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#1
11th November 2005
Old 11th November 2005
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Shure shootout

Are there any great differences between the Shure SM86/87 and the Shure Beta 87a/c (considered as a stage mic)? Are the SM more rugged but less "condensor-y"? Are they equally good at rejecting feedback?

And is the SM87 a much better mic than the SM87 (which the difference in price would seem to indicate)?
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11th November 2005
Old 11th November 2005
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in general the Betas are better quality mics, try them out and see which works for your voice. feedback rejection will depend on your environment and the polar patters, if it has 'a' on the end it is super-cardioid if it has 'c' on the end it is cardioid. where are you planing to use it, if your in a rock band playing in different pubs/clubs just get a beta58, if its softer music then look at the condensers
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11th November 2005
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Quote:
And is the SM87 a much better mic than the SM87
whats up brother?

Quote:
in general the Betas are better quality mics
better is subjective... i frequently pick the 58 over the beta 58 and even the neumann kms105, depends on the situation.

Quote:
Are they equally good at rejecting feedback?
to add to what aussie_techie said, the supercardioids are avoidable if your wedges are right behind the mic, you'd pick them if that were not the case and you want a lot of rejection from the sides..

.015,
self.
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11th November 2005
Old 11th November 2005
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I said "is the SM87 a much better mic than the SM87?" Oops! I meant "is the SM87a a much better mic than the SM86?" In other words, are they essentially the same mic only with different polar patterns, or different mics altogether?

>try them out and see which works for your voice

I don't have that opportunity before buying, that's the problem, so I've got to take a punt or two.

>if your in a rock band playing in different pubs/clubs just get a beta58, if its softer music then look at the condensers

My band plays both types -- country and west... er, I mean, soft and loud!
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11th November 2005
Old 11th November 2005
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They all have a bit different response. All are about the same quality as far as I know, though I haven't used the SM86.

What does the vocalist sound like and how loud is the stage?



-tINY

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11th November 2005
Old 11th November 2005
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>What does the vocalist sound like and how loud is the stage?

Vocalist is an strong alto female with big range, quite classical, lots of softer songs, lots of belters. Kate Bush/Karen Carpenter/Freddie Mercury, I guess. Tuning and tone excellent so a mic that reveals all is not a worry. Sounds good through an EV ND767a but boxy through an SM58 (but then the same is true of me).

Stage is anywhere from small pubs to larger venues.

So an all-round mic would be good, but I realize I'll have to buy a few for different venues (and also to see what they sound like).

I'm thinking of just spending the extra and getting the KMS105, but then that's a lot for a mic that (1) I haven't tested (and no local shop has it); (2) may not really make much of a difference with a lot of ordinary live PAs; and (2) will cost a fortune to replace if it gets damaged. But then, why not spend a bit extra and get what looks to be a better mic (which can also be used in the studio - probably be better than my NT1A anyway).

Or: AT AE5400, AKG C5900M or AKG C535EB. Or even a few of these as well. (Also will be getting an Audix OM for feedback-heavy practise room).
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11th November 2005
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I'd go with the 87C, then. It's a bit flatter response and the cardiod, while not as isolating as the hyper-card is more forgiving. She may have to stay back a bit, as it has a fairly pronounced proximity effect.





-tINY

#8
12th November 2005
Old 12th November 2005
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don't know if this is an option but take your singer to the local guitar central or other music store and try the mics out. most places have a PA or six and they'll be happy to setup mics with the chance of selling one.

i had the displeasure of working for low wages at a mega instrument store when i first moved to chicago. apart from nearly starving to death, i enjoyed helping people find the right gear for their studios/gigs. i also found during that time that every vocalist looking for a live mic had their own favorite.

just noticed in your post that the KMS105 isn't available locally. hopefully you'll be able to try out the shures. the KMS is a great mic but once again, it's not for everyone.
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12th November 2005
Old 12th November 2005
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Dynamic

Stick with dynamics. unless you have control of your sound enviroment and have time to tune the system for your mics then condensers will only give you trouble. Beta 57a and Beta 58a are the way to go.
if the only problem with an SM58 was it sounded boxy then a beta58 will do the trick. and you dont have to worry about phantom power which can often be questionable and subsiquently reduce performance of the mic
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12th November 2005
Old 12th November 2005
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>Stick with dynamics.

If I should stick with dynamics, then should I look at some more higher-end dynamics like the Sennheiser MD 421/431 (or 441, but it's a bit expensive), or the Beyer M88TG (not to mention the Audix OM's, but I'm definitely getting one of those anyway).

The crapness of the 58 has left me a bit wary of Shure dynamics for vocals.
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12th November 2005
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shure dynamics all the way. usually a beta58 some voices are more suited to a beta57. the sm58 is crap there is no questioning that but you need to stick with something that the house enginear is going to be able to easily work with
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12th November 2005
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I already have some Electrovoice ND767a mics, though. The Beta 57/58s don't look any better than them (and they're in the same price bracket). The 767a is pretty well-established, right? (And it is an okay mic). So is there any point in shelling out extra money for something that will be similar to what I've already got?

(I was prepared to spend some money on higher-end condensors to get a better sound than the 767s provide, but I don't want to spend money if it doesn't improve the sound much).
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12th November 2005
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ive never heard of the ND767.
just about every venue is going to be tuned for the SM58. you need something that has a similar responce and is very controled
you can try your 767, i dont know them so i have no idea how they will go.
why are you so set on getting an Audix aswell? im not familar with the OMs but my general experence with audix mics hasnt been great
ive had nothing but trouble when people bring sennhisers, of course some models are much better than others.
there are a couple of AKGs that will work but the operater still needs to know whats they are getting
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12th November 2005
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I want an OM because lots of people (inc. those here) say they're great at rejecting feedback. Even if I never use it live, that's just what I want for our small practice room where feedback is a real problem.

