If you could only have ONE mic....

If you could only have one type of mic, which brand/model would it be? Assume that you can have more than 1, but it has to be the same brand and model.

I have a mic in mind, but would like to see others’ thoughts first.


Shure Beta 57

Shure SM7B

Totally agree!

2nd choice: 58’


I’d be screwed.
Well maybe I could record guitar instrumentals, get great guitar tones, but if I did a song with vocals they’d sound mediocre.

Or, I could keep a great vocal mic, and record guitars direct and use amp simulator software.

Using one mic that tries to be all purpose but does a mediocre job at vocals, guitars, acoustic instruments and sometimes drums is not an option I’d want to go with.

Most of the stuff i do is acoustic (mainly remote recordings of wind ensembles, jazz bands, small ensembles, choirs, etc…). For me it would be a Schoeps cmc6 with an mk5 capsule. Capable of omni and cardioid. This is my most used mic. Very versatile and sounds great.


I couldn’t do it. Sometimes I’m recording classical ensembles, and sometimes I’m close-recording a rock drum set or electric guitar. It’s essential to have SDC’s for classical ensembles, but I want my SM57 for a snare or a guitar amp. Maybe someone would say a ribbon mic could do both, I have no experience with one of those.

If you can’t make a 57 sound good from soup to nuts. Nothing will help you.

Townsend Labs Sphere L22 and you can have all classics and it’s stereo!!!



I might be able to record a guitar amp or snare with an SDC mic, but I would never get away with recording an orchestra with SM57’s.

beta 57 for me too.

Well, if you have 1 mic. And only 1 mic. Placement will be paramount. And I bet with proper placement of that cardioid 57, you could get an adequate recording.

Are you saying I have to record the orchestra with only one mic? Calling on Tommy Boy to clarify the rules! If we’re recording the orchestra in mono, it’s really pointless. Would sound like the car audio system in a 1957 Chevy Bel Air.

Look. I’m just playing along with the original post. It doesn’t say anything about ideal situations…

Can have more than one mic, but must be the same brand/model. I can record an orchestra with 2 schoeps mk5s.

Shure SM7B

Yeah, but having two sets of capsules, you can do a lot with that. I think I could manage to record guitar, drums, violins, horns, woodwinds, as well as overheads, room, orchestra mains, if you let me switch capsules! But I admit I can’t say how that would work for voice. Fun discussion. I really want dynamic mics for guitar amp, snare, kick and voice!

Difficult choice between an SM57 or an Austrian Audio OC-818 as it handles stupid SPLs, the cap can be split for limited stereo use and it sounds great on everything… no i don’t work for them :wink:

SM57 into a Neve Preamp sounds great.
A nice multipattern LDC would be more versatile for the stuff I do currently.