When it comes to classic studio and live microphones, the Sennheiser MD 421 II and MD 441-U have been staples since their release in the late 1960s. In our new VK Shootout, we're pitting the dynamic microphones against each other in a session, as we use both the MD 421 II and 441-U on vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and drums.
The Sennheiser MD 421 II has a large diaphragm, directional cardioid response and is capable of handling extremely high sound pressure levels. That's the reason you'll most likely see this classic in front of a guitar cab or on a drum set (particularly toms). The microphone features a five-position bass roll-off switch, which can control proximity effect for close-miking situations.
While the MD 421 II might be more compact for tighter fits, the Sennheiser MD 441 has been deemed by many as a more versatile microphone. This supercardioid microphone is an all-around workhorse that will find a good home on vocals, brass instruments, acoustic guitars, and more. The MD 421-II also features a five-position bass-roll off switch, hum compensating coil and a spring mounted capsule for low sensitivity.
Watch our new shootout below to hear the Sennheiser MD 421 II and MD 441-U in use during a recording session. We've used both microphones on vocals from Jake LeMond and acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and drums performed by Dustin McLaughlin.