When you talk about problems, are you talking about feedback, or are you talking about both feedback and getting the right tone with EQ so the singer is happy?
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12th November 2005
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The SM58 is standard because it is standard (a very old design). People who don't have a flexable monitoring set-up are more likely to get better gain before feedback wiht a standard mic because they have dealt with it more often.

Who want's a lot of stage volume anyway? Let the kids in the front row wreck their hearing.....

For a good, clean femvox, the SM58 would not be near the top of my list (unless she didn't know how to work a mic, or insisted on holding it in her hand an cupping it....). The Beta 87 and the sm87c are pretty standard mics and don't have any bad habits.

The ND767 has a boosted response from about 2k to 8kHz this may be a good of a bad thing depending on the voice in question. It also has a very pronounced proximity effect, which is useful if the singer needs it and knows how to work it. It can be dsiasterous if the stage volume gets loud and they constantly try to eat the mic.



-tINY

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13th November 2005
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i dont think you understand where im comming from. im looking at this from the point of view of a live enginear, in the studio you want the best mic for the person but live that is not always the case you have to consider the venue, monitoring setup, how well its setup and tuned which directly relates to feedback aswell as stage noise. a small venue/show wont have someone to mix foldbacks, depending on the venue its likley it will all be done from FOH and they may not have easy access to the fold back EQ. the venue will be tuned for SM58s because they are the standard, so what happens when you bring in a different mic? feedback, especially in a small venue where you get alot of reflections. so you need to stick with something with a similar responce and somethign that is easy to control, condensers tend to pick up alot more stange sound than dynamics.

you should use mics that the enginear will know to get the best sound.

phantom power can also be an issue, while all venues will have phantom the quality of the suply can be questionable and shure mics need a good 48v suply. without a quality supily you can get very strange output and some cheeper desks dont suply the full voltage. Rode mics will run off just about anything.

if you have your own enginear and the time to tune the system then you can use just about any mic you want
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13th November 2005
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I haven't had any trouble using the 87 mics live. Most of the feedback problems I have run into happen between 300 and 900 Hz. Mostly, that is due to the directivity of the mics and wedges - higher frequencies tend to be a lot more directional.

As for phantom power and mics, I have run into SM58s with bad transformers that were a problem, but I have only had inadequate phantom power when using active direct boxes (which can draw a lot of current, depending on how they are designed). Equipment down under may be a bit more dodgy than the western US, though.

Personally, I hate the sound of SM58s on most every voice, especially if the mains use a JBL horn - just too much honky 2-3kHz for me.

Truth is, a lot of female vocalists sound a lot better with a good N-Dyn dynamic or a vocal condenser mic - especially if there is any compression used.




-tINY

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13th November 2005
Old 13th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY
I haven't had any trouble using the 87 mics live.
good to hear. im certainly not saying they cant be used but you should be very carefull, especially if its a new venue, if its a venue you frequently play and the enginear know what your using fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY
As for phantom power and mics, I have run into SM58s with bad transformers that were a problem, but I have only had inadequate phantom power when using active direct boxes (which can draw a lot of current, depending on how they are designed). Equipment down under may be a bit more dodgy than the western US, though.
bad transformer in a 58? can you explain that one. active DIs are anotehr issue behringer self powered DIs actually sound decent but the phamtom powered ones suck. if its global phantom though everything pluged in is a factor.
have had a varity of results from condensers live, had a beta91 outputting a strange sound, used the phantom from the foldback desk insted and it was fine. both desk running from the same mains outlet so shouldnt of been a power issue (unless they were running off different phases)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY
Personally, I hate the sound of SM58s on most every voice
your not alone but atleast they are reliable, you can drop them you can throw them around you can even use them as weapons and they still work and the mexicans problerly use them to kill rats in the factory. try putting anything but a shure dynamic through those conditions and see how long it lasts

my fav vocal mic is the Rode NT3, you wont find anything else with such a flat responce. but you would never take that to gig unless you have compleate control over the system
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13th November 2005
Old 13th November 2005
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>i dont think you understand where im comming from.

I do! And some very helpful tips. Thanks. And thanks to everyone else who's been replying as well.

>behringer self powered DIs actually sound decent but the phamtom powered ones suck.

Any views on the Behringer DI20 active splitter/DI box? I ask because I've just ordered one for our bass player. I ordered it because I wanted the splitter function, so that he can also send a feed straight to his bass amp - but will it also improve the sound (the sound going to the mixer, that is), or make it worse?
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13th November 2005
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DI-20 is a good little problem solver with the abiility to be a DI and a splitter. ive gotten some good use from it to go from balanced to unbalaned. great problem solver. as far as just a DI, definatly not the best but again gets the job done when you need an extra DI and nothing else is available.
good as a door stop or wedge to hold something up, good when you foldback stands get broken and you need something to wedge under it.
#21
14th November 2005
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I must have been some dielectic break-down somewhere (maybe there is a cap in there too). Both were older mics, maybe dumped in saltwater or put in the oven at one point. There was a thump followed by crackling noises until Phantom power was turned off to that mic.




-tINY

#22
15th November 2005
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crackling is usually usualy due to a poor cable, the main reason to have individually switchable phantom
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17th November 2005
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Usually, but this was the mics.....



-tINY

#24
4th December 2006
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i think if you're going to use a condenser mic onstage... get yourself a channel strip to go with it, phantom,eq,comp...... then you're getting into good vocal sound... but still you have to set it up really well... that's what i do for acoustic instruments i play onstage...
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5th December 2006
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I use a 87a and have found it to be no more prone to feedback than any other stage mic-which are mainly beta58s.
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