most people see this device.
However, in the world of music and music production, a microphone has many other uses in addition to this most obvious one.
Since we are still using some acoustic instruments in our main stream music, they will need microphones to amplify their sound during live performance or studio recording sessions. There is just no other effective way of getting the job done.
What happens when you need to position a microphone low enough to record a bass drum? You are introduced to a new set of problems. First and foremost, microphone positioning is a very important factor when trying to get the perfect tone from an acoustic instrument.
This is especially true when recording various amps. In this instance, exact positioning of the microphone in front of the speaker has tremendous impact on the type of sound you are going to get.
In order to have the versatility you need for these tasks, you will need a low profile mic stand.
Microphone stands are mostly designed to keep the microphone at a level where a vocal artist can sing comfortably. This means that the larger majority of these stands are going to be high, and adjustable to a certain point. They, however, rarely allow you to place them so low where you could record amps and bass drums. A completely different type of stand exists for this specific purpose.
A low profile mic stand is a very simple device that doesn’t really have too many moving parts. Its height is generally predefined by an average height of an amp or bass drum. This means that you are working with a very close to the ground setup that has some maneuvering space, but not much. We are talking four inches of adjustment in most cases.
The reason behind this type of design is that you reduce the number of moving parts, thus ensuring that the microphone stays put at all times. Any kind of movement can induce noises and other types of tone pollution which are more or less unacceptable in serious music recording and production.
The base of the stand is the most important part. It needs to be stable and offer enough support so that the weight of the microphone doesn’t impact the stand in any way. You don’t want things moving around or tipping over as you begin to record.
What defines the performance of a low profile mic stand is how versatile it is in terms of height adjustment. When you are recording amps, you will have to move the microphone in all three axis in order to find that sweet spot where you get the best results. That means that a stand needs to be adjustable, but also strong enough to lock the microphone in place and hold it there when you are done adjusting the stand.
Sometimes even an inch of altitude can completely change the way an amp sounds. So what makes a good low profile mic stand? Good build quality, solid base, and reliable fastening mechanism.
What we like
A low profile mic stand does everything your standard microphone stand is simply not built to do.
You can try and use a regular microphone stand for these applications we have described earlier, but it’s not practical and it introduces additional moving parts you need to worry about.
What we don’t like
The only bad thing, if it can be defined as a bad thing, about low profile microphone stands is their limited scope of application. Aside from recording bass drums and amps, there isn’t much these stands can be used for.
Specific tasks require specific equipment, that’s the way it always was. When you go recording bass drums or amps, you will definitely need a low profile mic stand if you wish to get the best results and save as much time as possible.
There are many great models on the market, and we urge you to check them out. Just remember that simple is better in this case.