Crystal Flavolian
A question for you more experienced recordists -

In general, when is it better to use a large diaphragm condenser mic, and when is it better to use a small diaphram one, and when does it not make any diff? I'm on the cheap here, so specifically, I am talking about SP B1's vs C4's. I am well aware that there are better mic's but these are what I have at the moment.


Crystal Flavolian
boingoman said:
I believe there is a sticky at the top of the forum that goes into this in some detail. :D

Yes, but it's 858 posts long and addresses multitudes of questions. Shirley there's a more succinct rule of thumb...


Master Baiter
Well, I am certainly no experienced recordist. But my understanding is, in general, the more "transparent", less "colored", more "natural" the sound you want, go with a smaller diaphragmed mic. The more you want to change the sound, or make the recorded sound complement or "improve" the original sound, go with an appropriate LDC.

In general (very general), instruments = SDC
Voice = LDC

SDC's in general have higher self noise, because of the lower signal output of the smaller area = lower S/N ratio. So if you're recording a very quiet source, you may be better off noise-wise with a LDC.

Here's a plot of mic differences - several years old. I don't know if he's updated it. I don't agree with the names of the axes or their positions, but it's a good start.


Pro Microphone Design
crazydoc said:
Hey, wasn't that the page that started this?

and this
and turned out to be not the official Gefell site.

Yeah, I know, and sincerely yours was part of that.

I was actually thinking of that posting the link, but since the question was more generic and the link gives the answer in a nice condenced form (besides of that glitch, which furthermore, concerns just some specific cases), I decided not to point it out.


Flailing up a storm.
I wonder why there aren't more inputs of the large diameter dynamic in these discussions as well. I just got a EV RE27 and I find it to have the same positive colouring characteristics that are looked for in lots of LDCs, and the fexibilty to help deal with ambiant noise and ugly rooms, as well as being able to serve double duty on things like amp micing and I've herad (but have not tested myself) that these kinds of mics do a pretty good job with bass drum or the like as well.

Is it that most people are enamoured with the condensor mic, lack of experience with these nice LDD mics, or are there known limitation that I am not aware of? Personally, i am ready to use the RE27 for tons of stuff.


Richard Monroe

Well-known member
A lot of times, I think of a SD mic as the little peep hole in your motel door. It sees big, because it is small. If I'm trying to capture something that is BIG, like a choir or a grand piano, I will use a SD (or a pair). If I'm trying to capture something that is mostly coming from one place (vocals, brass), I'll use an LD. Guitar is somewhere in between, and either one can work well. If you only get one or the other, I would select an LD. I'd rather play an acoustic into an LD than sing into a SD.-Richie


Master Baiter
daav said:
I wonder why there aren't more inputs of the large diameter dynamic in these discussions as well.
Price. I can take a chance on a $100 mic, but $500 is pretty hefty for most home recordists. But you're right - it makes more sense to have a $500 mic that is excellent for a few uses, than a bunch of mediocre $100 mics that don't excell at anything.