Unlike popular boy-bands like N*SYNC or the Backstreet Boys, real rockers don’t use headset mics. Can you imagine a hard rocker on the stage with a headset on? No way! Seriously, no one but the weak pop bands uses those headsets to prance around the stage. Say hello to the hardcore mics and stands of the rock world, people!
Jonathan Davis of Korn has a wicked mic stand, featuring a naked female torso done in chrome. How much cooler are can you get? I know if I had that mic, I’d really be rockin’. Davis has his whole unique personality that includes a kilt, wicked dreadlocks and a shiny silver grill. Now imagine him with a lame, school talent show type microphone in front of him. Can you see it? Neither can I. The microphone itself has become a part of him, like another body part, and completes his image to the hilt. He’s the perfect combination of sexy and dangerous with that bad-ass mic in front of him!
Of course, the voice effects the mic enables the vocalist to create are intrinsic parts of the song as well as the way the artist handles the mic. Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace uses an old school hand-held mic that he can get intimately close to that creates the sound we know and love.
Some, like Dani Filth, prefer to spin their mics to create interesting ripple effects. He keeps singing as the mic sways, twirls and turns, creating an amazing effect on his voice. Others incorporate the usage of switches on the mic itself that can make the singer’s voice sound hollow and far away or make an eerie echo.
This all adds to the mood and tone of the song itself. While some bands like dangling mics, ones that are attached to a crane neck extension and suspended above the artist, like in the recording studio. Then there are those who have the long mic stands, usually decorated, with a hand-held mic that can be removed while in motion. Others still, like Three Days Grace, use a completely hand-held mic that can be held very close to the mouth for the desired effect. What do you think this says about them?
Bands like KoRn and Cradle of Filth have vocalists who really get active with the mic. It makes fans go wild when they dance with it, caress it, and, in Dani Filth’s case, even lick it. Hell, Steven Tyler from Aerosmith decorates his with flamboyant scarves and practically seduces it on stage! These artist truly treat their mics like a part of their wardrobe, just as much as the shirt on their back is. They become the kind of accessory that’s custom made for the person using it.
If you’re a musician, you need to remember that whatever your personality is, the microphone you choose can either enhance it or blow it all-together. The audience sees your equipment as part of who you are. Use the mic that represents your cause the best and you’re definitely heading for a win. The mic is a part of your band take as much time to pick yours out as you would any other band member.