Of course, mic stands come in various brands and models. Moreover, they come in a wide price range, making the selection process for the best stand a bit confusing.
The microphone stands—being of a low profile, compared to other live sound equipment—are more often not given much attention. Yet, when a mic accidentally falls off from a stand or a stand teetered off, you immediately realize the value of a mic stand in live performance or recording settings.
Yet, if you know the crucial factors to consider when selecting mic stands, you can always make a wise decision when buying a mic stand. Some of these factors include durability, adjustability, styles, forms, designs, materials, accessories, and attachments. It will also be useful to know the different microphone stand types to figure out the best and most appropriate mic stands for your needs.
Types of Microphone Stands
You might have seen mic stands in various performances, programs, and events and, to you, all these different mic stands might look the same—bare mic stands. Yet, microphones stand comes in various types, and it will be useful to be cognizant of these types if you plan to collect and build your live sound system:
1) Standard Stands
The standard stands have a straightforward design that makes them stand up straight. They are the most straightforward stands you will see out there, and you can use them in programs, emceeing vocals, and other applications. Moreover, they come in two types: a tripod or a round base. Of course, the tripod comes with three legs that serve as the base of the mic stand. On the other hand, the round base has a rounded or dome-shaped base made of sturdy metal.
The standard tripod stands seem to be the most affordable in the market today. Yet, the round base stands, made of plastic or metal, may afford more stability on the stage. Singers also frequently use this type of mic stand.
If you would often use a mic while standing, you better opt for the standard mic stands. You can adjust their heights with ease, and they are more stable. Moreover, they do not flip over quickly.
2) Boom Stands
The boom stands are almost the same as the standard ones, but they come with an attached arm. With the attached boom arms, you can position the mics farther from the stand’s vertical part. Moreover, you can adjust the boom arm at various angles to set the mic correctly.
The boom stands afford better flexibility and adjustability. They are also best for those who use the mic while seated. A perfect example of a boom stand is the DR Pro Tripod Mic stand. This mic stand comes with a telescoping boom wherein you can adjust the angle arm and the boom for better height adjustment.
3) Desk Stands
Desk stands are also called desktop stands. You can attach them to a desk, and they come in a smaller size. They appear to be a smaller version of the standard stand, and you can use them for radio shows and podcasting.
Many people who engage in podcasting and live streaming make use of the desk stands. Thus, the desk stand is quickly becoming popular, and its usage is increasing with the ever-increasing number of podcasters and live streamers.
You will find the desk stand handier in a cramped setting, especially if you need a mic stand while engaged in sedentary broadcasting. The desk stand is also easy to set up. You only need to mount it on the table, and it blends naturally with your interior design.
4) Overhead Stands
The overhead stand is the most expensive of all types of mic stands. Moreover, it is the largest of all. You can use it if you require extreme angles and heights for your mic. With the use of this mic stand, you can get your microphone at a very high level while still providing your mic with sturdy support, even if your mic is a large condenser mic.
It is not easy to find the ideal overhead mic stand, for this type of mic is not carried by most local music shops. Thus, you need to make an online order to avail of this type of mic stands.
5) Specialty Mic Stand
These mic stands are meant for particular purposes. They come with specific designs for a particular application. They may have wheels for greater mobility and are perfect for heavy-duty mics.
Moreover, they come with an adjustable counterweight to achieve optimum balance. You can also adjust their heights for maximum reach.
6) Low Profile Stands
You will also find stands with a short height to use for guitar cabs and kick drums. They come with a shorter boom arm and stand. Moreover, they feature adjustable height with a shorter range as compared to the standard mic stand.
The low profile stand is usually used to miking the drum and other low low profile musical instrument.
7) Studio Booms
The studio booms feature designs that reach above the sound source over the choirs, drum kits, and orchestra. This heavy-duty mic stands can reach up to six feet without a boom. Thus, it allows for better overhead positioning of the mic.
If you shop around for a studio boom, you better check its counterweight because such a stand needs appropriate counterbalancing weight. It should also feature a wheeled base for easy transport and moving around.
8) Adjustable Desk Boom Arms
This type of stand is perfect for podcasters and broadcast talent. This stand comes in a robust design, just like that of the desk lamp’s scissor mechanism. This feature allows for quick repositioning of the mic. If you want to manage sound effects, or if you want to go around your desk while using the mic, you can do so using this stand.
You can also clamp this type of stand onto your desktop. Besides, it comes with internal shock dispersion for preventing desk vibration from being channeled to the boom onto your mic. This type of mic also comes with a cable management system.
Mic Stand Variations & Options
Besides knowing the different mic stands, it will be useful if you know the different mic variations and option. Below are the basic options and variations you need to be cognizant of:
Microphone stands mostly come with a height-adjustment mechanism. However, the height range varies from one mic stand to another. The standard height range, of course, is between 35 to 65 inches. Yet, some stands are meant to go much lower and higher.
The lowest height range of a mic that needed to go low is between 8 to 12 inches. Such a mic, for example, is used for the kick drum. The mics that go higher can go up to 10 feet or more, depending on its applications. You can use such mic stands for capturing the sound of an organ or a choir.
One important consideration when choosing a mic stand is the clutch-a mechanism that locks the stand’s height into place. Clutches come in two types—the twist and the grip. The twist is the popular clutch type. With the twist type, you only turn the clutch several times to tighten.
The cheaper clutch types may not tighten well, but the high-end types can tighten hard with minimal adjustment.
Grip clutches, on the other hand, necessitates a single one-handed squeeze. Such a clutch is excellent during a performance.
You will also find another type of clutch on booms. This clutch comes in the form of a tension screw that presses hard onto the inner tubing to prevent the mic tube from sliding.
Most booms may also come with a particular disc clutch located at the base for adjusting the angle. However, when adjusting the mic stand, one caveat is that you need to loosen the clutch grip first to allow for free movement. In so doing, you can extend your mic stand’s lifespan.
You will find that standard mic stands come with flat and tripod base designs. The flat base comes in cast steel. Moreover, it has a heavy design that gives a stand a better balance. Flat-based come in triangular or round shape. They are not as light as the tripod bases. Yet, they are stable likewise.
Moreover, tripods may come with a broader footprint. They also provide better stability than the flat bases. You also got a wide range of options with tripod bases.
Many stand users prefer the tripod bases over the flat bases because of their lighter weights. You can also fold them down better than the flat base stands, likewise. Tripod bases are also stable if you position and space the legs of the tripod correctly. Moreover, you can set two tripod-base stands close together without a fuss.
Weight and Portability
Portability does not necessarily depend on the weight of the stand. Besides, you will find lightweight mics that are not easy to carry around. They are also not stable for live performance. However, you can find mic stands with thicker and more stable tubing with heavy-duty clutches and solid tripod legs. Such mics may be heavier but are very portable.
With various types and models of mic stands in the market today, you will get confused when purchasing the mic stands you will need. It will help if you know the different types of mic stands and their capabilities to ensure that you would make the right choice.
At the onset, likewise, it will be useful to figure out your needs before you buy microphone stands. Know what are the applications for which you would use the mic stands. In doing so, you can zero in the right mic stands for your needed applications and won’t regret your choices of mic stands afterward.