The secret is to understand the recording chain and all the
elements have to be in place to get it right. If you have good
performers with tuned instruments (and that includes the voice)
and they are in a nice sounding space, then with a little experimentation
of mic position you can get a good recording from almost any
microphone. There have been a number of listening tests where
the listeners weren’t told which mic they were listening
to and dependent on the room and position people often preferred
the sound of a £70 Shure to a £1500 Neumann. It
really is down to confidence and experience. Have a listen to
the drum sounds on some of the great 60s albums like Sgt Pepper
and you can't really hear the kick or the toms but the songs
sound fantastic. Even better check out Bebop a Lula by Gene
Vincent and hear what can be done with a couple of old ribbon
mics and a mono tape recorder. Stunning!
So, don’t get bogged down with the idea that you can't
record decent music without spending thousands of pounds on
the latest must have gear. Use what you’ve got
and experiment with different mic positions and more importantly
different rooms. The best advice is to go down to your local
club and start recording the bands. Then you'll realise why
every live venue has a box full of SM57s and 58s.
This is probably the most fundamental point in the whole of
sound engineering chain. Use any decent microphone and experiment.
Try different positions and microphones to see which one works
best on that particular day.