What is the Proximity Effect?

Sound characteristics will change significantly depending upon how close or far away you are from the microphone. This is called proximity effect.

As you get closer to the mic, an increase in low frequency response can occur, causing your voice to be overly bassy.

  • High frequencies are very directional, meaning that if you turn your head away from the microphone at any point during recording, the recording captured by your mic will sound very dull.
  • Almost all mics, used at live performance venues, are what are called top addressing unidirectional mics.  This means that they are designed to pick up sound from directly in front of the microphone (top) versus from the sides or from behind to minimize background noise being picked up by the microphone.  So, rule number one rule is to sing directly into the top of the microphone.