Next we researched different types of microphones.
Condenser and Dynamic microphones
These have a greater frequency response and usually have a louder output. But they also pick up loud noises and are mostly used in studios. They are more fragile than dynamic microphones. They are also more expensive in the main (although you can buy cheap ones). Condenser microphones use a capacitor to convert acoustic energy into electrical signals and they need a power supply too, through a mixing desk or audio interface.
There are two main types - large and small diaphragm microphones. Large diaphragm ones are supposed give a warmer sound for bass instruments. Small diaphragm microphones are supposed to be better at picking up fast sounds (eg string instruments). They are sometimes used for live orchestral work.
These stand up to wear and tear better, are more reliable. They are also moisture resistant so they are the better choice for live performances. They don’t need their own power like condenser microphones. They withstand high sound pressure and so are better for loud guitars and some drums e.g kick drums, tom toms etc. They pick up lower frequencies well.
A good choice of dynamic microphone if you are on a budget is the Schure SM57 for instruments and SM58 for vocals.