Every engineer needs at least one M201
Among the GS and similar forums there are some constantly recurring themes. Fact is, there's some amazingly knowledgable people there, some of whom have crafted the hits you've heard your entire life.
There, the Beyerdynamic M201 is all but synonymous with the words "Snare Mic". For good reason too. It's hypercardoid design goes great lengths in helping to minimize bleed from hi-hat, toms and Clangy crashes. I find it decidedly less finicky that the ubiquitous SM57 over the snare top, meaning I find that for my purposes, it's easier to obtain greater tonal variety by different placements on snare top, bottom and sides. Near, far, on axis and off: if you can name it, many of these positions can be successfully used with the 201 whereas the SM57 doesn't seem to be so versatile and often times just sounds plain...bad, when trying these alternate placements. Any departure from the stalwart "SM57 close to the top head, at an angle" approach seem to yield hit or miss results, at best.
In my studio's mic locker, when it comes to dynamic mics for snare (I use condensers, LDC & SDC, just as often) I have 3 "Go-To's". They are, (in no particular order):
The Beyer M201 (works every time)
Shure SM77 (a transformerless SM57 style mic w/ aluminum voice coil, as opposed to the 57's copper coil. If you like the 57 sound, be sure to check the 77 out, but I digress...)
Telefunken M80SH (a shortened version of the handheld Telefunken M80, which has a bright but seldom harsh hi-mid rise continuing through to the smooth but bright highs. It's almost as bright and lively as my favorite SDC for snare, the KM84/KM184, but displays the transient softening typical of a good dynamic/moving coil mic)
What you might NOT hear so much is that this mic has myriad other uses, and I think that's where it really shines: It's very versatile.
It sounds smooth, full and present on guitar cabs, and complements a ribbon mic very nicely in that capacity.
It's a good choice if you're looking to find a dynamic for use on acoustic instruments, and/or hand percussion (love it on Congas and Djembe).
I've used it three or four times to capture batter head attack on a kick drum with no ported front head, with a 47FET or similar in front at a short distance.
On vocals, when paired with a good preamp, it's one of my very favorite dynamic microphones. When I track a band live In the studio, if I think I might use the live vocal track by any chance, it's always the m201. Sometimes I like the guide/live vocal track so much, I end up using it for overdubs later on.
I tend to have pairs of everything, but for some reason, I've only ever had one M201, and it's one of my most used mics.
Get one, you won't regret it,
Best of luck,