There are many commercial recordings on the market, clearly demonstrating that microphone overload is a problem. Some instruments (brass, drums, percussion) can deliver peak sound levels far in excess of 140 dB.
At a distance of a few centimetres it can be higher. Needless to say, this calls for a microphone design that can handle these levels without clipping and still have low enough noise floor to make a digital recording.
Sound pattern Every musical instrument projects its sound in a pattern that, depending on frequency range, varies between (almost) omnidirectional to strongly focussed in one or more directions. This includes heart-shaped, butterfly, and figure of eight. The recording space and the relationship each instrument has to it depending on placement also have an effect on the pattern as it relates to the microphone.