• Posted: 14/04/07    

NAME THAT MIC - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!

Microphones are ubiquitous in our industry and there's literally a microphone to record every task in every situation. Have you ever wondered what some of the most famous vocals in music history were recorded with? We've compiled a list of some of the most famous artists in music from the past and today along with what microphones were/are their favorites! We really want to hear from you in the forum, so stop by at the end of the quiz to tell us how many you got right and if there are any other artists you think should be on the list.

Click the Photos to NAME THAT MIC!

Let's start with an easy one...

Elvis Pressley Headshot - Name That Mic - Microphone Trivia!

Elvis Presley

This is the easiest one of the list to me, because you always saw Elvis with this microphone. It's probably the most well known microphone to the non-audio industry. Till this day it has that iconic mic look and it's synonymous with Elvis.

Let's go with the British Invasion. This one's a little easier especially if you've studied George Martin.

The Beatles off the plane photo - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


One of the most common vocal mic choices on this list. This german large diaphram condenser is to this day one of the recording industry's go to microphones for smooth warm male vocals. It's probably such a staple today because of George Martin's affinity for it and the results he and The Beatles produced.

This one is slightly more difficult.

Bono  Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


This relatively (relative is the pertinent word) inexpensive mic used by Bono may be surprising to many. It's a very versatile mic and is commonly seen as a workhorse. I've used it successfully on cymbals, hi-hats, and as drum overheads. It's amaing that one of rock's most iconic voices records with this mic.

Here we move to contemporary Pop, with a British flavor.

Seal Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!L


I think if you were to think about some of SEAL's most important recordings you'd think of this microphone. It's not that you can necessarily hear the mic, it's just that if you think about his voice, the type of music and the recording environment, once you find out Jorchem van der Saag's choice for vocal's you won't be too surprised.

One of the Biggest stars of Las Vegas, and one of the most recognizable Pop Queens.

Celine Dion Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!

Celine Dion

Humberto Gatica stated that he's used this famous german microphone to record some of Celine's most popular recordings. It's another microphone that is common to another female artist on this list and is also from one of the most well respected microphone manuafacturers in the pro audio industry.

Hip Hop, although not known for its amazing vocals, it is an extremely vocal centric music so this may be a little more difficult.

50 Cent Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!

50 Cent

This tube microphone is not uncommon in a bunch of different genres, but it may be surprising to be used in rap. It's known to have very flat frequency response and was used in every studio around in the early 2000's and is still a studio vocal staple. This mic usually has a considerable "warm up" period.

Keeping it in the Hip Hop realm, Let's move to Hip Hop Royalty. I don't know that many will guess this mic.

Jay Z Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!

Jay Z

Young Guru, HOV's engineer has stated that he loves this mic with Jay's vocals going through a 737 SVT. The Avalon is a great pre/mic channel and this mic is in most mic closets. HOV's mic choice is common with another artist on this list.

Can't leave out HOV's Wife. Beyonce has the voice of R&B and Pop Music today, so what's her vocal mic go to?

Beyonce Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


Beyonce's DJ Swivel has stated during the recording of her album "4" Beyonce gravitated toward this mic after being given a wide range of choices and it just illuminated her vocals unlike the other mics available.

This should be extremely difficult to guess, mainly because the mic used isn't a large diaphram condenser.

Billy Joe - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


This mic choice should throw you for a loop...matter of fact if you guess this one, we really want to know. It's not a large diaphram, as would be usual, and it's not a condenser at all! Punk deals with a lot of high SPL though so....that may lead you in the right direction.

From one recognizable voice to another, let's go old school with this one. A classic country superstar.

Johnny Cash - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


One of America's greatest voices on one of German's flagship microphone producers. Engineer David R. Ferguson has stated that he used this early produced german mic to create some of Johnny Cash's most iconic recordings.

Staying on the Famous Male Vocal track, we'll jump to a little more contemporary Crooner.

Michael Buble Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


You could call this the "Crooner" mic. It's very very expensive and handles deep vocals well and still adds smoothness. You'll notice that this microphone appears a few times on this list.

Another Famous Crooner, one of the Best voices in music history, and with his voice you can imagine some of the mics that are use to create his sound. I think you'll be surprised at the mic choice here however.

Tony Bennett Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


Engineer Phil Ramone, stated that he used this mic on Tony's famous Duets album and although it's a slight surprise. If you are familiar with this famous mic maker's line of condensers if Tony were to work with this line he'd definitely choose their flagship and this mic is their flagship....(note: it's not the one in the photo)

If  you talk about a vocal that sells records in music today. You are talking about this artist.The music student in me can't help but note that her songwriting is much more integral to her success than her vocal abilities, but nonetheless, her vocals are "The Sound" of teenage Pop music.

Taylor Swift Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


If were in to Taylor Swift's "Red" you know this mic is fitting. I would have to say she mad this mic  famous along with her engineer Nathan Chapman that chose the mic for her.

I think this choice will be another difficult mic to guess, but its another one that has been mentioned on this list before.

Shakira Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


It may be surprising to learn that Shakira's vocals are often recorded on another mic that has appeared on this list already. I think that may speak to the microphones ability to translate a female vocal. According to engineer Serge Tsai this microphone has been used on some of Shakira's most famous vocals.

Moving to R&B. Let's see if this is continues the difficult track we've been on. Any surprises?

Usher "The Voice" shot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


Usher, like many of early 2000's hottest artists reached for this tube microphone for many of his vocals and if I'm not mistaken, he actually traveled with one of these mics to use on every session just in case the studio he was recording with didn't have one in their mic closet.

To take a total 180 from Usher, let's go back to a little more Rock N Roll.

Lynyrd Skynrd - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!

Lynyrd Skynrd

Sweet Home Alabama vocals were recorded on this microphone. It will be amazing to learn that one of classic rock's greatest recordings has something in common with Hip Hop history as well. That speaks to the versatility of this microphones uses.

Another 180 turn takes us into Famous R&B Diva territory. knowing her pristine vocals, this may be an easier one.

Mariah Carey Headshot - Name That Mic - Celebrity Microphone Trivia!


This microphone has been mentioned before and his very popular in the R&B community. Mariah's vocals are some of the most famous in R&B and Pop music and it won't be a huge surprise regarding the type of microphone quality her recording engineers reach for.

One of the most surprising and "Off the Wall" mic choices on the list, belongs to none other than the KING.

Michael Jackson  Headshot (early photo) - Name That Mic - Celevrity Microphone Trivia!


According to engineer Bruce Swedien, This microphone is very out of the ordinary for vocals on the level of Michael Jackson, if you know mics, once you see his choice you will be amazed I know that I was. To me the choice speaks to two things, the classicness of the mic and it's quality to record all different types of sources and the importance of microphones matching the source regardless of anything else and this choice relates to precisely that.


**Catch us in the forum to comment, let us know if there is anyone out there who got them all correct**



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