Can You Use a Recording Mic for Live Performances?

Vocals are a critical part of your music—that’s why you need the best vocal mic to highlight them. If you only have a recording mic, though, can you use this mic for live performances too? When it comes down to it, it really just depends on how your mic works and how much feedback it might have in a live setting.

Can You Use a Recording Mic for Live Performance?

Ultimately, you have the two most popular mics: dynamic and condenser mics. Generally, people tend to think that condenser mics are better for studio sessions while dynamic mics are better for live performances.

In some sense, this is true. Condenser mics are indeed more sensitive than dynamic mics, which can make them too sensitive for a live setting. In addition, they might pick up more feedback that will impact your sound.

Even mics that have been mainstays for live performances, like the Shure SM58, can still be replaced by condenser mics. It just depends on the setting of your live performance.

Condenser Microphones for Performances

Usually, you’ll use dynamic mics for live performances. But if you’ve used a condenser microphone for recording, you probably already know some of its benefits. For example, it can capture fine details because of how it vibrates with your sound.

This also means that condenser mics catch a wider range of frequencies and quieter sounds. This is perfect for live performances since you can capture even the most subtle switch in sound or even the softer parts of the song.

You can also capture higher frequencies more easily. This means that any high or incredibly low notes will be picked up much more efficiently.

Overall, you’d get a more detailed sound that will allow audience members to hear and appreciate the varying nuances. However, it’s still crucial to note that using a condenser microphone for live performances does depend on the situation.

When to Use Recording Mics

You can definitely capture more delicate sounds with your condenser microphone than with your dynamic mic, even when you perform. However, the condenser does have issues, mostly with feedback. After all, you aren’t recording in a studio, which means your sensitive mic may bounce sound back to you.

This happens especially when your live vocals are more aggressive with singing techniques like screaming and belting. With this type of singing, you don’t need something to pick up on especially sensitive sounds. This is where you’d be better off using a dynamic mic. Use your condenser mic for live recordings when you need the mic to pick up on a larger range or frequency or more delicate sounds.

How to Use your Condenser Mic

You want to perform live with a condenser microphone, so how do you do it? You can make some adjustments to your mic by adjusting the off-axis frequency response around the capsule. Make these adjustments before any performance to minimize your feedback.

You can also adjust the distance between you and your mic. Make sure to stand about 6 to 12 inches from the mic since it’s so sensitive. If you’re too close, you may accidentally overpower your own sound. On the other hand, standing too far can cause a lot of feedback.


Can you use a recording mic for a live performance? Yes, you can, but you should be aware of some of the issues you might encounter. It also pays to understand some of the techniques you can use to make you sound as good as you would in a studio recording. Finally, take some time to adjust your mic, and you might find that a recording mic will work great in live settings.