Dynamic vs Condenser

G’Day All :wave:

Just a question regarding Mics. I seem to remember a lot of support for buying a large diaphragm condenser mic, and I believe JG tutorial on home setups supported this as a good general mic for vocal and acoustic guitar.

I noticed during Open Mic 17 that all but one person appeared to be using what appears to be dynamic mics. Just wondered what thoughts were on this? And if there is something I’m missing​:scream::grimacing:


I have both.

A condenser will pick up a room sound, which can sound great. They have some directionality to them but not a lot. They are good for recording acoustic guitar and/or vocals. Not great for electric, as they pick up the string noise. They are sensitive. They feedback easily which can cause a problem with live performances (without headphones).

Dynamic mics are directional, so good for vocals or for electric, or electric acoustics. They also are good for live as you can point them away from your speakers so don’t feedback as easily. They’re also less sensitive so harder to overwhelm/max out the input.

Condensers also can “pop” easily, if you use a pop filter it’s going to cover your face in a live performance.

Hope that explains it a bit.


Hi John,
Thanks yes. I’m heading towards a basic recording setup at home and having done plenty of reading had convinced myself that I should initially go with a Condenser if only buying one. Now I’m back on the fence again after paying attention to everyone else’s setup :thinking::roll_eyes:. Perhaps I’ll just buy both :rofl:.

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Craig, do you have a very quiet room / space that will be your ‘recording studio’.
If just a regular room in a house or flats with other people milling about or cars rumbling past on the street outside then a condenser is the way to go. A condensor could very easily pickup noise from outside.

I think you’ve got that backwards Richard, a condenser might pick up noise from outside and a dynamic won’t.

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Thanks JK - I wrote that pre-1st coffee of the morning haha.



I have used both depending what approach I am taking. If its acoustic guitar and vocals I will use my condenser and headphones. Condenser mic and monitors equal huge feedback. :scream:

If I play the acoustics which have onboard pre-amps though my TC Helicon PlayAcoustic which routes into the AI, or electric, I will use dynamic for vocals. I have only just got a pair of studio monitors and have yet to get the sweet spot volume and mic direction, where I am getting a clean sound. I went back to IEMs (In Ear Monitors) for the last OM. as I was getting some feedback using the studio monitors - I need to experiment regarding position.

In the early OMs (old forum) I was using a condenser with the electric and wondered why they sound so bad. As mentioned above condenser will pick up the unamped sound which might be ok for a quick grab and practice but not good for recording or “live” performance.

Hope that helps.


Thanks @Richard_close2u yes, it is pretty good even as is. I’ll be making some improvements later as it is a bit hollow sounding currently.

Thanks @TheMadman_tobyjenner that makes sense.

The setup initially is intended to be able to successfully record my Acoustic (via a Mic) my Electric and some vocal.
I am using a Katana MkII 50 for the electric along with a Boss RC1 that I have some fun with and use as my jam buddy :+1:. I also have a keyboard that I can run through the RC1 and Amp to add percussion or whatever.

It’s a learning process currently so feel free to jump in with any :scream::scream: “oh you can’t do it that way” type comments :rofl:.

Cheers again .

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@CD02 If you’re going to want to record both your acoustic and vocal via a single mic then realistically your only option is a condenser mic as that’s the only one that has a capture pattern that will easily capture both. However as others have said that comes with issues as well.

If you have an electro acoustic (that can be plugged into an AI or mixer) then you are probably better going down the dynamic route. In fact realistically you’ll need a dynamic microphone anyway as you’re not going to want to record your electric and vocal using a condenser mic. So you could be looking at buying two mics depending on your acoustic setup.

The other element you’ve not mentioned is your audio interface (AI) and what you plan to plug your mic etc. into. As it happens your Katana does have an interface built in (just attach the USB cable and attach to your pc/laptop and load correct drivers) but obviously that is just for the amp not vocals. So you could record your guitar without anything else.

You’ll also need a separate AI to plug your mics into though. There are loads of threads on here in relation to Home Recording so I’d dive into those to get some insight on what people use.


