The Dynamic Microphone is a good all rounder microphone which can be used for vocals, recording drums as well as guitar amps. They are fairly low cost. Most common types are the Shure SM57 and the Shure SM58.
Overall a dynamic microphone is a sturdier and more reliable microphone option for those who play live, record their vocals or guitars at high levels and swing their microphones around due to the fact if you drop them they’ll be ok. They take an awful lot of noise before they start to distort, so for heavier guitars and more aggressive vocals in a live setting, this microphone is for you. The technical bit is that these microphones use a moving coil magnetic diaphragm to produce the audio signal and can handle high Sound Pressure Levels (SPL).
Ideal for recording vocals or acoustic guitars
Perfect for precision recording and capturing subtle nuances on pianos or acoustic guitars. It is very sensitive to breathing and “popping” and it is not suitable for high volume recording i.e. a guitar amp.
Condenser microphones are extremely sensitive and due to the fact they use a conductive diaphragm which vibrates with sound pressure and uses capacitance to create the audio signal, they are very susceptible to distorting at higher levels, so not ideal for recording guitar amps up close. You will often see a condenser microphone with a popper stopper or “pop shield” filter placed in front of it when someone is recording vocals with them. This is to stop excess air pressure vibrating the microphone. Due to the fact they are so sensitive, you get a far more natural and transparent recording with a condenser microphone.
Extremely sensitive microphone
Great for vocals, choirs, piano, strings, and woodwind
Perfect for recording multi-instruments in a room
Often described as a more vintage vibe
Can be quite expensive
Ribbon mics are for the recording connoisseur (and those with a little extra funds to spare), and often those who want a vintage sounding vibe to their recording. Ribbon mics have an uncanny ability to record an entire room beautifully, record higher notes associated with woodwind or strings accurately and relay more ambient sounds. These features make these microphones very popular with those who want to record a wide range of acoustic instruments professionally.
With a myriad of different microphones out there we highlight some of the best microphones by type and what you would use them to record.
DYNAMIC MICROPHONES FOR VOCALS AND AMPLIFIERS AND ALL PURPOSE RECORDING
The Shure SM57 microphone is an industry standard mic that is a must-have in your studio. They are extremely durable and are perfect for recording high volume and percussive instruments such as snare drums, guitar amplifiers and even vocals. It’s a safe bet that any album you own uses one of these very affordable microphones.
Another industry standard comes in the form of the Shure SM58 microphone. Ideal for touring musicians and those who record frequently, the mesh grille, windshield and sturdy construction ensure this mic will not only stand the test of time, but happily take any abuse you throw at it. Ideal for vocals, floor toms and even bass amplifiers.
CONDENSER MICROPHONES SPECIFICALLY FOR ACOUSTIC GUITARS AND VOCALS
The SE X1 S Condenser microphone is a professional grade condenser mic with an affordable price tag. It’s a no-nonsense microphone perfect for recording studio quality vocals and acoustic instruments, and it’s built to last too! The toughened steel grille protects the hand built large-diaphragm, gold-sputtered capsule and electronics inside. As far as condenser mics go, you’re best starting here.