SM7b Owners!
TCW
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#1
4th March 2008
Old 4th March 2008
  #1
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TCW's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
SM7b Owners!

Hi All,

I just got a Shure SM7b. I have to say it lives up to the hype. It sounds great for my voice (running though a Great River ME-1NV)

I was wondering what 'low-cut' and 'presence' switch settings you typically use for your applications. I'll be using it mostly for male voice (mine) and guitar cabinets.

Thanks!
#2
4th March 2008
Old 4th March 2008
  #2
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popmann's Avatar
I remove the foam pop screen...and leave it flat.

If I for some reason have to leave it on...I usually need the low cut engaged. Unless the vocal is super low in my range, I wouldn't entertain the mid boost--it's already pretty upper mid foward, IMO. Might be useful on a guitar amp--with the low cut and mid boost it will get closer to a 57 sound...of course, you could just use a 57.

FWIW...I don't recommend the mic lightly. I didn't try a couple mics and make a decision...I went through a LOT of mics before realizing it was far and above the price/performance KING. No...I'd rather have the vintage U67s and M269s...maybe even a custom tuned Korby...or a possibly a Manley...but, that's not close to the same price range. I think people mistake my opinion for being "my voice is better on dynamics"--it's clearly better on LDCs...but, REALLY expensive ones. Take the sub $2k (maybe $3k) LDCs, and the Sm7b yeilds a more natural sounding vocal. Both in tone AND maybe more importantly, how it records the dynamics of a vocal.

Plus, when I started to pay attention to male vox more (I mostly listen to female singers)...U47, U67, C12, SM7, were being used all over. And the C12s usually on voices very much NOT like my own. They're not using Chinese "inspired by but sounding nothing like" u47 clones. They're using U47s. It seems when that budget's not there, they reach for the Sm7.

I just finished mixing an album of mine...10 tracks. 3 sm7b. 2 U87ai. 5 Innertube U87i. They all sound fine. And all a touch differnet in end result. The Innertube is brilliant, because I can usually, literally, push the fader up, apply some compression and I'm done. The 87ai needed the most EQ/comp work to "get there". I printed some EQ/limiting on the Sm7b tracks going in--most of them were hardly touched at mix time--little extra squeeze...slight mid cut depending on context of the mix.

That's why I'm a big fan of the idea that a singer/songwriter who's putting together a studio should head straight for an Sm7b and an Sm81. Between the two, they will get solid tracks of all the typical SS things--vocals (male and female), acoustic guitar, percussion, amp...if you can't get a decent demo recording from those two...you've likely got greater issues than gear.

Rather than feed the Chinese mic o the week machine...just get what's proven to work.

Glad you're happy with it. FWIW, one of the things I truly miss about the Great River I no longer have? Acoustic guitar w/Sm81>Me1nv. Nice, balanced, musical tone. Not dark, but not shrill at all. Big, but not boomy. Give it a shot if you've got access to an 81. I wish I'd had the Sm7b to try that combo. It was actually the only preamp that really made the 87ai work for my voice as well.
TCW
Thread Starter
#3
4th March 2008
Old 4th March 2008
  #3
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TCW's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Fantastic post, Popman. Now you've inspired me to take a look at the Sm81. My current acoustic mics are a pair of MXL 603s.

Yea, I love the Great River. It sounds excellent on most everything I put though it. The SM7b is no exception. Before purchasing the mic, I heard a lot of "it's great for screamers!" Since I'm not usually a screamer, I was a bit worried. Turns out that it's very detailed and useful for my non-screaming voice (FWIW, My other vocal mic is the Sputnik, which is also quite good for the price, IMO)

Thanks for your detailed insight! I'll have to experiment with the SM7 settings when I record guitar this weekend.

Tom
#4
4th March 2008
Old 4th March 2008
  #4
Gear maniac
 

SM7B and The GR ME-1NV is an awesome pair. You can record almost any source with great results. Make sure you play around with the controls on the preamp (Impedance and Loading) It will effect the sound a great deal. I find that leaving the mic settings flat/normal sounds best in most cases.

And if you can swing the SM81 even better. Those 2 mics will love you long time!
#5
4th March 2008
Old 4th March 2008
  #5
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Lerxst's Avatar
 

Nice post popmann

I whole heartedly agree. Both the SM7 and SM81 are mics that no studio should be without. The SM81 doesn't seem to get the praise that the SM7 does however, I find them to be usefull and more often "go-to" than more expensive LDC's/SDC's. In fact, I was just recording some room with the 81's, and when listening afterwards, I thought to myself "These are really good sounding mics" especially for the price. The SM7 stands on it own without much contention.

~Lerxst

Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
I remove the foam pop screen...and leave it flat.

