Swiss-army knife MIC
I have used many microphones throughout the years. It's important to know this for what it is. It's an all around mic, but a very good one at that.
The M3 Reminds me of a cross-over vehicle; good on the highway and able to hold its own off-road as well. Because it does both well, there will be some compromises. On the highway it might not be the most quiet, and off-road it might not be able to manage the biggest bumps.
So it goes- we have the Rode . A combination of condenser and dynamic characteristics...has the frequency response of a condenser (40-20k) and smooth highs (just a tad bright but in NO way hyped), with a lower sensitivity like a dynamic and a natural bass roll off for noisier environments. The Bass roll-off is fairly steep up to around 200 Hz. Has a 3-way switch--Off , On, and High pass filter to extend bass roll off even more ..great for outside noisy environments and when one encounters wind noise.
The M3 can be used with phantom power; or without if you not supplied (just pop in a 9v battery which will power the mic. If you leave it the mic can still connect it to phantom power..the battery will automatically not be used. Rode claims battery will last 200 hours). Construction seems tank-like.
How does it sound? to my ears very'good'..not hyped, natural, with a slight 'crispness' in the top end akin MXL mics, but unlike MXL not cheap sounding in any way.The M3 Sounds much more expensive than its price would suggest (I agree with the Sound on Sound review)
I would recommend this for mic vocal, acoustic instruments(especially guitars), snare drums, overheads...interviews and spoken word dialogue as well, and recordings made outdoors. Because of its natural bass roll-off vocals and acoustic guitars would be my first choices.
Downsides: it is really heavy for its size, and really long, so not suitable for every placement situation... the M3 is much more susceptible to wind noise than a dynamic or LDC..so if outdoors, the provided foam windscreen is a must, and engaging high-pas filter often a necessity.
If you need one mic that can do a lot, this is it.Can it replace an LDC? YES... SDC? yes.. Dynamic? yes, in certain situations.For a mic to elegantly go from a recording studio to an interview to an recording an outdoor event says a lot.
Should this be your only mic? No, but it would be difficult to outgrow, as I'm sure you'll always find a use for it. I HIGHLY recommend it.It truly is a bargain.