Comparing Microphones: Dynamic, Ribbon, and Large Diaphragm Condenser


The art of recording guitar revolves heavily around the choice of microphone. In this video, our resident guitar recording guru Mark Roberts compares three industry-standard microphones: the dynamic Shure SM57, the ribbon Roya 121, and the large diaphragm condenser Neumann U87.

Dynamic Microphone - Shure SM57

The dynamic microphone is known for its robustness and ability to handle high sound pressure levels. The Shure SM57, in particular, is favoured for close-mic'ing of instruments and live performances.


Durable and versatile

Ideal for loud sound sources


Ribbon Microphone - Roya 121

Ribbon microphones are known for their natural, smooth sound, often chosen for delicate audio capturing like vocals and string instruments.


Natural and warm sound

Excellent for studio applications

Captures subtle nuances

 Large Diaphragm Condenser - Neumann U87

The Neumann U87 is an industry favorite when it comes to large diaphragm condensers. It's suitable for a wide range of recording applications, delivering crisp and detailed sound.


Highly sensitive

Great for vocals and acoustic instruments

Offers a broad frequency response


Comparison and Considerations

All three microphones offer unique characteristics suitable for different applications. Listening to their differences will help you understand the tone and characteristics of each. Here's what to consider:

Tonal Quality: Assess the brightness, warmth, and texture.

Application: Consider the source and context of your recording.

Budget and Needs: Understand your project requirements.

Remember, you can achieve a great guitar sound with any of these microphones, but understanding their differences will help you choose the perfect mic for your specific needs.