Don Hosek - Microphones

It's not that long ago that I figured a mic was a mic and that was the end of it. In a high school band I played in, we once tried to handle our vocal micing with a bizarre device manufactured from a cannibalized telephone.

I think I'm beyond that now.

This is a snapshot of my mic collection at the moment. I'm not quite at the U47 stage (that can wait until after I've built a proper home studio), but what I have handles most of my current needs.

Audio-Technica AT3528

I have a pair of these small-diaphragm condensers which I bought as multi-purpose mics. Their first use was for live reinforcement of a small choir for a church gig. I've since used them as percussion overheads and for recording acoustic guitar, violin and double bass. As a vocal mic it works on some voices. I like it for my own voice, but I've found that with some other singers, it dramatically emphasizes their plosives.

Audio-Technica ATM41HE

I have a pair of these which I managed to pick up very cheaply. I really don't much care for these and I may well put them up on E-bay and use the funds towards buying more SM58s and SM57s. In theory, these mics should be equivalent to the Shure Beta58s with their hypercardiod response pattern, but the sound quality just isn't there. I hesitate to think about what AT's lower end mics sound like.

Shure SM57

A classic for a reason. Solidly constructed with good responsiveness. This is one of my standards for recording piano, amps and some vocals. Except for the casing, the SM57 is virually identical to the SM58 and they really can be used interchangeably. Some people prefer SM57s for vocals when using the house mics because they'll be less likely to have acquired years of odors from beer, halitosis, vomit, etc.

Shure SM58

Another classic for a reason. This is my standard vocal mic for most singers. I once got very good results recording drums hanging a pair of these over the kit. Here's a real audio of one song from that session.


The Groove-Pak stands (house brand from Sam Ash) are surprisingly good stands. I also have a pair of Ultra stands and a pair of On Stage stands. One of these is really crappy and the other isn't, but I can never remember which is which.