The Music Corner: Microphones

Casey White, Staff Writer

Hey everyone! This week, I’ll be talking about the three main types of mics and which are the best for what you want to do. When researching mics, you need to look for a variety of things such as shape, capture rate, whether it condenses what it hears, and sound quality/the sound it produces. 

First off, we have the one that sort of looks like a bubble on a stick.

These mics are typically used for live performances because of their unique capture rate with sound. This model of mics (Shure SM58) is one of the most popular mics used for this exact reason. Its unique resistance to feedback and shape makes it a unique mic that’s perfect for holding while on stage. 


Second, we have the more rectangular-shaped mic aka the condenser.

These mics are used for recording vocals for songs. They are also good for recording high frequencies. Condenser mics are more responsive to certain frequencies and are a better version of studio mics. Because of their overall positive reputation, condenser mics are a go-to studio recording mic.



Third, we have dynamic mics. 

These are designed to be better for podcasts, and talking vocals. These are typically used by YouTubers and video editors. This can also be used for louder vocals, such as screamo, punk, or alt because it handles loud sounds well. 

Each of these mics has their own unique purpose and there are so many more to note as well. 

In all honesty, mics can be really expensive, and specific ones can be hard to find. An online shop I highly recommend is Sweetwater. You can buy all sorts of music-related things such as instruments, mics, and tools needed to set up your first self-made studio. That’s actually where I got all my gear! They’re relatively cheaper than most stores, and their products are reliable and are in good condition when shipped. Here’s a link that’s really useful when it comes to researching mics: (you have to scroll down a bit to find the actual article on mics).

Also, here’s some of the best mics for recording vocals as of 2021 ( ): Shure SM58 (live mic), Rode NT1A (condenser), Shure SM7B (dynamic), Sennheiser MD421 (dynamic), Rode NTK (tube mic… used for more vintage sounding vocals), and finally we have the Neumann TLM 102 (used for a more “classically” sounding vocal). 

All of these mics are fairly expensive, but all are amazing mics (the best in the business if you ask most) and are under $700, which is a huge deal. I’ve seen mics run as expensive as thousands of dollars. There are so many mic options, each unique to the exact sound that you’d like your vocals to sound like. 

Of course, if you can’t afford a professional mic, you can always buy one of the cheaper karaoke machine mics, and use effects on the vocals to make them sound how you’d like them to sound. There are always backup options in the music industry!! Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean worse quality. In fact, some people buy cheaper guitars and mics just for the sound it gives off when recording. I recommend trying out lots of different types of mics and seeing which one works best for you!