In a live situation it is typically preferred to use dynamic microphones. Condenser microphones are very sensitive and most often cause feedback issues as they pick up EVERYTHING, not just the intended sound source. There are some exceptions as some manufacturers provide low-cut and high-pass filters on their condensers to try to quell problem frequencies, but typically an artist can expect to see dynamic microphones in use in a venue’s PA system.
Samson brings a solid line of vocal microphones to the table, with the best value being the Samson Q8. The Q8 looks similar to a Shure SM58 and sits at the same price point, but ups the ante with a super-cardioid pattern. In simple terms, that means the mic picks up signal from wider area in front of this mic. Also, the output signal is noticeably louder than other microphones in the price range due to the neodymium capsule. This is great because instead of worrying about whether the mic is working well or if it’s close enough, a vocalist can instead concentrate on the quality of the performance.
Another great vocal mic is the ND767A by Electro-Voice. The 767 sports a super-cardioid pattern and an extremely high frequency response. The initial quality of its output is extremely high and about the closest a dynamic mic can come to matching the quality of a true condenser in the price range.
The Shure SM57 directional instrument mic by Shure a go-to for live situations. In a pinch you can even use the 57 as a vocal mic, which speaks to its versatility on stage. You can use an SM57 on guitar cabs, acoustic guitars, snares, hi hats, brass, woodwinds, and the list goes on.
An alternative to the SM57 is the i5 by Audix. Not only does the i5 compete with the SM57 in sound quality and versatility at the same price point, it is backed by the near-legendary build quality that has made Audix a top contender in the current mic market.
As of late, Sennheiser is also producing great microphones in the same price range as Shure and they are definitely worth a look. The Sennheiser E835 vocal mic sits at the same price as the SM58. Not only do you get good build quality like with Shure, but the initial sound quality of the mic tends to be higher. This make it easier for a live engineer to mix down, which means it will sound better to the audience and should sound better in the monitor mix. Another great mic is the Sennheiser E609, which is primarily used to mic guitar cabinets. Unlike the SM57 which comes with a clip and can attach to any mic stand, the E609 is typically hung over the over the top of a cab and placed in front of the speaker. While not as versatile as the SM57 due to the nature of how it is placed, the E609 is a staple because it provides accurate guitar tone. This is very important because tone varies between every guitar player, and no guitar player wants their signature sound colored in the mix!
These are only a couple of examples of great dynamic microphones. There are tons of high quality products available every day at your favorite Sam Ash store. See an associate for details, or log on to samash.com for more info!