Since the turn of the millennium the indie scene has rediscovered the sonic and percussive possibilities of the human voice and body — choral and a Capella parts are back in fashion, together with hand claps, finger snaps, foot stomping etc etc.

When recording a group of people you may want to use a condenser microphone with a switchable “omni” pattern, rather than your regular mic — which in all likelihood will have a fixed cardioid or hypercardioid pattern. This is because the latter, besides being directional, also suffers from “proximity effect”, a phenomenon that increasingly cuts low frequencies the farther from the mic the sound source is. Since you can’t physically fit a choir (or several pairs of hands clapping) all close to a microphone, you need a mic that can give you balanced low frequencies even when the sound source is far – and this is exactly what the “omni” pattern does, but not only: mics using that configuration are omni-directional (hence the name!), so you can place musicians all around them, not just on one side.

If you are not sure how to find a mic with the  “Omni” option, look for a switch with a symble similar to the one below – yep, it’s a circle, which visualizes the fact that the microphone picks up sounds equally from all 360 degrees.

600px Polar pattern omnidirectional