“I plan to buy myself a microphone. What kind do you recommend for me?” Well, what are you going to use it for? If you plan to use your new mic on the stage for amplification you need to check out “dynamic-cardioid” mics, such as the Shure SM58 or the Shure Beta 58A. These are two of the most popular and effective stage mics available, but there are many more. Just go to your music store and ask about “dynamic-cardioid” mics.
These mics are specifically designed for stage work. They have excellent sound, cause little feedback from speakers and are very tough (resistant to damage), and they usually run between $100 and $300. (The Shure SM58 costs $100. or less, and is excellent for stage work.)
Most of the mics I’m discussing can also be found on Ebay at reduced prices.
If you plan to use your mic just for recording you’d be wise to look at “condenser” mics such as the Rode NTG-2 or the AKG C 2000 B. These are just two popular, but inexpensive mics made specifically for recording. This type of mic isn’t good for stage work because their sensitivity causes a lot of feedback and noise as you move around. Condenser mics usually cost more than most dynamic-cardioid mics, but you can purchase very good ones for less than $300. Again, check Ebay.
If you plan to buy a condenser mic for recording be aware that they require a separate power supply not always found on amplifiers and recorders. Be sure to get one if needed. A basic power supply shouldn’t cost more than $20-40 dollars. Your mixing board or recorder may have one built in. It would be labeled “phantom power.”
Some dynamic-cardioid mics are good for both recording and performance. Ask your dealer for a recommendation.
There are hundreds of mics available which fit these two categories. Ask your store clerk to recommend one. Unless you are a serious professional you needn’t spend more than $300. on either type of mic. (Condenser mics can cost as much as $5000.) Prices for mics usually aren’t fixed, so check around (including the web) for the best prices.
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