If I for some reason have to leave it on...I usually need the low cut engaged. Unless the vocal is super low in my range, I wouldn't entertain the mid boost--it's already pretty upper mid foward, IMO. Might be useful on a guitar amp--with the low cut and mid boost it will get closer to a 57 sound...of course, you could just use a 57.

FWIW...I don't recommend the mic lightly. I didn't try a couple mics and make a decision...I went through a LOT of mics before realizing it was far and above the price/performance KING. No...I'd rather have the vintage U67s and M269s...maybe even a custom tuned Korby...or a possibly a Manley...but, that's not close to the same price range. I think people mistake my opinion for being "my voice is better on dynamics"--it's clearly better on LDCs...but, REALLY expensive ones. Take the sub $2k (maybe $3k) LDCs, and the Sm7b yeilds a more natural sounding vocal. Both in tone AND maybe more importantly, how it records the dynamics of a vocal.

Plus, when I started to pay attention to male vox more (I mostly listen to female singers)...U47, U67, C12, SM7, were being used all over. And the C12s usually on voices very much NOT like my own. They're not using Chinese "inspired by but sounding nothing like" u47 clones. They're using U47s. It seems when that budget's not there, they reach for the Sm7.

I just finished mixing an album of mine...10 tracks. 3 sm7b. 2 U87ai. 5 Innertube U87i. They all sound fine. And all a touch differnet in end result. The Innertube is brilliant, because I can usually, literally, push the fader up, apply some compression and I'm done. The 87ai needed the most EQ/comp work to "get there". I printed some EQ/limiting on the Sm7b tracks going in--most of them were hardly touched at mix time--little extra squeeze...slight mid cut depending on context of the mix.

That's why I'm a big fan of the idea that a singer/songwriter who's putting together a studio should head straight for an Sm7b and an Sm81. Between the two, they will get solid tracks of all the typical SS things--vocals (male and female), acoustic guitar, percussion, amp...if you can't get a decent demo recording from those two...you've likely got greater issues than gear.

Rather than feed the Chinese mic o the week machine...just get what's proven to work.

Glad you're happy with it. FWIW, one of the things I truly miss about the Great River I no longer have? Acoustic guitar w/Sm81>Me1nv. Nice, balanced, musical tone. Not dark, but not shrill at all. Big, but not boomy. Give it a shot if you've got access to an 81. I wish I'd had the Sm7b to try that combo. It was actually the only preamp that really made the 87ai work for my voice as well.
#6
4th March 2008
Old 4th March 2008
  #6
Gear nut
 
heyheymymy's Avatar
 

I bought an SM7b a couple of months back and have been experimenting with it on my voice. I've found that I've had to make significant cuts around the 3k range in order for it to sound good on my voice. I haven't noticed too many others mentioning any issues like this. Anyone have any thoughts?

I noticed that someone above mentioned that they always use it with the foam off. What benefit does this provide? Might have to try that out.
#7
4th March 2008
Old 4th March 2008
  #7
Gear nut
 
MaestroNYC's Avatar
 

I was renting some mics this weekend for a live gig and did a shootout before between the SM7B, an RE-27 and an MD441 and the SM7B sounded best on vocals. More natural, balanced and open with a nice richness to the sound then others.
#8
5th March 2008
Old 5th March 2008
  #8
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popmann's Avatar
it sounds like a different mic, IMO, with the foam off.

I often make a couple DB cut in the middle...maybe a bit lower than 3k--say1k. But, it's pretty slight...and do it on the way in.

Is your having to make signiificant 3k cuts to make it sound good solo'd...or in a mix? IMO, male vocals rarely have enough mids to really sit properly in a mix.
#9
5th March 2008
Old 5th March 2008
  #9
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heyheymymy's Avatar
 

Most of my stuff is just acoustic guitar, voice, harmonica, maybe a little mandolin. I find I need to cut the vocal a few dBs around 3k and then a little 1-2 db cut around 8k to get rid of the way it picks up the sound of Cs and Ks in many words. It's odd. Maybe it's my voice.
#10
5th March 2008
Old 5th March 2008
  #10
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A LaMere's Avatar
 

I normally use it with the low cut turned on... foam off, and frequency set to flat...

But on guitars, I do think the presence boost on sounds great.

I use the sm7 through a GR-NV pre and yes, it sounds pretty good!

