Thursday, June 9, 2011


Ever heard self proclaimed “audio files” that tell you which mic to use? Siting specs, and talking about it and how great it is, or maybe the musician shows up with their mic and say they have to use it because it makes their “vocals sound right in the house’ (which is odd because they don’t spend much time listening to the house mix). Maybe you have had discussions or arguments about condensers vs. dynamic mics. The only thing I’m going to state factually, is that anyone who says either mic type is the answer in any scenario… knows nothing about it.

Lets start in on dynamic mics; definitely the most common mic, Sm 58, which is among the dynamic microphone legends. I’m not going to get in to polar patterns today. For this discussion we’re going to compare 2 common mics, the Sm 58 (dynamic) and the Beta 87 (condenser).

The Sm 58 is know of as the die “really ” hard vocal mic, standard from bars to arenas. It can be dropped and gotten wet, and will still works and sound ok for most everyone you put through it. It is also easy to get really, really, really loud in a wedge, which sometimes is exactly what is called for. However, it has some down falls. It’s not really hot as far as gain goes, its not very bright and it has a lot of proximity ( low build up as you get closer to it).

The Beta 87 is a condenser mic and it has some great features. It has really hot gain, is really bright and has very little proximity compared to the Sm 58, but…. it is very delicate. It can’t handle water or dropping and because of its Eq and polar pattern it cannot get anywhere near as loud in a wedge as a Sm 58.

If you want to learn some more in depth specs on the Sm 58 and the Beta 87 check out these links

Sm 58

Beta 87

So there should not be an all or nothing answer… it really comes down to application. If you have a loud rock stage with loud wedges or if you have a quieter acoustic stage with less demanding wedge requirements and levels or maybe IEM’s …

So once again I leave you with no real answers just more thoughts.

Want some more in depth answers on the subject ,message me !!

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