What Type of Mic Should I Use? A Quick Guide

Tone Tips   |   January 16, 2023

posted by: Tone Tailors

What type of mic should I use? Or better yet, what’s the difference?!

When it comes to choosing a microphone for recording or live performances, there are three main types to consider: dynamic, condenser, and ribbon. Each type has its own unique characteristics and benefits, so it’s important to understand the differences between them in order to choose the right microphone for your needs.

Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic microphones are the most common type of microphone and are often used for live performances. They are known for their durability and ability to handle high sound pressure levels, making them ideal for use with loud instruments such as electric guitars and drums. Shure makes two of the most recognizable dynamic mics in the world with their SM-58 and SM-57. Dynamic microphones are also relatively inexpensive, making them a good choice for beginners or those on a tight budget.

what type of mic should I use
The Shure SM-58 w. a switch – one of the most legendary mics to ever hit the stage.

Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones, on the other hand, are known for their excellent sensitivity and ability to capture fine details in sound. They are often used in recording studios for recording vocals, acoustic instruments, and other sources that require a high level of detail and clarity. Because of their high sensitivity, condenser microphones require an external power source, either through a battery or an external phantom power supply.

what type of mic should I use

Ribbon Microphones

Ribbon microphones are a type of dynamic microphone that uses a thin strip of metal (the ribbon) to produce sound. They are known for their warm, smooth sound and are often used for recording vocals and acoustic instruments. You’ll commonly see them used as overhead mics for a drum set. Ribbon microphones are less common and tend to be more expensive than other types, but they can provide a unique and high-quality sound.

What type of mic should I use

Still Wondering “What Type of Mic Should I Use?”

Dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphones each have their own unique characteristics and benefits. Most studios end up having a mixture of all three for different applications. Ultimately, the best type of microphone for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you have questions about what mic is right for you—call us (717-553-5199) or come into the shop to talk with one of our team members who can help point you in the right direction!

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