Between my pair of oktavamodded mc012's and the sm7 there really isn't anything "singer-songwriter" that I can't record with pretty solid results...
#11
5th March 2008
Old 5th March 2008
  #11
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lrieves's Avatar
 

yes, the sm7 definitely picks up better in the high frequencies with the windscreen off. i havn't used the rolloff's on this mic as i would rather have to cut than boost frequencies later on when i'm mixing.
#12
5th March 2008
Old 5th March 2008
  #12
Gear nut
 
heyheymymy's Avatar
 

Whew, I tried 'er out without the windscreen for the first time today. What a difference! Sounds much better, at least on my voice.
#13
5th March 2008
Old 5th March 2008
  #13
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TheSweetener's Avatar
 

The midboost is great for all screamo metal vocals. For all other vox I leave it flat.
#14
6th March 2008
Old 6th March 2008
  #14
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steffenb's Avatar
 

i also leave it flat, foam off ... to me it sounds best that way on many sources.
a bass boost option would be a nice audition imho
#15
6th March 2008
Old 6th March 2008
  #15
Gear addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyheymymy View Post
Whew, I tried 'er out without the windscreen for the first time today. What a difference! Sounds much better, at least on my voice.
Do you guys mean without the big bulbous foam windscreen that ships with (but not on) the SM7B...

...or without the thin foam screen with the plastic ring on the bottom that fits right over the cage and capsule? Do you guys actually take that screen off? I did...it looks mighty exposed under there...I am certainly willing to try it if it will open up the sound of the mic a little.

Thanks for the clarification. I can add pics if you don't know what I mean...
#16
6th March 2008
Old 6th March 2008
  #16
Gear nut
 
heyheymymy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magpel View Post
Do you guys mean without the big bulbous foam windscreen that ships with (but not on) the SM7B...

...or without the thin foam screen with the plastic ring on the bottom that fits right over the cage and capsule? Do you guys actually take that screen off? I did...it looks mighty exposed under there...I am certainly willing to try it if it will open up the sound of the mic a little.

Thanks for the clarification. I can add pics if you don't know what I mean...

Yep, without any foam on. It certainly opened up, at least to my ears.
#17
6th March 2008
Old 6th March 2008
  #17
Gear addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyheymymy View Post
Yep, without any foam on. It certainly opened up, at least to my ears.
Cool. Can't wait to try it. Since I bought a used one, I have been very pleased with its thick sounding mids on my voice, but I also find that I am always applying a pretty severe high shelf boost, which it "takes" extremely well, but I'll try it without ANY foam.
#18
5th February 2009
Old 5th February 2009
  #18
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monkeyxx's Avatar
on my voice I prefer it with bass cut on, presence boost on

another singer I record sounds better with it set flat


experiment till it sounds right... there is no standard.. that's why the switches are there
#19
5th February 2009
Old 5th February 2009
  #19
Gear maniac
 

how do you remove the thin foam screen?

-josh
#20
5th February 2009
Old 5th February 2009
  #20
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cavern's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowjett View Post
how do you remove the thin foam screen?

-josh
grab the thin black plastic ring and pull it off. don't pull on the screen.
#21
6th February 2009
Old 6th February 2009
  #21
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PyroDano's Avatar
 

I had a hell of a time myself.Someone here suggested sliding a credit card under the ring and it pretty much popped right off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by slowjett View Post
how do you remove the thin foam screen?

-josh
#22
6th February 2009
Old 6th February 2009
  #22
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Weasel9992's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PyroDano View Post
I had a hell of a time myself.Someone here suggested sliding a credit card under the ring and it pretty much popped right off.
Yep...that's what I did.

SM7b still logs more hours than the next three mics I own combined. Fantastic paired with the ME-1NV

Frank
#23
6th February 2009
Old 6th February 2009
  #23
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by heyheymymy View Post
Most of my stuff is just acoustic guitar, voice, harmonica, maybe a little mandolin. I find I need to cut the vocal a few dBs around 3k and then a little 1-2 db cut around 8k to get rid of the way it picks up the sound of Cs and Ks in many words. It's odd. Maybe it's my voice.
I've only had mine a couple of months, but I've noticed the same thing. It can sound magic on one singer and really honky/sloshy on the next.

The one mid-priced LDC I wish I had (or at least could try out) is the Shure KSM-44. The response graph appears to have a dip in the S range, which could be just what you're looking for. A honky sounding lady singer brought some tracks in here that were recording with a KSM-44 and they sounded better than anything I could come up with. Embarrassing! (Good thing for me she couldn't tell the difference.)

(Back to the sm7b windscreen) After I pried mine off, I replaced it but left it loose, so I could pull it off again without struggling. Of course, without the foam filter, you'd put up a pop filter.

The first thing I did when getting my sm7b was a preamp shootout. Surprisingly, the absolute best sound was through a AEA TRP, which is a super clean pre. For character the Phoenix Audio DRS-1 is absolutely luscious. The rest - a bunch of 500 "color" pres sucked in comparison. Apparently, you don't need to run it through even more transformers to get a great sound.
#24
6th February 2009
Old 6th February 2009
  #24
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Umami Uni's Avatar
 

awesome, pop that screen and get the juices going!
#25
23rd December 2009
Old 23rd December 2009
  #25
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awagner08's Avatar
 

Importance of Preamp & Sm7

Hi fellow Sm7 owners. I just got mine to deal with an untreated room & a syllabant voice. Unlike you (not so low end) Great River owners, I'm running the SM7b into a TASCAM 2488.