Thanks Rossco appreciate the input (pun :face_with_peeking_eye:).
I was planning on a Focusrite 2i2 for an AI.

I have already had the Katana connected directly to my pc and that was all good but am working towards a setup that is flexible for vocal, electric and acoustic (via a mic) and for recording as part of my learning journey (listening back, and adding other sound elements) and maybe even live performances (such as JG OM).

Thanks again, appreciate it :+1:

Yep Focusrite 2i2 is not a bad choice but I’d also look at a small mixer that has an AI built in. That will in the long run give you more flexibility to add other instruments. A small mixer with AI may not be significantly more in terms of cost than the 2i2

Thanks Jason, for the suggestion. Not expecting a full recommendation but do you have any such mixers that spring to mind as commonly popular as a starting place that I can research?. It’s something I can look at for sure👍

At the cheaper end of the market is Behringer Xenyx series…you need to make sure they do have a USB interface. Personally I’ve got a Allan&Heath Zed10FX (which includes fx such as reverb etc as well). You’ll find similar offerings from Yamaha, Mackie. Most will have 4 or 5 combi inputs that can accept instrument cable or mic xlr. They’ll probably also have a couple of stereo input for other devices. Here’s a convenient link on Gear4Music to have a look at >> USB Mixers | Gear4music

Much appreciated Mate, will do some reading​:+1::+1:

Behringer have got bad press in the past for quality but it really is ancient history. I’ve been using various models from the Xenyx range for around 8 years. My advice would not to go below the 802 models, as the “smaller” models in the range only have 1 XLR input. From the 802 upwards you get at least 2 XLRs. I’ve been using a Q1204USB for our OMs since they started and DAW recording and its a great little mixer. So great for “live” performances.

The only down side with the range is you cannot record separate tracks in a DAW, ie GTR and VOX simultaneously. The output is a mixed stereo signal. So for DAW use just record one track at a time. I have Behringer UMC1820 for simultaneously recording but there always seems to be a lag/latency when I’ve tried at the OM but great for multi track recording.

You won’t be needing 18 inputs but the UMC202 and 204 would give you an AI similar to the Scarlet. I have not checked but would think the Behringer’s would be cheaper. Next up is the UMC404 that has 4 not 2 inputs.

All based on my own experience and I am no expert, so take the above with a pinch of salt !



It all helps Toby, I am prone to paralysis by analysis at times because I tend to do so much research before jumping in but all the information offered on here is greatly received and food for thought. It all helps​:+1::thinking: thanks.

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In all fairness @TheMadman_tobyjenner that limitation on recording separate tracks is pretty common (I’m pretty sure mine is the same even though is significantly more pricey than the Behringer). In fact it’s probably the way you want to go when recording as you want to build the instrument and vocal tracks up…so you record your drums/bassline in your DAW, arm your next track for recording in your DAW and the track you just recorded to play…then you record the next track and so on.

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Yes they are. They’re also, apparently,. slightly better than the Focusrite equivalent.




Most mixers are, as you say, like this. Usually the USB is a stereo mix. Part of this is the limitation of the internal architecture of typical analogue mixers.

More advanced digital mixers, like the Behringer XR18, have a highly flexible matrix bus architecture which allows for a lot more buses and routing options.

The XR18 has 18 in and out on the USB, and you can mix any of the physical inputs down to any input channel (or pair of channels). You can also mix and output USB channel to any output bus, or even treat USB outs as if they were physical inputs and mix them with physical input and send them back to the PC on a different channel (or channel pair).

It’s basically useable as either an 18/18 AI, or a standalone 18 channel mixer, or a combination of both.

It is, however, a lot more expensive than the analogue equivalent, is more complex to use, and lacks physical faders, as you are expected to use a tablet or PC to control it.




Wow there were only a couple messages here yesterday on this. I wanted to ask what advice anyone has for buying a microphone for recording. I have a condenser microphone but it is really terrible and more so meant for pod casts recordings. I don’t know what to buy and there’s so many choices out there. I’ll read through these recent messages and see if it answers my question.

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