Microphones are like shoes: you might be able to get away with just having one, but it’s likely that you’ll want more than that. (Actually, you’d need a pair of shoes rather than just one, but you understand the point we’re trying to make.)
If you are looking for a new mic, the options open to you are vast. As you might expect, 2017 has heralded the arrival of a wide range of new products that can be used to record all manner of different material, and we asked you to vote for your pick of the bunch. Now it's time to bring you the results...
The MusicRadar Best in music tech awards 2017 are brought to you in association with Softube - Tools for the Audio Professional
They say: "The Series Black LA-220 large diaphragm FET studio condenser microphone by Lauten Audio is a professional and versatile microphone for studio vocal and instrument recording. At its core the LA-220 features a US-made ultra-low-noise JFET amplifier, a 1″ pressure gradient true-condenser capsule with cardioid polar pattern, independent 120 Hz low-cut and 12 kHz high-cut filters, and a transformer balanced output."
Atlantic Phonic Renaissance
We said: "The world isn’t short of large diaphragm condensers, but the Renaissance adds quality sound to the fray, especially for vocalists."
We said: "The V16-BB is not necessarily an all-rounder, but when it comes to vocals and acoustic instruments it delivers a high-quality finish."
We said: "It doesn’t come cheap, but the AE2300’s attractive design, compact footprint and supreme build quality make it an incredibly desirable instrument mic for both live and studio use."
We said: "Audio-Technica has picked up the task-specific baton and delivered a quality design that makes tom miking incredibly simple."
We said: "For live vocals the Solo is a no-brainer, especially at this price, but it will easily find a home in the studio and on non-vocal sources."
Lewitt LCT 240 PRO
We said: "Delivers the requisite bang- for-buck in a rugged casing. The sonics do not disappoint and it will hold its place in an expanding mic collection."
Slate Digital VMS
We said: "This is a great system which really does give you the character of classic vintage microphones at a price that won’t make you faint."
LCT 540 Subzero
They say: "The LCT 540 SUBZERO captures every sound source with absolute precision - because it is built with absolute precision; not even the tiniest detail of your recorded source will get lost. To guarantee its ultra-resolution sound and first-class sonic imaging, every 3 μm gold-sputtered, 1" Mylar diaphragm underlies the strictest quality controls."
We said: "It’s priced for pro users, but the KSM8 is a beauty of a mic that ditches the all-rounder status in favour of vocal live performance and reinforcement duties."
They say: "Our new Sontronics Mercury is a premium-quality valve/tube condenser microphone designed to sound stunning on whatever you're recording, from solo instruments, percussion and vocals to ensemble and orchestral work, overhead and room miking, voiceover and more."
Winner: Lewitt LCT 440 Pure
We said: "A well-rounded mic that’d be happy in most roles on stage or in the studio - especially for vocals and guitar amps."