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60db gain enough for SM7b ? ? ?
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jerjabs
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8th June 2011
Old 8th June 2011
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60db gain enough for SM7b ? ? ?

I was wondering if the 60dbs of gain the RME Babyface puts out is more than enough to power a SM7B ?

Thanks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerjabs View Post
I was wondering if the 60dbs of gain the RME Babyface puts out is more than enough to power a SM7B ?

Thanks!
If I remember correctly I saw someone on here mention 65dB is recommended. If you don't have enough gain you can always get the Triton Audio FetHead which is an XLR inline preamp that will give you 20dB of clean gain before hitting your preamp.
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8th June 2011
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I read here all the time that the SM7B requires that much gain... I have an SM7B that I run straight into an Apogee Duet. I don't know if I sing so loud or if something is wrong with my mic or Duet, but if I set the preamp gain of the Duet to even only 55dB I clip the converters sometimes. Typically I set them to 45dB and it's fine.

Therefore I would suspect the 60dB of the Babyface should be fine.

Consider my use of the subjunctive, though...
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The sm7 output is about -59db.
Since you only need to get up to -18 to -12 range for tracking, 45 db gain should be about right and still give you some headroom in the pre amp.


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Source volume is a major factor to be considered. If all you're recording is guitar amps and rock kick drums then I wouldn't be too worried.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerjabs View Post
I was wondering if the 60dbs of gain the RME Babyface puts out is more than enough to power a SM7B ?

Thanks!
Depends on the source; a low level vocal might need more than 65db, this is a good use of "make up gain" from a compressor..IMHO.
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Using my FMR RNP introduces hiss when no sounds enters the sm7b at full throttle, the RNP has 66db of gain and about 60db of clean gain, i no longer use the mic on that preamp unless i use a triton Fethead to boost the signal...for all around use I would use an 80db clean gain preamp like an ISA One or GAP 73 without the Fethead which boost your gain by 20db or more...
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With my Grace m101, I usually had the gain set around 50-53db for my vocals & fingerpicked guitar. The reason that most people recommend high-gain preamps is because most preamps start getting noisy in the last 20% or so of their gain. So theoretically, if you have one with enough gain, you'll be able to use a lower percentage of the gain range and avoid hiss. But some preamps have a lot of gain, but get into noise & hiss at a much lower percentage (or even all) of their range.

I'd say 50db is probably plenty for 99.9% of situations if it's nice and clean.
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Also...

Unfortunately, I sold my SM7B & m101 before I got my BabyFace. I love the BabyFace, but I've regretted losing the mic & preamp. Otherwise I'd test it out for you.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimsi View Post
Using my FMR RNP introduces hiss when no sounds enters the sm7b at full throttle, the RNP has 66db of gain and about 60db of clean gain,
This is not my experience. I can use my SM7 with my RNP all day long without running into headroom or lack of gain problems. I find it to be a nice combination.
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talking with my short experience

SM7b with: Triton, Solo 610, Pre73, old Rane ms1, Vtb1, Mic200 every with quieter voices, not music, only the voices and the preamp noises.

excuse me for the translation troubble about clear & clean, it's the same in my country: clear is flat, no noise with color or not, clean is no color, no noise.

a) rane ms1, 60 dB. No. clear very clean but low level.
b) mic200, unknow db's, the noise machine.
c) solo 610, 60 dB I think, mandatory maximum gain and output: excesive warm, little low level, but deadly clean (no noise)
d) vtb1 (maximum gain, no tube): clear and loud, good.
e) pre73, 65 dB's/50% output: loud but noisy.

Then with the triton boost (clean & quality phatom power mandatory).

a) rane ms1. SUPERB!! clean & clear, any that meant ANY noise or hiss.
b) mic200 the noise machine with noise boost.
c) solo 610: flat & clear, yes clear, good level, but unpleasent flat with triton (I think there is a impedance problem).
d) vtb1: superb! even you can use some distortion. the noise floor is little hight but it's good.
e) pre73: SUPERB! solved the high gain noise issue (over 65dB's) colored and deadly quieter.

my subjective preference ? 1) Rane+Triton for quieter deeper voices, Pre73+triton for the rest. For childrens, horrible screaming childs with theirs shrill voices --> ever sm7+Solo 610 (without triton).

in conclusion

60 dB's are enough ? not for quieter sourcer, 65 dB's are more confortable, but CLEAN 65 dB's.
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Triton Fethead=Great for low output Dynamics and Ribbon Mics...

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I bought only for snoop, test if noisy, flat, etc .... I LOVE my Triton fethead, deadly quieter with good phantom.

But with the Solo have little trouble, I do not know how to identify it, it sounds "dull", only happens with this, so I said befote that I suspect it's only a bad combination, I do not know if it can occur with other preamps.
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maybe the UA solo 610 has low phantom power, i use the fethead with my groove tube brick and it's tube with a smooth sound with the sm7b...test it with an ohm/dc voltmeter...think it around 48 volts DC...forgot the pins, is it 2 and 3?
Quote:
Originally Posted by manzini View Post
I bought only for snoop, test if noisy, flat, etc .... I LOVE my Triton fethead, deadly quieter with good phantom.

But with the Solo have little trouble, I do not know how to identify it, it sounds "dull", only happens with this, so I said befote that I suspect it's only a bad combination, I do not know if it can occur with other preamps.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimsi View Post
....maybe has low phantom power....test it with an ohm/dc voltmeter...?
I was talk talk and more talk about and don't think about this possibility.

is so obvious that it is so silly

Tomorrow will test with a multimeter... sure a issue in my solo.
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I have found the preamps in RME products to be extremely quiet.

The preamps do not suddenly become super noisy in the last bit of gain.

When I heard my RME fireface pres I think I immediately put my low end pres onto Craigslist.

Anyway you are recording in 24 bit, right?

I think you will be fine.

You may eventually want to get high end press but as far as basic function the RME stuff will work fine.
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I honestly never use more than 45dBs on a pre-amp these days, not even with my transformless 57 which has 10dB less output than a regular 57....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerjabs View Post
I was wondering if the 60dbs of gain the RME Babyface puts out is more than enough to power a SM7B ?

Thanks!
I run mine into a fireface UC, usually around 50db of gain, sounds great!

In my experience it has been plenty IMO, it really opens up for me and my voice around that level.
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I really think more of these responses should include a description of the source that's been recorded. Knowing what knob position works on what pre is meaningless without knowing what's being captured.
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