Today, the web coughed up this little gem of a site made by Prof. S. O. Coutant; http://www.coutant.org/
The site itself contains heaps of information on loads of different professional mics, both for broadcast and for recording. On the site you will find a list of many famous mics along with their own information page detailing their background and application, as well as more technical information such as frequency response, schematics and other technical data. Many of the pages include superb pictures of some of the mics, their various models and inner-workings. Have a look at the page on the much-loved AKG C12 as an example here.
The most exciting and useful thing on this website, is that for a lot of mics Prof. Countant has been able to record a sample of spoken word using them. This is a hugely useful piece information, because a frequency response graph can only tell you so much. How you’ve seen the mic used before will give you some idea of possible application potential, but to actually hear the unique characteristic a microphone is utterly invaluable.
For example, have a listen to the AKG D112. Almost every musician who has ever done some recording or live gig with drums will have come across this mic stuck in the kick drum. True, this mic handles high levels of LF extremely well because it was designed with that in mind, however you may be surprised at how high the frequency response goes and how ‘bright’ the voice sounds. So, why not go try it out on something like a bass amp? You’ll already know it can handle to low frequencies, but now you will have heard that the mid to high range you need in bass is there too. Listen for the slightly scratchy sound in the consonants, that’s going to bring out a lot of tone in a bass guitar.
[image via Gnu2000]