I've never purchased a mic before, but I'm a sound design student at scad and I'm trying to build a sound library of my own.

I want to record mostly "real World" sounds such as doors, locks, metals, wood, cloth, animals etc. I know it's good to have multiple mics for different things, but I'm only buying one mic so I want it to sound good for many things.

I'm not trying to record ambiences or anything. I was looking at a Sennheiser 416 and an MKH 8060 but I'm hesitant because that seems to be used for mostly dialogue work and I'm not really trying to do that.

I was wondering if there was a good mic for building a library for anything from loud or very soft sounds, to high frequency heavy sounds, or low frequency heavy sounds.

This would be mostly used for mono hard fxs.

My price range is $1000-$1200. If there is something cheaper, I'd be interested in that as well.

4 Answers 4


My personal recommendation is to get a couple of mics so you have options that are task specific. A solid dynamic mic like the Sure sm57 is an industry standard for capturing everything from snare drums, to guitar amps, to bass amps. The advantage of a dynamic mic is the ability to capture sounds at high SPL that would destroy a condenser style mic. However for more nuanced and relatively quieter sounds a large diaphragm condenser mic will do wonders. A mic like the Rhode NT1-A is great for capturing higher frequency sounds as well as having a flatter response.

You then also have options for different techniques to enhance foley effects. You can use either mic independently or in combination to enhance certain characteristics of a sound. In example for a closing door use the dynamic near the latch to catch the heavy impact of the door hitting and the latch snapping into place. The condenser could be used at the same time to listen to the hinges or some other area and be blended with the other signal to add a different feel to the sound.


Shure SM58 or the Electrovoice RE20

  • I don't think either of those have s/n ratio, sensitivity or pickup patterns that you want to capture the sounds he's looking to record
    – coaxmw
    Jun 21, 2015 at 23:59
  • I would prefer the sm 57 from Sure for a dynamic mic and a Rhode NT1-A for a large diaphragm condenser. Those two mics plus a solid interface would make a ton of real world applications open up.
    – skids89
    Jun 23, 2015 at 17:29

A 416 or one of the similar rode mics can be great for capturing sounds. They have tight polar patterns so you'll get a lot if whatever the mic is pointing at and good rejection of whatever is off axis.


Sennheiser shotgun microphones are the most commonly used for recording sound effects in studio or on location. The 416 is a really goo all around microphone that works well for dialogue an sound effects, however I would suggest that you purchase the MKH 8060, however the ME66 might serve you well too and it's about half the price.

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