This mic is by far one of the best or if not the best mic that Sennheiser has ever made. I have used several of their mics over the years and have yet to find one like this. I started using this mic back in about 2009 and still use it a lot today. I don’t see myself ever getting rid of this mic unless something happens to it and it gets damaged or something like that. I have even dropped it several times and it has also fell of off a stage at a local event a while back and that didn’t even stop it. So I don’t think this mic will ever not work or cause any problems. It is a very reliable mic that any live artist would need.
I have only used this mic on vocals, but I have heard it used on a few instruments . Actually hearing it on a few instruments got me curious on what mic that it was that the local band was using back in 2008. Once I figured out which mic it was after asking them, I went out and purchased the mic and the guy at the store said that it would sound great for vocals as well. So I gave it a shot and the rest is history. I have been using it every since.
Overall, there are a lot of mics that are great for live use. This one is one of those great mics, I have used other mics that are better from some other companies. But if you are looking for a great live mic for your vocals this wont disappoint you. Plus it is very affordable for almost any musician on a smaller budget. I high recommend using this mic especially if you are looking for a Seneheiser, get this one over the other model (cant remember what it is). The MD 431 by Sennheiser is a great mic.
Microphone Type Dynamic
Polar Pattern Supercardioid
Frequency Response 40kHz-16kHz
Impedance 250 ohms
Exceptionally good feedback rejection
Shock mounted capsule provides very good rejection of handling noise
Hum compensating coil
Integral pop filter
Includes quick release clamp
Weight .55 lbs.
I'll start by saying this is the best dynamic microphone I've ever used. It is fantastic on just about everything! I found a great use for it with male vocals, snare, toms, kick drum, percussion, electric guitar, and bass. I'm certain it would excel at other applications, like winds and brass, and other acoustic instruments. The mic has a nice immediacy of the transient attack, and it still gives a sparkle on the top end that rivals great condenser mics. The lows and low mids are extremely rich and detailed, while still picking up nice breathiness from vocals. This is a "secret weapon" type mic - everyone knows about the more famous older brother mic, the MD421, but I think the 431 is even better. They have similar frequency responses, but I prefer the polar pattern of the 431 for more precise miking, and the 431 is easy to hold in the hand, for live rockin' vocal performances!
This is George Massenburg's favorite snare mic, and Dave Grohl's favorite vocal mic for a reason - it rules! I'd honestly love to have a full complement of them - enough to top and bottom mic all toms, snare, and kick of a drumset. The problem with that is, they're danged expensive! But honestly, the mic is fully worth it. If you have something that you like an SM-57 on, this will do the job just as well, only it will sound better! An added bonus is that the microphone has a really cool, distinctive look, so it helps in that regard. I highly recommend the Sennheiser MD431 for nearly any microphone application.
Not every microphone manufacturing company has the kind of microphone in the class that the Sennheiser MD 431 fits in. I never got my hands on the apparent successor, the Sennheiser MD 431 II, but the MD 431 in and of itself is absolutely stunning. At any rate, the Sennheiser MD 431 is in that range of monstrous premium microphones that venues seem to own more often than artists. It sits in that same class as the Audio Technica Artist Elite, the Shure KSM's, the Neumann KMS's. Any one of these microphones or series of microphones will blow the mainstays away when it comes to vocals, so there really is not that much to say.
The Sennheiser MD 431 is a dynamic microphone. That is a big deal, because at its price point, one would expect to start seeing condensers. Not so with the MD 431. Unless you actually hear or use it in comparison to one of the lower end standards, you cannot be impressed by this microphone, because the specifications do not market the microphone well: It is a supercardioid microphone (so it does have some higher end stigma attached) but again, it is a dynamic, and it has an initially disappointing frequency response of only 40-16,000 Hz.
But this microphone sings nonetheless. What I find particularly bizarre about this microphone is that the frequency graph shows a slight rise in a sibilance area and the air area, so even though it blew me away on my own voice, perhaps it may not work on someone else as well, and one of the other high end stage microphones will work better. Do not get me wrong; the 431 still blows the cheaper microphones right out of the water; owning Shures is just the slightest bit disappointing after using this, but I digress.
You must understand, at this price point, the microphone had better be good. If you get one new, you'll likely be grabbing the MD 431 II, which is quite good as well. One thing I always bug myself about is the on/off switch, just because I am a non-utilitarian elitist who thinks his microphones should look as simple as Macbooks. However, this microphone is a fantastic offering from a company that generally never steers anyone in the wrong direction, ever.
This mic is one of Sennheiser's nicest mics for live vocals. It is a dynamic mic, so it doesn't really have the super smooth top end that condensers will give you in the studio, but its other benefits far outweigh that loss when it comes to the live setting that this mic was designed for. First of all it is a dynamic mic, so it is by definition going to be a little bit less sensitive than other types. This is a good thing on stage, because you only want the singer in your signal, not everything else. The polar pickup pattern is supercardioid, so anything behind and to the sides of this mic is going to be almost completely rejected. I have found this to be one of the tightest patterns I've ever heard on a mic, which is great news for loud rock bands struggling to keep their singer audible over blazing guitars and drums. It also has a couple other nice features, like an internal shock mount that reduces any rumbling you get from handling the mic. It has a built in pop filter to cut down on singer plosives, and an on/off switch which is very key for a live show when you need to quickly cut the mic. You can also lock it in the on position so you don't accidentally knock the switch off. Overall, the sound is very crisp and punchy, and should be able to sit on top of a band mix pretty well. It doesn't need any phantom power and will connect with a standard XLR cable.
I have used these at a few shows, and I was surprised to see that they didn't have SM58's set up. I was very pleased with how the vocals sounded every time, and upon listening back to a live recording from one of these shows I was amazed at how clean the lead vocal track was. It was a testament to just how good the off-axis rejection is on this mic. I definitely recommend picking up one of these for your singer, it sounds great. It is a little bit more pricey, but it should be worth it.