With festival season fast approaching, bands and musicians all over the world will be taking advantage of the summer weather, by taking to stage to entertain music lovers outdoors.
Whether you're a budding star, or already on top-billing, you'll need a microphone that's right for the job.
We put the question out to the industry too find the perfect microphone for the job – in no particular order, here's our top three.
Model: KSM8 Dualdyne
Suitable for: Live sound vocals, broadcast vocals
Used By? Blossoms, Biffy Clyro, Hozier, Jennifer Lopez, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Laura Mvula, Panic at the Disco, St Vincent, The 1975 and many more
Sell it to us: In 1939, Shure developed the Unidyne cartridge, which became the world’s first single-element unidirectional microphone. In 1966, Shure took the Unidyne principle even further in the Unidyne III to create the SM58, which featured a unique pneumatic shock-mount system.
In the 21st century, Shure continues to set the bar for innovative new microphone tech. The KSM8 Dualdyne is the world’s first dual diaphragm dynamic handheld microphone (a ground-breaking feat of engineering that essentially reverses the flow of a dynamic mic). Just like Unidyne in 1939, the Dualdyne is a major leap in microphone technology. At the heart of KSM8 is a new-to-the-world cartridge design featuring two ultra-thin diaphragms and reverse airflow. The result is a mic with virtually no proximity effect, exceptional off-axis rejection, and unprecedented vocal clarity with minimal need for EQ and processing.
Model: Digital 6000 Series
Suitable for: Any live audio productions
Used by: Recent examples include at the Brit Awards 2018 (Stormzy, Rita Ora); Superbowl (Pink); Robbie Williams, the list goes on
Sell it to us: The continuing reduction in RF spectrum means that companies are looking into systems which offer more flexibility on spectrum usage. Digital 6000, Sennheiser’s newest addition to its professional wireless range, waves goodbye to past limitations and is straightforward to use, more efficient regarding frequency space and integrates smarter RF technology.
Digital 6000 has intermodulation-free design which, through its equidistant frequency grid, assures excellent spectral efficiency and the simplest frequency configuration– even in the toughest frequency environments - while retaining maximum transmission performance at all times. Error correction and audio error masking recognize and fix problems long before they even become audible.
In short: more channels, maximum transmission performance at all times and hence outstanding signal stability for any size of stage and every production.
Price: Dependant upon product variant.
Model: Solo (pictured above)
Suitable for: live vocals sung or spoken, indoor & outdoor venues, studio work, guitar amps, snare, toms, kick drum, saxophone
Sell it to us: The Solo, launched in summer 2017, is a solidly built dynamic microphone that uses some of the same technology and design elements as Sontronics’ other high-end microphones, and is the only dynamic microphone to ever have been fully designed, developed and manufactured in the UK.
The SOLO has an extremely tight supercardioid pattern and gives excellent results on live vocals, guitar amps and drums, plus it works just as well in the studio as it does on stage.
With superb off-axis rejection and requiring no EQ, the Sontronics SOLO is very easy to set up and use, whether you're a live sound engineer, a gigging vocalist with your own PA or a guitarist recording amps in your home set-up.
Solo has all the presence and depth you need to cut through a mix without overpowering, it requires no EQ and regularly outperforms (according to users and reviewers alike) other dynamic mics that cost four or five times the price!
Price: current street price £99 including VAT (comes with mic clip and zip-up storage pouch)
Suitable for: Live vocals
Used by: Bryan Ferry, Elton John, Rudimental, Enter Shikari and more
Sell it to us: The AE6100 handheld dynamic is designed to be a rugged, great-sounding vocal mic for live use and is from Audio-Technica’s Artist Elite series – the company’s flagship live line-up. Its high output and fast transient response deliver clarity and presence in a live mix, while its hypercardioid pickup pattern ensures the AE6100 gives excellent isolation and feedback rejection – perfect for loud stages in particular.
An internal shockmount is employed to minimise handling noise and the mic ships with an Audio-Technica Quiet-Flex stand clamp so the mic can be repositioned without mechanical noise.
Price: £193 RRP