VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Use the audio studio at The Workshop

Available Microphones

The Workshop has a variety of microphones available that should cover most studio recording scenarios. During orientations to the audio studio, we will introduce you to all of the microphones available for checkout when using the studio. We're happy to provide recommendations for your particular recording needs but it's also fun to check-out multiple microphones and listen to how they all record sound differently.

Our most popular microphones are the Electro-Voice RE20, for podcasting and voice-over, and the AudioTechnica AT4033a, for recording singing and instruments.

We have two of each of the following microphones:

Type of Microphone Description Requires Phantom Power?  

Electro-Voice RE20

  • First choice for recording a podcast in the studio
  • Classic radio microphone - used in many radio stations
  • Dynamic cardioid microphone
  • Use Cloudlifter (blue box included with checkout) to make the microphone more sensitive (louder). Instructions for special set-up here.
Yes, when using with Cloudlifter pre-amp

Shure Beta 58A

  • Alternative option for recording a podcast in the studio - use these two mics if you are recording three or four people and already using the EV RE20s
  • Dynamic supercardioid microphone
  • Also use for recording vocals (singing or talking)
  • Frequency response tailored for vocals (frequency response: 50 - 16,000 Hz)
  • XLR input, no phantom power

Shure SM57

  • Classic dynamic microphone for recording instruments (drums, guitar amps)
  • Dynamic cardioid microphone
  • Frequency response: 40 - 15,000 Hz
  • XLR input, no phantom power

Audio-Technica AT4033A

  • Popular microphone for recording vocals and acoustic instruments
  • Large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone
  • Very sensitive - not a good microphone to use if there are multiple people in the studio with you
  • Frequency response: 80 - 20,000 Hz
  • XLR input, requires +48V phantom power

Audio-Technica AT4041

  • Small-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone
  • Use for recording instruments (acoustic guitar, piano, drum overheads, horns)
  • Frequency response: 80 - 20,000 Hz
  • XLR input, requires +48V phantom power

Rode NT4

  • Cardioid condenser XY stereo microphone
  • Stereo mic combines two directional mic capsules (note: channel separation is limited and wide stereo images are not possible)
  • Frequency response: 20 - 20,000 Hz
  • XLR input (uses special cable), requires +48 phantom power (or 9V alkaline battery)

Touch Controllers

Novation Launchpad

Touch Controller for Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic, etc

Instructions for use:

1 Connect orange USB cable to back of computer
2 Open Ableton Live, go to Preferences
3 On MIDI/Sync Tab, ensure that the Launchpad is listed under Control Surface, Input and Output, as well as under MIDI ports - it should match the settings shown at right

When Launchpad is chosen as an active control surface, a ring appears on the session view to indicate which section is currently controlled by the pad matrix.

Pressing a clip launch pad triggers the clip in the corresponding clip slot in Live. Hitting an empty clip slot in a track that is not armed will stop the clip playing in this track.

If the track is armed to record, pressing the button records a new clip.

Avid Artist Control

Touch Controller for Pro Tools, Logic - more complex than Launchpad


Yamaha MOXF8 Keyboard

The Yamaha keyboard is powerful and to get a grasp of all of it's features you should check out the manual. The steps below will let you get started with basic functions.

1 Scroll the data wheel (large black knob to the right of the screen) to change the way the notes sound.
2 Switch to Voice mode to play single notes rather than pre-recorded songs
3 The keyboard can function as a MIDI keyboard - plug a MIDI cable into the MIDI output on the back of the keyboard and into the MIDI connector cable on the back of the audio interface. Then set up a MIDI track in Ableton, Logic or another MIDI-enabled program (Adobe Audition does not do MIDI).

Korg Monologue

The Korg Monologue is a monophonic analog synthesizer.


Moog Etherwave Theremin

A theremin is a classic electronic instrument. It is a single oscillator that uses two metal rod antennas to control pitch and amplitude.

1 Left antenna (horizontal hoop) changes volume
2 Right antenna (vertical rod) changes pitch