I have to admit that when I saw the title of an article by Joe Gilder called “3 Reasons to Use a Dynamic Mic on Vocals,” my hackles went up a little. He was referring not to live performance, but to studio recording of vocals. There is a rule-of-thumb that you should always use a condenser mic, preferably a large diaphragm condenser mic, when recording vocals in the studio. LDCs are more sensitive and so pick up a lot of the subltle details of the complex human voice.
But when I saw the 3 reasons why you might consider using a dynamic mic to record vocals instead of an LDC, I found myself nodding my head. They were all very good reasons.
1. Less trouble with plosives – I do spend a LOT of time and effort to rid my condenser-recorded vocals of p-pops.
2. Less room noise – Since dynamics are less sensitive, they pick up less ambient noise.
3. Less de-essing needed – Again, since LDCs are more sensitive across the board, if a particular vocalist has hot “esses” (Ss?), they will be accentuated in the recording and likely require de-essing in editing.
All good points. We should remind ourselves, in all facets of life, not to doggedly stick to rules-of-thumb. A better solution can often be found by breaking the rules. Though if I had to use a dynamic mic on vocals, I’d rather use something like an Electro-Voice RE20 over a Shure SM58.
Read Joe’s full article here: