I find it rather difficult to find a productive place online to discuss studio-grade microphones. There are many forums on the internet where the topic is discussed, but unfortunately I find most of the other message-boards/sites that focus on microphones to be toxic and unhelpful. There seem to be many threads here on lines focused on field recording, electret microphones, hydrophones and other specialized microphones and techniques, but I hope this thread can serve as a place to discuss capturing sound with microphones in a more traditional studio setting.
Microphones are a rather recent obsession of mine. I have a small collection and look forward to sharing my opinion on each. In the (failed?) attempt to keep this post from getting obnoxiously long and in the spirit of inviting others to share their own thoughts, I will only touch on my favorite pair of microphones for now –
I have a pair of Telefunken M60’s small diaphragm condenser (SDC) mics with cardioid capsules that I absolutely adore. They sound balanced, natural and slightly vintage. When used as a pair, their stereo image is impressive. When used alone, they shine on vocals, capturing a warm low end and intimacy I have never heard with another SDC. In fact, I always go for one before grabbing my more expensive large diaphragm condenser (LDC). I mostly use the M60s for recording acoustic guitar, vocals and as room mics but they shine on almost everything. I hope to pickup a pair of omni capsules soon. The only issue with the cardioid capsules is that they are exceptionally sensitive to humidity (both indoors and outdoors). Humidity has a detrimental effect on their noise floor, which on a dry day is otherwise non-existent. I now store them in a case with a silica packet and always use the provided wind-muffs on humid days. For the most part, these steps have solved the problem, but I still would not recommend these capsules for field recording, regular outdoor use, or extremely humid environments. I hope the omni capsules do not suffer from the same flaw (will report back), but even so, the humidity issue is a minor inconvenience when considering how sublime these microphones sound.
What are your favorite microphones for the studio?