Been thinking about finally recording your own album, but you don’t know enough about recording a live band? Maybe you’re currently shopping around at different recording studios, and you want to know if their services are worth the prices. Do you want to answer the question, ‘What microphones should you use to record a live band’? We’ve got you covered with these microphone tips for live sound recording, specifically recording a live band!

At F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s audio production school, we know the microphones you need for successfully recording a live band. Today, let’s discuss overhead and room microphones, and condenser and vocal microphones.


Overhead and room microphones are great to record a live band. They’re used in live sound recording and live sound reproduction. These mics are great at picking up ambient sounds and transients, as well the overall blend of instruments.

They’re often used in drum recording to achieve a “stereo image” of the full drum kit. Overhead and room mics are also effective in orchestral recording, creating a balanced stereo recording of full orchestras. Below, you’ll find three of the best brands to choose from:

  • Audio Technica – Audio Technica is a highly regarded manufacturer of instrument microphones, offering robust design and reliability in all of their models. When you’re looking for overhead and room mics, you’ll most likely want to be picking from the AE, AT, and ATM models offered.
  • sE Microphones – sE is a relative newcomer to the music industry, but they offer high-quality microphones for affordable prices, something that’s highly relevant to the working musician.
  • Avantone Avantone is another smaller manufacturer, but they offer high aesthetic value with their microphones, and the fact that they are smaller can often translate into good customer service if you run into any issues.


Condenser and vocal microphones vary in complexity, but are known for their high level and ability to record a live band. These types of microphones can produce a high-quality audio signal, making them common for lab and studio work. Here are seven common brands:

  • Shure SM57 – This is the industry standard for live sound recording. The SM57 is an exceptional instrument microphone and vocal microphone, both versatile and rugged. You’re likely to see these a lot.
  • Shure SM81 – A unidirectional condenser. Very accurate at capturing sound from exact spots without picking up a ton of background noise and feedback.
  • Shure Beta 52 – This was originally designed for kick drums and big toms. It’s optimized to capture and deliver a lot of resounding bass tone.
  • Shure SM 58 – This is another legendary microphone. The SM58 is the industry standard for vocals, both in studio and out on the road.
  • Sennheiser 421 – This is another versatile microphone, Sennheiser’s equivalent to the SM57. This offers clear sound, and an additional EQ control on the bass.
  • Sennheiser 409 – No longer produced, but incredibly versatile, the 409 can be used for vocals, drums, and horns. It’s also very popular for guitar stacks.
  • Sennheiser 604 – Drum mic. Comes with a nicely engineered clip, so you can take it on and off of your toms and snares without having to spend a lot of time worrying about it.


A quality education from a good audio engineering school like F.I.R.S.T. Institute, one of the best audio engineering schools in Florida, can teach you the skills you need to succeed in all types of careers in audio production. There you’ll learn what you need to get your new audio production career off the ground, you’ll even learn your way around a studio and how to make your own music.

You won’t get our quality, hands on learning experience with passionate audio industry professionals, like Rich Ott, anywhere else! Check out the Recording Arts and Show Production program at the F.I.R.S.T. Institute audio production school today. You’re only months away from your dream career!