Placing the microphone flush with the reflective boundary ensures that those reflections can no longer interfere with the direct sound, and the sound quality improves as a result. Most boundary layer (or PZM) mics have a relatively small housing or base plate, purely for practical reasons.
Dynamic microphones come in many shapes and sizes – some with large diaphragms, others small. The size and design of the dynamic element plays a big role in how the mic sounds. In general, the larger the diaphragm, the smoother and deeper the sound.
Small diaphragm condenser microphones with a decent signal-to-noise ratio only became feasible when dedicated microphone tubes and low noise transistors became available in the 1950s and 60s. To this day, the main technical advantage of large diaphragm condenser microphones is their noise performance.
Multi-pattern mics offer exceedingly specific sound isolation that will allow you to tailor the mic to the sound source or even the vocal style of the singer. They can be used to reduce feedback, control bleed in live recordings, and create sonic images using the full spectrum of stereo-miking techniques.
The Neumann TLM 102 is a compact, large-diaphragm studio microphone that offers legendary Neumann sound at an affordable price. It boasts a maximum sound pressure level of 144 dB, which permits the recording of percussion, drums, amps and other very loud sound sources.
A ribbon microphone, also known as a ribbon velocity microphone, is a type of microphone that uses a thin aluminum, duraluminum or nanofilm of electrically conductive ribbon placed between the poles of a magnet to produce a voltage by electromagnetic induction.
While most would understandably be interested in the NTK as a vocal mic, and it is a good one, it makes a great all-around mic for many purposes. Recently I used one on a bass guitar cabinet. After trying several other high quality dynamic and condenser mics first the NTK was the one that brought the proper balance of articulation, low end, and warmth to the track.
The MD 421 II continues the tradition of the MD 421, which has been one of Sennheiser's most popular dynamic mics for over 35 years. The large diaphragm, dynamic element handles high sound pressure levels, making it a natural for recording guitars and drums.
The legendary Shure SM58 vocal microphone is designed for professional vocal use in live performance, sound reinforcement, and studio recording. Its tailored vocal response for sound is a world standard for singing or speech. A highly effective, built-in spherical filter minimizes wind and breath "pop" noise.
The Neumann KM 184 is one of the best small diaphragm condenser microphones which is specifically designed for your overhead drum miking. The Neumann sits on the on the higher price point in this guide (they’re the luxury brand for mics — for a reason, of course), so if your pockets are deep you should definitely look into investing in this miniature mic.
The top 10 best USB microphones Below is our list of best USB microphones in the market today. If you’re looking for a microphone in a more traditional sense, read our 10 best microphones for vocals as some of those may appeal to you as well (all are condenser, XLR connected to phantom power mics).