Brian's gear recommendations for home studios and streaming

Professional Microphones
Type/ Modelapprox costBrian's Notes
Small DiaphragmCondenser MicrophonesGeneral notes on small diaphragm condensor mics: they do a good job of capturing high harmonics that helps to accurately capture the sound of acoustic instruments, but since they have a narrow pickup pattern, they need to be close to the sound source (and it's best to have two) -a great choice if you're playing an acoustic instrument but not singing at the same time.
Shure SM81$350Good quality but the frequency response isn't as even as others. Still a good value for the money.
AKG C 535$350Good quality mic with an even frequency response
Neumann KMS 105$700Very high quality, my vocal mic of choice for stage
Neumann KM 184$800Very high quality, one of my favorite instrument mics
AKG C1000$200Also good quality
Large DiaphragmCondenser MicrophonesGeneral notes on large diaphragm condensor mics: they also do a good job of capturing high harmonics, but since the pickup pattern is much wider, it will pick up both a singer and their instrument or even two performers. These are an excellent choice for singers. If your budget only allows for only one microphone, I'd suggest that it be one of these because they're so versitle and are worthwhile investments because they hold their resale value.
Audix SCX-25$800My choice for multiple singers on stage
Shure KSM 32$500Also very popular for this purpose - an excellent all-purpose microphone
Shure SM27$300Good value from a realiable brand
Ear Trumpet Labs "Louise" model$640Popular with folk musicians for some reason. I do not recommend the "Edwina" model but the "Louise" has a decent frequency response and sounds pretty good
Warm Audio WA-7$500Good quality from a new company
Studio Projects B3$160A decent (but not great) microphone at an attractive price point
Instrument Microphones - DynamicDynamic microphones will not capture high harmonics as well but are better at handling transient signals (like drums or percussion) so are a good choce for brass of all sorts, some woodwinds and percussion.
Shure SM 57$100Very common for live sound, designed for rock n roll. A decent, inexpensive microphone.
Beyerdynamic M 201$300Warm-sounding instrument mic
Electro-Voice RE20$450My mic of choice for all brass, some woodwinds and lower-pitched percusson instruments
AKG D112$200Good for bass drums and other lower-pitched percusson instruments
Vocal Microphones - Dynamic
Shure SM58$100Very common for live sound, designed for rock n roll
Electro-Voice PL80$100Smoother sound than Shure SM58
USB MicrophonesGeneral notes on USB microphones: these will never match the audio quality of professional micophones used with an audio interface, but they are budget-friendly and some sound pretty good. Note that these types of microphones do not hold thier resale value nearly as well as others.
Apogee “Mic Plus”$260Uses a standard USB cable. Has a headphone jack. Overall sound quality is decent.
Shure MV88$150Stays attached to the phone- it must be placed far enough away to get a good camera angle. Mic volume and polar pattern adjustment using an iPhone app. Also had eq & compression. Has a headphone jack. Quality will not come close to professional mics.
iRig Mic Cast$100Stays attached to the phone, which must be distant for good camera coverage, has headphone output. Quality will not come close to professional mics.
Audio Interfaces- externalGeneral notes on audio interfaces: there is an ever-expanding array of offerings, I would suggest staying with the more established, larger manufacturers, especially if you're going to be using it with a Microsoft Windows machine.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2$160Entry level price for a highly respected brand, sometimes comes with free Pro Tools software
MOTU M2$170Also a highly respected brand
Universal Audio Apollo$475The highest quality prosumer audio interface. Comes with very high quality audio plugins