everything I need to know, afraid to ask

ok, I know this has been a subject of threads and other boards, but could someone please give me the comparison list of dynamic vs condenser mics…in one reply.

I’m just looking for an effective, inexpensive mic (if I could buy one with “Shure” on it then I do know I would not need to post this) for mainly vocals and maybe recording an acoustic guitar. I already have an Audio Teknica (dymanic?) mic that I’m not too happy about. I picked it up a blowout-music-store-sale last year.

I’m using the mic in conjunction with a Behringer UB 1002 mixing console which I understand is a good, dependable, most-bang-for-buck type of mixing device (same sale!).

(I’ll start reading all the threads on mic placement next in hopes my question will be answered.)


You can get an sm57 for 50-70 dollars US on Ebay. That too much? ???

Here is a bit of useful information:



In my experience, the best low-cost vocal dynamic mic would be the Shure SM-58. The best condenser would be the Rode NT1A.

The SM-58 is often used as the reference to beat in many microphone reviews. It is one of those no-brainer decisions. Usual new price is $99.

The NT1A has received many professional reviews that say they found much to like and nothing at all to dislike about the mic. It can be found new for about $180 online.

I regularly use my NT1A to record vocals and am very pleased with it.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: for $60, you just can’t beat the MXL-990 for vocals. Rocks my socks. It’ll do a fair job on acoustic guitar, too. If you’ve got phantom power (which I think you do, on your mixer), it’s a great buy.

I have two Shure SM86’s that are condenser mics and are great for vocals (very warm sound, even for a woman), they will do great with accoustic instruments as well. I found mine on Ebay for right around $90.00 with shipping just a tad over $100. I am running them through a Tascam US122, until I find something mucho better.

I’m with vivona on this one, although if you get the 57 rather than the 58, you won’t have to deal with issues concerning the internal pop screen when recording something other than vocals, and you can make a better pop screen out of a stocking and a coat hanger to stick in front of the 57 for recording vocals. :)

hmmmm $50 to $70 on e-bay? is that all? and the Canadian dollar is doing well too!!!

thanks for replies, what about condenser vs. dynamic, cardioid, omni-directional, large diaghragm, etc. etc. etc. (all those other terms).

There are no short answers to those questions. You might find this useful:

The Microphone Book by John Eargle