I've never read much about the (un)quality of the preamps in the TASCAM 2488. Seems to be so consumer-focused that it's not really discussed much. Unfortunately, it's all I have available.

Does anyone have experience to know just how bad I might be mucking up the quality of the SM7b with the TASCAM 2488 preamps?
#26
23rd December 2009
Old 23rd December 2009
  #26
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
Quote:
That's why I'm a big fan of the idea that a singer/songwriter who's putting together a studio should head straight for an Sm7b and an Sm81. Between the two, they will get solid tracks of all the typical SS things--vocals (male and female), acoustic guitar, percussion, amp...if you can't get a decent demo recording from those two...you've likely got greater issues than gear.
I couldn't agree more. Those two mics, although not the flashiest, will get you more mileage than anything in the price range, especially for SS stuff. I've had the opportunity to try other "low-enders" from Studio Projects, to AT, to Rode, etc., but almost always come back to those two. The SM-81 is pretty under rated too. Nice on overheads without too much hype, kills on hats and acoustic guitar, and even works well on some female vocals (the delicate type).
#27
23rd December 2009
Old 23rd December 2009
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by awagner08 View Post
Hi fellow Sm7 owners. I just got mine to deal with an untreated room & a syllabant voice. Unlike you (not so low end) Great River owners, I'm running the SM7b into a TASCAM 2488.

I've never read much about the (un)quality of the preamps in the TASCAM 2488. Seems to be so consumer-focused that it's not really discussed much. Unfortunately, it's all I have available.

Does anyone have experience to know just how bad I might be mucking up the quality of the SM7b with the TASCAM 2488 preamps?
Without the Preamp the SM7B is an expensive ornament.
so long as the preamps are clean enough at the high gain you need on the SM7 it's not really a problem and if it's all you have to work with then who cares.
I'm running mine through a fairly low end chain. Probably the vocal needs a little more massaging to sit right than if I were recording through a couple of grands worth of input chain per channel, maybe it doesn't. Either way the tweaing makes me happy.
#28
24th December 2009
Old 24th December 2009
  #28
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rty5150's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by awagner08 View Post
Hi fellow Sm7 owners. I just got mine to deal with an untreated room & a syllabant voice. Unlike you (not so low end) Great River owners, I'm running the SM7b into a TASCAM 2488.

I've never read much about the (un)quality of the preamps in the TASCAM 2488. Seems to be so consumer-focused that it's not really discussed much. Unfortunately, it's all I have available.

Does anyone have experience to know just how bad I might be mucking up the quality of the SM7b with the TASCAM 2488 preamps?
if you have an sm-7b and a tascam 2488, you should really have little excuse to not own a GAP pre-73. plays very well with an sm-7b amongst kicking some serious ass on other sources/mics as well.
#29
24th December 2009
Old 24th December 2009
  #29
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Lifted's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCW View Post
Hi All,

I just got a Shure SM7b. I have to say it lives up to the hype. It sounds great for my voice (running though a Great River ME-1NV)

I was wondering what 'low-cut' and 'presence' switch settings you typically use for your applications. I'll be using it mostly for male voice (mine) and guitar cabinets.

Thanks!
I don't personally own SM7B (YET!), but I have used it several times.

I can tell you that I have never used low cut on my voice, because I have low baritone, and the mic adds KICK ASS low frequency boost, that sounds EXCELLENT on my voice, I have used presence boost before, as far as I remember the vocal sits in the mix even nicer (unless I am confusing it with presence off).

Bass Cabinets/Electric Guitar Amps/Rock Vocals = GOLD

For Guitar Amp I had the low cut filter switched in, so I cleared up some space for the bass guitar.

I even have used it on the kick drum, not the best sound like a Beta 52, but PRETTY damn good! I was surprised when we were stuck in the session and had to use the mic on the kick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
I remove the foam pop screen...and leave it flat.
.

Yessssssssir....we have used SM7B without a foam screen as well, made the mic sound more clear, and more like condenser, but without that intense sibbilance.
#30
24th December 2009
Old 24th December 2009
  #30
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lank81's Avatar
 

I've had a few dynamics in my sights for a while. The first on the GAS list is SM7B, then EV-RE 20, followed by the Sennheiser 421. As for the SM81s they are great pair of SDCs. I mean they do OHs and Stereo Acoustic recordings to a T. The difference I've gained from moving to these mics is phenomenal. I bought the pair for 385$ on here and that is a great deal, 2 for 1 basically. Enjoy the SM7b and get a pair of 81s .
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